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From action heroes to political figures, 2011 saw its fair share of high profile scandals and controversies.

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Below is a list of scandals from the past year that rocked NewsOne.

7. News Corp. Phone Tapping

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the parent company of cable news channel Fox news, found itself in hot water when it was revealed that journalists at British tabloid News of the World had illegally accessed voice mails, bribed law enforcement officers and exercised improper influence in the pursuit of publishing stories. Amidst the scandal, it was even alleged that News Corp. journalists tapped into the phones of 9/11 victims. []

6. Weinergate

In May, news surfaced that the New York Democrat had sent racy pictures (including one of his crotch) to various young women that he had inappropriate online relationships with via Twitter. Initially Weiner denied the allegations, claiming he had never met, or had a physical relationship with any of the women. But after days of scruntiny in the media, and after more pictures surfaced, Weiner finally admitted sending  sexually explicit photos and messages to women both before and during his marriage. Weiner resigned from office weeks after the story broke. []

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Love Child

Hollywood icon and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, shocked America when it came to light that he had fathered a baby with a member of his household staff. According to statements by Gigi Goyette, Schwarzenegger’s alleged mistress and other of his love child, she and Arnold met in 1975, when she was just 16 years old. In the wake of the allegations, Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver, divorced the former action star after more than 25 years of marriage. []

4. Fast and Furious Sting Operation

A sting operation by the ATF aimed at cracking down on illegal gun-running became news after it was discovered that the agency lost track of hundreds of huns originally owned by the U.S. government that started showing up at the scenes of violent crimes in Mexico — including the murder of a U.S. border agent. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder, who took much of the blame in the media, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee  that while the tactics were inappropriate he or and other top level officials had no knowledge that it was in use. []

3. DSK Sexual Assault Allegations

In May, Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned after it was alleged that the former IMF head sexually assaulted a maid at a New York City hotel. Kahn was detained by New York authorities boarding a plane to France and placed on house arrest as an investigation ensued. According to reports, the hotel housekeeper’s account was so compelling that it brought tears to the eyes of investigators. And yet, the subsequent charges were later dropped after doubts about the maid’s credibility surfaced. []

2. Penn State Sex Abuse Scandal

Former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky became better known as an accused child molester when it surfaced in the news that at least eight underage boy claimed he has inappropriate sexual contact with them dating from 1994 to 2009. While Sandusky continues to maintain his innocence, he has admitted to showering with young boys. Longtime Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, the winningest coach in college footbal history,  and school president Graham Spanier over how the school handled child sex abuse allegations against Sandusky. []

1. Herman Cain Sexual Harassment

The unconventional Republican presidential hopeful and the former head of Godfather’s Pizza chain was leading the GOP field before his campaign took a wild turn when numerous women came forward alleging sexual harassment, and in one case, a 13-year extramarital affair. While Cain denied the accusations, his shady handling of the situation ultimately led to him dropping out of the race. []


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