The western media know that gossip and scandal is a very fickle beast, often driven by the cult of celebrities. Also it would be no understatement to say that we are obsessed with celebrities — what they do and what they get up to. We are also obsessed with sex.
And likewise obsessed with lurid scandal. Put celebrity, sex and scandal in one sentence and obsession will reach new heights. Add a super-celebrity into the equation, and you are guaranteed near hysteria.
Eisenhower was a tough kid who grew up on a dairy farm in Kansas. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and was then stationed in San Antonio, Texas. While in Texas he met and married Mamie Geneva Doud. Mamie was on vacation when "Ike" met her.
She came from a wealthy family in Denver who made their fortune in the meat packing industry. Eisenhower courted Mamie and they wed in 1916. It was rumored that Eisenhower was a woman-hater. He was known for being unkind to women and nonecompassionate.
Eisenhower always placed his marriage behind his duty to the military. During W.W. II, he became a military hero. Just after W.W. II, he met Kay Summersby, a young woman who acted as his staff driver.
In Summersby's memoirs she claimed that "Ike"was impotent. According to Harry Truman, "Ike"had written a letter to General Marshall requesting a relief of duty so that he could divorce Mamie and marry Summersby. Marshall refused.
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Americans feared foreign radicals, Communists, and labor unrest. Immigrants were especially blamed for bringing ideas with them and the press called it the “Red Scare.” Raids were ordered on homes and offices suspected of Communists, many were imprisoned and deported without a trial. Labor workers were not allowed to strike for better conditions due to the ban on strikes during the war. Meanwhile the laborer hours were too long, low wages, and prices for goods were increasing due to the sudden demand for products. Boston police and U.S. Steelworkers both attempted strikes in the 1920s and lost.
Election of 1920, “Return to Normalcy,” Pro-business policies, Secretary of Treasury (Andrew Mellon) created Mellon Plan to cut income taxes in half for the wealthy and by one percent for the poor, Isolationist Party, raised tariffs on imported goods, “Ohio Gang” a nickname for friends.
Harding hired to work with and were caught taking bribes for leasing oil-rich public land to private companies (called the Teapot Dome Scandal) Auto-mobile: registered cars went from 8 to 23 million, gave boost to oil industry, major U.S. Industry, Henry Ford adopted the “assembly line.” Other industries: mass production, “scientific management,” revolutionized American business.
Farming: getting large, more efficient, more mechanized, 13% of farmers had tractors, farmers took a “businesslike” attitude, farmers suffered overproduction, bankruptcies, and little assistance from the government.
Household: linoleum, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, electric irons, electric sewing machines, ready-made clothes, canned food, sliced bread, freed women from housework. Transportation: rapid transit, streetcars, subway, elevated systems, telephones in every middle-class home, airplane industry, 43 airlines operating, Charles Lindbergh flew solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Mass advertising influenced values to consumer spending versus saving, sold consumer goods: health, beauty, wealth, and youth. Credit System: buying on credit, instalment plan made consumption possible for many. As consumers bought more goods, it helped fuel the money into the economy.
Americans thought immigrants were Communists, they were taking away job opportunities for themselves, were radicals, and anarchists. Racial discrimination existed with the Ku Klux Klan, who hated those not white, not Protestant, and not American. Garveyism rejected the white society and tried to bring Africans back to Africa and African heritage, developed by Marcus Garvey.
As people moved from rural to urban communities, the traditional value system was deteriorating. The Scope Trial argued if the Theory of Evolution should be taught in school, against traditional rural values of the Christian Bible. The Prohibition Amendment: drink in the rural communities was thought of as a sin, where as in urban and immigrant lifestyles it was a part of social life.
Teapot Dome Scandal Background: Origins of the scandal date back to the popular conservation legislation of presidents Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft and Woodrow Wilson, specifically as to the creation of naval petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California. Three naval oil fields, Elk Hills and Buena Vista Hills in California and Teapot Dome in Wyoming, were tracts of public land that were reserved by previous presidents to be emergency underground supplies to be used by the navy only when the regular oil supplies diminished.
The Teapot Dome oil field received its name because of a rock resembling a teapot that was located above the oil-bearing land. Many politicians and private oil interests had opposed the restrictions placed on the oil fields claiming that the reserves were unnecessary and that the American oil companies could provide for the U.S. Navy. The Scandal: One of the politicians who opposed the conservation was Senator Albert B. Fall who became Warren Harding's Secretary of the Interior in 1921.
Fall, upon becoming the Secretary of the Interior, convinced Secretary of the Navy Edwin Denby to turn the control of the oil fields over to him. Fall then moved to lease the Teapot Dome to Harry Sinclair's Mammoth Oil Company and the Elk Hills reserve to Edward Doheny's Pan American Petroleum Company.
In return for leasing these oil fields to the respective oil magnates Fall received "gifts" from the oilmen totaling about $400,000. Fall attempted to keep actions secret but his sudden improvements in standard of living drew speculation.
The scandal was first revealed to the public in 1924 after findings by a committee of the U. S. Senate. The individual within the Senate who took charge of investigating the alleged wrongdoing by Fall was Thomas J. Walsh, a democrat from Montana.
Albert Fall had made legitimate leases of the oil fields to the private companies but the taking of money was his undoing. Consequences on the Involved: Lasting throughout the 1920's were a series of civil and criminal suits related to the scandal. Finally in 1927 the Supreme Court ruled that the oil leases had been corruptly obtained and invalidated the Elk Hills lease in February of that year and the Teapot lease in October of the same year. The navy did regain control of the Teapot Dome and Elk Hills reserves in regards to the courts decision.
Albert Fall was found guilty of bribery in 1929, fined $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison. Harry Sinclair who refused to cooperate with the government investigators was charged with contempt and received a short sentence for tampering with the jury.
Edward Doheny was acquitted in 1930 of attempted to bribe Fall. Results of the Scandal: The Teapot Dome scandal was a victory for neither political party in the 1920's. It did become a major issue in the presidential election of 1924 but neither party could claim full credit for divulging the wrongdoing.
The concentrated attention on the scandal made it the first true symbol of government corruption in America. The scandal did reveal the problem of natural resource scarcity and the need to protect for the future.
Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands as the first of four children. Margaretha's father was a hat maker by trade, but having invested well in oil, he had enough money to spoil his only daughter. At only six years old, Margaretha became the talk of the town when she traveled in a goat-drawn carriage that her father had given her.
In school, Margaretha was known to be flamboyant, often appearing in new, flashy dresses. However, Margaretha's world changed drastically when her family went bankrupt in 1889 and her mother died two years later. After her mother's death, the Zelle family was split up and Margaretha, now age 15, was sent to Sneek to live with her godfather, Mr. Visser.
Visser decided to send Margaretha to a school that trained kindergarten teachers so that she'd have a career. At the school, the headmaster, Wybrandus Haanstra, became enchanted by Margaretha and pursued her.
When a scandal broke out, Margaretha was asked to leave the school, so she went to live with her uncle, Mr. Taconis, in The Hague. In March 1895, while still staying with her uncle, 18-year old Margaretha became engaged to Rudolph ("John") MacLeod, after answering a personal ad in the newspaper (the ad had been placed as a joke by MacLeod's friend). MacLeod was a 38-year old officer on home leave from the Dutch East Indies, where he had been stationed for 16 years.
On July 11, 1895, the two were married. They spent much of their married life living in the tropics of Indonesia where money was tight, isolation was difficult, and John's rudeness and Margaretha's youth caused serious friction in their marriage. Margaretha and John had two children together, but their son died at age two and a half after being poisoned. In 1902, they moved back to Holland and were soon separated. Margaretha decided to go to Paris for a new start.
Without a husband, not trained in any career, and without any money, Margaretha used her experiences in Indonesia to create a new persona, one that donned jewels, smelled of perfume, spoke occasionally in Malay, danced seductively, and often wore very little clothes. She made her dancing debut in a salon and instantaneously became a success.
When reporters and others interviewed her, Margaretha continually added to the mystique that surrounded her by spinning fantastic, fictionalized stories about her background, including being a Javanese princess and daughter of a baron.
To sound more exotic, she took the stage name "Mata Hari," Malayan for "eye of the day" (the sun). Mata Hari became famous. She danced at both private salons and later at large theaters. She danced at ballets and operas. She was invited to the big parties and traveled extensively. She also had a large number of lovers (often military men from a number of countries) who were willing to provide her financial support in exchange for her company.
During World War I, her frequent traveling across international borders and her varied companions caused several countries to wonder if she was a spy or even a double-agent. Many people who met her say that she was sociable, but just not smart enough to pull off such a feat. However, the French were confident that she was a spy and arrested her on February 13, 1917. After a short trial in front of a military court, conducted in private, she was sentenced to death by firing squad. On October 15, 1917, Mata Hari was shot and killed. She was 41 years old.
Hollywood legend says that William Randolph Hearst shot Thomas Ince in the head by mistake. He really wanted Chaplin. As the story goes, Hearst suspected that Davies and Chaplin were secretly lovers. In order to keep tabs on the two, he invited them both on board The Oneida. Supposedly, he found the couple in a compromising clinch and went for his gun. Davies' screams awakened Ince who rushed to the scene. A scuffle ensued, followed by a gunshot and Ince took the bullet for Chaplin.
An even more colorful account of the shooting came from Marion Davies' secretary, Abigail Kinsolving, who claimed that Ince raped her that weekend on board the yacht. Of course, things became even more interesting when, several months later, the unmarried Kinsolving delivered a baby, and died shortly after, in a mysterious car accident near the Hearst ranch.
Two bodyguards, employed by Hearst, found her body, along with a suspicious looking suicide note. Her baby, a girl, was conveniently sent to an orphanage supported by Marion Davies. Charles Chaplin always denied even being on board the yacht.
Published reports cited "acute indigestion" as the cause of death, but rumors began circulating immediately to the effect that Ince had been the victim of foul play. The fact that the body was cremated without an autopsy and no inquest was ever held only fuelled speculation about what "really" happened aboard the Oneida on November 15, 1924, speculation which continues to this day.
Thomas Ince has largely been forgotten now but he was an ambitious producer and director, and one of the early pioneers of silent films. He teamed up with D.W. Griffith and Mack Sennett in 1915, to form the company which became Culver City Studios. In 1924 he died, supposedly of a heart attack, but in decidedly mysterious circumstances, during a birthday party in his honour aboard the yacht Oneida, belonging to William Hearst, the newspaper magnate.
The party guest list included Charlie Chaplin, film actress (and Hearst mistress) Marion Davies, and gossip columnist Louella Parsons. Ince and Hearst were in the middle of tense business negotiations and Chaplin was said to be romantically interested in Davies (a rumor of which Hearst was painfully aware) so the atmosphere aboard the yacht was not calm. Prohibition was in full swing but bootleg liquor was available on board Hearst's yacht and large quantities of it were consumed.
John Thomas Scopes (August 3, 1900 – October 21, 1970), was a teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who was charged on May 5, 1925 for violating Tennessee's Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee schools. He was tried in a case known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. Scopes was born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky before moving to Illinois as a teenager. He was a member of the class of 1919 in Salem, Illinois, which was also William Jennings Bryan's home town.
After he had earned a law degree at the University of Kentucky in 1924, Scopes moved to Dayton where he took a job as the Rhea County High School's football coach, and occasionally filled in as substitute teacher when regular members of staff were off work. Scopes' involvement in the so-called Monkey Trial came about after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it would finance a test case challenging the constitutionality of the Butler Act if they could find a Tennessee teacher willing to act as a defendant.
A band of businessmen in Dayton, Tennessee, led by engineer and geologist George Rappleyea, saw this as an opportunity to get publicity for their town and approached Scopes. Rappleyea pointed out that while the Butler Act prohibited the teaching of human evolution, the state required teachers to use the assigned textbook, Hunter's Civic Biology (1914), which included a chapter on evolution. Rappleyea argued that teachers were essentially required to break the law.
When asked about the test case, Scopes was initially reluctant to get involved, but after some discussion he told the group gathered in Robinson's Drugstore, "If you can prove that I've taught evolution and that I can qualify as a defendant, then I'll be willing to stand trial." By the time the trial had begun, the defense team included Clarence Darrow, Dudley Field Malone, John Neal, Arthur Garfield Hays and Frank McElwee.
The prosecution team, led by Tom Stewart, included brothers Herbert Hicks and Sue K. Hicks, Wallace Haggard, father and son pairings Ben and J. Gordon McKenzie and William Jennings Bryan and William Jennings Bryan Jr. Bryan had spoken at Scopes' high school commencement and remembered the defendant laughing while he was giving the address to the graduating class six years earlier.
The case ended on July 21, 1925, with a guilty verdict, and Scopes was fined $100. The case was appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court. In a 3-1 decision written by Chief Justice Grafton Green the Butler Act was held to be constitutional, but overturned Scopes' conviction on a technicality: the judge had set the fine instead of the jury.
The Butler Act remained until 1967 when it was repealed by the Tennessee legislature. Scopes may have actually been innocent of the crime to which his name is inexorably linked. After the trial Scopes admitted to reporter William Kinsey Hutchinson "I didn't violate the law," (DeCamp p. 435) explaining that he had skipped the evolution lesson and his lawyers had coached his students to go on the stand; the Dayton businessmen had assumed he had violated the law.
Hutchinson did not file his story until after the Scopes appeal was decided in 1927. Scopes also admitted the truth to the wife of the Universalist minister Charles Francis Potter. After the trial, Scopes accepted a scholarship for graduate study in geology at the University of Chicago. He then did geological field work in Venezuela for Gulf Oil of South America.
There he met and married his wife, Mildred, and was baptized in the Roman Catholic Church. In 1930, he returned to the University of Chicago for a third year of graduate study. After two years without professional employment, he took a position as a geologist with the United Gas Company, for which he studied oil reserves. He worked, first in Houston, Texas and then in Shreveport, Louisiana, until he retired in 1963.
“The Illinois Slush-Fund Scandal of the 1960s.” This was just one example of the large number of excesses within intercollegiate athletics in the United States during the 20th century. In many of these situations there have been serious questions of moral turpitude on the part of many of those who were directly or indirectly involved. Although great attention is usually accorded to these occurrences by the media, it should be kept in mind that most colleges and universities have been relatively free from such rule infractions.
This particular case began approximately on December 16, 1966 when Big Ten Athletics Commissioner, Bill Reed, announced that alleged athletic irregularities at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, would be investigated at the request of President David D. Henry. This unprecedented request came after he had learned about the existence of a “slush fund” that had been developed over the years from money donated by local business and well-to-do alumni.
The events leading up to this disclosure, and what transpired thereafter, were treated largely in chronological order as follows: the resignation of the Director of Athletics at Illinois, and the seemingly unrelated disclosure of the alleged irregularities and events surrounding this disclosure; the following period of several months during which a great variety of opinions. news releases, accusations, and counter-accusations were made; the appointment of a new athletic director during the period in which the Big Ten investigation was being carried out.
The decision of the Big Ten upon conclusion of the investigation, and the hue and cry that followed it: the appeal by decision that three coaches must resign and that a number of athletes would lose eligibility: the resignation of the three coaches, and the “life must go on” aftermath, and the situation in retrospect with several conclusions.
What happened at Illinois in the 1960s merits historical analysis in the 1980s now that it is possible to achieve some historical perspective. If the overall situation in the United States had improved generally. such a tale might just be for the historical record, not forgetting the tragic “fall-out” impact on the lives of so many people. However, this University and so many others don’t seem to have learned much judging from ongoing violations that have continued down to the present day. “If men could learn from history. what lessons it might teach us” (Coleridge).
Eddie Fisher, whose huge fame as a 1950s pop singer was overshadowed by scandals ending his marriages to actresses Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor, has died. He was 82. His daughter, Tricia Leigh Fisher of Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that Fisher died Wednesday night at his home in Berkeley of complications from hip surgery. "Late last evening the world lost a true America icon," Fisher's family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece.
"One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch." Eddie Fisher, whose matinee-idol looks and smooth, romantic voice made him one of the most popular singers of the 1950s, and whose busy love life stole headlines in 1959 when he divorced Debbie Reynolds to marry Elizabeth Taylor, Fisher's clear dramatic singing voice brought him a devoted following of teenage girls in the early 1950s.
He sold millions of records with 32 hit songs including "Thinking of You," "Any Time," "Oh, My Pa-pa," "I'm Yours," "Wish You Were Here," "Lady of Spain" and "Count Your Blessings." His fame was enhanced by his 1955 marriage to movie darling Debbie Reynolds - they were touted as "America's favorite couple" - and the birth of two children.
Their daughter Carrie Fisher became a film star herself in the first three "Star Wars" films as Princess Leia, and later as a best-selling author of "Postcards From the Edge" and other books. Carrie Fisher spent most of 2008 on the road with her autobiographical show "Wishful Drinking." In an interview with The Associated Press, she told of singing with her father on stage in San Jose.
Eddie Fisher was by then in a wheelchair and living in San Francisco. When Eddie Fisher's best friend, producer Mike Todd, was killed in a 1958 plane crash, Fisher comforted the widow, Elizabeth Taylor. Amid sensationalist headlines, Fisher divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959. The Fisher-Taylor marriage lasted only five years. She fell in love with co-star Richard Burton during the Rome filming of "Cleopatra," divorced Fisher and married Burton in one of the great entertainment world scandals of the 20th century.
Fisher's career never recovered from the notoriety. He married actress Connie Stevens, and they had two daughters. Another divorce followed. He married twice more. Edwin Jack Fisher was born Aug. 10, 1928, in Philadelphia, one of seven children of a Jewish grocer. At 15 he was singing on Philadelphia radio. After moving to New York, Fisher was adopted as a protege by comedian Eddie Cantor, who helped the young singer become a star in radio, television and records. Fisher's romantic messages resonated with young girls in the pre-Elvis period. Publicist-manager Milton Blackstone helped the publicity by hiring girls to scream and swoon at Fisher's appearances.
After getting out of the Army in 1953 following a two-year hitch, hit records, his own TV show and the headlined marriage to Reynolds made Fisher a top star. The couple costarred in a 1956 romantic comedy, "Bundle of Joy," that capitalized on their own parenthood.
In 1960 he played a role in "Butterfield 8," for which Taylor won an Academy Award. But that film marked the end of his movie career. After being discarded by Taylor, Fisher became the butt of comedians' jokes. He began relying on drugs to get through performances, and his bookings dwindled. He later said he had made and spent $20 million during his heyday, and much of it went to gambling and drugs.
In 1983, Fisher attempted a full-scale comeback. But his old fans had been turned off by the scandals, and the younger generation had been turned on by rock. The tour was unsuccessful. He had added to his notoriety that year with an autobiography, "Eddie: My Life, My Loves."
Of his first three marriages, he wrote he had been bullied into marriage with Reynolds, whom he didn't know well; became nursemaid as well as husband to Taylor, and was reluctant to marry Connie Stevens but she was pregnant and he "did the proper thing." Another autobiography, "Been There, Done That," published in 1999, was even more searing. He called Reynolds "self-centered, totally driven, insecure, untruthful, phony."
He claimed he abandoned his career during the Taylor marriage because he was too busy taking her to emergency rooms and cleaning up after her pets, children and servants. Both ex-wives were furious, and Carrie Fisher threatened to change her name to Reynolds.
At 47, Fisher married a 21-year-old beauty queen, Terry Richard. The marriage ended after 10 months. His fifth marriage, to Betty Lin, a Chinese-born businesswoman, lasted longer than any of the others. Fisher had two children with Reynolds: Carrie and Todd; and two girls with Stevens: Joely and Tricia.
"Watergate" is synonymous with a series of events that began with a botched burglary and ended with the resignation of a U.S. President. The term itself formally derives from the Watergate building in Washington, D.C., where, on the night of 17 June 1972, five burglars were arrested in the Democratic National Committee offices. Newspaper reports from that point began revealing bits and pieces of details that linked the Watergate burglars with President Richard Nixon's 1972 reelection campaign.
The president and his chief assistants denied involvement, but as evidence of White House complicity continued to grow, the U.S. Congress was compelled to investigate what role the Watergate matter might have played in subverting or attempting to subvert the electoral process.
The U.S. Senate, by a 77-to-0 vote, approved a resolution on 7 February 1973, to impanel the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities to investigate Watergate. Known as the Ervin Committee for its Chairperson, Senator Sam Ervin, the Committee began public hearings on 17 May 1973, that shortly came to be known as the "Watergate Hearings." Television cameras covered the Watergate hearings gavel-to-gavel, from day one until 7 August. 319 hours of television were amassed, a record covering a single event.
All three commercial television networks then in existence--NBC, CBS, and ABC--devoted an average of five hours per day covering the Watergate hearings for their first five days. The networks devised a rotation plan that, beginning on the hearing's sixth day, shifted coverage responsibility from one network to another every third day. Any of the three networks remained free to cover more of the hearings than required by their rotation agreement, but only once did the networks choose to exercise their option.
All three networks elected to carry the nearly 30 hours of testimony by key witness and former White House counsel John Dean. The non-commercial Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired the videotaped version of each day's Watergate hearing testimony during the evening. Many PBS station managers who were initially reluctant to carry such programming found that as a result of the carriage, station ratings as well as financial contributions increased.
As the Ervin Committee concluded its initial phase of Watergate hearings on 7 August 1973, the hearing's television audience had waned somewhat, but a majority of viewers continued to indicate a preference that the next hearing phase, scheduled to begin on 24 September, also be televised.
The networks, however, felt otherwise. The Ervin Committee continued the Watergate hearings until February 1974 but with only scant television coverage. Television viewers were attracted to the Watergate hearings in impressive numbers. One survey found that 85% of all U.S. households had tuned in to at least some portion of the hearings. Such interest was not universal, however.
In fact, Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox had argued that television's widespread coverage of Watergate testimony could endanger the rights of witnesses to a fair trial and in doing so, could deprive Americans of ever hearing the full story of Watergate. The Ervin Committee refused Cox's request to curtail coverage, saying that it was important that television be allowed to carry Watergate testimony to the American public first hand.
On 6 February 1974, a new phase of Watergate began when the U.S. House of Representatives voted 410-to-4 to authorize the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether sufficient grounds existed to impeach President Nixon. If so, the Committee was authorized to report necessary articles of impeachment to the full House.
The Judiciary Committee spent late February to mid-July 1974 examining documents and testimony accumulated during the Senate's Watergate hearings. When this investigatory phase ended, the Judiciary Committee scheduled public deliberations for 24-27, 29 and 30 July to debate what, if any, impeachment recommendations it would make to the House.
Three articles of impeachment eventually were approved by the Committee, recommending that the House begin formal impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon. The decision to televise Judiciary Committee meetings was not immediate nor did it meet with overwhelming approval.
Only after several impassioned pleas from the floor of the U.S. House that such an extraordinary event should be televised to the fullest extent did the House approve a resolution to allow telecast of the Judiciary Committee's impeachment deliberations. The Committee itself had final say on the matter and voted 31-to-7 to concur with the decision of their House colleagues. One major requirement of the Judiciary Committee was that television networks covering the committee not be allowed to break for a commercial message during deliberations.
The Judiciary Committee began its televised public debate on the evening of 24 July. The commercial networks chose to rotate their coverage in the same manner as utilized during the Senate Watergate hearings. What's more, the commercial networks telecast only the evening portions of Judiciary Committee deliberations, while PBS chose to telecast the morning and afternoon sessions as well. As a result, television viewers were provided nearly 13 hours of coverage for each of the six days of Judiciary Committee public deliberations.
Eventually, the full House and Senate voted to allow television coverage of impeachment proceedings in their respective chambers, once assurances were made that the presence of television cameras and lights would not interfere with the president's due process rights. Final ground rules were being laid and technical preparations for the coverage were underway when President Nixon's resignation on 9 August 1974, brought the impeachment episode to an end.
Pop star George Michael is embroiled in another sex scandal – this time involving a romp in a London park. The 43-year-old singer was caught last week emerging from the bushes after a late-night rendezvous with a stranger. “I don’t believe it! F*** off! If you put those pictures in the paper I’ll sue!,” Michael reportedly screamed at a photographer for the News of the World.
Pictures of the red-faced star were plastered all over the Sunday edition of the British tabloid. Michael was found inside Hampstead Heath park, a popular nighttime destination for men cruising for sex with other men. He engaged in sex acts with Norman Kirtland, a 58-year-old unemployed van driver. Sex in public places is illegal, but Michael has not been charged because he was not caught by police. In 1998, the former Wham! frontman was busted for flashing an undercover cop in a Beverly Hills public washroom. "I don't even like George Michael.
And I didn't recognize him immediately,” Kirtland told the News of the World. “He sort of came up and got close. He looked kind of brown so I said to him, ‘You're not totally English, are you?' “We just started kissing. He did it very well. That was one of his major points. Then it was fondling and mutual pleasuring. It wasn't full sex but it was fantastic." Michael went to the park after visiting the home of his long-time lover Kenny Goss. He spent two hours cruising before hooking up with Kirtland.
When confronted outside the park by the News of the World, the singer reportedly insisted: "I'm not doing anything illegal. The police don't even come up here any more. I'm a free man, I can do whatever I want. I'm not harming anyone." Michael was caught earlier this year slumped at the wheel of his car near London’s Hyde Park. Cops found a quantity of drugs in the vehicle. A few weeks later, he crashed his car into another after reportedly falling asleep at the wheel.
"In the annals of film history, no celebrity better illustrates the fragility of stardom than Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. In 1919, Arbuckle was one of the most successful comedians in silent film. Two years later, accused of the rape and murder of a young actress, Arbuckle instantly became a national symbol of sin. An outraged public boycotted Arbuckle films, tore down movie posters, and demanded his conviction. For Arbuckle, who was found innocent in 1922, the scandal meant the end of a career.
For the movie industry, it meant the beginning of self-censorship. And for many Americans, it represented the loss of a dream: as disappointed fans quickly learned, stars were very different from the heroes they portrayed on screen. In his movies, Arbuckle typically portrayed a bumbling yet well-meaning hero who saved the day by pie-throwing, back-flipping, and generally outwitting his opponent.
In spite of his bulky, 250-pound frame, Arbuckle proved to be an able acrobat--a skill he had perfected during his days in vaudeville. Abandoned by his father at the age of 12, Arbuckle earned his living performing in small-town theaters and later, in the Pantages theater circuit.
After nearly 15 years on stage, though, in 1913 Arbuckle found himself out of a job, the victim of declining public interest in vaudeville. Almost by chance, Arbuckle wandered into Mack Sennett's Keystone film studio, where he was given the nickname "Fatty" and put to work.
During his three years at Keystone, Arbuckle starred in the popular Fatty and Mabel series with actress Mabel Normand, and gained a reputation as a slapstick comedian. By 1917, when Arbuckle left Keystone to run his own production company, Comique, under the supervision of Joseph Schenck, he had become a nationally-known star.
At Comique, Arbuckle directed some of his most acclaimed comedies: Butcher Boy (1917), Out West (1918), and Back Stage (1919), which starred friend and fellow comedian Buster Keaton. In 1919, lured by a million dollar a year contract, Arbuckle agreed to star in six feature films for Paramount and began an intense schedule of shooting and rehearsals.
But Paramount ultimately proved to be a disappointment. Dismayed by his lack of creative control and his frenetic schedule, Arbuckle went to San Francisco for a vacation in September 1921. On September 5, Arbuckle hosted a party in his room at the St. Francis Hotel--a wild affair complete with jazz, Hollywood starlets, and bootleg gin.
Four days later, one of the actresses who had been at the party, 27-year-old Virginia Rappe, died of acute peritonitis, an inflammation of the lining of the abdomen that was allegedly caused by "an extreme amount of external force." Suspicion fell on Arbuckle, who was accused of raping Virginia and causing her death. Arbuckle was charged with murder and detained in San Francisco. Meanwhile, news of the Arbuckle scandal sent shockwaves throughout the country.
Theater owners withdrew Arbuckle films, and preachers gave sermons on Arbuckle and the evils of Hollywood.
Paramount suspended Arbuckle's contract, and Will Hays--the "czar" of the movie industry, who had been hired to clean up Hollywood's image in the wake of the scandal--forbade Arbuckle from acting in any films. In the eyes of the public, Arbuckle was guilty as charged. But Arbuckle's trials told a different story. After two mistrials, Arbuckle was declared innocent in March 1922. This decision, however, meant little to moviegoers, who continued to speak out against Arbuckle in spite of his acquittal. In December 1922, Hays lifted the ban on Arbuckle, but it was too late: Arbuckle's career as an actor had been ruined.
Even though strong public opinion prevented Arbuckle from appearing on screen, Arbuckle managed to find work behind the camera, and between 1925 to 1932 directed several comedies under the pseudonym William Goodrich ("Will B. Good").
By 1932, though, bitter memories of the scandal had faded, and several of Arbuckle's friends published an article in Motion Picture magazine begging the public for forgiveness and demanding Arbuckle's return to the screen. Later that year, Jack Warner hired Arbuckle to star in six short films, but soon after the films were released, Arbuckle died on June 30, 1933, at the age of 46. Arbuckle, who had never recovered from the stress and shock of the scandal, spent his last years wrestling with alcoholism and depression.
Although the official cause of Arbuckle's death was heart failure, Buster Keaton said that he died of a broken heart. The Fatty Arbuckle scandal, though, was more than a personal tragedy. Motion pictures--and the concept of the movie "star"--were still new in the early 1920s, and the Arbuckle scandal gave movie fans a rude wake-up call. For the first time, Americans saw the dark side of stardom. Drunk with fame and wealth, actors could abuse their power and commit horrible crimes--indeed, as many social reformers had claimed, Hollywood might be a breeding ground for debauchery.
In the face of this threat, the movie industry established a series of codes controlling the conduct of actors and the content of films, which culminated in the Production Code of the 1930s. The industry hoped to project an image of wholesomeness, but in the wake of the Arbuckle scandal, the public remained unconvinced. Although American audiences still continued to be entranced by the Hollywood "dream factory," they would never put their faith in movie stars in the way they had before 1921."
The mysterious Grigory Efimovich Rasputin, a peasant who claimed powers of healing and prediction, had the ear of Russian Tsarina Aleksandra. The aristocracy could not stand a peasant in such a high position. Peasants could not stand the rumors that the tsarina was sleeping with such a scoundrel. Rasputin was seen as "the dark force" that was ruining Mother Russia.
To save the monarchy, several members of the aristocracy attempted to murder the holy man. On the night of December 16-17, 1916, they tried to kill Rasputin. The plan was simple. Yet on that fateful night, the conspirators found that Rasputin would be very difficult to kill. Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Aleksandra (the emperor and empress of Russia) had tried for years to give birth to an heir. After four girls were born, the royal couple was desperate.
They called in many mystics and holy men. Finally, in 1904, Aleksandra gave birth to a baby boy, Aleksei Nikolayevich. Unfortunately, the boy who had been the answer to their prayers was afflicted with "the Royal disease," hemophilia. Every time Aleksei began to bleed, it would not stop. The royal couple became frantic to find a cure for their son. Again, mystics, holy men and healers were brought in.
Nothing helped until 1908, when Rasputin was called upon to come aid the young tsarevich during one of his bleeding episodes. Grigory Efimovich Rasputin was a peasant (muzhik), born in the Siberian town of Pokrovskoye on January 10, probably in the year 1869. Rasputin underwent a religious transformation around the age of 18 and spent three months in the Verkhoturye Monastery.
When he returned to Pokrovskoye he was a changed man. Though he married Proskovia Fyodorovna and had three children with her (two girls and a boy), he began to wander as a strannik ("pilgrim" or "wanderer"). During his wanderings, Rasputin traveled to Greece and Jerusalem.
Though he often traveled back to Pokrovskoye, he found himself in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) in 1903. By then he was proclaiming himself a starets, a holy man, who had healing powers and could predict the future. When Rasputin was summoned to the royal palace in 1908, he proved he had a healing power.
Unlike his predecessors, Rasputin was able to help the boy. How did he do it? That is still greatly disputed. Some people believe Rasputin used hypnotism; others say Rasputin didn't know how to hypnotize. Part of Rasputin's continued mystique is the remaining question as to whether or not he really had the powers he claimed to have. Having proven to Aleksandra his holy powers, Rasputin did not remain just the healer for Aleksei; Rasputin soon became the confidante and personal advisor of Aleksandra.
To the aristocrats, having a peasant advising the tsarina, who in turn held a great deal of influence over the tsar, was unacceptable. In addition, Rasputin was a lover of alcohol and sex - both of which he consumed in excess. Though Rasputin appeared a pious and saintly holy man in front of the royal couple, others saw him as a dirty, sex-craved peasant who was ruining Russia and the monarchy.
It didn't help that Rasputin was having sex with women in high society in exchange for granting political favors. Nor that many in Russia believed Rasputin and the tsarina were lovers and wanted to make a separate peace with the Germans (Russia and Germany were enemies during World War I).
Everyone was talking about the need to get rid of Rasputin. Attempting to enlighten the royal couple about the danger they were in, many influential people approached both Nicholas and Aleksandra with the truth about Rasputin and with the rumors that were circulating. To everyone's great dismay, they both refused to listen. So who was going to kill Rasputin before the monarchy was completely destroyed?
Thelma Todd rose to fame as a comedic actress alongside the Marx Brothers, Laurel & Hardey, and Buster Keaton. Although well known in her day, she is now remembered for the manner and mystery of her death rather than for her achievements in life. Todd arrived in Hollywood in 1926 and over the next 9 years she made seventy films, mostly as a foil for comics such as Harry Langdon and Charley Chase, as well as six with Laurel and Hardy.
Her best were two with the Marx Brothers 'Monkey Business' and 'Horse Feathers'. Her lively and flirtatious on-screen personality was more than matched by her riotous private life. She had so many drunken car crashes going from party to party, that the studio had to insist she have a chauffeur.
Her marriage in 1932 to playboy Pasquale "Pat" DiCicco quickly degenerated into a series of drunken brawls and they divorced in 1934. In addition to her film career, Thelma was also involved in the restaurant business, where her path crossed that of Lucky Luciano, the New York mobster who was trying to gain a foothold on the West Coast.
In 1935, at the peak of her poppularity, the 30-year-old actress was found "slumped over the steering wheel of her Lincoln Phaeton Touring car." Her demise was first declared a suicide, then an "accidental death from carbon monoxide poisoning." The fact that she drank heavily and often passed out in her car after a binge supported this conclusion.
With blood at the scene, a high blood-alcohol content, and clean shoes (while the area outside the car was muddy), many believed it to be murder. While the theory was largely ignored by the LAPD, suspects ranged from Todd’s highly possessive boyfriend, director Roland West (who was thought to have locked Todd in the garage to keep her from going to a party) to the most likely suspect, “Lucky” Luciano, who wanted to involve
Todd’s club in illegal gambling against her wishes. Roland West was said to have later confessed the murder to a friend, but his only punishment was a closing of ranks by Hollywood’s elite so he never worked in motion pictures again. Who killed Thelma Todd? Officially, no-one knows, but she did cross Lucky Luciano. When discussing with him the possible use of her resaurant by his mobsters Thelma once shrieked 'Over my dead body! ' 'That can be arranged', Luciano was heard to reply.
Brigadier John Dennis Profumo, 5th Baron Profumo OBE (Mil), CBE (30 January 1915 – 9 March 2006), informally known as Jack Profumo, was a British politician. His title, 5th Baron, which he did not use, was Sardinian. Although Profumo held an increasingly responsible series of political posts in the 1950s, he is best known today for his involvement in a 1963 scandal involving a prostitute.
The scandal, now known as the Profumo Affair, led to Profumo's resignation and withdrawal from politics, and it may have helped to topple the Conservative government of Harold Macmillan. After his resignation, Profumo began to work as a volunteer cleaning toilets at Toynbee Hall, a charity based in the East End of London, and continued to work there for the rest of his life.
Eventually, Profumo volunteered as the charity's chief fundraiser. These charitable activities helped to restore the fallen politician's reputation; he was awarded a CBE in 1975, and in 1995 was invited to Margaret Thatcher's 70th birthday dinner. He was a member of Boodle's club in St James's, London from 1969 until his death. In 1940, while still serving in the army, Profumo was elected to the House of Commons as a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Kettering constituency, Northamptonshire at a by-election on 3 March.
Shortly afterwards he voted against the Chamberlain government in the debate following the British defeat at Narvik in Norway. (This defiance on Profumo's part enraged the Government Whip, David Margesson, who wrote to him a letter containing the following: 'I can tell you this, you utterly contemptible little shit. On every morning that you wake up for the rest of your life you will be ashamed of what you did last night.') Profumo was the youngest MP at that time, and by the time of his death he was last surviving member of the 1940 House of Commons.
At the 1945 election Profumo was defeated at Kettering by a Labour candidate, Dick Mitchison. Later in 1945 he was chief of staff to the British Mission to Japan. In 1950 he left the army and at the general election in February 1950 he was elected for Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire, a safe Conservative seat. Profumo was a well-connected politician with a good war record, and (despite Margesson's above-mentioned outburst) was highly regarded in the Conservative party. These qualities helped him to rise steadily through the ranks of the Conservative government that was elected in 1951.
He was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in November 1952, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation in November 1953, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies in January 1957, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office in November 1958, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in January 1959.
In 1954 he married the actress Valerie Hobson. In July 1960, Profumo was appointed a Secretary of State for War, (outside of the cabinet) and a member of the Privy Council. In July 1961, at a party at Cliveden, home of Viscount Astor, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a model with whom he began a sexual relationship. Profumo ended it after only a few weeks but rumours about the affair began to circulate.
Since Keeler also had sexual relations with Yevgeni Ivanov, the senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy, the "Profumo Affair" took on a national security dimension. In December 1962, a shooting incident in London involving two other men who were involved with Keeler led the press to investigate Ms Keeler, and reporters soon learned of her affairs with Profumo and Ivanov.
But the British tradition of respecting the private lives of British politicians was maintained until March 1963, when the Labour MP George Wigg, claiming to be motivated by the national security aspects of the case, taking advanatage of Parliamentary Privilege, referred in the House of Commons (i.e. under immunity from any possible legal action) to rumours that Profumo was having an affair with Keeler.
Profumo then made a personal statement in which he admitted he knew Keeler but denied there was any "impropriety" in their relationship. Profumo's statement did not prevent newspapers publishing stories about Keeler, and it soon became apparent to Macmillan that his position was untenable.
On 5 June 1963 Profumo was forced to admit that he had lied to the House, an unforgivable offence in British politics. He resigned from office, from the House and from the Privy Council. Before making his public confession Profumo confessed the affair to his wife, who stood by him.
It was never shown that his relationship with Keeler had led to any breach of national security. The scandal rocked the Conservative government, and was generally held to have been among the causes of its defeat by Labour at the 1964 election.
Profumo maintained complete public silence about the matter for the rest of his life, even when the 1989 film Scandal and the publication of Keeler's memoirs revived public interest in the affair. "The whole of time would not be long enough to tell you of my joy in being married to you.
Joy is not measured just by lovely things: the birth of babies, the song of birds heard together, the fun of holidays - the lyrical-love of lying with you. Joy is to be found, too, in the relief after pain shared, in the good news following bad, in the knowledge of greater closeness after disaster." -from the 10th wedding anniversary letter of Valerie to John Profumo, 1965.
Approximately a decade later, in 1962, Marilyn Monroe died of what was officially ruled an accidental overdose of sleeping pills. And in the words of a television biography, “almost instantly, the lurid circumstances of [her] death made national headlines around the world. . . . Marilyn Monroe was dead. Marilyn the Myth was born.
The supposedly idyllic life stars lived was being steadily exposed as false through both fictional tragedies and actual scandals, yet paradoxically the public did not turn against the stars but only focused their fascination in a slightly different way.
Singer and songwriter Elton John immortalized the unique cult of fame that overshadowed Monroe’s death in his 1973 song “Candle in the Wind,” when he wrote of his own youthful feelings toward her: “Your candle burned out long before / Your legend ever did.”2 Rather than serving to separate the hero from the star, in fact, scandals only bound the two more closely together, lending a tragic, martyred cast to the star’s image.
The public’s adoration of their stars did not diminish. Their perception of their heroes as ideals, however, began to fade. Well into the throes of drug addiction by the time she was thirteen, Drew Barrymore attempted suicide by cutting her wrists with a kitchen knife.
Rosemary Clooney was addicted to prescription drugs and, after two embattled marriages to José Ferrer, was admitted to a psych ward. Francis Ford Coppola takes lithium. Patty (Call Me Anna) Duke is a manic-depressive. No longer do stars try to hide their personal lives from the public, and every scandal, every lie is exposed in the short run. Thus today’s public holds very few illusions about the lives of their star-heroes.
Although stars are still “living heroes,” the relationship between the two terms has changed: rather than admiring stars for their heroic achievements and personal qualities, the public simply envies them for their lifestyle—their immense power, wealth, and fame.
Even after the real-life heroism of September 11, a profound cynicism persists toward the hero as ideal, and this cynicism is reflected in the portrayal of the fictional hero in current American films. It is a portrayal that perpetuates the problem of mistaken identity noted earlier, but in reverse, with heroes being identified with the stars that portray them, rather than vice versa.
Every older generation recycles the same panics about girls decade after decade, century after century. The 1940s and ‘50s, for example, brought a barrage of government sponsored docudramas featuring lusty teen girls seducing and robbing innocent men, laughingly gunning down motorists, dying in gunfights with cops. “They start with stealing lipstick, finish with a slaying!” blared “frank truth” films like Girls Under 21, Girls of the Night, So Young So Bad, Delinquent Daughters, and Girls in the Night.
Bestselling early-1950s books blazoned gun-brandishing teen girls and titles like The Young and Violent, Jailbait, Juvenile Jungle, Teenage Crime Wave, Live Fast Die Young, and (my favorite) I’ll Fix You. Major magazines like Life, Reader's Digest, and Ladies Home Journal warned that hundreds of teenage “pickup” girls as young as 12 were making “the sex delinquency of young girls” the worst problem cities faced. “Are These Our Children?” (Look, 1942).
And “Boston’s Bad Girls,” (Pic, 1943) clarioned “Everytown, USA,” terrorized by girls gone berserk: “Arrests for drunkenness of girls are up 40 per cent… prostitution, 64 percent… truancy cases are up 400 percent… sex offenses involving teen-age girls, up 200 per cent… the average age of offenders is fifteen…” We also see a new round of books by Gen Xers citing their own sad examples. Courtney Martin and a number of self-proclaimed feminist authors claim today’s troubled young female stars… Lindsay, Britney, Paris, Nicole, Amy, etc… suffer from alcohol, drug, and mental problems unheard-of in Hollywood of yore.
David Letterman grills Nicole Richie: “What’s wrong with young Hollywood today?” Today? Remember Judy Garland, Mary Pickford, Patsy Cline, Bette Davis, Veronica Lake, Rita Hayworth, Billie Holiday, Joan Crawford, Betty Grable, Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Lana Turner, and a few thousand others in Hollywood’s perpetual roster of drinking and misery (and the leading men were much worse).
Even Audrey Hepburn, an actress of exemplary behavior and temperament, swallowed some brandy to warm up one cold day in Paris on the set of How to Steal a Million and wound up crashing a Fox studio car through the portable stage lights—an incident seen as amusing in 1965 but would have been splashed as a Dr. Drew-tabloid horror story today.
Like the authors above, I could simply spout my personal prejudice—which, from three decades of work in communities, families, wilderness work projects, and teaching, is that today’s girls are remarkably well-adjusted and enjoyable as a generation and would make remarkable leaders.
But what I “see” and what I speculate about young women today, along with whatever self-flattering views I might harbor about my morals and adolescence, tell you about me, not about “girls today.” As a certifiable Baby Boomer, it pains me to confess: My head does not contain the totality of the universe.
John Jeremy Thorpe (born 29 April 1929) is a former British politician who was leader of the Liberal Party from 1967 to 1976 and was the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Devon from 1959 to 1979. His political career was damaged when an acquaintance, Norman Scott, claimed to have had a love affair with Thorpe at a time where homosexual acts were illegal in Britain. Thorpe denied these claims and was charged with conspiring to murder Scott, though he was acquitted of these charges in 1979, shortly after losing his seat in the general election.
In 1965, he became Liberal Party Treasurer and, following Jo Grimond's resignation as leader in 1967, he won the resulting party leadership election with the support of 6 of the 12 Liberal MPs. Thorpe's style, in contrast to Grimond's intellectualism, was youthful and dynamic, and was sometimes ridiculed as too gimmicky. He was, however, a staunch defender of human rights, as exemplified by his prominent role in the Anti-Apartheid Movement.
He was also a key figure in the campaign for Britain to join the Common Market. A colourful character, Thorpe was renowned for his assortment of Edwardian suits, silk waistcoats and trilby hats, as well as being a noted raconteur and impressionist. Thorpe's unconventional lifestyle was reflected in his 1968 marriage a month after his son was born.
His party leadership was not immediately successful. The 1970 general election was a disaster for the Liberals; they fell from 13 seats to 6 (winning three, including Thorpe's, by tiny majorities). But between 1972 and 1974, Thorpe led the Liberals to an impressive string of by-election victories, at Rochdale, Sutton and Cheam, Ripon, the Isle of Ely, and Berwick. In the February 1974 general election, the Liberals got 19.3% of the vote.
During the campaign, some opinion polls at times even placed the party as high as 30%. This was a great improvement over the 8.5% the Liberals got in the 1966 General Election, before Thorpe's election as leader. Persistent rumours about Thorpe's sexuality dogged his political career.
Norman Scott, a former male model, met Thorpe in 1961 while working as a stable lad. He later claimed that he and Thorpe had a homosexual relationship between 1961 and 1963, when homosexual acts were still illegal in Britain. Scott's airing of these claims led to an inquiry within the Liberal Party in 1971, which exonerated Thorpe. Scott, however, continued to make the allegations.
In October 1975, Scott was walking on Exmoor with a Great Dane bitch (called "Rinka"), which had been lent to him by a friend for protection. Scott was confronted by Andrew "Gino" Newton, a former airline pilot, who was armed with a gun. Newton shot and killed the dog, then pointed the gun at Scott, but it apparently failed to go off. Newton was convicted of the offence in March 1976.
During his court appearance, Scott repeated his claims of a relationship with Thorpe, and alleged that Thorpe had threatened to kill him if he spoke about their affair. Scott also sold letters to the press which he claimed to be love letters from Thorpe. One of these included the memorable line "Bunnies can and will go to France", which supposedly showed Thorpe using his 'pet-name' for Scott in connection with a promise to find Scott a well-paid job in France.
The scandal forced Thorpe to resign as Liberal Party leader on 9 May 1976. He was replaced temporarily by his predecessor Jo Grimond and then permanently by David Steel. Andrew Newton was released from prison in April 1977, and then revived the scandal by claiming that he had been hired to kill Norman Scott.
On 4 August 1978, Thorpe was accused along with David Holmes (deputy Treasurer of the Liberal Party), George Deakin (a night club owner) and businessman John Le Mesurier (not the actor or the athletics coach) of conspiracy to murder. Thorpe was also separately accused of inciting Holmes to murder Scott. The trial was scheduled to take place a week before the general election of 1979, but Thorpe obtained a fortnight's delay to fight the election. However, the scandal had become too much, and Thorpe was defeated.
Divine Brown, the former streetwalker who made headlines for her famous 1995 encounter with Hugh Grant has publicly thanked the actor for “changing” her life – because she was able to carve out a “wonderful” new existence after the almost career-ending scandal.
Hugh Grant’s celebrating his 50th birthday this week, so its only fitting that a UK tabloid decided to flick through the phonebook and see what his old friend Divine Brown has been up to since her infamous car session with the hunk Brit 15 years ago. “The other night I was thinking: ‘I wonder if he thinks about that night.’ I know he loved it.
He kept calling me Cherry Red because my lips were red, my shoes and clothes were red,” Brown yapped to The Daily Mail on Sunday. “Even my underwear was red. He kept complimenting me on my lips and my feet. I guess he has a foot fetish, too,” Divine laughs. Recalling the infamous events on the night of June 27, 1995, she said she thought Grant was an undercover vice cop as he circled in his white BMW with a baseball cap pulled down over his face. “I was running from him.
I thought he was a cop. He kept circling the block and pulling up in front of me. There were lots of beautiful girls out there that night, but he just wanted me.” Grant, then 34, was fined $1,180 dollar and placed on two years’ summary probation for the offense, which in turn shot Brown to fame. Divine says that since being picked up by the English actor on Sunset Boulevard in 1995 – while he was in a relationship with Liz Hurley – she has made $1 million in publicity deals. Divine, now 41, earned more than $1.5 million from media interviews and guest-show appearances.
In the days following Grant’s arrest, Divine appeared on nearly every major radio and television talk show in America, including Jerry Springer, Judge Judy, and The Howard Stern Show. “That was the trick that changed my life. The event that earned me a million dollars… the fuss afterwards scared me right there and took me off the game… I have the most wonderful life now.
I’ve got a nice new home… there’s no pool but there is a picket fence. I thank the Lord every day. I was always attracted to the glamorous life and that half an hour with Hugh Grant made me able to buy all the things I’d dreamt of having. That film Pretty Woman seemed to be what my life was about. Hugh Grant was my Richard Gere.”
Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) It is rumoured than early in his career Cleveland was a womaniser and spent many nights pursuing women in saloons. Around 1873, he began dating Maria Crofts-Halprin. She was a 35-year old, mother of two, and single parent. In 1874 she gave birth to a son. Cleveland never denied his was the father. Halprin encouraged him to marry her, but Cleveland refused. Cleveland did place the boy into an orphanage until foster parents could be found.
The boy was later adopted by a wealthy family. Halprin later started a business of her own with money given to her by Cleveland. The press used the birth of her son as way to discredit him in the 1884 election. Cleveland did eventually marry.
In 1886, he married 22-year old Frances Folsom in a ceremony in the White House. Folsom was the daughter of his former law partner Oscar Folsom. 3. Warren G. Harding (1865-1923) Harding worked as a writer and speaker in his early 20's. Eventually he purchased the newspaper the Marion Daily Star. Harding then caught the attention of Florence Ling DeWolfe. DeWolfe was a divorcee and the mother of one.
She was also the daughter of the most wealthy man in their town. DeWolfe pursed Harding until they married in 1891. By all accounts Harding was a womaniser and had affairs with dozens of women. His relationship to Florence was purely a functional relationship.
Florence spied on him, had detectives follow him, and constantly confronted Harding about his liaisons. But he never stopped having affairs. Harding had two long-term love affairs. The first affair was with Mrs. Carrie Phillips. Harding and Phillips had a 15 year affair. She was the wife of a department store owner.
Historians claim that Phillips was the true love of his life. During this time he wrote her many letters with strong sexual overtones. Phillips saved all of his letters and eventually used them to blackmail Harding. Phillips wanted him to divorce his wife and marry her. Harding refused to divorce his wife. The Republican National Committee finally settled with Phillips in 1920. They gave her $20,000 and $2,000 per month as long as Harding held office in exchange for her silence.
Harding's second long term affair was with Nan Britton. She was the daughter of a family friend. While in his mid 40's, Harding began flirting with the 13 year old Britton. After she graduated from college, he found Britton a job near him, so they could begin a clandestine affair.
Harding arranged evenings for the two of them in hotel rooms in both New York and Washington. They were rumored to have had sex several times in the White House; once in a closet. Britton became pregnant in 1919 and claimed Harding was the father. He provid-ed her with $500 per month for child support until he died. Britton later wrote about her affair with Harding in her memoirs.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945) Roosevelt was an only child who attended Harvard and grew up in an aristocratic family. He married his distant cousin, Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1905. He had an affair with Lucy Mercer in 1916, Mercer was originally hired to be Eleanor's secretary. Their affair lasted a few years. In 1918 Roosevelt became ill with pneumonia.
While he was sick Eleanor acted as his secretary and eventually found his love letters from Mercer. After much debate Franklin and Eleanor decided to stay together under the condition that he never see Mercer again. Many speculate that Franklin and Eleanor stopped having sexual relations around 1917. However, Franklin continued on the extramarital path. In 1923, he hired Missy LeHand, who was 23 at the time. Though there is no conclusive evidence, many believe she became his mistress. They traveled together and she was frequently seen sitting on his lap.
The other interesting twist to this story is that many believe that Eleanor was a lesbian. In 1923 she met Lorena Hickok. Over the next 30 years Eleanor wrote Hickok over 2,300 letters; several were quite passionate. 5. Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969) Eisenhower was a tough kid who grew up on a dairy farm in Kansas. He graduated from West Point in 1915 and was then stationed in San Antonio, Texas.
While in Texas he met and married Mamie Geneva Doud. Mamie was on vacation when "Ike" met her. She came from a wealthy family in Denver who made their fortune in the meat packing industry.
Eisenhower courted Mamie and they wed in 1916. It was rumored that Eisenhower was a woman-hater. He was known for being unkind to women and uncompassionate. Eisenhower always placed his marriage behind his duty to the military.
During W.W. II, he became a military hero. Just after W.W. II, he met Kay Summersby, a young woman who acted as his staff driver. In Summersby's memoirs she claimed that "Ike"was impotent. According to Harry Truman, "Ike"had written a letter to General Marshall requesting a relief of duty so that he could divorce Mamie and marry Summersby. Marshall refused.
Alexander Hamilton It is rumored that Alexander Hamilton had an extramarital affair with a Mrs. Reynolds. Hamilton had anaffair with Reynolds when her husband was in jail. She later blackmailed him in exchange for her silence. 7. Lyndon B. Johnson Johnson was a pretty boring guy in bed.
All rumors claim that he and Lady Bird Johnson were close until the end. The significant sex scandal during the Johnson administration took place on October 7, 1964. Johnson's aide and most trusted advisor Walter Jenkins was arrested. This 46 year old political insider was arrested for having sex with another man at a YMCA near the White House. Jenkins was so upset that he threatened suicide. He resigned soon after being arrested.
The scandal had no impact on the Johnson administration's popularity-a few weeks later he beat Barry Goldwater with a landslide in the presidential election. 8. George W. Bush Sr. George Bush allegedly had had a long-running affair with Jennifer Fitzgerald. She was a State Department employee who worked for him at most of his posts over the years.
In thеѕе times оf іnfоrmаtіоn overload аnd ѕhоrt attention spans, scandals come аnd go оn а daily bаѕіѕ аѕ thе mеdіа feeds оn sensationalist nеwѕ. Thеу аrе lіkе ѕuреrnоvаѕ, burnіng brіght wіth іntеnѕе glаrе only tо fаdе іntо іnѕіgnіfісаnсе аftеr а ѕрlіt mоmеnt.
From роlіtісѕ tо ѕhоwbіz, frоm business tо sport, we аrе constantly еxроѕеd tо scandalous ѕtоrіеѕ thаt mаkе headlines fоr а dау оr twо аnd disappear without а trасе. At times, thеу mаnаgе tо frееzе аnd focus thіѕ daily overflow оf information wіth ѕоmе kіnd оf dеереr rеflесtіоn аbоut thе times we live іn bу striking а fаmіlіаr сhоrd, but tурісаllу thеу are еlbоwеd out by thе lаtеѕt dеvеlорmеntѕ.
In this іntеnѕіvе rоllеr-соаѕtеr оf еvеntѕ, thеrе are, hоwеvеr, examples оf рublіс оutrаgе thаt оutlаѕtеd thеіr immediate duration аnd ѕеrvе аѕ rеfеrеnсе роіntѕ or mіlеѕtоnеѕ іn thе recent hіѕtоrу оf сеlеbrіtу ѕсаndаl.
Here are thе ѕtrоngеѕt соntеndеrѕ іn this category. Mоѕt probably, Wооdу Allеn wоuld want tо be remembered аѕ а ѕkіllful аnd рrоlіfіс fіlmmаkеr, аltеrnаtіvеlу аѕ а trаvеlіng jazz musician, but hіѕ lеgасу іѕ likely tо іnсludе hіѕ ѕhосkіng decision tо marry hіѕ аdорtіvе stepdaughter.
It wаѕ 1992 when Allеn'ѕ fаvоrіtе асtrеѕѕ аnd lіfе partner Mіа Farrow mаdе а ѕtunnіng discovery оf іndесеnt рhоtоѕ thаt ѕроrtеd hеr adopted daughter Sооn-Yі nudе lying аrоund on Woody's cabinet.
Despite а gаріng аgе difference bеtwееn thе middle-aged dіrесtоr аnd a 22-уеаr-оld Sооn-Yі, thеу саrrіеd on wіth their аffаіr аmіd thе rаgіng media storm thаt accused Allen оf аnуthіng frоm shameful adultery tо plain іnсеѕt. Thе beleaguered dіrесtоr managed tо рuѕh thrоugh maintaining thаt "thе hеаrt wаntѕ whаt іt wаntѕ" аnd he соuld do vеrу lіttlе аbоut іt аnd hіѕ mаrrіаgе to Soon-Yi proved muсh mоrе ѕuссеѕѕful than hіѕ рrеvіоuѕ relationships, including wіth Mіа. The film he соmрlеtеd аt thе time оf thе ѕсаndаl, entitled Husbands аnd Wives, wаѕ successful, tоо.
Shе was thе mоѕt photographed wоmаn in history аnd ѕhе is bеlіеvеd to hаvе met hеr end largely аѕ a result оf trying to escape thе pursuit of frenzied рараrаzzі. Princess Diana's tragic death undеr thе undеrраѕѕ in Pаrіѕ рrоduсеd thе outpouring positive emotions tоwаrdѕ hеr fate and criticism of deadly obsession wіth high-profile реrѕоnаlіtіеѕ like hеr.
The accident in Frаnсе, еvеn thоugh іt was nеvеr fullу еxрlаіnеd, рut hеr lіfе in ѕhаrр focus frоm hеr dіѕарроіntіng marriage wіth Prіnсе Charles, his іnfіdеlіtу, their infamous separation and dіvоrсе, her problems wіth bulimia and men. She аlѕо раrt of whаt mаnу ѕее аѕ thе gоldеn age of сеlеbrіtу gоѕѕір that lаtеr turnеd іtѕ attention to реорlе of muсh lеѕѕеr ѕtаturе.
A lot of thіngѕ are ѕресіаl аbоut Bіll Clіntоn'ѕ Zірреrgаtе, not lеаѕt its cataclysmic соnѕеquеnсеѕ for thе mоѕt роwеrful роlіtісіаn on еаrth, the then president of the United Stаtеѕ. The media attention and the fаllоut frоm Clіntоn'ѕ short-lived affair with his Whіtе Hоuѕе іntеrn Monica Lеvіnѕkу сhаngеd the face of Amеrісаn рublіс life and politics. If Intеrnеt tесhnоlоgу, соmрlеtе with ѕuсh tools as a wеbсаm or blogs, hаd bееn аrоund at that time, the buzz would have been even more fеvеrіѕh.
Richard Nixon was born on 9 January 1913 in Yorba Linda, Orange County, California. He won scholarships to both Harvard and Yale but due to lack of finances he was forced to decline them. He instead enrolled in a local Quaker college, Whittier College where he was a model student. In 1934 he graduated second in his class and entered Duke University School of Law, North Carolina.
He returned to California in 1937 and was admitted to the Bar, working for the law offices of Wingert and Bewley, he became a full partner in the firm in 1938. He was commissioned in the United States Navy in August 1942, he was assigned as the naval passenger control officer for the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command. He received two service stars, although he did not see any combat action; he made lieutenant commander in October 1945 and resigned his commission on 1 January 1946.
He ran for and was elected to the Unites States House of Representatives in the November 1946 elections. He first came to national recognition when his investigation of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) broke the impasse in the Alger Hiss case. Nixon became polarised in the American consciousness, he was a hero to Roosevelt’s enemies but an enemy to Rossevelt’s supporters because Hiss had been an advisor to FDR. In the 1950 elections, Nixon was elected to the Senate defeating the Democratic representative in a historic landslide.
Due to his strong anti-communist stance, Eisenhower During the campaign he was accused by the New York Post of accepting private donations, a claim that he strenuously denied. The Republicans won the ticket, Nixon broadened the scope of the post.
In 1960, he launched his campaign for President of the United States of America. His Democratic challenger was John F. Kennedy. The race was close, becoming defined by the first televised presidential debates, Nixon was recovering from illness and appeared uncomfortable in comparison to the composed JFK, however many people listening on radio considered Nixon to be the winner.
Kennedy amid accusations of electoral fraud, won with the most meagre of margins. Nixon returned to California, practiced law and wrote the best selling political memoir Six Crises. He ran for Governor of California in 1962, losing to Pat Brown and leading to many to write off his political career. However, he re -entered the arena, throwing his hat into the ring for the 1968 Presidential campaign. He modelled himself as a figure of stability, appealing to socially conservative Americans, pitting himself against the hippie counterculture, he won the nomination.
He then attacked the Democrats on charges of allowing the United States to lose their nuclear superiority, he also promised that he would end the Vietnam War. He won, completing a memorable comeback from the political wilderness. He set out to develop relations with China, pursue arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, activate a peace process in the Middle East, ensure that US inflation was curbed and implement welfare reform.
However, his most pressing task was to tackle the Vietnam War. He approved a secret bombing campaign of Cambodia with the intention of destroying the headquarters of the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam. He followed this with implementing the Nixon doctrine, which was a strategy of replacing American troops with Vietnamese troops in Vietnam. His further bombing campaigns in Laos and Cambodia led to widespread protests at home.
He was re-elected President in the 1972 campaign in one of the biggest landslides in American political history. Nixon had an aggressive foreign policy that included successes with the Soviet Union, China and the Middle East but he was dogged by a weak national economy and domestic protests over the continued war in Vietnam.
After his 1972 re-election, his administration was consumed by the Watergate scandal, named after the hotel and office complex where burglars hired by Nixon’s re-election campaign were caught in a sloppy attempt to bug the offices of the Democratic National Convention. Nixon played down the scandal as mere politics and his administration denounced the story as misleading, however the FBI confirmed the allegations, senior aides began resigning and many faced prosecution.
Losing political support by the day and facing almost certain impeachment, Nixon resigned his post on August 9, 1974; however, he never admitted to criminal wrongdoing, only conceding he made errors of judgment. On 8 September, 1974 President Ford granted an absolute pardon to Nixon, ending any possibility of indictment. Nixon moved back to California to write his memoirs and was variously consulted on a private basis by his successors but his standing as a disgraced President continued to dog him.
In 1977, he began to embark on a public relations comeback effort, meeting with British journalist David Frost who paid him six hundred thousand dollars for a series of sit-down interviews. The first of his ten books that he authored in his retirement was published at this time, enabling Nixon to emerge from his seclusion to embark on book tours. He later embarked on tours to Egypt, Soviet Union, Japan and China.
He gained respect as an elder statesman in the arena of foreign affairs and was consulted by both Democratic and Republican successors to the Presidency. No American President served as long in national office as Nixon did, he appeared on the Republican party’s Presidential ticket five times, secured the Republican nomination three times and was elected twice to the office of President and Vice-President. Along with Ronald Reagan, he was the chief builder of the modern Republican party. He was instrumental in expelling the Soviet Union from the Middle East, he initiated formal relations with China and improved relations with the Soviet Union.
Domestically he decentralised government by revenue sharing, ended school segregation, ended the gold standard, reduced the crime rate and pioneered environmental policies. However, his policies in Vietnam remain contentious; his principal electoral mandate had been to end the war.
He did authorise the gradual withdrawal of the 500,000 American troops from South Vietnam but the war continued to drag on. Some assert that Nixon sold out the South Vietnamese government, others argue that his he needlessly prolonged the war by negotiating conditions that were advantageous to United States objectives that never has any possibility of being achieved.
The Chappaquiddick incident involved the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, a young colleague of U.S. Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy, in a tidal channel on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts on July 18, 1969. According to his own testimony, Kennedy accidentally drove his car off a bridge and into the channel, before swimming free and leaving the scene, and not reporting about the accident within nine hours. Meanwhile, Kopechne had died in the car through drowning or suffocation.
The next day, Kopechne's body and the car were finally recovered. Kennedy pleaded guilty to a charge of leaving the scene of an accident after causing injury and later received a two-month suspended jail sentence. The incident became a national scandal, and may have influenced Kennedy's decision not to campaign for President of the United States in 1972 and 1976.
On July 18, 1969, 37-year old U.S. Senator Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy hosted a party on Chappaquiddick, a small island connected via ferry to the town of Edgartown, Massachusetts on the nearby larger island of Martha's Vineyard.
The party was a reunion for a group of six women, including Kopechne, known as the "boiler-room girls", who had served in his brother Robert's 1968 presidential campaign. Also present were Joseph Gargan, Ted Kennedy's cousin; Paul F. Markham, a school friend of Gargan's who previously served as the United States Attorney for Massachusetts; Charles Tretter, an attorney; Raymond La Rosa; and John Crimmins, Ted Kennedy's part-time driver.
Kennedy was also competing in the Edgartown Yacht Club Regatta, a sailing competition which was taking place over several days. According to his own testimony at the inquest into Kopechne's death, Kennedy left the party at "approximately 11:15 p.m." He said that when he announced that he was about to leave, Kopechne told him "that she was desirous of leaving, if I would be kind enough to drop her back at her hotel." Kennedy then requested the keys to his mother's car from his chauffeur, Crimmins.
Asked why he did not have his chauffeur drive them both, Kennedy explained that Crimmins along with some other guests "were concluding their meal, enjoying the fellowship and it didn't appear to me necessary to require him to bring me back to Edgartown".Kopechne told no one that she was leaving with Kennedy, and left her purse and hotel key at the party.
Christopher "Huck" Look was a deputy sheriff working as a special police officer at the Edgartown regatta dance that night. At 12:30 a.m. he left the dance, crossed over to Chappaquiddick in the yacht club's launch boat, got into his parked car and drove toward his home, which was south of the Dike Bridge. He testified that between 12:30 and 12:45 a.m. he had seen a dark car containing a man driving and a woman in the front seat approaching the intersection with Dike Road.
The car had gone first onto the private Cemetery Road and stopped there. Thinking that the occupants of the car might be lost, Look had gotten out of his car and walked toward it. When he was 25 to 30 feet away, the car started backing towards him.
When Look called out to offer his help, the car moved quickly eastward, towards the ocean, along Dike Road in a cloud of dust. Look recalled that the car's license plate began with an "L" and contained two "7"'s, both details true of Kennedy's 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88. The Dike Bridge, Martha's Vineyard, pictured here in 2008 with guardrail According to his inquest testimony, Kennedy made a wrong turn onto Dike Road, an unlit dirt road that led to Dike Bridge (also spelled Dyke Bridge).
Dike Road was unpaved, but Kennedy, driving at "approximately twenty miles an hour", took "no particular notice" of this fact, and did not realize that he was no longer headed toward the ferry landing. Dike Bridge was a wooden bridge angled obliquely to the road, with no guardrail.
A fraction of a second before he reached the bridge, Kennedy applied his brakes; he then drove over the side of the bridge. The car plunged into tide-swept Poucha Pond (at that location a channel) and came to rest upside-down underwater. Kennedy recalled later that he was able to swim free of the vehicle, but Kopechne was not.
Kennedy claimed at the inquest that he called Kopechne's name several times from the shore, then tried to swim down to reach her seven or eight times, then rested on the bank for around fifteen minutes before returning on foot to Lawrence Cottage, where the party attended by Kopechne and the other "Boiler Room Girls" had occurred.
Kennedy denied seeing any house with a light on during his journey back to Lawrence Cottage. "Dike House" along Dike Road In addition to the working telephone at the Lawrence Cottage, according to one commentator, his route back to the cottage would have taken him past four houses from which he could have telephoned and summoned help; however, he did not do so.
The first of those houses, referred to as "Dike House", was 150 yards away from the bridge, and was occupied by Sylvia Malm and her family at the time of the incident. Malm stated later that she had left a light on at the residence when she retired for that evening.
According to Kennedy's testimony, Gargan and party co-host Paul Markham then returned to the waterway with Kennedy to try to rescue Kopechne. Both of the other men also tried to dive into the water and rescue Kopechne multiple times. When their efforts to rescue Kopechne failed, Kennedy testified, Gargan and Markham drove with Kennedy to the ferry landing, both insisting multiple times that the accident had to be reported to the authorities.
According to Markham's testimony Kennedy was sobbing and on the verge of becoming crazed. Kennedy went on to testify that " had full intention of reporting it. And I mentioned to Gargan and Markham something like, 'You take care of the other girls; I will take care of the accident!'—that is what I said and I dove into the water".
Kennedy had already told Gargan and Markham not to tell the other women anything about the incident "because I felt strongly that if these girls were notified that an accident had taken place and Mary Jo had, in fact, drowned, that it would only be a matter of seconds before all of those girls, who were long and dear friends of Mary Jo's, would go to the scene of the accident and enter the water with, I felt, a good chance that some serious mishap might have occurred to any one of them".
Gargan and Markam would testify that they assumed that Kennedy was going to inform the authorities once he got back to Edgartown, and thus did not do so themselves. According to his own testimony, Kennedy swam across the 500-foot channel, back to Edgartown and returned to his hotel room, where he removed his clothes and collapsed on his bed.
Hearing noises, he later put on dry clothes and asked someone what the time was: it was something like 2:30 a.m., the senator recalled. He testified that, as the night went on, "I almost tossed and turned and walked around that room ... I had not given up hope all night long that, by some miracle, Mary Jo would have escaped from the car." Back at his hotel, Kennedy complained at 2:55 a.m. to the hotel owner that he had been awoken by a noisy party.
By 7:30 a.m. the next morning he was talking "casually" to the winner of the previous day's sailing race, with no indication that anything was amiss. At 8 a.m., Gargan and Markham joined Kennedy at his hotel where they had a "heated conversation." According to Kennedy's testimony, the two men asked why he had not reported the accident.
Kennedy responded by telling them "about my own thoughts and feelings as I swam across that channel ... that somehow when they arrived in the morning that they were going to say that Mary Jo was still alive". The three men subsequently crossed back to Chappaquiddick Island on the ferry, where Kennedy made a series of telephone calls from a pay telephone near the crossing. The telephone calls were to his friends for advice and again, he did not report the accident to authorities.
Earlier that morning, two amateur fishermen had seen the submerged car in the water and notified the inhabitants of the cottage nearest to the scene, who called the authorities at about 8:20 a.m. Edgartown Police Chief James Arena arrived at the scene about 10 or 15 minutes later.
After attempting unsuccessfully to examine the interior of the submerged vehicle, Arena summoned a professional diver, along with equipment capable of towing or winching the vehicle out of the water. The diver, John Farrar, arrived at 8:45 fully suited in scuba gear, discovered Kopechne's body and extricated it from the vehicle within ten minutes.
Police checked the car's license plate and saw that it was registered to Kennedy. When Kennedy, still at the payphone by the ferry crossing, heard that the body had been discovered, he crossed back to Edgartown and went to the police station; Gargan simultaneously went to the hotel where the "boiler room girls" were staying to inform them about the incident.
At 10 am Kennedy entered the police station in Edgartown, made a couple of telephone calls, then dictated a statement to his aide Paul Markham, which was then given to the police. The statement was as follows: On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15 p.m. in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, I was driving my car on Main Street on my way to get the ferry back to Edgartown.
I was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road, instead of bearing hard left on Main Street. After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge. The car went off the side of the bridge. There was one passenger with me, one Miss Mary [Kopechne], a former secretary of my brother Sen. Robert Kennedy.
The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom. I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car. I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car. I was unsuccessful in the attempt.
I was exhausted and in a state of shock. I recall walking back to where my friends were eating. There was a car parked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the backseat. I then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown. I remember walking around for a period and then going back to my hotel room. When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police.
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