Sometimes in life, we have to experience the lows before we can get to the top, and celebrities aren’t any different for that matter. There are countless celebrities who have found themselves hitting rock bottom; checking into rehab, facing near-death experiences over their own reckless actions — all which, of course, contributed to the public’s distaste for them.
It’s one thing to be hated by the world, but it’s another to be hated by everyone and face your own issues, that include the likes of battling a drug addiction and suffering from a mental disorder. As crazy as it sounds, many celebrities have faced similar incidents, where they found themselves being very unlikeable, to the point where many even wondered how they were still able to have a career in Hollywood.
But their turnaround story is quite remarkable, because, despite their negative reputation, these 15 celebrities eventually managed to turn that around into what one would consider quite the remarkable comeback. See below for the full list.
15. Miley Cyrus
When Miley Cyrus decided to change up her entire image and reinvent herself by getting rid of her Hannah Montana past, nobody really expected the singer to go as far as she did. From the raunchy songs to the very explicit music videos; it was clear that Miley was stepping out of her Disney Channel shoes in the hopes of finding her true self — something which infuriated a lot of parents. They felt as if Miley was beginning to show how much of a bad influence she is on teenagers with her provocative lyrics and dance routines, but Cyrus stressed that her new image is just who she is, adding that she wasn’t going to change herself for no one. The irony in all of this is that, ever since reconciling with her fiancé Liam Hemsworth, Miley has ditched the raunchy persona and returned to her roots. She is reportedly planning to get married sometime next year, having promised the actor that she’s over the publicity stunts and the shock value outfits. Instead, she’s looking forward to the peaceful and quiet life with the man she considers the love of her life.
14. Justin Bieber
It’s not hard to remember all those headlines Justin Bieber was making from 2012 to 2014. Sure, there are still the occasional scandals from Bieber’s camp, but for the most part, they aren’t as bad as they used to be. For example, in 2013, Justin found himself trying to start a fight with a photographer in London — note that the man in question was three times the size of the pop star. Then there were the arrests, the alleged cheating allegations behind Selena Gomez’s back, the incident where he was egging his neighbor’s home out in Calabasas — the list went on and on. Early 2015, however, Justin apologized to his fans for his actions, and used his singing abilities to ask for forgiveness, with songs such as ‘Sorry’ and ‘I’ll Show You’. His latest album Purpose, is his best-selling record to date. What an amazing comeback.
13. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie left millions of Friends fans fuming when it was made public that she had been hooking up with Brad Pitt. Well, not exactly hooking up but grew quite the attraction to the actor, who was still married to Jennifer Aniston at the time, as he began shooting 2005’s blockbuster Mr. & Mrs. Smith. The movie itself proved how much chemistry the two had between one another, and by the look of things, it wasn’t any different when the two weren’t filming scenes. Brad eventually made it known he was divorcing Jennifer for Angelina — and the amount of hatred that came Jolie’s way was unbelievably strong. But she sorta made up for it when she was adopting multiple babies from Africa and gave millions from her fortune to charities all across the world. She sorta redeemed herself through awesome films and her big heart.
12. Nene Leakes
Nene Leakes was most known as the gobby-mouth reality star on The Real Housewives of Atlanta, who seemed to have an opinion just about everyone. The feuds and the fights eventually became so tiring for Nene that she quit the program to do other things; that included the likes of starting her own clothing line, hosting on multiple panels, and now wearing the producer cap for a forthcoming ABC game show. There’s no denying that Nene has made quite the transformation from the person everyone knew her back in the days, to now being somewhat of a mogul in her own right. She’s ditched the nasty attitude and flipped it with a positive one, which makes sense considering all the money she’s now making from sponsorship deals and companies ready to invest their coins in building Nene’s brand even further. Nene is rich… very rich, indeed.
11. Robert Downey Jr.
The downfall of Robert Downey Jr. was quite a sad one. Can you even call it a downfall when he pretty much had been battling a drug addiction since his teenage years? Whichever way you look at it, Robert already had a successful acting career, but for one reason or the other, he couldn’t abstain from his battle with substance abuse. It led him to face the judge on multiple occasions; even facing prison time at one point, and it definitely hurt his reputation as an actor — Hollywood was slowly but surely distancing themselves from him because of his bad boy image. Then came along the opportunity to play Tony Stark in Iron Man, and, well, the rest is pretty much history. But it should be noted that Robert now makes up to $30 million per film and charges up to $50 million for every time he reprises the Iron Man role. Wow!!!
10. Chris Brown
Chris Brown literally had it all: a successful music career, millions in his bank, a beautiful girlfriend — his life was pretty perfect. And then, he ruined it all with that one incident in February, 2009, when a police report was filed against him for verbally attacking his former lover Rihanna. The controversy that followed was at an all-time high for Chris, who had never found himself in the media as much as he did following the abuse case. That same year, he put out an album titled Graffiti, and it bombed on the Billboard Hot 200. It took several years to bounce back and find ways to win back the people that ditched him after the assault incident. Luckily for him, he gained back many of his fans and has now gone back to selling a whopping amount with records including ‘Loyal’ and ‘New Flame.’
9. Gwyneth Paltrow
The world has somewhat given Gwyneth Paltrow a break from all the hatred she used to receive. But don’t get it twisted, she was receiving a lot of hate for valid reasons. A few years ago, she claimed that being a working mom in Hollywood was more difficult than being an office working mom — why? Because Gwyneth’s job requires her to fly with a private jet to different countries, leaving her without the kids for weeks on end. But do note that when she comes home, she has millions of dollars in her bank, which was an argument many people raised in connection with Paltrow’s comments. Recently, however, Gwyneth has found herself making positives headlines, like the time she made it known she was best friends with Beyonce, and how the twosome always celebrate their birthdays together. What an odd match, but hey, if it stops the bad press on Gwyneth, why not?
8. Paula Deen
Paula Deen found herself in hot water when she admitted to having used the n-word in a 2013 deposition. The revelation made endless headlines at the time, and ended up being so controversial that her show on The Food Network was cancelled, her endorsement deals came to an abrupt end, and so did any deals that were already lined up in the near future. Sources say Paula lost more than $8 million in just one day when adding up the money she would’ve made that year. Lately, Paula has found herself gaining some of those precious money-making chances back; she’s back on television, and she’s also back to writing cookbooks, which has made her a fortune over the years. People seem to have forgiven her reckless actions, but at least she was honest about it. Have you forgiven Paula Deen for her actions yet?
7. Kendall Jenner
Being associated with the Kardashians automatically sees you as being hated and ridiculed for all kinds of reasons, but not Kendall Jenner — well, at least not anymore. When this stunning model first started her career in the fashion industry, everyone just assumed that she was landing all her gigs because of her last name and her relation with the Kardashians. Turns out that the likes of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld were actually against the idea of having a Kardashian sponsoring their brand in any way. But Kendall’s beauty and talent in the industry of modeling couldn’t be overshadowed, evidently meaning that they had no right to refuse her position with their company — especially if it’s also going to benefit their reach with customers.
6. Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande made endless headlines when she made some not-so-nice comments about the people of America. A better way of putting it would be like this: she practically said she hates all Americans in the same video that saw her licking doughnuts that were freshly made and ready to be purchased by innocent and hungry people. How disgusting, right? After apologizing a bunch of times, donating a huge chunk of her money to charity, and being the lovely person that she is to her fans, people slowly but surely came around and forgave her. After all, everyone has said things that are completely stupid — and let’s not get started about the action of doing things which many of us regret later on in life.
5. Anne Hathaway
For the longest time, Anne Hathaway was considered to be the biggest diva in Hollywood. There were reports going around that she was always bossing people around on set of movies she happened to be working on; which is weird because one would wonder how she was still getting paid to work in Hollywood. Well, while her supposed ego continued to worsen, Hathaway did experience a slump in casting roles because of it, it was alleged. So the only thing she can do is start being herself again — the person she was before she made millions of dollars and won countless awards at every ceremony. She’s now a mother of one and ever since giving birth, stories regarding Anne’s diva behavior have been silent — almost like they don’t even exist anymore. Only time will tell if it remains that way, because from what has been gathered, she took quite the lengthy maternity leave to care for herself. It’ll be interesting to see if she can keep up with the niceness.
4. Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart became extremely unlikeable when it was made known that the actress had been having an affair with her boss, Rupert Sanders. He was her boss, considering the fact that he was the director of the movie that Kristen starred in at the time, titled Snow White and the Huntsman. This was also said to have been the place where Kristen and Rupert began to grow feelings for one another — and that’s all while both of them were in committed relationships. Well, it’s been almost four years since the scandal hit the media, and luckily for Kristen, people have more or less forgiven her. She’s sorta redeemed herself with a stint of good movies, and the fact that she doesn’t try and force herself to be in the spotlight 24/7 tends to have helped her, too. The quieter you remain after a scandal, the better, as it allows the drama to die down, so that when you make your comeback, people would’ve already forgotten about it.
3. John Mayer
Aside from having allegedly cheated on Katy Perry on multiple occasions, leading to their constant breakups, John Mayer was also believed to have been unfaithful to Jennifer Aniston. Yes, after the actress had finalized her divorce with Brad Pitt, who ditched her for Angie, Aniston would find herself heartbroken again, when she was forced to end the relationship with Mayer for what apparently was all down to John’s cheating ways. The world stopped and mourned the pain that Jennifer must’ve felt — was our favorite Friends co-star ever going to find true love again? The good thing about John is that, he’s a musician. Once you write a couple of albums that have plenty of catchy and well-written songs on it, people just have to put your nastiness to the side and give you the credit for being an amazing singer/songwriter.
2. Iggy Azalea
2014, Iggy Azalea breaks through the music industry with her hit single ‘Fancy,’ and before you know it, this Australian-born rapper receives the most hatred out of all the celebrities in that year. Why? Because she’s a rapper and doesn’t happen to be of African-American heritage. Many people were outraged how Iggy was trying to steal the “black culture” with the way she raps her rhymes, going as far as to allege that Iggy was desperate to be a black woman. Basically, there was no way one could avoid a nasty Iggy Azalea comment — it almost seemed like people found pleasure in hating on her. But all of that (somewhat) changed in 2016; people are slowly accepting the fact that Iggy, who has no ill intentions, is just trying to live her dream as another female rapper. The fact that she’s still relevant two years after her worldwide success speaks for itself.
1. Charlie Sheen
In 2011, Charlie Sheen was most likely considered the most hated man in Hollywood. He had just found out that the producers of Two and a Half Men were no longer willing to renew his contract, consequently leading to his departure from the show. Charlie went on endless rants following the news of his firing — to say that he was spiraling out of control would be an understatement, that’s for sure. Her started hooking up with countless prostitutes, which would eventually lead to his revelation that he was HIV+. Sheen came clean about his battle with the disease earlier this year, leaving the world stunned. And while his past antics cannot be forgotten, it is still sad to learn that the actor we all once loved and adored could potentially lose his life in what became the biggest celebrity downfall in 2011.