Over the years, in business, politics, entertainment and more, there have been sex scandals—those that come and go and those that take down the person or entity they’re filed against. Whether true are not, all are painful to watch, and, one would imagine, painful to endure—especially for the women who choose to “stand by their man” through it all. In light of the recent sex scandals that have rocked the worlds of politicians like Herman Cain(pictured, left, with supporters along the campaign trail) and pastors like Bishop Eddie Long, we rounded up a few of the wives who made the decision through uncomfortable press conferences, embarrassing court cases and shocking announcements to stay and be…The Good Wife.—Elayne Fluker
Herman Cain and wife Gloria Cain
This past Saturday, December 3, 2011, Herman Cain—former frontrunner in the Republican presidential nominee race—announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy. To blame in the eyes of many? Sexual harassment claims from several women who worked with Cain when he was head of the National Restaurant Association. The most recent, however, and arguably the nail in the sex scandal coffin, was claims from an Atlanta woman, Ginger White, that the two had a 13-year affair. In spite of the accusations, Cain maintains they’re false, saying Saturday, “My wife is at peace with me… And I am at peace with myself.” In an interview with Fox News—her only—wife Gloria Cain said, “He totally respects women.” During her few public appearances, Mrs. Cain smiled, waved, and made no public statements.
Kobe Bryant and wife Vanessa Bryant
In the summer of 2003, the Eagle, Colorado sheriff’s office announced that they had arrested NBA superstar Kobe Bryant in connection with a sexual assault complaint filed by a 19-year-old woman. The woman accused Bryant, who was at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera to have surgery, of raping her in his hotel room on July 1. If convicted, Bryant faced probation to life in prison. After he was formally charged on July 18, the Lakers star held a news conference adamantly denying he raped the woman, while wife, Vanessa, sat at his side and held his hand. Through tears and terse lips, he admitted to having an adulterous sexual encounter with the woman, but insisted it was consensual. His accuser reportedly told a friend that “She couldn’t believe that his wife was sitting there and apparently didn’t care about adultery.” The case was later dropped after Bryant’s accuser refused to testify. A separate civil suit was later settled out of court.
Isiah Thomas and wife Lynn Thomas
When her husband, Isaiah Thomas, was accused of sexual harassment in 2006 by Anucha Browne Saunders and a jury awarded Brown Saunders $11.6 million after an explosive trial where the then-Knicks head coach and president was portrayed as someone who condones disparaging black women, Lynn Thomas stood by seemingly shell-shocked. Lynn, who married Thomas in 1985, said at a press conference, “I don’t normally address the media, but I felt it was very, very important in this issue to make a stand. This has been a hard, hard time for our family. But we’re survivors. Like my husband said, we’ve been together for close to 30 years. We have two kids that we’re raising, and I just wanted you all to know that if my husband had said those things there is no way I would be with him for that long.” Thomas was eventually fired as Knicks head coach in April 2008.
Magic Johnson and wife Cookie Johnson
After a physical before the 1991–92 NBA season, Johnson discovered that he had tested positive for HIV. In a press conference held on November 7, 1991, Johnson made a public announcement that he would retire immediately. He stated that his wife Earlitha “Cookie” Kelly, who he married in 1991, and their unborn child did not have HIV, and that he would dedicate his life to “battle this deadly disease”. Johnson initially said that he did not know how he contracted the disease, but later acknowledged that it was through having multiple sexual partners during his playing career. Magic continued to play off an on–including the NBA All Star game in 1992 and the Summer Olympics in the same year—before finally retiring in 1996.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and wife Jacqueline Jackson
In 1991, Long before loquacious speaker Rev. Jesse Jackson put a bad taste in the mouths of many when he was recorded saying that he wanted to “cut [the] balls off” of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama for “talking down to black people,” Jackson faced the big mouth of the National Enquirer, which threatened to release their story about reverend’s extra-marital affair with a woman, Karin Stanford, an employee of his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Jackson admitted that he had not only had an affair with Stanford, but that also fathered her daughter Ashley, then 20 months old. “I love this child very much and have assumed responsibility for her emotional and financial support since she was born,” said Jackson, who took some time off “to revive my spirit and reconnect with my family before I return to my public ministry.” Three days later, revival complete. Jackson appeared at Chicago’s Salem Baptist Church with wife, Jacqueline, whom he married in 1962. “After 38 years and five children, Jackie, we are still here,” he said from the pulpit that day. Friends at the time told the media that “Jackson’s family, especially Jackie, are devastated by the affair.”
Eddie Murphy and former wife Nicole Murphy
Eddie Murphy married former model Nicole Murphy in 1993. In May, 1997, Murphy was arrested with a transsexual prostitute who was riding in his car, authorities said. A sheriff’s department spokesman said no illegal activity had occurred, but they arrested Atisone Seuli, 20, on an outstanding warrant for prostitution. Murphy’s spokesman told CNN that the actor had trouble sleeping, felt restless and decided to drive to a newsstand. After leaving the newsstand, Murphy spotted someone who appeared to be “having a problem,” the spokesman said. The star stopped his vehicle to see if the person was all right. At that time, the individual asked Murphy for a ride, and he agreed, the spokesman said. The spokesman quoted Murphy as saying, “I I was trying to be a good Samaritan and this is what happens.” The Murphys survived the ordeal but later divorced in 2006.