When you think of the word “scandal,” there’s a good chance that some of the people on this list come to mind. It feels like the ’90s were full them—particularly legal ones—whether they involved Olympic ice skaters or the president of the United States. Before and in the early days of the internet, these scandals played out on the covers of tabloid magazines. If you stood in a supermarket line in the ’90s, these stories were staring back at you. Now, many years have passed, and the tabloid celebrities who made headlines have, for the most part, moved on to very different lives. For some, this means a redemption in the eyes of the public. For others, it means stints on reality TV. And still more of them continued to face legal issues, just of a different variety. Read on to see where 15 of the biggest tabloid celebs of the ’90s are today.
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One of the most memorable scandals of the ’90s is the one involving figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. Kerrigan was attacked by men hired by Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, the day before the U.S. Figure Skating Championship in 1994. At the time, Harding was one of the top figure skaters in the world, had competed in one Olympic Games, and was getting ready to go back for her second. Related to the crime, Harding pleaded guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution, was ordered to pay $160,000 in fines, given three years probation, and banned from U.S. Figure Skating.
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In the time since, Harding has had various jobs, including a short-lived boxing career in the early 2000s. According to a New York Times profile from 2018, she has worked as a welder, a painter, and a hardware sales clerk at Sears. She also was involved in the production of the 2017 film about her life, I, Tonya, including giving interviews to the screenwriter and selling the rights to her story. Harding, now 50, has been married to her third husband, Joseph Price, since 2010, and they have one child.
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Like Harding, Kerrigan was also one of the most elite figure skaters in the U.S. at the time of the attack. Immediately after she was struck, she cried out, “Why me?,” a phrase which covered numerous publications when the news broke. She recovered enough that, the month after the attack, Kerrigan was able to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics. She won the silver medal in women’s singles skatings and had previously won the bronze in the 1992 games.
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Kerrigan continued ice skating professionally in shows after her competitive retirement, participating in Footloose on Ice and Broadway on Ice. She’s made movie and TV appearances in projects including Fresh Off the Boat, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and Blades of Glory. Kerrigan is currently a spokesperson for Fight for Sight, an organization that helps fund research into vision lost. The 51-year-old married her husband—and former agent—Jerry Solomon in 1995. They have three children.
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Harding and Gillooly were married from 1990 to 1993. For his role in the attack on Kerrigan, Gillooly was sentenced to two years in prison for racketeering. He served six months, and after his sentence, changed his name to Jeff Stone.
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Stone’s life has been pretty private in recent years. A 2013 interview with Deadspin noted that he was a used car salesman at the time, and that he had faced a number of legal issues and hardships over the years. As of 2013, he was married to his third wife, Christy Novasio, and had two children from his second marriage. Per The Daily Mail, he talked about I, Tonya and the actor playing him on his personal Facebook page around its release, telling a friend who asked whether he was aware of it, “Oh yes. [Writer Steven Rogers] has been working on it the last couple years. Sebastian Stan and I had dinner and drinks at Oba last December. It was a lot of fun and I think he did a pretty good job with my mannerisms. Even the ones I’m self conscious of.” He also shared a photo from Stan’s Instagram of him in costume. Stone is now 52.
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Lorena Bobbitt came to national attention when she was arrested and put on trial for cutting off her husband John Wayne Bobbit‘s private parts in 1993. She alleged that she had been suffering from years of rape and abuse from John, who was acquitted of a marital sexual assault charge when he was put on trial. Lorena was also acquitted on the charge of malicious wounding with the jury citing insanity. She was required to placed under psychiatric evaluation for 45 days.
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Lorena, who is now known as Lorena Gallo, went on to start the non-profit Lorena’s Red Wagon, and now the Lorena Gallo Foundation, which works to “provide domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, intervention, and awareness services in Prince William County, Virginia.” According to a 2019 interview with The New York Times, Lorena has worked as a manicurist, a hairdresser, and a real estate agent over the years. She was involved in the Amazon Prime docuseries Lorena, released in 2019, and Lifetime’s I Was Lorena Bobbitt in 2020. Lorena, 50, is married to her second husband, David Bellinger, and has one child.
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In 1992, when Amy Fisher was 17 years old, she was having an affair with a man named Joey Buttafuoco, who was 37 and married. After confronting Buttafuoco’s wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, about the affair, Fisher shot her in the head. Mary Jo survived. Fisher pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. In 1999, she was released after serving seven years. Buttafuoco was sentenced to six months in prison for statutory rape as his sexual relationship with Fisher began when she was 16.
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After her prison sentence, Fisher started a journalism career and worked for the Long Island Press. She also co-wrote two books about her story. In the late’ 00s, she began a career in adult films. In 2017, the New York Post reported that she was performing adult webcam shows, but that she denied this. Fisher, 46, is divorced and has three children.
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The O.J. Simpson trial is one of—if not the—most famous trials of all time. In 1994, former NFL star Simpson was charged for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and her friend Ronald Goldman. After a trial that lasted nearly a year, Simpson was acquitted on both murder charges. In 1997, he was found responsible for the deaths in a civil trial and had to pay $33.5 million in damages to Brown and Goldman’s families.
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In 2007, Simpson was charged with kidnapping and armed robbery in an incident involving stealing sports memorabilia in Las Vegas. He was found guilty of 12 charges and sentenced to 33 years in prison. After serving nine years, Simpson was released on parole in 2017. Simpson is now 73 years old. As of 2019, he was living in Las Vegas and told the Associated Press, “I live in a town I’ve learned to love. Life is fine.”
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One of the central figures in the O.J. Simpson trial was prosecutor Marcia Clark. For her involvement in the trial, Clark herself made headlines, including sexist commentary about her appearance and personality. Topless photos of her were even published without her permission by the National Enquirer. When the trial began, Clark had already been working as a prosecutor for 13 years.
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Clark became a television legal commentator, author of crime novels, and created the short-lived 2019 TV series The Fix. She also wrote a book about the trial, Without a Doubt, released in 1997. The 67-year-old has cited the miniseries The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story as a reason why some people have changed their opinion of her.
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Monica Lewinsky became the most talked-about person in America in 1998 when the her affair with then-President Bill Clinton became public, because of its connection to a sexual harassment lawsuit that had been brought against Clinton by Paula Jones. Lewinsky had been an intern at the White House in her early 20s when the affair began. The situation led to Clinton’s impeachment on charges of perjury, obstruction of justice, and abuse of power.
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After the scandal, Lewinsky became a handbag designer and television personality. She then attended the London School of Economics in the ’00s and got a master’s degree in social psychology. She is an anti-bullying advocate, who gave a TEDTalk on the topic in 2015. The 48-year-old is currently an executive producer on the upcoming series Impeachment: American Crime Story, in which she’ll be played by Beanie Feldstein.
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Divine Brown (real name Estella Marie Thompson) is a former sex worker, who came to public attention when she was hired by actor Hugh Grant. Thompson and Grant were arrested together when they were caught engaged in sexual activity together in his car in Los Angeles in 1995. Thompson pleaded no contest to a charge of lewd conduct. She had to pay a $1,350 fine and was sentenced to six months in prison for a parole violation.
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A 2010 interview with the Daily Mail notes that Brown made over $1 million from interviews and appearances following the scandal and was able to purchase a home and support her family. As of 2014, she was living in Atlanta, and had two adult daughters and a young daughter. The now 50-year-old was working for the music production company owned by her former fiancé, Richie Fediccinni, whom she was separated from, according to an interview with news.com.au.
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Heidi Fleiss was known as the “Hollywood Madam” because she ran a prostitution ring in Los Angeles that was said to be for wealthy and famous clients. Fleiss was convicted on charges of tax evasion, conspiracy, and money laundering. She was sentenced to seven years in prison in 1996, but served 20 months before being sent to a halfway house.
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Fleiss, 55, is living a very different life now. She lives in Pahrump, Nevada, where initially she wanted to open a brothel, but now has a bird sanctuary, after inheriting dozens of birds from a friend who died. She also said in a 2020 New York Post interview that she was still using drugs; she’d previously stopped after appearing on Celebrity Rehab. She also appeared on the U.K.’s Celebrity Big Brother in 2010.
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Leslie Abramson was the defense attorney for Erik Menendez when he and his brother, Lyle Menendez, were on trial for for murdering their parents, José and Mary Menendez. In 1996, the Menendez brothers were convicted of the murders and sentenced to life in prison. During the trial, Abramson was accused of asking a psychiatrist who had seen Erik to edit his notes, which she denied.
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Abramson, 77, is now retired and keeps her life private. As of 2001, she was living in Los Angeles with her husband, Tim Rutten, and their child. Abramson also has an older daughter from a previous marriage. In 2004, she was briefly hired as counsel by music producer Phil Spector, who was later convicted of murdering Lana Clarkson, but resigned from the case. One recent update about Abramson is that she was the keynote speaker at the 15th annual Women and the Law Conference in 2015. Edie Falco portrayed the former lawyer in Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders in 2017; Abramson was not involved in the production.
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Paul Reubens is known for his character Pee-wee Herman, and the movies and TV shows in which he played the character in the ’80s and early ’90s. But, in 1991, Reubens was arrested for indecent exposure at an adult movie theater and began making headlines for that instead. Reubens pleaded no contest and had to produce an anti-drug video, which covered his requirement of 75 hours of community service. He also had to pay a $50 fine.
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In the years following the arrest, Reubens continued to act, though not as frequently as he did when he was still playing Pee-wee. He appeared in Blow, Murphy Brown, Ally McBeal, and Matilda, among other roles. The scandal also wasn’t the end of his legal issues, however. In 2004, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obscenity charge connected to photos seized from his home when he was connected to an investigation for child pornography. A child pornography charge against Reubens was dismissed. He maintained that he had a “vintage erotica” collection that he considered art, according to an interview with NBC News.
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The murder of six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey is one of the most widely covered unsolved crimes there is. In 1996, JonBenét, a child beauty queen, was killed in her home. Her parents, John Bennett Ramsey and Patricia Ramsey, were investigated and then indicted for alleged child abuse in relation to JonBenét’s murder—which they denied—but they were not charged because the district attorney decided there was insufficient evidence.
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In 2008, John, Patricia, and JonBenét’s brother, Burke Ramsey, were exonerated by the Boulder County District Attorney at the time, Mary Lacy, when new DNA evidence was found that didn’t belong to the family members—a decision that was considered controversial by others working on the case. Patricia had died in 2006 at age 49 of ovarian cancer. John, 77, is now re-married. Burke is now 34 years old, and, like his parents, has been involved in defamation lawsuits against publications that suggested they had killed JonBenét. The case of her murder is still open.
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Unlike some of the people on this list, Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee were already celebrities before becoming tabloid fixtures. At the time that their quick marriage and graphic tape made tabloid headlines in the mid ’90s, Anderson was already known for starring on Baywatch, her role on Home Improvement, and modeling for Playboy. Lee, meanwhile, was the drummer for Mötley Crüe. The infamous tape was filmed when they were on their honeymoon and released after it was stolen from their home.
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Anderson continued acting and has appeared on numerous reality TV shows, including several international versions of Dancing with the Stars and Big Brother. She’s also an animal rights activist, and has made headlines for her numerous marriages and her connection to Julian Assange. Anderson, 54, has two adult children with Lee.
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Lee continues to be a member of Mötley Crüe, and has released solo music, as well as music with his other band, Methods of Mayhem. Like Anderson, the 58-year-old has participated in reality shows, appearing on Rock Star: Supernova and Tommy Lee Goes to College. Lee has faced some legal issues over the years, including being sentenced to six months in prison for abusing Anderson. He is currently married to his fourth wife, Brittany Furlan.
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