I want to describe someone who has a bad reputation and tends to make people talk about him (in a bad way) because of how he behaves, before saying that he's actually passionate and kind. Overall, he simply gets badmouthed a lot because of his strong behaviour.
If possible, I'd like an adjective.
I was thinking of something alone the lines of scandalous, but in a less pejorative way. Would badmouthed be idiomatic?
This allowed us to meet Jean, a notoriously [adjective] person, who actually turned out to be quite kind and invested.
How would you go about this one?
Thanks in advance!
Edit: I think disreputable fits the description, but it might be too much to describe someone that is in fact a great person, and I wouldn't want my wording to worsen his reputation. In the end, the person I'm describing could be one of the readers of the piece I'm writing.