Arthur Brown Did It Way Before John Edwards

Preceding the John Edwards scandal by more than a full century, Arthur Brown was a trailblazer when it came to being a high-profile politician cheating on his cancer-stricken wife and fathering an extramarital child. But Brown's mistress turned out to be a tad more volatile than Rielle Hunter.

When Utah gained statehood in 1896, Arthur Brown became one of the state's first two senators, serving until March, 1897. By the time of his ascension into the Senate, Brown, 52, was already on his second wife and was in the first stages of building a romance with Salt Lake City socialite Anne Bradley, 23.

Bradley would later explain that by 1898, when she was no longer living with her husband, Clarence, she finally succumbed to Brown's advances.

"...Finally, he began coming to my house at very unseemly hours, and I told him it must stop, but he answered. 'Darling, we will go through life together. I want you to have a son' and after several months we did."

Things didn't really work out for the star-crossed lovers. When Brown's wife caught wind of the affair (after he tried to serve her with divorce papers), she hired a private investigator to follow her husband. And back then, you didn't get embarrassed on the pages of the National Enquirer when you were caught committing adultery. You got thrown in jail -- which is exactly what happened to Brown and Bradley in 1902 and 1903!

The whole thing culminated in an all-night fight in 1903. From Utah History to Go:
The illicit affair continued with all parties involved in a dramatic confrontation in a Pocatello, Idaho, hotel where Isabel Brown, according to Christensen, threatened to kill Bradley and intimidated Arthur by ordering him to open the door to his hotel room or she would "mash it in." The former senator did. The combatants spent the night accusing each other of all sorts of indiscretions, and Brown, according to Christensen, gave Bradley a revolver as protection against his wife. This is when I like to think about what the ratings would be like for a televised screaming match betwee Rielle Hunter and John and Elizabeth Edwards.

After the big fight, Isabel's condition deteriorated rapidly and she succumbed to cancer in 1905. You would think this would be a prime opportunity for Arthur and Anne to set a date for the wedding. Anne did. But whenever she tried to pin Arthur down, he'd make up some excuse. So by 1906, now raising two of Arthur's children, Isabel took matters into her own hands.

She showed up to confront the former senator in a D.C. hotel room December 6, 2006, because she was tired of his crap. That's the night she shot and killed Arthur Brown. And as far as she was concerned justice had been served.

Anne pleaded temporary insanity at her trial and got off scot-free. She opened an antique store in SLC, where she resided until her death in 1950.

America's 50 Most Scandalous Political Scandals

Two Bobs and a Pornographer
In the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, in 1998 Hustler publisher Larry Flynt offered $1 million to anyone able to prove any sexual misconduct on the part of a prominent Republican. The idea was that if the GOP could target Bill Clinton for cheating on his wife, then Flynt was going to hold them to the same standard...
I write about movies for, which means I spend way too much time thinking about the geekiest possible ways to approach the cineplex. I'm also hopelessly addicted to audio books. Follow me: Google