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Why big-shot husbands will always chase the nanny
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By Andrea Peyser
August 14, 2015

Why big-shot husbands will always chase the nanny

The national home front was plunged into freakout mode with the 1992 flick “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle,’’ featuring an attractive nanny, Peyton Mott (Rebecca De Mornay), who’s secretly hellbent on murdering the mother for whom she works, and determined to seduce her husband.

She fails. But feminists railed that the movie’s scary nanny was a sexist invention designed to malign women while scaring the bejeezus out of moms in an effort to stop couples from hiring outsiders to help raise their kids.

Well, spooked parents everywhere set up nanny cams.

Now, Hollywood has again brought us the cautionary nanny tale, with a real-life scandal involving “Argo’’ actor, co-producer and director Ben Affleck, 42. The father of three is suspected of helping himself to the help — his hot, now-ex-nanny Christine Ouzounian, 28 — behind the back of his beautiful and successful actress/producer wife, Jennifer Garner, 43.

Affleck’s rep has denied that he strayed. Pals insisted he kept it clean while accompanying Ouzounian on a Bahamas-to-Las Vegas private-plane flight June 27 on which Tom Brady was also aboard — and the child-caregiver posed for a sassy picture published in The Post wearing the New England Patriots quarterback’s four Super Bowl rings on the fingers of her right hand.

Garner reportedly fired Ouzounian.

Three days after the photo was snapped, the couple announced they were divorcing.

Mothers and nanny-industry experts issued warnings to Bennifer and anyone else in need of household help: Don’t hire hotties, several told The Post.

If only it were that simple.

When it comes to matters of the heart and the zipper, many rich and accomplished men have, time and again, sought easy and, above all, available babes for intimate encounters under the noses of go-getter wives and girlfriends.

Go figure.

Some guys reject vintage champagne when a Pabst Blue Ribbon brewski is up for grabs.

“It’s like you being on a diet and have a chocolate cake in your house. If you’re an alcoholic, don’t have alcohol in your house,’’ New York City psychotherapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil told me. “The nanny is an extension of a wife, with all the benefits and none of the responsibilities. She’s going to give a man the same attention the kids are getting. The man acts like another kid.

“The wife is strung out trying to keep a career, children and a husband,’’ said Dr. Weil, author of “Make Up Don’t Break Up.’’ “There’s a power thing. Men like availability. They don’t have to do much work.’’

I submit that for a certain type of philanderer, a conquest’s looks are beside the point.

Another celebrity couple, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, announced their split this summer after the husband’s alleged dalliance with a nanny. Jude Law lost his stunning fiancée, Sienna Miller, after an affair with his child-minder. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarz­enegger fathered a love child with his stout maid, Mildred Baena, leading to the Sperminator’s divorce from his famous newscaster/author wife, Maria Shriver.

A power differential seems crucial for this kind of determined adulterer.

Former President Bill Clinton didn’t select a woman close to being his professional or cultural equal when he strayed behind the back of the possible next president of the United States and his still-wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, with willing then-intern Monica Lewinsky. Golfer Tiger Woods didn’t entertain himself with dames bearing pedigrees, but went through an expensive divorce after dallying with waitresses, nightclub hostesses and countless others for whom no college degrees are required. (He lost Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, one woman who might be over his head, reportedly after cheating.)

For now-divorced ex-Love Gov Eliot Spitzer, hookers did nicely.

Perhaps we’ve been looking at the help all wrong. Don’t worry about the kind of delicious nanny conjured up in “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.’’ Don’t fret about pretty real-life women employed by randy men. There’s just as much to fear from an employee who looks like Mrs. Doubtfire as one who resembles Christine Ouzounian, as some needy men punish the women in their lives while feeding their fragile egos. It’s sad, and it’s hell on the kids.

But I don’t see the trend ending anytime soon.

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