In Hollywood today, it seems that the stars who are the most famous are the ones who are willing to divulge all the personal details of their lives. Of course, there are also instances where paparazzi or ravenous media outlets do “whatever it takes” to get the “dirt” on celebrities. Some famous people are OK with this concept for the most part. Some do an excellent job when it comes to hiring the right reputation management team. Still, other stars have realized the value of money in the most manipulative way—they’ve paid people to keep quiet.
Money has been used as a way for celebrities to get media outlets and first-hand witnesses to keep quiet about a scandal. Of course, there are also times when the people involved in the potential scandal are promised a pretty penny to keep the story a secret. No, this isn’t a new way of dealing with tabloid-worthy stories, and yes, people who are not celebrities often use this method as well. However, when a famous person is involved in a “hush money” transaction, the amount of money at stake is usually pretty high. In fact, it’s pretty safe to say that some people form bonds with celebrities in hopes that they will one day be paid off for one reason or another. Here are 12 stars who paid people off to shut up.
12 Jeremy McConnell
Irish model and reality TV star Jeremy McConnell is known for his smoldering stare and tattoos. These days, he’s also in the spotlight for not being faithful to Stephanie Davis, a fellow reality show star. Initially, Jeremy denied being with another woman. A few weeks later, he admitted that he “ended up with” the woman in question. Two weeks after having an affair with the first woman, McConnell was with another woman in Scotland, and was accused of paying her to keep quiet. The Daily Star was able to obtain private messages between Jeremy and second woman. He is recorded saying: “I had fun but you need to keep quiet please.” When the woman asked why, he said “Steph”. It has been reported that Jeremy told the woman “if you want money, I have money,” and he also asked her not to take money from magazines if they offered to do an interview with her. It has also recently been reported that he and Davis are back together—again.
11 Tiger Woods
Remember a few years back when Tiger Woods was caught cheating with several women? Well the “top mistress” in this scandal, Rachel Uchitel, was reportedly paid by Woods not to do any interviews about the incident. Tiger paid Rachel $10 million to keep quiet, but the Celebrity Rehab star broke her contract with Woods by talking about Woods’ series of affairs with The Daily Mail. As a result, Uchitel had to return the money Woods gave her. It has also been reported that Rachel hired Gloria Allred as her lawyer, but after Woods demanded his money back, Allred struck a deal with Tiger Woods’ attorney, so that a damage suit would not be filed. Uchitel has since hired a malpractice lawyer. However, we haven’t heard much from her lately, so perhaps she’s living off of bribe money once again.
If you’re one of those conspiracy theorist who believe that Tupac Shakur is still living, you’ll likely find this story interesting. In September of 2015, it was reported that David Myers, a retired police officer, confessed on his deathbed that Tupac paid him $1.5 million. Myers said that the rapper gave him the money so that he could fake his own death in 1996. The retired officer also shared that he wasn’t the only one involved in this elaborate scheme. Reportedly, about 30 people were “hired” by Tupac to help him fake his death. David Myers said that he wanted to confess what he’d done and that he was “ashamed” for “letting a price be put” on his word. Of course, most people think Myers’ confession is yet another hoax in the Tupac murder mystery. However, Shakur did release five albums after his death. Think about it.
9 Kanye West
There’s been a rumor swirling around for quite some time that rapper and fashion designer (?) Kanye West paid ex-girlfriend Amber Rose to keep quiet about their relationship. Apparently, this contract was worth several million dollars, and required Rose not to comment on West’s personal life. Supposedly, Amber agreed to the deal, and Hollywood insiders are saying that this type of arrangement is pretty common for celebrities. Obviously, West has some pretty juicy secrets that he wants hidden from the public. Then again, he married a Kardashian, so chances are he doesn’t care much about his privacy anymore. Amber Rose has also taken to social media these days to reveal a few details about Kanye’s bedroom preferences, so maybe West’s contract is about to “expire.”
8 Nigella Lawson
British TV chef Nigella Lawson, has been accused of being a closet drug addict—and using her ex-husband’s money to support her habit. Lawson and Charles Satachi divorced after a decade of marriage, and there was speculation that Satachi was physically abusing Lawson. A few months after the couple called it quits, Nigella was brought to court again for a trial against her former assistant's, sisters, Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo. The sisters were accused of using $480,000 of Satachi’s money on lavish accessories and vacations. The Grillo sisters claimed that Nigella allowed them to run up Satachi’s credit card—if they promised to keep quiet about her drug use. It was reported that Lawson was using prescription pills, cocaine and marijuana on a daily basis. Lawson’s legal team says that the accusations were “untrue,” but The Telegraph notes that it’s no coincidence that the story came out around the same time as Lawson’s divorce.
7 Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez has proven that he’s a player on and off the baseball field, and we wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he’s paid some of his former lovers to stay mum about his personal life. However, it has been proven that Rodriguez paid his cousin, Yuri Sucart, almost $1 million to keep his performance-enhancing drug use a secret. Sucart was Alex’s personal assistant—but he’s also the one who was supplying Rodriguez with the drugs. So, Alex knew that if Sucart squealed on him, they’d both be in trouble. However, it seems like Yuri’s guilt got the best of him, and eventually, everything was out in the open. Sucart had to spend seven months in prison, and Rodriguez was suspended for the whole 2014 season.
6 Justin Bieber
For some years now, girls have been wishing that Justin Bieber would father their children. A few girls, however, went so far as to accuse the pop star of impregnating them. It was reported in In Touch Weekly that Justin got two women pregnant in 2010. Bieber was just 15 at the time, but technically, he still would have been able to father a child. The following year, a woman named Mariah Yeater sued Bieber for paternity, but dropped her case eventually. It was reported that Bieber’s team “dealt with” the women, which means they paid them large sums of money to stay out of the spotlight and keep quiet. It has also been rumored that Bieber has paid hush money to several other women who claim to be pregnant with his children. Interesting.
5 Lance Armstrong
Once it was revealed that former pro cyclist Lance Armstrong was using steroids, it was easy for the public to overlook some of his other indiscretions. For instance, Armstrong allegedly paid cyclist Roberto Gaggioli to throw a race in 1993. The price for the task was $100,000, and the race would earn Lane $1 million if he won. It was understood that Gaggioli was supposed to keep quiet about the incident. Reportedly, Armstrong brought the prize money to Roberto in a cake box, Gaggioli threw the race, and “helped” Lance to become a famous athlete—who is now known for doping.
4 Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez was clearly applying wishful thinking when she sang “love don’t cost a thing.” She’s been through several divorces, so she knows first hand that love can be costly. Lopez has also had to pay one of her exes to keep quiet. The Daily Mail reports that when Lopez and Cris Judd finalized their 2003 divorce, she paid him $15 million. The money was supposed to ensure that Judd would not discuss the divorce settlement details with anyone. If Lopez had just waited about one more year, she wouldn’t have been obligated to pay Judd. Looks like she would have rather paid to get Cris out of her life as soon as possible.
3 Kris Jenner
Even though it seems like we know every single details about the lives of the Kardashian family, there are still some things that are kept secret. This is mainly because the family’s manager, Kris Jenner, pays people to keep their mouths shut. OK! Magazine even reports that Kris pays her son Rob Kardashian, $5,000 a week, so that he won’t reveal any family secrets to the media. To sweeten the deal, Kris lets her son use her Range Rover whenever he wants. Reportedly, various media outlets have offered Rob up to $2 million to spill any dirt about his family. Obviously, the things we don’t know about the Kardashians are far more juicy and scandalous than the things we’re aware of.
2 Charlie Sheen
In November of 2015, Charlie Sheen shocked the world when he admitted that he is HIV-positive. Of course, a lot of dirty details about Sheen’s personal life came out as a result of this confession. It was revealed that he paid various people millions of dollars to keep his HIV status a secret. In fact, he even paid one adult star $10 million to keep quiet. The actress learned about Sheen’s illness in 2011, after the two had sex and Sheen asked the actress to get his HIV medication for him. He offered the actress a five-year “settlement” to keep quiet. The p*rn star has since entered rehab in order to conquer a meth addiction. Sheen has been pretty quiet lately, but is reportedly going through yet another custody battle with his ex-wife, actress Denise Richards.
1 Bill Cosby
America’s former favorite TV dad has been accused of allegedly sexually assaulting several women. It has also been reported that Cosby paid some of these women to keep his wife Camille from finding out. In a 2015 article for The New York Times, Cosby admitted in a deposition he’d given a decade before that he’d paid women to keep his affairs with them private. He’d even offered to pay tuition for Andrea Constand, a student he’d met in 2004 at his alma mater, Temple University. Cosby sent the money to Constand through his agent, to make it look like he was just being an upstanding guy and helping a young woman through college. Cosby denies that he ever assaulted Constand.