They may keep mum during interviews and may go to extreme lengths to avoid the paparazzi, but when it comes to penning down their life story, some celebs don’t hold back in the slightest. Most confessions that come out in their books are much darker than the lives they portray to the media and during interviews.
From parental abuse to drug addiction and from tumultuous relationships to suicide attempts, celebrity autobiographies have it all. Most of which are truly shocking, and very dark. Here comes our handpicked list of 10 such autobiographies that left us in shock. Did your favorite star make it to the list? Read on to find out.
10. Christina Crawford, Mommie Dearest
When it hit the stands in 1978 the book was one of the very first of its kind. The darkness at the heart of it, which consists of chilling details about Joan Crawford’s abusive parenting, still survives. Give this book a read if you remotely liked the movie that was released in 1981. While the ‘no more hangers’ line in the film might make you cringe, the abusive details go way worse in Christina Crawford’s firsthand account. The book includes episodes of her mom breaking down into psychotic episodes over things like Christmas card lists, thank you notes, and of course, the infamous wire hangers in the closet. Little wonder that her ‘rules’ were enforced the hard way that often included beating.
9. Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa Explains It All
Melissa Joan Hart has had a rather ‘interesting’ life, and her memoir is surely proof of it. While the title is directly inspired by the television series Clarissa Explains It All (1991-1994), the book itself has many revelations that are enough to shake the imaginary witch world and all the feline lovers alike. This includes her confession that she did not like her animatronic cat co-star Salem on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch. At the launch party of the book, Hart was heard confessing “Being around that Salem cat too much …the set was covered in cat food… So yeah, I can’t do cats anymore.” But that’s just scraping the surface. If you have the appetite for more high life scandals, this book won’t disappoint you. Some of the things to keep you hooked are her ecstasy days, making out with a girl during a limo ride back home from the Playboy mansion, sucking face with “man-wh*re” (her words) Jerry O’ Connell and hooking up with Ryan Reynolds and Nick Carter. And oh, she also claims to have taken Britney Spears to her first club.
8. Andre Agassi, Open
The eight-time Grand Slam champion’s autobiography comes packed with too many revelations. In this book the tennis star confesses that he lied about taking crystal meth in 1997. The blue-eyed boy of tennis was using the drug on his own free will but in his letter to the tennis authorities, he wrote that he drank it “accidentally from one of Slim’s spiked sodas.” This is what he calls the “central lie” of his letter. He continues, “I feel ashamed, of course. I promise myself that this lie is the end of it.” He also writes about his experience while on the drug and the downward spiral that drugs had brought him on.
As he lays his heart bare, Agassi reveals that he always hated tennis, that his famed mullet was actually a wig and how rival Pete Sampras was “robotic”.
7. Jodie Sweetin, unSweetined
The confessions of the Full House star were truly shocking, especially for all of the people who believed in her motivational speeches. The star admits how she began taking drugs and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol soon after the show went off air, but no one knew. During this time, she was booked as an inspirational speaker for many events designed to keep young people clean and sober. The cash that she received from these gigs kept fuelling her expensive cocaine and methamphetamine habit. unSweetined comes with no sugar coating as Jodie admits to snorting cocaine till 5 a.m. the night before she was supposed to speak at the Marquette University, and even right before taking the stage. “I put on my best TV smile … they didn’t think I was coming down from a two-day bender of coke, meth and ecstasy, and they didn’t think I was lying to them with every sentence that came out of my mouth,” she writes. “I finished, they applauded. Just how I liked it.”
6. Rosie O’Donnell,Celebrity Detox
The book is the second memoir that she wrote, the first one being Find Me released in 2002. Celebrity Detox chronicles her struggle with fame, her difficult relationships, her experience on The View and the darker days of her childhood. It is heartbreaking to read as she confesses to breaking her own limbs as a child, using a baseball bat and a wooden hanger. Losing her mother at age 10, O’Donnell found it difficult to cope, her struggles were very troubling and all shared in the book.
5. Anjelica Huston, A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London and New York
The memoir sheds some light on the life of the actress who is a very private person by nature. It touches upon many points in her life including her growing up in the shadows of a famous father (John Huston), her lonely childhood in an idyllic countryside home spent mostly in front of a mirror, her “deep friendship” with actor Jack Nicholson and her turbulent affair with fashion photographer Bob Richardson that even led her to attempt suicide. The actress writes about her struggles to cope with Richardson’s bipolar disorder and how, after a particularly intense altercation, she went into the bathroom and cut herself. “I ran back into the bedroom, blood spurting from the vein, crying to him: ‘Will this make you love me?’, she writes. During this roller coaster relationship, Richardson was a 42-year-old married man while Anjelica was only 18.
4. Mackenzie Phillips, High on Arrival
Here is a book that horrified the Mackenzie family itself. The controversial memoir details her 10-year incestuous relationship with her father, folk-rock superstar “Papa John” Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas group. In this book she calls her father “not a bad man” but a “very sick man” and a “damaged guy”. At one point when Phillips got pregnant, she opted for an abortion because she wasn’t sure if the child was from her husband or her father. This book is definitely a tough read for most.
3. Linda Hogan, Wrestling the Hulk: My Life Against the Ropes
“He tore my shirt. He threw lamps. He held me down on the bed with his hands around my throat during arguments, slamming doors, pounding walls. I was always afraid he would kill me in one of his rages.” That’s what Linda wrote about her husband Hulk Hogan’s bursts of violence in her tell-all memoir Wrestling the Hulk. Accusations of infidelity were already making headlines, but Linda said there were deeper problems even before that. She talks about Hulk’s abuse of prescription drugs that prompted episodes of unpredictable outrages.
2. Gayle Haggard, Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made in My Darkest Hour
Gayle Haggard, wife of the charismatic pastor Ted Haggard who was involved in a scandal involving drug use and a male prostitute, narrates about her decisions and the reasons behind it. She relives the shocking day when her husband confessed to her about what he had been doing but also claims that the difficult times brought them closer than ever before. However, the decision to stand by her husband wasn’t easy for her either. She writes, “I wanted to help him; I didn’t want to reject him — but what was I supposed to do with the anger, revulsion and pain that were warring in my heart? I had coached other women through this. Now it was my turn. … And so that night I began my journey of choosing … Choosing to love.”
1. Jenny Sanford, Staying True
Dealing with your husband’s extramarital affair is one thing, but what happens when your husband asks for your advice in his romantic escapades with other women? If you are shocked enough, consider browsing through this memoir because that is what South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford did to his wife Jenny Sanford. The book details her feelings about her husband’s supreme insensitivity towards her that included not only asking for her advice in his extramarital affairs, but also the way he should handle the press when his affair with an Argentine woman came to light. She even says that her husband wondered aloud whether he should follow his heart to Argentina and if he would live a life of regret if he stayed back with his wife. “Clearly those are thoughts I wish he had kept to himself,” Jenny Sanford writes. Later on, she felt “gut-punched all over again” when she learnt that the Argentine woman was not alone, and that her husband had liaisons with many others.
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