For decades, Bill Cosby was one of the most beloved stars in Hollywood. He originally made his name as one of the most famous stand up comics of the 1960s, earning a reputation as a “clean” comedian, even as comedy in general turned to raunchier language. Cosby’s biggest success came on TV, first on I Spy – where he helped break the color line for lead characters – and peaking during the run of The Cosby Show, where he played an ideal husband and father for 8 seasons.
Of course, we now know that throughout this time, Cosby was something close to a monster. In a pattern that spanned decades, he would routinely drug women and then take advantage of them while they were unconscious. And while rumblings of the scandal have been around for years, it took until 2015 for his crimes to receive full public scrutiny, with Cosby finally being arrested on sex charges just before the end of the year.
Unfortunately, Cosby isn’t the first (or sadly, the last) monster in Hollywood. Here is a list of 10 other celebrities who have proven themselves to be awful human beings. And not just a regular-type of awful, but near monster-level behavior that seriously impacted (and in some cases ended) the lives of their victims.
10. Don King
Don King is one of the most recognizable faces in boxing promotion. He has promoted some of the highest profile fights in the history of the sport, including matches involving Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Mike Tyson. He also has a reputation for manipulating and defrauding his clients – Ali and Tyson are among the many boxers who have sued King for alleged fraud. But the charges against King extend beyond shady business practices. In 1992, the promoter appeared before a Congressional investigation into organized crime, where he choose to take the fifth amendment. King also killed someone in 1954, though the act was eventually ruled self-defense. It’s been alleged that King has been involved in at least one other murder, as well as threats and general intimidation.
9. Suge Knight
For a period of time in the 1990s, Suge Knight was one of the strongest forces in hip-hop. As head of Death Row Records, Knight shepherded a number of legendary acts into the mainstream. He put out albums by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur, setting the musical tone for the era. However, he was also a remorseless thug who ran his company through the use of violence and intimidation. Knight’s empire began to crumble in the late 1990s and he was bankrupt by the middle of the 2000s. In 2015, he was arrested for murder.
8. Phil Spector
Phil Spector was one of the most famous music producers of the 1960s and 1970s. He worked with the Beatles and the Ramones and invented a musical signature known as the Wall of Sound, a production style that marked the works of groups like the Ronettes and the Crystals.
Spector also had a penchant for guns and violence. In 2003, he was charged with the shooting death of actress Lana Clarkson, an event that brought a number of his previous incidents of violence toward women to light. Spector was eventually convicted of murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
7. R. Kelly
To be fair, R Kelly hasn’t actually been convicted of anything infamous. And like Cosby, who continued to work steadily for years after the first allegations against him surfaced, Kelly remains a force in pop music, despite wide public knowledge of his (I guess we have to say “alleged”) behavior.
Even without a conviction, there’s a lot of evidence of disposable acts.
In 1994, he (probably) secretly (and illegally) married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. That relationship eventually fell apart, but for Kelly it was only the start of disturbing headlines. In 2008, he stood trial for allegedly making a sex tape with a minor. He was eventually found not guilty.
6. Roman Polanski
Roman Polanski, famous as the director of Chinatown and as the husband of Manson family victim Sharon Tate, might be considered a role model for Cosby. In 1977, he was arrested for drugging and sexually assaulting a girl. This is essentially Cosby-like behavior, but in this case, he was able to top the comedian in dirtbag behavior: Polanski’s victim was 13.
Rather than face trial, Polanski fled to Europe, where a tangle of extradition laws protected him. He has continued to work steadily, making over a dozen films since the incident, despite decades-old pending charges against him in the U.S. as a child r*pist. He even won the Oscar for best director in 2003 for the film The Pianist.
5. Stephen Collins
Like Bill Cosby, Stephen Collins hit his professional peak playing an ideal father and husband on TV. And like Cosby, Collins had a secret sex life that would eventually ruin his life. The actor spent 11 seasons on the TV show 7th Heaven playing a happily married minister. That made it even more shocking in 2014 when news broke that police were investigating Collins for abuse charges that spanned several decades. He eventually admitted three incidents of sexual contact with underage girls. The crimes took place in 1973, 1982 and 1994. The first of these took place in his 20s, before his acting career began, the last just 2 years before he got the role on 7th Heaven, when Collins was in his late 30s.
4. Robert Blake
After first breaking into Hollywood as a child star, Robert Blake made a career playing loners and bad guys. He starred on the 1970s TV show Baretta, but his most famous role came as famed multiple murderer Perry Smith in the 1967 film version of Truman Capote’s true-crime classic In Cold Blood. In 2001, Blake’s wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley, was murdered while out on a date with her husband. Blake was eventually tried for the murder, though he was acquitted. However, Bakley’s family filed a civil suit against Blake, claiming he was responsible for his death. A jury in that case found that the actor was liable for the death and levied a $30 million verdict against him.
3. Jared Fogle
For years, Jared Fogle was the affable spokesman for Subway, an ostensibly wholesome man who made a name for himself losing weight while eating low-fat subs.
For much of his time in the public eye, though, he lived a double life as a pedophile. A police investigation, helped by an undercover journalist who befriended Fogle, found that the pitchman aggressively sought sex with underage girls and traded child p*rnography with the director of his charitable foundation, an organization aimed at helping children. Fogle eventually plead guilty and received a sentence of 15 years.
2. Gary Glitter
Gary Glitter was a British rocker from the 1970s and 1980s. He was never particularly popular in the U.S., but he had a number of U.K. number-one hits and scored a top-10 showing in the States with his “Rock and Roll” single from 1972.
In the 1990s, Glitter was convicted of possessing child p*rnography. This was followed up by revelations of sexual relationships with underage girls. Glitter eventually moved to Cambodia, but was subsequently deported as a result of alleged sex crimes. Next, Glitter moved on to Vietnam. He lived there for a few years before once again facing child sex charges. He spent some time in a Vietnamese jail and was deported again upon his release. Not wanting to return to the U.K., Glitter attempted to find a home in Thailand or Hong Kong, but more than a dozen countries said they would refuse him entry. He eventually returned to the U.K., where, in 2015, he was sentenced to 16 years in prison as a result of charges of sex with minors.
1. O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson’s criminal resume isn’t particularly extensive and technically he was found innocent of his most famous alleged crime. The football legend, actor and sports caster became the center of national life in 1994 when he was accused of the murder of his ex-wife and another man. He was eventually acquitted, but a number of factors keep him on this list, whatever the jury said: the spousal abuse leading up to the murder; the likelihood that, despite the verdict, he killed Nicole Brown and Roland Goldman; and the sheer douchiness of his post-trial life. He’s at the top of the list for the sheer fact that his insufferable trial dominated the media for a full year and is still a point of conversation 20 years later. Simpson is currently in prison in Nevada for robbery.
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