There you are, standing in the checkout line at the supermarket, pretending not to read the screaming headlines splashed across the cover of a tabloid like The Globe. You know the kind of thing: “Bigfoot Kept Lumber Jack as Love Slave”, “Aliens are Living in My Toilet”, “Woman Builds Bionic Breast from Ordinary Household Items”. We know you wouldn’t, but if you did look inside, you would (probably) find very badly Photoshopped pictures and wild stories about Love Slaves, Aliens in the loo, and the like. And don’t forget the perennial Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie baby bump stories.
The tabloids don’t have a great track record for truthfulness and, in the wake of some sensational stories, have sometimes ended up with egg on their face. After the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2014, The National Enquirer ran a story that claimed the male friend who had found Hoffman’s body was actually his gay lover. He filed suit and the paper was forced to retract the story. Or what about Reese Witherspoon suing The Star over stories that she was pregnant. By the way, she won. Here are 10 outrageous tabloid stories, some of which were denied, that turned out to be true. Think (mostly) sex scandals of the rich and famous, celebrities and politicians alike.
10. The One About LeAnn Rimes, Eddie Cibrian, Brandi Glanville and Dean Sheremet
Take one actor (Eddie Cibrian), one reality show personality (Brandi Glanville), one country singer (LeAnn Rimes), one cuckolded husband (Dean Sheremet) and one tabloid (USWeekly), and what do you have? Well, one, maybe two or more affairs, cross-accusations, and one heck of a good cover headline. A few years back, the tabloid ran the story of how Rimes and Cibrian started an affair in 2009. At the time, LeAnn was with Sheremet and Cibrian was with Glanville. According to Sheremet, LeAnn blindsided him with a phone call. An “oh, by the way USWeekly may have a picture of me snogging Eddie” kind of phone call. Later, Rimes and Cibrian reportedly said Glanville had been first to stray. So, it was all her fault?
8. The Case Of Tiger Woods and The Mistresses
Back in 2011, The National Enquirer screamed from its cover that Woods had slept with 121 women. And we all know about the middle of the night fight with wife Elin, rumors of her hitting him with a golf club, his dash in his Escalade, and the crash. One or two denials later, mistresses started coming out of the woodwork, Tiger became contrite and entered sex rehab. Meanwhile, Elin files for divorce and gets hundreds of millions of dollars. What is less well known is that the tabloid had planned to run the Tiger and his mistresses story in 2009, but were bought off when the publishers were offered Tiger on the cover of Mens Fitness magazine.
7. Reverend Jesse Jackson, The Spiritual Adviser, The Love Child and Bill Clinton
You couldn’t miss the point. Back in 2001, The National Enquirer cover had a glum looking picture of Jackson next to the headline, “Jesse Jackson’s Love Child”. The tabloid cover also claimed Jackson had his pregnant mistress to the White House. The story got picked up by other media and reports of the mistress having been paid for the story abounded. Jackson made a half-hearted attempt at damage limitation by issuing a public confession. He was, of course, “truly sorry”. Did we mention that the “spiritual adviser” to President Clinton (in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky affair), was apparently advising the Prez while he romanced his baby mama, Karin Stanford. Later the tabloid ran stories claiming Jackson was behind on child support. Once there’s a juicy story on the books, why not ride it for all it’s worth?
6. Rush Limbaugh, The Painkillers and Rehab
He’s a love him or hate him ultra-Conservative radio talk show host, known for his outrageous rants. He seems to thrive on controversy. Well, in 2003, he was in the middle of one when our old friend, The National Enquirer reported he was addicted to pain killers. “Rush Limbaugh Caught in Drug Ring” was blasted across the tabloid’s cover. Apparently his former housekeeper, Wilma Cline admitted that she had illegally supplied Rush with drugs, including OxyContin. At first, his lawyers refused to comment. Although, when it was seemingly all over, Limbaugh admitted on air that he had been in drug rehab. The Los Angeles Times later reported that Rush had been booked on drug charges, but had done a deal to avoid prosecution. He promised to be good, or something like that.
5. John Edwards, The Dying Wife and The Baby Mama Affair
What is it with politicians and sex scandals? Take John Edwards, his mistress Rielle Hunter, their love child, and his dying wife. Back in 2007, The National Enquirer reported that Presidential candidate Edwards, had an affair with a staffer. He denied it. Then, the tabloid ran pictures of Hunter pregnant and Edwards finally admitted the affair, but denied being the father. To make it worse, his wife Elizabeth, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. John has an excuse because he said when the affair happened, his wife was in remission. She later died. Finally (years later), the disgraced politician admitted to having fathered Rielle’s baby. Current update: Edwards has moved on from Hunter and has a younger girlfriend. Reportedly, Hunter is depressed.
4. Mel Gibson, The Tabloid, and Maybe One Of The Most Expensive Divorces Ever
Back in the day, Lethal Weapon star Mel Gibson was Hollywood’s golden boy. But things began to unravel, with reports of his drunken politically incorrect tirades. Then in 2008, The National Enquirer reported that 50-something Gibson was having a thing with a 20-something Russian beauty named Oksana Grigorieva, and that his long-suffering wife Robyn, was going to claim a big chunk of his nearly $1 billion dollar fortune. At first, his lawyer said he had “no reason” to believe there was marital discord. Several months later, Robyn did indeed file for divorce. Some reports suggested she walked (or ran) away with half his fortune. And the Russian? It didn’t last. Some stories say Mel bought her silence with $750,000. The mother of Gibson’s love child reportedly lost a chunk of that money when she breached a confidentiality agreement by blabbing to Howard Stern.
3. Michael Jackson Has Six Months To Live Story
Michael Jackson went from being a cute little Afro-haired boy singer with the Jackson 5, to being an icon of later 20th century pop, with albums such as “Thriller”. He could do no wrong. Then came the talk of a fondness for little boys and plastic surgery that left him looking rather freaky. He just got odder and odder. Then there was the decline of Jackson’s fortunes and rumors swirled of drug use. In 2009, The National Enquirer reported that he was terminally ill and only had 6 months to live. While not terminally ill, Jackson did die around 6 months later from an overdose of doctor administered drugs. His doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and went to prison for 2 years.
2. Dog The Bounty Hunter, His Earthy Wife, The Racist Slur and Popular TV Show
He had a popular A&E show called (what else?), Dog the Bounty Hunter. Earthy Dog and his equally earthy wife Beth, usually got their man or woman (at least on camera). Then in 2007, The National Enquirer claimed that it had a tape of a telephone conversation in which Duane “Dog” Chapman had used blatantly racist language to describe his son’s black girlfriend. Silence from Chapman. He later admitted to the slur and A&E moved pretty quickly to halt production of his show. The hiatus was temporary (remember Duck Dynasty) and the show ran until 2012. Don’t worry about Dog and Beth, though. As the world knows, they have moved on to a new show called Dog and Beth: On the Hunt. They remain earthy.
1. O.J. Simpson, The Lie, The Bruno Magli Shoes and The, If I Did It Book
When Simpson’s wife Nicole and her “friend” Ron Goldman, were brutally murdered in 1994, rumors swirled around Simpson. As the world knows, he was later tried and acquitted of the charges. The verdict caused outrage in many circles. Seems the police had found footprints left by Bruno Magli brand shoes at the scene of the crime. O.J. denied owning any Magli shoes. But The National Enquirer outed him when it published pictures of Simpson wearing the shoes. Then, in 2006, the tabloid claimed that Simpson had written a “hypothetical” description of the murder, called If I Did It. His lawyers denied the story. This was a waste of time because a couple of weeks later, the book was announced. What happened? There was such outrage, that the book never saw the light of day.