20 biggest scandals at sea

Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis’s love affair on Christina O

Jackie Kennedy and Aristotle Onassis’s relationship was riddled with tabloid-worthy scandal from the start… In 1963, Kennedy went on a cruise around Greece with Aristotle Onassis a month before the assassination of her husband. Seeing that Jackie Kennedy had little jewellery with her on one journey, Aristotle Onassis called Van Cleef & Arpels in Paris and got them to fly an $80,000 gold and ruby bracelet out to his yacht. Not bad for a first non-date.

Aristotle Onassis’s yacht, the iconic Christina O, kicked up its fair of share of controversy too. “I don’t think there is a man or woman on earth who could not be seduced by the pure narcissism shamelessly flaunted on this boat,” said Welsh actor Richard Burton, perhaps cementing his place on the stuck on shore list.

Picture: Rex Features

Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape

There are plenty of films featuring yachts, but one that most won’t quickly admit to seeing is the ever-so-scandalous “home movie” shot by the Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson and her rockstar husband Tommy Lee. The private honeymoon video features her husband using his manhood to steer the yacht, a feat not often seen on a typical day on the water. Well, depends who you sail with….

Gary Hart’s sex scandal ruins US presidential bid

Picture: Rex Features

Taking to the sea isn’t always enough to stop the prying eyes and lens of the paparazzi, as Democrat Gary Hart learned when his antics on board sunk his bid for the seat of US president. Photos emerged the politician cavorting with a woman who was most certainly not his wife on a yacht very aptly called Monkey Business.

Actor Errol Flynn accused of abuse

Australian-American actor Errol Flynn might have been glorified for his romantic, swashbuckler roles and playboy lifestyle making time with young starlets, but it was the latter that got him into hot water. Errol Flynn was accused, and acquitted, of raping an underage girl on yacht Sirocco in 1943.

Mohamed Al-Fayed’s son keeps two lovers on different yachts

In order to keep a few lovers none the wiser, the son of Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed seemed to spend the summer of 1997 flitting between his fiancée on one family yacht and a new love on another. We hope he had a fast tender for a getaway boat once the jig was up.

The “Minnesota Love Boat” scandal

The original “Love Boat” was a zany, cheesy and beloved 1970s American TV show that took place on a cruise ship. An event in 2005 that became known as the “Minnesota Love Boat” scandal was of a much less discreet variety. Seventeen members of the Minnesota Vikings American football team chartered two yachts and a large number of prostitutes for a mid-season bonding session, making this one of the more notorious scandals at sea.

Superyacht Savarona said to host wild sex parties

In 2010, police arrested 14 people on board Savarona, a superyacht that belonged to Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish leader, in the 1930s. Those arrested included businessmen and underage girls from Russia and Ukraine involved in a prostitution ring.

Lady Docker filmed dancing with coalminers on Shemara

The 1950s socialite Lady Docker, known to the press as “Naughty Norah”, was in a string of scandals at sea, including being banned from the French Riviera after tearing up Monaco’s flag and being fined for snatching a harbour guard’s beret in Capri, Italy. In 1954, she made the papers for throwing a party on the family yacht, Shemara, and being filmed dancing a saucy hornpipe. Her guest list was far from the celebrity set and instead comprised 45 coalminers from Leeds.

Stanford University president uses school funds on a yacht

The sea can teach a man a lot, but apparently higher education isn’t enough to protect a man from creating scandals at sea. The president of Stanford University in California had to resign in 1992 after an investigation found that, among other irregular pieces of accounting, academic research funding had been used to cover $184,000 of depreciation on a yacht. Not the most educated decision.

Peter Mandelson and George Osborne’s political showdown at sea

The problem with verbally attacking someone on a yacht is, if you’re at sea, you’re stuck adrift with said person until you reach the safety of shore. This logic, however, has not prevented many a barb from being thrown while on the high seas. In 2008, Peter Mandelson was accused of “dripping pure poison” about Prime Minister Gordon Brown into George Osborne’s ear during a party on Queen K, a yacht owned by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska. Osborne then shared this information with the press.

This backfired on Osborne, however, when news was later leaked – in retaliation to his gossiping – that Osborne had used the trip to solicit a donation to the Tory party from Deripaska, which would have been illegal. Osborne denied it but was made aware that Mandelson was not someone to cross.

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