Behind every big celebrity is an even bigger PR team; they can create a huge star by carefully manipulating the media, targeting the right market and choosing the perfect venues to be seen at. They might also take their duties as far as changing a stars name or lying about when they were born.
Ageism in Hollywood is an issue which has been widely debated for years. The Queen of Pop. Madonna, has even spoken out recently that she takes a lot of “flack” for still performing at 56-years-old. Hollywood is a cut-throat game and if you’re not perfect then you won’t be working longer than a few months; besides a little white lie never hurt anybody, right?
If you google any star there name and real age will appear everywhere on many different pages; this infuriates stars so much so that in 2011 an unnamed actress alleged opened a lawsuit with IMDB because they published her real date of birth. There is no denying that age will always be one touchy subject but these huge stars know the secret to eternal youth; just lie…
10. Geri Halliwell
The Spice Girls were the biggest girl band of the 90s; Sporty, Ginger, Scary, Baby and Posh took the world by storm when they burst onto the scene in 1996 with their smash-hit single Wannabe. Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell often looked like the mature one of the band, despite claiming that she was only 21-years-old.
It emerged, later on in her career, that she was in fact 25-years-old when she was signed with the Spice Girls. She managed to hide her real age throughout her entire career until she was finally outed by none other than fellow band-mate Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham who claimed that they had been celebrating Geri’s 29th birthday for “many years”. Ouch.
9. James Blunt
James Blunt became an international heartthrob when he released singles such as You’re Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover; his career was only getting bigger until he was outed by British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph for duping fans and lying about his age. He convinced fans that he was three years younger than he actually was.
According to the paper, the decision wasn’t down to just Blunt himself but his record company who needed him to appeal to a younger audience; together they decided to tell all press outlets that he was in his early thirties. The singer-songwriter, who served with the British Army for six years before he found fame, is now 41-years old (or 38 if you ask his record company).
Maybe it’s not the coolest lie a rapper could get caught out on, but in 2003 Nelly appeared on the pages of Teen People magazine for an article titled 25 Hottest Stars Under 25. He would have been 28-years-old at the time, not qualifying for the list, but it was a PR spin so a younger audience would gravitate towards his music.
The Hot In Here singer had always claimed his year of birth was 1980; however, it was later revealed that he was actually born November 2nd 1974, which added six whole years onto his age. Nelly was one of the biggest-selling artists between 2000-2002 so his trick to pull in more fans clearly worked.
7. Agyness Deyn
Most supermodels shave a year or two off their age, but model Agyness Deyn decided to make herself a whole six years younger than what she actually was. The British beauty wasn’t signed as a model until she was 24-years-old, but to gain more work and have more opportunities open for her she lied and told modelling agencies that she was only 18-years-old.
She was outed by friends who went to school with the 5 foot 8″ star, after they started a Facebook group called “Agyness Deyn You Are Not 18!” – a reaction group to a New York magazine article that claimed she was born in 1989. At the height of her modelling career she had contracts with Armani, Burberry and Vivienne Westwood.
6. Jessica Chastain
Jessica Chastain has told many reporters that she refuses to reveal her real age which has left much speculation surrounding the California-born actress. In 2013 she told a British tabloid; “I will never say my age because I’m an actress, and I want to play different ages”.
Three years ago her Wikipedia and IMDB pages stated that she was 30 years old. Then many fans starting piecing together old school yearbooks and plays she had acted in at a young age; they managed to place her age closer to 35-years-old. Her internet pages were then updated to her correct age, citing her year of birth as 1977.
5. Nicole Scherzinger
In 2008, Nicole Scherzinger finally confessed in an interview that during her time as lead singer of The PussyCat Dolls, she had lied about her age. The Hawaiian-born star said that she shaved just two years off her real age. When she turned 30 she was still registered on the band’s official website as 28, even though she did joke in the interview with Blender magazine; “I should say I’m 27”.
While trying to appear younger than she is, she has also has dated younger men including Formula 1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, who was four years her junior. The couple split earlier this year.
4. Sandra Bullock
Sandra Bullock is often referred to as America’s Sweetheart but even she has told a few little white lies along the way; one of them involving her age. However, what’s interesting is that Bullock added years on to her real age rather than taking them off. One of her first roles was an “older scientist” in Love Potion #9 (1992) and to gain the part she told movie producers that she was five years older than her real age; years later, she confessed to this in an interview with Barbara Walters.
In 1993, she gave an interview explaining that her real age has become a blur to her; “After a while, you have no idea how old you are because you’ve lied so many times. I always said I would never lie, but one time, when I didn’t it worked against me. So I figure you just keep them guessing”.
3. Jennifer Lopez
Compared to some of the huge age lies in Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez doesn’t look too bad – she shaved just one year off her real age. She had always stated that her year of birth was 1970, but a police report that was released to the public stated that the date was actually 1969. This would have seen her begin her career at 17 years old instead or the originally reported age of 16.
The police report was carried out after the Get Right singer and her then-boyfriend Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs were present at Times Square Club in New York where a shooting took place, in 1999. Lopez was let go after it was discovered she had nothing to do with the crime, but Combs was handed down four weapons-related charges and charged for bribing his driver to claim ownership of his gun.
2. Nicki Minaj
You can lie to the fans and press as much as you like but there is no lying to the police. Nicki Minaj was another celebrity who’s real age was outed by the law when she was arrested for a physical altercation with an unnamed man; there were no charges pressed.
The police reported that her real year of birth was 1982; that would have put the Starships singer at 28-years-old when she had been trying to convince the world that she was just 26. The rapper who was born in Trinidad and Tabago had her pages online changed to now display 1982 and this brings her real age to 32-years-old.
In 1999, rapper Eminem told Howard Stern on his talk show that he was 24-years-old when he was actually 27. The Slim Shady star who’s real name is Marshall Mathers was born in 1972 which currently puts his age at 42-years-old.
The reasons behind Eminem’s original lie are still unknown, however it may be the same case as many artists before him where there was a lot of pressure from record companies for artists to appeal to a young audience. If this was the case then it certainly worked as Eminem is not only the best selling rapper of all-time but also the second biggest selling individual male artist with continuos album sales even today.