Celebrities and Scandals
Fame comes with a price. Whether you're a famous actor, pop star, or even president, thousands of eyes will be watching your every move. Celebrities must work hard to maintain their reputations, as it only takes one scandal to sink a career and obliterate sponsorships.
Want to see what I mean? Take a look at six formerly-adored luminaries and the controversies that shattered them!
6. Johnny Depp
Beloved For: Depp, respected by men and adored by women, starred in movies including Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, and Sweeney Todd. The guy even visited ill children dressed as Jack Sparrow to brighten their day. What a nice person, right?
But Then... So we thought until ex-wife Amber Heard filed charges for domestic abuse. Some think she's telling the truth, while others believe she's extorting Depp for money. Either way, formerly-obsessive fans are now uncomfortable enough with matters to respect Depp as an actor—and nothing more.
5. Paula Deen
Beloved For: Deen starred in a variety of programs throughout Food Network such as Paula's Best Dishes. She always crafted tasty meals by tossing butter, sugar, and calories at them until just glancing at one could cause weight gain. Fans adored the star for her motherly, warm, and unabashedly Southern personality.
But Then... Everything changed when Deen admitted to using racial slurs (especially the n-word) throughout life. Deen's jumbled explanations of the culture around slurs being different decades ago didn't help matters, and Food Network decided not to renew its contract with her. Deen desperately tried to salvage the situation, but the damage was done, and her fanbase has dramatically dwindled.
4. Tiger Woods
Beloved For: One of the most famous athletes of all time, Woods won tournament after tournament, quickly developing into the world's top-ranked golfer. His charisma, skill, and consistency captivated fans for years.
But Then... Woods was caught in an extramarital affair, and matters quickly snowballed out of control. Woods admitted to infidelity, his wife smashed up his car, and several other women came forward claiming to have been former lovers. Woods also began dropping farther and farther in golf tournaments, his techniques perhaps affected by his hectic personal life. He tried to reconcile with his wife, but the two eventually split, and he's largely been out of the limelight ever since.
3. Michael Jackson
Beloved For: The "King of Pop," Jackson is known for dozens of catchy beats like Thriller and Beat It.
But Then... Few people discuss it anymore, as there's little point speaking ill of the dead. But before Michael Jackson's death through overexposure to drugs, accusations arose of inappropriate contact between the music sensation and a young adolescent boy. Despite some fans believing his plea of innocence, the allegations took a large mental and financial toll on Jackson, and the star never fully recovered from the scandal. Innocent or not, the lawsuit was eventually settled out of court, leaving many wondering what to believe.
2. Justin Bieber
Beloved For: Here's another rockstar who turned many into "Beliebers" with pop songs including Baby and Boyfriend.
But Then... Rather than one incident, Bieber has slowly curtailed his fanbase through a series of questionable actions, summarized in the table below. He's become so despised that over 270,000 people actually petitioned the White House to deport him out of America.
Timeline of Notable Justin Bieber Incidents
Bieber gets into public arguments with the paparazzi and is pulled over for speeding.
Underage Bieber is caught with both drugs and alcohol.
Bieber and Orlando Bloom get into a fight, supposedly over unfavorable remarks Bieber made towards Bloom's ex-wife.
Videos arise depicting Bieber using racial slurs.
1. Bill Cosby
Beloved For: Cosby starred in several movies and television programs, none more popular than The Cosby Show, a sitcom rated as the number one show in America for five years.
But Then... He was accused of rape and other sexual crimes by a plethora of women. Most celebrity scandals involve issues like cheating, drugs (another activity Cosby has admitted to), controversial opinions, or meltdowns; few actually reveal confirmed sexual-predator mindsets. Cosby has been charged by dozens of women over many years, but the lawsuits only gained mass attention in 2014.
He denies most of the claims, but has admitted to activities like casual sex involving the use of sedatives. In light of this, many of Cosby's honors, titles, and partnerships have been revoked. As of this writing, criminal trials are still undergoing.
The Future of the Accused
While some of today's stars have only been charged with (never convicted of) crime, all it takes is the potential for abuse to plummet their popularity. Some still maintain profitable careers, but accounts of their irreverent actions have tarnished most of their reputations beyond repair.
Only the future will tell what exactly lies in store for today's bunch, and they serve as reminders for other superstars to avoid scandals—whether falsified or not.
film critic on September 14, 2017:
Mel Gibson successfully went deep into this list, and has almost dragged himself off. Admitting mistakes, followed by lots of rehab, seems to be the answer.
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on July 24, 2017:
Thanks to all for the kind words!
True, Bieber and Depp can still earn. Depp managed to settle things out of court which limited the damage to his rep, and Bieber has yet to commit the one big offense that could fully tarnish his name. Hopefully his attempts to act better are genuine!
Angel Guzman from Joliet, Illinois on July 24, 2017:
Yeah these stars have had quite the fall from grace but Justin Bieber and Johnny Deep best positioned to continue a successful career.
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 13, 2017:
Great read and thanks for the details. You handled the let downs decently!
Mother of Movies and Series Reviews from Moreton Bay, Queensland on July 12, 2017:
It great that you used your question the other day to focus your hub. Nice going. Well written.