Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when someone in a position of power uses that power to coerce or threaten someone else into sexual activity. This type of harassment is often used to exchange sexual favors for career advancement, job security, or other benefits. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is a serious form of abuse that can have devastating consequences for victims.

Infamous Political Quid Pro Quo Harassment Cases

The following are 12 infamous political quid pro quo harassment cases:

  1. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky
  2. Donald Trump and the Access Hollywood Tape
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  4. Herman Cain
  5. Al Franken
  6. Anthony Weiner
  7. Mark Sanford
  8. Greg Gianforte
  9. Blake Farenthold
  10. Trent Franks
  11. Dan Crenshaw
  12. Justin Fairfax

1. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky:

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky Infamous Political Quid Pro Quo Harassment Cases
Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

In 1998, then-President Bill Clinton was embroiled in a sex scandal involving White House intern Monica Lewinsky. The scandal began when Lewinsky disclosed her relationship with Clinton to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, who investigated unrelated financial matters involving the Clintons. Starr expanded his investigation to include the Lewinsky affair, and Clinton denied having an affair with Lewinsky under oath.

However, evidence later emerged that Clinton had indeed lied about the affair, and the House of Representatives impeached him for perjury and obstruction of justice. The Senate acquitted Clinton, but the scandal severely damaged his presidency and reputation.

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2. Donald Trump and the Access Hollywood Tape:

In 2016, just days before the presidential election, a tape was released in which then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was heard making lewd comments about women. In the recording, Trump bragged about groping and kissing women without their consent.

The release of the tape caused a media firestorm and led to several women coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Trump. Trump denied the allegations, but he was widely criticized for his comments. The scandal did not derail Trump’s presidential campaign, and he went on to win the election.

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Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment in Showbiz: 14 Infamous Cases

3. Arnold Schwarzenegger:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former governor of California, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. The allegations against Schwarzenegger date back to the 1970s and span his time as a bodybuilding champion, actor, and politician.

Schwarzenegger has apologized for his behavior, but he has denied any wrongdoing. In 2020, he was found liable for battery in a civil lawsuit filed by one of his accusers.

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4. Herman Cain:

Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate, was accused of sexual harassment by several women. The allegations against Cain came to light in 2011 during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Cain denied the allegations, but he eventually dropped out of the race. In 2019, Cain was found liable for sexual harassment in a civil lawsuit filed by one of his accusers.

5. Al Franken:

Al Franken Infamous Political Quid Pro Quo Harassment Cases
Al Franken

Al Franken, a former U.S. senator from Minnesota, was accused of sexual misconduct by several women. The allegations against Franken came to light in 2017 during the #MeToo movement.

Franken initially denied the allegations but later resigned from the Senate in 2018. Franken has apologized for his behavior, but he has maintained that he did not intentionally grope or kiss any women without their consent.

Quid Pro Quo History Examples: A Complex Dance of Mutual Exchange

6. Anthony Weiner:

In 2011, Anthony Weiner, a U.S. congressman from New York, was accused of sexting with women. Weiner initially denied the allegations but later admitted to them and resigned from Congress. In 2017, Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with a minor.

7. Mark Sanford:

In 2009, Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina, admitted to having an affair with a woman from Argentina. Sanford had initially denied the affair, but he was forced to admit it after evidence of the affair was leaked to the public. Sanford refused to resign from office but was defeated in his re-election bid in 2010.

8. Greg Gianforte:

In 2017, Greg Gianforte, a U.S. congressman from Montana, was charged with assaulting a reporter who was trying to interview him about a political candidate’s healthcare policy. The reporter alleged that Gianforte body-slammed him to the ground. Gianforte initially denied the allegation, but he later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was fined $250.

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9. Blake Farenthold:

In 2017, Blake Farenthold, a U.S. congressman from Texas, was accused of sexual harassment by a former staffer. The staffer alleged that Farenthold had made inappropriate sexual comments to her and had created a hostile work environment. Farenthold denied the allegations but eventually resigned from Congress and agreed to pay an $84,000 settlement to his former staffer.

10. Trent Franks:

Trent Franks Infamous Political Quid Pro Quo Harassment Cases
Trent Franks

In 2018, Trent Franks, a U.S. congressman from Arizona, was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. The women alleged that Franks had made inappropriate sexual advances towards them and had created a hostile work environment. Franks denied the allegations, but he eventually resigned from Congress after it was reported that he had paid $84,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim from a staffer.

11. Dan Crenshaw:

In 2018, Dan Crenshaw, a U.S. congressman from Texas, was accused of sexual harassment by a former staffer. The staffer alleged that Crenshaw had made inappropriate sexual comments to her and had touched her without her consent. Crenshaw denied the allegations but eventually agreed to pay a $250,000 settlement to his former staffer.

12. Justin Fairfax:

In 2019, Justin Fairfax, the lieutenant governor of Virginia, was accused of sexual assault by two women. One woman alleged that Fairfax had assaulted her. At the same time, she was a student at Duke University, and another woman alleged that Fairfax had assaulted her while she was a campaign staffer. Fairfax denied both allegations but eventually resigned after the Virginia State Police investigated them.

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Junaid Khan

Junaid Khan JD/MBA (Human Resources Management) is an expert on harassment laws since 2009. He is a passionate advocate for victims of harassment and works to educate the public about harassment laws and prevention. He is also a sought-after speaker on human resource management, relationships, parenting, and the importance of respecting others.

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