Celebrities and fist fights — why? Isn’t money and fame enough for them? The answer is “apparently not,” at least in some cases. Maybe it’s the fame and fortune itself that causes at least some of the friction. After all, these days, that means constant attention from the paparazzi and living your entire life in a fishbowl. We can’t help but notice that many of the incidents of celebrity fisticuffs involve photographers.
Sometimes, it’s a celebrity feud that boils over and gets nasty in public — and on video. As it turns out, celebs can be dicks just like anybody else, and annoyance escalates into a shoving match or a punch or two. It’s a pretty rare occurrence since you’d figure most celebrities, just like ordinary folk, value their lucrative careers over the temporary high you’d get from punching in that jerk you work with.
Now and then, it’s just plain old drunken bad behavior, proving that everyone, no matter how rich or good looking, is trashy at heart. And there’s something comforting about that. Here’s a look at 15 celebs who let the fists fly.
15. Solange Vs. Jay Z
It was after the Met Gala in 2014, one of New York City’s premier society events, that Solange went off on Jay Z in an elevator, a physical argument that was captured on video. TMZ got one of their biggest stories of the year buying the surveillance video that showed Beyonce‘s little sis screaming at Jay Z as she punched and kicked him — with Beyonce also present in the elevator. Queen Bey watches calmly as the argument escalates. The group had just left an after party to the Gala at the Boom Boom Room, a posh rooftop lounge at the Standard Hotel in NYC’s Meatpacking District. After the TMZ leak, Solange, Beyonce, and Jay Z issued a joint statement saying the matter had been resolved and both had accepted joint responsibility. No particular reason was given for the altercation, but the rumor mill was already buzzing with whispers of Jay Z and infidelity — rumors that seem to be at least somewhat confirmed by Beyonce’s own release, Lemonade. But, when it comes to celebrities, do we ever really know what’s real?
14. Drake Vs. Chris Brown
In June 2012, Drake and his entourage of about 15 found themselves at the W.I.P. nightclub in SoHo, Manhattan. The brawl supposedly started when Chris Brown sent a bottle of Ace of Spades Champagne worth about $2K over to Drizzy’s table. Drake sent it back with a note that taunted him about Drake’s relationship with Rihanna, Chris’s ex. It read, “I’m still f—— Rihanna.” Ya — hard to see how that could be interpreted as anything but incendiary. In a video taken at the club, you can clearly see a group of guys duking it out, and afterward, the nightclub is in a shambles. Bystanders were caught in the hail of bottles flying back and forth in the club. Later, Drake’s rep said that he wasn’t personally involved in the scuffle. Drizzy pointed the finger at rapper Meek Mill for starting the feud. Several people were injured, including Chris Brown, who showed off a nasty cut on his chin on social media.
13. Tommy Lee Vs. Kid Rock
It wasn’t an all-out brawl, but words and fists were exchanged between Kid Rock and Tommy Lee backstage at the MTV Awards in 2007. The scuffle happened during Alicia Keys’s performance on stage, starting with shouting and culminating in Kid Rock’s swipe at the Motley Crue guitarist. After the slap, Tommy Lee wanted to retaliate, but Kid Rock laid in a punch instead. By then, security people were already trying to intervene, and the two were pulled quickly apart. Both of the rockers had a thing with Pamela Anderson when she was at her blonde bombshell best, and that, naturally, is where this dispute began. Pamela’s marriage game is complex, but to break it down simply, she was married to Tommy Lee in 1995 after knowing him for about four days, and they stayed married until 1998. She was married to and divorced from Kid Rock in 2006. She has said in interviews that she went back to seeing Tommy Lee after the divorce, although that fizzled out by 2007. Apparently, Tommy Lee taunted Kid Rock about the rekindled affair with Pammy at the time. During a radio interview with Howard Stern, Tommy Lee talked about how Kid Rock had actually called him up to tell him when he’d first started seeing Pam. Lee seemed unimpressed by the gesture.
12. Pitbull Vs. Fan
During a performance at the Belly Up Festival in Colorado in 2009, Pitbull was caught on video inviting a fan from the front row on stage. In fact, he grabs the fan’s arm, pulls him up — and then gives him quick uppercut to the jaw. To see how the beef developed, you have to back up the video a few seconds. There, as Pitbull raps from the stage, you’ll see someone throwing money at him. It’s not a gesture Pitbull enjoys, apparently, hence, the faux-friendly gesture. You can see that the fan is still throwing money in his face even on stage. The fan quickly jumps back into the crowd after the punch, and Pitbull actually goes after him. It looks as if he’s trying to kick the guy as a security dude finally gets involved. Extra points to Pitbull, who didn’t lose the groove as the altercation went down. As Pitbull later said in an interview, it was a case of “natural instinct” kicking into gear.
11. Axl Rose Vs. Tommy Hilfiger
What happens when a rock diva meets a fashion diva? The sparks flew back in May 2006 when rocker Axl Rose and fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger both found themselves in the VIP area at the Plumm nightclub in New York City. It was a birthday party for Rosario Dawson, who was making a name for herself with a role in Rent on Broadway. In a radio interview at the time, Rose claimed the scuffle started when he moved the drink belonging to Hilfiger’s girlfriend, Dee Ocleppo. He said that the fashion designer began slapping his arm and telling him to put it back, smacking him several times, eventually on the cheek. Rose claimed that Hilfiger was “foaming at the mouth,” and that he was dragged out of the club by his own security. Axl went on to play a set and dedicated the song You’re Crazy to his “good friend, Tommy Hilfiger.” It wasn’t until 2010 that Hilfiger came out with his own version of events, which he said started when Axl pushed him out of the way and told him he was rude. Hilfiger says he hit first as a preemptive strike. He also said the two had patched things up and ended up friends.
10. Guy Fieri Vs. Ariel Ramirez
Guy Fieri is the restaurateur who made it big on TV and social media with a string of TV and book projects that have kept him in the public eye. It’s a pretty sweet gig to be traveling around the country looking for Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives — the title of his current show, we have to admit. And, leading the life of a bon vivant, we can see how you might get carried away now and then. Maybe even all the time. While driving around in his iconic black SUV in October 2013, Guy was caught on video in a fight with Ariel Ramirez, his hairstylist. Guy stayed in the vehicle, while Ariel stood just outside, with the door open. You can clearly see Guy literally kicking Ariel to the curb, while Ariel throws a few punches, screams, and cries, “You f$$ing a$$hole! F—!” The official word on this one was boys gone wild — the fight occurred just after the pair had left the San Francisco International Airport on a day they had been drinking on the plane. But we can’t help but point out that Guy actually drove away from the scene. According to reports, after Guy slammed the door shut, his manager jumped out and took Ariel home by cab, and the boys have since reconciled.
9. Shia LaBeouf Vs. Fans, Protesters
We remember when Shia LaBeouf was the cute kid in the Transformers movies. Since then, he’s been in the news more for bizarre and sometimes violent behavior than for his acting gigs. In London, the UK in 2013, he threatened to have a dude in a bar killed after Shia got into an argument with a woman, and her boyfriend intervened. Shia got kicked out of the bar. Barely a month later, he head-butted another guy in another London bar after the man had supposedly insulted his mother. More recently, in February 2017, he got into a scuffle that was live streamed to the world from New York City at the “He will not divide us” protest that he planned and began the day of Trump’s inauguration. He and his supporters intended on keeping the protest going 24/7 through Trump’s entire presidency. On January 25, he was seen on camera arguing with another protester, and it looks like Shia whacked him in the chest. Charges were laid but later dismissed. More importantly, the Museum of the Moving Image in NYC, the company who sponsored the live feed, pulled the plug, saying the cam had become a “flashpoint for violence.” In the past, Shia has gone after bar patrons in Vancouver and fellow actor Tom Hardy on set.
8. Bill Murray Vs. Chevy Chase
SNL debuted in October 1975. While it was more of a cult than a mainstream hit that first season, it did spawn one break-out star — Chevy Chase, who both wrote for and acted in the show. Chase left in the middle of the second season for supposedly bigger and better things, and Bill Murray stepped in to replace him. The rest of the cast, apparently, wasn’t too happy with Chevy jumping ship or the star treatment he was getting when he came back to the show during the second season to host an episode. Words were exchanged, and Murray is said to have called Chase a “medium talent.” Soon the fists were flying with observers like cast member Laraine Newman calling the scene “ugly.” Bill’s brother, Brian Doyle-Murray, broke up the fight. It’s hard to believe that the two would co-star in Caddyshack just a few years later.
7. Chelsea Chanel Dudley Vs. Bar Patrons, Security
Chelsea Chanel Dudley aka Chanel West Coast, star of MTV’s Ridiculousness reality TV show, was arrested in Los Angeles in August 2015 after a barroom altercation. She was spending the evening at 10AK nightclub in West Hollywood when she got into it with another patron of the bar, said to be another woman. Bouncers at the club broke it up, and she was asked to leave. Miss West Coast obliged, but then got into a fight with security outside the nightclub, too. The bouncers put Chanel into a citizen’s arrest until the LA County Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene. There are no pics of the original fight in the bar, but plenty of social media shots of her being dragged away by police. Chanel Tweeted a pic of her bruised arms the next day claiming, “I was assaulted by police last night for no reason and have bruises all over my arms.”
6. Jourdan Dunn Vs. Paparazzi
British supermodel Jourdan Dunn is often spotted clubbing with her supermodel friends, or, nowadays, her son. But, during Fashion Week London in September 2015, she was out at an after party with a male friend. The party was held at LouLou’s Members Club, a private venue in the upscale Mayfair district of the city. It was a celebrity-rich event, and the crowd included stars like Harry Styles and Cara Delevingne, so naturally, there were paparazzi stationed outside the door. There are no reports on what actually went down, only that words quickly escalated to fists between Jourdan’s companion and an unlucky photographer who ended up on the ground — with other photographers on hand to capture the action.
5. Justin Bieber Vs. ?
Justin Bieber just had to be on this list somewhere, and he makes it for a spectacular fight caught on camera after an NBA game in Cleveland. It was during the playoffs in June 2016. As Bieber left the game with a loose group of people, somehow, a fight got started and was captured on video. The other guy, whoever he is, is noticeably bigger than Bieber and seems to begin the fight by slapping Biebs upside the head. The size differential didn’t phase the pop star, who dished out a good right uppercut — but one, unfortunately, that we can’t confirm connected. In the video, you can see the guy, who actually looks like security himself, quickly taking charge of the situation and getting Justin on the ground. The fight was said to be over someone taking pictures of Justin, something the Biebs does not like. A lot.
4. Alec Baldwin Vs. Photographers
Before he was our favorite Trump impostor, Alec Baldwin most often seemed to hit the news every time he punched out yet another photographer. Back in 1995, he covered a photographer’s car with shaving cream and then went on to slap him, breaking his nose. He was fined $4,500 after being charged with misdemeanor battery. He grabbed a photographer by the collar in 2010. In 2012, he assaulted a photographer working for the New York Daily News — and the paparazzo said that at the time, he was coming to the defense of yet another photog that Baldwin was going after. At the time, Baldwin and Hilaria Thomas were on their way to get a marriage license. In August 2013, Alec manhandled another photographer he says had been harassing his wife, who had just given birth to their first child. Baldwin, in fact, said his wife had to duck into a store to escape the overexposure, and it was only after the shutterbug had followed her in there, too, that he snapped. Police were called but no charges laid.
3. Bjork Vs. Reporter
Icelandic songbird Bjork was just getting used to the international spotlight in 1996. On a long tour and after a long flight to Thailand, she arrived with her son at Bangkok International Airport. She had requested that press wait until later to contact her when she’d be giving a press conference. But, as she got off the plane, British reporter Julie Kaufman accosted her, and Bjork went ballistic. She flew at her and knocked her to the ground — the whole shocking episode caught on camera. Her record company later released a statement claiming that Kaufman had been stalking Bjork and her son for four days. Bjork seemed to want to repeat the experience several years later in 2008. On landing in New Zealand, a photographer from the New Zealand Herald took a few pictures of her. Then, when he turned his back, Bjork grabbed the collar of his shirt and ripped it in half across the back.
2. Sinéad O’Connor Vs. Prince
Irish singer Sinéad O’Connor had an international hit on her hands with Nothing Compares 2 U and won multiple awards for it in 1990. The only problem was, the song had been written by Prince, and it was a cover he hadn’t authorized. The song had actually been released by Prince in one of his side projects, the funky The Family band, on their one and only release in 1985. He had it in mind as a single for one of his proteges, but O’Connor’s hit put the boots to that idea. Prince contacted Sinéad for a meeting to discuss the matter, which, as she tells the story, did not go well. Sinéad recalled the meeting later in interviews: “He can pack a punch. A few blows were exchanged. All I could do was spit. I spat on him quite a bit.”
1. Katt Williams Vs. Everybody
For a comedian, Katt Williams seems to be pretty bad-tempered, we’d have to say. In March 2016 alone, he was arrested for three separate incidents of violence. One involved getting into a fist fight with a 17-year-old during a soccer match. He was widely ridiculed after a video surfaced of him sucker-punching the teenager, who then proceeded to beat him down. Another charge involved misdemeanor battery of a woman working at a restaurant Williams was eating at. He was charged and subsequently sued by a former personal assistant who claimed that he had punched her and pushed her up against a glass door, eventually knocking her to the ground. She spent three days in the hospital. A month earlier, he had punched out a pool supply store employee. It seems like Williams’s lawyers may have succeeded in getting through to him; there have been no violent incidents since then.