"On August 5, 1987, actor Matthew Broderick was driving on a country road in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland with then-girlfriend and Ferris Bueller's Day Off co-star Jennifer Grey, when his car veered into the wrong lane, colliding with an oncoming vehicle. The two passengers of the other car, 30-year-old Anna Gallagher and her 63-year-old mother Margaret Doherty, were killed instantly.
Broderick spent a month in the hospital but because of memory loss, he was unable to explain what happened. It was determined that the actor wasn't under the influence at the time of the accident, and he was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, although he was eventually convicted only of careless driving, escaping with a $175 fine.
Initially upset at the ruling, the victims' family has since come to terms with it and met with Broderick in 2003 to gain a sense of closure."
"Ted Kennedy drove a car with a passenger off of a bridge and into a channel, got out and left the scene, and went back to his hotel room. He fell asleep, was awoken by a party somewhere in the building, complained to the hotel manager, and didn't report the accident for nine hours. The passenger drowned.
He got a 2-month sentence and even that was later suspended."
"Mark Wahlberg only served 45 days in jail for an unprovoked, racially motivated attack in 1988 that left one of two victims blind. He was initially charged with attempted murder.
He said the right thing to do would be to try to find the blinded man and make amends, and admitted he has not done so, but added that he was no longer burdened by guilt: 'You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn't until I really started doing good and doing right by other people, as well as myself, that I really started to feel that guilt go away. So I don't have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning.'"
"Lyndon B. Johnson, former President of the United States, nicknamed his ding-dong 'Jumbo' and was known to display it in public.
One of the things he'd do was use the urinal, and if another guy walked into the bathroom, he'd turn around and shake 'Jumbo' at them, asking, 'HAVE YOU EVER SEEN ANYTHING AS BIG AS THIS?'"
There's a phone call recording of Johnson ordering pants while President of the United States, and you can hear him giving explicit details of how he needs his pants to, as he puts it, 'Accommodate his nuts and bunghole better.'"
"Steve Jobs was the Edison of our time. His brilliance and drive were rivalled only by his narcissism and greed.
The most interesting thing about Steve Jobs is that it is likely his narcissism that killed him. He turned his back on Western medicine and tried to control his cancer through diet and meditation. He put off surgery that had a very high success rate for this anti-Western medicine approach. Then when he realized his approach wasn't working it was too late to save him. Then he threw all his money into experimental medical procedures that failed to save him. If he had just listened to his Western medicine doctors when the cancer was detected early, there is a good chance he would still be around."
"Tim Allen was caught smuggling a good quantity of illegal substances onto a commercial airplane in the 1970's and he ratted out his partner to avoid jail time.
It was actually the ultimate slap-in-the-face, just because he went on to be successful and a household name and very, very wealthy. Probably more wealthy than the leader of the entire ring that he was smuggling substances for at the time.
I can't imagine getting over that. I would probably be pissed for the rest of my life if I were those guys. I would also probably be in jail."
"The founder of Scientology and science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard joined the military when he was a younger, and his military record has been much-inflated by the church's members. In fact, most of his military records indicate he was substandard, and instead of being 'blinded by an exploding bomb' as he claimed, he was actually hospitalized due to an ulcer.
Also of note, his wife and several other high-ranking members of the church were caught conspiring to infiltrate the IRS and destroy tax records for the church and use blackmail to gain influence in Congress. This was known as Operation Snow White."
"Charles Dickens separated from his wife after 22 years of marriage when he fell in love with an 18-year-old actress, then went on to have a letter published in numerous newspapers in which he accused his wife of being responsible for the separation, and calling her stupid, morbidly depressed, and a bad mother."
"Orson Scott Card is a notorious homophobe and a radical social conservative, but he is a lifelong registered Democrat (even though he endorsed both McCain and Romney the last two elections). He actually said:
'The dark secret of homosexual society, the one that dares not speak its name, is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.'"
"When the Supreme Court during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency consistently ruled portions of the New Deal unconstitutional, he threatened to pack the court by expanding its size.
Essentially since the Constitution doesn't enumerate the size of the court, FDR felt he could simply add members to the court that were amenable to his policy. It makes the executive over-reach of George W. Bush look like amateur hour since it directly threatened to snuff out the independence of our highest court. But it is often glossed over in an attempt to lionize FDR."
"Michael Jordan has developed a reputation for not being a nice person. He had no intention of marrying Juanita Vanoy. Jordan was very young, and was very obviously going to be the league's cash cow for the next decade, when Juanita told him she was pregnant and that she was keeping the child. Nike and the NBA were putting Michael under incredible amounts of pressure to marry her to keep his public appearance respectable."
"Thomas Edison killed an elephant called Topsy.
Topsy was going to be executed for killing three men, one of whom had abused her, so Edison volunteered to do it. He used an AC current which he was trying to defame as dangerous. An AC electrical system was being developed by George Westinghouse, one of Edison's rivals.
Topsy could have been put to sleep with cyanide, but Edison wanted to make a bit of a spectacle."
"Martin Luther King repeatedly cheated on his wife. Of course, this has no bearing on his career as an activist, but it tends to get covered up in the hero worship of the man.
Multiple pieces of evidence have appeared that confirm this, such as memoirs by his friends and colleagues, and even declassified FBI records from when they were spying on him."
"He beat his wife when she refused to do lower-caste work like cleaning the toilets.
He, holding fast to his principles, refused to let the people in his area inoculate their children against smallpox, due to the role cattle played in creating the vaccine. As a result, many children died.
The reason no women were allowed to go on the Salt March was because, given British sensibilities, there was no way they were going to open fire on women. Make no mistake, Gandhi was intentionally carrying on an actual, bloody war. He wanted to provoke them and prod them until they acted out, then, using his genius for public relations, portrayed the British as monsters. Non-violence only meant not harming themselves spiritually by picking up a weapon.
I have enormous respect for Gandhi and what he accomplished, and think the current narrative of him as a saint isn't doing him justice."
"Beethoven is a personal hero to me, but he was not a very nice person. He had a terrible relationship with his sister-in-law, calling her "The Queen of the Night" and spent ten years of his life trying to take her son Karl away from her.
Eventually, he was able to tarnish her reputation to the point where he got custody of Karl, and was a terrible and abusive father to the kid. Karl had to wear a truss for a testicular hernia and Beethoven would pull him by it when he was mad.
Also, those ten years where Beethoven was fighting for custody, he wrote almost no music, and this was between his middle and late period. Mankind lost a lot of immortal masterpieces during that time."
"It was fight night at a Los Angeles comedy club when Jon Lovitz roughed up Andy Dick over the murder of their Saturday Night Live colleague, Phil Hartman. Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, who witnessed the assault, said, 'Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started pouring out of his nose.'
Lovitz said, 'All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is a jerk.'
Lovitz and Andy have been at loggerheads since a 1997 Christmas party at Hartman's house, five months before his troubled wife Brynn flipped out, fatally shooting Hartman. 'Andy was doing [illegal substances], and he gave Brynn some after she had been sober for 10 years. Phil was furious about it - and then five months later he's dead' said Lovitz, adding that when he filled in on Hartman's Newsradio sitcom, 'I told Andy, 'I wouldn't be here now if you hadn't given Brynn [those subtances].''
Lovitz related how Andy strolled up to his table at a restaurant in West Hollywood, rudely downed his guests' drinks, looked at me and said, 'I put the Phil Hartman hex on you - you're the next one to die.'"
"Shaun White is well-known in snowboarding circles for being a jerk. He treats everyone around him as a complete inferior and goes out of his way to be a jerk. He also has an ego larger than any other snowboarder, and despite popular opinion, does not really deserve it.
Guys like Travis Rice are better (at least most snowboarders think so), do more to innovate, are nicer to fans, and aren't as egotistical. Plenty of Shaun White stories around."
Points have been edited for clarity.