6 Public Figures Whose Reputations Were Demolished by Leaked Media

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By now you’ve probably heard of (or even seen) Jim Paredes’ leaked video, which made the rounds on social media during April Fools’ Day. The APO Hiking Society member first claimed the video was fake, before admitting the day after that it was, in fact, real.

But Paredes is hardly the first public figure whose reputation has been damaged by extramarital affairs and leaked media. Here, we list six public figures, ranging from politicians to businessmen to athletes, who have had their images irreversibly demolished by leaked content:

1| Jeff Bezos

If money is power, then Jeff Bezos is the most powerful of them all. He is the world’s richest man with a net worth of $131 billion (P6.9 trillion), according to Forbes. It’s a fortune he grew from retail giant Amazon as well as various other businesses. But even the richest man in the world isn’t immune to leaks.

IMAGE: Wikimedia

Not even a day after his divorce with MacKenzie Tuttle was announced last January, the National Enquirer published text messages that pointed to an extramarital affair with TV personality Lauren Sanchez. This has led to a prolonged battle involving Bezos, National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc., and more leaks, this time involving scandalous photos of Bezos and Sanchez. 

2| Anthony Weiner

One of the most famous cases of “leaked” media leading to a downfall is former U.S. congressman Anthony Weiner, where the leak began with an unintended tweet from Weiner himself of a suggestive photo directed to a woman in her 20s. After initial claims that his social media accounts were hacked, Weiner later confirmed that he had been sending sexual photos to various women online.

IMAGE: Wikimedia

Downfall is putting it lightly, as mere days after the allegations surfaced, he submitted his resignation from Congress. He was later charged for sexting with a minor, which led to his imprisonment as well as an eventual divorce with Huma Abedin.

3| Malusi Gigaba

The former minister of home affairs in South Africa was already dealing with various public controversies when his private video leaked online. The tape, which features Gigaba performing sexual acts on himself, was claimed by the politician as material that was being used to blackmail him.

IMAGE: Wikimedia - Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres

While he apologized for the leak on Twitter last October, Gigaba only stepped down from his role the month after. However, it’s hard to say that it was because of the leaked video when he was already in the middle of several political allegations.

4| Amir Khan

British boxer Amir Khan has one of the most notable careers in the sport with a record of 33 wins out of his 37 fights. But his career was tainted by a leaked tape of him performing sexual acts on himself, which was believed to be made weeks after Khan’s wedding with his wife, Faryal Makhdoom.

The tape, which was leaked last January 2017, added to the friction that Khan and Makhdoom had already been experiencing by then. By August, the pair announced that they would divorce, though Khan and Makhdoom would later reconcile.

5| Hulk Hogan

Hulk Hogan’s image was tarnished by not one, but two leaked sex tapes. The first was a snippet from a sex tape with Heather Clem, the ex-wife of one of his closest friends at the time. But instead of denying it, the wrestling star sued the publication that published the leak for invasion of privacy, a suit that Hogan won.

IMAGE: Wikimedia

But he’s far from leaving this battle unscathed—another sex tape was leaked that featured the wrestler making racist remarks about his daughter’s relationship with a black man. Those remarks led to the termination of his contract with the WWE in 2015, though Hogan had since been reinstated to the organization.

6| Tiger Woods

Once touted as the greatest golfer of all time, Tiger Woods was accused of having affairs with several women in 2009, five years after he married Elin Nordegren. The accusations, which included a leaked voicemail message from one of his mistresses, were eventually confirmed by the golfer in the days that followed—after he was involved in a car accident near his home.

The accusations eventually led to Woods and Nordegren’s divorce the year after. The golfer made headlines again (outside of his golfing exploits) when he was arrested for driving under the influence.

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