Being a celebrity comes with quite a number of perks. You get fabulous clothes, lavish jewelry, outrageous gift baskets and sponsorships, along with a swarm of fans who can’t wait to express their undying love for you, just to scratch the surface. You also hear about those awesome swag baskets that are given to celebrities who attend the Oscars, filled with a serious amount of goodies.
But, just like anything else that is good in the world, there is a downside that comes along with being a celebrity. Along with all the perks, you also wind up with a lot of problems that are so far removed from reality, they can almost make it feel not worth the perks. The lack of privacy in the lives of celebrities is responsible for creating a very blurry line for fans that makes it difficult for many to understand the difference of admiration and just plain obsession. On one hand, most 12 year old girls can empathize with sending a letter or a small token of their “love” to their favorite member of the boy band whom they just can’t get enough of. But not everything that celebrities receive from their fans is always so innocent. Sometimes it’s just plain bizarre. Others, it’s flat out dangerous.
The following 15 celebrities received some of the strangest fan mail imaginable. From dead animals to human skin and even live babies, these stories will make you rethink any time you thought it would be cool to be famous.
15. Emma Watson – The Bible
Have you ever received a Bible as a gift? How about a Bible from a complete stranger? Emma Watson has. And not just one, but at least 20.
Watson made a name for herself in the Harry Potter movie franchise, which went on to gross over $10 billion worldwide. Once a newcomer, the sophisticated beauty garnered the most success in landing future rolls and picked up quite a large fan base along the way. But it seems as though some of those fans are concerned for Watson’s immortal soul after starring in the Potter films, which were controversial in select religious groups. Watson said in an interview, “Finding our ‘Harry Potter‘ films un-Christian, people think I need to be guided and send me The Bible. I now have a collection of 20.”
14. Ariana Grande – 42.5 Pound Pumpkin
Ariana Grande gets just about as much fan mail as you would expect for being one of the biggest teen pop stars of the year. But some of that mail has gone beyond the standard letter of tween-fueled admiration; some of it is downright bizarre. Grande resorted to getting the police involved after receiving a string of strange gifts from fan Tom Normandin. Among those received, Grande says Normandin sent her cat and dog calendars, a 3 piece mirror set from K-Mart and a 42.5 pound pumpkin. Normandin, who lives in Massachusetts, was ordered to stop sending Grande gifts or he could be faced with harassment charges.
13. Halle Berry – Diamond Engagement Ring
It’s probably safe to say that most big celebrities at one time or another have had a fan propose to them, especially when you are as beautiful as Halle Berry. But how many can say they actually got an engagement ring out of it? Well, Berry can. One fan reportedly sent the actress a diamond engagement ring complete with a proposal of marriage. Berry has had her share of ups and downs in her real-life marriage drama over the years, so maybe this was just par for the course for her.
12. Lady Gaga – Vibrator
It probably comes as a shock to no one that Lady Gaga would have fans who were willing to give her strange gifts. The shock pop star has pushed the limits of the bizarre over the years (wearing a meat dress). But just when you think that she can’t get any stranger, she turns around and somehow tops herself again. And her fans, affectionately referred to as her Monsters, know just how to follow suit. It’s not uncommon for fans in front rows of concerts to throw performers gifts on stage. Flowers, notebooks, letters, under garments, bake goods… These are some of the most commonly received items. But Lady Gaga once had a fan give her a vibrator. Yes, that kind. I guess her fans take her electrifying persona quite literally.
11. Taylor Swift – Turtle Shell
These days, it seems as though Taylor Swift really likes giving back to her fans, maybe even more than they like giving to her. The sugar-sweet pop princess documented the fun she had wrapping and personally delivering presents to the houses of her fans this past Christmas. And she even sent one fan a check in the amount of $1,989 to help her pay off her student loans. Swift’s fans might not be able to match her gifts monetarily, but they certainly do try to be original. She has said that she once received a turtle shell as a gift. As if that’s not strange enough, whoever sent the shell also painted Swift’s face on it.
10. Jonas Brothers – A Dead Shark
Dead animals probably aren’t at the top of anyone’s wish list. But apparently one Jonas Brothers fan out there disagrees. The Disney boy band said in an interview that by far one of the strangest gifts they had ever received from a fan was a dead shark. “It wasn’t a real big shark though,” Nick Jonas clarified. “It was only a baby shark but they’d preserved it in this tube for us. That was odd.” Kevin Jonas said that they found more humor in it than anything, though, but added, “We’re still trying to figure out how they actually went about buying a dead shark. I mean, is there such website as Buyadeadshark.com?” Kevin Jonas said.
9. Robert Pattinson – Toothpicks
With how many women around the world go crazy just at the mention of Robert Pattinson, you could safely assume that the actor is no stranger to receiving gifts from his adoring fans. But surprisingly, the gifts that he gets aren’t always the gifts you might assume. When the Twilight star told the press that he was quitting smoking, his fans rallied behind him. And when he mentioned that he was using toothpicks as an oral aid to help him ditch the bad habit, they decided to support him in his efforts. Pattinson has said that he began receiving literally thousands of toothpicks in the mail.
8. Tom Felton – Adoption / Legal Name Change
Tom Felton became known as one of the most crushable villains in the Muggle world overnight when the Harry Potter franchise hit the big screen. Playing Harry Potter’s arch nemesis, Draco Malfoy was a lover of the Dark Arts and a proud member of the Slytherin house. So, naturally, he must be like that in real life. At least some fans think so. Felton told People magazine that he receives strange requests and gifts from fans which usually fall on the bizarre side of things. “Some people revel in the darker side of it, which is a little odd,” Felton has said, adding that he has received multiple requests from fans asking if they could adopt him, demands that he legally change his name to Malfoy, and lots of homemade potions and spells. His reaction to the macabre gifts? “I have to admire the level of dedication,” Felton said.
7. Alice Cooper – A Coffin
It surprises most people that one of the original shock rockers, Alice Cooper, still tours just as rigorously as he did when he was young. At 67 years young, the “School’s Out” singer says touring keeps him young and he loves being able to perform everyone’s favorite end of the school year anthem for his fans, along with the rest of his hits. But not all of his fans think he’s as young as he feels. Cooper has said that a fan sent him a coffin. He didn’t assume that it was for him, though, as it was sized rather small. But, when he opened it, he was in for quite the shock when he found the heart of a cat. Try to top that, Gaga Monsters.
6. Pink – Cult Invitation
Hitting the scene in 2000 with her hit album Take Me Home, Pink has definitely picked up a large number of fans along the way. And when you have a large number of any group of people, there is bound to be a strange few. Pink found that out first hand when she received what she calls her weirdest fan mail to date. In 2006, the singer says a fan sent her a 16 page letter telling her that she had been initiated into a cult along with a survival kit and instructions. Pink explained the letter said, “I should come and live at the person’s home, using all the stuff in the survival kit to get there.”
5. Avril Lavigne – A Dead Rabbit
Why do Avril Lavigne’s fans have to go and make everything so complicated? Most fans send their idols things like letters, autograph requests, and teddy bears. Maybe even a box of chocolates every now and then. That’s the normal thing to do. But it definitely doesn’t make a statement the way a dead rabbit does. That’s what Lavigne found when she opened her fan mail in Japan. No word on whether or not the punk-pop princess was freaked out by the delivery, but if she’s normal, then it’s safe to assume she probably was.
4. Harry Styles – Sanitary Napkin
One of the biggest names in tween girl heaven these days is Harry Styles. So, it’s no surprise that he gets a hefty load of fan mail, most of it probably heavy on hearts and kissie lips. But one starstruck and maybe slightly disturbed fan took that obsession a little too far by sending the One Direction singer a sanitary napkin. And yes, sanitary napkin is code for a menstrual pad. Styles didn’t mention whether or not it was (ahem) used or not, which is probably best for all of us not to know.
3. Jared Leto – Human Ear
Easily the most macabre of all the gifts on this list was gifted to Jared Leto. The rock singer turned actor has always prided himself in being a unique personality. Maybe that’s why someone thought that sending him a human ear would make the perfect gift. You read that correctly. Someone sent Jared Leto a human ear. But, ever the man of mystery, Leto didn’t scream like a child and throw it into a fireplace (like 99.9997% of the rest of the population would do). Instead, he punched a hole through it and made a necklace out of it. So, if the person who sent the ear was looking to make an impression, they can consider their mission accomplished.
2. Zac Efron – Piece Of Human Flesh
The High School Musical series is responsible for shooting heartthrob Zac Efron to fame, making it so that he can’t leave his house without having a camera in his face or a girl wanting to get a picture with him for their Instagram. His success also made it so that he can’t open his fan mail without worrying what might be in there. One fan was so crazed for Efron that they sent him a piece of human flesh, he said on Conan’s talk show. He was so flabbergasted by it, he said he was unable to express exactly how he felt about it – a sentiment surely shared by everyone.
1. Dolly Parton – A Baby
So far we’ve covered celebrities who have received some pretty crazy gifts, from intimate hygiene products to pieces of human bodies. They’re all admittedly disturbing in their own right, but none seem to match the gift that was literally left on Dolly Parton’s doorstep: a baby. In the 1970s, the famed country singer called authorities and reported that someone had left a baby laying in a box at the front of her gate. There was no identification with the child, other than a tag that read “Jolene,” an homage to the singer’s famous song of the same name. Parton says the Department of Health and Human services took the child in their care and she doesn’t know what happened to her, but she hopes for the best.
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