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1. The Vatican once had a prostitution ring.
In March 2010, it was discovered that two part-time Vatican employees, one of whom worked directly with the Pope, were part of a gay male prostitution ring. Since the Catholic church frowns upon both prostitution and homosexuality, they were quietly dismissed, arrested and the news story covered up.
2. MGM had Judy Garland on a diet of amphetamines and black coffee.
Judy Garland was signed by the studio when she was 13, and was deemed to be too fat to be a star, according to head honcho Louis B. Mayer. On top of exercise and 18-hour work days, she was also expected to take amphetamines and barbiturates to help with her energy and hunger.
She also survived on a diet of soup, black coffee, and cigarettes. By the time she was 17 and starring in The Wizard of Oz, she was a wreck. It also didn’t help that there were rumours of abuse and handsy munchkins on the set.
It’s no surprise that she had her first of many marriages at the age of 18, and struggled with addiction all her life. She ended up dying of an overdose at 47.
3. Roman Polanski fled the US, before he was found guilty of being a rapist.
The filmmaker was charged with drugging and raping a 13-year old girl in 1977. He was tried and sentenced, but when he found out that the judge that had approved his plea bargain and parole, changed his mind and was going to imprison him for 50 years, he fled to Paris.
He’s currently a fugitive from the US. Also, of note, was the fact that his first wife, the pregnant Sharon Tate, was a victim of Charles Manson and his twisted family.
4. WikiLeaks revealed that drug-maker Pfizer was illegally testing drugs on kids.
According to the leak, the company had investigators searching for evidence of corruption against Nigeria’s attorney general, in order to have him drop legal action against the company.
Instead, they were sued for $2 billion over the uninformed testing of a meningitis drug that killed 11 kids, and left others disabled. They ended up settling for $75 million, after a 15-year battle, in which they denied responsibility and deflected blame.
5. Former Italian PM had an affair with a minor.
Silvio Berlusconi already had a salacious reputation prior to this event, but he got caught having an affair with 17-year-old Moroccan belly dancer, Karima El Mahrough in 2011.
He was found guilty of paying a minor for sex and sentenced to jail. In 2014, he appealed and was acquitted.
6. Princess Diana cheated on Prince Charles with a Captain in the British Army.
Despite the fact that it was open knowledge that Prince Charles was cheating on Diana with Camilla Parker (among others), it was apparently a bigger scandal that she was cheating on him.
Nevertheless, it lasted 5 years, and was terminated by Diana. A few years later, the couple divorced.
7. Charlie Chaplin had a taste for younger women.
While he was a true comedic genius, he was also a dark individual. When it came to women, he had reportedly slept with over 2,000, but his taste ran towards the younger end.
His first high profile romance involved a 19-year-old co-star named Edna Purviance. He was 25 at the time.
Four years later, he became infatuated with 16-year-old Mildred Harris, and forgot about Edna. He woo’d, married and divorced Mildred.
Shortly after that, he started dating 15-year-old child-actress Lita Gray, after being obsessed with her since she was 12. He impregnated her, and married her to avoid a scandal. They were divorced a few years later.
8. The U.S. Swimmers’ mugging scandal.
During the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger claimed to have been mugged and robbed at gunpoint.
Later, it was revealed through security tapes, that the muggers were security guards who worked at a gas station where the swimmers had engaged in public vandalism and public urination. WTF.
9. Marion Jones’ doping scandal.
At the 2000 games in Sydney, Jones took home 5 medals, including 3 gold. It took until 2007 for the scandal to come to light, when she admitted she used steroids to prepare for the games. At the time, she thought her trainer was giving her a flaxseed supplement, which turned out to be a highly potent drug called “The Clear.”
10. Ben Johnson’s Doping Scandal.
At the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson broke a world record, and in a televised report after the race, he said “A Gold Medal – that’s something no one can take from you.”
Except they did, when it was discovered he was doping. Even more ironic, he wasn’t the only one at those games on drugs. Most of the runners were.
11. Milli Vanilli lost their Grammy for lip synching.
These two won their Grammy for their debut album, “Girl you Know it’s True,” but in 1990 it was determined that they were actually lip synching.
The entire album was actually recorded by two other artists, who weren’t seen as marketable or attractive enough. Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan were struggling backup dancers and models, who were convinced to act as the face of the band.
12. Pee-Wee Herman was caught playing with his Pee-Pee.
In 1991, Paul Reubens was caught masturbating in an adult movie theatre, and was arrested for indecent exposure.
13. TLC’s Lisa Lopes burned down her boyfriend’s mansion.
At the time, she was dating football star Andre Rison. After a huge fight and systemic abuse in 1994, she set fire to his sneakers in a bathtub, which ultimately spread to the rest of the house and destroyed it.
She never was able to shake the incident.
14. The Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan rivalry.
You’d never expect figure skating to get this cutthroat, but in 1994, Harding’s ex-husband hired someone to club Kerrigan in the knee, weeks before the Lillehammer olympics.
In the end, Kerrigan still won Silver and Harding came in 10th.
15. The USA Gymnastics team was abused by their team doctor.
Last year, it came to light that team doctor Larry Nassar had molested more than 350 female gymnasts. Even worse, the administration had been actively trying to cover up decades of abuse from various coaches, gym owners and staff.
This led to the resignation of many key members of the USA Gymnastics leadership, due to lack of transparency and the cover up of the abuse of minors.
16. Allison Mack was indicted on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor.
Remember this girl from “Smallville?” Apparently, she was number 2 in a multi-level-marketing scheme called NXIVM, that was supposed to be about self-development, but was in actuality, a sex cult.
She was responsible for recruiting and branding new members with her initials on their pelvis. Then, they were blackmailed into being sex slaves and coerced into other shady things.
17. Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin.
Technically, she was a first cousin, once removed (I don’t really know what that means), but she was severely underaged. So therein lies the scandal. He was 22 at the time and it was his third marriage.
It ended up ruining his career, but he somehow ended up avoiding jail and even managed a tiny comeback before fading away.
18. The time Led Zeppelin defiled a groupie with a mud shark.
No one is entirely sure this happened, but while staying at the Edgewater Inn in Seattle, WA, the band members grew bored so they started fishing from their hotel room. The rest of the details are hazy.
All that is certain is that one band member caught a fish or a mud shark and said fish apparently was placed on/in/near a groupie’s vagina. Some reports say it was mean-spirited and violent, while other said it was a lighthearted joke and she was genuinely ok with it.