20 Biggest Celebrity Scandals: A Look Back at What Shocked Us Over the Years

20 Biggest Celebrity Scandals: A Look Back at What Shocked Us Over the Years

We tend to forget how naive we were even just 10 years ago. Times change, and what was once scandalous may become so common that we don't even look at it anymore, as with some of the biggest celebrity scandals in history. 

From celebrity feuds to politicians lying under oath, these are the 20 biggest scandals that rocked our nation back when Don't Ask, Don't Tell was still in effect, and we had trouble fitting the entire Internet on our desktop computers. Times change, but that doesn't mean you must be left behind!

1) O.J. Simpson

O.J. Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murdering his ex-wife and her friend, but many still feel guilty. In 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered outside Nicole's home on Bundy Drive in Los Angeles, California. The police found a blood-stained glove at the scene and other evidence that implicated O.J. Simpson as the murderer. 

He tried to flee from them and couldn't be charged until he surrendered to the police days later. The case went before a civil jury instead of a criminal one, ultimately leading to Simpson's acquittal. Some believe racial bias played into this decision because most jurors were white while both victims were African American.

2) Hugh Grant

In June 1995, Hugh Grant was caught with a prostitute in Los Angeles by an undercover police officer. The scandal led to Grant's arrest, and he pled no contest to a felony solicitation charge. He was fined $1,180 and sentenced to 120 hours of community service and attending a rehabilitation program for sex offenders. 

In December 1995, he left rehab early after just five days because he missed work commitments.

3) Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson was accused of child molestation in November 2003, but the charges were dismissed in 2005. Though he was acquitted, his reputation suffered greatly from the scandal. 

Jackson had several health problems during this time and went into cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. He passed away later that day.

4) Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith was an American model, actress, and television personality who became well-known for her case against her son's father, J. Howard Marshall, who died a week before the case was dismissed. Anna Nicole Smith was born Vickie Lynn Hogan in 1967 and grew up in Houston, Texas. She married Billy Wayne Smith when she was 17 and had two children with him before they divorced seven years later. 

In 1992, Smith met 89-year-old billionaire J. Howard Marshall II while working as a stripper in Las Vegas. Four months later, they married. During their marriage, she claimed that Marshall would give her anywhere from $10 to $100 thousand every few days; they also owned several homes worth more than $13 million.

5) Tiger Woods

When news broke in late 2009 that Tiger Woods had been having an affair with many women, it was shocking, to say the least. The golfer had been married to Elin Nordegren since 2004 and was generally seen as a happy couple. But when news of his infidelity started coming out, everything changed. 

At first, Woods tried to deny everything, but eventually, he admitted that he had cheated on his wife and then went into rehab for sex addiction. This was one of the biggest celebrity scandals of all time because it seemed everyone had their own opinion about what happened and whether or not Woods should be forgiven.

6) Jesse James

Jesse James and his wife, actress Sandra Bullock, were married in 2005. In 2010, James was caught cheating with tattoo model Michelle McGee. McGee later revealed that she had a secret affair with James for two years before Bullock found out about it. 

Jesse James has now admitted to having sex with six women during his marriage to Sandra Bullock. He also apologized for being a selfish coward and putting his wife through a living hell.

7) Arnold Schwarzenegger

The seven-time Mr. Olympia winner was never one to shy away from controversy. He infamously fathered a child with his housekeeper, Mildred Baena, while still married to Maria Shriver and even had an affair during the filming of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. 

But when news broke in 2011 that he had fathered a love child with Baena, Schwarzenegger's reputation was severely hit, especially after he admitted that he knowingly misled everyone about his family life.

8) Ashton Kutcher

In September 2011, tabloid reports surfaced that Kutcher was cheating on his wife of six years with then-teenage starlet Mila Kunis. Kutcher and Kunis were seen kissing in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The actor's reps denied the affair, claiming he was just a good friend to Kunis. 

The scandalous affair would eventually cost him his marriage to Demi Moore, which ended in November 2011 after nearly six years together. After a split-year custody battle over their two children, Kutcher and Moore agreed on joint custody for their daughter, 6-year-old Wyatt, and their 10-year-old Dimitri.

9) Rihanna

Rihanna was a victim of criminal assault in January 2012 when she was punched by her then-boyfriend Chris Brown. The singer had been walking through LAX with her head down, texting on her phone, when Brown suddenly appeared and attacked her. Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault and was sentenced to 5 years probation, but not before he released a statement claiming that the incident had been entirely mutual. 

That same day, Rihanna's world tour was cancelled, and she entered an undisclosed hospital for treatment. It wasn't until February 2012 that Rihanna finally broke her silence about being assaulted by releasing a powerful video statement on YouTube that documented the aftermath of being beaten by Chris Brown.

10) Chris Brown

Chris Brown, a famous R&B singer, has had his share of controversies over the years. In 2009, he assaulted his then-girlfriend and fellow pop star Rihanna. The event was publicized heavily, and Brown's career suffered for a time. 

In 2012, he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence after being involved in a car accident.

11) Justin Bieber

Ever since he became a mega-celebrity, it's no surprise that Justin Bieber has had his fair share of scandals. The most notable one occurred on January 23, 2014, when Bieber was arrested in Miami for drunk driving and drag racing. 

He ended up pleading guilty to charges of careless driving and resisting arrest without violence. He also had to complete an anger management course and pay a $50k bond. It's rumoured that Bieber's arrest may have been part of a publicity stunt to promote his Believe album.

12) Kanye West

In February 2016, Kanye West took to Twitter to declare his intention to run for president in 2020. He also claimed that he was $53 million in debt, which led many online to question how he could afford such a lavish lifestyle. 

At one point, he even asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for help getting out of debt. Soon after these tweets were made public, West announced via Twitter that he had been admitted to the hospital due to mental health issues, which turned out to be exhaustion and sleep deprivation.

13) Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has been in the public eye for many years, but her most recent scandal is one of her biggest. After a public break-up with DJ Calvin Harris, Swift penned a song called This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, which was believed to be about him. This led to rumours that he was resentful of her success and had tried to sabotage it. 

Harris tweeted a response in an attempt to clear his name but instead seemed to admit that he had posted derogatory tweets about Swift on another account. The next day, Swift took back some of what she had said and apologized for any hurt feelings caused by her song lyrics. By this point, though, it was too late, and the damage was done.

14) Donald Trump

The year 2016 has been riddled with celebrity scandals, but one of this era's most surprising and shocking stories was Donald Trump's leaked audio tapes. In a video that emerged in October 2016, Trump is heard bragging about groping women. You can do anything, he says on the recording. When you're a star, they let you do it. Grab them by the pussy. 

The tapes were recorded in 2005 and released during Trump's presidential campaign, where he faced Hillary Clinton for president. With his comments and actions towards women, many people felt that a man like him could not hold office.

15) Harvey Weinstein

Harvey Weinstein was one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. He was a producer and co-founder of Miramax and The Weinstein Company, which he ran with his brother Bob until they left to start their own production company in 2005. In October 2017, multiple women accused him of rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct. 

The allegations led to the Me Too movement, destroying Weinstein's career and opening up national conversations about sexism, consent, and what constitutes sexual harassment.

16) James Franco

In January 2018, James Franco was accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour by several women. Franco was accused by five women of pressuring them into performing sexual acts, including one who claimed he tried to convince her to do a nude scene in what she thought was a short film and another who alleged that Franco removed protective plastic guards covering actresses' genitals during an orgy scene on the set of The Deuce. Franco denied all accusations and stated that he had taken them seriously. 

In February 2019, it was reported that Anne Hathaway had also come forward, accusing him of being manipulative and exploitative during their filming in 2014. In November 2018, it was reported that four more women accused him.

17) Kylie Jenner

In February 2018, Kylie Jenner made headlines when she made her Instagram profile private. The move comes after the 20-year-old was criticized for posting a photo of herself in a bra and underwear on Valentine's Day, which led many to comment about her weight. In response to criticism, Jenner explained that her stomach was still sore from liposuction surgery. 

Jenner's sister, Kim Kardashian, commented on the situation by tweeting to everyone who has ever been bullied or felt bad about themselves. She sent love and positivity and stated: We're all human and have insecurities. She also apologized for not explaining why she had been wearing less clothing recently, saying she just wanted to feel good about herself.

18) Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson is one in a long line of athletes accused of cheating on their significant other. In this case, his girlfriend, Khloe Kardashian. Rumours swirled for months about Tristan's infidelity, but it wasn't until a video surfaced showing him and another woman getting close that Khloe publicly addressed it. 

"Yesterday, I learned that someone I had thought to be close to me, who I cared for deeply and loved as my friend, was not who they said they were. This person has betrayed me unimaginably," she tweeted on April 9, 2019.

19) Jordyn Woods

A scandal erupted in February 2019 when it was revealed that Jordyn Woods had an affair with Khloe Kardashian's ex-husband, Tristan Thompson. The news shocked fans and fellow celebrities alike. It wasn't long before screenshots surfaced of Woods and Thompson sending explicit messages to one another on social media. 

The two were caught kissing in a nightclub during the NBA All-Star weekend but denied any romantic involvement. In addition to breaking up his marriage to Khloe Kardashian, he jeopardized his relationship with Kylie Jenner. After her sister's sudden pregnancy announcement, Kylie accused Woods of cheating with her brother-in-law and broke off all contact with him.

20) Lori Loughlin

Lori Loughlin's family drama. She and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, were known for their close-knit family and five kids attending USC. 

At first, Lori appeared to be one of the most innocent moms. But then it came out that Lori had paid $500k to get her daughters into USC as rowing recruits, despite neither of them being rowers before in their lives.

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