Katharine McPhee Could Be Severely Hurt By Cheating Scandal, Experts Say

Katharine McPhee may have just dealt herself and her Hollywood career a severe blow by having an affair with married Smash director Michael Morris.

The American Idol runner-up, who has been separated from her husband for a few months, was spotted kissing Morris in a Los Angeles parking lot, in broad daylight and in full view of a photographer. In the days since the photo went public McPhee has been in hiding while Morris has reportedly been kicked out of his house by wife Mary McCormack.

Experts think the situation may have an impact on McPhee’s still-new Hollywood career. McPhee had a large role in Smash, one of her biggest acting roles since transitioning from the music world.

“This probably won’t affect Katharine McPhee’s sales or her ability to get roles in the near future but her likability factor will be seriously tarnished,” Jamie Krauss – PR Director at the Narrative Group, told FOX411. “When female stars act as home wreckers, the American public, but particularly women, tend to sour to them very fast. Look at Kristen Stewart or Leann Rimes or even Angelina Jolie. All of them took a lot of heat for their famous affairs.”

Other stars have seen an even bigger fallout, especially those with popular spouses. When television motorcycle artist Jesse James cheated on the very likeable Sandra Bullock, he saw advertisers back out and fans turn their backs. Tiger Woods faced an even bigger fallout when his multiple affairs on wife Elin Nordegren came to light.

But McPhee’s relative obscurity compared to these much bigger names could play in her favor, Krauss said.

“Katharine McPhee isn’t exactly Angelina Jolie and I think when you have that superstar status, you have a little more back-story to work off,” Kruass acknowledged. “But Katharine McPhee was kind of coined as an American sweetheart after ‘American Idol’ and that’s kind of what she’s been working with ever since and that’s really what she needs to perpetuate her career.”

But experts say what Katharine McPhee does next will be key. She must release a statement of apology before the rumor mill starts churning out of control, or risk even further damage to her career, experts believe.

Share this article: Katharine McPhee Could Be Severely Hurt By Cheating Scandal, Experts Say
More from Inquisitr