General MacArthur's Libel Suit Exposed His Young Filipina Girlfriend
In 1932, a group of unemployed World War I veterans stormed Washington, D.C. to demand the early payment of their bonuses. In response to this fairly reasonable request from his fellow soldiers, then-Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur ignored the President's orders to stand down and led six tanks full of troops to break up the protest by any means necessary, up to and including injuring 55 of them and lighting their stuff on fire. It was generally seen as a dick move.
Journalist Drew Pearson certainly thought so, calling MacArthur "dictatorial and disloyal" and his crackdown "unnecessary, arbitrary, harsh, and brutal" in his syndicated column. With his trademark deliberation, MacArthur slapped Pearson and co-columnist Robert Allen with a $1.75 million libel suit. Pearson might have been crushed like a bug ... if he hadn't discovered MacArthur's affair with an actress named Isabel Cooper. He was 50 and recently divorced when he met her while serving in the Phillippines in 1930; she was 16 and nicknamed "Dimples." On returning to the States, he set her up in a hotel in Washington, D.C. and "bought her many lacy tea gowns, but no raincoat. She didn't need one, he told her; her duty lay in bed."
Alex CastroWhich even by 1930's standards was still well into "Eww" territory.
Truly, a beautiful love story, but by 1934, 20-year-old Cooper had grown sick of MacArthur. He was trying to send her back to the Philippines when Pearson tracked her down and discovered she'd be happy to make some cash by smiting her old sugar daddy. She agreed to appear as a witness in his lawsuit and also sold him some of MacArthur's love letters, which are better left undiscussed.
When MacArthur learned Cooper was on the witness list, he immediately sent his army buddy Dwight Eisenhower to find her, but Pearson had seen that coming and already had her hidden away in Baltimore. MacArthur then imagined his angry young ex-girlfriend testifying in court while Pearson published his love letters and suddenly decided a libel suit wasn't the greatest idea after all. The general not only dropped his suit, he coughed up $15,000 to buy his letters back.
Goat-Testicle Doctor John Brinkley Was Discredited And Ruined
You could say John Brinkley, a sort of Depression-era Dr. Oz, had some balls. Goat balls, to be specific. His primary claim to fame was an operation that transplanted goat testicles into human ballsacks as a cure for impotence. Of course, Brinkley's "cure" was as insanely dangerous as it was ineffective, but he always managed to smooth-talk his way out of the torrent of malpractice suits that followed him around like a medically negligent Eeyore. By 1938, he was hustling almost a million dollars a year (that's about $18 million in future money).
Library of CongressAlong with the prestige of fondling a presidential nutsack back in the halcyon days when that was still seen as something of a rarity.