16. Eric Cantor
Eric Cantor was first sent to Washington in 2001 as a congressional representative from Virginia’s 7th District. He made a name for himself among conservatives in Washington, and in 2011 became House Majority Leader. To many he was the obvious choice for the next Speaker of the House. However, in the 2014 primary election, Cantor lost to Tea Party-backed college professor, David Brat. Very few could have predicted the defeat as Cantor’s campaign raised some $5.4 million, while Brat’s camp barely raised $200,000. Cantor lost by 11 points. This was especially astounding as he had won 79% of the vote in his district in a previous primary. For an incumbent of Cantor’s rank to lose in a primary was unprecedented.
17. El Chapo
Joaquín Guzmán, commonly known as El Chapo, was dubbed the biggest drug trafficker of all time by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. At the head of the powerful and violent Sinaloa Cartel, El Chapo used Chicago as a distribution hub for U.S markets. The DEA estimated that at one point the Sinaloa Cartel supplied as much as 80% of cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine consumed in the city. Just months after a much publicized, and criticized, interview with American actor Sean Penn, Mexican marines were able to determine Guzmán’s whereabouts, and in January 2016, he was captured. Assuming he does not escape, which he has been known to do, El Chapo is expected to spend the rest of his life in jail.
18. Chris Christie
In the most recent of numerous political misfortunes, Christie lost his bid as a Republican presidential candidate. Raising only $27 million in his campaign, seven other Republican presidential hopefuls raised more funds than Christie. While running, Christie often offered sharp criticism of opponent Donald Trump. However, after dropping out of the race, Christie immediately threw his support behind his former rival. To many, the reversal was perceived as opportunistic and politically calculating, a direct contradiction of the public image he had built for himself.
19. Bill Cosby
Arguably, no celebrity has experienced a greater fall from grace than Bill Cosby. Cosby was the star of his own wildly popular television show for close to a decade and was the spokesman for a number of popular brands, including Coca-Cola, Kodak, and most famously, Jello. He was beloved by many for his dad jokes and sweaters. In 2004, Andrea Constand came forward claiming Cosby had drugged and raped her. To date, more than 50 women have submitted claims of sexual assault against Cosby. A Pennsylvania judge determined this May that there was enough evidence for Cosby to stand trial. He will stand trial for three felony aggravated indecent assault charges.
20. Nick Denton
Nick Denton started Gawker Media in 2002, and as the company expanded to include a number of successful sites, including Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, and Jalopnik, Denton found success and wealth as one of the pioneers of digital media. In March, Terry Bollea, the man known as superstar wrestler Hulk Hogan sued Gawker Media for releasing a sex tape he had recorded. The court found in favor of Bollea, and ordered Gawker to pay $140 million. After the conclusion of the lawsuit, it was revealed that venture capitalist Peter Thiel had bankrolled the lawsuit, ostensibly as revenge for being outed as gay in Valleywag, a now-defunct Gawker enterprise. The company filed for bankruptcy in June and the remains were bought by Univision. Denton, however, will not be a part of the new company. In addition, Univision will pay Denton to stay out of the media business for two years.
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