Just because someone is famous, doesn’t mean they don’t have regrets. Most of the time, this manifests as a messy divorce or a stint in rehab. After all, these celebrities aren’t immune to the mistakes we all make in life.
One mistake that some famous figures can’t seem to avoid? The regrettable tattoo. Celebs mark their bodies in an artistic and permanent way. According to Harris Interactive, one in five American adults have a tattoo, and celebs are no different. Some love their ink for the rest of their lives while others wish they’d never gone down the road of needles and skin-centered artwork.
Those that regret their tattoos end up getting them removed. This is done with either laser treatments or skin grafts–both of which are lengthy and painful procedures. Read on for a list of 10 celebrities who have gone through the procedure of having their tattoos removed.
10. Kelly Osbourne – Keyboard Tattoo
You would think that Kelly Osbourne, controversial fashionista and daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, would have few regrets. That’s not the case when it comes to the keyboard tattoo she had on her right forearm. In November 2013, she posted a video of the keyboard getting removed at her first laser session on her Instagram. Along with posting the video, she said, “I did the crime I am now doing the time! #NoPainNoGain!” You can hear in the video that this was a painful decision.
9. Pharrell Williams – Full Sleeves Tattoo Removal
Pharrell Williams has been in the news a lot lately since he won the coveted Producer of the Year award at the 2014 Grammy Awards (sporting that now-famous oversized hat). You may have noticed during his Grammy acceptance speeches that his arms were curiously devoid of the numerous tattoos in which they were once covered. Rather than using lasers as is traditional in tattoo removal, in 2008 Pharrell instead went with an experimental procedure to cover his tattooed arms with new skin–like a skin graft. Think this is an expensive procedure? You’d be right. In 2008, Pharrell told Vogue “It’s going to be pricey, but worth it.”
8. Angelina Jolie – Billy Bob Tattoo
Angelina Jolie has gone through a real journey when it comes to tattoo removal. When she was married to Billy Bob Thornton from 2000 to 2003 (her second marriage), she got a Billy Bob tattoo, along with a stylish dragon, on her left arm just below the shoulder. After the marriage ended in 2003, she regretted getting the tattoo. According to The Telegraph, she said “I’ll never be stupid enough to have a man’s name tattooed on me again.” She had the “Billy Bob” lasered off her skin first, leaving the dragon behind. Later, she had the dragon removed as well and covered that area with new tattoos–rows of coordinates representing where each of her children were born.
7. Eva Longoria – Nine Tattoo
Perhaps Eva Longoria, winner of the 2007 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Female TV Star for Desperate Housewives, should have taken a cue from Angeline Jolie. The actress had gotten a “Nine” tattoo on the back of her neck to represent her athlete husband Tony Parker‘s basketball jersey number. As is often the case with celebrity relationships, this marriage didn’t last. When Eva filed for divorce in 2010, that tattoo didn’t seem very practical anymore. Eva was spotted in 2012 with her Nine tattoo replaced with a big red splotch: proof that she’s in the process of getting it removed.
6. Kathy Griffin – Ring Tattoo
Kathy Griffin‘s marriage is one of the sadder stories in this list. Kathy married love-of-her-life Matt Moline in 2001, only to have him reportedly steal over $70,000 dollars from her. After the marriage ended in 2006, the comedienne was left with one permanent reminder of the failed married: a wedding ring tattoo. Since she didn’t like wearing rings, the pair had their rings tattooed instead, a bummer now that the marriage is kaput. Kathy told the Windy City Times in 2012, “I have one tattoo on my whole body like an ***hole and it’s a f***ing wedding ring and I’m divorced.” She’s now in the process of getting it removed.
5. 50 Cent – Arm Tattoos
Few of us would expect to think of 50 Cent as a serious actor, at least when he first started releasing rap records in the late ’90s. Yet, that’s 50 cent’s aspirations these days. Unfortunately, he felt that his tattoo-covered arms held him back from his future acting prospects. The solution? Get them removed. He told People Magazine, “It cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend in makeup covering them up.” The procedure seems to have paid off. 50 Cent had roles in 8 movies from 2011 through 2013 and has five more planned for 2014 and 2015.
4. Megan Fox – Marilyn Monroe Tattoo
Megan Fox, winner of the 2009 Choice Summer Movie Star – Female from the Teen Choice Awards for her role in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is often talked about for her appearance. She continually makes it on hot lists from men’s magazines. She’s also had scrutiny for recent plastic surgery. Another aspect of her appearance that has made the news lately is the removal of the Marilyn Monroe tattoo on her right forearm. When asked why she was removing it, she told Amica Magazine, “It is a negative character, as she suffered from personality disorders and was bipolar. I do not want to attract this kind of negative energy in my life.”
3. Charlie Sheen – Denise Tattoo
Charlie Sheen has been in the media for decades now. His acting career took off in the 1980s and he’s starred in dozens of movies and TV shows ever since. Lately, though, his relationships have been front and center when it comes to celebrity gossip. His rocky marriage to Denise Richards only lasted four years, from 2002 to 2006, but that was more than enough time for Charlie to get a “Denise” tattoo on his left wrist. Denise quickly followed suit by getting her own “Charlie” tattoo on her leg. After their marriage ended, Charlie married Brooke Mueller in 2008, and she wasn’t too happy about the “Denise” tattoo. She asked him to get it removed and he obliged. That marriage then ended in 2011.
2. Mark Wahlberg – 6 Tattoos
Mark Wahlberg started his career in the music industry in the hip hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. In the end, though, acting was his passion and he’s made a successful transition into the world of movies. You’d think that his choice to remove his six tattoos, including a Bob Marley tattoo on his left shoulder, was based on getting more movie roles (like 50 Cent on this list), but it wasn’t. Mark told Matt Lauer on the Today Show, “I don’t want to have my kids getting tattoos…. I’m taking my two oldest kids with me to the [tattoo removal] procedure, where they can see how painful that is.”
1. Johnny Depp – Winona Forever Tattoo
Sometimes celebrities get creative with their tattoo removals. Case in point: Johnny Depp‘s “Winona Forever” tattoo. Johnny was in a serious relationship with Winona Ryder and they were engaged from 1990 to 1993. He decided to show his love by getting “Winona Forever” tattooed on his right arm. After the relationship ended, he didn’t want it to say “Winona” anymore. Rather than getting the whole tattoo removed like the other celebrities on this list, he had only part of the tattoo removed. Now, the tattoo says “Wino Forever.”