Celebrities, managers, public figures, and anyone else who lives in the public eye have always been subject to public scrutiny. Sometimes these figures in positions of power abuse this power, often in a way that exploits another person or persons in a sexual manner. We live at a time in history when these situations are very common, and when people who have been abused by people who have authority or opportunity no longer have to suffer in silence.
If you or someone you know is at the center of a sex scandal or any other reputation-damaging problem, there are a number of ways to react and recover, providing the issue at hand isn’t too egregious. Sometimes the allegations are so damning that the accused has to leave the workplace, and sometimes move geographically as well. In most cases, however, the problems aren’t as serious as that. Even though the actions are inexcusable, there is a path to recovery even for the person who performed the actions. It works something like this.
Own the Problem
It’s important not to fight the allegations, unless you know deep down inside that they are explicitly false. If allegations are false, they should be able to be disproven. Even if they can be disproven, however, this takes time and it is likely better that you leave your position temporarily or permanently. In the meantime, let the people around you know that you take the situation seriously, that you are deeply sorry for any wrongdoing. Don’t deflect or pass the buck when it comes to responsibility (Kevin Spacey) and don’t try to hide under labels like “sex addiction”. Owning the problem is what people who care about you want. It’s the first step to recovery. It’s important that your response be available on social media and other relevant media, something a social media reputation management company can help with.
Do the Work
If you are guilty of wrongdoing and want to recover your reputation and integrity, you may have to start from scratch. Spend time with a therapist to make sure you understand not just that you were wrong but why and how you were wrong. Learn to change negative mindsets and behavior patterns. Don’t just do this because it’ll look good to the public, but because you want to create a new you who can be worthy of future leadership positions you might hold. Also spend time and energy apologizing and trying to make your victims whole, insofar as that is appropriate to your unique situation.
Start From Scratch
If you have skills and abilities that make you able to work in the public eye again, you’ve got to start from scratch. Make it clear that you’ve changed, and make yourself transparent to scrutiny as you begin again. With time, your recovery can even be an asset to your career, showing that you’ve become a new and better person. Until then, take your lumps and work hard to be who you appeared to be before the scandal erupted.