It might not be fair to suggest that a celebrity accidentally ruined another person’s life, but we’re going to do it either way. So, what do we even mean? Well, don’t think too hard about it. On this list are celebrities who accidentally did something that hurt another person. Some of the victims on this list are celebrities, while others are just regular people. Some of the victims rebounded and turned the negative into a positive, whereas some never did come back. In some of the events on this list, people died. There’s no coming back from that. At least that’s what we’ve heard. As with almost all information about celebrities, there’s going to be some hearsay on this list. Some of these are nothing more than accusations, but we’ll acknowledge that when we come to it.
This list could be a lot longer if we included things like car accidents. We’ve tried to omit everything like that because, while a celebrity who badly injured or even killed someone in a car accidents did technically “accidentally ruin someone’s life,” we want to keep this list even more subtle than that. We want to include only those events which a celebrity never intended to hurt anyone. Maybe they intended some emotional distress, but certainly not to ruin another’s life. So, car accidents aside, let’s look at all the celebrities who are at least partly responsible for something terrible. Here are 15 stars who accidentally ruined someone’s Life.
15. Ashley Greene – Burned Down Apartment
Ashley Greene is the actress best known for playing Alice Cullen in the Twilight franchise, but she is probably better known now for the lengthy court battle and lawsuits that have followed her since she accidentally burnt down her apartment a few years ago. Sadly, her little puppy died in the blaze as well. Reports suggest that Greene left a candle burning in her apartment and it ignited the entire room. Greene, who wasn’t present at the time, came back to find that her apartment was missing. Several of her neighbors then sued her because the fire damaged their apartments and/or they were injured in the aftermath. On top of all that, Greene is partly responsible for Twilight, which ruined everyone’s life. Okay, that was a bad joke.
14. Dre and Cube – Film Caused Heart Attack
Jerry Heller was the former manager of the rap group, N.W.A. If you have seen Straight Outta Compton, Heller was played by Paul Giamatti in a rather unflattering light. After the film came out, Heller filed a defamation lawsuit against Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, the ex group members and film producers. He went on record to say, “As for the things that bothered me, I’ve been in the business for six decades. I’ve probably represented almost every major artist in the world, either directly or peripherally, at one time or another,” Heller said. “I have a certain reputation, and that reputation certainly doesn’t entail the things that they said about me. It was very hurtful. I thought ‘No Vaseline’ was hurtful. But actually, this was more hurtful. Look, I am what I am, but I’m not a thief. And I’m not scandalous. I did more for N.W.A … I mean, it was just incredible, the success that we had. So for them to call me a thief is just terrible.” Not long after that, Heller had a heart attack while driving and crashed his vehicle, dying in the incident. Heller’s lawyer then came out and said, “Jerry Heller would be alive today if not for that movie.” Put that on your conscience boys.
13. George Lucas – Ruined Jake’s Childhood
Technically George Lucas ruined two people’s lives, Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen, but we’re going to focus on Lloyd because he’s been much more critical and has plummeted much further. It started when Lucas cast Lloyd in the worst Star Wars film ever, The Phantom Menace. Remember how much anticipation there was for The Force Awakens? Multiply that by like 600 and you have the excitement levels of film fans prior to The Phantom Menace. Then we got a turd of a film with garbage characters and an uninteresting kid as the main star. Sure, fans probably took out their hate unfairly on the actor, Lloyd, but he didn’t help endear himself to fans. Granted, it’s been announced that Lloyd has been diagnosed as a schizophrenic, so there are contributing factors for his actions. Lloyd said that Star Wars made “My entire school life… a living hell.” He also blamed Lucas for failing to “meet the standards of the public.” Damn you, Jedi Master Lucas. Damn you.
12. Andy Dick – Got A Murderer High
Even if you didn’t know a single thing about Andy Dick, it wouldn’t take long for you to hate him. He looks like a weasel, sounds like a weasel, and by all accounts, he’s even worse than that in real life. Other than his terrible attempts at being a comedian, though, what is it about Dick that makes him such an ass? Well, most of this stems from the time that he was indirectly responsible for the death of comedian Phil Hartman and his wife Brynn. The story claims that Brynn was a recovering drug addict but had been on the wagon for some time. Dick knew this. Yet, still, he goes to a party and reintroduces Brynn to her one true vice, cocaine. Brynn falls off the wagon. Phil, sensing her downward spiral, asks her to stop, threatening to leave her if she doesn’t. Later that night, Brynn got high, grabbed a gun and went into their bedroom, killing Phil. She then confessed to the murder. Later, when police arrived to the scene, Brynn turned the gun on herself.
11. Eminem and 50 Cent – Humiliated Ja
Remember Ja Rule? Well, long ago, he was a famous rapper. He had some huge hits and things were looking great, but then he got involved in a beef with some more popular rappers, some more talented rappers, namely 50 Cent and, later, Eminem. At first, it was all good news for Ja Rule. He was fading from the limelight, but this beef made him kind of interesting again. The issue was that he kept it going too long. He tried to outgangsta 50 cent and outrap Eminem. It was a battle he couldn’t win. In the end, Ja Rule was ridiculed by music fans, blackballed from performing in many places and his record sales were sunk. Right or wrong, when you go against people who have massive followings, the followings tend to go against you. Mr. Rule alienated himself from music fans and became the laughing stock of the industry, something he could never recover from.
10. Tom Hanks – Outed Gay Teacher
Tom Hanks had just been awarded his first Academy Award for Best Actor in Philadelphia. His speech was beautiful. Fighting through the emotions, he said, “I would not be standing here if it weren’t for two very important men in my life… Rawley Farnsworth, who was my high school drama teacher, who taught me to act well the part, there all the glory lies. And one of my classmates under Mr. Farnsworth, Mr. John Gilkerson. I mention their names because they are two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with, to fall under their inspiration at such a young age.” It was a touching tribute, but one that, apparently, was a little revelatory. You see, Hanks’ former teacher, Farnsworth, hadn’t yet come out. Sure, he made his outing into something grand and has suggested that what Hanks did wasn’t so bad. After all, there are worse people to out you than Tom Hanks at the Academy Awards, but, then again, Farnsworth was outed by Tom Hanks at the Academy Awards. Almost 50 million people watched the awards in 1994. Almost 50 million people watched Forrest Gump out a former teacher of his on an awards show. Oops.
9. Isaiah Washington – Outed Gay Costar
In the eternity that Grey’s Anatomy has been on, there have been so many different storylines behind the scenes, but perhaps the most interesting was the feud between Isaiah Washington, Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight. Each of the three stars have different stories, but one of the versions suggests that Washington and Dempsey threw hissy fits and began yelling at each other. In the heated argument, Washington called Knight by a homophobic slur. This led to Knight coming out of the closet publicly. “I’ve never been called that to my face,” Knight said. “So I think when that happened, something shifted, and it became bigger than myself.” After this, everything changed. Washington was fired and Knight’s role was severely diminished; who knows if this is related to the blow-up or the announcement. What is clear, however, is that Knight’s career has not been the same since. Yeah, he’s now back in a Shonda Rhimes show, The Catch, but he’s not the same star he once was.
8. Jenny Jones – Her Show Led to Murder
In 1995, Jenny Jones had an episode on her popular talk show called Same Sex Secret Crushes. On that unaired episode, a man named Scott Amedure came on revealing that he had a secret crush on an acquaintance of his named Johnathan Schmitz. Schmitz later reported that the show’s producers never told him that his secret admirer was a male, so he came out on stage to quite the shock. He nervously laughed off the compliments and all the awkward talk about sexual fantasies and, all the while, Jones kept pressing to please her audience and viewers. Three days after the trial, Amedure left a note outside Schmitz’s home, apparently suggesting the two have a sexual encounter. It turns out that Schmitz was mentally unstable and the unsolicited sexual advances from Amedure were enough to set him off. He went out and purchased a shotgun, went to Amedure’s home, and shot him in the chest, killing him. Schmitz then called 9-1-1 and confessed to the murder.
7. Renny Harlin – Killed Wife’s Career
The year 1995 gave us one of the biggest disasters in film we’ve ever seen: Cutthroat Island. The director named to the film was Renny Harlin, and Harlin set in motion events that would ruin his then-wife, Geena Davis. First, Harlin convinced the studio that Davis should be cast as the lead. His intentions were admirable but ill-advised. Davis was not an action star and this was not a good movie. Then, they cast Michael Douglas, but Douglas walked out when Davis’ role was expanded at the expense of his own. After that, several big names were pursued but they all declined. The end result was the casting of 80s film star, Matthew Modine. Then Harlin started fighting with the crew leading to several of them walking off. There also needed to be major changes to the set because Harlin didn’t like it; the script was rewritten and there were other issues out of everyone’s control. Still, Harlin seemed determined to make this film the biggest flop ever and the budget spiralled out of control with every change. In the end, Cutthroat Island lost more than $100 million, Davis’ career was essentially ruined, she and Harlin divorced, and Hollywood hated pirates for a decade.
6. Travis Barker – Invited Friend On Plane
This one hurts a little to write because Travis Barker, famed drummer of Blink-182, doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with some of these clowns. Downright bad luck caused Barker to be “accidentally” responsible for the death of one of his close friends and bodyguards, Charles “Che” Still. On the day of the plane crash which would kill four people and badly burn Barker, Still was invited to fly on the private jet by Barker at the last minute. The vacant seat that Still took was supposed to be for Barker’s ex-wife, but plans changed and it was offered to Still because he would be fun to fly with. Sadly, this decision has led to some major survivor’s guilt for Barker, even if it was completely out of his control.
5. Douglas Aarniokoski – Destroyed Paz’s Career
Today, Douglas Aarniokoski is loved for his work on the television shows Arrow and Sleepy Hollow, but not everyone is enamoured by him. Take actress Paz de la Huerta, for example. de la Huerta was asked to star in Aarniokoski’s 2013 film that he wrote and directed, Nurse 3D. Maybe you’ve seen it or maybe you haven’t. The point is the movie is terrible. de la Huerta agreed to star in the film, but this, she now says, was a mistake. After the movie came out to brutal reviews and it was lambasted as pure trash, de la Huerta sued Aarniokoski for “ruining her career.” It’s not like de la Huerta had an enormously successful film career prior to this 2013 role, but she had certainly been taken down a few notches. That could also be because she’s a basket case too. Who knows for sure?
4. Steve Coogan – Inspired Suicide Attempt
It might seem strange to take Courtney Love‘s word as truth, but the accusations she made about British actor Steve Coogan are just too spicy to ignore. In the aftermath of Owen Wilson‘s attempted suicide in 2007, Love claims that it was Coogan who was the cause of Owen’s downfall. Love said, “Under normal circumstances, I would not comment but I care too much about Owen… I went through it with Steve. I was just out of rehab and he was right there with the drugs… I tried to warn Owen. I tried to warn his friends. I hope from the bottom of my heart that Owen stays the hell away from that guy.” The story goes that Wilson, who struggled with addiction and depression, had just broken up with then-girlfriend Kate Hudson. Coogan and Wilson then got together and started partying and, not long after, Wilson was doped up and trying to kill himself. The truth of the matter may never be totally known, but this is certainly one version of it.
3. Jim Carrey – The Wrongful Death Lawsuit
This is purely one side of a complex story, but Jim Carrey has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit after his ex-girlfriend, Cathriona White, died after intentionally overdosing on prescription pills. The claim is that those pills were acquired by Carrey, making him responsible for White’s death, at least in the eyes of her family. “This is a case about Jim Carrey using his immense wealth and celebrity status to illegally obtain and distribute highly addictive and, in this case, deadly, controlled substances,” the accusers said. There are suggestions that White stole the drugs off Carrey as well. Either way, Carrey denies the claims and issued a statement saying just that. There are also text messages between Carey and his ex that suggest that she had gotten a few STDs from the movie star and felt as if she was “damaged goods.”
2. Tommy Allsup – Won Plane Crash Coin Toss
The day the music died is a phrase that many people know, even if they forget what it refers to. Yeah, it’s from that Don McLean song, “American Pie,” which refers to that crazy plane crash from February 3, 1959 that killed musicians Buddy Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, and Ritchie Valens. Part of the legend from that crash involves Tommy Allsup, Holly’s new guitarist at the time, and a fateful coin flip that saved his life but ended Valens’. The flight had three seats, plus the pilot seats. Waylon Jennings gave up his rightful seat to the Big Bopper because the Bopper was sick. Valens and Allsup wanted the last seat, so they flipped a coin for it. Valens won the flip and took the flight. Allsup went on living and making music.
1. Hannibal Burress – Outed Cosby Assaults
We’re not about to make claims about what people deserve in life. We’re simply stating the events as they happened. Whether Bill Cosby is guilty of the many, many accusations against him is another story, but it’s clear that life was going a lot smoother for the Jell-O man until comedian Hannibal Burress came along. Technically, Cosby ruined lives by no accident, and did this to himself, but Burress was the one who drew the attention the case needed. It started a few years ago. In Burress’ stand-up routine, he had a bit that addressed Cosby and how he was ashamed of black celebrities: “Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the ‘80s,” Buress said, mocking Cosby. “Yeah, but you r*pe women, Bill Cosby. So turn the crazy down a couple notches.” He then told the audience to “Google ‘Bill Cosby r*pe,’” bringing attention to the fact that there have been numerous accusations throughout the years, but everything was being swept under the rug. Well, not for long. This gained major traction and now Cosby is one of the most reviled humans walking the earth. So yeah, Burress may have ruined Cosby’s life, but he might have given the victims of Cosby some peace of mind as well.