People have always been fascinated by celebrity gossip, but the 21st century has taken that fascination to the level of obsession. There are tabloid newspapers, TV shows, magazines, and hundreds of websites devoted to celebrity news – giving us ordinary folk a glimpse into the lavish and luxurious lives of the rich and famous.
Even though sales of celebrity magazines are starting to fall, that doesn’t mean that our appetite for gossip is diminishing. It just means that we are getting all the hottest news from another source-the internet.
Websites like TMZ and Perez Hilton have taken on the mantle of the old established magazines like People and US Weekly – and we can now learn all about the latest scandals with just the click of a mouse, rather than having to go out to the newsstand. TMZ’s popular YouTube channel, for example, has over 2 million subscribers, and their videos have garnered an astonishing 2 billion views and counting.
Usually, the juiciest stories revolve around celebrity scandals, something that throughout the Golden Age of Hollywood fans have had a voracious appetite for. While celebrities never fall short of drama, some have gone down history as the craziest yet, and here are 15 of them.
15. Pam’s Starring Role
These days news that a celebrity’s bedroom antics have been leaked online is barely enough to raise an eyebrow. Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian have even used the so-called sex tapes to launch their celebrity careers. Back in the 1990s, Baywatch star, Pamela Anderson, and her rock musician husband, Tommy Lee, became one of the first celeb couples to have their sex tape leaked online when a workman at their home, angry over a pay dispute, stole their x-rated home movie and sold it to the highest online bidder. While it is difficult to say if the scandal had any impact on either of their careers, it did see the couple become the butt of jokes and comedy routines for many years afterwards.
14. Browned Off
Music stars Rihanna and Chris Brown were once a Noughties power couple, the envy of fans all over the world, until the fateful night of the 2009 Grammy awards. After attending a party together, the duo got into an argument, which then led to Brown slapping, punching, and even choking the Umbrella singer. Rihanna not only broke up with Brown, but also reported him to the police. He was later sentenced to five years probation for felony, assault, and the photos of a bruised and battered Rihanna have become one of the most famous celeb gossip images of recent years.
13. Natalie’s Tragic Death
Natalie Wood was a huge movie star in her day, starring alongside James Dean, in the iconic ‘Rebel Without a Cause,’ and taking the lead role of Maria in ‘West Side Story.’ When she and her husband, Robert Wagner, joined their friend Christopher Walken on a yachting trip, no-one had any idea of the tragedy that would follow. Natalie’s body was found the next day in the water, having apparently drowned. However, her death has become the subject of Hollywood legend, with many suspecting that Wagner became jealous of his wife’s friendship with Walken and pushed her off the boat. Some specualte that perhaps Walken had a hand in her death. Or maybe it was a freak accident.
12. The Actress And The President
There has been so much speculation about the nature of the relationship between starlet Marilyn Monroe, and US President, John F Kennedy. Their rumoured romance has been the subject of countless books and movies, and the story is only made more tragic and scandalous by Marilyn Monroe’s early death, apparently due to an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. Even her tragic death has been tainted with scandal, with some suggesting that Monroe took her own life after Kennedy ended their relationship – and others suspecting that the powerful Kennedy clan had her killed because she posed a threat to JFK’s political career.
11. Driven To Drink
Mel Gibson had always enjoyed a reputation as one of Hollywood’s good guys, thanks in part to his strong religious beliefs. However, this goody-two-shoes image was lost forever the night a police officer pulled him over for suspected drink driving. Not only did he make sexually explicit comments towards the female officer, but also went on an extremely un-Christian rant about Jewish people, claiming on camera that they were responsible for “all the wars in the world.” His claim that the incident was completely out of character was shown to be false when he was recorded a few years later verbally abusing his then girlfriend, and threatening to burn down her house.
10. Wacko Jacko
Michael Jackson led an unusual life. A child star from the age of five, his weird and not-so-wonderful life seemed to lurch from scandal to scandal in the following years. He was plagued by allegations of child abuse throughout his life, despite being found not guilty. Who can forget the lengthy court battles that captivated the entire world. Jackson also faced criticism over the way he was bringing up his children, especially when he dangled baby Blanket from a hotel balcony above a crowd of press photographers. Even his tragic death was surrounded by scandal, with his personal doctor serving a two-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter, after admitting to providing the singer with prescription medication.
9. Silent Killer?
During the silent movie era, Fatty Arbuckle was one of the most famous men in the world, loved by film fans for his slapstick performances. After signing a new contract with his studio, Arbuckle booked a hotel suite for a weekend of partying with his friends, in the company of a bevy of beauties. One of these women was later seen running and screaming from his room, but witnesses – knowing that Arbuckle was having a party – simply assumed she was drunk. When she died a few days later, Arbuckle was arrested and accused of rape and murder, since evidence suggested that a violent sexual assault had ruptured her bladder, causing a fatal infection. Arbuckle’s first two trials ended with a hung jury and he was eventually acquitted at his third trial, but the scandal destroyed his career.
8. Britney Breakdown
Britney Spears is another example of the perils of growing up in the spotlight. After starting out in the popular kids’ TV show, ‘The Disney Club,’ Britney launched her own successful pop career. Her decline started in 2006, following a spell in rehab. After being discharged, she went to a hair salon and proceeded to shave of all her hair. Britney, who had previously cultured a sweet, girl-next-door image, then started dating a paparazzi photographer. His party lifestyle saw her lose custody of her children after police found her intoxicated with the kids in the house. Thankfully, Britney has managed to get her life back on track, and has even seen her pop career take off again.
7. Divine Retribution
English gent Hugh Grant had just starred in the successful movie, ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral,’ when he was arrested for soliciting prostitute, Divine Brown, in downtown LA. Grant admitted his guilt and paid a small fine, but the scandal led to the end of his high-profile relationship with fellow Brit, Elizabeth Hurley, an actress and model. After a series of frank and honest media interviews about his indiscretion, Grant’s career soon recovered, and he has continued to star in a series of successful films. Divine Brown was the real winner in this situation, however, securing a $1 million pay-out for an exclusive interview with a UK tabloid newspaper.
6. Careless Whisper
Singer George Michael was involved in a number of sex scandals during his career, including being arrested by LA cops after committing a “lewd act” in a public toilet in a Beverley Hills park, a well-known gay hang-out in the city. The Wham! singer had hidden the true nature of his sexuality for years, before finally admitting he was gay. The arrest could easily have ended his successful music career, but Michael took a different approach. In the video for his hit single ‘Outside,’ he poked fun at the incident, turning a grotty public toilet into a discotheque, full of dancers dressed in risqué cop costumes.
Hollywood hearts were broken when golden couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announced that they were splitting, and the scandal only got worse when it was revealed that Brad was leaving Jen for another woman – Angelina Jolie. Everyone had a point of view on this particular issue, with t-shirts emblazoned with “Team Jennifer” and “Team Angelina” selling like hotcakes (although the former did seem to out-sell the latter). Brad Pitt and Angelia Jolie went on to become one of Hollywood’s biggest powerful couples, earning the nickname “Brangelina.” But now even that fairy tale has come to an end, with the pair announcing in 2016 that they were getting a divorce.
4. A Woman Scorned
Golfer Tiger Woods learned the hard way that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. When he finally fessed up to his wife Elin Nordgren that he had cheated on her with a series of women, she took one of his own golf clubs to his car windows, and left with the kids in tow. Woods’ squeaky clean image was wrecked by the revelations that he had a sex addiction, and there were rumours that he had cheated on his wife with as many as 120 different women. Even his golfing form started to suffer, and Woods has not been the same sportsman since the scandal broke out.
3. Starlet Scandal
Hollywood starlet Lana Turner was involved in one of the most shocking scandals of the 1950s. Turner was in a relationship with a volatile mobster called Johnny Stompanato. During one particularly violent confrontation between the couple, Stompanato was killed – stabbed several times with a kitchen knife. When the cops arrived, Turner’s 14-year-old daughter told them that she had stabbed the crook in a bid to protect her mother. The trial was a media circus, especially when Lana herself took the stand, and the killing was eventually ruled to be justifiable homicide.
2. Comedy Of Errors
Lovable comedian Bill Cosby was a huge star in the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to his stand-up comedy and successful sitcom, ‘The Cosby Show.’ No-one would have ever suspected that dark secrets lurked beneath his warm and gentle persona, but in the 2000s, women started to come forward and accusing Cosby of drugging them and sexually abusing them and/or raping them. Over 50 women have now made allegations against Cosby, and a number of them have already launched civil suits for compensation. The comedian continues to deny the accusations, but his family-man image has been tarnished forever.
1. Keeping It In The Family
Writer, actor, and director, Woody Allen, was involved in one of Hollywood’s most shocking scandals of recent years, when it was revealed that he had been having an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his then-wife Mia Farrow. Farrow discovered the affair when she found naked photos of Soon-Yi among Allen’s possessions. Most of the gossip columnists didn’t give the relationship between Allen and Soon-Yi much chance of surviving, given their 35-year age difference. But the couple defied convention, and married in 1993, adopting two children soon afterwards. They are still together today.
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