From Buhle Mkhize to Monica Lewinsky, these women went from obscurity to infamy because of the famous company they kept between the sheets.
But where are they now and does the spectre of their scandals still haunt them?
Buhle Mkhize made headlines recently for her famous Gigaba Files. The former mistress of Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba set Twitter ablaze when she threatened to release more info on their affair in retaliation for Gigaba’s wife Noma accusing her of tearing her family apart.
The media first caught whiff of the affair rumours in 2015 when Mkhize and Noma fought it out on social media – Mkhize reportedly was blackmailing the family with demands for cash in exchange for her silence.
Before being thrust into the spotlight as a home-wrecker, Mkhize moved from her home in KZN to the US in 2001.
“I grew up in Gezinsila, KZN or Emagogogweni as the locals call it because the houses there are made of tin. We lived in a one-bedroom house that my father built himself; now I own a luxury condo in Manhattan,” she said during an interview with Bona Magazine.
Today Mkhize is a celebrity stylist, fashion curator and yoga instructor based in New York. And it seems the scandal hasn’t scuppered her ambition to get to the top either – she now dresses high-profile celeb clients for awards ceremonies.
Monica Lewinsky became known as the woman who brought the White House to its knees.
When news of US President Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky broke in 1998, the entire world held its collective breath.
Those famous words: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” started off a snowball reaction, eventually leading to Clinton being impeached. But it was ultimately Lewinsky’s blue dress with DNA evidence on it that sealed his fate.
During a rare interview with The Guardian newspaper she revealed she is still working to reclaim her identity, saying “The shame sticks to you like tar.”
But Lewinsky has taken the good with the bad by becoming a strong advocate for anti-bullying campaigns.
Famous in her own right as one of the stars of local soapie Muvhango, Khanyi Mbau had carved out a successful television career until her dalliance with businessman Theunis Crous was made public in 2009.
No stranger to controversy, Mbau had previously dated another wealthy businessman in Mandla Mthembu who showered her with expensive gifts.
Like Crous, Mthembu’s money also ran out and they ended the relationship.
Mbau’s history of dating rich men led to one Facebook user Neo Lenong’s backlash when she criticised the blesser-blessee lifestyle after watching eNCA’s current affairs show CheckPoint.
Mbau posted: “What have we become South Africa! Let’s close South Africa.” Lenong then responded with “You had a blesser before so please sit down.”
Mbau’s star doesn’t seem to be waning as she enjoys reasonable success with her acting career.
Just last year the Johannesburg Film Festival named their top 10 SA Actresses in film with Mbau making the cut following the success of Happiness Is A Four-letter Word.