After the Scandal: How Public Scrutiny Shaped the Careers of 10 Newsmakers

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When scandals come to light, they're everywhere. The stories dominate newspaper headlines, talk show topics and broadcast teleprompters for months, running their course in the public eye.

But, like all news stories, even the most scorching tales eventually fade into the background, replaced by newer, more exciting versions. Unfortunately for those involved, the aftermath of a public scandal often far outlives public interest, affecting their personal and professional lives for years -- and even decades -- after the dust settles.


1. Monica Lewinsky

The namesake for perhaps one of the most notorious scandals of all time, Monica Lewinsky was thrust into the spotlight in 1998, after word broke of her alleged affair with then-President Bill Clinton. For years after the scandal, Lewinsky profited off of her notoriety, earning six-figure sums for her participation in book projects and interviews about her affair with Clinton. In the midst of her infamy, Lewinsky started a handbag line, which she produced until 2005, when she moved to London and enrolled in the London School of Economics, hoping for a more private life. She graduated in 2006 with a master's degree in social psychology.


2. Jayson Blair

The New York Times staffer was accused of plagiarism and falsifying details of his work over his nearly four years at the paper. Blair's transgressions were investigated by The Times, which then reported the full investigation on its own front page. After his fall from grace, Blair penned an (original) book and is said to be working as a life coach in Virginia.




3. Ashley Dupre

The former call girl of former New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer went to New York at age 19 to become a singer. Instead, she became the most infamous working girl in recent history. So what's a disgraced, perhaps scarred-for-life aspiring singer to do? Write a love and advice column for the New York Post, of course. Since December 2009, Dupre has been the resident relationship advice columnist for the Post.


4. Tara Conner

Conner was crowned Miss USA in 2006 and dubbed "Mess USA" shortly thereafter, after tabloid reports that the beauty queen tested positive for cocaine and had out-of-control party habits. Conner was allowed to retain her title on the condition that she enter rehab, which she did in December 2006. Since leaving rehab, Conner has tried to maintain her time in the spotlight, with various television appearances, including a stint on CMT's 'Gone Country' and a recent appearance on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' In April 2010, Conner was also a subject in A&E's addiction-focused documentary show titles 'Fame and Recovery.' Most recently, Conner was a judge at the 2010 Miss USA pageant.


5. Tonya Harding

The champion figure skater's career took a serious blow after she was involved in a 1994 attack on fellow skater -- and main rival -- Nancy Kerrigan. Harding's husband and bodyguard were charged with hiring a man to break Kerrigan's leg, and Harding was accused of being an accomplice. Though Kerrigan's leg was only bruised, her injuries forced her out of the 1994 World Championships -- an event that Harding went on to win. Later that year, after pleading guilty in the Kerrigan attack case, Harding was stripped of her World Championship title and forced to resign from the U.S. Figure Skating Association. Since then, Harding has been involved in a number of public scrapes, including a DUI arrest. She released a book on her life, "The Tonya Tapes," in 2008 and has been a regular commentator and host of truTV's 'The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest Criminals' since 2008.


6. Rob Blagojevich

The former governor of Illinois spent much of his time in office further propagating the state's reputation for corrupt politics (many of the state's former leaders have been indicted or have served prison time). Though reports of Blagojevich's corrupt administration started coming in soon after his 2003 election, the story reached critical mass when news broke that he allegedly attempted to sell the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated when Barack Obama was elected president. After his arrest in 2008, Blagojevich tried to parlay his infamy into a television career. Though a judge denied his request to appear on NBC's 2009 reality television show 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here,' Blagojevich was able to appear on the 2010 season of NBC's 'The Celebrity Apprentice.' In early August, he was convicted of one of 24 counts against him. A retrial is scheduled for later this year.


7. Marion Jones

Jones was one of the most decorated track athletes of all time -- winning five Olympic medals in her long career -- until she was forced to forfeit all five medals, including three golds, when she admitted to use of performance-enhancing drugs. The 2007 admission also landed Jones a six-month sentence in a federal prison. Yet being an athlete all her life, she couldn't stay away from competitive sports. In 2010, Jones, who won an NCAA women's basketball championship with the University of North Carolina in 1994, made her WNBA debut with the Tulsa Shock.


8. Erin Andrews

Though Erin Andrews was well-known by sports fans for her work as an ESPN reporter, she became the center of a media storm in 2009 when a stalker released nude videos of her to the Web. Andrews had no idea about the videos until their release. The tapes were quickly pulled from the Internet, but the story made headlines for months following, while a suspect was arrested and found guilty of interstate stalking. After the event, Andrews reportedly thought her career was over, but she was able to make a graceful recovery. She placed third on the 2010 season of ABC's 'Dancing With the Stars,' and continues her successful career on ESPN.


9. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods' cheating scandal has been headline news for much of 2010. While the golf legend (and first professional athlete to earn more than $1 billion over his career) initially took some time off after news of his extramarital affairs broke in November 2009, he was back on the course by early spring -- but the stress of the scandal took its toll on his golf game. Woods posted his worst professional score of all time at the Bridgestone Invitational in early August. However, on Aug. 26, three days after his divorce was finalized, Woods had his best round all season at the Barclay's championship.


10. Lindsay Lohan

In 2005, the then-Disney movie star was poised to be the next big thing, with four hit movies -- 'The Parent Trap,' 'Herbie: Fully Loaded,' 'Mean Girls' and 'Freaky Friday' -- a platinum record, 'Speak,' and numerous awards under her belt. By 2006, Lohan was deemed unprofessional by movie studio executive James G. Robinson. In 2007, she was twice arrested on suspicion of DUI and made multiple attempts at rehab. Needless to say, her career hit a pause. Since then, Lohan has attempted various comebacks, but all have been overshadowed by the continuing drama in her personal life -- which most recently included jail time and another stint in rehab.

Sources: The New York Times, NBC, ABC, ESPN, Wikipedia

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