In 1987, Democratic presidential front-runner Gary Hart faced damaging allegations of a relationship with a woman other than his wife.
That woman was Donna Rice.
The Miami Herald reported that Rice, a graduate of Irmo High School and the University of South Carolina, had spent the night at Hart’s townhouse in Washington, D.C. while his wife was away. Rice was a model-actress living in Miami at the time.
The former Colorado senator and Rice denied any impropriety, but Hart ended his presidential run a few days later, following a media firestorm.
Rice, 29, maintained that she was “just a typical Southern girl” who did nothing wrong. Some who knew her told The State at the time that she was a jet-setting beauty who sought out rich and famous men.
Either way, the scandal proved fatal for Hart politically. Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis got the Democratic presidential nomination. He subsequently lost to Republican George H. W. Bush in the 1988 election.
Rice went on to become president and CEO of Enough Is Enough, a non-profit organization that advocates for Internet safety for children and families.