May 17, 2010 at 05:42 PM EDT

Image Credit: Dean Kirkland/PR Photos; Maury Phillips/Wireimage.comThere’s one reason for “coming forward” as a celebrity mistress: The promise of literally cashing in on your romp with a major name. And now we know just how lucrative the homewrecking biz is. An episode of E! Investigates airing tonight (at 7 and 11:30 p.m.) reveals the “most successful” (alleged) mistress is Tiger Woods-linked Jaimee Grubbs — who, according to the broadcast, banked $100,000 for selling her story (complete with texts and voicemail from Woods), plus another estimated $150,000 through paid interviews, appearances, and modeling. Jamie Jungers — who’s got a victory in The Howard Stern Show‘s Tiger Woods mistress beauty pageant on her resume — comes in second, collecting $75,000 for that win plus $80,000 to $120,000 from appearances, interviews, and photos. Third was Jesse James’ alleged paramour, Michelle “Bombshell” McGee, who got a reported $30,000 for her interview, plus about $60,000 from special strip club appearances. Perhaps Woods’ other well-known liaison, Rachel Uchitel, will crack the top three if, as reported by TMZ, she poses for Playboy.

Mistressdom has officially become an industry. It all seems a little too depressing to wrap one’s brain around, and yet the problem is that we continue to accept it as par for the gossip course. The more we gobble up these tell-all stories and bare-all pictorials, the more such pricetags go up. While the men who cheated are obviously to blame, the women involved do not deserve to cash in — and anyone paying them for their mistressdom is as culpable in creating this “business” as the cheaters themselves.

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