Old School Scandals We (Almost) Forgot About
Celebrity drama is nothing new. Way before Rihanna and Chris Brown, there was Tammi Terrell and David Ruffin. Kenya “Miss USA” Moore may be a fool, but Vanessa Williams was stripped of her title. Check out a few more of these old school scandals that most of us forgot.
Bobby Womack was a habitual line stepper. After Sam Cooke discovered him, Bobby paid him back by sleeping with his wife. Then Bobby Womack married Barbara Cooke three months after Sam was brutally murdered in East LA.
And Sam’s wife wasn’t the only thing Bobby took. Bobby was riding around in Sam’s car and wearing his clothes.
Sam’s family told Bobby that if he showed his face in Chicago again, they were going to have a misunderstanding. Bobby Womack not only came back to Chicago, he attended Sam Cooke’s niece’s wedding. Sam’s brother Charles beat Bobby to within an inch of his life right there at the church.
Halle Berry isn’t the only celebrity with terrible choices in men. Back in the day, Tammi Terrell dated two famous woman beaters: David Ruffin and James Brown. David Ruffin allegedly hit her in the head with a hammer, although the incident has been denied by her family and Motown. Ruffin did hit her on the side of her face with his motorcycle helmet, which ended their relationship in 1967. She died three years later of complications from brain cancer a month before her 25th birthday.
In 1982, Teddy Pendergrass crashed his Rolls-Royce while spending a drug-fueled night with Tenika Watson. The most scandalous part of the story is that Tenika’s name used to be John. And John had been arrested 37 times for prostitution. Teddy said that he was just “giving her/him a ride” but nobody believed him.
Nude picture leaks aren’t a new thing. In 1990 High Society Magazine published pictures of unclothed Chick Berry with a bunch of smiling women.
Chuck was 63 at the time. He said he took the pictures for insurance purposes:
“I’ve seen too many times when girls misused their relationship with fellas. I wanted something to show everything was merry-merry.”
But Chuck said he never intended for the pics to go public. He sued the magazine claiming they published stolen pics. The magazine said they bought them fair and square and refused to hand them over.
Al Green is almost as famous for getting hot grits thrown on him back in 1974 as he is for his music. But most of us forgot that the woman that did it — his ex-girlfriend Mary Woodson — killed herself with Al’s gun after the incident.
It took Al Green months of hospitalization and rehab to recover from the physical damage. He never really got over the emotional trauma. The attack changed Al forever and helped prompt him to leave pop music and the life and return to his gospel roots.
We all know that Marvin Gaye’s father shot him in 1984. But no one is really clear on whether it was murder or suicide. During the time, Marvin was suicidal, strung out and losing his mind.
Marvin’s daddy had always said that if any of his kids ever raised a hand to him, he’d kill him. Marvin punched his father during an argument one night. Then he waited while his father walked calmly into the other room, came back and shot him right in the heart.
His alleged dying words to his brother Frankie were:
“I got what I wanted…I couldn’t do it myself so I had him do it…it’s good, I ran my race, there’s no more left in me.”
Ray was so scandalous, they made a movie about him. Ray started using heroin at the age of 16. He was also a serial cheater. He cheated on his wife Della constantly, leaving behind 12 children, 20 grand children and 5 great-grand children when he died.
Jerry Lee Lewis
Rock and Roll and scandal go hand in hand. Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the first Rock and Roll stars. He was also the most scandalous.
When Jerry was 22, he married a 13-year-old girl named Myra. Myra was also his cousin. And Jerry committed bigamy when he married her: he was still married to his second wife (who he married when he was 15) at the time.
Remember Jennifer Hudson’s character Effie White from Dreamgirls? Her story is true. Barry Gordy kicked Florence Ballard out of The Supremes and moved Diana Ross to the head of The Supremes.
The move was cold and came out of nowhere. Florence Ballard never really recovered. She spiraled down itno drug abuse, alcohol, depression and poverty. Finally she died of a heart attack in 1976 at the age of 32.
We barely have room to talk about all of Don King’s scandals. In 1954, he shot a man in the back and killed him. In 1967, he beat a man to death.
In the 80s he moved on from murder to theft. He cheated Muhammed Ali, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and many other superstar boxers out of hundreds of millions. He may just be one of the biggest swindlers in sports history.
Before Monica Lewinsky made headlines, Marilyn Monroe had history’s biggest presidential affair. President Kennedy was the last person that she called before she died. And the rumor mill suggests that her mysterious death may have been a consequence of her presidential affair.
We all know that Rick James was a fool. But most people forgot that he tortured people. Back in 1991, a woman named Frances Alley came forward with a horrifying story. She said that Rick and his girlfriend Tanya Hijazi tied her up, forced her to perform sexual acts and burned her repeatedly with a hot crack pipe. He spent several years in jail for the crime.
This was one of the funniest scandals in music history. In 1990, the pop duo Milli Vanilli was on top. They’s won a Grammy and had a bang of number one hits.
Then, while singing their hit “Girl You Know It’s True” live on MTV, the backing track skipped. It was clear that neither Milli nor Vanilli sang any of their songs. Soon after they were found out, they were stripped of their Grammy.
In September 1983, Vanessa Williams was crowned the first black Miss America. But just 10 months later, nude pictures of her surfaced in Penthouse magazine. Vanessa said she never authorized the release of the photos but the damage was done. She had to step down from her position before her reign was over.
Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes
Back in 1994, TLC’s Lisa Lopes was dating football player Andre Rison. Lisa says that during the relationship he abused her mentally and physically. So Lisa set his house on fire. We bet Andre doesn’t hit women anymore. Too bad reality shows weren’t big in 1994. This would have made a helluva episode of Football Wives.