Ben Roethlisberger has twice been accused of sexual assault -- first in a 2009 case in Lake Tahoe and then a year later in a Georgia college town. Charges were not filed in either case, but Roethlisberger was still punished by the NFL after the 2010 case. Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the quarterback for the first four games of the 2010 season without pay for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Not so super stars
As fans have learned over the years, not all athletes are as heroic off the field as they are on it. In fact, some are downright villians when it comes to scandalous affairs, indecent incidents and illicit relationships. Here's a look at some of the sports sex scandals that have had fans talking over the years.
In the 1980s, baseball star Steve Garvey's romantic road yielded multiple affairs, an unflattering tell-all book by his ex-wife Cyndy ("The Secret Life of Cyndy Garvey") and children out of wedlock. And at one point after his divorce, two of his three girlfriends became pregnant. He was engaged to one of them, as well, but she ended the relationship after discovering that he was dating a fourth woman. He married Girlfriend No. 4, Candace Thomas, in 1989.
In its heyday, Atlanta's Gold Club was a favorite stop for professional athletes of every description, and the "entertainers" there were known to take special care of its athletic customers. All of this came to light when federal investigators alleged the club was tied to organized crime and a front for prostitution, credit card fraud, extortion, bribery and money laundering. The feds called many well-known athletes as witnesses, including Knicks center Patrick Ewing, who admitted that dancers went above and beyond the normal call of duty during two of his frequent visits.
By taking a combative stance toward steroid accuser Brian McNamee and nosy media types, former pitching great Roger Clemens brought unwanted scrutiny into his personal life. Among the revelations? He carried on a relationship with country singer Mindy McCready, dating back to her teenage years. McCready didn't deny the affair, but she declined to offer much detail. Clemens is still married to his first wife, Debra.
ESPN sex scandals
The sports media has had its share of sex scandals, but ESPN has been especially hard hit in recent years. Baseball analyst Harold Reynolds exited after sexual harassment allegations. Sideline reporter Erin Andrews fell prey to a peeping tom videographer, whose work ended up all over the Internet. And baseball analyst Steve Phillips (pictured) was fired along with a 22-year-old production assistant when an affair between the two of them became public. His wife Marni Phillips later filed for divorce.
In the 1980s, it wasn't uncommon for baseball players to have girlfriends on the side. But that issue didn't get much discussion in the mainstream media until Margo Adams filed a multimillion-dollar palimony suit against Red Sox star Wade Boggs in 1988. Adams served up all the juicy details of their four-year affair to talk show host Phil Donahue, Penthouse magazine and anybody else who would listen. She claimed she traveled with Boggs on road trips and that the Red Sox were well aware of their relationship. Boggs owned up to infidelity and portrayed himself as a sex addict. Despite the admission, the baseball star and his wife are still married.
The colorful ex-NBA star made headlines Sept. 6, 2010, when he inadvertently broadcasted a sexual encounter with a group of women at a New York hotel. Rodman had been giving shout-outs with a microphone at a party in the early hours of Monday morning at Hotel Indigo in Hampton Bays, N.Y., when he left to go to his room with six women, according to a New York Post report. However, he had the mic in his pocket and it was still on. "Rodman had quite a lot to drink," a source told the Post. "...You could hear through the speakers downstairs Rodman describing in full sexual detail what he wanted to do to (the girls). Organizers pulled the plug before it got any dirtier."
When the always provocative News of the World came across a sex tape of former FIA president Max Mosley in Nazi-themed orgies in 2008, it hit the mother lode. The racing executive was seen apparently shouting orders in German and lashing prostitutes wearing imitation death camp uniforms. He later said his actions were misinterpreted and he spoke German to the prostitutes because some of them were German. But Mosley still received a vote of confidence from the FIA after the incident and a month later, he won a legal case against the paper. The publication was shut down in 2011 following its own scandal involving phone hacking. (News of the World was owned by FOXSports.com's parent company News Corp.)
Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich
Yankees fans were taken aback when pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson swapped wives (and eventually their entire families) in 1972 and 1973. First Marilyn Peterson and Susan Kekich traded places — then the kids came along too. "We didn't do anything sneaky or lecherous," Susan said at the time. "There isn't anything smutty about this." But the situation was definitely awkward. "Fritz and Mike were good friends," teammate Jake Gibbs later said. "They were really close, and their families were close. I guess we just didn't know how close."
In June 2003, Bryant was in Colorado to undergo knee surgery when a young woman employed at a hotel showed him to his room outside Vail, Colo. Local police later charged Bryant with sexual assault; the basketball star said his encounter with the woman was consensual. After 14 months of legal wrangling, the prosecution dropped the case when the alleged victim declined to go through with the trial.
Tiger Woods was involved in a minor car crash on Nov. 27, 2009 that turned into something very major. The accident led to increased scrutiny about the golfer's infidelity. Woods admitted to being unfaithful to his wife — on more than one occasion — and publicly apologized three months later. Woods returned to Golf after a 20-week absence, during which time he reportedly received treatment for a sex addiction. (See Tiger's alleged mistresses.)
Possibly one of the most infamous affairs of all time allegedly occurred between MLB player Maury Wills and movie star Doris Day, which was made more scandalous because Day was married at the time. The fact that it was an interracial affair -- in the 1960s –added fuel to the fire. Wills admitted to the affair in his memoir, but Day denied the claim in her autobiography, saying it was probably a rumor started by the Los Angeles Dodgers for publicity.
In 2007, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Richard Seigler was accused of being involved in a prostitution ring. Specifically, he was accused of pandering and providing transportation for prostitutes in Las Vegas. The charges against Seigler didn’t hold up , but he was dropped by the Pittsburgh Steelers and never again played in the NFL. He resurfaced briefly in the Canadian Football League and now is an assistant coach at Portland State.
Does the name Crystal Gail Mangum ring a bell? She is the woman who touched off a firestorm when she accused numerous Duke lacrosse players of rape in 2006. The story raised more than a few ethical issues for those involved after Mangum later backed off her statements and charges against three players in the case were eventually dropped. In 2011, Mangum was charged with murder, accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death. The prosecutor in the 2006 case, Mike Nifong, was disbarred.
Back in 2005, a few Vikings players set out on a boating adventure with some friends, but the excursion led to charges of disorderly conduct and inappropriate behavior. In fact, charges were filed against multiple players after the “Love Boat”-themed party that night. Although some players didn’t face legal punishment but all players involved took some heavy hits in the court of public opinion.
An affair with a woman in 2003 eventually caused more trouble in 2009 when Rick Pitino found himself in the middle of an extortion attempt by the aforementioned mistress. Having an affair won’t put you in jail, but the University of Louisville basketball coach had some explaining to do to the Louisville community. He also had the embarrassment of testifying in court that their infamous tryst in a restaurant lasted no more than 15 seconds. In December 2011, Pitino announced he would retire when his contract expires after the 2016-17 season. The woman, Karen Sypher, was sentenced in February 2011 to seven years in prison.
Dwight Yorke and Mark Bosnich
Two Aston Villa soccer stars, Dwight Yorke and Mark Bosnich, filmed themselves in compromising sexual positions with a few women. Afterward, the incriminating tape surfaced after reportedly being discovered in Yorke’s trash. Maybe the choice to dispose of the tape by simply throwing it in the trash wasn’t a savvy move.
In 1997, reports began surfacing that Marv Albert was involved in some outlandish sexual behavior behind closed doors. It took a while, but the broadcaster finally fessed up and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault for biting a woman. He received a suspended sentence, and the charge was dropped after a year. However, there was no explanation for the women’s clothes he was allegedly wearing at the time. Albert lost his play-by-play job at NBC as the scandal unfolded, but he returned to the network in 2000. He now calls NBA
Any time a coach is rumored to have a relationship with a player, it’s bound to be an explosive story. That held true when former LSU women’s basketball coach Dana Chatman was accused of being involved with a former player in 2007 after an assistant coach tipped off the school. Chatman later filed a suit against the school, alleging that the school owed her money after they forced her to resign. Chatman now coaches the Chicago Sky in the WNBA.
Hall of Fame point guard Isiah Thomas got in all kinds of trouble when a sexual harassment lawsuit was brought against him and the New York Knicks in 2007. A former Knicks employee accused Thomas, then both coach and president of basketball operations of the Knicks, of making unwanted sexual advances and calling her inappropriate names. A jury agreed with her in a civil case to the tune of $11.6 million. The Knicks reassigned Thomas to consulting duties in 2008, and he took a coaching job at Florida International in 2009.
Lately, Mike Tyson has been seen as the ex-boxer with the face tattoo from “The Hangover,” but back in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, Tyson was a respected fighter. After Tyson rose to the top of the boxing ranks, his fall from grace began in 1992 when the heavyweight champ was convicted of rape in a case involving an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant in an Indianapolis hotel. After serving three years for the crime, Tyson never reclaimed elite status in the boxing world.
It’s going to be hard to win in the court of public opinion if you leave your wife for a younger intern, especially when your wife is pregnant at the time. Tiki Barber knows this all too well. The former New York Giants running back ended his marriage to his wife — who was eight months pregnant — to continue a relationship with his younger mistress.
BYU has a strict honor code that it expects all students to follow. The school doesn't make exceptions, even for its athletes, which was evident when basketball star Brandon Davies was dismissed from the team on March 1, 2011 for admitting to having premarital sex -- a violation of the code. Davies was able to return to the team for the 2011-12 season, saying "I was definitely treated more than fair; just to be able to make it back here and be able to be a part of this team again is a blessing to me."
In July 2008, Cynthia Rodriguez filed for divorce from her husband Alex citing "emotional abandonment" and "extramarital affairs and other marital misconduct" by her husband. His relationship with singer Madonna seemed to be the final straw for his wife, but it wasn't the first alleged affair the baseball star had while he was married. Other alleged paramours included an exotic dancer and prostitutes of madam Kristin Davis, who also was allegedly involved in a scandal that brought down then-New York Governor Eliot Spitzer.
Chipper Jones had been married for five years when his son was born in 1997 -- to another woman. Jones later admitted that he had an 18-month affair with a Hooters waitress he met in Florida during the Braves spring training that year. "I've messed up royally," the baseball star later said of his infidelity. He wife stood by him after he acknowledged what happened, but the two later divorced.