Biggest fall from grace

Lately (relatively) there’s been a spate of scandal, many involving extremely high-profile people with near-mythical levels of celebrity and power, some falling from the very top of their profession.

Who fell the furthest?

The Jello fellow.

Have a Coke and a smile.

Out of that list, only one set themselves up as being distinctly moral and upright professionally. (Bill Cosby gave moral lectures, but never said he was more moral than other comedians). So, yeah Paterno (spit!).

Though I might add, say Cardinal Law or some other Catholic authority as having even a bigger fall from grace.

Anthony Weiner: Worked for Charles Schumer. Became the youngest councilman in New York city’s history at 27 then US congressman at 34. He had a very safe New York seat for 12 years. Married to the main advisor to Hilary Clinton with all the connections that implies and could have implied if for a few tens of thousands of votes in 2016.

In 2011, he uses his Twitter account to send a nude picture of himself. He denies it at first then admits he’s done that with many women for years. A month later he resigns and his ordinarily very Democratic seat goes to a Republican.

In 2013, he returns to New York politics to run for mayor. Being mayor of New York is hardly trifling but it’s not being a congressman. In July, another sexting scandal. He loses the mayoral primary with less than 5% of the vote.

He goes down another serious notch to work as a consultant, lobbyist, columnist and TV commentator.

In late August 2016, another sexting scandal. His wife intends to separate from him. In September 2016, an article alleges he sexted with a 15-year-old which leads to a police investigation and seizure of some of his electronics. Emails are found related to Hilary Clinton which leads the FBI director to reopen an investigation quite close to the presidential election date. Remember how distrust of Clinton was a major issue and the vote only came to some tens of thousands of votes in a few key states?

In 2017, he gets 21 months in prison for transferring obscene material to a minor, a sentence he began on November 6 2017.
He caught every ladder up but kept tripping down on his snake.

Bill Cosby is touring again, so the jury’s still out on that one.

I’d say O.J. or Cosby. Both were huge public figures and accused of things more terrible than most of the rest. (some simply said terrible things) Michael Jackson would top the list if people generally believed he was a child molester as opposed to just “a bit strange.”

Martha Steward, Pete Rose, and Barry Bonds don’t belong with the others.

Weinstein was known as a scoundrel for years. Bill Cosby, AFAIK was seen as a role model. My vote is for Cosby.

I picked Lance Armstrong. That guy was awesome and I don’t even watch sports. What a shame.

Gen Petraeus wasn’t an option, or else I would have picked him.

The poll could have included Larry Nassar, who’s gone from premier women’s acrobatic coach to facing death in prison. As far as the poll names, there are a lot of schmucks on there, but I’ll go with the time-honored Richard Nixon. Drunkard, paranoiac and all around asshole whose karma finally caught up with him. A fall doesn’t get much bigger than going from the leader of the free world to pathetic loser.

Richard Nixon seems the obvious choice to me; VP for two terms under Eisenhower, close loss to JFK in 1960 and then won the presidency twice.

I voted for O.J. An amazing athlete, and was sold to us all as an upstanding person as well. (The Superstar of Rent-A-Car and all that.) A ‘credit to his race’ back in the days when that was a thing. So he had plenty of room to fall.

And becoming a double murderer is a long way to fall. (I don’t think anyone else on that list killed anyone directly*.) Even though he was acquitted of the charges, few doubt that he was indeed the killer.

*Nixon killed quite a few Vietnamese by keeping the war going, but that’s not ‘directly,’ nor is that part of what constituted Nixon’s fall, alas.

OJ Simpson, probably. There’s a world of difference between being exposed as a lewd, cruel sexual harasser and being widely believed to be a murderer. In 1976, a Ladies Home Journal poll of schoolchildren showed OJ as the most admired celebrity by both boys and girls. That’s a hell of a fall.

On a personal basis, Garrison Keilor would have to be up there. He was an institution in some liberal circles - aside from Mr. Rogers, he would have been one of the last people I would have expected to be canned for sexual harassment.

I hate to inject politics into this thread, but we currently have a guy who is both at once.
Nixon is a good choice, but I think Cosby and Simpson have him beat. Nixon still had (has) some supporters and people who can see his “accomplishments” in context.

When I saw the question, I first thought of Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, and Marshall Petain of France. But I sense the OP wants someone more recent.

You can’t fall much further than Richard Nixon.

Lance Armstrong. All those other guys may have fallen, but they still have their achievements. Armstrong had those taken from him.

Yeah, it’s just not going to get any further than that. He went from the very top of the world…the most prestigious, powerful position in the world…to a disgraced paranoiac who became the butt of jokes for decades before his death.

He fell further because no one else ever had so far to fall.

Maybe Lucifer from Paradise Lost?

I didn’t see the poll until after my response. Surprised to see Cosby running away with it - I think we’ve forgotten how “on top of the world” OJ was. One episode of Mork and Mindy had a dissheveled religious fanatic preaching that “the Juice” was the true savior of all mankind. It was a joke, but there weren’t many folks higher up the totem pole than that guy. Then again, Cosby was up there, too. Comparing a decades-long run of serial rape to double homicide and kidnapping/extortion wasn’t a moral quandary I thought I’d have when I got out of bed this morning.

I would almost argue that Charlie Sheen didn’t really fall. He’s been known as a party-hearty libertine since his name showed up on the Hollywood Madam’s roster. I don’t think his reputation has suffered that much.

Louis CK should be included. He had it all, and now he’s gone, gone, gone.

I am tempted to say that at least Nixon never killed anybody. Then I remember that he did, but that wasn’t what he got in trouble for. In his role, that was part of the job.

Rather chilling thought, really.