That's not to say that it doesn't sometimes break real news. Contrary to popular belief, the Enquirer actually possesses a capable, dedicated staff of investigative reporters who painstakingly research the tabloid's main stories. That's why they magazine has always been the first to run scandalous, unbelievable stories about topics such as Charlie Sheen's HIV diagnosis and Bill Cosby's infamous history of sexual assault. In fact, the Enquirer reported on Cosby's disgusting dalliances a full nine years before the mainstream media picked up on the story. Initially, no one believed the story, due to the Enquirer's less-than-stellar journalistic reputation.
Yes: It may be hard to believe, but the Enquirer is actually something of a whistleblower when it comes to exposing the hypocrisies and evildoings of society's most famous and powerful figures. Peruse this list of the tabloid's biggest, most scandalous scoops to date and keep your eyes peeled for the next true National Enquirer headlines!
Charlie Sheen AIDS Cover-Up
No one was surprised, per se, when the Enquirer claimed in November 2015 that Hollywood hellion Charlie Sheen was HIV-positive and had been paying off people who knew in order to keep it a secret. However, no one actually believed it until Sheen announced the news for himself on The Today Show. The Enquirer spent 18 months sending reporters around the country to interview sources close to the situation.
Bill Cosby's 50 Years of Evil Lies
In 2005, nine years before any other publication became wise to Bill Cosby's extensive history of sexually assaulting women, the Enquirer ran a story alleging Cosby's assault of two women. Cosby supposedly paid the tabloid to run a story denying the women's claims, but the Enquirer instead decided to blow the whistle on him. Of course, no one believed any of it was true until 2014, when Cosby's horrific behavior was covered by most major publications. (However, many people still don't want to believe it's true.)
Ennis Cosby's Killer Revealed
When Bill Cosby's son Ennis was found dead on the shoulder of a Los Angeles freeway in 1997, the Enquirer offered a reward of $100,000 to anyone who could help find the killer. This actually led to the tabloid uncovering and reporting on the identity of the murderer, who was later sent to jail.
O.J. Simpson's Shoe Secret
One of the most memorable moments in the O.J. Simpson trial was when O.J. vehemently denied owning a pair of Bruno Magli shoes, like those found at the scene of his wife's murder. It wasn't long before the Enquirer dug up a picture (above) of Simpson wearing Magli shoes at a 1993 Buffalo Bills game. By the time of his civil trial in 1996, Simpson was practically forced to admit that he owned the shoes.
Jesse Jackson's Secret Love Child
In 2001, the Enquirer broke a scandalous story alleging that presidential candidate and civil rights activist Jesse Jackson had fathered a daughter with one of his staffers. Mainstream publications soon began running the news themselves, and Jackson himself eventually confirmed the rumor.
Bob Dole's Cheating Scandal
During Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign, the Enquirer discovered that the Republican family values advocate had engaged in an affair from 1968 to 1970, during his first marriage. The Enquirer ran the story when most other publications wouldn't, but it didn't really take off. Rumor has it that Dole's wife, Elizabeth, personally called major mainstream publications and asked them not to run the story.
Hulk Hogan's Shocking Racist Rant
In July 2015, the Enquirer became the first publication to expose a 2006 video of Hulk Hogan spewing racist insults including the "n" word. Hogan's daughter, Brooke, tried to deny the veracity of the video, even though her father apologized immediately after the video leaked. The pro wrestler was fired by the WWE soon after the Enquirer ran the story.
Gary Hart's Sordid List of Affairs
Rumors of Gary Hart's supposed affairs hounded him throughout his 1988 presidential campaign, but he insisted to the press that he had nothing to hide. Not too long after that, the Enquirer published a photo of Hart on his yacht with a model sitting in his lap. His political career went downhill from there.
Rush Limbaugh's Out of Control Oxycontin Addiction
In 2003, the Enquirer claimed that conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh was receiving a steady supply of Oxycontin from none other than his housekeeper. Many media outlets refused to legitimize the Enquirer's reporting, but it wasn't long before law enforcement confirmed Limbaugh's truly shocking addiction. Limbaugh later admitted on his show that he had purchased over 30,000 pills from his housekeeper.
Tiger Woods's Shameful Sex Addiction
Remember back when Tiger Woods still had a squeaky-clean image? Probably not and you can thank the Enquirer for first reporting on Woods's series of extramarital affairs, in 2009. Soon after the tabloid's first report, several more women came forth and revealed their dalliances with Woods.
Dog the Bounty Hunter's Offensive and Racist Phone Call
In 2007, the Enquirer reported that it had a recording of a racist phone call made by popular TV personality Duane "Dog" Chapman. In the recording, Chapman apparently made racial slurs about his son's then girlfriend, who is black. Soon after the Enquirer's story ran, Dog admitted to the slur and production on his A&E show was halted.
John Edwards's Callous Affair
There was a time when John Edwards was a charming, moderate presidential candidate with a promising political career and a stable family life. Then 2008 came along, and the Enquirer reported on Edwards's affair with Rielle Hunter (at the time, Edwards's wife had cancer) and their secret love child. After that, his political aspirations fizzled.
Mel Gibson's Tumultuous Divorce
Back before the biggest scandals about Mel Gibson were his racist diatribes and his vicious episodes of misogyny, there was the initial news of his divorce from his wife of 28 years. The tabloid first reported the news in 2008, before Gibson confirmed the news to mainstream media.
Billy Joel Splitting from His Younger Wife
The Enquirer reported in 2009 that Joel and his significantly younger wife, Katie Lee, were splitting after five years of marriage. Weeks after the story broke, Joel confirmed that he and Lee were getting a divorce.
Michael Jackson Has "Six Months to Live"
No one wanted to believe it when the Enquirer claimed The King of Pop only had six months to live due to his drug and alcohol addictions. Unfortunately, the pop star passed away almost exactly six months later.
Steve Jobs Looks Frail, On Brink of Death
Steve Jobs took medical leave from Apple in February 2011 due to his struggle with cancer, but many expected him to make a full recovery. The Enquirer, however, posted pictures soon after that of Jobs looking exceedingly frail. He died later that year.
O.J. Simpson Publishes Juicy Tell-All About Murder
O.J. Simpson's "hypothetical" memoir, If I Did It, created a whirlwind of controversy when he published it in 2007. However, the Enquirer actually ran a story about the book's existence back in October 2006, but Simpson's lawyers denied that Simpson had even written it. People continued to believe the Enquirer's reports were false until the book was finally published a year later.
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