We Hate Jesse James Now... But Will It Last?
By Brooke Tarnoff Posted Apr 3rd 2010 08:30AM
Fans were furious when Tiger Woods' many sexual indiscretions came to light -- and yet, their anger pales in comparison to Jesse James' nosediving popularity. Maybe it's because no one really knew Elin Nordegren before her husband's infidelity put her name in headlines for a solid month. Maybe it's because we identify so strongly with Sandra Bullock, the charming, refreshingly down-to-Earth starlet James betrayed. Despite a much shorter marriage and probably one-third the number of mistresses, a vast majority of PopEater readers think Jesse James made the bigger mess.
We don't disagree that James failed Bullock spectacularly -- or believe he doesn't deserve the tidal wave of criticism. That being said, we've checked out some of the most shocking celebrity sex scandals of the last few decades, and we learned a little something: you might be angry now, but in a couple years, you won't give a hoot. We offer proof after the jump.
Handsome, debonair actor Hugh Grant had everything a man could want -- a thriving career and a long-term romance with one of the world's most beautiful women, Elizabeth Hurley -- but it didn't stop him from paying a streetwalker for a $60 sex act in the front seat of his BMW. The resulting arrest cost Grant $1,180 in fines, two years' summary probation and the esteem of his fans. Grant was public enemy number one after the scandal in '95 -- men who would have loved to be faithful to Hurley hated the 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' star for wasting his good fortune, and women loathed him for highlighting a world where even a flawless model couldn't keep her man from straying.
And now? Fifteen years later, Grant's career his going strong. He starred opposite Julia Roberts in the 1999 film 'Notting Hill,' which was, at the time, the biggest hit in the history of British cinema. His roguish character in 'Bridget Jones' Diary' poked fun at his public persona, and despite his personal failings, has continued to sell tickets to romantic comedies like 'Love Actually' and 'Two Weeks Notice' (with Sandra Bullock).
Comedian Paul Reubens -- AKA Pee-wee Herman -- was a cult hero and host of a popular Saturday morning kids' show before his arrest for indecent exposure in an adult movie theater in 1991. The media blitz following his arrest caused CBS to stop airing reruns of 'Pee-wee's Playhouse,' and Disney-MGM Studios suspended a studio tour video that showed the actor explaining how voiceover tracks were made. A subsequent inquiry by police on suspicion of collecting child pornography torpedoed his reputation ... though the charges were eventually dropped.
And now? The comedian talked to Larry King about his indecent exposure arrest: "That didn't seem like a crime to me. It didn't seem like anyone's business but my own." Many fans and celebrities agreed -- just days after his first arrest, Reubens had a panel of supporters. He's made numerous, celebrated cameos in movies and TV shows, and as of January 2010, revived the live performance of 'Pee-wee's Playhouse' in Los Angeles. Due to high demand, the show moved to a larger venue.
Brat Pack member Rob Lowe was a much-loved heartthrob before his 1988 sex scandal -- the 'St. Elmo's Fire' star filmed a sexual interlude with two women... one of whom was 16. When the videotape surfaced, Lowe swore he did not know that his sex partner was a teenager and it was confirmed that the two had met at a bar. Lowe checked into a rehab clinic for sex addiction, much like his current counterparts in scandal, Woods and James. As James Wolcott wrote in Vanity Fair, "It took years for Lowe's career and image to recover from the scandal, not only because it cracked his Clark Kent façade, but because one of the young ladies on the receiving end was a minor."
And now? A seven-year stint on 'The West Wing,' his current role in 'Brothers & Sisters' and a recent turn in the film 'The Invention of Lying' say Lowe's indiscretion with an underage girl was at worst a career hiccup -- and apparently, a distant memory.
Acclaimed writer, actor and filmmaker Woody Allen scores the highest on the sex scandal ick-o-meter -- Allen's one-time girlfriend Mia Farrow ended their twelve-year relationship after discovering nude photographs of her adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, that Allen had taken. After the relationship ended with Farrow in 1992, Allen continued his relationship with Soon-Yi, and the couple married in 1997. They have two adopted daughters. Allen and Farrow's biological son said, "He's my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent ... I lived with all these adopted children, so they are my family. To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children."
And now? Many would say that Allen's tarnished reputation has never fully recovered. However, in the time since his breakup with Farrow, Allen has directed 17 major motion pictures -- including 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona,' which snagged a best supporting actress Oscar for Penelope Cruz.
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