Nominee: Robert Kraft / Orchids of Asia Day Spa
Congratulations to the only person nominated twice in our Castronovies - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft! In January of 2019 Kraft was charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution, after two visits to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, FL. After allegedly getting a "happy ending" on the morning of January 20th, Kraft flew to Kansas City where he watched his team beat out the Chiefs to earn the AFC Championship title and yet another trip to the SuperBowl.
Nominee: Shane Gillis / SNL
Comedian Shane Gillis made national headlines when he was announced as a new cast member on the sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, only to be fired from the show 4 days later, due to backlash from resurfaced clips from his podcast featuring jokes that were deemed by some as racially insensitive. Gillis posted a tweet saying that he was a "comedian who pushes boundaries" and that "if you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses."
Nominee: Operation Varsity Blues
In March of 2019, a scandal arose over a criminal conspiracy to influence undergraduate admissions decisions at several top American universities. The investigation into the conspiracy was nicknamed Operation Varsity Blues, and actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman were charged along with at least 50 others. Huffman pled guilty to honest services fraud and was sentenced to 14 days of incarceration, one year supervised release, $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, are still fighting their charges of bribery and money laundering.
Nominee: Jussie Smollet
On January 29, 2019, Smollett told police that he was attacked outside his apartment building by two men in ski masks who called him racial and homophobic slurs, and said "This is MAGA country." As it turns out, he allegedly payed two Nigerian-American brothers to stage a fake hate crime. On February 20, 2019, Smollett was charged by a grand jury with a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. While charges against him were dropped (a fact the FBI decided to investigate) Smollett's character was subsequently removed from the final two episodes of his show Empire's fifth season and was fired from the show before it's sixth season.
So which of these deserves the title "Scandal of the Year?" Submit your vote below!