How Much Can You Profit from a Political Sex Scandal?

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Sydney Leathers is working overtime now that her sexting affair with Anthony Weiner is out in the open. Judging from the post-scandal careers of other political mistresses, here's a look at how much money the former Indiana political activist could be making right now. 

There are a few hallmarks to life after a political sex scandal. Tell-all interviews are standard, though most news organizations won't pay you to speak with them. The real money is in the tell-all memoir, where eager book companies will throw cash for confessions and the dirtiest, intimate secrets. Or, if you're Sydney Leathers, you masturbate on camera for those infamous sex tape connoisseurs at Vivid Entertainment. This is the same upstanding company that paid former Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham $1.5 million for her sex tape. Unfortunately, we don't know how much Leather was paid for her brief stint on the casting couch, so we can't know for sure how she was worth compared to Abraham. But, as we can see from these historic other women, we can guess that post-scandal life is littered with opportunities to cash-in: 

  • Let's start with another Weiner mistress, Traci Nobles, who has been writing a tell-all about the scandal since 2011. When The New York Times caught up with Weiner's former flings after he entered the mayoral race, but before the Leathers scandal broke, she was still working on the book. (Don't hold your breath for a release.)
  • Last summer, Mimi Alford released her book about allegedly losing her virginity to John F. Kennedy in the White House, but her advance was not disclosed. Judging from the massive media tour that followed, you can bet she was paid handsomely for her literary efforts. 
  • Ashley Dupre was famously making $4,000 an hour as a call girl before she ended Eliot Spitzer's career as Governor. It was in her post-scandal media blitz where she started making real money, though. Dupre was fielding $1 million offers from Hustler and Girls Gone Wild to pose nude for them before she eventually settled on the slightly classier, slightly glossier pages of Playboy to bare her wares. How much Hugh Hefner had to pay the former call girl was never disclosed. Dupre also did a brief stint giving relationship advice for the New York Post
  • There's always the original political mistress, Monica Lewinsky. She went for the another surefire way to make cash after a big scandal: the tell-all memoir! Lewinsky was reportedly paid over $1 million for her participation with Monica's Story, the book by Andrew Morton documenting her side of the Clinton affair. Lewinsky also netted $300,000 from an endorsement deal with Jenny Craig, and another $1 million selling interviews to oversee news networks. But Lewinsky became famous when sex tapes were still relegated to former Playboy bunnies and past-prime rock starts, and rumors say she turned down millions from Penthouse

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.