Whether you love reading the tabloids or you tend to stick to more serious news, some celebrity gossip is just wild enough to make major headlines. While some might say that any press is good press, that old adage doesn’t necessarily apply in all of these cases. Check out seven of the craziest celebrity scandals in recent memory.
When accusations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby began to pile up in 2015, the legendary comedian’s fans were aghast. Public backlash against the numerous accusers began, and some of the allegedly assaulted women banded together to tell their stories, which spanned decades.
Though some fans may have believed that Cosby would avoid becoming labeled a sex offender due to the length of time that had passed between the alleged crimes and the time they were reported, lawmakers have paved the way for these cases to go through the court system. In 2016, California eliminated the statute of limitations for rape and child molestation, which means that at least one of the decades-old cases will go to trial.
Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
They may not have invented the concept of the sex tape, but actress and centerfold star Pamela Anderson and rocker Tommy Lee first popularized the idea in the 1990s. The homemade tape featured footage from their honeymoon and was stolen from them by an electrician who was working on their home. The accused thief sold the video, and a distribution company made the footage available online.
In 1998, Anderson sued and won a reported $1.5 million. Ultimately, both the couple and the distribution company made money off the video, and despite enduring a serious violation of their privacy, Anderson and Lee largely recovered their stardom.
Over the ensuing decades, their actions have even continued to inspire others. In fact, dozens of celebrities, ranging from Paris Hilton to Kim Kardashian, have followed suit with their own scandalous sex tapes. Unlike the original actors, however, many subsequent performers have leaked their own tapes to grab headlines and accelerate their own rising stars.
Speaking of sex tapes, the world learned that this wrestling legend had made one when the celebrity gossip site Gawker posted some choice clips. Rather than addressing the matter quietly, Hulk Hogan sued Gawker for big bucks. In 2016, Hogan was awarded $115 million in damages.
The story doesn’t end there, though. Those following along soon learned that Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal and noted tech billionaire, had both funded and encouraged the suit. Thiel had a beef to settle with Gawker, which had outed him several years earlier. Ultimately, Gawker couldn’t afford to continue, and the long-running site was shuttered in the summer of 2016.
Over the decades, Johnny Depp has created an image of himself as a talented yet quirky actor who may be difficult to live with. This tale took a turn for the violent during his divorce from Amber Heard in 2016.
Heard accused Depp of physical abuse and even reported for a scheduled court date with a black eye. Both celebrities’ names were dragged through the mud during the divorce proceedings, with Heard accusing Depp of attacking her with smartphones and wine bottles and Depp accusing Heard of domestic abuse in prior relationships. The marriage ended with Heard winning a $7 million settlement.
Whether you’re a Team USA enthusiast, an Olympian at heart, or simply a sports fan, you probably heard about Ryan Lochte’s brush with the law in the summer of 2016. Shortly after competing in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, this Team USA swimmer told a strange story that just kept getting weirder as the weeks went on.
At first, the bleached-blonde swimming star reported that some locals had robbed him and his teammates at gunpoint. The world was shocked and concerned. Shortly after that, however, the truth came out. Lochte and his teammates had actually caused some serious damage to a bathroom at a gas station. The gun in the story belonged to a security guard, who insisted that the Olympians pay for the repairs.
Though the story slowly faded away in the news, Lochte paid the consequences. He received a 10-month suspension from Team USA and also had to give up the $100,000 bonus that went with his gold medal.
If Lochte and Oscar Pistorius are any indication, being an Olympian may not be as positive an experience as it would seem. In 2013, the South African Olympic sprinter, who’s also a double amputee, was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. As the story began to take over headlines around the world, Pistorius spun a convincing tale claiming that he’d mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder and shot her in self-defense.
His story didn’t hold up in court, however, and Pistorius was sentenced to manslaughter in 2014. Shortly after, the conviction was reversed, and Pistorius was convicted of murder. In 2016, he received a six-year prison sentence for his crime.
She’s no stranger to the headlines, but in the fall of 2016, Kim Kardashian made the news for being the victim of a frightening plot. While in France for Paris Fashion Week, Kardashian was bound and gagged in her own hotel room by men posing as police officers. While she was indisposed, the criminals stole $10 million worth of fine jewelry.
She walked away from the incident with no physical injuries, but the psychological effects appear to have taken their toll. Kardashian took an extended break from making her usual appearances, and rumor has it that there are connections between the incident and husband Kanye West’s public breakdown, which occurred soon thereafter.
From sex scandals to violent episodes and bizarre behavior, some celebrities have made the news for the wrong reasons. Find out if your friends, neighbors, or family members have also been up to no good with a criminal record check. Get the scoop on everything from arrest records and prison sentences to traffic-related offenses and felony convictions without the hassle of getting a court order.