The Biggest Falls From Grace In All Of History

Henry VIII in stained glass
Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

It's always disappointing when our heroes and idols don't meet our expectations.

Be they a film star, sports icon or prolific political figure, sometimes the people we admire the most don't turn out to be quite the person we hoped they were.

Proving to be a far cry from the friendly persona they exhibit in the media.

Sometimes, the truth behind people we held in high regard proves to be much worse than anyone could possibly imagine.

When these same people we've held high on a pedestal prove to have been responsible for reprehensible, sometimes criminal behavior.

Redditor owenthevirgin was curious to hear what people considered the most shocking cases of well regarded people showing their true colors, leading them to ask:
"Who had the biggest fall from grace in history?"

Henry VIII

"Henry VIII has to be up there."

"He was a famously handsome, pious, and noble young king, very in love with Katherine when they were married, and over time he became the wife-killing tyrant we know today."- SmunkTheLesser

David Farley

"Nationally/internationally you of course have mega stars and politicians."

"On a local level, I submit predatory doctor and religious leader David Farley."

"200+ accusers."

"Unless you're the DA, who disputes that number by saying there were only over 100 victims that came forward."

"So, somewhere between 101 and 299."

"Of course, he still has his defenders, but he 'retired' and moved out of state 'to be with his family' basically overnight."

"Note that his 'retirement' email was sent to his patients, some of whom had appointments scheduled, without mention of losing his license to practice medicine or the lawsuit/news article dropping that week."

"When he slipped out of state to 'be with his family' he was substitute teaching within days next door in Idaho, and has now moved to Utah."

"At least half his kids aren't speaking with him, but my parents assure me it's all made up because, and I quote 'he really helped us out when you were sick'."

"Yes, I know him personally and yes, I believe the victims, and yes, I will share this story anywhere it comes up naturally."

"Dude should be in prison forever."- David-S-Pumpkins

Vidkun Quisling

"I'd say Vidkun Quisling."

"He was one of the last men to be given the death penalty in my country, and his last name is listed as a synonym for a cowardly traitor in our dictionary."

"He essentially sold us out to the Nazis during WW2."

"The thing is that he was previously seen as a good humanitarian, traveling to other countries to help the poor with Fridtjof Nansen, a National hero who won the Nobel Peace Prize, but it has later been revealed, only a couple of years ago, that he was never a good man from the start, and was in fact always a vile opportunist regardless of what affiliation he needed to have in order to further his own reputation and build his own grandiose sense of self!"

"Under the guise of his humanitarian work, he'd loot values from dead/dying people, and give desperate starving people food scraps or pennies for VERY expensive valuables, if he didn't just take them."

"He'd also take advantage of desperate young women, those who had lost their families were the easiest targets after all."

"His first wife was a 17 year old Ukrainian girl named Alexandra."

"Even his family members were confused about it."

"He also got a second wife, Maria Quisling, so in addition he was also a bigamist."

"Seeing the pictures and notes of what he saw in famine stricken areas just makes what he did worse."

"The thought of this gut wrenching despair not phasing a man, not making him question what he's doing and just continuing on to prey on people, just makes me sick."

"I didn't think I could find a literal traitor to my country more deplorable decades after his execution, but learning what an ABSOLUTELY DEPLORABLE opportunistic narcissist he was, just made him even worse."

"To think that he was a revered humanitarian at one point."

"I'm glad he was executed."

"Though I wish they had paraded him around so people could throw tomatoes at him first."- DecadeOfLurking

Fred Phelps

"Fred Phelps."

"Started his career as a celebrated civil rights lawyer in Kansas. Followed up Brown vs Board of Education 20 years later and ended up forcing them to implement more fair educational conditions for students of color."

"Went on to form the Westboro Baptist Church which became one of the most despicable hate groups in the US. Notorious for their homophobia and protesting at military funerals. That church was one of the most reviled hate groups in the 90s and 00s."



"Benedict Arnold. Hero general of the American Revolution. One of George Washington's best assets. Felt slighted and overlooked by his contemporaries. Switched sides to the British, made no difference to the war effort. Died in disgrace in England. His name is now a synonym for traitor."


As the saying goes, nobody's perfect, and not every famous person wants to be someone's hero or idol.

Therefore, they feel no obligation to put on a show and pretend to be someone they're not.

However disappointing this is to discover, however, these are the people who are simply being their true selves.

Not the ones who cover up their criminal, illicit and predatory behavior with a warm, caring demeanor, seeming to fool everyone.

Thankfully, though, the truth has a way of getting out.

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