Things aren't looking too good for the Silver Fox of daytime TV. Anderson Cooper's squeaky-clean rep is being called into question after a high schooler fell into a coma after engaging in reckless behavior at the behest of a producer for a segment on “the teenage mind."
While the legalities of the whole thing are murky, one thing is crystal clear: A-Coop's image is going to take a serious hit. But he's not the first talk show host to come under fire for questionable television tactics.
Here's a list of the Top 5 talk show scandals of all time:
1. Oprah Blasts A Million Little Pieces Author James Frey
Back in 2006, talk show queen Oprah Winfrey found herself in hot water for conducting a scathing interview with James Frey, the author of her book club selection, A Million Little Pieces, after he was outed for fabricating large portions of the memoir.
Shortly after it aired, Oprah faced a huge backlash from viewers, including writer Marianne Williamson, who accused her of playing God. Oprah, play God? No! Never.
In March of this year during the last season of her show, she finally sat down with James to make amends. "I apologize for my lack of compassion," Oprah told the author before hugging it out. Aw, we just love ourselves a happy ending!
2. Jenny Jones Guest Murders His Gay Secret Admirer
Who could ever forget the Jenny Jones scandal of 1995? It all began when the talk show host taped an episode of the The Jenny Jones Show called "Same Sex Secret Crushes," which featured a gay man named Scott Amedure who confessed his love to his best friend, Jonathan Schmitz.
A few days later, Schmitz shot and killed Amedure, and the Amedure family sued Jenny Jones for neglect.
Jenny was slapped with a $25 million fine, but the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the 1999 verdict three years later, ruling that the show had no legal duty to protect Amedure. The episode in question never aired.
3. Pat O'Brien Leaves Gross Voicemails While High on Cocaine
In 2005, the world learned the truth about disgraced Access Hollywood and The Insider host Pat O'Brien — that he's a dirty, dirty old man. And an alcoholic. And a cocaine user.
Shortly after he was admitted to rehab for alcoholism and drug use, a string of obscene voicemails he made to an anonymous woman began circulating the Internet. Not only did he talk about engaging in some pretty explicit sexual acts with girlfriend Betsy Stephens, but he also suggested they hire a hooker and use cocaine.
Needless to say, Pat, now 63, is single and jobless.
4. Maury Povich Sued for Allegedly Forcing a Woman to Watch Porn
Our list of talk show scandals wouldn't be complete without Maury "You Are Not the Father" Povich, who was sued by one of his female employees in 2006 for $100 million.
Maury Povich Show producer Bianca Nardi claimed that a number of staffers, including executive producer Paul Faulhaber, forced her to wear short skirts, watch pornographic movies, and seduce men in bars for undercover stories. She also said that Maurie had engaged in an affair with producer Donna Ingber, who would often describe their sexual encounters in great detail.
Buzz about the case pretty much fizzled, but Maury's relationship with wife and news veteran Connie Chung did not.
5. David Letterman Apologizes for Cheating
Add David Letterman to the ever-growing list of talk show hosts with shady personal lives.
In 2009, Letterman made an on-air apology to his wife after he was outed for carrying on numerous extramarital affairs with members of his staff, specifically his former assistant, Stephanie Birkitt.
Here's how it went down: Birkitt's ex-boyfriend, Robert "Joe" Halderman, a producer for CBS, tried to extort Letterman for $2 million, threatening to expose the affair. Halderman ended up serving jail time while Birkitt took a paid leave of absence from The Late Show. Letterman and his wife, who wed in 2009, are still together.