Some of you may have spent the weekend being decidedly ostrich-like, burying your head underground while this sordid Tiger Woods-Rachel Uchitel car crash went from “On Fire” to “Volcanic” on Google Trends. Sadly, the holiday must come to an end and you must dust dirt off your eyelids and witness this spectacle. Tiger’s not the first fella to stray: millionaires since time immemorial have had a unique relationship with the institution of marriage. Let’s examine some of the sordid extramarital tales and thin-as-filo-wrap vows made by millionaires other than Woods.
Name: Alun Phillips Occupation: Heir to his father’s estate, including his $45 million fortune Style: In 2000, Phillips described himself as “an eccentric” in front of the court. I suppose that’s one way to spin this: He handcuffed his wife to the bath and then killed her. This was all in order to avoid paying a hefty divorce settlement, as he was making preparations to start a new life with his new girlfriend.
Name: Neil Ellerbeck Occupation: Chief Investment Manager, HSBC Style: This year, Ellerbeck was tried for strangling his wife to death. Both he and his wife carried on simultaneous affairs. While he made over $500,000 yearly as a banker at HSBC, she was independently wealthy. The breaking point: When she made it clear that she wanted to start divorce proceedings.
Name: Kobe Bryant Occupation: Shooting Guard, L.A. Lakers Style: It’s a tale as old as time. Man marries woman. Man has kids with woman. Man has extramarital fling with other woman. Other woman alleges man sexual assaulted her and man’s reputation as wholesome sports hero is forever tarnished. But man’s wife vigilantly stays by his side.
Name: John Edwards/Mark Sanford/Eliot Spitzer Occupation: Shady politicians Style: Not all extramarital affairs have to be so grisly! Also, it would be redundant to class Edwards, Sanford, and Spitzer separately. They’ve all recently enjoyed similar notoriety for cheating on their wives (with mistresses or prostitutes), thereby inspiring a tide of pity parties for the misses, Elizabeth Edwards, Jenny Sanford and Silda Spitzer.
Name: Mutt Lange Occupation: Record producer Style: I know we were going to try to veer away from the moral wasteland of showbiz, but the dissolution of Mutt Lange’s marriage to Shania Twain is too mired not to get into. Lange’s the one responsible for helping ex-wife Twain cross-over into the golden pastures of pop. In this delicate soap, Lange cheated on Twain, which led to a divorce. Which then led Twain to sensibly hook up with Lange’s mistress’ husband. Oh, the South (and Switzerland)! With its Wonderbread charm, all-American values, etc.