Hollywood is filled with secrets, intrigue and – most likely – lies, but thanks to the wildly invasive media culture plaguing the A-listers, those secrets and lies usually don’t stay hidden for very long.
Celebrities are typically under intense public scrutiny from fans and the media, so much so that it’s almost impossible for the rich and famous to get away with lying. Of course, that doesn’t mean celebrities don’t try to get away with it. Whether it’s covering up relationships or hiding some sordid details of their lives before fame, celebrities try in vain to keep certain aspects of their lives out of the public eye. These attempts at secrecy are usually in vain. No matter how much they deny the rumors or how much money they throw at the problem, once the truth is out it spreads like wildfire. And when they’re publicly busted, the lying celebrities have no choice but to fess up and come clean. Here’s a look at 15 celebrities who were caught lying, from the harmless to the bizarre to the dangerous untruths.
15. Jennifer Lopez
It’s typical for a celebrity to be self-conscious about his or her age, but J-Lo was so self-conscious about her age that she lied about the year she was born so people wouldn’t know how old she really is.
For years she said that she was born in 1970, but when police had to question her about a nightclub shooting that took place in December, 1999 she had to tell authorities that she was actually born in 1969. Lopez and her then-boyfriend P. Diddy were at a nightclub when P. Diddy was involved in an altercation, which resulted in gunshots being fired. It was a small lie, but she was certainly caught with a red face.
14. Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie has been caught in a couple of lies over the years. First she tried to keep her relationship with Brad Pitt under wraps because initially, when Jolie and Pitt first became romantically involved with each other on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston.
Jolie had also said that she had Iroquois blood flowing through her veins because her mother was part American Indian. Jolie’s father Jon Voight later revealed that be false. In fact, Voight and Jolie’s mother, Marcheline Bertrand, made the whole story about native ancestry up to make Jolie seem more exotic.
13. Rick Ross
The only thing bigger than Rick Ross’ massive frame is the lie that he spread about his past. Perhaps he was afraid that it would damage his tough guy, gangster reputation, but Ross at first vehemently denied to have once worked as a correctional officer in a Florida prison. However, Ross eventually admitted to his past line of work and said he needed the job at the time. Fellow rapper and thorn in his side 50 Cent gave Ross a hard time about his former job, and he even went so far as to call Ross “Officer Ricky” in interviews and songs.
12. P. Diddy
Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy, was so enthralled by the notion of owning his own private jet that he told a big old lie so people would think he owned one. In fact, it turns out P. Diddy didn’t own a private jet at all. He in fact was just renting one. P. Diddy said he was giving up travelling by private jet because of soaring fuel prices, but investigative reporters at the Palm Beach Post soon discovered that P. Diddy didn’t actually own a private jet after reviewing federal records and finding no evidence of any private jet registered to P. Diddy or any of his companies.
11. The White Stripes
For years Jack and Meg White let people believe that they were brother and sister when in fact they were not relatives at all. Rather, they were exes. The duo decided that letting the public believe they were brother and sister would suit their musical careers better. Jack White believed that if people knew he and Meg were exes that it would distract them from taking the White Stripe’s music seriously. The pair’s seemingly similar looks allowed the ruse to go unnoticed by many. However, fans in Detroit that had followed the group since before they made it big knew the real story.
10. Tonya Harding
The tale of ice skaters Tonya Harding versus Nancy Kerrigan is one of the most gripping in all of sports history, but it was the actions off of the skating rink that proved to be the most intriguing.
When Kerrigan was attacked after one of her figure skating practices, many suspected that Tonya Harding was the one to blame. The two had a heated rivalry on the ice and off. It emerged that Harding’s ex-husband and bodyguard had hired a man to attack Kerrigan, to increase Harding’s chances of winning at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championship. Although Harding was not responsible for organizing the attack, she knew that those close to her were responsible. She lied about knowing anything about the attack. Harding failed to report her knowledge of the crime to police and eventually pled guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of the attackers.
9. Pete Rose
Pete Rose may be the best baseball players of all time who isn’t in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and it’s all because he disgraced the sport by gambling on his own games. Rose never denied he gambled, but he adamantly refuted reports that he bet on the sport of baseball.
After being suspended from pro baseball indefinitely, Rose eventually admitted to his misdemeanors in his autobiography entitled My Prison Without Bars. Rose said he bet on Cincinnati Reds games while he was serving as the team’s manager, but he said that he never bet against the team.
8. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian is famous because she made a sex tape, but for quite a while she denied such a sex tape even existed – she even lied to her ex-boyfriend Nick Cannon. During an interview with Howard Stern, Cannon said that Kardashian told him she had not made a sex tape with her former boyfriend Ray J. However, the tape was eventually released and she became a huge reality star.
Kardashian lied again, bizarrely, when she posted a picture of cherry blossoms on her Instagram page – she claimed she took the photo while vacationing in Thailand. Her lie was soon discovered – it was obvious she did not, in fact, take the photo, as it was a photo taken in Japan and was one of the first results of a basic Google image search.
7. James Frey
James Frey was so adept at spinning lies that he not only managed to dupe Oprah Winfrey, but he tricked her entire audience and viewership as well. At first Winfrey labeled Frey as a strong hero for being able to overcome his turbulent past and drug addiction, as written about in his memoir called A Million Little Pieces. However, it was soon discovered that much of what Frey wrote were lies, and when he was invited back on Oprah’s show to explain himself she mercilessly tore into him. Frey’s reputation consequently fell apart.
6. Chris Brown
Singer and troublemaker Chris Brown thought he could get away with lying right to the face of Larry King. He should have known better, but we can’t really expect much out of the someone like Chris Brown… Brown had the gall to tell King in an interview on Larry King Live that he didn’t remember beating Rihanna, and he said that he did not have a history of perpetrating violent acts. King barely had to use any of his journalistic might to prove that this one was a bold faced lie; he simply cited past reports from Brown’s probation officer.
5. Paris Hilton
Just like Chris Brown, Paris Hilton got caught lying right to the face of Larry King. After being released from jail for violating her probation related to a reckless driving case, Hilton agreed to an interview on Larry King Live. Hilton said she had never been addicted to drugs or even taken drugs, for that matter. Reporters at the website TheSmokingGun.com did a little digging and found plenty of video evidence of the socialite indulging in a plethora of illegal substances. She was seen smoking hash, holding psychedelic mushrooms and talking about buying quaaludes. When will people learn not to lie to Larry King?
4. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus was a little too quick to put the cart before the horse. In an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine back in March of 2013, Cyrus said that she and her fiancé Liam Hemsworth had tied the knot and were enjoying a blissful wedded life. It turns out that wasn’t true at all. The two were indeed engaged, and they may have been happy together, but they never ended up getting married at all. Cyrus may have been desperate to get hitched, but it turns out that Hemsworth wasn’t quite as eager to commit as she was. The couple has since split up.
3. Whoopi Goldberg
Just like Jennifer Lopez, comedienne Whoopi Goldberg lied about her true age. The crucial difference between Lopez and Goldberg, however, is that Goldberg pretended to be older than her real age. Goldberg didn’t just fudge her age by a year either. At the beginning of her career, she said she was a whole six years older than she actually was so she could get acting work. “Nobody would hire me to act,” she said. “Everyone said I was too young.” Goldberg was born in 1955 and she is 59 years old. She was not born in 1949 as is sometimes reported.
2. Diana Ross
Diana Ross lied about the biological father of her daughter. On the birth certificate of her daughter, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Ross listed the girl’s father as Ross’ husband Robert Silberstein. In fact, Rhonda’s real father was Motown record producer Berry Gordy. Ross revealed to her daughter that Gordy was her real father when she was 13 years old. Gordy hadn’t realized that Rhonda was his daughter until many years after she was born when he noticed her remarkable resemblance to him. Rhonda admitted that learning the true identity of her father was not really much of a shock to her.
1. Shania Twain
Like Angelina Jolie, Shania Twain was caught lying about her Aboriginal status. The Canadian country singer is registered as a status Indian and is an official member of the Temagami First Nation. However, it is her stepfather, Jerry Twain, who was 100% Aboriginal and a member of the Ojibwa First Nation. Twain’s real father, Clarence Edwards, is Caucasian and she doesn’t actually have any Aboriginal blood in her at all. Even though she is not actually Aboriginal, she still strongly identifies as part of the Aboriginal community. “The reason I’ve been discreet or low key about my Native ancestry is out of respect for my father, it’s the way he raised us. My father felt so strongly about not exploiting the culture. He never wanted to get a break based on that,” said Twain.
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