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Slate: The Sleaziest Cads of 2012

Slate’s annual roundup of bad behavior was a breeze in 2012. So come all ye readers, and delight in our slideshow of meticulously selected cads.

This year we have golden boys that fell from grace, the ever-present lying, cheating politicians and Internet louts, not to mention the disgraced and humiliated in the wide world of sports. May this refresher serve you well as you cozy up to your family this holiday season and think how truly blessed you are that some mistress isn’t stalking you

Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson may be back together, but we can’t just forgive and forget. This past summer, US Weekly published photos of the Twilight starlet cheating on her boyfriend and co-star with her married director, Rupert Sanders. Stewart tried to contain the Twihard outrage with numerous public apologies, while Sanders, father of two, pretty much slipped under the rage radar. They both make our list — for causing so many tween tears and for ruining the K-Stew/R-Patz fantasy.

Rep. Scott DesJarlais

Joining the rather sizable club of hypocritical politicians this year was Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.: His sordid past, which came to light during his 2012 campaign, includes (to name a few) several extramarital relationships with his patients when he was a physician, allegedly exhibiting “violent and threatening behavior” toward his ex-wife, and claiming an anti-abortion stance while asking his mistress to get an abortion after he impregnated her. Perhaps the most depressing part of this story? He won re-election.

Rush Limbaugh

While Rush Limbaugh spews a lot of disturbing junk, he hit a particular nerve in February with his comments about Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and “prostitute” for appearing before the House to gain support for contraceptive coverage. Despite the growing criticism across party lines, Limbaugh continued to antagonize Fluke until he finally offered an elliptical, faux-apology months later, only to retract it after learning Fluke was being considered for Time’s person of the year.

Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong could be (and has been!) called many things. We decided “cad” should be one of them for — as a colleague put it — “tricking a nation that was in love with him.” Once a hero of sports and life, gaining the admiration and wrists of millions for his post-cancer Tour de France triumph, U.S. News named Armstrong one of their top 10 losers in 2012 after he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping. “We cheered for the young man who gave us a best-case scenario of what life might be after cancer,” wrote Elaine Schattner for the Atlantic. “His influence was pervasive, and that’s why it matters so much that he misled millions.”

The Generals: David Petraeus, John Allen, Jeffrey Sinclair

To speak in generous terms, the military did not have a great PR year: The documentary The Invisible War detailed the military’s rape problem as allegations of sexual assault continued to make headlines. Then came the Petraeus affair scandal that would not quit. While we’ve included Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair in our trio, his alleged actions rise way above cad-level, featuring charges of raping his subordinate officers, forcible sodomy and threatening women who refused to have sex with him. But as far as we know (it’s all still such a warped, tangled mess), David Petraeus, the now ex-director of the CIA who had an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, and Gen. John Allen, who seemed to have a rather unusual email relationship with the married Jill Kelley, hit the mark.

Bobby Petrino

After getting fired from the University of Arkansas, football coach Bobby Petrino recently landed a job at Western Kentucky University. Congratulations, Bobby! It’s a tough job market, you know, especially for someone who got himself sacked for having an affair with a former Arkansas student. Not content to just sleep with Jessica Dorrell, Petrino also hired her as a student-athlete development coordinator, and gave her a wad of cash totaling $ 20,000 for Christmas. The whole affair came to light after Petrino got into a motorcycle accident with Dorrell in tow, and then lied and said he was riding alone. Classy all around.

Hulk Hogan

The Sex Tape Scandal of the Year goes to pro wrestling legend Hulk Hogan. The video, made six years ago, surfaced a few months back on Gawker and is of Hogan and the wife (now ex-wife, Heather Clem) of his former friend, Bubba the Love Sponge, who supposedly encouraged the two to get it on. (Bubba: Also a cad.) According to Hogan, his wife at the time, Linda, also wanted him to sleep with Clem. Linda tells a different story. In an interview with Access Hollywood, she said she was hurt and shocked by the news of the sex tape. So, lesson here on what not to do if a sex tape of you cheating on your wife becomes public: blame your wife for coercing you to have sex with another woman. It is highly unlikely people will take your side. I have not heard a soul say, “Team Hogan.”

Brian Cashman

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has made some mistakes. He slept with a woman, Louise Neathway, who wasn’t his wife. She then blackmailed him by threatening to go public with their affair if he didn’t divorce his wife. Neathway is now charged with harassing Cashman’s wife and his other ex-mistresses. She also asked him for money, allegedly saying she needed it to “to fund medical treatment after an aborted pregnancy prosecutors say never happened.” Cashman’s wife filed for divorce in February and Neathway awaits trial. If Fatal Attraction had not already been made, perhaps Cashman could sell his story. Instead, he’ll have to settle for making our list. – Entertainment

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