The National Enquirer reported today that Todd Palin, husband of former Alaska Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, has been engaged in an illicit affair with a massage therapist-cum-madam.
The tabloid newspaper indicated it has documentary proof that the woman in question, 36-year-old Shailey Tripp, had been arrested for running a house of prostitution in March 2010. Tripp pleaded no-contest to those charges in June. The National Enquirer also claims to have proof that the authorities have physical evidence that may definitively prove liaisons between Tripp and Palin took place.
The National Enquirer has a history of leading the news on major political sex scandals, most notably the case of John Edwards‘ affair with Rielle Hunter in October 2007. However, the tabloid’s record for accuracy is not exactly spotless. Earlier this month The National Enquirer reported that Edwards and Hunter were engaged, a claim that Edwards has denied and Hunter has not commented upon. The National Enquirer has been making such claims since early 2010. Yet in the Palin case, rumors of extramarital affairs have hounded the Palins since 2008, and divorce rumors have been flying since at least late 2009. Neither Todd or Sarah Palin have commented on The National Enquirer’s story.
If true, the Palins would not be the first political couple in recent times to become embroiled in a mixture of cheating and prostitution.
* Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of New York, was felled by just such a sex scandal when it was revealed he had patronized the glitzy prostitution ring known as Emperors Club VIP, making call girl Ashley Alexandra Dupre a household name.
* The infamous “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jeane Palfrey, claimed after her 2007 arrest that many of Washington’s movers and shakers were among her clients, and that boast was not an idle one. Randall Tobias was forced to resign from his post as Administrator of the Agency for International Development (USAID) when he was linked to Palfrey.
* Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana was also linked to Palfrey’s services, but remains in office today. Palfrey committed suicide in 2008 after her conviction on money laundering and racketeering charges.
* Nor is this type of scandal merely an American phenomenon. In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is engaged in fighting off an investigation into whether or not he had a liaison with a dancer who is not only an alleged prostitute, but was 17 at the time and, thus, legal minor as well.
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