Famous news anchors with sketchy pasts

They may be some of the most trusted names in news, but depending on who you believe, these news anchors' personal lives may not live up to their professional reputations. From secret affairs to devastating addictions, relive the times when some of news' most famous faces made headlines of their own.

Dan Harris

In February 2014, ABC News' Dan Harris revealed to the world that he had begun "dabbling with cocaine and ecstasy" in 2013 following years covering the wars in Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine and Iraq. His "sporadic" use of these drugs culminated in an on-air panic attack while reporting on the day's news for Good Morning America in 2004, during which he threw the cameras back to hosts Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer long before his segment was supposed to have ended.

"In hindsight, it was an attempt, at least partly, to recreate some of the thrill of the war zone," he wrote. "A side effect of all of this, as my doctor explained to me, was that the drugs had increased the level of adrenaline in my brain, dramatically boosting the odds of a panic attack. It didn't matter that I hadn't gotten high in the days or weeks leading up to my on-air Waterloo; those side effects lingered."

Harris said he quit using drugs "immediately" under doctors' orders, but added that he eventually found relief after reporting on faith and discovering meditation. He remains with ABC News to this day.

Richard Quest

CNN's Richard Quest was the subject of one of the network's wackiest scandals in 2008 after police caught him in Central Park with methamphetamine, a sex toy and a rope around his neck—also tied to his genitals—at about 3:40AM, according to a still-salacious-sounding report by the New York Post. Quest was charged with loitering—Central Park is closed between 1 and 6AM—and criminal possession of a controlled substance. The Post added that police did not book him on any lewdness charges because "he wasn't exposing himself" at the time of his arrest.

Quest—who now hosts the CNN International show Quest Means Business—eventually spoke about the incident with the Guardian in 2009. "It was a deeply regrettable incident that one gets through—I got through—with the help and support of many people from colleagues [to] family," he said. "Everyone wants to know the inside story of the event last year and I'm saying quite clearly that those that will know the inside story will be my close family and no one else. That's not because I'm hiding anything. I'm just not about to reveal or discuss my innermost thoughts. All I would say on the subject, besides the standard line that it was a highly regrettable incident, is that nothing is as it seems—and certainly not the way it was reported at the time."

Thomas Roberts

In 2007, blogger Kenneth Walsh posted naked photos from the gay dating website Manhunt that many were believed were of news personality Thomas Roberts, even though the person's face was not depicted. The alleged scandal was quickly picked up by the New York Post, creating an awkward moment for Roberts, who had just begun a new job at the entertainment news program The Insider. "We have hired Thomas Roberts from CNN for his journalistic strengths and integrity," a rep for The Insider told the Post. "It is unfortunate that after four days on the job at The Insider, he has become a victim of this malicious personal attack."

Although Roberts allegedly confronted Walsh about the photos at a gay bar, he's since managed the allegations relatively well. Not only did he marry his longtime boyfriend in 2012, he became the first openly gay man to anchor a network nightly news program in 2015. He currently hosts MSNBC Live, the network's 1PM news program.

Matt Lauer

In 2014, The National Enquirer got its hands on the divorce papers that Matt Lauer's wife, Annette, allegedly filed eight years prior and subsequently dropped within a month. In the court documents, Lauer is described by his wife as "extremely controlling" and someone who "continuously and repeatedly given higher priority to … personal interests than to his family obligations to plaintiff, causing plaintiff to feel abandoned, isolated and alone in raising the parties' children."

"[Lauer refuses] to allow plaintiff to make even the smallest decisions without his approval, including, but not limited to, decisions regarding finances, travel plans, decorating the parties' homes and domestic help issues," the papers added, according to the report.

Whatever the case, Lauer and his wife reportedly reconciled and remain married to this day. Still, that hasn't stopped the tabloids from speculating otherwise.

Elizabeth Vargas

One of ABC's most accomplished personalities, 20/20 anchor Elizabeth Vargas has battled an addiction to alcohol for many years, one that has resulted in numerous trips to rehab, a divorce, and a 2012 bender in which she blacked out for 13 hours and woke up in the emergency room. Recalling that incident to ABC News' Diane Sawyer in September 2016, Vargas claimed she was eventually rescued by a stranger who saw her near Riverside Park. "I was able to tell her my address," Vargas recalled. "She said she saw some men nearby that she didn't like the look of who might have been, at that point, probably seeing me as a vulnerable person and she brought back [home]. And at that point I was apparently unconscious." Her then-husband subsequently called 911 while Vargas laid unconscious in their apartment building's lobby.

Vargas says she's now in recovery. She's also written about her intense addition to alcohol in her new memoir, Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction, released in September 2016.

Barbara Walters

In 2008, legendary news anchor Barbara Walters confessed she'd had an affair with married U.S. Senator Edward Brooke. The revelation was revealed to Oprah Winfrey and in her memoir, Audition.

"I was certainly — I don't know — I was certainly infatuated [with Brooke]," Walters told Winfrey (via the Associated Press). "I was certainly involved. He was exciting. He was brilliant. It was exciting times in Washington."

Excerpts from Audition, obtained by the New York Daily News, claim that Brooke wanted to leave his wife for Walters—and that his wife threatened to expose everything to The National Enquirer. Walters reportedly ended the affair after a friend called to tell her it would destroy both of their careers. "I slowly began asking myself if we could ever be married," she recalled. "Would such a marriage destroy his career? Would it destroy mine?"

Bill O'Reilly

In 2004, the Washington Post reported that Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by a former producer, Andrea Mackris, who reportedly accused O'Reilly of talking to her about "sexual fantasies, masturbation and vibrators while sometimes seeming to pleasure himself."

The settlement was speculated to be in the "millions of dollars," according to the report. Specific details of the settlement remain confidential. Still, O'Reilly denied any wrongdoing, urging viewers of The O'Reilly Factor "not [to] believe everything you hear and read."

"This matter has caused enormous pain, but I had to protect my family and I did," he continued after the settlement had been reached. "Some of the media hammered me relentlessly because, as you know, I am a huge target, as is Fox News … The good news is that Factor viewers and listeners seem to have given me the benefit of any doubt when some in the media did not. You guys looked out for me and I will never forget it. This brutal ordeal is now officially over, and I will never speak of it again."