Scandals [NOT 11/02/22]

Gossip time!

Does everyone love a good scandal? I do. Scandals are especially satisfying when they play out like viciously vindictive karma. Schadenfreude is cathartic as fuck and I relish every second of it. Yes, I am that petty.

The biggest scandal and subsequent cover up that I’ve experienced happened nearly twenty years ago. It was the early 2000’s. I attended an all girls Catholic high school. While it was no longer run by nuns at that point (sorry DS guy who is into nuns… was it Butcher or Luigi?), it was upheld by the sexist pillars of virtue that one would expect from such an establishment.

Our student body was divided into houses. The prefects were the student elected leaders of each house plus the school president, VP, etc. One unforgettable morning, a special general assembly was hosted by the prefects. The whole school was crammed into the “auditorium” which was basically a large room with a small stage at the front. Students sat on the floor by grade with the youngest (12 year olds) at the front and the oldest (17 year olds) at back. Behind the students, the teachers and administrators sat on chairs. It was a hot, sweaty, and all around uncomfortable arrangement and definitely a fire hazard. But it beat going to mass or a regular general assembly where we were forced to listen to The Dean of Students drone on about morals and virtues (let’s call her Ms. Bull because she was a bully and full of shit). Okay, back to the special general assembly… Ms. Bull and the two newest faculty members, who also happened to be the youngest teachers, were called up to the stage. Ms. Bull was seated in the center of the stage. In what I assume was a power trip, the prefect asked the teachers (let’s call them Ms. Nerf and Mr. Booker) to crossdress in clothing provided by the students… So many things wrong with this but that’s not the point right now… Ms. Nerf donned Kappa snap pants and a trucker cap. Mr. Booker squeezed into a metallic spandex mini skirt and spaghetti strap tank top. They were then given simple instructions, “Entertain Ms. Bull.” What was innocently devised as a celebration of our Dean of Students, quickly devolved into a Magic Mike style lapdance by Mr. Booker. His mini skirt left nothing to the imagination. With every pelvic thrust, his junk came flapping out mercifully hidden from full view by his briefs. It was obscene. It was scandalous. The front rows were filled with crying traumatized tweens. The middle rows were shocked into silence. The back rows were hooting and hollering like we were at a strip club. After five years of stifling repression and with graduation in sight, we stoked the flames of chaos and Mr. Booker’s ego. The rest of the faculty sat in silence. Some members left the room in protest but did not stop the show. All the while Ms. Bull smiled, clapped, and cheered throughout the impromptu erotic performance like it was the best day of her wretched life which it probably was.

The chatter and gossip in the halls and classrooms was intoxicating. Everyone was talking about the scandal. Heads were bound to roll… but whose? Mr. Booker was new, young, cocky, and grossly crossed the line. Would he lose his job? Ms. Nerf played it safe while on stage but didn’t stop the show. Was she in trouble too? Ms. Bull had a decade of seniority over the other two and was supposed to be our moral compass and guiding light as we crossed the turbulent waters of childhood to womanhood (that line made me gag). How would she ever redeem herself?

The fallout was not the reckoning we all anticipated. The next day, Ms. Bull apologized to the students for her inappropriate behavior and for not doing the right thing in the moment. The prefect were shamed and punished for not thinking it through. The teachers got a slap on the wrists. And the students? We were told to never speak of it again in school or outside of school or we would be punished too. We were asked to “think of poor embarrassed Mr. Booker and his career.” We were told that the school did not want to receive anymore angry phone calls from our parents. We were told to pretend it never happened. We were collectively gaslighted. I’ve always had a problem with authority and religion. That school and incident cemented it for me.

Anywhoooo, got any good scandals for me? Care to share some Schadenfreude? As always, this is an open thread. The more the merrier. It’d be fun for a lurker or two pop up. Pretty please?

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40 Comments

  1. I have 2 that come to mind, both from my grad school days in the mid 00s.

    Our field season one year was disrupted because a (tenured) professor from Vandy got fucking shitfaced and accidentally burned down their field lab. Being tenured, he did not lose his job.

    Our field season another year was very much disrupted because a nearby dig site was being worked by a professor at another school in the midst of a 2 year affair with one of his grad students. Who had a child with him and had the baby with them at the field site. Then his wife decided it would be nice to fly down to surprise her husband at the dig site and spend some time together on the weekends. So that… created a lot of scuttle. Also the dig site was on property owned by Mennonites and they were very upset at the clear lack of morals by the man leading that project.

    • Oh yeah, haughty professors caught in public are the best academia scandals. I hope he was most – MOST – indignant about being judged by Menonites but didn’t give a shit about students knowing because of his power over them.

      My old department used to go to annual conferences hosted by Tulane, and that was how we found out who can(‘t) hold their liquors. This usually ends with someone puking on a dean.

      • The students working at the site all knew about the affair and kid, since they were living on site and apparently weren’t very private about it.

        Which, gross.

        Seriously if you ever met the man you’d be like how, how how how, did he find not 1 but 2 women willing to touch his penis.

  2. The year after I graduated from high school I went to see the next year’s class graduate because I had some friends in that grade.

    So, a bunch of kids on the trip the seniors went on right before graduation got caught smoking pot and were sent home, big deal, whatever, that’s not the real story.

    That year there was a new principal, and he was understandably nervous. He stumbled through his little introductory speech, but got through it, and then came the time for handing out diplomas. Since the graduating class was small enough it was traditional for the principal to say a sentence about the graduate with the handshake and the diploma.

    Usually, it was just “John is a great math student and everyone was impressed by his painting too” or “Mary was a top basketball player and a great singer.”

    Except the principal completely blanked out on what to say and started ad libbing. And everything was about the pot incident. He was trying to joke, but everything came out “oh, wow, you’d think Tom was a straight laced guy, but not last week let me tell you.” (CRICKETS…)

    He started sweating profusely, big stains growing in his shirt, and was standing there dripping as parents and students were staring daggers, as everything he said came out wrong. He started saying unflattering things even about kids who weren’t caught.

    It was the most awkward hour or so I’ve ever seen in person. Somehow he didn’t get fired the next day and actually lasted a few more years. Supposedly he read from notecards at graduations after that.

  3. One afternoon in the late 80s I had to go to one of the small dying steel towns outside Pittsburgh for work. I had some time to kill and was looking for a place to eat. Most of the businesses were closed and the buildings boarded up. But I found an Italian restaurant open. I went in and the place was completely empty. The server looked surprised to see me but showed me a table, took my order, and brought me my food. It was one of the worst meals I’ve ever eaten and the whole atmosphere was very strange. A few weeks later it made the news after they were raided.  The restaurant was a front for the dungeon upstairs. I don’t wanna kink shame anyone but the pics in the paper had some weird looking apparatuses. And a few finance guys I knew were getting calls from clients who had their wallets ”stolen” including their ID and credit cards. Big name doctors and business owners from around the Pittsburgh area, some of their names ended up in the paper as well. It was a very entertaining scandal, a big story for a few weeks. But I felt very stupid that I went in there thinking it was a real restaurant, lol. And of course my friends all teased me, asking if I ordered the special of the day – spaghetti and a spanking, stuff like that.
    It was probably the only business in that town making any money and they shut the damn place down.

  4. no scandals on my end

    tho i did once walk in on an intern shoving a broom up a cooks ass

    that was a hellova thing

    seriously… dont work in fucking kitchens…..like warzones….you do not come out the person you were going in

    • Yeah, I worked in a restaurant one summer where the Albanian owner hired some cousin or nephew right out of prison and the guy showed up to work coked up and had stashed a gun on the shelf over the stove for… reasons. Protection? Hiding evidence? I never asked. Good thing I went back to college in a few weeks.

  5. I can think of quite a few things but as far as my English lack-of-knowledge goes I believe public knowledge is required to define them as scandals?

    When I was in HS – back when weed was the devil and everyone who touched it was evil – we had a teacher that would smoke weed with students during lunch break. Coincidentally he was many other student’s favourite teacher.

    I thought he was an idiot. One day, when I was in grade 9, he was “teaching” us Roman Numerals (which to my surprise, very few classmates knew anything about) and he only went to C. He proceeded to get volunteers from the class to write the year 1993 in Roman Numerals on the chalkboard. As they were all writing out “CCC…” I couldn’t help but raise my hand (even though participating in class was in stark contrast to my character at the time) to say, “ummmm…M is a thousand.”

    Teacher: “Oh yeah! You’re right!”

  6. I posted this a couple of years ago back on the Gawk – it was more about how sexual harassment meetings like the ones we have to have for every single show – are complete bullshit, but it falls into tonight’s scandal theme.

    I worked on a teenager show a few years ago where one of the actresses was dating the son of one of the producers. The producer got drunk one night when the crew was hanging out in the hotel bar(we were on location) and grabbed the “basecamp” production assistant and kissed her in front of everyone. By kissing, I mean sticking his tongue down her throat. Everyone laughed it off – this was a few years ago – before Metoo – even though the woman PA was married and fairly squicked out – she laughed it off too.

    For some reason, the actress took it upon herself to wage an all out harassment campaign against the PA – saying that the event stressed out her boyfriend. The. Producers. Son. Like the PA asked for it. The actress would make shitty comments every time the PA walked by – like calling her a home wrecker, a slut, really nasty names, etc. She would say these things under her breath so that only the PA could hear – although other people heard her do this too. She tried to turn the other actors against the woman. She got the woman moved from her job of running basecamp(getting the actors through hair/makeup/costume and to set) which the PA had been doing for three years. A group of us witnessed a lot of this and went to HR. We did all of the interviews and actually thought she might at the least be reprimanded. Not a damn thing happened to her.

    The assistant directors asked the PA back for the next season(everyone really liked her and she was really good at her job) but the actress called up one of the executive producers and said no way – so the PA was fired. The actress went on to do a few more seasons of the show.

    Then to top it off – just a few years ago when Metoo was just taking off – she publicly called out an actor for inappropriate touching and made a stink about that. While, I’m not condoning the inappropriate touching – it’s just interesting how it was okay for her to get the PA fired for being inappropriately touched by a producer because it upset her boyfriend, but it’s not okay for her to be inappropriately touched herself. 

    And then, just to add to it – the PA came to hang out with me a couple of years ago – we hadn’t seen each other in a while and she was in town on a film – and while we were sitting on my porch discussing the whole harassment incident – who should call her – the f–ing actress. She wanted to apologize for what she had done years ago – even though I think it was because she was afraid the PA might bring up what she had done. The actress is married to a B list actor who is on a very hit series.  The PA(no longer a PA) let the call go to voice mail and I’m not sure if she ever actually talked to her – but how crazy was that.

    Sorry if this is confusing – also if you want to guess who it was – the show was named for a U2 song and the actress name rhymes with Schmillarie Turdton.

      • No, it was more psycho than that. She’d been cheating on the producer’s son and was feeling guilty so she was doing this weird overly protective girlfriend performance art. She’d actually done the exact same thing the previous year to one of the girls in my department because she thought the girl was leading her brother(the actress’s) on. It was very strange. When we started the show she was all of our’s favorite and then she just turned into this crazy person. I left the show at the end of the third season because of the actors on that show. Most of them were just nuts – and not in a kooky way but in a very malignant gas lighting way. Usually on a show you have one bad one, maybe two – but on that one there were more crazy ones than not.

        • My burning question about that show (alleged–as reported via news sources such as Buzzfeed, various banners in The Gawkerverse, and others…) is, was the Pamchenko-lady at least a decent human being?

          I can’t remember where I ran across the story (it was sometime since “the un-linear-times after The March When Covid hit”), but I recall a bunch of the younger women on that show having been interviewed by a reporter(s?), and basically ALL of then saying something to the extent of “The Pamchenko-Lady was the ONE good adult on that show, who we could trust.”

          And then, when the Pamchenko-lady was interviewed by the reporter(s?) she was basically horrified to learn all the trainwrecky-shenanigans (and worse), which had gone on (it sounded like she basically came in on call days, did her work, and kept to herself, due to personal stuff she’d had going on at the time?), and iirc she both apologized to the young women who had been treated so terribly, and she assured them that had anyone said anything to her, she would’ve done anything & everything in her power to protect them from the bullshittery.

          Basically, it sounded like The Pamchenko-lady was the only person out of that whole show, that the younger actresses liked or trusted… and I’d love to know, if your read of her was similar to that “good person, quiet, kept to herself” vibe that the news stories seemed to ascribe to her, too?

          • @EmmerdoesNOTrepresentme

            She did pretty much keep to herself. The reality on that show was that the producers were super shitty and most of the actors were super shitty. It was hard for me because at that point I had come from working on some huge movies with reallly big movie stars and none of them acted remotely as entitled as those actors. I was told from the start – tell them no and make them do it – so when I would put my foot down about something – they would go to one of the higher ups and whine and ultimately get what they wanted. But then I would get a call from a different producer saying why is she wearing that – it looks like shit. I would tell them the issue and then absolutely nothing would happen except they’d tell me that I needed to be stronger about my opinions. It was always Mom tells you you can’t go, but Dad says sure why not for three seasons. Every new year I would pretend that I had never met them before and every year I was like why am I torturing myself.

            Actually, the one I had virtually no problems with, SB  – ended up a couple of years ago saying the producers basically forced her to marry CMsquared. That is not remotely true. We all tried to talk her out of it. Repeatedly. He was screwing literally every single cute girl in town the whole time they were dating – and we told her multiple times. She would not listen. So, the only actor I kind of liked, is out there telling really tall tales- so who knows what all was going on. I still have some PTSD from that show so I’m not the best one to judge anything having to do with it.

            And as far as all of them being sexually harassed – I never saw anything while I was there, but the producers were definitely their own boys club so it does not surprise me.

        • Move over, @myopicprophet, because I’m in the same boat. I Googled them. I’ve seen him in The Watchmen movie (he was good in that), but have avoided all their other shows, and thus have, or had, no knowledge of them. Hopefully I will forget about them before the day ends.

        • @myopicprophet I had no clue either, I started by going hmm Schmillarie sounds like Hillary so I googled “actress hillary” and looked for a matching rhyming last name.

          And then I went “who the fuck is this person?” – off to the googles – oh I never watched that show and had no clue who those clowns are.

        • Myo, I can assure you that you’re not really missing anything.

          AND i can also tell that you don’t revert to reading Buzzfeed on the regular because you sometimes miss the trash-parts of Old-School Jez and Gawker😉😄😂💖

  7. The biggest scandals i can think of, that I’ve been on the tertiary (or further!) edges of, are….

    Molly Shattuck’s cheerleading career (before she became the Pedophile). I cut the cheerleading uniforms she wore, and her tryout outfits (she bought the tryout outfit (custom–they ALL are for tryouts) from the company I worked for back then… annnnd the Ravens cheerleading squad was a LONG-time customer of that company.

    Even though the wiki page dissembles about whether or not the Ravens cheerleading coaches “knew who Shattuck was,” yes, it WAS known that she was wealthy & related to a man who was an “insider” to the organization, although there was *much protestation* that she was merely “Molly S” during the tryouts…

    Otherwise, it’s often a matter of me knowing “folks who know folks,” regarding scandals.

    Things like, the former friend & neighbor whose older brother’s best friend was one of the men who successfully filed sexual abuse cases against St. John’s Abbey,  for hiding & re-assigning pediphile priests, throughout the local Dioceses.  The brother’s best friend was invited (by St. John’s University!) To a class reunion in 2013, then escorted off campus–in the middle of said reunion!–by campus security & the local sheriff’s office, for “violating terms of his settlement.”

    When THE COLLEGE was the group who invited him to the reunion😒😒😒

    I was the only one in the neighborhood who knew what our neighbor was talking about, when he started to tell us about what had happened at his brother’s (then recent) class reunion… I knew about it, because Collegeville (St. John’s & St. Ben’s) is in the diocese i grew up in, and some kids from my hometown also went to St. John’s Prep, and had some of the pedo-priests as teachers.

    Since most of the neighbors in The Exurb weren’t Catholic, the rot & humiliation of what occurred st the reunion flew over most of the neighbors’ heads, but the younger brother and I had discussions about the awfulness that was allowed to fester for much too long up at St. John’s Abbey/St. John’s University, & the Prep School.

     

  8. My work career is filled with them. Not mine though. Scandals of my employers.

    I worked for 9 years at Nortel. We started one of the worst financial meltdowns in Canadian Business history. And died during the worst global financial meltdown since the 1930s when our lines of credit dried up and the imbeciles running it had to push us into Chapter 7 (I blame them as they failed to react when things happened cause even a lowly non finance nerd like me knew there was going to be a serious credit crunch (as happened in the Great Depression.))

    Along the way we had a CEO go to jail, along with several of his minions, for cooking the books in a vain attempt to juice their bonuses as well as destroy the remaining public trust which could have allowed the government to bail us out (if it were the Libs, but dipshit Harper and his fucking Austrian economic philosophy would never have done so.)

    Years later it was discovered Huawei was eating our lunch from hacking our CEO’s computer. Among the files might have been one of the engineering tools I worked on which provided a bill of material for quotations. This after same said idiot asshole chickenshit CEO was told by our security gnomes that Yahoo Messenger was easily hackable and shouldn’t be used.  He basically told them to get fucked (and Huawei hacked YM.) The aforementioned CEO was one of Jack Welch’s sychophants and alleged star of the GE CEO factory (which turned out to be a fucking PR joke.) That nonsense helped bring Jack’s star down as GE execs were incompetent motherfuckers who killed Nortel (and other companies) while nearly destroying Chrysler and Home Depot. Thankfully no one hires GE execs anymore as CEOs. Ironic, I was a big fan of Jack’s (but living in the reality of Six Sigma done Welch style soured me on him) and I am one who is glad seeing that pompous asshole’s slide into infamy for cooking the books/obscurity and as a bad punchline.

    I work currently for a generic drug maker whose founder was murdered along with his wife soon after the then CEO was busted for using his mistress to steal a rival’s submission information for fun and profit. The now ex-CEO was hated by us because he kept our wages down relative to those at the nearby flagship plant even though we made most of the goddamn profit exporting to the US for the company (I am one of the vultures that benefit off the greed of the US Healthcare system… another scandal.)  Apparently, he’s working with the Colombians on a cannabis startup ($100 million cash) but no one has heard from him in a long time (and the Feds have a bench warrant out for the mistress for “corporate espionage.”) If it is “those” Colombians he’s working for then he’s getting what he deserves as if he fucks them over… well, I’ve seen Narcos.

    As for the murder of our founder and his wife.  No one knows who did it. I have my suspect(s) but I’m not saying who.

    Finally, I know that several of the motherfuckers I worked for stole ideas from myself and others to elevate themselves up (I read it on their linkedin pages.)

    One manager was fired to my amusement because he turned out not to be the leader of men he self styled himself to be and is a complete chickenshit who probably would have had a mental breakdown if he had went through the same bullshit he put me through.

    The other is climbing up the ladder. Waiting for the Peter Principle to kick in.

  9. …I guess it wouldn’t rise to the level of a scandal…but in terms of school-based schadenfreude there’s one thing I can remember that might qualify?

    …it might not make for a very clear picture if you aren’t familiar with a boarding school environment where the oldest students top out at 13 years of age…but the important factors are that in that context “matron” is still a job title & there’s one who’s senior and referred to as the “head matron”…& at a school I was at there were a few people who held that post in the time I was in attendance…& one in particular was – for a variety of reasons – singularly unpopular with the students…this lady left the post in what we all hoped was a permanent absence that proved to be temporary…& on the evening of the day she returned stood in a hallway and announced loudly enough to be heard in nearly all the dormitories “the witch is back”

    …despite the fact that us kids were supposed to be silently isolated in our beds until the following morning when the usual routine marshaled us through a series of staggered queues & events for the 45mins or so between being woken up & taking our assigned places for breakfast literally every one of us knew by the time we sat down that when she entered the room that remark was going to get a unanimous response

    …everyone stopped talking…& if that doesn’t sound like much try to imagine the stark contrast between a room containing dozens of kids between the age of 7-13 making the sort of racket you’d expect & a silence so complete you could literally hear a spoon clinking against a mug as someone stirred their tea…which continued…while even the students seated at the headmaster’s table ignored his efforts to induce them to speak

    …I don’t know how long it went on for…but she ran out of the room…at which point everybody suddenly recovered their powers of speech…& before the day was out she’d resigned

    …so…like the song says…sometimes you say it best when you say nothing at all?

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