Nowadays anything a celebrity says or does is immediately broadcasted to the world, whether the star likes it or not. Social media has changed the way we get information and changed the way we think about celebrities. It’s made the hiding of information next to impossible. Prior to this information age, secrets were had and kept. Hell, even when information was leaked, it wasn’t spread in the way it is today, not even close. For that reason, many of the celebrities of yesteryear were able to maintain a squeaky-clean image, even if they were not as clean as the world would like to believe. Today, we look at the new stars and wonder where it all went wrong. Why is this generation of celebrities so disgusting and vile? Well, turns out that stars of all eras do some pretty disturbing stuff if they’re given the chance. We just tend to forget it about after a while.
While all the secrets on this list will make you think differently of the stars involved, not all of them are necessarily condemning of the celebrities. Some were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, involved in events that happen to have been dark and, in some cases, horrifying. Still, the majority of items herein will make you think much less of those involved. Some of them have managed to keep an angelic aura about them despite their pasts. This is almost certainly because the events preceded the age of social media. They’re lucky for that. But we won’t let people forget. Here are 15 Celebrities with Incredibly Dark Secrets That Change How We See Them.
15. Eddie Murphy
In the later years of the first decade of the new millennium, or 2006, Eddie Murphy’s career was in the drain and he and Melanie Brown, better known as Mel B or Scary Spice, had a love affair. When Brown became pregnant, rumors flew around that Murphy was the father, something that Brown said was true but Murphy denied adamantly and publicly. When asked about it, Murphy said, “I don’t know whose child that is until it comes out and has a blood test.” After the baby was born, the blood test confirmed he was the father, but Murphy still denied any involvement for years. Apparently, Murphy has connected with the young girl in more recent years, but we won’t forget his foolishness.
14. Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton is one of the most legendary musicians in the world. He’s the only musician to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times, once for his solo work, once for Cream, and once for the Yardbirds. One of the things that is often forgotten about Clapton is that he has some rather extreme views on racism. Back in 1976, during a concert, Clapton yelled “Keep Britain white!” and complained that immigration was causing Britain to become a “black colony.” He went on to say, “I used to be into dope, now I’m into racism. It’s much heavier, man. F***ing wogs, man. F***ing Saudis taking over London. Bastard wogs. Britain is becoming overcrowded and Enoch [Powell] will stop it and send them all back.” Though he later said he was joking, Clapton has long announced his approval of the controversial Powell proudly.
13. Matthew Broderick
In 1987, The New York Times ran the headline, “Matthew Broderick Injured in Car Crash.” The whole world held their breath. Would he be ok? Would our beloved Ferris Bueller recover? Aside from Broderick’s health, the next biggest interest in the story was that the crash revealed that Broderick and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off co-star Jennifer Grey were secretly dating. Of the crash, Broderick stated, “I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember even getting up in the morning. I don’t remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg.” The shocking part about this whole thing is that two women, the occupants of the car that Broderick’s vehicle smashed into head-on, died in the accident. Broderick was charged with causing death by dangerous driving. In the court case, he faced up to five years in prison, which seemed fitting. However, something amazing happened. Broderick was let off with a slap on the wrist charge of careless driving and fined $175.
12. Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg was a scumbag when he was younger. This is something that even he will admit, though he has tried in earnest to move past it. He was addicted to heavy drugs at a young age and was extremely violent and racist. The most serious occurrences came when Wahlberg was 16. In one day, Wahlberg approached a Vietnamese man and knocked him unconscious with a large wooden stick screaming a racial remark while hitting him. Later, he punched a random Vietnamese man in the face while hiding from police. For the first assault, Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to assault.
11. Dr. Seuss
Helen Palmer was a children’s book author, an editor and a philanthropist, but she was best known as Dr. Seuss’ wife, or as she knew him, Theodor Seuss Geisel. The two married in 1927 and were together for 40 years until her death. Though she had cancer for 13 years, Helen committed suicide in 1967 by overdosing on barbiturates. During her last years, Seuss was having an affair with Audrey Stone Dimond, a woman he would marry about a year after Helen’s death. In her suicide note, she blamed the affair, writing, “Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don’t know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, ‘failure, failure, failure…’ I love you so much … I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you … My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed … Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years …”
10. Jackie Chan
The legendary martial artist, Jackie Chan, is loved around the world, but some fans, especially those in Asia, take their love a little more serious than most. Apparently, when Chan announced his plans to marry his then-girlfriend, female suicide rates increased dramatically. In response to this, Chan said, “Oh, I am very sad. It makes me sad. It makes me very nervous. At that time, I remember I didn’t even say married. I just said that I have a girlfriend. I just said girlfriend and a girl jumped into the subway, [it was a] suicide. From that, I knew how serious it was. And so, for all those years I have been hiding. Another girl was found in front of my office drinking poison. So many things have gone on. Another girl, came to Hong Kong, she would never go away. 24 hours a day she followed me. She would stay in front of my house, stay in front of my office. At the end, I called up immigration to have her sent back. There are too many things going on. When I stay in a hotel, the rooms around me all fans. They are just watching me, everyday. It makes me very nervous.” Who knew Chan was so desirable?
9. Christopher Walken & Robert Wagner
In 1981, the megastar Natalie Wood drowned during a yacht trip with her husband Robert Wagner and Brainstorm co-star Christopher Walken. The ship’s captain, Captain Dennis Davern, said in his statement that Wagner and Walken had a serious fight when Walken advised Wood to focus on her acting career more. Wagner apparently screamed, “Do you want to f*** my wife?” and smashed a bottle of wine. Wagner stated that he and Walken went to the top of the boat when things seemed like they might get physical and that he didn’t see Wood again after that. Though the case was reopened years later, it was settled that Wood’s drowning was accidental. No one knows how she got into the water, whether she was trying to leave the yacht or was trying to secure the dinghy; it’s anyone’s guess at this point.
8. Phil Lewis
Actor Phil Lewis has a long filmography, but he is probably best known for playing Mr. Moseby on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody or his work on Teech. Lewis might not be the most recognizable celebrity, but his status seems to have helped him avoid justice anyways. In 1991, Lewis was driving his car and crashed head on with another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle, Isabel Duarte, was killed. Lewis was drunk that evening with a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit. Though he faced 10 years in prison, Lewis was sentenced to five years, and served only one because of good behaviour.
7. Jeffrey Jones
You may have noticed that the very recognizable actor, Jeffrey Jones, with roles as Joseph II in Amadeus, the principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Charles Deetz in Beetlejuice, isn’t around much anymore. Maybe you hadn’t heard of his dark secret, which came to light in 2002. In that year, Jones was arrested for possession of child p*rnography and the soliciting a young boy to pose for nude pictures. Though he never served jail-time, he was given five years of probation and has been a registered sex offender ever since. In 2010, he was actually arrested for failing to update this status. He has worked since the event, such as a recurring role in Deadwood, but it seems like the bulk of his career is done.
6. John Phillips Mamas and Papas
Papa John, John Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas group, was loved around the world for his music. With hits “California Dreamin,” “Monday, Monday,” “I Saw Her Again” and many more, the Mamas & the Papas were one of the biggest bands of the 60s and 70s. The love changed a bit when, years after John’s death in 2001, allegations came out that have since been verified from several family members. The story was recorded in John’s daughter’s memoir, High on Arrival, in which Mackenzie Phillips claimed she and John had a 10-year incestuous relationship from 1979 to 1989. The relationship started, she claims, when John and Mackenzie were high on serious drugs and John r*ped her. It kept up for years until Mackenzie became pregnant and didn’t know if John was the father, after which she ended it.
5. Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins will always be the guy who played the father on 7th Heaven, but he’s apparently a bit of a creep as well. There was a time when he lambasted his once-co-star Jessica Biel for posing for naughty pictures while only 17, calling them child p*rnography. But who is he to judge? In 2014, an audiotape was leaked of Collins admitting to the sexual abuse of a minor. Collins admitted to his therapist and police that he had encouraged a young girl, a family member of his wife, to touch him in sexual ways. He also admitted to exposing himself to two other minors at different stages in his life.
4. Charles Dutton
Best known for his work in Rudy and Alien 3, Charles Dutton is one of those actors you know, but you don’t know his name. When he was a teen, Dutton was an amateur boxer. As a 17-year-old, he got into a fight that he claims was an attack by the other man. In the fight, Dutton killed his combatant and was sentenced to seven years in prison. In the months after his release, Dutton was arrested again and sentenced to prison for three more years. It was during his second stint, actually while in solitary confinement, that he gained an interest in acting.
3. Jimmy Page
In a classic Beastie Boys song, we heard the lyrics, “If I played guitar I’d be Jimmy Page. The girlies I like are underage,” which taught us something that no one seems to talk about. There are plenty of stories of young girl groupies following around bands in the 70s, but how many of them are true. It seems that the one about 14-year-old Lori Maddox (sometimes spelled Mattix) dating Jimmy Page when he was nearing 30 is one of the true ones, if we’re to believe all the pictures, songs and corroborated stories. In a biography on Led Zeppelin, Maddox told a story about how Page “told his tour manager, Richard Cole, to ‘kidnap’ her and take her to the West Hollywood hotel the band was staying in. Maddox admits to being kept under lock-and-key, presumably to keep 29-year-old Page from being imprisoned for child sexual abuse.”
2. Ashton Kutcher
Aston Kutcher’s dark secret is only kept as such because he doesn’t like speaking about it. It’s also tragic and horrifying. In 2001, Ashley Ellerin, a model and stripper, had tried to arrange a date with Kutcher. Though Kutcher turned Ellerin down, he did say he would visit her later. After calling a couple of times and receiving no answer, Kutcher drove to Ellerin’s apartment. When he knocked and Ellerin didn’t answer, he looked in the window and saw what he thought was a pool of red wine. Sadly, she was lying dead just out of view of the window after having been stabbed 35 times by serial killer Michael Gargiulo. The pool of red wine was her blood.
1. Rob Lowe
Today, Rob Lowe is a big-name actor once more, but if you weren’t alive in the 80s or weren’t paying attention, you might not have known that he used to be a superstar. In those years, Lowe was one of the biggest movie stars in the business. With roles in The Outsiders, Oxford Blues and St. Elmo’s Fire, he was a superstar of the highest order. In 1988, amidst a run of highly successful films, Lowe’s career came crashing down. Back when celebrity sex tapes weren’t as readily available as they today, a tape of Lowe having sex with two different females was leaked. One of the women was never publicly identified, but the other was, and she was identified as a 16-year-old. At the time, the age of consent was only 14 in Georgia, so that wasn’t the legal issue for Lowe; it was the fact that 18 was the legal age to be involved in a sex tape. While Lowe disputed that he met the girl in a nightclub where she was posing as an older woman, the damage these scandals did to Lowe’s reputation was irreparable.