The fifth law of 48 laws of power by Robert Greene says- everything depends on your reputation guard it with your life, now he certainly has a twist added to it, it can be ill reputation too, if you want to be known as a rogue, don’t let others spoil that!
It is a harsh reality, we know it only after losing it that how much precious it is. Sometimes we ruin it ourselves and sometimes our companions/enemies do it for us. We cant control the third factor, but we can control the first and second.
Reputation is something by which a man is known far and wide, even to those he is not aware of but can effect his sheer existence, so better watch out, not only your own conduct but the people you are connected with (in eyes of the world), if you go around with dubious, heinous characters no matter how clean you are, sooner or later people will tell stories and before you know, you will be branded as their comrade.
It is a harsh truth that a rotten potato slowly and steadily rots every potato in the basket, such is the company of evil. No matter how healthy your reputation was it will start stinking first and then rotting.
I have personally seen it, a bunch of hookers who ganged up against me and as they were not able to corrupt me they worked on my reputation and succeeded. It took me long years to train myself to ignore the opinions of human dustbins 🙂 But I will suggest you to be careful at the first sign and start working against it.