If there’s one lesson we can all learn from the David Petraeus sex scandal, it’s that technology is a real bummer – for cheaters, at least. Petraeus, who resigned as Director of the CIA last Friday, was caught cheating on his wife by the FBI thanks to a few salacious emails to his biographer and secret paramour, Paula Broadwell. Of course, Petraeus – a man known for being technologically-savvy – is far from the first person who had their secrets led out on a trail of digital breadcrumbs. Here are five other tricksters who would have gotten away with it (or never done the dirty deed in the first place) if it weren’t for that blasted technology.
Busted by voicemail
The epic fall of pro golfer Tiger Woods may have started with a seemingly dubious report in the National Enquirer about his alleged affair with club promoter Rachel Uchitel. But the biggest story of 2009 truly heated up after US Weekly published a damning voicemail from Woods to “on-again-off-again girlfriend” Jaimee Grubbs. Following the release of the voicemail, Woods fessed up to his “transgressions,” and apologized to his fans and sponsors. Of course, things only got worse for Woods from there: More than a dozen other mistresses surfaced, sponsors dropped him, his wife and daughter left him, his fortune plummeted, and now he sucks at golf.
Busted by Twitter
Former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) learned the hard way that what happens on the Internet stays on the Internet. In May 2011, right-wing bloggers found out Weiner had sent a photo of his, well, wiener to a 21-year-old female who followed him on Twitter. Weiner denied that the photo was his until a few months later, when another woman revealed that she too had received sexually explicit photos from him. Soon after, Weiner held a press conference during which he admitted to his wrongdoing, and added that he’d “engaged in several inappropriate conversations conducted over Twitter, Facebook, email and occasionally on the phone with women I had met online.” To Weiner’s credit, there really isn’t any other type of conversation that people have with women they’ve met online.
Busted by Instant Message
Way back in 2006, six-term Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) was forced to resign from the House after reports surfaced that he’d exchanged explicit instant messages with underage high school boys who worked as Congressional pages. The IMs, uncovered by ABC News, revealed that Foley had asked the children to send him photos of themselves, and pushed them to tell him details about their me-time activities. While Foley was not married, it’s safe to say that his actions cheated the American people. In the years since his resignation, Foley has worked as a real estate agent, a furniture salesman, and a radio show host. And, for some insane reason, he recently served as a speaker for the Palm Beach County Young Republicans. Apparently, someone in Palm Beach didn’t get the memo.
Busted by Craigslist
Last year, U.S. Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) was forced out of office after Gawker revealed that he’d been trolling the “Women Seeking Men” section of Craigslist. Gawker uncovered a string of emails, which included a PG photo of Lee, posed shirtless, which he had sent from a Gmail address to a female government employee from Maryland. While Lee said in his email that he was 39-years-old and divorced, he was in fact 46-years-old and married. Lee has since disappeared from the face of the earth (or at least the parts in public view). Good work, Gawker!
Busted by Nike FuelBand
The Nike Fuelband may be a great way to keep track of your exercise routine. But, as fate would have it, it’s also a great way for promiscuous lovers to get caught red handed. According to Paul Lilly of Hot Hardware, a Nike representative told him of “a guy” whose girlfriend caught him cheating only because of the Fuelband’s activity tracker. “They shared their activity between each other and she noticed he was active at 1-2 a.m, when he was supposed to be home,” the Nike rep told Lilly. So remember, if you want to get away with it, don’t leave home with a freakin’ tracking device still on your arm.