In Hollywood, the drama ensues on and off the screen – and Hollywood just wouldn’t be Hollywood without it, right? With paparazzi around every corner and the tabloids recording a celebrity’s every move, it’s no surprise that new celebrity scandals are uncovered nearly every week. Some scandals are forgotten before the ink dries on the tabloid stories that are written about them, while others live in infamy, shocking the world to its very core. These are the WTF scandals that no one even saw coming, and everyone could simply not stop talking about. These scandals have been so big that they have defined the careers of those celebs involved. Here are Hollywood’s 14 biggest WTF scandals.
14. Leah Remini Leaves Scientology
Leah Remini is best known for playing Kevin James‘ wife on the CBS sitcom King of Queens, but she’s probably more well known now as a former Scientologist who left the church and released a tell-all book about Scientology and its most famous Scientologist, Tom Cruise. Her book titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology revealed some shocking revelations about Tom Cruise and the Church of Scientology including allegations of abuse, that the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘ wedding was a publicity stunt for the church, and multiple accounts detailing Tom’s poor treatment of others. Remini has been feuding with the church ever since and she vows to make sure everyone knows the truth about Scientology.
13. June “Mama June” Shannon Dates Criminal
The former Here Comes Honey Boo Boo star had it all until she lost her reality show after photos surfaced showing her with convicted sex offender Mark McDaniel, in 2014. She used to date McDaniel and in 2014, she struck up a romantic relationship with him again. Mama June’s eldest daughter Anna Cardwell, later spoke out to People magazine, revealing that she was molested by McDaniel when she was eight years old. After the report that Mama June was spending time with convicted sex offender McDaniel again, TLC canceled Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
12. Winona Ryder Shoplifts
Prior to 2001, Winona Ryder was a respected A-list actress appearing in films like Girl Interrupted, Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands. However, in 2001 when surveillance cameras caught the then 30-year-old actress attempting to steal more than $6,000 worth of merchandise – no one was talking about her film career anymore. The theft by a wealthy Hollywood actress shocked the world and was the subject of tabloids for quite some time. On top of the shoplifting, a number of different types of painkillers were found in Winona’s purse at the time of arrest. Ryder’s career has since somewhat recovered from the scandal, but she’s never been able to escape the fact that when people think of Winona Ryder, they think shoplifter before they think Golden Globe winning actress.
11. Angelina Jolie Kisses Her Brother
Although Angelina Jolie has cleaned up her act since marrying Brad Pitt in 2014, prior to that – she had her fair share of WTF scandals like carrying vials of each others’ blood when she was married to Billy Bob Thorton. However, it was her actions at the 2000 Oscars ceremony that was the most shocking of them all. Jolie open-mouth-kissed her older brother James Haven, while walking the red carpet. She later accepted the Academy Award for Girl, Interrupted, and then proceeded to gush about how much she was in love with James. No matter how many kids Jolie adopts or how much money she donates to charity, that is one WTF scandal the world will never forget.
10. Kobe Bryant And The Hotel Worker
On July 18, 2003, Kobe had sexual relations with a 19-year-old former cheerleader working at the hotel he was staying at. Shortly after the incident, she came forward and charged the Lakers star with sexual assault, throwing a wrench into his perfect world. Bryant admitted to the adultery, but denied the sexual assault allegation – claiming the sexual encounter was consensual. After preparing for the case and spending $200,000 on his defense, the accuser refused to testify, which dropped the case. Kobe made a pricey attempt to apologize to his wife by buying her a $4 million 8-carat diamond ring.
9. Bill Cosby’s Dark Past Comes Back To Haunt Him
The once beloved Bill Cosby has been surrounded by a firestorm of controversy since October 2014 when stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress, performed a 2-minute joke about Bill Cosby’s past r*pe allegations. Cosby’s allegations were mildly known but after footage of the joke went viral, word of the comic’s troubled past hit the mainstream. Since then, over 50 women have come forward with accusations of sexual assault against Bill Cosby, dating all the way back to 1969. Bill Cosby was once known as the wholesome family man from The Cosby Show, but is now known as a serial r*pist.
8. Rick James Holds Music Executive Prisoner
In the early 90s, Rick James was the king of punk funk well known for his hits ‘Super Freak’ and ‘Give It To Me Baby’ but after 1993, he had become well known for other types of hits. It was during a coke binge that Rick and his then girlfriend Tanya Hijazi, tied music executive Mary Sauger up and forced her to perform sexual acts. A year later, Sauger testified that Rick and Tanya beat her and held her prisoner for 20 hours. Rick was sentenced to 3 years in Folsom State Penitentiary and was released in 1996.
7. Charlie Sheen Reveals HIV Diagnosis
Earlier this year, Charlie Sheen revealed that he was HIV positive. The news didn’t come as a surprise considering the fact that in recent years, Sheen had declared that he had “tiger’s blood” and was living with two well known adult stars. What was surprising was that Sheen had been blackmailed for years and had paid out nearly $10 million to keep his diagnosis private. On top of that, Sheen had been accused of not revealing his HIV diagnosis to a number of past sexual partners. Adding even more WTF to this scandal, multiple news outlets had confirmed that they had a clip of Charlie Sheen engaging in oral sex with a male partner.
6. R. Kelly’s Inexcusable Video
In 2002, a video of R. Kelly urinating on a 14-year-old girl surfaced and went viral – shocking the world. Kelly was indicted for 21 counts of s*x with a minor; however, they were eventually reduced to 14 kiddie-adult-related offenses. Despite a solid case against R. Kelly, he was acquitted of all charges in 2008. This WTF scandal has defined Kelly’s career and is the first thing everyone thinks about when they hear the name R. Kelly.
5. Woody Allen Marries Girlfriend’s Adopted Daughter
Woody Allen and Mia Farrow started dating in 1980 and everything was good between the couple until 1992, when Farrow came across a series of nude photographs of her 22-year-old adopted daughter Soon-Yi Prevein, in Allen’s apartment. The media’s fascination with this odd relationship began immediately and has remained a constant. As of 2015, Allen and Prevein (who have a thirty-five year age difference) have been together for twenty-three years. It’s quite odd that a man would start a relationship with his girlfriend’s adopted daughter, but as Woody Allen would say: “The heart wants what it wants.”
4. Tiger Woods Caught Cheating
The life, career, and squeaky clean image of the world’s greatest golfer fell apart with the swing of a gold club – swung by his now ex-wife Elin Nordegren. It was late 2009 and after learning he had been unfaithful, Nordegren chased him out of the house with a golf club. She thought there had been one other woman, but soon found out (along with the rest of the world) that one woman was just the tip of the iceberg. The scandal sparked a media frenzy and it was later reported that Woods had had more than 120 affairs. When it was all said and done, his wife walked away with a divorce and $100 million.
3. The Fappening
The year 2014, better known as ‘The Year Hollywood Was Hacked’ brought us WTF scandal after WTF scandal. Over the course of the year, the personal photos of dozens and dozens of the industry’s hottest young starlets were stolen and leaked in an operation called “The Fappening.” Jennifer Lawrence, Gabrielle Union, Kate Upton, Anna Kendrick, and more celebrities were among the victims. The leak sparked a debate over cyber responsibility and celebrity privacy.
2. David Letterman Sleeps With Staff Members
In 2009, a scandal surrounding seasoned late night host David Letterman broke. He had been caught having an affair with several of his female employees. On top of the infidelity, Letterman was being blackmailed by Robert J. Halderman, who threatened to expose Letterman’s affairs if he didn’t pay him $2 million. Instead, Letterman faced the allegations head on and announced on his show what had been going on.
1. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Secret Love Child
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver seemed to have a storybook romance. They married on April 26, 1986, and raised four children together. However, in late 1996, Schwarzenegger began an affair with their housekeeper, Mildred Baena. On October 2, 1997, Baena gave birth to Arnold’s lovechild, Joseph. It wasn’t revealed until fourteen years later that Schwarzenegger was Joseph’s father. The media had a frenzy over one of Hollywood’s longest kept secrets and Maria filed for divorce shortly after.