The public and media have been more than buzzing after what seems like a domino effect of career and personal disaster for former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson. It began with his arrest and domestic battery charges after his new wife Evelyn Lozada accused him of head butting her during an argument over a condom receipt. Then, in what seems like moments after the arrest, Johnson was released from his one-year contract with the Dolphins. To make matters worse, his highly anticipated VH1 reality TV show Ev and Ocho, which would showcase he and Lozada in wedded bliss, was pulled from the network’s schedule, with no future plans to air. And in more unfortunate news, Lozada has filed for divorce.
As details of these events continue to be released, we take a look at four other athletes whose love and relations with the opposite sex landed them in hot water, tarnishing their brands and, in many cases, breaking their pockets. —Sasha King
Tiki Barber is a retired NFL running back and a former NBC correspondent for the Today Show and Football Night in America. During his time at NBC, he separated from his pregnant wife of 11 years and began publicly dating his mistress and NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson. Shortly after this became public, his contract with NBC was not renewed. He was recently married to his mistress days after his divorce became final in 2012. He decided to come out of retirement for the NFL 2011 season as a free agent. To date he is still unsigned.
Kobe Bryant has to be one of the most loyal players around —pun intended—having been the shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers for more than a decade. He is arguably one of the best basketball players of our time, and his talent is unquestionable. But in 2003, it wasn’t his skill on the court, but his marital fidelity— and criminal allegations— that became a question and caused a major media storm.
In June of that year, Bryant was accused of sexually assaulting a 19-year-old Colorado woman at the resort where she worked. The charge of sexual assault is a felony and would have resulted in a prison sentence as well as a fine. In 2004, the victim refused to participate in the trial and the charge was dismissed. A civil suit was subsequentially filed against him, and that case was settled out of court. During the trial, his endorsements with McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Ferrero were terminated. His wife also filed for divorce. Since then he has been able to bounce back, gaining endorsements from other companies.
Mike Tyson has talent as a boxer, but he would face ongoing hard knocks in his personal life and with his finances. As the former heavyweight champion, he was recognized as one of the greatest fighters of all time, but in 1991 he faced rape charges and by the next year, was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison. He was released in 1995 after serving three. Though his comeback fights would rake in record dollars, much of his life after the conviction would be marked with scandal and challenges.
In 1997, two years after his release, he had a highly publicized bout against Evander Holyfield where a piece of Holyfield’s ear was bitten off, resulting in Tyson being fined $3 million and having his boxing license revoked. Since then, he has had a series of misfortune and tragedy including bankruptcy, divorce, and the untimely death of one of his children.