Anthony Weiner — who finally resigned today — is at a barren place known as rock bottom. But that doesn’t mean he’ll be a pariah for life.
Scandals rock politicians, athletes and celebrities all the time, but rarely is the damage so catastrophic that it ruins their lives.
We’ve compiled a bunch of examples of famous folk that bounced back just fine after serious PR gaffes.
Take a look Weiner — there’s still hope!
You would think that a huge cheating scandal and an impeachment might hurt a president's popularity. Not so for Bill Clinton.
Despite multiple scandals, Clinton went out with the highest end-of-presidency approval rating in history (65%, according to ABC).
Since leaving office, Clinton's been even more successful: he's written two books, helped his wife get elected to public office, made millions through speaking engagements, and become a figure of humanitarianism with the William J. Clinton Foundation.
How did he do it? Results, results, results. In the end, people cared more about what he did for the country than what he did behind closed doors.
The lesson: Great results can outweigh PR hiccups (and charisma doesn't hurt).
In Spring of 2009, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using steroids. Everyone was upset
So A-Rod played his heart out to combat the scrutiny, and, in the fall, he carried the Yankees to a World Series win. Who cares about the steroids now?
The lesson: If you're a winner, nobody cares -- athleticism trumps bad behaviour.
In 2007 and 2008, Britney Spears acted all-out insane: from shaving her head in public, to attacking paparazzi with an umbrella, to holding her children hostage. Her weird behaviour was met mostly with public criticism and humiliation.
Then, her PR team finally revealed that Spears had gone crazy because of the constant stress of being in the public spotlight, coupled with the influence of combined prescription drugs.
Almost instantly, derision turned to sympathy. She received huge support from the public during her 'recovery;' two years later her 'Circus' concert tour became the year's highest-grossing American tour, she's returned to Forbes' list of powerful celebrities at number 13, and her songs are still topping the charts.
The lesson: If the public feels sorry for you, it doesn't really matter how crazy you acted.
When Hugh Grant was arrested for engaging in 'lewd conduct in public' with a prostitute in 1995, he responded to the public outcry with a novel PR approach.
From a 1995 CNN article: 'Grant did not refuse interviews, nor did he defiantly cancel appearances... Instead, he apologized on shows like 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,' 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' and CNN's 'Larry King Live.' The gist? 'I'm very sorry,' Hugh simply said.'
The result? The public forgave him. He went on to develop his incredibly successful acting career, and few people even mention the incident anymore.
The lesson: The public likes when you apologise for your screw-up and just take the heat.
Paris Hilton was your average wealthy heiress and socialite until that now-infamous sex tape came out.
What followed 'One Night In Paris': a New York Times best-selling book, multiple TV shows, various clothing, shoe, and perfume lines, and advertisers clamoring for her to endorse their product.
The lesson: Sometimes, sex scandals can work in your favour.
Between 1996 and 2001, Robert Downey, Jr. was on the verge of destroying his acting career.
Finally, after five years spent abusing drugs, being arrested multiple times, and getting fired from several acting gigs, he committed to rehab.
He came out better than ever, starring in several critically-acclaimed films before hitting the big time with blockbusters like Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, and Sherlock Holmes.
The lesson: Rehab really does help.
Between couch-jumping on Oprah and lambasting post-partum depression on the Today Show, Tom Cruise's crazy behaviour in 2005 tarnished his prior acting success. His failed first attempt at producing with the flop Valkyrie only furthered his reputation as a joke.
So Cruise tried an approach rarely taken by celebrities: he made fun of himself. He returned to Oprah and laughed about the incident, and he made an unforgettable, hilarious cameo in the blockbuster Tropic Thunder. Comeback, check.
The lesson: Poking fun at yourself is the oldest trick in the book, and it works.
Alec Baldwin seemed poised for total career ruin when his personal troubles went public in 2007. Between a messy divorce from Kim Basinger and the nasty voicemail to his daughter that was leaked to the press, Baldwin came out looking like a complete jerk.
Fortunately, he had his acting talent and an awesome role on 30 Rock to save him. Two Emmy's for best comedic actor, a date with Steve Martin to host the next Oscars, and one hit movie with Meryl Streep later, Baldwin appears to be back on top.
The lesson: Keep doing what you're good at, and everyone just might forget that you acted like a total idiot.
Kobe Bryant's rep was badly tarnished in 2003, when a 19 year-old hotel worker accused him of sexually assaulting her. Although those charges were eventually dropped, Kobe was left to handle a messy public affair, abandonment by many of his sponsors, and an angry wife (sound familiar?).
His plan of attack: make a public apology for his wrongdoings, buy an enormous diamond for his wife, and continue kicking butt on the court. It worked: he's still one of the most valuable, high-scoring, and popular players in the NBA.
The lesson: As usual, athleticism trumps bad behaviour (and, apparently, so do diamonds).
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