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Where Are They Now? Some Sex Scandal Pols Vanish, Others Get a Second Chance

Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. speaks about an extramarital affair

Sen. John Ensign of Nevada has admitted that he had an extramarital affair with a campaign aide last year -- a revelation that could sabotage the popular conservative's chance at a 2012 bid for the Republican presidential nominee. 

But Ensign, whose confession came unexpectedly Tuesday in a hastily arranged news conference, is only the latest in a long list of politicians who have had to go before the cameras to explain their transgressions.

Some politicians' careers were instantly ruined by their behavior. But a far greater number succeeded in withdrawing from the public eye -- only to re-emerge with a new public skin.

YOU DECIDE: Can Politicians Who Stray Be Rehabilitated?

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Where are they now? Here's an update:

John Edwards

What Happened? 

After months of dismissing allegations of an affair as "tabloid trash," the two-time Democratic presidential candidate and former North Carolina senator confessed on Aug. 8, 2008, to an extramarital relationship with former campaign videographer Rielle Hunter.  

Where is He Now? 

Edwards, who denies that he is the father of Hunter's baby, has kept a relatively low profile. He made his second public appearance since his admission when he spoke about poverty at Brown University in March. Edwards acknowledged in May that federal investigators were looking into how he handled his campaign funds.

Eliot Spitzer

What Happened? 

Federal authorities busted the New York governor in March 2008 for paying $10,000 to the Emperor Club, a high-end Washington, D.C.-based prostitution ring. Spitzer -- named by the brothel as "Client #9" -- paid 22-year-old Ashlee Dupree $1,000 an hour for a hotel rendezvous. Spitzer, a Democrat, resigned two days later on March 17, 2008. 

Where is He Now? 

Since his fall from grace, Spitzer has worked as a columnist for Slate Magazine. Asked in December about his new job, Spitzer said: "It sucks. I used to be governor." He also wrote an opinion piece on the financial crisis in The Washington Post in November, noting that "mistakes I made in my private life now prevent me from participating in these issues as I have in the past."

Rudy Giuliani

What Happened?

A 1997 Vanity Fair article reported that the married New York City mayor was embroiled in a romantic relationship with his communications director, Cristyne Lategano. In 2000, following his divorce from wife Donna Hanover, it was widely reported that Giuliani had an extramarital affair with Judith Nathan, a former sales manager for a pharmaceutical company. Giuliani, who never admitted any infidelity, married Nathan soon after his divorce -- and became increasingly estranged from his children. 

Where is He Now? 

Giuliani withdrew his presidential bid in early 2008 after finishing a distant third in the Florida Republican primary. Since then, Giuliani has returned to work at Giuliani Partners and Bracewell & Giuliani. In January, he said he has not ruled out a run for New York governor next year or the presidency again in 2012.

Jim McGreevey

What Happened?

On Aug. 12, 2004, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, the married father of two children, resigned from office after publicly declaring that he was gay and admitting to having "an adult consensual affair with another man." It was later revealed that McGreevey's former homeland security adviser, Golan Cipel, with whom he was reported to have had the affair, threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. 

Where is He Now?

Since his resignation and divorce from Dina Matos McGreevey in 2007, the former governor, a Democrat, has published a memoir entitled "The Confession." McGreevey currently lives with his partner in Plainfield, N.J., and teaches ethics, law and leadership at Kean University in Union, N.J.

David Vitter

What Happened?

In July 2007, the married Louisiana senator, a Republican, was identified as a client of "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey's high-priced prostitution service in Washington. Vitter, a staunch political conservative, soon admitted to the infidelity and issued a public apology for his "very serious sin." 

Where is He Now?

Vitter remains in the U.S. Senate and is running for re-election in 2010. Palfrey, facing a prison sentence, killed herself.

Vito Fossella

What Happened?

After months of denials, New York City's only Republican congressman admitted in May 2008 to having an extramarital affair with retired Air Force Lt. Col. Laura Fay, and that he was the father of her child. 

Where is He Now?

Fossella's affair was revealed as part of the investigation into a drunken driving arrest, for which Fay bailed him out. He served out the end of his legislative term, which ended on Jan. 3. He pleaded guilty in April to DUI and was sentenced to five days in jail, the loss of his Virginia driver's license, a $250 fine and an alcohol-education program. Fossella said he had no plans to run for re-election and is currently working at Superfund Investment Group in Manhattan.

Gary Condit

What Happened?

In 2001, the California congressman confessed to having an affair with 24-year-old intern Chandra Levy after the young woman disappeared during a run in Washington's Rock Creek Park. Condit, a Democrat, was suspected by some as having knowledge of Levy's disappearance. He professed his innocence and was cleared by police, but his reputation was badly damaged. Interest in his case vanished after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, and he remained in his seat. But he lost his primary election in March 2002 and left Congress in January 2003.

Where is He Now?

Following his congressional career, Condit filed three defamation of character suits against Vanity Fair and the Sonoran News. The cases were later dismissed. Condit moved to Arizona to open two Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop franchises with his wife and children in 2005. In March 2006, Baskin-Robbins revoked the franchising agreement. A Salvadoran man was charged in April 2009 with Levy's murder.

Larry Craig

What Happened?

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig was quietly arrested in June 2007 for lewd conduct in the men's bathroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Two months after the Republican pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, Washington got wind of the incident. Craig announced his resignation from the Senate in September 2007, but he decided to stay until the end of his term. He did not seek re-election in 2008. 

Where is He Now?

Despite the scandal, Craig, who had served 18 years in the Senate, was inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame. In January 2009, his attorneys dropped his bid with the Minnesota State Supreme Court to try and have his guilty plea tossed out.

Mark Foley

What Happened?

The Florida congressman resigned from office abruptly in September 2006 when it was alleged that he had sent sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to congressional male pages. An ABC News blog first reported that Foley, a Republican, had sent an e-mail to a teenage page from his personal e-mail account, asking for a photo. Foley's staff at first dismissed the e-mail as innocent, but a second page later came forward, saying the congressman had sent sexually explicit instant messages to him.

Where is He Now?

After he left Congress, Foley checked himself into a rehabilitation clinic for alcoholism. His lawyer confirmed that Foley was gay, said that he had been the victim of sexual assault by a clergyman as a child and that he was "absolutely, positively not a pedophile." Foley now is in the real estate business in Palm Beach, Fla., where he is in a long-term relationship with a dermatologist.

Gary Hart

What Happened?

Less than a month after Colorado Sen. Gary Hart announced his second Democratic presidential run in 1987, various news outlets reported he was having an extramarital affair with 29-year-old model Donna Rice. A week after the story broke, Hart dropped out of the presidential race. At a press conference with reporters, Hart blasted the media, saying, "I said that I bend, but I don't break, and believe me, I'm not broken."

Where is He Now?

Hart did not seek re-election to the Senate and resumed his law practice. In 2005, he began writing for the Huffington Post, and in 2006 he became a professor at the University of Colorado at Denver. He has become an outspoken voice on America's relations with Iran and energy policy, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, chairman for the Council for a Livable World and an accomplished novelist. In 2008, he was also an unpaid adviser to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton

What Happened?

The former president was impeached in 1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives for lying under oath about having an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Clinton at first denied the affair, but then admitted in grand jury testimony and later in a televised address to the nation that he had an "improper physical relationship" with Lewinsky. The Senate acquitted the Democratic president of the impeachment charges, but the state of Arkansas suspended his law license for five years in 2001.

Where is He Now?

Since leaving the White House in 2001, Clinton founded the William J. Clinton Foundation to fight international crises such as HIV/AIDS and global warming. The former president released his autobiography, "My Life," in 2004, and actively campaigned for his wife, Hillary Clinton, during the 2008 presidential election. In 2008, he was named United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti. Clinton has earned millions for his speaking engagements and is a regular fixture in international news.