Celebrities lie for mainly one reason, to make money or to cover up a mistake that could ruin their career. Even if a mistake is uncovered all it takes to recover is an interview and some well thought out damage control and denials. Luckily the public has a short term memory and since most people have told a little lie themselves, they are not always so quick to judge. What is noticeable is that very few of these liars saw their careers nosedive into nothing. Most still kept their money and they are not destitute or out on the street. Many used their lies to their advantage, just re-inventing themselves in accordance with their new found public image.
Perhaps these celebrities survive because most of us don’t care, as we expect these things from famous people. Some of these lies are abhorrent, so much so that they crush the image that these celebrities tried so hard to build in the first place. Others just snowball out of control until there are no more ways to cover up what probably started as a little white lie. In the end, coming out clean was the only way to stop the vicious cycle. Some even kept denying things after they’ve been caught. One thing each celebrity on this list has in common is that their original lies were all caught on camera for the whole world to see.
15. James Frey
Who is this man, you may ask? He is a screenwriter, an author and CEO of Full Fathom Five, a book publishing company. When you’re in this business, there is one person and one person only to turn to in order to promote your books; Oprah Winfrey. In 2005, the author wrote A Million Little Pieces. Oprah endorsed it in her Book Club. As expected it became a New York Times Best Seller. There was only one problem; the book was a non-fiction (i.e a true story) about the author’s drug addiction and recovery. In 2006 the author came clean in the media indicating that he never had such a problem. Hence the whole book was a lie along with everything he told Oprah. Oops.
14. Bill Clinton
So he is not a real ‘Hollywood Celebrity’. He was just the rock star like leader of the free world back in the 90s. But man, was he ever treated like a superstar by the media (as most leaders of the Democrats are). It was purported that Bill was getting down with Monica Lewinsky, a young intern. The president had a press conference in January 1998 to confront the speculation where he clearly stated the one line he is most famous for; “I did not have s**ual relations with that woman”.
He repeated this comment in front of a grand jury. Eventually he got caught with his pants down in court where he was forced to admit that he was lying. One of his defenses was that he only received oral treatments and as such, this did not constitute s*x. Of course the crime is irrelevant to most people as it should be. Who goes to prison for having an affair? But if any regular person lied like that in a sexual harassment type trial, their careers would be over at the very least. This is the president, and Americans were doing quite well for themselves at the time, so he got off with a slap on the wrist.
13. Martha Stewart
Sometimes that lovable housewife image is just that; an image. The woman first known to the world as a cook, lent her name to so many more business ventures. Apparently she can also be an unscrupulous business person, so much so that she went to jail for it. Back in 2001, Martha owned stocks in a company called ImClone. She was made aware that one of their products was not going to get FDA approval, before the public found out about it. She promptly sold her stocks right before the price dropped. As a result she went to jail for insider trading. In essence, her whole life is a lie as this person was not what her image portrayed her to be. In the end, no one really cares that much about white collar crimes, because she did just fine after she got out.
12. Star Jones
This lady is an actual lawyer, along with being one of four hosts on the TV Show The View. So for someone this smart and experienced to try something so ludicrous is unimaginable. In 2003 she started a dramatic weight loss that saw her lose 160 pounds (around 70 kg) over three years. Her co-hosts didn’t even weigh as much as she lost. During that three year period she attributed the gigantic transformation to her diet. Many skeptics felt that this was impossible, attributing her change to gastric bypass surgery. In 2007 she finally admitted her three year lie, stating that she did indeed lose all of her weight due to gastric bypass surgery. Even co-host Barbara Walters, was in on the lie. You would think that a lawyer would know better and would do a better job at covering up their tracks.
11. Shania Twain
We could have included Angelina Jolie as well here, as both people wanted to look cooler by proclaiming their Amerindian Heritage. Shania at least was closer to the truth than Angelina. Shania, a country music star from that country music hot bed in Northern Canada, claimed that she had 50% native blood running through her veins because her father Jerry Twain, was a member of the Ojibway Tribe. She was only 1/3 correct. Jerry Twain is definitely an Amerindian, he is not however, her biological father and as such Shania has no native blood running through her veins. Her biological father was French and Irish. Jerry adopted the singer at the age of 2 and as such became her father.
Later Shania clarified stating, ”I don’t know how much Indian blood I actually have in me, but as the adopted daughter of my father Jerry, I became legally registered as 50 percent North American Indian. Being raised by a full-blooded Indian and being a part of his family and their culture from such a young age is all I’ve ever known. That heritage is in my heart and my soul, and I’m proud of it.” Yes Shania, but the culture is still not in your blood.
10. The White Stripes
The alternative and blues rock band consisted of Jack and Meg White. They passed themselves off as siblings, the youngest of 10 no less. They kept pumping out music for many years until their story was shred to pieces. Eventually someone found their 1996 marriage certificate, and their 2001 divorce papers. They still denied the rumors even after the proof was released to the media. It wasn’t until 2005 when the couple finally admitted that they were not brother and sister in a Rolling Stone Interview. But why would someone want to do that? According to Jack, “When they’re brother and sister, you go, ‘Oh, that’s interesting,'” he said. “You care more about the music, not the relationship.” So this was all a marketing gimmick.
Some female singers want that bad girl image to sell records. Others go the other way and want to maintain that good girl image no matter what, because in the end that’s what makes them money. So what do you do in that case, when you first show your pregnant unwed self in public? As a good girl you can’t have a baby out of wedlock. Hence in 2001 the singer announced her secret marriage to her daughter’s father, which supposedly occurred before the baby was conceived. In 2002 she recanted her previous statement admitting that it was a lie by stating that the couple was never married. One would ascertain that at this very moment the singer decided that it would be more profitable to act like a bad girl.
8. Britney Spears
Good girls must have been big at the turn of the century because Britney made bucket loads of money with this image. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake became the ultimate couple at this time. The singer maintained that she was waiting to consummate the relationship once the couple was married. They broke up in 2003 after which Justin admitted in a 20/20 interview that they did indeed have intercourse. In a follow-up interview, Britney confirmed the comments stating the following: ”It was two years into my relationship with Justin. And I thought he was the one. But I was wrong. I didn’t think he was gonna go on Barbara Walters and sell me out.” Honestly this was a pretty mean thing for Justin to do. Was there really anything to gain? Either way, after this revelation Britney did a full 360 and just married and slept with everyone.
One could substitute a whole slew of hip hop artists with this lie. No single such artist wants to admit that they grew up in a posh suburb with a white picket fence. Instead, everyone wants to be seen as a poster child for what happens when you grow up surrounded by drug dealers, drive-by shootings and general chaos. Tyga once said on a game show that he had a posh upbringing complete with a Range Rover in the driveway. But that image won’t give you credibility in his business, so he then switched his story claiming that he was from Compton, the notorious area in Los Angeles where even the police supposedly don’t go.
Back in 2008 the biggest song of the summer started with the words: ”To the left, to the left, everything you own in the box to the left”. The song was Irreplaceable. In a 2008 interview with Marie-Claire, Beyoncé took full credit for writing the song as she stated that, “I’m sure people think I wrote it about [Jay Z] or something, but… the obvious person is not the person at all.” In the end she was right about one thing, the song was not about her husband. It couldn’t have been because the song was written by someone else, a man who wrote it about another woman. A few years later it was revealed that Ne-Yo actually wrote the song as he told a radio station: ”One song that I gave away and didn’t want to is Beyoncé’s ‘Irreplaceable’. I honestly wrote that song for myself … However, a man singing it comes across a little bit misogynistic, a little bit mean.” A couple of years ago even Linda Perry, the former rockstar turned pop songwriter called out Beyoncé for taking full credit for other people’s work.
5. Paris Hilton
Everyone has an image that can be destroyed, even Paris Hilton. The girl who started out making a living from nothing except getting her name in the papers, doing god knows what, eventually got caught doing something that no one could excuse. She was sent to jail for drunk driving. This occurred about 9 years ago. To improve her image she had an interview with Larry King a few days after being released from prison. She went on and on about her ADD and about how it affected her. The best part is that she promised to quit drinking and start doing charity work for children in developing countries. One supposes she was even willing to get kittens down from trees for little kids. Of course, she did not stop drinking and she will never be seen doing charity work for little kids in any country, let alone one where people are starving.
4. Chris Brown
It’s not as if any man who is accused of violently attacking those he loves would actually admit to doing it. However, Chris Brown was caught red handed doing it to Rihanna back in 2009. Like other celebrities that need to repair their image, he went on Larry King to apologize to Rihanna and the world. During the interview he was accused of performing similar acts of violence against other girlfriends. Of course Chris vehemently denied these rumors. Later everyone proved that he was a liar.
3. Steve Rannazzisi
People sometimes embellish the places they’ve been, sometimes outright lying just to fit in, look cool or improve their image. Not all of us though will claim to be victims of one of the worst disasters on American soil. Steve Rannazzisi, a stand up comedian and actor in the comedy series The League, lied about being in the World Trade Center on 9/11. He originally had an elaborate story about that tragic day prompting him to pick up and move to Los Angeles to pursue his comedy dreams. In 2015, Rannazzisi changed his mind and said: ”I was not at the Trade Center on that day. I don’t know why I said this. This was inexcusable. I am truly, truly sorry.”
2. Brian Williams
The anchor for NBC Nightly News destroyed his entire career in one act of machismo that will have people saying, what was he thinking? On January 30th, 2015, live on TV the anchor claimed to be in a helicopter that was struck down in Iraq, back in 2003 when he was covering the war. He explained in detail about what he saw and experienced. Apparently it was all a lie, as several veterans who were there said that Brian was never in that helicopter that crashed. Later the news anchor was forced to recant his story and he was suspended without pay.
1. Brooks Ayers
One of the stars onThe Real Housewives of Orange County started a lie a few years ago that just spiraled out of control. The actor claimed that he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. That illness became a major plotline on the show and after that moment the actor could never pull back, having to dig himself deeper and deeper in a hole. He even went so far as to forge documents claiming that he was being treated at the City of Hope hospital. This included hospital bills and other medical records. He kept his real medical records hidden. The actor came clean in November of 2015, claiming he did forge medical records, but that his cancer diagnosis was not a lie. Even his ex Vicki Gunvalson got caught up in the controversy as some sort of co-conspirator. Brooks ensured everyone in multiple interviews that his ex-wife had nothing to do with any of this.