There are just a few accoutrements that everyone associates with wealth, sophistication, and luxury: rare and exotic furs, flawless diamond jewelry, aged brandy, and a good cigar. And because of the elitist nature of those who partake of such extravagance, it should come as no surprise that they’re often embroiled in some sort of scandal (that’s what you get for thinking you’re above the law). What’s interesting is how many of these incidents involve the very accessories that highlight a person’s social status. Here are the top five scandals involving both the social elite and their cigars.
The year was 1995. A young broad with a few extra pounds and dreams of grandeur became mistress to Bill Clinton, a married man who also happened to be President of the United States. Monica Lewinsky was subsequently moved to the Pentagon, where she told her story to Linda Tripp, who later revealed the evidence to Kenneth Starr, independent counsel investigating the Whitewater controversy (he later broadened his case to include sexual misconduct). The smoking gun in his case? An inconspicuous blue dress and a misused cigar tube that played a big role in the affair. Enough said.
Retired commissioner Tommy Henry began being audited in 2007 for misappropriation of funds including green fees, shopping trips for his wife, and (you guessed it) cigars. About $50,000 worth of cigars online purchased at a dozen different locations popped up on a credit card bill paid with association monies (that were supposed to go to high school athletics), making the acts both illegal, immoral, and totally hypocritical.
Remember Richard Heene; the man who called out authorities last year to chase down a weather balloon that his son was allegedly trapped in only to have it later revealed that he himself had told his son to hide during the incident? This is one fame-seeking father that doesn’t give up easily. Photos of this parent-of-the-year giving his infant son a beer and a cigar surfaced on TMZ shortly after. Why these people still retain custody of their three children is anyone’s guess.
Moments after being awarded gold medals in February 2010, the women of the Canadian Olympic Hockey Team were reportedly caught carousing with alcohol and cigars, causing a huge uproar and an investigation by the International Olympic Committee. Since when did it become a crime to smoke a cigar and drink some champagne after WINNING THE OLYMPICS? Sounds like an excellent way to celebrate. The saddest part is that if they had been men, no one would have batted an eye.
Can no one in the sports arena escape the scrutiny that apparently accompanies smoking cigars? The Cincinnati Reds appear to be the latest victims. Following their victory over the favored Philadelphia Phillies in the National League playoffs just last month, they apparently celebrated at their clubhouse by lighting up a few stogies. Since smoking indoors at public places is against Ohio state law (and several people called in complaints), the cigars had to be expunged. A spokesman for the health department says it is unlikely that any legal action will be taken.
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