We’ve all got skeletons in our closets. Whether it be something as small as a weird birthmark on a not so flattering part of the body, or something as huge as your parents being second cousins. We all have something in our lives that we find extremely embarrassing and would dread the day that these secrets would come to the light or be made public, only for us to be forced into hiding in the shadows while the smoke clears. But luckily, for most of us, we don’t live under the microscope and scrutiny of those that are considered public figures.
Can you imagine being someone with a little bit of shine and doing something as little as tripping down a single stair, or having your heel break in public only for it to become front page news on Extra or TMZ? And God forbid you actually made a mistake before your glory days as a public figure and your mugshot from that one night of trespassing as a teenager makes it to the media. Public crucifixion of celebrities is at an all-time high these days, with all of the platforms we have access to our favorite and most hated celebs. From social media, to cell phone cameras and footage, to the accessibility of public records being so easily attainable it’s hard to even keep the tiniest secrets between you, yourself, and the powers that be.
But then again, there are some secrets that we should know about when it comes to celebrities. Think about it… Your fandom of Conan O’Brien would totally change if you knew that he clubbed baby seals. Which we’re not saying is true or false, but it would severely affect how you view the guy, right? And our perception of R. Kelly has never been the same since that certain ‘tape’ was made public. With that being said, maybe there are some secrets that we need to know about in terms of our favorite actors, musicians and public figures. We have compiled a list of some embarrassing and some need-to-know secrets of some of our favorite celebrities. Check them out!
15. Ricky Gervais’ Secret Life As A Musician
Before being known as a polished UK comedian, as well as his tenure and hilarity on the London-based version of The Office, and his plethora of TV shows and movie roles, Ricky Gervais was the young man in the sailor hat and blue turtleneck straddling his long-haired singing partner in the group, Seona Dancing. These were the days of Ricky Gervais’ thin crafted eyebrows, closely shaven face, and mascara-wearing days… Obviously, things were different in regards to masculinity back then.
Anyways, the duo had made a push into the wave pop scene and attempted to take the music industry by storm. Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out for the metrosexual young men, but they did have a single hit on their hands with their song, ‘Bitter Heart’. That wasn’t the only time that Ricky tried to enter the entertainment industry via the music industry. He was a manager for the band, Suede, before they got their big break in the 90s. If only he would have waited a little longer, he would have cracked the code to the music industry. But, in all honesty, we’re glad he entered the world of comedy instead.
14. Dean Winters Lost Some Fingers & Toes
Dean Winters has carved out quite the acting career for himself. From his appearances on 30 Rock to Rescue Me, to his latest work on the comedy-drama series Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and let us not forget for his most renowned work on the prison drama Oz, Dean’s pretty much everywhere. His adaptability to his plethora of acting gigs allows him to show off how versatile and well versed he is in regards to his acting career. But after what happened in 2009, we almost lost the actor to a bacterial infection that stopped his heart for 2 and a half minutes. Over the next year while he was recovering, he lost two toes and half of his thumb to gangrene. He went through ten operations including a skin graft procedure. To this day, we really haven’t heard Dean bring this up to the public, we assume he’s not searching for a pity party, but we do have to say we’re glad he’s still around.
13. Matthew Broderick’s Fatal Car Accident
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off would have been a lot different if he was in a car crash in the cult classic 1986 film. Just one year after his success peaked as the hooky-playing teenager, Matthew Broderick’s world was turned upside down when he was involved in a fatal car crash that instantly killed two pedestrians in Northern Ireland. Broderick was vacationing with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off co-star, Jennifer Grey, in Europe in an attempt to keep their romantic relationship a secret. Broderick had accidentally crossed into a wrong lane and collided head-on with a Volvo, that had a mother, daughter combo in the vehicle. Broderick suffered a concussion, fractured leg, fractured ribs, and a collapsed lung from the accident. Jennifer Grey suffered from a plethora of minor injuries and severe whiplash. Broderick has no recollection of the incident and claims to not remember waking up that morning at all. Broderick faced up to five years in prison but got off with a $175 fine and a careless driving conviction. The family of the victims claim that this was a terrible injustice, and in all honestly… it is.
12. Samuel L. Jackson Pulled A ‘Pulp Fiction’
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the hardest working people in entertainment. He’s been around for decades and to this very day, he’s still in the mix working with long time friend, Quentin Tarantino, on movies like The Hateful Eight and Django: Unchained. But what many people don’t know about the Snakes on a Plane actor, is that he is heavily involved in Civil Rights activism and politics. So much that in 1969, while attending his alma mater, Morehouse College, he and several other students held several board of trustee members hostage, including Martin Luther King Sr., until they changed the school’s curriculum and governance. Ultimately, the school did change their curriculum, Jackson received no jail time for his major crime, but did end up getting suspended from college. He later returned to college to earn his Bachelors of Arts in Drama in 1972. In all honesty… this shouldn’t be a secret.
11. Joaquin Phoenix & His Creepy Upbringing
Did you ever wonder why Joaquin Phoenix has that weird death stare going on sometimes? Well, it’s because he, including three other of his siblings, were raised in the Children of God cult. That’s right, Joaquin Phoenix was in a cult as a child. It’s not necessarily his fault though, as his father, John Lee Bottom, who was originally Catholic, and his mother, Arlyn Dunetz, who was born into Jewish faith had stripped themselves of their worldly possessions and traveled throughout South America spreading the message of the Children of God. Later, the couple snapped out of their cult daze and changed their last name to Phoenix, in order to symbolize the bird that rises from its own ashes, embodying new beginnings. The family full of child actors went on to do great things afterwards. We’re just glad that Joaquin’s parents didn’t go too far and take some ‘magic Kool-Aid’ afterlife adventure remedy.
10. Billy Joel’s Suicide Note
Billy Joel has a multitude of chart-topping hits that have transcended decades since his first major hit, ‘Piano Man’ in 1973. Today he’s the sixth best-selling recording artist in the United States and the third best-selling solo recording artist in America. To this very day, Joel tours the world performing his discography. But even with all of the success in the world, Billy Joel’s battle with depression is never ending. At one point during his career, Joel had drank furniture polish after discovering his wife was having an affair with his bandmate and drummer, Jon Small. He had left a suicide note at the scene, which later inspired the lyrics to ‘Tomorrow Is Today’. The ironic part about the situation was that Small was the one who rushed him to the hospital. Joel was checked into Meadowbrook Hospital and placed under suicide watch. Later, Joel wrote ‘You’re only Human [Second Wind]’ to discourage teen suicide.
9. Zach Braff Is Violent… Even In Regards To Minors
We all know Zach Braff from his very own Scrubs production, and from the looks of his character in the show, you can’t imagine Zach doing anything irate or violent to anyone. Well, guess again because while being pranked on the MTV show Punk’d, he not only chased down a minor, he beat the living hell out of him after he had thought that he defaced his Porsche. The child was only 12 years old… Fortunately, for Braff that footage didn’t make the show’s final cut, but he did cause quite the scene for Ashton Kutcher and his production team. At least everyone knows not to touch Braff’s cars and that he has a crazy temper. Also, this has taught us that maybe you shouldn’t prank Zach either, you never know… he could be carrying something a lot worse than his fist.
8. Peter, Paul & Mary’s Dirty Break-Up Secret
Band breakups happen all the time, but the American folk group that just so happened to perform at Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech might have one of the deepest, darkest secrets on this list. Even though they’ve recreated countless Bob Dylan songs, their breakup controversy is one of the ugliest in history. Peter Yarrow, the guy with the creepy mustache and the horseshoe balding action going on, was pardoned by president Jimmy Carter after he made sexual advances toward a 14 year old girl… Seriously, this might be the most disturbing secret to touch this list. Even though the group has gone on to do great things musically, post this incident, we still have this thought in the back of our minds that Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary, should not be trusted. Would you not agree?
7. Leighton Meester’s Birthplace
Even though Leighton sounds like the name of a high school football jock, the Leighton Meester we all know is far from that. The actress/model is best known for her role in Gossip Girl, and she’s paved quite the way for herself in the entertainment industry. She’s currently the face of huge fashion brands and companies like Jimmy Choo, Vera Wang, and Herbal Essences.
What many people don’t really know about Leighton is her dark criminal past… Well, not her criminal past per se but, she was born while her mother was serving a prison sentence for smuggling drugs. That’s right, Leighton Meester’s mother is a drug lord… Alright, we keep getting carried away, but Meester’s mother was nabbed by the feds for smuggling marijuana into America by way of Jamaica. Meester’s mother had delivered Leighton under federal custody and was granted three months to nurse her newborn while in a halfway house. After Leighton was three months old, her grandmother had taken custody of the future actress, while her mother served the rest of her prison sentence. To this day, Leighton allows her mother’s past to be a lesson that you can’t judge someone solely off of their mistakes… and she’s right.
6. Richard Simmon’s Chubby Past
A lot of people know Richard Simmons as the upbeat, short shorts-wearing aerobics guru, but what many people don’t know is that he used to look like Jack Black,
no offense Jack, before finding his true calling as an inspirational health coach. Yep, that hairy guy with the two chins and playing a homemade harp is none other than the Richard Simmons we all know and love in the 1969 film Fellini Satyricon. It’s kind of hard to believe but if you think about it, you gotta start somewhere when it comes to your personal path to having a relationship with health and fitness. We’re pretty sure that he cringes seeing those old scenes and pictures but, look at him now! 67 and still full of energy like a 20 year old college student.
5. Thora Birch’s Parents Are ‘Entertainers’ Too
Thora Birch may not be so much of a household name these days but her rise to acting prominence is a force to be reckoned with. Her role in the 1988 film Purple People Eaters, earned her a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actress Under Nine Years of Age, and her role in the Academy Award winning film American Beauty, engrained her name in Hollywood’s elite. We have Thora’s parents to thank for all of her talent though… for they are thespians as well. Just not the kind that you could find on Netflix, you’d probably have to find some of their films behind a curtain at your local video shop. That’s right, Thora Birch’s parents, Jack Birch and Carol Conners, are ex-adult stars. The two even starred in an adult film together entitled, Deep Throat. Interesting, to say the least.
4. Vin Diesel… The Board Game Nerd?
We all know Vin Diesel for his bada** portrayal of tough guys and vigilantes, but many people don’t know about Vin’s secret love for one of the dorkiest games ever created: Dungeons and Dragons. Don’t get us wrong, we’re pretty sure that anyone can get caught up in the hype of the game that’s been around for decades, but who would really sit through all of those hours of rules and explanations from a pimple-faced glasses-wearing kid without wanting to take his lunch money halfway through his explanation? Vin doesn’t appear to be ashamed of his love for the game being that he wrote the forward for the book, Thirty Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons. Also, being that Vin Diesel is Vin Diesel, we’d probably leave the Dungeons and Dragons jokes out of conversation with the actor.
3. Andy Garcia’s Secret Twin Brother
Andy Garcia has an intimidating demeanor, he’s starred in hardcore flicks like The Godfather III, The Untouchables, and the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy. These days, Andy Garcia is one of the most respected Cuban-American actors and he’s also stepped into the world of directing as of late. What most people don’t know is that Andy actually has a twin brother… actually, had a twin brother. Alright, so as a child Andy was born with a conjoined twin attached to his shoulder. Unfortunately, his brother wasn’t able to survive the process of birth and he was detached from the actor we’ve come to know and love as Andy Garcia. To this day, Andy has a scar on his shoulder that is a constant reminder of what could have been.
2. Uncle Fester Is A Murderer
The original Uncle Fester, Jackie Coogan, has been a part of the entertainment realm since he was a child. He starred in silent films in the 1920s, and Charlie Chaplin’s film, The Kid, put him on the map as one of the first child stars in Hollywood history. Later, he became the 60s sitcom, The Addams Family‘s very own, Uncle Fester. But what people don’t know is that Coogan, took things a little too far in 1933. A close friend of Coogan’s, Brooke Hart, was supposedly murdered by John Holmes and Thomas Thurmond and while the two were awaiting trial, a mob (including Coogan) broke into the jail they were being housed in and dragged them to a nearby park. The angry mob hung the two suspects as Coogan had pulled the rope that suffocated the two men to death. This is horrifyingly unpleasant and creepy news…
1. Coco Chanel… The Nazi?!
It’s not a secret that America has housed some German Nazi scientists, agents, and affiliates after the end of World War II, but what many people don’t know is that the famous fashion designer, Coco Chanel, wasn’t only a Nazi sympathizer but was involved with the group as an agent herself. We know, we know this sounds crazy, but according to documents recovered by biographer, Hal Vaughan, Coco was documented by the French Préfecture de Police as a ‘Couturier and perfumer. Pseudonym: Westminster. Agent reference: F 7124. Signaled as suspect in the file’. Her connection to the German intelligence operations were questioned when the general public noticed how comfortable she was with the Nazi regime. Later it was discovered that Chanel might have been involved with the party as early as 1941. We wonder who else was secretly involved with the party? For all of you ladies out there… get rid of those bags if you don’t want to be seen as a Nazi sympathizer.