1. “America’s Dad” accused of sexually assaulting more than 50 women.
Only a year ago, most Americans knew Bill Cosby as a squeaky-clean TV dad, the lovable scamp who’d peddled Jell-O pudding, and a stern moralist who lectured the black community to get its act together. What they didn’t know was that for decades, women have been accusing him of drugging and then sexually abusing them. It turns out that Cosby had joked of spiking women’s drinks with the alleged aphrodisiac Spanish fly on a comedy album from the late 1960s, that he’d been accused of raping a 15-year-old at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, and that he’d admitted in a court deposition to acquiring Quaaludes for the purposes of drugging women. As allegations emerged, so did more accusers—as of last month, at least 51 women have alleged that Cosby took unwanted sexual liberties with them, almost always while they were passed out from being drugged. In the blink of an eye, Cosby has gone from America’s Dad to America’s Dirty Uncle.
2. From Subway sandwiches to child porn.
For over a dozen years, Jared Fogle was the plain, geeky face of Subway sandwiches, those piss-poor knockoffs of the mighty Philadelphia hoagie. He seemed so exceedingly wholesome, it could give you a toothache. But under the plain mask lurked the face of a pedophile who traded in kiddie-porn pictures. Whereas he was once known for losing weight, now he’s famous for losing all credibility.
3. “Family values” activist molests sisters and cheats on wife.
Josh Duggar was a conservative Christian DC activist and a member of the impossibly fecund family depicted on hit TV show 19 Kids and Counting. Over the past few months this seemingly wholesome family has been hit with the one-two punch of revelations that not only had Josh molested four of his sisters, he cheated on his wife using the Ashley Madison website. He issued an official apology long after the damage was done and the veil had been lifted. Yes, we know you’re a hypocrite. Now please go away and shut up.
4. Violent Nazi skinhead turned out to be a gay man who died of AIDS.
A violent skinhead who’d been jailed multiple times for attacks on blacks and Pakistanis, Nicky Crane is described as “the British extreme right’s most feared streetfighter.” He was a white-power skinhead whose most notable moment in the sun came as the cover boy for the Strength Thru Oi! record compilation. He also served as a security guard for the Nazi band Skrewdriver, who recorded such memorable ditties as “White Power.” But while he wreaked havoc during most of the 1980s, he harbored a secret that would have had him immediately ostracized from white-power circles—he was in fact a gay man. His Nazi side was revolting to the gay community, and his gay side was revolting to the Nazis. Crane eventually came out as gay and disavowed his white-power beliefs before dying from AIDS complications in 1993.
5. Married man sexts girlfriends while his child bakes to death in car.
Justin Ross Harris was an average, unexceptional web developer for Home Depot with a 22-month-old toddler and a wife who worked from home. His humdrum existence came crashing down in June of 2014 when he left his son strapped to a child seat in his car on a hot day while he was busy sexting up to six women—while he was allegedly working at his job. Harris still awaits trial for murder, but it didn’t help his case when he told police who arrived at his son’s death scene that “there was no malicious intent,” nor did it help when his wife asked him, “Did you say too much?” after his arrest. It also doesn’t look good that he had taken out multiple life-insurance policies on his son.
6. Anti-gay preacher accused of serial gayness.
Bishop Eddie Long is pastor of an Atlanta-area mega-church that boasts 25,000 members. His speechifyin’ is also aggressively anti-gay—so much so that the Southern Poverty Law Center dubbed him “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.” He even hosted “Sexual Reorientation” seminars and “homosexual cure” programs. Imagine the shock among his followers when in 2010, four young black men sued Long for coercing them into sexual relationships. Long settled all of the lawsuits out of court. Maybe his flock should have taken him literally when he once said, “the job of the preacher is to bring fresh sperm.”
7. Another anti-gay preacher accused of serial gayness.
Like Eddie Long, Colorado-based evangelical preacher Ted Haggard was aggressively anti-gay in his public life and presumably tres gay in his private life. In 2006, a male prostitute/massage therapist accused Haggard of buying crystal meth from him and paying him for sex over the course of three years. Haggard initially denied the allegations but gradually copped to all of them.
8. California mom learns of husband’s double life, blogs about it.
A still-unnamed California woman learned the hard way that her husband of 16 years was cheating on her—he accidentally pocket-dialed her, and she heard him giggling with an unidentified woman while ordering wine to be taken to their hotel room. Rather than smashing all his belongings to pieces, she took a more proactive route—she blogged about it. Sample passage from her blog, which she titled “His Giant Mistake”:
I thought I had married a man. Not a boy who was frozen in time at age 14 with one hand on his penis and one hand on his joy stick, concerned not an iota about values, morals, commitments or anything other than me, me, me.
9. British bigamists on the loose.
For two decades, Andrew Ingham maintained a charade involving two wives and twelve children who lived only ten miles apart from one another in the English town of Hertfordshire. When his wife and mistress became aware of one another, they both kicked Ingham to the curb. He committed suicide by hanging himself three months later.
This seems to be a “thing” in England, as Ingham’s case recalls that of a British bigamist who maintained two wives who lived only twenty miles away from one another, a British doctor who had an 18-year affair with a woman who lived only three miles from his wife, a Muslim expat in England who carried on an affair for 15 years, and a British “love rat” who kept two wives who lived 16 miles away from one another.
10. Family man dies from being weekend party animal.
British rugby coach Austen Howells was from all appearances a happy, well-adjusted, health-conscious, responsible father of two who was described as a “superdad.” What his family didn’t know was that on weekends, his friends described him as “Mr. All or Nothing” due to his propensity for engaging in full-blown sex-and-drug parties involving multiple women and multiple intoxicants. An autopsy from his 2014 overdose death found that his system contained “cocaine, amphetamines, methadrone, diazepam, tramadol and a 1960s drug Ecstasy-type drug AMT.”
11. Husband tries to kill wife with a car bomb, texts mistress from the hospital.
In September 2010, Connie Hoagland of Southern California was hospitalized after a car bomb exploded when she cranked the ignition. “I just remember my feet were in such pain…[like] they were just blown off,” Ms. Hoagland would recall. An associate of her husband Larry alerted police after finding multiple web searches about how to make bombs. Hoagland was arrested, and while in jail he thought it would be a good idea to tell his wife that he’d been having an affair. He promised her that he would end the affair and dedicate his life to helping her recover. He was released from jail shortly thereafter but continued living his double life. “When he rededicated his life to his wife,” recalls an associate, “about 40 minutes after he got to the hospital he was out in the hallway taking pictures of himself in that fish-eye mirror and texting [his mistress]. He sent it to her email, says, ‘I love you Lee Ann, I wished you were here.'” Hoagland was convicted of premeditated attempted murder and given a sentence of life plus 13 years.