9 Big Celebrity Scandals Of The 80s
1. Rob Lowe’s Sex Tape - 1989
22 year old Rob Lowe picked up two ladies in an Atlanta bar during the 1989 Democratic Convention. As one does. After taking the women back to his hotel room and taping their shenanigans, Lowe went to the bathroom and returned to find his partners had stolen the sex tape and his money.
Even worse, one of the women he picked up was actually a girl. A sixteen-year-old girl.
Lowe was arrested and performed 20 hours of community service to atone. After a bit of a career dry spell, Lowe came back in a big way as the villain of 1992’s Wayne’s World. Lowe can now be seen in The Grinder on FOX.
2. Chuck Berry’s Toilet Cameras - 1989
In the late 80s, guitar and rock legend Chuck Berry owned a restaurant called Southern Air. Over a period of time I was unable to pinpoint, Berry installed cameras in the women’s bathrooms and illegally filmed his female patrons peeing.
Then he watched the videos and jerked it. Hard. Allegedly.
Berry settled out of court and paid $1.3 million to his victims.
3. Pete Rose Banned From Baseball For Life - 1989
After his retirement from baseball, Pete Rose was accused of betting on games played by his own Cincinnati Reds during his time as a non-playing manager. Rose denied the allegations, but the findings of then baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti found over 52 alleged bets.
After more allegations and denials, Rose finally agreed to a ban from baseball on August 24, 1989. As recently as December of 2015, Rose appealed to have the ban lifted. He was denied, which is bullshit.
4. Jim Bakker Shits The Bed. Not Literally - 1987
Jim Bakker was one of what seemed like millions of dough-faced liars working as a televangelist in the 80s. Bakker’s PTL Television Network, and the incredibly creative show named The PTL Club, had some people questioning their accounting practices. After all, Bakker and his chunky-lashed wife Tammy Faye had built a theme park in South Carolina and were clearly able to afford gallons of mascara.
In 1987, Jessica Hahn came forward with allegations of rape against Bakker. She was paid off with $279,000 that I’m pretty sure was earmarked for Jesus. So.
Hahn’s allegations and subsequent payoff along with the accounting practices of the Bakkers’ Empire Built On Defrauding Jesus Fans were brought to light and Federal charges filed. Bakker was indicted on mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He earned 45 years, but some moron judge downgraded it to 5 years.
5. Jimmy Swaggert Bangs Prostitutes For Jesus. Allegedly- 1988
Swaggert was also an old white guy that made a healthy living from telling other people they were going to Hell and crying on camera for donations to God. After Swaggert broke the bro code with fellow televangelist Marvin Gorman concerning his extramarital affairs, shit got real. Gorman set a trap for Swaggert and subsequently caught the giant hypocrite with a working girl.
Swaggert was defrocked and later gave his priceless “I Have Sinned” speech, complete with giant, white guy tears and classic Caucasian non-apology.
6. Marvin Gaye Murdered By His Father - 1984
Marvin Gaye suffered from substance abuse in the 80s. He had moved in with his father and mother and had a tumultuous relationship with the former. Disagreements between the two were often violent. On April 1st, 1984, Gaye and Gaye Sr. had an altercation that ended with Gaye shot twice. Gaye Sr. would claim it was self-defense, but was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
7. Todd Bridges Tries To Kill His Dealer. Allegedly-1988
After the end of Different Strokes, all three of the former child stars went crazier than a shit house rat. Todd Bridges (Willis) was addicted to crack cocaine in his twenties. During this time he was charged with the attempted murder of his dealer, one Kenneth “Tex” Clay. [As an aside, who buys crack from a guy called Tex?]
Bridges hired the infamous Johnny Cochran and was acquitted of all charges. Cochran argued that his client was the way he was because of Hollywood and child actors and blah blah blah. A witness also testified that Bridges wasn’t even there when ol’ Tex was shot, so that probably helped.
8. Brooke Shields Calvin Klein Ads - 1980
1980 was a time before JonBenet Ramsey, Honey Boo Boo, and Mark Wahlberg’s bulge in Calvin Kleins. People weren’t used to young girls being crass or Calvin Klein’s ads being super gross and molest-y.
The then-fourteen Brooke Shields appeared in Calvin Klein jeans in a commercial. She uttered the lines: “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.”
People lost their shit. They thought this little girl, who had portrayed a prostitute in Pretty Baby 2 years prior, was insinuating she didn’t wear panties. Some stations pulled the ads, but other grossos went out and bought some Calvins. Then they probably tried to wear them without underwear and realized chafing is a thing.
9. Vanessa Williams Dethroned - 1983
Before Vanessa Williams had a terrible French accent in that one Tyler Perry movie or was on Ugly Betty or - whatever else she did, she was crowned the first African-American Miss America. Then, in the twilight of her reign, Penthouse published naked photos of Williams that she had not given permission for them to publish. Of course, Penthouse was roundly scolded and told to stop circulating the photos and to give a public apology to Miss Williams.
Just kidding. Williams was pressured to give up her crown in disgrace. Penthouse got to keep their crown and title of Close-up Vaginas and Buttholes Monthly.