5 Virtuous Figures Caught With Their Flies Down (Or Skirts Up)

Mangesh & Jason

With Eliot Spitzer dominating today's news, we decided to look back at other so-called virtuous figures who became embroiled in sex scandals.

1. Aimee Semple McPherson (1890"“1944)

By the mid-1920s, evangelist McPherson was packing them in at her Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, preaching hope and warning against the sinful life. But in 1926, she disappeared while swimming at a local beach. She turned up a month later with a fantastic story about being kidnapped and taken to Mexico. Unfortunately, the evidence said otherwise: It appeared Aimee had been shacked up with a married man. The evangelist was charged with perjury, but she stuck to her story and was eventually acquitted. Her popularity waned after the scandal, but you gotta hand it to her for chutzpah: instead of apologizing to her confused flock, McPherson bobbed her hair, bought some short skirts, and began dancing and drinking in public.

2. Jim Bakker (1941"“ )

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3. Jimmy Swaggart (1935"“ )

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4. Amrit Desai (1932"“ )

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5. Paul R. Shanley (1931"“ )

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This article was excerpted from 'Forbidden Knowledge: A wickedly smart guide to history's naughtiest bits.'