Ashley M. Williams, USA Today
The past year was good, bad or the worst for some who made news headlines. USA TODAY Network looks back at people whose reputations and careers took a hit in the past year.
July, Anthony Weiner admitted that he'd sent explicit texts to women
even after he resigned from Congress in 2011. The revelations came as
Weiner was running to become New York City mayor in what would have
amounted to an improbable political comeback. Weiner quit his House seat
in 2011 after acknowledging lewd online conversations with several
women, which included sending explicit pictures of himself over Facebook
Fallout: Weiner briefly led in polls, but his
support plummeted after the scandal came to light. He would go on to
finish a distant fifth in the Democratic primary in September, garnering
only 5% of the vote.
January, Armstrong admitted in an interview with talk-show host Oprah
Winfrey that he had cheated throughout much of his storied career,
including during his seven Tour de France victories, by using
performance-enhancing drugs. He also acknowledged bullying accusers who
had come forward with evidence against him.
the confession, the federal government joined a lawsuit filed by
cyclist Floyd Landis that accuses Armstrong of defrauding the U.S.
Postal Service, which sponsored his cycling team. Two insurance
companies also filed suits against Armstrong, claiming fraud. In
November, Armstrong reached a settlement with Acceptance Insurance. The
ongoing lawsuits could put his fortune at risk.
The Milwaukee Brewers outfielder was suspended by Major League Baseball
in July for the remainder of the season after being linked to the
Biogenesis investigation. He faced questions about performance-enhancing
drug use. After acknowledging in a statement released immediately
following the suspension that he had made some mistakes, Braun released a
more detailed account in August in which he admitted to previously
using a banned substance that he said was to speed the recovery of an
Fallout: In addition to the 65-day suspension,
Braun, the 2011 National League MVP, faced harsh criticism after his
admission in light of the way he responded to failing a drug test in
late 2011. Braun was suspended for 50 games but won an appeal in which
he defiantly maintained his innocence and claimed MLB's drug program was
Incident: The San Diego mayor faces a barrage of criticism after at least 17 women came forward and accused him of sexual harassment.
who had also served 10 terms in the U.S. House, resigned as mayor in
August. Later, Filner was sentenced to three months of home confinement
and three years of probation in December after he pleaded guilty in
October to charges stemming from the sexual harassment accusations.
late November, Bashir sparked controversy after saying during his MSNBC
show that former Alaska governor Sarah Palin should be subjected to a
particularly cruel and graphic punishment used toward some slaves as
described in the diary of British slaveowner Thomas Thistlewood. Bashir
also called the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee a "world-class
Fallout: Bashir would later apologize for his
remarks, but critics asked MSNBC execs to discipline the cable network
host. He resigned from the network nearly three weeks after making the
offensive comments. Palin later accepted his apology.
In late October, the police chief of Toronto said his office had
obtained a controversial video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack.
Ford repeatedly said he did not use crack cocaine. However, he later
admitted that he had once while in a "drunken stupor." In the days
ahead, more controversy ensued, including a video that surfaced showing
him ranting about wanting to kill an unidentified person and a news
conference in which he made a lewd reference to a sexual act with his
Toronto City Council, which does not have the authority to remove him
from office, stripped Ford of key powers. Ford has declined to resign
despite mounting pressure -- including from all four major Toronto
newspapers -- for him to step down.
third baseman Alex Rodriguez is again implicated in a scandal involving
performance-enhancing drugs. He was one of 14 players suspended in
August by Major League Baseball in connection with the Biogenesis
investigation. Rodriguez previously admitted to using PEDs from 2001 to
2003 while with the Texas Rangers. In the 2009 interview, he maintained
that he had not used them since.
Rodriguez's suspension was through the 2014 season. However, unlike the
other players penalized, he appealed the decision, allowing him to
continue playing in 2013. He claims the allegations have tarnished his
reputation and many of the businesses that he oversees.
In June, a deposition from a discrimination lawsuit against celebrity
chef Paula Deen was made public. In it, Deen revealed that she had used
the N-word in the past.
Fallout: The news sparked an uproar. Deen tearfully apologized for her comments on NBC's Today
Show, but that failed to stem the damage. Ultimately, Novo Nordisk,
Target, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, the Food Network, QVC, Smithfield Foods
and Caesars Entertainment all dropped their partnerships with her. Her
agent parted ways with her and her publisher canceled a book deal.
Alec Baldwin made headlines after hurling a homophobic slur at a
photographer who was trying to snap a photo of his wife and baby. The
incident was captured on video by TMZ.
execs initially suspended Baldwin in mid-November for two weeks.
However, after Baldwin and his representatives could not come to a
resolution with the network, the plug was pulled on the show.