Would the Public Forgive King of Pop?

Mike Tyson: The famed boxer was sentenced to prison in 1992 for raping a contestant in the Miss Black America pageant. In March 1995, Tyson was released on probation. The following year, he was back in the ring against Evander Holyfield. Though Tyson lost that match, he earned more than $75 million in 1996 alone.

Roman Polanski: In 1969, Polanski's pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered along with several friends in a mass slaying directed by Charles Manson. A decade later, Polanski was arrested for allegedly drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge to one count of unlawful sex with a minor but fled before sentencing. This year, his friend Harrison Ford presented the fugitive director with his Academy Award for best director for the movie The Pianist at a film festival in France.

Jerry Lee Lewis: In the late 1950s, the singer had positioned himself to rival Elvis Presley for the title of King of Rock 'n' Roll with hits like "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire." When his marriage to a 13-year-old third cousin met with public disapproval, though, his career hit a tailspin. Lewis performed in small clubs until 1968, when he switched to country music.

Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle: The silent movie star was accused of raping a 25-year-old starlet during a party. The woman later died. Arbuckle, the target of the first real Hollywood sex scandal, was acquitted after three trials marked by sensationalism whipped up by yellow journalism. Although cleared, Arbuckle was emotionally and financially drained from his troubles and his career never recovered. Largely forgotten by the public, he died of a heart attack in 1933.

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