Everything’s bigger and better in Celebrity World; they have bigger and better bank accounts, houses and cars than us common folk and they would probably think nothing of throwing away a dressed lobster salad because it clashes with their mink coats, while you go round to your mums for Dairylea on toast. It doesn’t stop modern society worshipping them. Whole forests of trees have died so that we can read about which celeb did what to whom, and in what disgusting manner and, boy do we lap it up.
Celebrity scandal keeps journalists in jobs precisely because they even do bad behaviour on a larger scale than you could ever manage. Some of the people featured in this article are adored by their fans and respected as being at the top of their profession, but they have behaved like complete douchebags in the past. The question is: do we forget about what they have done because of their talent, fame and wealth or are they so adored that their actions are viewed as inconsequential?
The following article contains examples of beloved celebs who have behaved in the most unutterably dreadful fashion. Read on for tales of sexual assault, racism, locking up schoolgirls and being a generally miserable git, and ask yourself if you’ll ever see these ten people in the same light again.
10. Ryan Giggs
The former Welsh international winger is the most highly decorated player in the history of English football, with 34 trophy wins under his belt. He’s regarded as one of the greatest players ever to tread the turf of Old Trafford, home of Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs in the world. Although Giggs had unparalleled success during his 24-year career, it’s likely that he knows one person who isn’t exactly his biggest fan – his own brother, Rhodri.
Giggs had recently married his long-term girlfriend, with whom he has two children, when he was revealed to have taken out a super-injunction to prevent being unmasked as the footballer who’d had an affair with Welsh model, Imogen Thomas. Even worse was to follow, as it emerged that Giggs had been having an affair with Rhodri’s wife that stretched back years. The luckless Rhodri only found out via newspapers that Giggs had even impregnated his wife, before paying for an abortion to cover up the betrayal.
Rhodri may well have forgiven Ryan were it not for his brother’s cowardly behaviour after the affairs were uncovered. Giggsy whined that he was the victim as football fans would make fun of him, before refusing to apologize and allegedly telling Rhodri that he had done his brother a favor, as he could now see his wife for what she was.
9. Jay Z
It’s Shawn Carter’s world, we just live in it. Jay Z is worshiped as rap royalty, despite a recent run of mediocre records and has long since been one of the biggest – and richest – names in hip-hop. However, his earlier career was dogged by accusations of violence and aggravated assault.
Jay freely admits to stabbing his own brother as a 12-year-old drug dealer, but his hand was alleged to remain close to the shank after he hit the big time. In 1999, he was accused of using a ruckus within a club as cover to allow himself to stab record executive Lance ‘Un’ Rivera in the stomach. Jay had previously accused the hapless exec of leaking the new Jay Z album, Vol. 3…; he was bailed for $50,000 and denied all allegations.
While it cannot be proven that Jay committed the second stabbing, he’s on record for wounding his brother and admitted to having anger issues that needed addressing.
8. John Lennon
As a man who once declared that love, love is all you need, it would be a safe bet that John Lennon is a latter-day saint, kind to children and small animals and never eats the last chip out of the bowl. It would also be hilariously inaccurate – by his own admission, John spent the vast part of the sixties and seventies being a Grade A asshole.
He was often cruel to his manager, Brian Epstein, who was secretly homosexual and in love with Lennon: he commonly referred to him in public as a “fag jew”. He frequently cheated on his wife, Cynthia with groupies and spent a good portion of his time in The Beatles, strung out on heroin before alienating his bandmates with his selfish behavior.
All this pales into comparison with how he treated Cynthia behind closed doors. Lennon was propelled by a burning inner rage due to his dysfunctional upbringing and frequently settled arguments with his fists. He abused Cynthia throughout their marriage, penning the telling lyric in Getting Better, “I used to be cruel to my woman/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loves”.
7. Elvis Presley
Elvis the Pelvis, the Sexiest Man of All Time, Ol’ Snakehips – just three of the nicknames commonly attributed to Elvis Aron Presley. Rarely do you hear him called The Sexual Predator or Pervy Lee Elis (an actual anagram), which is a shame because they would both be reasonably accurate. Apart from the fact he isn’t called Lee Elis, of course.
Elvis had more issues than the New Yorker when it came to sex. Despite boasting that he liked it “hot and heavy”, romancing the King was a tepid affair. He preferred heavy petting to actual intercourse, riddled with paranoia about the size of Little Elvis and his sexual performance. While this doesn’t necessarily mark him out as a cad and a bounder, the fact that his preferred choice of partner were 14 year old girls most definitely does. Elvis continued relationships with 14 year olds and pre-adolescents throughout his lifetime, insisting that the girls had to look young and inexperienced.
He met his wife, Priscilla when she was 13 and groomed her to become his girlfriend due to her startling likeness to his late mother at the same age. If this wasn’t creepy and sinister enough, Elvis also cajoled Priscilla into engaging in all-night lesbian sex sessions for his entertainment, while she was still way under the legal age of consent.
6. Harrison Ford
Generations of children and men old enough to know better have grown up idolizing Harrison Ford. A man who beats Nazis, androids and obese alien slugs into submission with a weary quip and a whip deserves nothing less, frankly. The fact that the current generation of kids will probably know Ford best for Cowboys And Aliens, is probably the clearest indication that the world is doomed to be a dusty, joyless rock.
However, it would appear that Harrison is much less of a wise-cracking bada** in real life – he’s largely just an a**. A showbiz journalist has left an interview with Indy complaining that the septuagenarian spent the entire time growling and spitting reluctant answers back at them for daring to enter his orbit. This behavior seemed to worsen around the time he left his wife for the much younger Calista Flockheart, and purchased a diamond earring, always a clear indication of douchiness.
Co-stars have also reported of Harrison being a nightmare to work with. Josh Hartnett played opposite Han in the dreadful 2003 cop flick Hollywood Homicide. He complained afterwards that Ford frequently slagged off Hartnett’s acting abilities in front of crew members and deliberately blocked the shot when the youngster was filming a solo scene.
5. Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury is still regarded as one of the titans of classic rock, 24 years after his death. Though his music is probably as culturally relevant as Greensleeves to anybody younger than your dad, the very mention of his name is still capable of conjuring up an image of a prancing joker, as ready with a quip as he is with an operatic middle eight. However, behind the grin lay a mean-spirited individual indeed.
Queen were rocked by infighting after Freddie discovered that drummer Roger Taylor made as much from the B-side to Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m In Love With My Car, as Freddie did from Queen’s most popular song. The group almost split up after Freddie threw a tantrum, the quartet finally agreeing to split future royalties four ways. Another sign of Freddie’s callous side was his treatment of the rent boys he insisted on having backstage for ‘recreational purposes’ between the need of a set and the encore.
On one infamous occasion, Freddie enjoyed himself so vigorously that the unfortunate gigolo suffered a prolapsed rectum. Undeterred and, frankly, not giving a tiny rats a** about the health of his poor partner, Mercury bellowed at his roadies, “This one’s broken! Find me another”. Highly unpleasant behaviour.
4. John Wayne
John Wayne was the embodiment of the all-American hero in the two decades prior to the end of the Second World War. His aura of raw masculinity and steely determination seemed to reflect the nation’s mood and he quickly became one of Hollywood’s most revered actors. His greatest part remains the role of Ethan Edwards in The Searchers, an eternal outsider with highly racist views of the Native American race.
It’s hard to tell where Ethan Edwards ended and John Wayne began, however. The actor’s views on Native Americans were depressingly vile, claiming that they were being “selfish” in not being over keen on being annihilated by settlers and that they deserved to lose their lands. The staggering racial views didn’t end there; Wayne also went on to say that he wasn’t in favour of equality between white and black people until “the blacks become better educated”.
While many seek to defend Wayne as merely being a product of his time, the fact remains that, no matter when you said it or how you justify it, such racist views clearly mark you out as a toilet of a human.
3. Will Smith
Before he started to express a worrying amount of Scientologist propaganda in interviews, Will Smith always seemed to be one of Hollywood’s most balanced stars. Happily married, a great interviewee and endlessly charismatic, there didn’t seem to be any blots in his copybook. All of this changed in 2012, when tales of Smith being held overnight on aggravated assault charges began to emerge.
The incident in question dated back to 1989. Will had been on a night out in his hometown of Philadelphia, celebrating his recent Grammy win as The Fresh Prince when he got into an altercation with producer William Hendricks. Smith allegedly asked his bodyguard to beat the hell out of Hendricks, which he promptly did. The producer was left almost blinded by the assault and the 20-year old rapper was hauled off to jail on charges of recklessly endangering another person and assault.
Will was released the next day and all charges were dropped, but it takes a certain kind of person to ask their personal man-mountain to viciously beat somebody up for you. To be fair to Smith, he certainly seems to have shocked himself into changing his ways, calling the incident “the worst night of my life”.
2. Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg began his career as the gormless pop star Marky Mark, before branching out into gormless remakes of Planet of the Apes, gormless Saw sequels and being quite-good-actually in The Departed. There is one role where Wahlberg proved to be far from gormless – his part in assaulting a man so badly he was charged with attempted murder.
Wahlberg was 16 when he attacked two Vietnamese men in what seems to be a racially-motivated attack. While screaming about “gooks” at the top of his voice, he punched one man on the head and hit the other so hard he was rumored to have blinded him. Wahlberg served 45 days in jail for his appalling behavior, during which time he realized what a massive a**-hat he was and began to turn his life around. One of the men he attacked, Johnny Trinh, has forgiven the actor and asked to meet him. Wahlberg has publicly apologized for his vile, racist assault.
1. Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page is revered as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Churning out riffs the size of his mansion on hits such as the excellent Immigrant Song and overrated Stairway To Heaven, Page was a successful, respected and handsome young man who could have had his pick of women in the 70’s. He should have also learned to play the harmonica, because his choice of female in 1972 could have earned him a well-deserved stint in jail.
The Led Zep guitarist cast his lewd and lascivious eyes upon Lori Maddox in a club one night and promptly got his roadie to bundle her into a car and drive her to his house, with the chilling warning, “Jimmy intends to have you whether you like it or not” echoing in her ears. Maddox was 14 at the time. Incredibly, after having bags of illegal sex with a minor, the story becomes even more sinister.
Aware that the authorities tend to dislike pedophilia, Page proceeded to keep Maddox locked up in his house for three years, because if you’re going to act like a scumbag, you may as well throw kidnap into the mix. Maddox later described Jimmy’s actions as “romantic…right out of a story”. Can somebody call Stockholm to ask if there’s a name for this syndrome?