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Career-rattling affairs can have happily-ever-after-the-sex-scandal endings

Marion Barry (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) and Donna Watts-Brighthaupt (Hamil Harris/The Washington Post)

The Duke and Duchess of Windsor pose after their wedding at the Chateau de Cande near Tours, France, on June 3, 1937. (AP file photo)

Can this relationship be saved?

To be honest, we weren't optimistic about Marion Barry and Donna Watts-Brighthaupt's chances last summer when their love affair was revealed. So much baggage -- his arrest for allegedly stalking her (charges dropped), her ex sharing their voice-mail messages with City Paper, the whole girlfriend-on-the-payroll thing, the kickbacks accusation. And the glare of the spotlight can be so withering in the first blush of an inappropriate relationship.

But seven months later, they're still going strong! Or at least, according to various reports, still hanging out together in public now and then. Which just goes to show: Sometimes your career-ruining liaison can lead to lasting love. Here are some of the happily-ever-after-the-sex-scandal couples who might offer hope to Marion and Donna (Or John and Rielle? Or Mark and MarĂ­a? Or Tiger and Rachel?)

  • Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson: Their love nearly toppled the British monarchy and prompted him to shed his crown for the American divorcee. Not the happiest honeymoon, but their marriage endured 35 years until his death. (See also: Charles and Camilla.)

Rudy Giuliani and Judith Nathan pose for photographers after their wedding ceremony in May 2003. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)
  • Bill Agee and Mary Cunningham: When the Bendix CEO promoted the cute Harvard MBA through the ranks just a little too quickly, they became the scandal couple on the cover of every business magazine circa 1980. He didn't survive his company's next merger -- but by then they had wed. Nearly 30 years and two kids later, still together.
  • Rudy Giuliani and Judith Nathan: The then-NYC mayor had the misfortune to fall in love in the middle of his U.S. Senate race. Traveling on the public dime to visit the girlfriend caused some problems with the voters -- and also with the wife. Announcing their separation at a news conference without alerting his wife proved a bad PR move; he dropped out of the race days later. But he and Judith will celebrate their seventh anniversary in May.

By The Reliable Source  |  February 25, 2010; 1:02 AM ET
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John and Cindy.

Posted by: rlj1 | February 25, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

How about Jack Welch (retired CEO of GE) and the senior editor of the Harvard Business Review who interviewed him? I think they're still married.

Posted by: Dan4 | February 25, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Ah, good one. I knew I was forgetting something from the business world...

Posted by: The Reliable Source | February 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

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