Desmond & Associates P.R. clients: Has Been Celebrities Who Became Front Page News Due to a Scandal

In SUNSET BLVD Norma Desmond is a former superstar now so forgotten that her only fan mail comes from her common law butler and the only offer she can get from a studio she made rich is the offer to rent her ghastly ocelot skin seated limousine. One murder of an unknown writer later and suddenly her neglected palazzo is the busiest place in town, film crews are flooding her salon and Hedda Hopper’s in her bedroom.

The Ray Gosling affair, mentioned in this thread, concerns a 70 year old British journalist who was apparently once fairly well known (not being English I’m not sure how big he ever was) and who was pretty much forgotten but today is huge news for his on air confession of ‘mercy’ killing his boyfriend many years ago. This had me thinking of what other celebrities have signed with Desmond, Gillis & Associates and become super relevant again due to a crime or a confession or some other odd event.

O.J. Simpson probably tops the list in this for notoriety. By 1994 he was making the occasional straight-to-video movie or Naked Gun sequel but other than to rabid football fans he was pretty much forgotten. Few who weren’t football fans could likely have told you anything about his private life- whether he was flat bust or rolling in money, whether he was married with 8 kids or a confirmed bachelor, whether he lived in L.A. or Albuquerque- yet suddenly we know all about his everything including his- uh— “houseguest” Kato and how far away his ex-wife lived and how well off he was and we could practically give guided tours of his Brentwood mansion.

A year ago McKenzie Phillips could get arrested without making a blip on the newsdar, she hadn’t worked steadily in many years, and could have walked through a grocery store in Iowa dressed in a Tinkerbell costume without getting noticed or asked for an autograph. One sensational claim (sensational meaning “causing a sensation”- I don’t pretend to know its truth value) on Oprah later and she’s literally front page/lead story news, her not yet released memoir is number 1 on Amazon, people are making official statements supporting or condemning her and people who weren’t born until years and years after the final episode of One Day at a Time know who she is.
Who are some other has-beens who were restored to the limelight by a crime, scandal, or other ‘odd and curious’ means?

Murder cases temporarily saved Robert Blake and Phil Spector from obscurity.

I have to mildly disagree with you about O.J. because he was doing NFL commentary on NBC in 1994. Granted, his level of fame wasn’t like it was when he was playing for the Bills during the 70s but it wasn’t like he was unknown and invisible to all but a few rabid football fans.

As for a has-been that was restored to limelight due to crime, I’d have to say Phil Spector. In fact, he became so much a male Norma Desmond-like figure, it’s spooky.

I’d start with the entire “cast” of all those shows like “The Surreal Life”, “Celebrity Rehab” and “Celebrity Fit Club”.