Pop Culture | 90s

10 Scandals From 1998 That Make 2018 Look Better Already

If you thought the last couple years were bad, it's because you probably tried to forget about all the things that went down during the 90s.

As we start a new year, we tend to think about what the future has in store, and that can be worrisome. So, I'm here to remind you that the world wasn't all that different 20 years ago, and people, especially celebrities, were just as scandalous as (maybe worse) than they are now.

Here are 10 stories from 1998 that made the front page news for the wrong reasons:

1. George Michael arrested for lewd conduct in public


Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, better known as George Michael, was arrested in a Beverly Hills park in April 1998 after he was caught engaging in a "lewd act" by an undercover officer in a public bathroom. The Wham! singer was released on bail, and gave his first exclusive interview just a week after the misdemeanor. It was during that interview with CNN that he came out as gay, but refused to discuss specifics about his arrest.

2. Rob Pilatus overdosed


One of the biggest scandals to come out of the music industry was Milli Vanilli being outed for lip-synching. The disgraced duo even won a Grammy Award for their work, but their fame did not last. In the wake of the scandal, one half of the duo, Rob Pilatus, died by overdosing on a cocktail of pills and alcohol in a Frankfurt hotel room.

"Milli Vanilli was not a disgrace," said Pilatus’s musical partner Fabrice Morvan. "The only disgrace is how Rob died — all alone, internally destroyed from the rapid rise then sudden fall."

3. Toni Braxton went broke


As one of the biggest female R&B artists of the early 90s, it came as a shock when Toni Braxton filed for bankruptcy 20 years ago. The Grammy-winner placed blame on her record label for underpaying her, but those close to her said it was her expensive lifestyle that caused her financial woes. Even Oprah called the singer out for her extravagant taste.

"I hear you have Gucci flatware; I'm Oprah Winfrey, and I don't have Gucci flatware," the host said on her show.

4. Gary Coleman punched a woman


The late Diff'rent Strokes star had a lot of financial troubles throughout the 90s and went on a downward spiral. He once punched a woman multiple times in the face while shopping for a bulletproof vest for his job as a mall security guard. Why did he do it? Apparently the woman was talking smack about his failed career after he refused to give her an autograph.

5. Oprah sued by the U.S beef industry

NY Daily News

Oprah's influence saw bounds, and apparently it was harming the beef industry. Cattle farmers in Texas sued the talk show host after she made some remarks about the United States beef industry during a 1996 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Apparently beef sales slowed down and she was responsible. Thanks to free speech, she was never charged, and she later told reporters that she was "still off hamburgers."

Believe it or not, there are even bigger scandals that occurred in 1998...

6. Tommy Lee jailed for beating up Pamela Anderson

ET Online

Tommy Lee was the Chris Brown of the 90s. The Motley Crue drummer and his wife Pamela Anderson appeared to be the perfect pair in public, but behind the scenes their relationship was toxic. Lee was arrested for beating up the Baywatch star and was sent to jail for six months. Anderson filed for divorce shortly after.

7. Phil Hartman was murdered

NY Daily News

Hartman, a Canadian actor best known as one of the stars of NewsRadio and his voice work for The Simpsons, was shot and killed by his wife, Brynn in a murder-suicide in May of 1998. His death shocked the world, and tributes continued to pour in weeks after. He was posthumously awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014 and inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame two years earlier.

8. Kate Moss Entered Rehab


One should never be ashamed for seeking help, but back in the day people, especially celebrities, liked to keep their struggles private. As you can imagine, there was a lot of concern surrounding supermodel Kate Moss when she checked herself into rehab right after her split from Johnny Depp. The model cited exhaustion as a reason, but rumor had it she needed treatment for a nasty drug addiction.

9. Coolio charged as an accessory to robbery

Rolling Stone

While visiting Germany, the "Gangsta's Paradise" singer was arrested for allegedly attempting to leave a store without paying. Although he denied the accusation, he was charged as an accessory to robbery and sentenced to six months probation plus a $17,000 fine.

"I'm innocent," Coolio insisted. "I've done nothing. I'm a nice guy. People treat me nice 'cos I treat them nice. It's a big misunderstanding."

10. President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky

NBC Washington

Not only is Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky the biggest scandal of 1998, it is one of the biggest scandals of the entire decade. Clinton denied the allegations that he had sexual relations with the White House intern, and famously declared that he "did not have sexual allegations with that woman," but nonetheless, on December 19, he was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.

Do you remember these scandals from 20 years ago?

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