10 Lies That Got Out Of Hand

Who hasn’t told a little white lie in their life? Chances are you’ve bent the truth here or there at some point. And while a little white lie may not be a big deal, some lies end up snowballing, and chances are they eventually explode when the truth inevitably comes out. The grander the lie, the more wheels and parts are in motion, which makes it hard to keep things straight and not slip up.

As National Tell a Lie Day takes place on April 4, the idea isn’t to go out and tell lies that day but rather reflect on lies that have been told over the years. We’re talking about the big ones that got way out of hand from public and famous figures.

Here’s a look at 10 lies that got out of hand, whether from actors or actresses, politicians, professional athletes, or other famous people.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Explosion

General view of Chernobyl nuclear power station in Pripyat, Ukraine
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Unkas Photo

Some lies only affect a handful of people; then there are significant lies that affect tens of thousands, even millions of people. That’s the case with the Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion. Back in 1986, on April 25 and 26, when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union, a massive nuclear power plant disaster/meltdown occurred. The Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster was caused by technicians who made several mistakes that led to massive explosions.

The government’s initial reaction was not to say anything and cover it up with a lie. However, by April 28, Swedish monitoring stations were picking up high levels of radioactivity from the direction of Chernobyl. The government couldn’t last, which sparked an outcry by those in harm’s way and the world at large. By the time people were evacuated, the damage had already been done to their health.

Richard Nixon’s Involvement in Watergate

View of the Watergate building complex in Washington DC
Image Credit: Shutterstock / EQRoy

The biggest lie told by a politician was told by then-President Richard Nixon. The words “I am not a crook” have gone down in history, representing a significant lie told by a president. Called The Watergate Scandal, it took place from 1972-1974. While Nixon began with a denial, he ended with his resignation from the presidency on Aug. 9, 1974.

In a nutshell, Nixon was involved in breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to set up phone wiretaps and take photos of secret documents. He denied his involvement at first, but when the “smoking gun” came out and evidence was brought forward, he had no choice but to come clean and ultimately resign.

Bill Clinton Denied an Affair with Monica Lewinsky

President Bill Clinton holds campaign
Image Credit: Shutterstock / K2 images

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” and we all know how that turned out. This was the statement that then-President Bill Clinton gave to the press. Intern Monica Lewinsky made allegations that President Clinton had engaged in an extramarital affair with her. President Clinton continued to deny the affair, even as damning evidence came out.

The lie snowballed and eventually sparked a grand jury hearing. Then, in August 1998, President Clinton admitted during testimony in front of the grand jury that he had “inappropriate intimate contact” with Lewinsky.

The 2000 Spanish Paralympic Basketball Team Faking an Intellectual Disability

Sydney 2000 Paralympic medals on display in the Perth Mint
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Adwo

Here’s a lie that is horrible enough that it would make anyone shake their head in disgust. The Paralympic games are meant to celebrate athletes who have a disability, giving them a platform to show off their incredible skills and compete with others around the world.

In 2000, the Spanish Paralympic basketball team competed in the intellectual disability category. To compete in this category, every member needed to have an IQ no higher than 70. They annihilated their competition, garnering plenty of attention. After being awarded the gold medal, it came to light that 10 of the members were not intellectually disabled and instead cheated their way to the top of the podium.

Lance Armstrong Denied Using Drugs for Performance Enhancement

Cyclist Lance Armstrong of Team Astana in Milan, Italy
Image Credit: Shutterstock / miqu77

Here’s another example of a professional athlete lying to better their placement on the podium. Famed cyclist Lance Armstrong was a decorated athlete and even had star power. Everyone seemed to know who he was. He won the Tour de France an incredible seven times! But things weren’t what they seemed.

It turns out that Armstrong was using performance-enhancement drugs to give him a cutting edge over the competition. It’s not clear which was worse – the lying or the cheating.

James Frey Lied About His Book A Million Little Pieces Being an Autobiography

Young woman reading a book lying in hammock
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dudarev Mikhail

You don’t often see authors on the list of the biggest lies, but that’s the case with James Frey. Known for his bestselling novel A Million Little Pieces, Frey was heralded for being so raw and honest in his autobiography. The book detailed his fight with addiction and his subsequent run-ins with the law.

His autobiography was incredibly moving, even giving others hope that they could fight and win their battles with addiction. The problem was that much of his book was later admitted to be exaggerations and flat-out lies.

Olivia Jade Faked Rowing Pictures to Be Accepted Into College

Olivia Jade Giannulli, Lori Laughlin, Isabella Rose Giannulli at the Hallmark TCA Summer
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Kathy Hutchins

Olivia Jade was just one of many that were involved in this scandal. It featured Hollywood celebrities who faked photos and transcripts to help their kids get into better colleges and universities, thereby taking the spots from students who would have earned their way in.

Jade’s famous mother is actress Lori Loughlin, who was sentenced to two months in prison for the college admissions case. Other celebrities involved in the scandal included Felicity Hoffman, Michelle Janavs, William “Rick” Singer, and others.

Milli Vanilli Wasn’t Singing Their Songs

Pop singer FABRICE MORVAN, half of the former pop duo Milli Vanilli, at The WB Radio Music Awards
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Featureflash Photo Agency

Milli Vanilli is still known as one of the biggest lies and scandals in the music industry. Milli Vanilli was a two-man band who climbed the charts fast. Their pop songs “Blame It On the Rain”, “Girl I’m Going to Miss You” and “Girl You Know It’s True” seemed to be instant hits. They burst on the scene in 1988, but by 1990, they were yesterday’s news.

As it turns out, Milli Vanilli weren’t the actual singers; they lip-synced all their songs and lied about it.

Jack and Meg White Were Not Siblings

Rock Star Jack White Performs on stage at WaMu Theater in Seattle, WA
Image Credit: Shutterstock / MPH Photos

If you’ve heard of the band The White Stripes, you probably assumed Jack and Meg White were siblings. That’s because this was the image they chose to portray to the public.

After some digging, public records were found in 2001 that showed they weren’t siblings but a couple who married in 1996 and then divorced in 2000. Fans were left wondering why they even bothered to lie in the first place.

Robin Thicke Took Credit for Writing Blurred Lines

Robin Thicke on stage at Jazz in the Gardens
Image Credit: Shutterstock / Gregory Reed

Here’s an artist who has been questioned many times about whether his version of the facts and truth is accurate. Robin Thicke’s biggest hit was Blurred Lines, a catchy R&B track that was all the rage in 2013. As the hit climbed to fame, Thicke took credit for writing the song. He later admitted that during the period when the song was written, he was drinking alcohol and high on painkillers. Instead, it was Pharrell Williams who wrote the song.

But it didn’t end there. Not only did Thicke take credit for something that wasn’t his, but the estate of Marvin Gaye then sued Williams and Thicke for “stealing from the song “Got to Give It Up” by Marvin Gaye. Marvin Gaye’s Estate went on to win the lawsuit.

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