5 Screwed-Up Secrets The Ultra-Rich Don't Want You To Know
You don't make astonishing amounts of money without ending up a jerk in some way, shape, or form. When it comes to some members of the ruling class, however, the jerkishness didn't stop when they made their fortune. They just kept going and going and going ...
Beyonce And Jay-Z Stopped Parents from Seeing Their Newborn Kids
We realize that we're risking life and limb by starting off with the Beyhive's queen bee, but on the life-changing day when Bey and Jay became parents, they decided to celebrate by trampling over a bunch of other new parents. In December 2011, Beyonce was admitted to the neonatal unit at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC with a bad case of "This baby is chestbursting from my butt(?) earlier than planned." (We have no idea how babies work.) Within hours, the ward was transformed into something resembling a clandestine black site, complete with partitions, covered windows, deactivated security cameras, and a wealth of private security personnel.
This would've been fine if the couple were having their child in a private ward. They're rich and famous, and TMZ would absolutely kill to get their hands on that placenta. We get it. The only problem was that this wasn't a private ward. It was a regular bustling maternity ward, complete with members of the public. Which meant that security, in their zeal to stop anyone from overhearing the world's most perfectly pitched pregnancy screams, were soon stepping on parents desperate to see their own newborn children.
One father was allegedly kept from seeing his wife and baby for over three hours by security personnel who refused to let him inside. Another couple visiting their newborn twin daughters in the intensive care unit claimed that they were barred from leaving on the grounds that there were "hazardous materials" in the area, despite the guard wearing a badge that said he was working a "special event." Which actually makes us glad that the other babies weren't cognizant enough to recognize getting totally owned, because dang.
Steve Jobs Gamed The Organ Donor System
Steve Jobs is as famous for having a black heart as he is for his black turtlenecks. If you think that's unfair, what else would you call someone who (allegedly) stole money from his best friend, abused his staff, walked around smelling like an open sewer, parked in handicapped spaces, and abandoned his lovechild? And whatever else, he was committed to being an insufferable turd right up until the very end.
In 2011, Jobs passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. To fight this, he had tried numerous treatments, including alternative medicine, surgery to remove the tumor, and a liver transplant. He wanted that transplant because the cancer had started to metastasize to his other organs, and a new liver offered him the best chance at retaining as much organ function (and life) as possible.
At the time, this treatment raised a few eyebrows. Livers were (and still are!) in short supply in the organ transplant system, and this led to some suggesting that maybe this wasn't the best use of a viable liver, considering how it had no shot at curing Jobs' cancer, only minimally extending his life. As well as questioning whether maybe Jobs had been allowed to jump the queue, on account of his fame and fortune. It soon came out, though, that Jobs never did anything so illegal ... because he didn't need to.
Jobs was initially placed on the organ donor waiting list in his home state of California, but received his donor organ via the waiting list in Tennessee. There's a reason you don't hear about many people awaiting organ transplants doing this. Alongside the need to appear (and pay) for numerous extensive in-person medical evaluations in every state list you enroll in, patients have to be able to collect their new organs within only a few hours of them becoming available. It feels a little obvious to say this is something the average person can't do or afford, but this is absolutely something the average person can't do or afford.
While Jobs wasn't doing anything illegal, it was undeniably shady. Especially considering, as we previously noted, that liver was never going to save his life. Other people's lives, however ...
Alice Walton (Of Walmart) Is A Dangerous Driver
Alice Walton is heiress to the vast Walmart fortune, and if you thought her awfulness was confined to the human misery engine that bears her family's name, you'd be wrong. Let's just say you know you've messed up when your Wikipedia article has its own section dedicated to automobile incidents.
Walton's reign of vehicular terror started in 1983 when, while coming back from a family retreat in Acapulco, she drove her car into a ravine. This accident left her with a broken leg, a bone infection, and a limp that persists to this day. In 1988, she received numerous citations for speeding, a state of affairs which culminated in her killing a pedestrian in 1989. Despite an admission that she was speeding, however, the police declined to press charges. (According to the victim's widower, the Waltons also never offered him any compensation.)
The next time Walton found herself in legal trouble was in 1998, when she was arrested for driving while intoxicated -- a charge that she tried to weasel out of by threatening the arresting officer with the cartoonishly ridiculous "Do you know who I am? Do you know my last name?" At trial, her lawyers tried to argue that the crash wasn't the result of her BAC (which was six points above the legal limit), just the fact that she was overworked. This argument worked so well that the judge immediately found her guilty and fined her $925. For reference, today she earns approximately $25,149 per minute.
In 2011, Walton was arrested again for speeding and DUI. But despite video evidence which showed her failing a roadside sobriety test, the local prosecutors declined to press charges, while the trooper who performed the arrest was mysteriously suspended without pay. Three weeks later, a petition filed by her lawyers resulted in her arrest records being expunged. In the words of the local assistant prosecutor at the time, "It will cease to exist for us in any way -- literally. There's really no way to stop it. Once that's done, it's gone, gone, gone." Basically like Keyser Soze, except if he drove away drunk from the police station.
George Soros Broke The Bank Of England
George Soros is the banker philanthropist whom the right wing currently believes is behind everything that they don't like, from antifa protests to migrant caravans to the Illuminati. The crazier elements (if there's such a distinction) also seem to think that he's a Nazi, which is weird, because they tend to like those folks.
Our point is he's not the kind of villain your uncle makes him out to be ... though that doesn't mean he's not a different kind of villain. In 1992, Soros was a currency trader who became infamous for pulling off a massive short-sell which netted him a cool billion-pound profit. The only problem was that he wasn't ripping off some coke-fueled yahoo on Wall Street. He was short-selling against the Bank of England, which resulted in losses to the British economy of over 3.3 billion pounds.
The Sacklers Created The Opioid Crisis And Fund Racist Fake News
There used to be a time when the Sacklers were known only for their donations to countless cultural institutions, including the Smithsonian, MoMA, the Louvre, the British Museum, and the Night At The Museum museum.
These days, though, they're better-known for their other philanthropic gesture of getting everyone hooked on opioids. The Sacklers made their money through their ownership of Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company responsible for the nightmare drug OxyContin. As we've pointed out before, this was initially marketed specifically toward doctors, which domino'd into the opioid crisis we're dealing with these days.
Their wheelhouse isn't restricted to poisoning people's bodies and minds, though. There's also their poisoning of people's souls, courtesy of how they spent several years donating to anti-Muslim hate groups. Between 2014 and 2016, the Richard and Beth Sackler Foundation made donations to the Freedom Law Center, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Jihad Watch, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism. They only stopped when journalists started asking some very pointed questions about this particular type of "philanthropy."
During that same time, the family also donated to Middle East Forum, an Islamophobic hate group that has the aim of "protecting Western values from Middle Eastern threats" -- which it does by funding rallies for bigot / milkshake aficionado Tommy Robinson and producing anti-Muslim propaganda. Its founder, Daniel Pipes, is also a huge fan of the racist conspiracy theory that Muslim immigrants want to replace European civilization with Islam.
As a result of their involvement in the opioid crisis, several institutions have recently rejected donations from the Sacklers, with some even going so far as to completely disavow them. Which is nice, but maybe also throw in a little blowback for flooding the country with non-prescription racism while you're at it.
For more, check out 6 Shockingly Out-Of-Touch Celebrities:
Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.
Follow us on Facebook. Because we said so.