Athletes Caught In Groupie Scandals

If you're a person with money, fame, or power, there's a high chance that you'll have a flock of opportunity-seeking admirers, which some call groupies. The term "groupie" became popular in the 1960s and '70s when rock artists went from mere entertainers to bigger-than-life icons. But things have changed since then, and in 2022, a groupie doesn't have just one definition.

"I don't think it just applies to women, it isn't solely sexual," said Lynx, the co-host of the "Muses" podcast while speaking to Cosmopolitan. She's been interviewing groupies for years and there's no doubt she's heard all kinds of stories. "They just want to see the bands they love succeed and be a part of that success. There's fans, but groupies... they're more elevated," she added.

Of course, some groupies follow those who choose a basketball or football as their instrument instead of a guitar, so there's been a bunch of famous athletes who've been caught in scandals, thanks to the internet. "Before celebrities were on Instagram, you had no chance at getting to them, unless you knew someone who knew them, or knew their agent, or you happened to see them at a club," an anonymous ex-NFL player once told the New York Post. "Now you can get their attention with a message, and they know who you are." That's definitely how some groupies have met and exposed sports stars through the years, so keep reading to find out exactly which ones.

Peyton Siva won, then lost

It's safe to say that pro basketball player Peyton Siva was riding high on April 8, 2013. That was the day his Louisville Cardinals beat the Michigan Wolverines to secure the NCAA men's national championship. It was the first time the program reached the top of the Division I hill since 1986, so winning was a fairly big deal, to put it mildly. So, what did good old Siva do right after? Obviously, he had an innocent celebration with his teammates before hanging out with his girlfriend, who he thanked in a post-game interview, right? Wrong, instead he allegedly hit on an Instagram model named Jenna Shea, who didn't keep his message to herself. 

"Wanna come to the beach [with] me. Then you can show me the exclusive exercises," is the message that Siva allegedly sent Shea — who once suggested that she slept with NBA players for money

"I proved a point," Shea then tweeted after exposing Siva's message. "MEN ARE DOGS and will cheat. He never said he had a GIRLFRIEND. His bad NOT mine. This is why I stick to MONEY not DATING. The fact anyone doubts me is LAUGHABLE. I've been linked to your FAVORITE RAPPER AND NBA PLAYERS past and CURRENT, she added. "Peyton is childsplay."

DeSean Jackson had a body part called out

NFL player DeSean Jackson responded to a woman named Elizabeth Ruiz after she claimed they were intimate and criticized one of his body parts. Ruiz made the two scandalous claims when she was a guest on Hollywood Unlocked, which Jackson responded to soon after.

"Females dyin for attention ... why you so mad speaking up on me smh. Real low life," wrote Jackson on Instagram, per Complex. His girlfriend at the time, Kayla Phillips, responded as well, and she threatened Ruiz. "When will women learn to have class," wrote Phillips on Instagram, later captured by Baller Alert. "Never speak on another woman's man. Now we have an issue. I'll be in LA soon and we'll see if you're still reckless at the mouth."

But the showdown between the ladies didn't happen, because Ruiz apologized for her actions on Instagram. "I'm not a bad person I make soooooo many mistakes that later on I think about like damn that was messed up," wrote Ruiz in a now-deleted post. "I don't want the 'fast come up' by putting others down nor do I want a pity party from anyone. I'm simply here to say it's true I've been unhappy with myself and in the process I've been reckless. I'm under construction and I'm willing to deal with all the consequences for my actions and I'm sorry." Ruiz probably realized that sometimes, waving the white flag is the best option.

Chad Johnson heard from an ex

Even though Evelyn Lozada and former NFL player Chad Johnson were divorced by September 2012, Lozada still called him out for a woman that he was photographed with that year. The woman's Twitter handle is @jesse8886, and Lozada labeled her a groupie. As Lozada put it, @jesse8886 contacted her first, so she later responded with a series of insulting tweets. Lozada also summarized what she believes her ex did by allegedly being with @jesse8886. "You wrecked a Maserati so you can ride a Corolla," tweeted the former "Basketball Wives" star.

But that was the cleanest and least scathing of Lozada's tweets during the @jesse8886 situation, since she criticized her looks and accused her of trying to become pregnant for financial gain. Lozada didn't tweet those words exactly but if you read between the lines of her messages, you'll see them in big, fat, capital letters.

Eventually, some of Lozada's fans slammed the supposed groupie and so did Johnson. The former Miami Dolphins player also seemed to aim his words at Lozada. "Watching from afar as few try n throw shade, regardless of your valiant efforts n attempts I will win, your time is up move on," he tweeted. But if you notice, Johnson didn't deny that he knew @jesse8886, and he didn't shoot down the talk that she was one of his groupies.

Jaromír Jágr refused to be blackmailed

When it comes to someone trying to blackmail a person, there's one important thing that needs to happen: The person on the receiving end of the blackmail attempt has to be concerned about the consequences. Retired NHL player Jaromír Jágr is someone who wasn't worried about repercussions in 2015 after an 18-year-old Czech model, who went by "Catherine from Moravia," tried to blackmail him with a photo of them in bed together. Reportedly, she wanted $2,000 from Jágr to make the picture go away, as reported by the Czech tabloid Blesk and published by Yahoo!

Jágr was 43 years old at the time, so there's a chance that Catherine thought the age gap between them would cause a scandal. Thankfully for the Czech hockey star, because he was allegedly single, there wasn't an infidelity situation he had to deal with. Catherine, on the other hand, did reportedly cheat on her mate, a pro hockey player named Dominik Rudl, who called Jágr his idol before the bed photo surfaced.

So, what happened when either Catherine or someone in her circle tried to blackmail Jágr?  Per BroBible, Jágr said that he didn't care and wouldn't pay, which made Catherine share the photo. But the release of it didn't seem to hurt his career, so the blackmail attempt failed on many levels.

Kyrie Irving had some Christmas Day drama

Look, it's commonplace for famous athletes to take photos with fans, but it's not every day that an athlete has to do some fierce apologizing afterward. But that's exactly what NBA star Kyrie Irving did in 2012 when a photo of him surfaced getting cozy with two women, which FanSided referred to as groupies.

Irving was dating Brazilian model Natalia Garibotto at the time, who probably wasn't going to be submitting his name for best boyfriend of the year when the photo surfaced. Plus, Garibotto posted a message that looked like she was walking away from the relationship entirely. "Good for him isn't that what fame and money brings? I'm not bout that, good luck to him for finding a girl not in it for $," she tweeted, then deleted. She also sent another message and blasted the women in the picture, while accusing them of wanting nothing but fame and attention. And to make things worse, all of this went down on Christmas Day.

Irving sent tweets as well and apologized for the photo and entire situation. "Would never post something like that, especially when I have my wife @NataaGataa," he wrote in the now-deleted tweet, although they weren't married. "That was not me posting that I'm really sorry fans, good night," he added. But Irving didn't mention anything about why he took the photo or whether he regretted it or not. Hmmmmm.

Geno Smith got sacked by a nursing student

What is it about athletes getting into trouble during the holiday season? In 2012, NBA star Kyrie Irving was involved in a Christmas Day groupie scandal, and two years later, the same happened to NFL quarterback Geno Smith on New Year's Day. Yikes.

Smith's scandal involved a nursing student from Atlanta named Jackie Presley, who said she met him on social media while he was playing for the New York Jets. In a now-deleted letter sent to BallerAlert and published by Rolling Out, Presley said she was intimate with Smith twice, once in a Charlotte, North Carolina, Marriott, then at his house in New Jersey. She then threw a flag on the play by stating that he had a girlfriend the whole time but didn't say anything about it.

"I logged on to my Instagram about a month ago & saw that Geno had followed me," read Presley's letter. "I looked to see who he was & I saw pics of him & Jay Z & saw that he played in the league so I followed back. Immediately he wrote under one of his pictures & asked for my # ... So we were talking via facetime for like 2 weeks then he told me to come to Charlotte for his game. That's when I first actually met him in person." Per Complex, Jets fans ripped Presley for her letter, which she responded to by saying that she wasn't at fault, Smith was.

Conor McGregor kept quiet

As a mixed martial artist, Conor McGregor has bloodied many of his opponents in the ring, but he also bloodied his reputation a bit. It happened in 2020 when a woman named Kim Hendrick shared a video of herself in bed with either McGregor or someone who can get a job as his stunt double. But regardless of who it was in the clip, the famed fighter took the hit and was accused of cheating on his fiancé Dee Devlin, who he has three kids with as of this writing.

McGregor didn't respond to the video. Possibly, because it's not him or he figured keeping quiet would make the scandal go away faster. Either way, there were no outward signs that the video affected the McGregor, Devlin union. In fact, the couple looked happier than ever in an Instagram photo that was shared on June 21, 2022.

But McGregor found himself in another little scandal in 2020 after he posed for a pic with Karolina Sevastyanova, a gymnast who later became a model. In that situation, however, Sevastyanova seemed to take more criticism than McGregor since some said she stood too close to him, which was wrong because he's involved. "Guys, stop asking me these questions," Sevastyanova responded on Instagram Stories, per "I approached him with my man, and he was with his wife."

Usain Bolt ran into a scandal

So, Usain Bolt didn't only leave with three gold medals at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he also left with a scandal attached to him. That's because he was seen in bed with a woman named Jady Duarte who shared photos of their alleged encounter. It's safe to say that Bolt didn't care for the images once they surfaced, but there's someone else who probably disliked them even more: His girlfriend and mother of his children, Kasi Bennett.

Durate spoke about hooking up with the retired sprinter in a 2016 interview with The Sun, saying she met him at a nightclub, then headed back to Olympic Village, where the Olympians stayed. "Why did I go with him? He was Usain Bolt after all," Durate explained. "I sent my friends the pictures because none of them would believe that I spent the night with Usain Bolt. That is when one of them told me that he had a girlfriend. I was shocked." 

Meanwhile, Bennett remained quiet about the photos, at least publicly, but she did like a tweet that someone posted, according to "@usainbolt you traded your life with a #goddess @kasi__b for a one night fling with someone who will never even come close. I can't," the tweet read. 

Julian Edelman had people coming to his defense

Right after retired wide receiver Julian Edelman and his New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2015, he was seen shirtless lying in bed with a woman named Sabrina Dudish. It was Dudish who took the photo, and she decided to post it on Tinder while including a not-so-subtle caption. "Just f***ed Edelman no lie," she wrote. Afterward, Dudish was obliterated in the blogs and on social media and was banned from Boston nightclubs. But she told TMZ that being blacklisted wasn't totally accurate because she had friends working at those clubs. Still, though, many said Dudish robbed Edelman of his privacy by posting the pic of their hook up, which she addressed.

"He passed out and I was bored I guess. I was drunk ... and I made a mistake and I feel terrible about it," said Dudish in that same TMZ interview. "Some of the players were texting me that they were really disappointed. I obviously made a mistake and I can't take it back." Edelman never addressed the photo, unlike NFL wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. who responded to another woman who bragged about bedding him that same year. "The things people will do in the world to come up or get attention is insane," tweeted Beckham Jr. Edelman probably felt the same way.

James Harden was caught sleeping in two ways

Maybe NBA star James Harden thought if he kept mum about the photo of him and a woman in bed together, it would be forgotten about. He could be right, but we haven't let it slip from our memory, in case you were wondering. Said photo was taken by a rapper who goes by Farrah Flossit. The image shows a slumbering Harden under the sheets, unaware that Flossit was hitting the camera button. "#Lilsleepytime @jharden13," she captioned the image. 

The California native was hammered by Harden's fans and general social media users for posting the photo. Plus, people blasted Flossit for a while afterward because just about every Instagram photo that she posted since the scandal had a comment about Harden. Who knows? All of the backlash could've knocked Flossit off Instagram entirely since she hasn't posted anything to the social site since May 2016.

And for the record, Harden isn't the only celeb Flossit has been photographed with. She once posed for a picture with Amber Rose and another time with professional boxer Jean Pascal. Those posts were far less scandalous, of course.

Klay Thompson might've committed a foul

Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson decided not to play defense when his ex-girlfriend Hannah Stocking accused him of sleeping with a groupie in 2015. That means he never addressed the charge and chose to stay a million miles away from it, instead. But his decision to keep quiet didn't make the scandal go away. In fact, some could say it made it worse since everything about the alleged incident came from Stocking.

"So I guess he really wanted that tag to get his numbers up. When you catch ur man naked in bed with a groupie," wrote, then deleted the social media star in a tweet screenshotted by the Daily Mail. She also posted a photo of Thompson looking completely bewildered, probably to throw just one more jab at him for good measure. On top of that, it seemed that Stocking warned the hoop star that she would expose him if he didn't change his behavior. "I told him I'd @ him if he kept harassing me," she stated. 

In 2021, rumors started spreading that Stocking was dating Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert. She was first spotted with a shirt that supposedly belonged to the French NBA star. Plus in 2022a swimsuit photo of Stocking surfaced and it looks like Gobert is standing right behind her.

Ezekiel Elliott probably just wanted some shut-eye

What is it about puckering one's lips when snapping an unauthorized photo of oneself with a pro-athlete? Farrah Flossit did it when she posted her bed shot with a sleeping James Harden, and a dark-haired woman in a pink shirt did it when photographing herself with NFL star Ezekiel Elliott. Undoubtedly, the mystery brunette wanted people to know that she was in bed with Elliott, who just joined the Dallas Cowboys a little bit before. "Dallas Cowboys newest running back Ezekiel Elliott," she wrote in the caption. Of course, the photo could be of Elliott before he was drafted but who can say except those two? 

Like most who get caught in these kinds of situations, Elliott kept quiet but former Kansas City Chiefs guard Kyle Long had something to say. "Rule #1 don't sleep over," he tweeted after the Elliott photo went viral. His message was eventually deleted and captured by BroBible. "Nobody in our generation can be trusted! Everyone trying to use each other for gain. It's gross. It's not attractive and it's not gonna stop," added Long. "As an athlete I'm merely a trophy on the wall of an avg female. It's really saddening that this is the culture we live in now ... I'm not saying ME as in I'm the only one. If you're in a position of power or recognition you will be poached like an elephant."