Since the dawn of the movie age members of Hollywood’s elite have employed teams of people dedicated to hiding the most scandalous moments from the press. That may have worked like a charm before the internet, but now that we have more outlets to spill the gossip, secrets swirling around in the world of entertainment are coming to light. Insiders, celebrities, the waiters that wait a celebrity’s table are coming forward with more horror stories that depict a dark side to Hollywood. There’s a false idea that once celebs get passed the casting couch, it’s supposed to be a joyride but in actuality nothing could be further from the truth.
Take the Bill Cosby scandal. The rumors of his sexual exploits have been swapped around since the early 90s, but when Janice Dickinson and Beverly Johnson came forward with similar stories painting Cosby as a pervert the reaction became more widespread. Actress Zoe Saldana revealed that she almost quit acting altogether right at the beginning of her career after she was treated like dirt on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the actress described the vibe of the set as “very elitist” and sexist. As much as celebrities would like to keep their drunken racist tirade under wraps or that sex tape private, what happens in Hollywood never stays in Hollywood. In the era of hacking, can anything actually be kept in the dark? Just last year, Wikileaks published the private emails of Sony producers who were caught calling Angelina Jolie a spoiled brat and cracking racist Obama jokes.
Hollywood is well aware that if it’s juicy enough to destroy a career, it’s most likely going to be leaked – but they just can’t stop the leaks from happening. And once it’s online, it’s here forever. Here are the top scandals Hollywood wants you to forget (but we never will).
15. Fake Relationships
We’ve all wondered whether celebrity relationships between actors who just so happen to be playing lovers in a movie are just one big publicity stunt. When Kristen Stewart famously dated her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson, the pair’s romance intensified the craze surrounding the Saga. Before she was famously caught cheating on him with a married movie director, fans were obsessed with the fact that Bella and Edward were actually in love. In an interview this year, Stewart revealed that shortly after they began dating the relationship was “made into a product” and turned into something that “wasn’t real life anymore.” During the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt fell in love and paraded around their new romance on the beaches of France and on the cover of magazines – but at the same time the pair was represented by the same PR firm. Katie Holmes was also rumored to have married Tom Cruise to boost her own celebrity profile. Most recently, Taylor Swift’s image was questioned when fans discovered that her photos walking on the beach with Tom Hiddleston were photographed by the same agency. At least more people know who Hiddleston is now.
14. Producers Actually Hate Movie Stars
When it’s time to accept their awards on the red carpet, actors and producers appear to be the best of friends – but surprise! That’s all fake. Behind closed doors there’s lots of snarky trash talk that goes down. We got a dose of the reality last year when hackers took to Wikileaks and published thousands of shocking emails between executives and producers including one heated email between big-budget producer Scott Rudin and Sony executive Amy Pascal. In an argument over whether director David Fincher should produce Angelina Jolie‘s Cleopatra film vs Rudin’s Steve Jobs biopic, Pascal described her as a “minimally talented spoiled brat,” which is interesting considering how chummy Pascal and Jolie appeared before the leak. Days after the leak a photo of Jolie giving Pascal the ultimate death glare went viral… so I’m guessing that relationship is dead forever. RIP.
13. Celebrities Plan Their Divorces Way Before They Actually File
In Hollywood, it’s protocol for high-profile couples to iron out every aspect of their divorce settlement – who gets what or who gets nothing at all – before they even file for the split. Sound shady? Perhaps to us non-celebs, but for famous people trying to protect their children, or themselves, from seeing divorce headlines on newsstands it’s the only option, according to celebrity divorce lawyer, Laura Wasser. In an in-depth interview about celeb divorces, Wasser noted that rather than go through countless divorce hearings, celebrities pre-plan their divorces so they avoid handling messy negotiations “under a microscope.” An anonymous divorce lawyer noted that when the divorce is bitter (think Johnny Depp and Amber Heard) camps will throw mud at the other by leaking tidbits hidden from the media thanks to tightly planned divorces. Celebs also make sure that their divorce announcement makes news on a Friday or before a holiday weekend so that by Monday it’s an old story.
12. Paparazzi Shots Are Staged
When The Sun released photos of Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston kissing on the beach, even her fans wondered whether the whole thing was staged. Think about it, whenever we see a celeb stepping outside with perfect make up and killer fashion doesn’t the whole ordeal seem kind of staged? Around the same time the Swift-Hiddleston photos were released, a New York City paparazzi confirmed that Swift has secret deals with certain photo companies to ensure that the best image of the star is published when she wants it to be published. One of the biggest signs that the photos were actually staged was the fact that every single flick was released by the same photo agency. The same photog noted that celebrities obsessed with their privacy like Jay Z and Beyonce, work directly with the trusted paparazzi. As for the queen of PR stunts, Kim Kardashian, she directly texts a paparazzi to snap her photo and then they work together to produce staged pictures and select the best images for tabloids. Like the first photos of her out getting ice cream after her October robbery? Staged. Who says she doesn’t have a talent?
11. Award Shows Are Fake
That look of shock on a celebrity’s face when their name is called out as the winner for an MTV VMA, Teen Choice Awards or even a Grammy? It’s fake. In a Reddit thread exposing industry secrets, an anonymous event photographer in Hollywood confirmed that artists already know they’re going to win before the shows are even announced. In most cases, celebrities won’t even attend the award shows unless they are confirmed as winners. It’s a mix of making sure they own the headlines following the award show, and of course ego. Why show up to an event only to lose? The most powerful players don’t even stop the awards, they also demand that they perform the show hoping to steal all the headlines. During one of Kanye West‘s rants while performing on the Saint Pablo tour, the rapper claimed that Beyoncé only agreed to perform at the 2016 MTV VMAs if she won Video of the Year over West’s “Famous” and Drake’s “Hotline Bling.”
10. Celebs Steal All The Time
We’ve seen icons like Winona Rider get caught stealing, but according to bodyguards, celebrities with seriously sticky fingers is a major issue in the Hollywood party circuit. One of Paris Hilton‘s former bodyguards leaked to Radar Online that his former client could literally buy thousands of shoes, but “used to grab anything that wasn’t named to the floor” during her party hard days. Maybe she mistook the property for her own? I highly doubt that. The bodyguard recalled one event where she picked up a random shoe and told one of her assistants to put it in their bag for her. Amanda Bynes stole a $200 hat from Barney’s and before that Lindsay Lohan was caught walking out of a jewelry store with an unpaid $2,500 necklace. A celebrity insider claims that petty bad behavior like theft is often brushed under the rug even with sites that report everything celebrities do, like TMZ.
9. Illegal Substances Can Be A Form Of Payment
In what may be the shadiest reveal, an unnamed bouncer who has worked at all the L.A. hotspots say that celebrities are often paid in cocaine from club promoters and owners just to get them into their venue. A celebrity sighting at a new club can make or break the owners and so they’re desperate to make a splash within the first few nights of their opening or they flop. Tough crowds. Anyone from club promoters, to drivers, to doormen, to VIP concierges can be “appropriately connected” with the “right people,” said a source, and L.A. has no shortage of drug suppliers. Outside the clubs and on movie sets, handlers and assistants supply the stars with drugs that keep them fueled up for take after take. According to an unnamed assistant on a set, some stars demand that a cocktail of drugs be ready for them before even stepping foot on a movie set. That completely explains why so many child stars end up spiraling out of control in their 20s.
8. TMZ Blackmails Stars
When an old video of Justin Bieber dropping the n-bomb in a joke appeared on British tabloid The Sun, it wasn’t just Bieber pissed off over the leak. In the video a 15-year-old Bieber sings “One Less Lonely Girl,” and substitutes the slur for the word ‘girl’. According to TMZ, they purchased the video four years before it was made public and decided not to post it because of his age. However, according to a former employee that’s not completely the truth. The insider says that TMZ collects damaging videos of celebrities and holds the content over their head as blackmail in exchange for appearances on TMZ‘s show. Fail to comply with the gossip site, and they’ll air out anyone’s dirty laundry. Before the leak, Bieber was one of the many stars who cooperated with the company by sitting down and giving them exclusive scoops and interviews.
7. Rich Men Hire Top Models To Be Their Private Escorts
Here’s some news that will make you second guess all those glamorous “girl trips” to Dubai that models like Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner share. An inside source for OK! Magazine claims that businessman Mohammed Sultan Al Habtoor, wants “gorgeous company” at his lavish New Year’s Eve parties and flies the models there himself. Once they arrive they are paid to spend time with the businessmen and his company. The industry insider reveals that the businessmen will have someone call agencies on their behalf and request appearances from specific models. This can also be the case for club openings, galas and random occasions when men just want to be surrounded by young and beautiful women. Creepy? Definitely. And it sounds like any other acting gig, right? Not really. The source went on to reveal that models are expected to do something as a token of their appreciation, whether it’s a quick dance or a kiss for the camera.
6. Celebrities Don’t Own Their Clothes
We obsess over celebrities’ lavish lifestyles, luxury cars, gigantic mansions and of course, their expensive clothes straight off the runway. Rihanna‘s status as a style icon is one of the reasons why her empire is so well known but – what if none of those outfits were hers? In reality, celebrities including Rihanna don’t pay for their outfits nor do they put together their own looks, not even when they’re off the stage and red carpet. Teams are hired and stylists work with fashion designers and corporations on what they should be dressing their celebrity in, most of the time it’s promotion and we don’t even know it! Gowns worn on the red carpet to the Oscars, VMAs and Golden Globes are usually arranged deals or gifts given to designers because the red carpet coverage will put them all over the press. It goes far beyond clothing, too. When Kim Kardashian goes to Mexico, they’re not just taking selfies in any ol’ apartment, they hashtag AirBnB and even give shoutouts and thank you snaps to the companies blessing them with free swag. Why pay for anything on your own when someone is always ready to give it away for free?
Leah Remini has made it her duty to pull the curtain back on Scientology with her A&E docu-series, calling out the religion for its shady practices. We know from her series as well as the explosive doc Going Clear that L. Ron Hubbard knew that in order to attract people to the religion he needs to have a celebrity backing. That includes the likes of Tom Cruise (of course) John Travolta and Kirstie Alley who allegedly have access to teams of high ranking Sea Org members who do everything from cleaning their house, to paying for their lavish lifestyles. The celebrities themselves also pour money into the church as they work their way up to the ladder to become a “clear” or enlightened individual – if they don’t their reputation will be smeared. Despite rumors that Cruise may be distancing himself from the church, he moved to Clearwater Florida, home of the largest Scientology church. Jennifer Lawrence is the most recent young star to be involved in the church. Insiders say that the church promises stars top roles and more fame in exchange of giving their lives to the Scientology.
4. Extreme Dieting
When Melissa McCarthy first hit the scene, she said that she’d refuse to lose weight to fit in with the Hollywood circles, but then fast forward a few years later, the Ghostbusters star revealed a new slimmed down figure. Actresses in Hollywood have always been thinner than the average person, and they are usually pressured to lose weight in order to wear certain gowns on the red carpet or lock in certain roles. Raven-Symoné came forward with stories about being pressured to lose weight when she was just a kid to look better on TV. Jennifer Lawrence was almost not casted as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games franchise because she needed to look thin enough to pass as a poor character on the verge of starvation. When it’s not for roles, celebs drop weight fast in order to prep for award shows, or when they need a new image. The public can be vicious, especially online. Khloe Kardashian started off her fan being the “funny sister” and then this year revived her entire brand and made herself the “hot Kardashian” after dropping over 30 pounds.
3. Celebs Lie About Mental Illness
Fans of Kanye West were outraged, shocked and confused when he decided to meet with the president-elect prior to being admitted to the hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown. But what wasn’t really discussed was that West was in New York looking for a psychiatrist to see whenever he’s on the east coast. Very few celebrities come forward with their bouts of anxiety or depression, making mental health one of the most taboo topics in Hollywood. We’ve seen stars like Mariah Carey and Britney Spears go through very public meltdowns that ended with them in a psychiatric treatment in hospital. Robin Williams‘ tragic death put a spotlight on issues like depression, mental health and suicide. Carrie Fisher’s death was mourned by many fans who looked up to the icon because of her willingness to discuss her own mental health. It’s a topic that’s glossed over because it’s not glitzy and just goes to highlight how dark Hollywood is in reality.
2. Oscars Are Still So White
This year, the Academy Awards won more attention than usual thanks to the outrage over the #OscarsSoWhite movement. Twitter users and celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o, Jada Pinkett-Smith and George Clooney, called out the absence of actors of color from the 20 nominations. Unfortunately, not much has changed. When Jimmy Kimmel was announced as the host of this year’s 89th academy awards, critics were angry and called the decision lazy. Why hire yet another white male after facing extreme backlash over diversity? A woman, or man of color or woman of color could have done the same job. While Moonlight, Fences and Loving have been the heart of Oscar-prediction buzz, the elusive Oscar voters are still 91% white and 76% male. Only 14% of the voters are under 50, with the majority of them in their 60s. Sure, this year we have seen excellent diverse films, but will the Academy give them a chance? It’s uncertain.
1. Child Abuse Is A Major Issue
Child abuse in the Hollywood is one of the oldest, and tightest kept secrets in the industry. In his memoir, Coreyography, 80s child star Corey Feldman gave a graphic recount about the sexual abuse that he and the late Corey Haim were subjected to during the height of their careers. Fast forward years later, Michael Egan publicly accused X-Men director Bryan Singer, of abusing him when he was a minor in 1999. An Open Secret, Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg outed the alleged s*x ring made up of convicted and accused molesters linked to luxury, drug-fueled parties at Hollywood mansion. The Duggar family’s sex abuse scandal made headlines and sparked a conversation on molestation. Elijah Wood revealed that there’s still a major problem of child abuse running throughout Hollywood.