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14 Scandalous Women in History

It's important to pay tribute to the commendable Women who've made a difference for the better — but what about the bad girls in history, who are notorious for their sexy, shocking, and sinister deeds? Here are 14 Scandalous women who have become legendary for everything from stripping, to having lesbian affairs, to naked horseback rides...

1. Bettie Page


Who she is: An American pinup model from the '50s who has been called the "Queen of Pinups."

Why she's scandalous: Besides being one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine (Miss January 1955), Bettie Page was famous for her fetish and sadomasochistic modeling. In fact, she's considered the first famous bondage model.


2. Bonnie Parker


Who she is: One half of the notorious criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, American outlaws during the Great Depression.

Why she's scandalous: While Bonnie was a part of a gang that robbed and killed their way through the United States, she may not have ever been one of the shooters. But she gained her sexy gun-slinging rep thanks to this snapshot of her holding a gun with a cigar in her mouth (something quite shocking for women at the time). Not to mention that the public was titillated by the idea that Bonnie and Clyde were young and unmarried, so they were probably having dirty, illicit sex.


3. Sidonie Gabrielle Colette


Who she is: Known simply by her pen name, Colette, she was a French novelist and performer in the early 20th century.

Why she's scandalous: Colette had various affairs with both men and women, including Mathilde de Morny, with whom she performed in "Rêve d'Égypte" at the Moulin Rouge. The pantomime was banned, after their onstage kiss almost caused a riot. She later had a notorious affair with her stepson Bertrand de Jouvenel, which began when he was only 16 years old and she was in her late 40s.


4. Cleopatra VII


Who she is: The legendary last pharaoh of ancient Egypt known for her power, seduction, and ruthlessness.

Why she's scandalous: Cleopatra knew how to use her sex appeal to get what she wanted, including having herself delivered to Caesar rolled up in a Persian carpet before becoming his mistress. She then famously became Mark Antony's lover — which ended with him taking his own life and her allegedly killing herself with a snake bite.


5. Wallis Simpson


Who she is: An American socialite whose third husband was Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor.

Why she's scandalous: Two-time divorcée Wallis made a controversial name for herself when she became the mistress of the future King of England. But she really shocked the world when Edward abdicated his throne to marry her. She was also suspected of being a Nazi sympathizer along with Edward.

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