We all do stupid things at work. Below, my nominations for the top 10 stupidest workplace mistakes by some boldface names, inspired by the recent antics of Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury.
1. Stupid workplace trick: Stephon Marbury leaves Phoenix before a game against the Suns on Nov. 13 after a reported altercation with boss Isiah Thomas and flies back to New York.
Consequence: Fined $180,000 for missing the game. The Knicks lost 113-102.
What now: He’s got $42 million and two years left on his contract. He could always play in Italy.
2. Stupid workplace trick: Don Imus spouts racist and sexist epithets about the Rutgers women’s basketball team on his radio show, Imus in the Morning, in early 2007.
Consequence: Fired. MSNBC dumps the TV simulcast.
What now: He returns to the airwaves on WABC-AM on Dec. 3. Nappy head and all.
3. Stupid workplace trick: Martha Stewart, a onetime stockbroker, skirts a loss of $45,673 by selling all her ImClone stock a day before it fell 16% in 2002. According to the SEC, she used insider information.
Consequence: Convicted of felony in 2004 and sentenced to five months in jail. Discovered love for ponchos.
What now: Her Apprentice spin-off tanked, but she’s back as business magnate, author, editor and homemaker extraordinaire. She can’t fire herself.
4. Stupid workplace trick: Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, has an “inappropriate” relationship with her boss, President Bill Clinton, in 1996 and 1997.
Consequence: Removed from White House. (Clinton is impeached by the House of Representatives and ultimately acquitted by the Senate.)
What now: Lewinsky received a master’s degree in social psychology from the London School of Economics in 2006. Her dating reality show didn’t pan out.
5. Stupid workplace trick: Judith Regan, publisher of an imprint at HarperCollins, announces the publication of a hypothetical confessional by O.J. Simpson titled If I Did It in 2006.
What now: Regan filed a lawsuit in November that accuses HarperCollins of scapegoating her for the public uproar over the book, and of trying to hush up her affair with Giuliani protegé Bernard Kerik. There’s a bestseller in here somewhere.
6. Stupid workplace trick: Isaiah Washington brawls with castmate Patrick Dempsey on hit show Grey’s Anatomy, and in the process outs his castmate, T.R. Knight.
What now: Guest-starring in NBC’s Bionic Woman. Hint: he’s not the title character.
7. Stupid workplace trick: Senator Larry Craig is arrested for soliciting sex in a men’s bathroom stall in Minneapolis airport in June 2007, and pleads guilty to misdemeanor.
Consequence: Announces resignation in September, then tries to withdraw it.
What now: Still in office. And still not gay.
8. Stupid workplace trick: Star Jones prematurely announces she was “fired” from The View during contract negotiations in 2006.
What now: Her CourtTV show debuted in August. It’s panned. But at least she didn’t do anything drastic to get thin.
9. Stupid workplace trick: Henry Blodget wins a coveted job as an analyst at Merrill Lynch after correctly predicting Amazon would hit $400 in 1998—then boasts about his bogus stock recommendations in e-mails.
Consequence: Settled charges by SEC on civil securities fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; banned from the securities industry for life.
What now: Reincarnated as a writer for Slate and other publications; he published a book in January 2007 titled The Wall Street Self-Defense Manual: A Consumer’s Guide to Intelligent Investing. Honest.
10. Stupid workplace trick: Knicks coach Isiah Thomas is sued by Anucha Browne Sanders, former executive at Madison Square Garden, for sexual harassment.
Consequence: Loses suit. MSG ordered to pay Browne Sanders $11.6 million.
What now: He’s still got his job. Now he’s got to decide what to do with Marbury’s. A boss reaps what he sows.