It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become rich and famous. But you know what they say, the higher you climb, the harder you fall. That's certainly the case with these 16 celebrities who fell really, really hard as they killed their careers in a matter of seconds.
Harvey Weinstein was, at one point in time, one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Weinstein, as well as the production company bearing his name, was tied to pretty much any and every Oscar hopeful over the past 30 years. Prior to October 2017, Weinstein's public image was that of a driven and creative man who helped make superstars out of dozens of actors, directors, and producers alike.
But with the release of scathing articles in the New York Times and the New Yorker, Weinstein's true nature, as well as years of allegations of abuse against female actors, was brought to the service. In the months following the publication of those two pieces, dozens of women have come out saying that they too were abused by Weinstein throughout the careers.
Weinstein was arrested in May 2018 and was charged with the physical abuse of two separate accusers. He was booked in the New York City Jail where he posted the $1 million bail.
Kathy Griffin's career took a weird turn in May 2017, when the comedian posted a video of herself holding a mask depicting a decapitated Donald Trump to her Twitter and Instagram accounts. The fallout was almost immediate as politicians, pundits, and fans on social media quickly called Griffin out on her blunder. What followed was a strange tale. Griffin initially apologized for the gaffe, but later on, she retracted her apology.
Brian Williams proved that one small and unnecessary lie can ruin your career and destroy your journalistic credibility in an instant. In 2015, Williams, who was the lead anchor of the NBC Nightly News, was caught up in a lie from his reporting days from the second Iraqui War.
Williams initially claimed that he was on a helicopter that was fired upon and forced to make an emergency landing shortly after the start of the war in 2003. That story, however, was refuted by one of the soldiers who was actually on the helicopter who claimed that Williams didn't arrive until well after the alleged incident.
Williams was forced to recant his story, issue a public apology, and was suspended from NBC News before he was eventually demoted to MSNBC.
Jeffrey Jones had some pretty iconic roles in movies like "Beetlejuice" and "The Hunt for Red October," but he will always be seen as the borderline psychotic and obsessive Edward Rooney in the John Hughes classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Jones continued to appear in films and television series throughout the 1990s, but his filmography seemingly stopped around the turn of the century? The reason? He got caught up in child smut and allegedly forced a 14-year-old boy to post for lewd photographs, which all but killed his career. Since the incident took place in 2002, Jones has only made appearances in a handful of productions, outside of his mugshot and registry photo being plastered all over the internet.
Tonya Harding was not the prototypical figure skater when she first came to prominence in the last 1980s ice skating scene. She was brash, rebellious, from the "other side of the tracks," and brought something to the sport that had been lacking for years - attitude. Despite her early successes, Harding's attitude and social circle are what eventually tarnished her name and gave the nation perhaps the most memorable scandal in the history of the sport.
In January 1994, Harding's main competition, Nancy Kerrigan, was viciously attacked by a pipe-wielding assailant ahead of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games. In the hours and days following the attack, news surfaced that Harding's ex-husband orchestrated the attack on Kerrigan to help give Harding the upper hand. Harding later entered a guilty plea for her role in the attack and was banned for life by the United States Figure Skating Association.
Hulk Hogan used to tell the millions and millions of Hulkamaniacs (his fans) that if they took their vitamins and said their prayers, they'd never go wrong, but after the leak of footage of the one-time WWF icon sleeping with his friend's wife, the Hulkster might want to add "don't sleep with your friend's wife on camera" and "don't make terribly racist comments as pillow-talk."
The footage of Hogan sleeping with the wife of one-time best friend Bubba The Love Sponge Clem was allegedly leaked by none other than The Love Sponge himself, but that wasn't the worst part. During Hogan's trial against now-defunct blog Gawker.com, transcripts of Hogan making extremely racist remarks about his daughter's former boyfriend were made public. Hogan was scrubbed from all WWE (formerly WWF) programming, and the superstar was even removed from the company's Hall of Fame.
In the years following the revelation, Hogan has slowly started to work his way back into the limelight, but he still has a long way to go before his former peers and fans will forgive him for his actions.
OJ Simpson went from being one of the most decorated running backs in the history of the NCAA and NFL to running from the police in the infamous June 1994 low-speed Bronco police chase after he allegedly murdered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman.
In a matter of days, Simpson went from a famous football player, actor, and pitchman to public enemy number one. Though Simpson was found not guilty of murder in 1995, his reputation as the friendly giant was all but destroyed, and the years following his acquittal have not been nice to the former NFL MVP.
Since we're officially in the athlete wing of the celebrity hall of shame, let's continue with another disgraced football player. This time we're taking a look at Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriot tight end turned prisoner after he was found guilty in the murder of a former friend in 2015. In a matter of a few years, Hernandez went from an All-American NCAA champion and New England Patriots star player to an inmate in a Massachuttes prison.
Hernandez was also charged in connection with a separate double-murder case, but he was eventually acquitted following a 2017 trial. The former football star would go on to hang himself in his prison cell just days after his acquittal in the double-murder.
The American cyclist Lance Armstrong was one of the most influential and inspirational athletes of the waning days of the 20th Century and the early 21st Century after he beat cancer and won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005. During his reign as champion, and even in the years immediately following his retirement, Armstrong was an icon of the support as well as the embodiment of perseverance and hope. Armstrong's good standing in society, however, didn't last long, as former teammates and contemporaries began to tell the true story of his success.
Following multiple investigations into claims that Armstrong was doping during his time the final years of his career, the former champion was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, other accolades, and sums of money following multiple high profile lawsuits. Although he has tried to move past his fall from grace, Armstrong's public image has yet to recover, and the once triumphed name is no more.