10 Celebs Whose Controversies Overshadowed Their Achievements

At first, it felt slightly hypocritical writing this piece, which is basically a reminder of the good deeds and great art that people, ranging from over-played tabloid headlines to guilty and incarcerated criminals, have done and created. But then it hit me that many of the people on this list can’t fully be blamed for their more shameful behavior; most are athletes or musicians, professionals making ends meet by pushing their bodies and minds to the edge of human experience and possibility, not only for their own personal expression but for our personal amusement. Public figures are also held up against unrealistically high standards then criticized even more than civilians who fail to meet these standards.

Celebrities are expected to be many things to many people, none of which are necessarily a person’s true form, and these public faces can take on lives of their own, gaining more attention than for the accomplishments that earned them fame and fortune in the first place, and being distorted by the game of telephone that is public relations. Some celebs are more modest than their overblown media presence suggests; then again some are equally heinous behind closed doors (or behind bars) as they are in the public eye. Either way, here are: 10 Celebs Whose Controversies Overshadowed Their Achievements.

10 Michael Jackson

9 Rihanna

8 Dennis Rodman

7 Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner

6 Kanye West

5 O.J. Simpson


4 Mel Gibson

3 Britney Spears

2 Charlie Sheen

1 Bill Cosby

No comedian is conflicted over whether the crimes Cosby is most likely guilty of are excusable, but how to reconcile his crimes with the fact that he was brilliant at his craft, to inspirational levels. Seven-time Grammy winner, three-time Emmy winner (and not even for The Cosby Show, which is one of three television shows in US history to be ranked #1 in ratings for 5 consecutive seasons), the man recorded around 20 comedy albums and was a regular guest Tonight Show host. He is a figurehead in the history of comedy, who brought children Fat Albert cartoons and adults Children Say The Darndest Things, but Bill Cosby's crimes against woman-ity might be the first and last thing we remember of him.


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10 Celebs Whose Controversies Overshadowed Their Achievements