Notorious Sex Scandals: How Indiscretions Influence American Culture

In the world of famous sex scandals, a few names come to mind: Clinton, Moore, Weiner. These affairs, so to speak, embody the meaning of the word notorious, shocking the public to the core and giving us something to talk about — sometimes for decades.
Sex scandals influence American culture in many ways and often capture the whole attention of the public for weeks, months and even years on end. They occasionally lead to new legislation and crack-downs, but more often trigger resignations, public distrust and the ravenous consumption of the news media.
 Montanas Dimple Knees Sex Scandal
To celebrate the recent debut of the new book “Montana’s Dimple Knees Sex Scandal” by John Kuglin, let’s take a look at this notorious scandal and some more of America’s most shocking and salacious scandals.
  • The Dimple Knees Sex Scandal — Kuglin takes readers on a journey of ups, downs and crooked corruption in this new title, telling the story of Beverly Snodgrass, a brothel owner in Butte, Mont. who found herself entangled in a web of controversy during the 1960s. Snodgrass, who had once been a prostitute herself, often served many uniformed law enforcement officers, who turned a blind eye to pay-offs, gambling and illegal sex work. But what allowed Snodgrass’ business to thrive was the relationship with a local attorney and judge, nicknamed “Dimple Knees,” who helped keep her operations under wraps. But when Beverly revealed her secret to a newspaper reporter, the scandal shocked the entire state and made “Dimple Knees” the most famous name in Montana.
  • Bill Clinton’s Troopergate — When we think of political sex scandals, we often immediately think of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal of the mid-1990s. But Clinton was embroiled in some less-than-honorable behavior even before he was president. The original misdeeds took place during the time Clinton served as the governor of Arkansas, from 1979-81 and 1983-92, when Arkansas state troopers claimed they facilitated extramarital affairs for the governor while on duty.
  • Kennebunk Prostitution Scandal — Proving that prominent names and prostitution still go hand in hand in the 21st century, the Kennebunk, Maine scandal rocked the small, costal town after a 2012 investigation uncovered that two Kennebunk residents were operating a prostitution ring under the guise of a Zumba studio. According to the Portland Press Herald, some 150 “johns” were members of the studio, including some well-known Kennebunk citizens. Alexis Wright, the mastermind behind the operation, was sentenced to 10 months in prison for her part in the crime.
The Texas Chicken Ranch
  • The Texas Chicken Ranch — Immortalized in the Broadway musical “The Best Little Whorehouse” and Jayme Lynn Blaschke’s 2016 book on the topic, the Texas Chicken Ranch was a storied, rural bordello that operated for over a century in Fayette County, Tex. According to Blaschke, the ranch served everyone from dirt farmers to well-known politicians in its 100-year run, all under the blind eye of the local police. In fact, historians argue that the Texas Chicken Ranch, which was located near La Grange, was outright embraced by locals. Until the ranch’s doors were permanently shuttered in 1972, the establishment went through several vibrant madams.
  • Anthony Weiner’s Sexting Scandal — For many people, the word “sexting” had no meaning before New York Congressman Anthony Weiner got caught in the act in 2011. As the sensational story goes, Weiner used his public Twitter account to send explicit photos of himself to one of his followers. When the indecent Tweet came into the public eye, Weiner was forced to admit his wrongdoings and ultimately resigned from Congress. But Weiner clearly hadn’t learned his lesson by the time he entered the New York City mayoral race in 2013. Another sexting scandal came to light when the mayoral hopeful admitted that he sent even more explicit photos to followers after the first scandal erupted. Unsurprisingly, Weiner secured only 4.9 percent of the vote in the Democratic primaries.
For more juicy, scandalous stories, we recommend taking a jaunt through our collection of scandal-focused titles, including “The Hollywood Scandal Almanac” and “The Scandalous Lives of Carolina Belles.”