5 Creepy News Stories That Aren't Getting Enough Attention
I know life can be tough. That's why every now and then we here at Cracked like to remind you that it isn't as bleak as it seems. Despite what the news likes to report, most people are good, the world can be a nice place, and there are plenty of happy stories out there that don't get enough coverage.
Sorry, but this isn't one of those times.
Kesha Is Forced To Work With A Producer She Accused Of Assault
Ke$ha was your standard pop singer. She had a few big hits and then just kind of went away. So far, the story of thousands of pop princesses. No one really seemed concerned about her being gone; it's not like Beyonce or Adele suddenly went missing from the charts. Plus, it was hard to care too much about someone who used a dollar sign in her name.
And who culturally appropriated from our native glitter tribe.
But then suddenly Kesha (she did eventually drop the dollar sign) was back in the news, and now if she wants to change her name to The Artist Formerly Known as Ke$ha, I will support her, because of the reason she's stopped recording. Basically, she had a contract that was forcing her to collaborate with her accused rapist, producer Dr. Luke.
I should probably be clear that the lawsuit I'm talking about is NOT about if Dr. Luke did sexually assault her, and that he has never been convicted of any crime along those lines. But whatever happened between them, it was enough for Kesha to risk her career by confronting a man with a lot of power in the industry and by refusing to record with him.
I'm starting to think this guy isn't even a real doctor.
As her lawyer pointed out, the average career length of a pop star is a couple years total. To go away for any length of time could be musical suicide. But her contract locked her into recording under Dr. Luke's label, which in turn was working for Sony. A judge had to decide if she could break that contract so she could record away from the man she accused of raping her and verbally abusing her.
Because this article is not titled "5 Happy And Joyous Things Happening In The News (And Also Some Puppies)," you probably know where this is going. The judge decided that a business contract was more important that Kesha feeling comfortable in her workplace. Since then numerous famous female singers who have worked with Dr. Luke have made very carefully worded statements about how he might not be the nicest guy.
And if you're still not sure who to side with, Dr. Luke's sister gave an exclusive to the Daily Mail professing his innocence. I think that pretty much sums it up.
A Hotel Patron Recorded Erin Andrews Changing
What if I told you that Cracked had some cutting-edge technology, and that we've taken over your webcam and been recording you for the last four and a half minutes. Have you done anything embarrassing? Picked your nose? Maybe you're naked. Even if you are fully clothed you probably don't want that footage getting online.
And all we want is $1,000 and a bite of that cake you're eating.
When you're alone in your home, you should feel safe that people aren't watching you. And hotels are just a home away from home. But things went drastically wrong for sportscaster Erin Andrews when two different hotels she was staying at gave enough information to her stalker that he was able to rent the rooms next to her and alter the peepholes so he could record her changing. Then he put that footage online, where it went viral. This was way back in 2009, when going viral on the internet usually involved Digg and/or an actual computer virus. So it was a big deal.
Fortunately, the peeping Tom was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. And after a lawsuit against the hotels, Andrews was awarded $55 million (although she just settled with them for an unknown amount). But just like the Fappening or that time your mom put your seventh-grade school picture on Facebook proved, nothing on the internet ever goes away.
DO NOT go looking for the footage, or your grandparents will be very disappointed.
So while Andrews could probably buy a house in every city she needs to stay in from now on with the money she won from the suit, she's never going to be able to get her privacy completely back. And you'll probably never stay in a hotel without checking the peephole again.
Peyton Manning Showed His Junk To A Trainer, Ruined Her Career
Everyone who has played sports knows that locker rooms can get a bit playful, what with all the strong men showering together and snapping towels and ... that IS what happens, right? Do not ruin this fantasy for me.
But even athletes know where the line is, and back in 1996 Peyton Manning crossed it big time.
No, not like that.
He was a student at the University of Tennessee at the time, and a trainer named Jamie Ann Naughright was examining his foot. During the course of this examination, he started asking her personal questions, seemingly trying to ask her out. When she turned him down, he pulled down his pants and pressed both his testicles and bare ass to her face. Then he sat on her. Now, I might not have a degree in Kinesiology, but I don't think that is necessary to figure out what is wrong with someone's foot.
Since colleges always take sexual assault allegations toward star quarterbacks seriously, Manning's punishment was losing his privilege to eat in the player's dining room and having to run at 6 a.m. for two whole weeks!
Eat with the peasants? Why not just put him in the stocks while you're at it?
So why am I bringing up something that, while terrible, happened 20 years ago? Because for Naughright, the experience never went away. I don't just mean she has to live with it the rest of her life; I mean it keeps getting brought up, and she suffers from it. First Manning mentioned it in his 2000 autobiography, and she sued him for defamation of character over that book in 2003 after it caused her to lose her new job. Then she sued him again in 2005 for violating the terms of their agreement by talking about it in a documentary. And then every time he made it to the Super Bowl, someone would drag it up again. As recently as February it was back in the news, when someone at ESPN actually got their hands on the notes made by the person who took her call at a sexual assault center right after it happened. That should be encouraging to read for anyone who has been harassed.
A Soccer Player Convicted Of Sexual Activity With A Child Is Still Playable In FIFA 16
If you are one of the millions of people who bought FIFA 16, there's a chance you probably have some complaints about it. Despite being one of the Top 10 best-selling video games of 2015 and a critical darling, players aren't huge fans of the game in general. But there is one issue you probably didn't even know about: When putting together your team, you might very well be selecting a convicted child molester.
While he's not a household name, Adam Johnson is a British soccer star who played for teams like Manchester City and Sunderland and scored two goals in his 12 appearances for England. He was also recently convicted of grooming a child and sexual activity with a child.
Have fun in prison, dickwad.
"Grooming" doesn't mean they gossiped while he braided her hair. It's the term for when adults use their position of power and authority to slowly make children feel comfortable, so by the time they try to do sex stuff with them their guard is down. And that is just what then-28-year-old Johnson tried to do with a 15-year-old girl (incidentally, while his actual, age-appropriate girlfriend was pregnant with his child, as if you needed another reason to think he was a creep).
It started, as terrible things so often do, over social media. Then he met her and signed some Sunderland shirts. The next time they got together, he admitted, they made out, but he denies her accusation they engaged in oral sex and other statutory rapey activity. Whatever extent it got to, it was gross and, more importantly, illegal.
Which we all know has always stopped rich and famous people before.
Once the authorities found out, the poor girl's life really went to hell. Because Johnson maintained his innocence and soccer fans are not exactly famous for their level-headedness, she was attacked for being a slut and a liar and destroying his career -- all the normal things women who come forward usually hear, but this time directed at an innocent teenager. Understandably, her schoolwork suffered and she lost confidence. Fortunately, justice was done when Johnson was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.
This was a huge problem for FIFA 16, since child molesters are rarely good for business. While EA tried to do a "team update" to get rid of Johnson, it didn't work for all copies, so there are still thousands of people out there unknowingly kicking around a virtual soccer ball as a convicted sex offender.
Abercrombie's CEO Micromanaged Staff Before Allegedly Firing Them For Getting Too Old
We've told you before how the (now former) CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch, Michael Jeffries, was as douchey as the customers he hoped to attract. He openly stated that his company had a "no fatties and no uggos" policy (in only slightly nicer terms), finding no irony in the fact that he looks like this:
When your eyes are trying to escape your face like that, something is seriously wrong.
But this guy's hatred of people he deemed less-than-perfect extended so much further than those who wore his store's clothes. During his tenure as head of the company, he also micromanaged the looks of every member of his personal staff, as well as those who worked on the corporate plane.
This was not your standard guide to workplace attire. This was a 40-page manual the actors and models had to follow every word of. (To be clear, that's actors and models he hired to be staff, not to star in ad campaigns or commercials for the brand. Forget Hollywood; if you were hot enough you could clean this guy's toilet!) It detailed how they had to behave and the clothes and cologne they had to wear. Some of the weirder bits included making sure the collars of their polo shirts were popped at all times, wearing flip-flops in all weather, and never putting on a coat if it was above 50 degrees or hats and gloves above 40. For our Celsius-loving friends, that is getting damn near close to freezing. And lest you think Disney was the only company with weird rules about employees' underwear, Abercrombie's male staff was required to exclusively wear boxer-briefs.
There is a LOT more, which can be summed up as NO WIRE HANGERS, EVER!
This all came to light when one of the cabin crew was fired and sued, saying it was due to age discrimination. That's right; apparently it wasn't enough for Jeffries to surround himself with pretty, well-dressed (in his mind, anyway) people at all times. He presumably wanted to stop any reminder of the slow march of time, taking him ever closer to death. God forbid the guy serving you peanuts at 35,000 feet have a few wrinkles that remind you of your own mortality.
Still, considering the crew member would have had to constantly listen to the same song by Phil Collins during takeoff and landing, getting fired was probably worth it.
Deep inside us all -- behind our political leanings, our moral codes, and our private biases -- there is a cause so colossally stupid that we surprise ourselves with how much we care. Whether it's toilet paper position, fedoras on men, or Oxford commas, we each harbor a preference so powerful we can't help but proselytize to the world. In this episode of the Cracked podcast, guest host Soren Bowie is joined by Cody Johnston, Michael Swaim, and comedian Annie Lederman to discuss the most trivial things we will argue about until the day we die. Get your tickets here!