The 2015 Sex Scandals That'll Be Impossible to Forget
Sometimes a massive sex scandal hits and you're never really able to look at the people (or possibly animals) involved in the same way again. Here are some headlines you couldn't avoid in 2015, and the ensuing fallout in terms of the TV, movies, foods, and other stuff you're no longer able to enjoy without feeling weird about it.
In which Bill Cosby is no longer funny
"Scandal" feels like a bit of an understatement, or even a misnomer here. So does labeling it a "2015" issue, as the sexual-assault allegations against Cosby stretch back to the '60s and renewed attention sparked by Hannibal Buress popped off in late 2014. Still, 2015 was the year it all really hit the fan, with a list of accusers now numbering in the 50s, some of whom now face a countersuit from Cosby.
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: The Cosby Show, Fat Albert, Jell-O Pudding Pops
The Duggar family proves to be creepier than you thought
Perhaps we should have expected that Josh Duggar, the eldest of the ultra-religious 19 Kids and Counting clan, might turn out a little off. But when it came out that he’d molested five girls, including four of his sisters, "a little off" didn’t quite cut it anymore. The assaults took place in 2002 and 2003, but it took an In Touch magazine report this year to dig up a police report confirming the allegations and sending the Duggar family spiraling into controversy. 19 Kids and Counting was canceled, Duggar lost his job at a Christian lobby group and eventually entered rehab for sex addiction. More on that later.
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: 19 Kids and Counting... if that was your thing in the first place
Lamar Odom collapses in a brothel
Former NBA star and Kardashian-by-marriage Lamar Odom made an unwelcome return to the headlines this year when he was found comatose in Nevada’s Love Ranch brothel after overdosing on cocaine and "Reload 72-hour strong sexual performance enhancer for men." You might think that the news would have driven him and wife Khloe apart, but in fact it was almost the opposite. She withdrew her pending divorce request to help look after the basketball player as he recovered.
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: 2009 Lakers highlights, dubious sexual-enhancement pills
Charlie Sheen's explosive HIV-positive announcement
Here’s a case where the truth was less scandalous than the rumors. When reports emerged that a Hollywood A-lister was HIV positive and knowingly had unprotected sex with hundreds of women since, all signs pointed to Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen. The pressure was enough to force him to come forward. Sheen revealed that he is indeed HIV positive, but thanks to treatment and condoms, hasn’t passed the virus on to anyone else. He’d already paid millions to extortionists to keep his diagnosis quiet; and will likely have to contend with a few lawsuits from unhappy former partners now that it’s out in the open.
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: Two and a Half Men, but that has nothing to do with the Sheen revelations. Meanwhile, you are still free to continue enjoying Hot Shots! and Hot Shots! Part Deux.
The Ashley Madison hack freaks out cheaters everywhere
Major sex scandals are normally confined to the lives of celebrities. But when cheating site Ashley Madison was hacked, it aired the dirty laundry of millions of unfaithful people from across the globe. That’s not to say no one famous was involved: a few politicians were outed as unfaithful (or at least appeared to be unfaithful), along with some minor celebrities (including one Josh Duggar, who already made this list and admitted to a porn addiction to boot). There is a silver lining for victims of the hack, at least... namely a $567 million class-action lawsuit against Ashley Madison’s owners, who are busy trying to prove that there were, in fact, real women using the site, despite some evidence to the contrary.
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: The misguided notion that there are thousands of hot housewives on the Internet who are super into you
David Cameron and the pig
An unauthorized biography of the British leader claimed that while studying at Oxford University he put a "private part of his anatomy" inside the mouth of a dead pig as part of a dining-society initiation ritual. Naturally, everyone involved has denied it strenuously, and naturally, that’s done nothing at all to stop the spread of "Pig-gate" jokes and memes. If we all believe it enough, surely it must be true?
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: Nothing. This brought nothing but amazing joy to everyone but David Cameron.
The Subway guy became known for something... else
Jared Fogle spent the last 15 years as an official spokesman for fast-food chain Subway. He’ll spend the next 15 (or so) years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography and traveling across state lines to have commercial sex with a minor. The Subway commercial star reportedly spent $12,000 per year on prostitutes, some as young as 16, and regularly watched videos of young children changing clothes and bathing. He’ll now serve a minimum of 13 years in prison after even his own defense attorney called him “pathetic” in court. Yeah, Subway fired him too.
Stuff you can no longer enjoy: Might take a while to get back into the $5 foot-longs. Also, you feel weird about shopping at Jared for jewelry despite the total lack of connection?
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Dominic Preston is a freelance writer who hasn't been embroiled in a major sex scandal. Yet. Follow him on Twitter: @dompreston.