Nothing grabs a headline like a wealthy and successful celebrity falling prey to his or her own carnal desires and causing a scandal. Recent examples include Gen. David Petraeus and Kevin Clash. Not only do the key figures of these scandals endure public shaming, but they may also face costly divorces, prison sentences and a significant amount of lost revenue as a result of their scandalous actions. Here are some of the costliest sex scandals in recent memory.
A one-man brand, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is one of the biggest basketball stars in the world. He makes more money from endorsements than he does playing basketball, and his net worth is estimated to be around $150 million. In 2003, Bryant was involved in a highly-publicized scandal. Bryant admitted that he had an affair with 19-year-old Katelyn Faber while he was married.
In 2011, Bryant's wife, Vanessa Bryant, filed for divorce from her husband. Earlier this year, Vanessa Bryant received three properties with a total value of $18.8 million. Because the couple did not sign a pre-nuptial agreement, it's believed that Vanessa Bryant will receive about $75 million not including the ongoing spousal and child support payments.
Tiger Woods is considered to be one of the greatest golfers of all time. He was Forbes' highest-paid athlete in the world from 2001 until 2011, and he remains the world's highest-paid golfer.
In November 2009, some news began to surface that Woods had been cheating on his wife, Elin Nordegren. Soon after, more women claimed to have had affairs with the golf icon. In December 2009, Woods publicly admitted to cheating on his wife. He also apologized for his infidelities and announced that he would take an "indefinite hiatus" from pro golf. According to CNBC, the scandal cost Woods an estimated $23 to $30 million in endorsement deals alone. Furthermore, a study by two economic professors from the University of California, Davis found that shareholders of companies endorsed by Woods lost between $5 billion and $12 billion due to the scandal.
Woods and Nordegren finalized their divorce in 2010. Nordegren reportedly received a $110 million payout in the divorce settlement, according to website radaronline.com.
In January 1998, Bill Clinton was beginning the second year of his second term as U.S. President when allegations came out in the news about an affair that he had with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Allegations were made about Clinton having affairs with other women, but none of these were confirmed. President Clinton initially denied having a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. However, pressured by aggressive prosecutors, a public that demanded answers and mounting evidence, Clinton admitted, on national television that August, to having sexual relations with Lewinsky. The scandal almost led to Clinton being impeached, but he managed to remain in office until the end of his second term. Clinton prosecutor Kenneth Starr spent at least $6.2 million of taxpayers' money to conduct the investigation into the Lewinsky scandal and Clinton's purported affairs with other women.
During the mid-to-late 1980s, "Iron Mike" was the most dominant heavyweight fighter in the world. He won his first world heavyweight-boxing championship when he was just 20 years old. Furthermore, he was undefeated in his first 19 fights by knockout and won 12 in the first round.
Tyson's personal life took an unfortunate turn in 1989 when his then-wife Robin Givens filed for divorce. A year later, he suffered his first defeat and lost to James "Buster" Douglas. In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape. He was sentenced to six years in prison but only served three. While Tyson reportedly earned between $300 to $400 million during his career, we can only estimate how much potential prize money he missed out on during those three years in prison, not to mention millions of more dollars in lost endorsements and other business deals. Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003 and retired from boxing in 2006.