For most of us, our reputations in this life reflect our actions. We do good, people assume we’re good, and the opposite is equally true.
There have been plenty of moments throughout history, though, when unfair or flat-out wrong assumptions are made, and because of media and public opinion and history books being written by people who didn’t care, those assumptions linger.
Below are the stories of 13 good people who were caught up in reputation-ruining events that turned out to be totally unfair.
13. Because Star Wars fans.
Jake Lloyd and Ahmed Best. The only thing these guys were guilty of, was portraying characters the way George Lucas wanted them portrayed.
But no, both childhood Anakin Skywalker and Jar-Jar Binks were excoriated severely by Star Wars fans. Lloyd destroyed his Star Wars memorabilia and developed paranoid schizophrenia. Best fell into a deep depression and contemplated suicide.
…all because Star Wars fans hated their characters.
12. Not a good end.
Richard Ricci, the original suspect in the Elizabeth Smart case. He was arrested on a parole violation and held in custody for over two months with intense interrogations, before dying of a brain aneurysm while still in prison.
Elizabeth was discovered many months later, having been held by another, unrelated, man.
I don’t know if Richard Ricci was a “good, innocent” person, but he was not guilty of that crime.
11. Seems pretty obvious to this parent.
In the 90’s, there were a rash of false claims around the country of day care abuse. Many innocent daycare workers were arrested and ruined. Turns out later that tapes of the police interviews of 4-5 year olds showed them leading the kids to give false answers.
Media was so complicit with “why would kids lie about these things?” Duh! To make Mr cop happy.
10. Too many of these stories floating about.
A Kiwi example but Teina Pora.
Guy just on the cusp of being legally mentally retarded and he heard if he gave information to police about a murder, he’d get money. So he went and made up a bunch of stuff.
But youngish Maori guy and a murder? Got put away for decades with no more proof than a coerced confession he didn’t even understand. He thought saying what they wanted meant he was allowed to leave.
He got paid out, but without intensive money management from his daughter it won’t last long, and still not worth his entire youth
9. It’s despicable.
When Britney Spears had her mental break and everyone in the talk show/entertainment circle made fun of her.
8. Everyone wants a reason.
Captain of the Exxon Valdez.
He made a horrible mistake and the media portrayed him as a filthy alcoholic. Reality was he actually was sober at the time when the accident happened. The mistake was he put a green/inexperienced crew on helms/control.
He didn’t abandon ship, he did not run away he did stand trial, he did pay the fines, he did his time. Exxon Valdez is synonymous with everything evil about the oil industry and despite deep water Horizon and MV Wakashio. They always go after the Exxon because BOATMAN BAD CAPTAIN DRINKY DRUNK DRUNK CUS COMEDIANS SAY SO!
Captain Joseph J.Haslewood is his name by the way.
7. No more needs to be said.
The Central Park 5: Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise
6. An apology is the least of what we owe him.
That poor guy who the internet thought killed Elisa lam. Dude had all his accounts shut down. Music was his passion, his joy. Its been seven years since he’s made any.
He’s said the harassment killed his self expression. He tried to kill himself. No one ever apologized.
5. Hard to undo serious damage.
John DeLorean was no saint, but his reputation as a coke fiend came from the FBI and DEA coercing him into trafficking cocaine by threatening to murder his family if he didn’t.
They then tried him for it. He was found not guilty, but the damage was done.
4. She really didn’t.
Monica Lewinsky was treated like dog sh%t for over a decade. She never deserved what she got.
This was my first thought. I obviously don’t know the entire story, no one does, but today a 22 year old white house intern in a relationship with a late 40’s president would hopefully raise some questions about the power dynamic going on there.
I was too young to know the story when it broke out, but hearing about it years later it makes no sense to me how she was the villain in all of it.
3. It makes no sense.
Janet Jackson. Her career was destroyed, while Justin is an A list actor.
What really irked me about this is the hypocrisy of the fans. S^x is used to sell every aspect of a football game.
But when a breast shows up for a few seconds everyone suddenly had to clutch their pearls. Even with her breast out she still had on more clothes than the cheerleaders.
2. She was actually right.
The lady who sued McDonald’s over the coffee that scalded her that they knew to be so hot it was dangerous, Stella Liebeck. More her story than her name.
She had third degree burns and resulting infections on her thighs and genitals and had to have reconstructive surgery. Then had to have photos of her mangled body shown in court while lawyers and the press tarred her as a greedy incompetent.
I got to see the evidence photos in one of my law classes. You don’t want to see that, but everyone probably should. That lady deserved to get a pile of “pain and suffering” money.
1. It’s a tragic tale.
Marie Antoinette. She never said “let them eat cake” She actually cared and paid for the schooling of poor children. She was a woman born into royalty. Yeah f*ck royalty, but at 13 she was shipped off to France, forced to give up all austrian thing, including her dog, and then required to be part of this insane pageantry that was versailles.
She couldn’t change anything because it wasn’t her d*mn job too. Her last words to the executioner after stepping on his foot was “I’m sorry sir, I didn’t mean to do it”
Not to mention her seeing her kids get beaten.
Her story is honestly so f*cking tragic. She was a female noble in revolution era France, she had f*ck all power. But she was foreign, so she became the scapegoat for everything.
When the revolution happened, she was dragged into a kangaroo court where the accused her of every bullsh%t thing they could think of. She didn’t say a word throughout almost the entire thing because she knew it would be pointless until they tried to accuse her of having s^x with her own son.
That made her break her silence to say “I appeal to all mothers.”
Basically, ‘have some basic f*cking dignity you animals’, but in a classy way.
I am full of righteous indignation for these folks! Argh!
Who else belongs on this list? Enlighten us in the comments!