In 2013, Megan Welter had a really bad night.
Welter, at that time a cheerleader for the Arizona Cardinals, got into a drunken fight with her boyfriend. It ended with her calling 911 and reporting him for domestic violence. Welter's boyfriend was a professional fighter, who "smashed [her] head into the tile" and put her in a "choke hold with his legs," she told the 911 dispatcher.
When the police showed up, they found out that wasn't true. Welter's boyfriend, Ryan McMahon, showed video on his cell phone verifying that it was Welter who had attacked him. She was arrested and charged with assault.
The arrest came just days after Welter and her team, the Cardinals, kicked off a PR blitz pushing a positive story about her to various television and print news outlets. Welter wasn't just a pretty face—she was an Iraq war veteran who led troops in a signal unit of the US Army.
Local Arizona TV stations, Sports Illustrated, and culture blogs like Uproxx all ran feel-good stories touting Welter as an all-American character.