10 of Hollywood’s Most Infamous Love Triangles, Trysts and Affairs

Mike Crisolago | November 25th, 2015

Tinseltown has a long history of celebs ‘fessing up after being caught with their pants down.

As long as celebrities have roamed the streets of Tinseltown they’ve found trouble in the bedrooms of Tinseltown. In fact, the list of celebs who could have used the services of an Olivia Pope, crisis manager extraordinaire on the hit TV series Scandal, literally dates back to the days before the famed Hollywood sign.

With Scandal on hiatus until the new year, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of Hollywood’s most infamous love triangles, trysts and affairs that should hold you over until Olivia Pope returns.

Click through to see the list!

Der amerikanische Komiker Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle.Fatty Arbuckle

The headline: Silent film star is accused of raping hopeful starlet, who succumbs to her injuries.

Beneath the sheets: In September, 1921, during some down time at a hotel with friends, allegations arose that Arbuckle raped a 30-year-old aspiring actress named Virginia Rappe with a coke bottle, rupturing her bladder. She died of a combination of the injury and peritonitis.

Arbuckle was arrested for rape and manslaughter and, three trials later, was eventually found not guilty.

The morning after: The validity of the evidence against Arbuckle is still disputed, with some contending that there was no sign of sexual violence on Rappe’s body and that her friend who levied accusations against the film star had a history of blackmail. Nevertheless, Arbuckle’s name was tarnished and much of his film work destroyed. He battled alcoholism after and, following a brief career comeback, passed away at the age of 46.

O'Neill And Chaplin
Charlie Chaplain and Oona O’Neil in 1943.

Charlie Chaplin

The headline: The lovable tramp has trouble keeping his pants on – particularly around younger women – and not just because he’s too poor to buy a belt.

Beneath the sheets: Where to start? In 1918, Chaplin, then 29, impregnated 17-year-old actress Mildred Harris and then married her to avoid controversy. It turns out she wasn’t pregnant. Later in the 1920s, Chaplin, 35, married actress Lita Grey, 17. You’ll never guess why – he got her pregnant. They had a few kids before enduring a bitter and messy divorce. In 1932, at the age of 43, Chaplin met actress Paulette Goddard, 21, whom he eventually married and divorced. In the 1940s Chaplin reportedly had an affair with actress Joan Barry, who took him to court with a very public paternity suit. Then, like any level-headed 54-year-old facing a public trial would do, he married 18-year-old Oona O’Neil, with whom he eventually had eight children and remained married to for the rest of his life.

The morning after: Somehow, despite the very public airing of his personal life, Chaplin managed to transcend his troubles and find a way to be remembered more for his silver screen work than his questionable dalliances.


The headline: Married director Roberto Rossellini and married actress and mother Ingrid Bergman begin a love affair while shooting the 1950 film Stromboli.

Beneath the sheets: Talk about one of the original tabloid couples. Not only did they have an affair, but they also conceived a child. Bergman left her dentist husband and her daughter, while Rossellini left his wife. Bergman’s squeaky clean public image, a result of her many famously pious Hollywood starring roles, was unfairly held against her and fuelled even more outrage among the morality police – a.k.a. the public. Remember, this was the Leave it to Beaver loving 1950s when people were far more naïve.

She returned to Italy and the couple had two more children, including actress daughter Isabella Rossellini, until their romance hit the rocks in 1957 when “Romeo” Roberto Rossellini had an affair with a screenwriter in India.

The morning after: Both Bergman and Rossellini continued to enjoy separate, successful careers, with Bergman winning three acting Oscars in total for her career and being remembered as one of the greatest stars in film history.

With Eddie FisherElizabeth Taylor/Eddie Fisher/Debbie Reynolds

The headline: Crooner and actor Eddie Fisher left his actress wife Debbie Reynolds for one of her best friends, fellow silver screen star Elizabeth Taylor.

Beneath the sheets: It all started in March 1958, when Taylor’s husband Mike Todd died in a plane crash. Reynolds kindly cared for Taylor’s children while she grieved, eventually allowing her husband, Fisher, to move in with Taylor to care for her. Wouldn’t you know it, Fisher and Taylor struck up an affair and Fisher eventually divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959.

The morning after: The Fisher/Taylor marriage only lasted for a few years, until Taylor began an affair with Richard Burton, during which they were photographed by the paparazzi on a private yacht, causing a media sensation and becoming arguably the first celebrity tabloid couple. Officials from the Vatican to the U.S. government publicly denounced the couple for their actions, though in the press Taylor and Burton’s union was dubbed the “marriage of the century.” They married and divorced twice. Reynolds and Taylor, meanwhile, eventually reconciled and remained friends for the rest of their lives while Fisher’s career fell off a cliff and never fully recovered.

Roman Polanski Trial In KrakowRoman Polanski

The headline: In 1977, at age 43, the famed director allegedly drugged and raped Samantha Jane Gailey, 13.

Beneath the sheets: The details are disturbing, but essentially Polanski drugged his victim and then allegedly forced himself on her while under the pretence of  photographing her for French Vogue at Jack Nicholson’s home (Nicholson was away and his girlfriend, Anjelica Huston, had gone out). Polanski denied the charges “rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor” but agreed to a plea bargain of “of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.”

After psychiatric assessments Polanski reportedly learned that he was to be sentenced to prison and so he fled to England, and then France, where he avoided extradition.

The morning after: Though he has been arrested and detained at the request of the United States when travelling, none of the European countries that Polanski ventures to will extradite him – including the two where he holds citizenship, France and Poland. Suggestions of wrong-doing during the original trial have surfaced and many in Hollywood have called for the charges to be dropped. His victim, now known as Samantha Geimer, has publicly forgiven Polanski and called for the dropping of the charges as well. However, public opinion polls, including in the countries that refuse to extradite Polanski, routinely show that the general public feels that he should be extradited and tried.

Michael Dukakis Presidential Campaign "Vote '88" - October 8, 1988Rob Lowe

The headline: Rob Lowe is involved in two sex tapes, including one that included a 16-year-old girl.

Beneath the sheets: Here’s one that Olivia Pope could really sink her teeth into. In 1988, Lowe, then 24, was in Atlanta for the Democratic National Convention on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis. While there, he was videotaped having sex with two women, one of whom was 16-years-old – which was the age of consent in Georgia where the tape was filmed. A second tape emerged of Lowe having sex with a woman in Paris.

The morning after: Known as a member of the “Brat Pack” — a group of 20-something stars who gained fame in the 1980s that included Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez and Molly Ringwald — Lowe’s sex tapes were some of the first ever released featuring a celebrity. The videos made headlines at the time and sent Lowe’s career into a years-long slump and he appeared in little of note other than the film Wayne’s World (1992) until landing the role of Sam Seaborn on The West Wing in 1999. He struggled after leaving the show, with a few failed TV series’ and by turning down the role of  Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd on Grey’s Anatomy, though he rebounded with roles in shows Brothers and Sisters, beginning in 2006, and Parks and Recreation in 2010.  Safely back in the public eye for his film and television work, Lowe’s sex tapes are barely remembered today.

"Bullets Over Broadway" Opening Night Celebration - Arrivals And Curtain CallWoody Allen

The headline: Woody Allen, 57, is discovered having an affair with Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, 21.

Beneath the sheets: Allen and Farrow had been together for 13 years, though never married and lived apart, when she visited his apartment in 1992 and discovered nude photos of Previn. Allen allegedly admitted to the affair and a nasty break-up followed.

The morning after: Allen has continued to write and direct roughly a film a year and, though he remains a divisive personality due to the affair with Previn and allegations of sexual abuse by Farrow and his adopted daughter Dylan, who claim he molested her when she was seven-years-old. As well, in late 2013, Farrow suggested that the only biological child she and Allen had together — their son, Ronan Farrow — may in fact have been the lovechild of an affair she had with former beau Frank Sinatra. Allen fired back against this claim in early 2014, when responding to the allegations of molestation, when he wrote a letter in the New York Times that read in part, “Even if he is not Frank’s, the possibility she raises that he could be, indicates she was secretly intimate with him during our years. Not to mention all the money I paid for child support. Was I supporting Frank’s son?”

Allen and Previn are still married.

Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Heidi Fleiss

The headline: “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss was arrested in 1993 for running a prostitution ring that reportedly included many high-profile Hollywood personalities as clients.

Beneath the sheets: Fleiss began running her own prostitution ring when she was in her mid-20s and got rich quick thanks to her high-profile and wealthy clientele. Her arrest sent shockwaves through Tinseltown, with lots of speculation about whether Fleiss’ infamous little black book would be opened for all to see. One name, however, did leak — Charlie Sheen. The actor, who years later created his own media frenzy with his drug and alcohol-fuelled romps with porn stars, was outed as one of Fleiss’ clients thanks to his method of payment. “When I was arrested, his traveler’s checks were in my purse,” Fleiss told Oprah Winfrey. “If he didn’t pay in travelers checks or if I had cashed the traveler’s checks, none of this would have happened. So, both of us made a mistake.”

The morning after: Fleiss ended up serving prison time for tax evasion, as well as stints in rehab. She went on to appear on reality shows and as a guest on Fox News, as well as writing for Maxim magazine. It was announced in September that her black book was up for sale on ebay.

Ron Galella Archive - File Photos 2011

Hugh Grant

The headline: Actor Hugh Grant caught in Hollywood with a prostitute – news to his fans, the media and, most of all, his girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley.

Beneath the sheets: In 1995, Grant was arrested after being caught engaged in sex acts in his car in public with prostitute Divine Brown on Sunset Boulevard. The incident made headlines everywhere and, on top of that, Grant was about to embark on a media tour for his upcoming film, Nine Months. This resulted in his infamous appearance on The Tonight Show shortly after the arrest, where host Jay Leno kicked off the interview with, “What the hell were you thinking?”

The morning after: The media tour turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Grant, who endeared himself to the public by admitting to his mistake and taking the blame. Hurley, for her part, stayed with Grant, though they broke up five years later. The incident foreshadowed a similar encounter involving Eddie Murphy two years later, when the comedian was stopped by police after picking up a transvestite prostitute. Murphy maintained he was just bing a good person offering by offering the prostitute a ride. He was never arrested or charged for the incident.

Maria Shriver ProfileArnold Schwarzenegger

The headline: Schwarzenegger’s marriage to Maria Shriver ends in 2011 when it’s revealed the actor and former governor of California fathered a child with the couple’s maid.

Beneath the sheets: In 1997, Mildred Baena was employed at the Schwarzenegger/Shriver household. She and Maria Shriver were pregnant at the same time and each gave birth to sons a week apart. As it was discovered later, Schwarzenegger fathered Baena’s son as well. In 2011, when Shriver found out about the affair and Schwarzenegger’s other son, she divorced him.

The morning after:  It was a unique twist, to see a Kennedy involved in a sex scandal but not as the perpetrator like Shriver’s famous Kennedy cousins. In the aftermath Shriver continued her career as an award-winning journalist while Schwarzenegger bought a house for Baena and their son, Joseph. The actor is back doing movies and the affair is more or less forgotten. Schwarzenegger and Shriver, meanwhile, reconciled in recent years and are reportedly on good terms.