Some pursue a life of celebrity for the money, the fame, the lifestyle or the appeal of being sought after as a sex symbol; others do it for the love of their craft.
The simple fact is that celebrity is more than red carpets, photo shoots and bottles of Cristal. There is pressure to perform and maintain celebrity status, engage fans, extend their time in the spotlight, and remain relevant. These pressures are often intensified by agents, publicists and the drive that makes a star seek fame in the first place.
Some turn to fitness, hobbies, or regular therapy sessions to help them unwind, whereas others find themselves in over their heads with a stress-releaser turned addiction that has taken over, causing insurmountable damage to their friends, families and lives.
While some claim that sex addiction doesn’t really exist, that it’s an excuse for bad behavior, others stand as a cautionary tale about how the sex fuelled life of the rich and famous has caused them nothing but pain and heartache.
Medical experts say that compulsive sexual behavior is a real disorder, with approximately 16 million Americans struggling with the addiction. Researchers estimate that 20 percent of people suffering from sex addiction are women. While women addicts are not as likely to use sex workers or visit strip clubs, they will often engage in impetuous sex with multiple partners and near constant self-pleasure.
These 15 celebrities stand accused of sex addiction, and while most confessed, others deny (or don’t acknowledge) despite what their families and the tabloids say.
15 Ozzy Osbourne
Fans of the hard rocking Ozzy Osbourne and wife Sharon were hoping the duo were immune to the relationship curse that seems to befall reality TV show couples. Unfortunately, recent news surrounding numerous affairs shook their marriage and nearly tore it apart. A rep for Ozzy confirmed, “Over the last six years, Ozzy Osbourne has been dealing with sex addiction.” While the couple announced they were splitting up in May, 2016 after the reveal of Osbourne’s four year affair with his former hair stylist, Michelle Pugh, the two have since declared that they are doing what they can to get their marriage of 33 years back on track. The statement surrounding the recent indiscretions continues, "He would like to apologize to the other women he has been having sexual relationships with. Out of the bad comes good. Since his relationship with Ms. Pugh was exposed, Ozzy has gone into intense therapy. Ozzy is mortified at what his behavior has done to his family. He thanks God that his incredible wife Sharon is at his side to support him."
14 Russell Brand
Russell Brand is a self-proclaimed recovering addict to just about any vice available, and has included sex addiction in his list of formerly guilty pleasures. He has described the life of a celebrity as, “a Wonka ticket to a sex factory” and is open about how he attended a 30-day session in an American addiction clinic to relieve his proclivity for prostitutes and lap dances. In his memoir My Booky Wook the star described how upsetting it was to find out several other sex addiction program participants included pedophiles. Brand believes that his long time craving for endless sexual encounters stemmed from when his father introduced him to a prostitute, who was the first woman he slept with. When Brand split from singer Katy Perry after just 14 months of marriage, rumors spread that the root of their issues stemmed from Brand’s sex addiction.
13 David Duchovny
It’s up in the air as to whether it’s a case of art imitating life or the other way around when it comes to David Duchovny, who was caught cheating on his wife Tea Leoni while portraying oversexed writer Hank Moody on his show Californication. With his career starting with the blue light TV series The Red Shoe Diaries, it’s not surprising that Duchovny has a strong sexual appetite. Sources close to the star have stated that Duchovny has confessed how he struggles to remain in a monogamous relationship, particularly with the high number of women who have propositioned him since he achieved super star status. The X Files star completed a 35-day rehab program in Arizona in 2008 hoping to save his marriage. However the couple finalized their divorce in the summer of 2014 after engaging in an on and off again relationship since 2008 when he first revealed his indiscretions.
12 Kari Anne Peniche
People thought gorgeous teen Kari Anne Peniche was living an all American dream when she was crowned both Miss Oregon Teen USA and Miss United States Teen. Unfortunately she lost her crown, and the wholesome image she was supposed to portray under her “reign” after she posed nude in November 2004 for Playboy magazine. In 2009, she got caught in a sex-tape scandal (the tape included “performances” by actors Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane). Since losing her crown she’s been treated for drugs, alcohol, and sex addiction. Peniche was featured on the first season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, the third season of Celebrity Rehab, and made an appearance on the third season of Sober House.
11 Kanye West
Kanye West is better known for his erratic behavior and eccentric tendencies than his music these days. Is it really surprising that Mr. Kardashian claims he has dealt with a sex addiction? In 2009, during an interview with Details the star said, “People ask me a lot about my drive, I think it comes from, like, having a sexual addiction at a really young age. Look at the drive that people have to get sex—to dress like this and get a haircut and be in the club in the freezing cold at 3 a.m., the places they go to pick up a girl. If you can focus the energy into something valuable, put that into work ethic". Despite the star’s “admission” to addiction, many believe it’s just another part of his shock publicity plan to get people talking about him. And, sigh, it just worked!
10 Amy Winehouse
An ex-lover of the late Amy Winehouse suggested the singer should have gone to rehab for sex addiction in addition to counselling for drugs, alcohol, and bulimia. Johnny Headlock claims to have had a cocaine fed three-hour bounce on the bed with the star, all while she was visiting ex-love Alex Claire, and attempting to reconcile with Blake Fielder. Johnny added, “She was wild. I didn’t know about her other lovers at the time. She went for hours and couldn’t get enough.” Since the statements never came from Amy herself it’s difficult to determine whether or not these claims are even true, or if it’s yet another one of Amy’s former lovers/friends trying to benefit in the shadow of her fame and talent.
9 Anthony Kiedis
What’s a rock star life without a confession of sex addiction? Kiedis tackled his drug addiction issues years ago and has spoken candidly about how he quickly realized that online pornography could be just as dangerous for him as some of his other former vices, heroin and cocaine. He said, “When I finally got a computer, I discovered this limitless world of pornography.” and added, ”I realized the same feeling I was having was the same as I used to get when scoring drug. Sex can have a dark side. I actually had to make a commitment to myself to stop.”
8 Terry Crews
Terry Crews has big muscles and a big career as a former NFL player turned actor. He recently admitted to an unhealthy obsession with pornography. The star says that the addiction began when he was just 12-years-old and continued to escalate to the point where it nearly cost him his marriage until he went to rehab for his problem seven years ago. Crews has said, “'If day turns into night and you are still watching [porn], you probably got a problem. And that was me...Now it's become my battle to help other people who are going through the same thing.” The buff Brooklyn 99 star posted online to discuss his problems in a series of “dirty little secrets” video and expanded how he now knows how “pornography kills all intimacy”.
7 Jesse James
Monster Garage star Jesse James made headlines when he broke the heart of America’s sweetheart, Sandra Bullock. In 2010, the star appeared on Nightline where he tearfully apologized for his actions. James said that his infidelities were because of an abusive childhood that led him to abandonment issues. James clarified, “I don’t think I have a sex addiction where I’m running around and trying to have sex with everyone and I can’t stop…I think I do things to sabotage my life, including having extramarital affairs.” and added, “I shouldn’t be doing (things) that aren’t conducive to being a perfect husband, and the affairs are just one of them.” Today James openly admits that the hardest thing about his marriage falling apart was losing his son Louis (who he was to have adopted with Bullock).
6 Bill Murray
While most people in Hollywood boast what a wonderful and charming man Bill Murray is to work with, his ex-wife Jennifer told another story. In their divorce papers she said that The Groundhog Day star was a sex addict, a chronic cheater, and addicted to alcohol and marijuana. The papers also revealed accusations that Murray was abusive (the abuse allegations were eventually dropped when they finalized the divorce), and would regularly disappear from home for long periods of time, traveling overseas to engage in both private and public brawls and extramarital sexual exploits. Murray has never said much about the split, neither confirming nor denying the allegations, but has said that it was the worst thing that had ever happened in his entire life. People continue to adore his off camera hijinks, but you have to wonder if there was any truth to his ex’s statements, particularly since Murray never said anything at all.
5 Jennie Ketcham (Penny Flame)
After years of struggle with both sex and drug addiction, adult film star, Jennie Ketcham (also known as Penny Flame) made an important personal decision to leave the industry for good. She signed up for Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2009 hoping that the move would help her get into the business side of the adult entertainment industry. Unfortunately she quickly discovered she didn’t have any of the coping or business skills a woman in her mid-twenties should have. In a Buzzfeed interview where she was promoting her book I Am Jennie, the star said, “It’s just as unhealthy to go on not having sex forever as it is to have sex the way I was. So I define my sobriety around things that were unhealthy for me, like using my body to get things I wanted from men and women. “She added, “It’s understandable that there are a lot of questions about sex addiction, especially because sex is something that’s paramount to our nature. We have to have sex. And in America you’re either virtuous and a virgin or you’re a total w***e.”
4 Whitney Houston
While she refused to call it an addiction, the late diva Whitney Houston confessed in an interview with Diane Sawyer that she was “prone to a few things” (including “making love”). She elaborated, “I don't like to think of myself as addicted. I like to think I had a bad habit - which can be broken.” Following her death, her former chauffeur confessed to the many unsettling things that occurred in his time driving the singer, speaking to Whitney and husband Bobby Brown getting severely intoxicated almost every day, setting fire to his car, and embarking on a wild threesome with an A-List soul singer. In 2006 Bobby Brown’s sister commented on the extent of Houston’s dependence on her addictions speaking of how she would spend days locked in her bedroom, smoking crack cocaine, using sex toys, and ignoring hygiene.
3 Rob Lowe
Rob Lowe was a huge Hollywood sex symbol in the 1980s and remains one today. As a member of the infamous Brat Pack, women everywhere swooned at the beautiful St. Elmo’s Fire star. In the late 1980s, he was involved in a sex scandal after a video was leaked of him engaging in sexual relations with two women (one of them was just sixteen years old). The star spoke candidly about his addictions in his memoir Love Life; and has credited his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, for his sexual (and alcohol) sobriety as being, “the opposite of an enabler” and also added, “She was my best friend. She wanted me to win, to be the best I could.”
2 Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen has struggled with his demons for a long time, so it’s really no surprise that sex addiction is on the laundry list of his personal vices. Having had a penchant for hookers, Sheen slept with his first prostitute when he was just 15, and paid for it by swiping his father’s credit card. In 1995 the Two and a Half Men star testified as part of Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss’ tax evasion trial, admitting that he spent $53,000 on “services rendered” by employees under Fleiss’ employment. He has been connected romantically with a number of adult film stars, and has once bragged that he has slept with over 5,000 women. Sheen claims he has always been honest with his sexual partners and informed them that he is HIV positive.
1 Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods isn’t just a blood thirsty cat on the golf course, he also takes his appetite into the bedroom. He has been battling sex addiction for a number of years, and had to take a temporary leave of absence from the game of golf while he recovered. A friend of Woods’ has commented that sex is how the golfer copes with a bad game, “'Most men would drink over such losses. Tiger has sex over it. Usually with local hookers whom he pays exorbitant amounts to, probably so they will want repeat business and won't tell.” A former Hollywood Madame revealed that in 2006 and 2007 the golfer paid around $40,000 for six sexual ‘dates’. Tiger himself posted on his website during the first public scandal confirming affairs. He referred to these encounters as 'transgressions' and declared how 'profoundly sorry' he was for the pain he'd caused. Spending a great deal of money on hookers is par for the course for Tiger; the star has been rumored to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on high priced female escorts over the years.