The tackier Michelle “Bombshell” McGee turns out to be, the more it’s clear her affair with Jesse James has scored a permanent place among Hollywood’s biggest cheating scandals. Coming to light mere days after beloved American Sweetheart Sandra Bullock won her Oscar for “The Blind Side,” Bullock’s husband’s extra-marital dalliance with McGee looks worse and worse the more her heavily-tattooed bod appears all over the internet, TV and tabloids, along with her claims of 11 months of sex with James while Bullock was none the wiser. We’ve learned that she’s a fetish model who’s done girl-with-girl and Nazi photo spreads and taught her child the Nazi salute.
Jesse, you cheated on Sandra Bullock with THIS?
This mess is shocking, embarrassing, tawdry and sad – adjectives that apply again and again as we look back on the Top 10 Most Notorious Hollywood Cheating Scandals of the past 20 years:
NANNY TELLS ALL
“’He felt so lovely. We kissed and kissed for what seemed like ages. I was thinking, I cannot believe this. Jude Law is snogging me!’” That’s a breathless Daisy Wright, remembering in her diary what was going through her mind the memorable night her status changed from nanny of Jude Law’s children to playmate of the actor himself. After a night of passion, they awoke to find one of Jude’s children by the bed, crying “Daddy, daddy. I had a bad dream.” Law’s nightmare was just beginning. When his ex-wife, Sadie Frost, heard from said child about his nanny shenanigans, she fired Daisy. Daisy then took her story to Fleet Street. Steamy details of her sexcapades with Law emerged, including her description of a tryst atop a pool table. London, not to mention the rest of the world, snickered. Mind you, Law was engaged to Sienna Miller at the time. They split. But what goes around comes around — and around — in the case of Jude Law and Sienna Miller, apparently. In 2008, it was Miller’s affair with married father of four Balthazar Getty that got the headlines, along with paparazzi pics of the actress topless with Getty. Now, nearly five years after the whoops-a-Daisy imbroglio, Law and Miller are a couple again.
In 1991, “Flatliners” leading man and leading lady. Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts, planned a suitably Hollywood wedding for June. It would be a studio soundstage shebang and a swarm of stars and other power players would be on hand. Except…suddenly news broke that the wedding had been called off and, snap, Julia turned up at a hotel in Ireland with none other than Jason Patric – Kiefer’s friend! It was subsequently revealed that Julia had discovered Kiefer had been having a side relationship — with a stripper named Amanda Rice! The situation was lose-lose all around, except for the gossip media, which had a field day all summer long. Roberts landed in the hospital with the flu – for five days. She finished “Hook” on strained terms with Steven Spielberg, and the crew nicknamed her “Tinkerhell.” In recent years, Sutherland has said he holds no grudge against Roberts – “I commend Julia for seeing how young and silly we were…even as painful and as difficult as it was.” However, he still has no use for Patric. Roberts, of course, starred in another Hollywood cheating scandal a decade later when she hooked up with married cameraman Danny Moder, who split with his wife to be with Roberts. She and Moder wed in 2002 and they have three children.
“Brad & Angelina Get NAKED Together!” screamed a tabloid headline in May, 2004, while the couple was making their “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” action comedy – and his Mrs. was Jennifer Aniston. The romantic leads were making out off-camera as well as on, if you were to believe the tabs, which also reported that Aniston was going out of her mind with jealousy. Denials flew, but in Spring 2005, Aniston filed for divorce and “Brangelina” was seen vacationing on a beach in Kenya. “Team Jen” and “Team Angie” t-shirts became hot items on the internet. Jolie was, after all, the woman who had taken Billy Bob Thornton away from Laura Dern, the woman who had talked openly of her bisexuality and sex play with knives, the woman who had given her own brother a sexy-looking kiss when she won a Golden Globe. This femme fatale appeared the antithesis of girl-next-door popular Jen. The Jolie-Pitt affair still rankles in some quarters – even though Angelina and Brad are known for philanthropy and actively concerned in international relief…and even though they’re now the parents of six children. In 2008, Jolie’s comment to the New York Times essentially confirming for the first time the fact that she and Pitt had fallen in love while making “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” was met with jeers.
WOODY AND SOON-YI
The public disgust quotient was high when news broke that 56-year-old auteur filmmaker Woody Allen was having an affair with 21-year-old Soon-Yi Previn – his de facto step-daughter, since he’d been in a relationship with her adoptive mother, Mia Farrow, for 12 years. Poor Mia had discovered the truth in a shocking way, when she came across nude photos of Soon-Yi that Woody had taken. Court battles over custody of Woody’s and Mia’s adopted son and daughter and their biological son followed – with Mia accusing Woody of inappropriate behavior with the seven-year-old daughter. “I hope you get so humiliated you commit suicide,” wrote their adopted son, Moses, in a letter to Woody that was read in court. Although his popularity plummeted, Woody has since said that Mia’s discovery of the pictures set in motion a positive turn in his life. “The heart wants what it wants,” he explained of his relationship with Soon-Yi. He married her in 1998 and they have two adopted daughters.
THE MUG SHOTS SEEN ‘ROUND THE WORLD
Hugh Grant was thrust into international stardom in 1994 with the release of “Four Weddings and a Funeral.” He and his long-time lady, the gorgeous Elizabeth Hurley, became known as a chic and witty celebrity couple. Then, in 1995, he achieved a different kind of public attention, picked up in an L.A. Vice Squad sting operation along with a Hollywood hooker who called herself Divine Brown. Their mug shots showed up everywhere, and the jokes flew. Days later, Grant turned the tide of public sentiment in his favor in a matter of minutes, when he surprisingly decided to keep a “Tonight Show” date to promote his next movie – and sat there looking like an abashed schoolboy when Jay Leno hit him with “What the hell were you thinking?!” Grant told Leno, “I think you know in life what’s a good thing to do and what’s a bad thing, and I did a bad thing. And there you have it.” He exuded a combination of possible contrition and naughty charm and provided a template for effective celebrity apologies thenceforth. He paid a $1,180 fine and did an AIDS education program, but the embarrassing scandal left him relatively unscathed. He made up with Hurley and their relationship lasted ‘til 2000.
AMERICA’S SWEETHEART STUMBLES
Meg Ryan’s fall from adored cinema sweetheart was swift and complete when her affair with Aussie bad boy Russell Crowe became public knowledge. The two hooked up while they were making 2000’s “Proof of Life” — despite the fact she had her nice little family waiting for her at home: husband Dennis Quaid and their eight-year-old son Jack. Openly traveling with Crowe, the girl from “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally” inspired disappointment and downright anger in former fans. The Crowe-Ryan affair lasted only months. She and Quaid divorced in 2001 after a nine-year marriage. In 2008, Ryan finally told InStyle that she wasn’t the first to cheat in that marriage, that “Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful.” But by then her years as a Hollywood box office attraction had become fading memories.
HALLE BERRY’S HUBBY, THE SEX ADDICT
Sandra Bullock may feel a sad sort of sisterhood with Halle Berry. While Halle was in the Oscar season spotlight prior to her “Monster’s Ball” win in 2002, her then-husband Eric Benet was cheating on her. For awhile there, it had seemed Halle had gotten it right with her hunky R&B star mate. She’d grown close to his daughter and their relationship had flourished. But there had been troubles for a long time, it turned out. The revelation of Benet’s affair with singer Julia Riley led to his checking himself into Arizona’s The Meadows for sex addiction rehab. A barrage of headlines followed: Is sex addiction real? Is it a ploy of Eric’s to get back into Halle’s good graces? How prevalent is sex addiction? In 2003, the couple split for good. In 2008, when David Duchovny checked himself into rehab for a sex addiction (but not because of any affairs! His publicist insisted!) Benet told New York magazine he wished Duchovny good luck with that, but he, Eric, wasn’t really a sex addict. So then, how did he account for his behavior? “Stupid-ass mistakes,” said Benet. Yeah, they don’t have rehab for that yet.
PLUS ONE HUSBAND, MINUS ANOTHER
To say Anne Heche has a checkered romantic past is like saying Kirstie Alley’s weight has fluctuated – quite an understatement. So when Heche followers learned that she’d taken up with her “Men in Trees” leading man, the handsome James Tupper – despite both being married to others at the time – it didn’t come as a total shock A public and very bitter divorce from her cameraman-turned-realtor ex-husband Coley Laffoon ensued, including Heche calling Laffoon a lazy a—on David Letterman’s show. (Laffoon is the father of Heche’s son Homer, 8, and Tupper is daddy to her son Atlas, 1.) You may recall that Anne met Laffoon when he was doing camera on a comedy show project for her then-lover Ellen DeGeneres. Before she and Ellen got together, she was known for having broken Steve Martin’s heart Tupper would like to get married, but Heche says she likes the idea of having permanent fiancée status.
MATERIAL GIRL SPORTS YANKEE SLUGGER
The nasty Madonna/Guy Ritchie divorce included all the gossip about her relationship with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez — whose wife reportedly left him because of the Material Man-taker as well. Or, as Time magazine put it in July, 2008: “The relationship that appears to have helped unravel the six-year Rodriguez marriage involves no mere Vegas stripper or D-list country star. This couple is fighting about the only woman on earth who can top A-Rod in both net worth and push-ups — Madonna.” There were photos of Madge and A-Rod together, reports of their traveling to Mexico. But for all the attention and damage their relationship created, it was called an affair of the heart and spirit rather than infidelity. Curious.
YOUR CHEATIN’ HEART
The “CSI: Miami” hunk tells us that things are “finally starting to calm down and be the way the way they’re supposed to be” – more than a year after reports emerged of his and LeAnn Rimes’ relationship becoming more than professional on the set of their “Northern Lights” Lifetime movie. He was married to model Brandi Glanville, mother of their two young sons, and LeAnn was married to her one-time backup dancer Dean Sheramet. There were the predictable denials of an affair, then there were Cibrian’s and Rimes’ marital splits, then their respective divorces. Saying she felt she no longer knew Cibrian, Glanville said she told LeAnn, “You can have him.” “I think things happen for a reason,” Cibrian, now openly with Rimes, told us. “I’m just focusing on work and focusing on my family.” — Stacy Jenel Smith