From Scandal To Bigger, Better Careers: 5 People's Stories

Eliot Spitzer recovered from scandalIf you find yourself standing at a podium, beside your stone-faced wife, explaining that you need to take personal time to regain the trust of your family, your political career is likely over. But while Eliot Spitzer's penchant for female escorts may have cut short his term as New York governor, his career rebounded fast. Spitzer became a columnist, adjunct professor, and TV host, and hasn't ruled out another run for office.

The American people can be a fickle bunch, condemning some transgressors to eternal oblivion, while forgiving others in a flash. Here are a handful of individuals who resigned in scandal, but through a unique array of strategies, managed to bounce back with new, re-energized careers.


Henry BlodgetIn our beautifully karmic world, it was then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer who led the campaign against Henry Blodget. As a Wall Street analyst, Blodget allegedly published stock assessments that weren't entirely true. In 2003, he settled the fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $4 million, although didn't admit wrongdoing, and agreed to a permanent ban from the securities industry.

Like Spitzer, Blodget went on to a successful career in punditry, founding the news site Business Insider in 2007. According to a recent announcement, the site has reached 23 million unique monthly readers, and according to various other people, is destroying the future of journalism. Blodget, fortunately, is used to handling haters.

Strategy: Leverage your brash, take-no-prisoners persona into a new industry that also loves brash, take-no-prisoners personas.

More: 8 Bizarre Teacher Scandals You Won't Believe


Michael KopperEnron alumni have gone on to a range of enterprises. The chief financial operator is now a document review clerk at a law firm. The assistant treasurer now runs an art consulting firm under her maiden name. The co-CEO of Enron Broadband Services says that he currently runs a party supply business on LinkedIn.

But Michael Kopper, the former finance managing director, who served two years in prison, is now the chief strategy officer for a community health clinic in Houston. No longer earning (or stealing) millions, Kopper spends his days raising money to provide low-cost care to underserved people.

Strategy: Redeem yourself through a do-gooder job way below your old pay grade.


Jayson BlairIn the '90s, Jayson Blair was a rising star of a journalist, landing a job at The New York Times before he even graduated college. That all ended, however, when it came out that Blair was a prolific plagiarist and fabricator, not only stealing quotes from other papers, but making them up altogether. After his resignation, reported as an unprecedented front-page, 7,500-word damnation from the country's most prestigious paper, Blair went on to become a motivational speaker and life coach.

"They know I've been in their shoes," Blair told The Washington Times about his new post. "I think it can feel a little more authentic."

Strategy: Help others not screw up like you screwed up.


Chuck ColsonThe self-described "hatchet man" for President Richard Nixon, Chuck Colson ultimately pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice as the Watergate scandal unfolded, serving seven months in federal prison.

But that was just the beginning of Colson's story. As he was facing arrest at the age of 41, Colson converted to evangelical Christianity and while behind bars decided that God had called him to reform the prison system. He launched the largest prison ministry in the country, and later The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. For his Christian works (and words -- over 30 books worth of them), he received 15 honorary doctorates, reports The Christian Post, the Presidential Citizens Medal, and the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, the largest monetary award of its kind -- donating the $1 million-plus prize to his ministry. Colson died in 2012.

Strategy: Find God.

More: Bad Bosses: How Inept Execs Got Away With Mismanagement And Scandal In 2012


Ray LewisMurder charges look bad on a resume. But Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis breezily dusted off his jersey, ending his football career after the 2013 Super Bowl -- as the longest serving linebacker in the NFL, and many say the best.

In 2000, Lewis was indicted on first-degree murder charges after a bar brawl left two dead. He took a plea deal, testifying against his friends (who were later acquitted), and admitting to obstruction of justice, before returning to the field with a vengeance. He was named an Associated Press All-Pro 10 times and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year twice, as well as winning the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Award. For his stunning career, and the work of his charitable foundation, Baltimore even re-named part of a road in his honor.

Strategy: Be so awesome and break so many records that everyone forgets you ever had a scandal.

How to Make a Public Apology

Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now

More From AOL Jobs

Looking for a job? Click here to get started.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

You forgot to add Bill Clinton. Remember "Slick Willy" "I did not have sex with that woman" as he shook his finger at all of America while saying it.

March 08 2013 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Say NO to libs!

Yeah, Weiner will be back after he's given the liberals ample time to forget his slimy transgressions.

March 07 2013 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Eliot Spitzer seems like a pretty cool guy. I look at all these guys posted above at a much higher level than before and I would do everything that they have. I was a driver for an escort agency and made great money. Ray Lewis probably conducted in self defense. Chuck Colson? Nahhh, I don't forgive God for his sins. And Jayson Blair? Nothing wrong with sharing quotes and stories to please readers whom never read the original ones. Michael Kopper? Please..., these guys are not pedophiles, wife beaters or rapists.

March 07 2013 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh my...scary how fast we forget.

March 06 2013 at 10:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I hate to say it, but I knew this was written by a woman. Could not tell at first, but when she got to Ray Lewis she mentioned a strategy of "breaking so many records". Even though Ray was a great linebacker, a sure first ballot hall-of-famer, he plays linebacker; it not that type of position where stats are accumulated and kept up with like that. Only a woman (or maybe a rare guy that knows absolutely nothing about football) would write that, although breaking lots of records would help. Knowing about football, her "strategy" for Ray Lewis sounds kinda silly. I know what she was driving at, but it's a bit off in this case. Now Drew Brees.... he is LITERALLY breaking all kinds of records... but he's a quarterback.

March 06 2013 at 8:47 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The media would not exist if it didnt have people to chastize. They bread in butter is demonizing anyone who can give them a buzz. Unfortunately the people are not any better for I have not met anyone who can live without judging others. Dont believe? Read the news and just scroll down. You wont have to scroll down far. I like comment sections online because only online can people muster the heart to speak what they feel. They live that robotic polically correct world they live in to vent here.

March 06 2013 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ludiamondz's comment


March 06 2013 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

if your childs role model is anyone in sports you have done a poor job as a parent.

March 06 2013 at 3:51 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

My sons hero? RAY LEWIS?????????

March 06 2013 at 3:30 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Spitzer should never be allowed back into decent society. Adjunct professor? Really? His sin wasn't having sex with a hooker, it was being a hypocrite who zealously arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned pimps and criminals for doing EXACTLY what he was doing. Further, he should have been in Federal prison for years for the crime of transporting a sex worker across state lines, but somehow that was never charged, right Mr. US Attorney General? I guess Daddy's money was put to good use.

March 06 2013 at 3:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to valentsgrif's comment

No. He prosecuted Financial Fraud. That is what he was known for, and why he was elected Governor. Like many men in his age group, Democrats and Republicans, when they rise to a place of power, they get involved with sexual improprieties. I realized this when Republican Senator John Ensign got caught, although he also broke the law at the same time. All of these men were in their late 40's and early 50's. We used to call it "male menopause". I think it really exists.

But Spitzer didn't go after sex crimes; he was too busy putting Wall Street and Banking cheats in Prison. He was working for us. It is really a loss for the little guy. I hope he does run again for Attorney General or Governor. God knows we know all the bad stuff, and we need someone to go after the Wall Street and Banking crooks again. Maybe he could break up the Big Banks. No more too big to fail.

March 06 2013 at 7:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to madlyfem's comment

People care more about your lifestyle and how you live than how you perform a task or job.

March 06 2013 at 7:58 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down

They all did creepy things and now that they're successful again, doesn't make them good people. I wouldn't hold any of them up as shining examples for anyone to emulate.

March 06 2013 at 1:31 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to prubin112's comment

The only way you have a right to say that is if you were not Human. All Human beings born (drum roll)... Human therefore commit bad acts. I doubt you are beyond us. All humans labeled evil because of one act. You can spend your whole life giving to charity bettering the world any way possible but that means nothing if one small thing is not to the peoples liking. People are hypocrites who point fingers at others due to your own insecurities.

March 06 2013 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Search Articles

Picks From the Web