The life of a celebrity is glamorous and perfect. Anything and everything they want is theirs for the taking. Nothing goes wrong. It’s happy rainbows, sunshine, and butterflies all the time.
Except for all of those instances when it’s not. Like, say, before they make it big? There are rumors flying around about the pasts of a ton of celebrities: Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Tony Danza, Lindsay Lohan, and so many more. They all have (largely unverified) rumors buried on the internet about what they did while pursuing their careers. Most of them involve committing sexual acts in exchange for food, money, or face time with powerful, career-granting people.
Unfortunately, so many of these “truths” go unverified. There’s virtually no way to substantiate the majority of these claims, without asking the subjects directly. Instead of perpetuating those rumors, we looked into the ones that had the most evidence. Most of these end up being celebrities who admitted to their past acts themselves. Other times the evidence is just out there, with no effort being made to hide it. The term “hooker” is extreme and challenging to substantiate, so we’re broadening the list to include everyone who used their bodies to make a profit, whether it’s through sex, stripping, or other means. Watch out for surprises!
10 Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was a huge sex icon by the time the 60s rolled around. She was an extremely popular actress hitting her peak fame in the 50s. She was most famous for playing “dumb blonde” roles throughout her acting career. There are many alleged admissions in biographies about Marilyn's life that she would hang out with men of power for some extra cash.
She started as a model before becoming an actor, and she wasn’t successful as an actor right off the bat. About the time she was 23 years old, she posed nude for photographs for a paltry sum. When you consider the sex icon that she ended up becoming, it is hard to imagine her doing a cheap nude photo shoot!
9 Kathleen Hanna
If you’re familiar with Le Tigre, The Julie Ruin, or Bikini Kill, you’ve heard of Kathleen Hanna. She is the frontwoman for all three musical groups. For a while, “talented musician” wasn’t her only occupation. The life of a musician can be a challenging one, in the early stages there really isn’t any money in it. Most artists aren’t fortunate enough to live solely off of their music career, at least to start.
So, the musicians need alternate jobs. If they want to tour, those jobs have to be flexible. Kathleen’s early-day answer? Stripping. She never liked it, but the cash flow and the scheduling flexibility lent itself to her musical pursuits. Looks like it was worth suffering through!
8 Catherine Zeta-Jones
The Mask of Zorro put Catherine Zeta-Jones on a lot of people’s radars, from movie goers to studio producers. Since then she has been in many movies where she has excelled, like the critically-acclaimed Chicago. It is rumored that before she broke onto the high-paying movie scene, she would make thousands of dollars as an escort. It is alleged that she earned $10,000 a week to provide discreet escorting services to Prince Charles back in the 90s.
Regardless of what she did in her past, she’s found love with Michael Douglas. She continues to amaze Hollywood and cinema viewers everywhere with her stunning grace and charm.
7 Sophie Anderton
Sophie Anderton was a model and more recently a reality TV star, but she had a dark period of time in her life. She would partake in cocaine during the day, every day and then she would drink a bottle of vodka at night. An incredibly destructive, unsustainable habit. Eventually her money ran out, and that’s when she was introduced to a call girl. She was priced at 15,000 euros, and that’s what she would charge men for sex. They would pay it, and sometimes it wouldn’t last very long at all, only minutes. But it’s still a traumatic experience. All reports indicate she is in a much better place and has been for a number of years.
6 Nadya Suleman
Octomom’s case is quite a bit different than the other scenarios we’ve looked at so far. She wasn’t leveraging her body before she was famous. She hit the spotlight in 2009 after pumping out octuplets. She has 14 kids now (ten of them sons!). After the attention around the massive birth started to die down, she was looking for different ways to kick the cash flow back into gear. Her powerplay? She accepted an offer to do an adult film: Octomom Home Alone. It ended up being decently popular. It was released in 2012. Could be a little weird for her kids as they get older, but you have to do what you have to do.
5 Rupert Everett
Rupert is an actor that was in a couple of the Shrek films. He also did the voice of Mr. Fox in Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. He admits that, before his cinematic successes, he was a bit of a rent boy. He is openly gay now, and has had bisexual encounters in his life. When he was struggling to make it in the acting world, prostitution worked as a way to get a meal and pay some bills. That seems to be the trend through this list: money. Not getting money to be rich, but getting money to survive.
4 Al Pacino
Living as an actor in his 20s and in Italy, Pacino was not having much success and had to figure out a way to get by. What did he end up doing? Why, he sold his body of course! That’s what this list is all about. He has admitted to having to trade sex to get food and a roof over his head. It was an older woman who fed him and gave him a place to stay while he was struggling in Sicily. He notes that it wasn’t a good experience for him, he didn’t like that he had to live like that.
3 Roseanne Barr
You might know Roseanne Barr from her show Roseanne which used to air on Nick at Night. She has openly admitted for years that she used to resort to prostitution in the early days of her career as a comedian. Before she got the recognition and wealth she deserved from her comedy, prostitution was her way of supporting her family. She reflects on it a little bit differently than most others. She recalls it as a position of power, noting she felt like she was in control. Around the same time she advocated for the legalization of prostitution. Her reasoning was essentially that prostitution has always existed, so it should be controlled and regulated.
2 Russell Brand
Russell brand used to be a professional prostitute, a male gigolo of sorts. His ex-wife Katy Perry has mentioned this fact about him before, and he’s mentioned it himself. That’s not the only thing, either. Later in his life, but before his career took off, he had come up with the idea for a television show. In one of the scenarios, he had propositioned a man in a bar. He offered up a handjob and the man accepted. Russell, the stranger, and the show’s director went into the bathroom and they continued on from there. Russell did have a bit of drug problem back in the day, but he’s been abstaining since 2003 and has been doing quite well for himself.
1 Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga was born into a wealthy Italian family. She went to a good school. And then what happened? She rebelled, completely. She did not want to accept any help or money from her parents. She moved out and supported herself with waitressing jobs. That’s not it, though. She stripped, too. She also partook in some serious drugs, but she got herself out of that pattern and now she’s a huge star. Her stripping came from a place of real “body confidence,” as she calls. It. To go to such lengths to avoid relying on her parents is remarkable. And in the end it really worked out for her.