Admit it. If you were asked to name a few of the world’s most popular celebrities who have had a run in with the law, you would be able to come up with a pretty impressive list. You might even be able to picture some infamous mug shots from celebs who failed to toe the line of the law. This kind of thing makes entertainment news headlines all of the time and you might even be able to remember famous celeb run-ins with the law from decades ago, even.
But do you know what’s not frequently reported on? When celebrities actually deal with issues in a lawful manner. Now, we know it’s hard to beat the usual “celebrities behaving badly” stories. However, reading through this list you’ll discover that just because celebs use a legal means to get what they want, it doesn’t make their stories any less juicy.
In fact, many celebs act more ludicrously because of the tentative veil of security a legal document seems to offer them. This is particularly the case with a "Confidentiality Agreement," a legal document celebs such as Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Johnny Depp, and even presidential hopeful Donald Trump are all said to have utilized with explosive results.
After all, what’s more captivating in the world of celebrity gossip than hearing about a celeb with a secret to protect? The 15 celebs listed here are rumored to have used Confidentiality Agreements to protect the privacy of their most precious asset- themselves. So who’s been demanding their secrets don’t get out? Let’s find out...
15 Justin Bieber
Someone whose name is often followed by the headline “celebrity scandal” is Justin Bieber. So it doesn’t seem out of character that in 2013, The Biebs reportedly demanded that his guests sign a Confidentiality Agreement before they were allowed to party with him in his home in California. According to TMZ, guests and workers agreed to an all-out ban on texting, tweeting, phone calls, Facebook, or any other form of communicating with the outside world what was going down at the party.
With a reported $3 million fine for violating the agreement, it’s surprising that some very salacious details emerged. If the gossip mags are to be believed, 20 strippers, free-flowing booze, and marijuana dominated the night with female guests additionally gifted thousands of dollars. Floyd Mayweather and Trey Songz were said to be just some of the stars who attended the debaucherous event which attracted the attention of police not once, but three times. We guess in this case it is “too late now to say sorry”!
14 Kanye West
Celebrities who are looking for guidance on how to launch a successful fashion line need to look no further than Kanye West. Whether it’s the slew of celebs sporting his signature shoes, or his own self-promotion, West has managed to make his eponymous fashion line, Yeezy, iconic. But at the at the launch of Yeezy’s third season and album launch party at New York Fashion Week this year, the attention was less on the clothes and more on Kanye’s legal demands.
The “Famous” singer apparently required that his crew and models sign a watertight Confidentiality Agreement which stated they would face a $10 million fine if they whispered a word about the Kardashian-Jenner family. TMZ reported that the NDA remains valid for fifty years, or until a decade after West’s death, “whichever is longer.” Now we’re really curious about what secrets the ever-outspoken West is so adamant on keeping locked down.
13 Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
Yep, Mr. West graces this list not once, but twice! Reported to be quite the fan of dishing out Confidentiality Agreements, it was difficult to narrow it down to two. What makes this one stand out is how it was handed out before his proposal to Kim Kardashian. West went to great lengths to plan one of the most extravagant proposals ever seen at the AT&T Park in San Francisco. We’re talking a 50-piece orchestra playing Kim’s favorite songs, a massive fireworks display, and “PLEEEASE MARRY MEEE!!!” emblazoned on the Jumbotron.
Along with the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kanye invited a select group of celebrities and media to share the joy...well, under the condition they sign a Confidentiality Agreement. We can bet Kanye was raging when YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley posted a video of their proposal online for the whole world to see before the couple released it themselves. Never one to let anyone steal their limelight, the proposal later appeared on a phenomenally popular episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
12 Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Tom Cruise’s erratic behavior has long been gossip fodder since he infamously jumped on the couch as a guest of fellow featured celeb, Oprah, way back in 2005. While Tom and Katie Holmes’ intense relationship seemed inexplicable, we all couldn’t get enough of the odd pairing. From their swift walk down the marriage aisle after only six months of dating, to Suri’s birth six months after that, we lapped up every single detail.
During their nearly six-year relationship, rumors were rife about the Mission Impossible star’s controlling behavior and obsession with Scientology. The whispers reached a peak when the couple decided to divorce. The whole world was eagerly anticipating for Katie to break her silence about life under the veil of Scientology. Unfortunately, her lips remained sealed. Keen observers suggested that it’s highly likely she had signed a strict Confidentiality Agreement which gagged her from ever disclosing anything pertaining to either Cruise or Scientology.
11 Ben Affleck
There are certain celebrities that are untouchable. They are not only an elusive mix of talent, humbleness, and affability, they also stay clear of scandal. Ben Affleck was one of those stars. A lauded actor and filmmaker who was known as much for his impressive work as he was for being a devoted husband to Jennifer Garner and father to their three children. That is, until he was allegedly caught cheating on Jen with their family nanny, Christine Ouzounian.
When "Bennifer" announced their plans to split, the paparazzi tried to convince them to talk, but they both refused to budge. Of course, the paparazzi also turned to Ouzounian, but she was surprisingly tight-lipped. This may seem an odd move for the limelight-loving nanny, but it makes sense considering Hollywood nannies usually sign a watertight Confidentiality Agreement at the beginning of their employment. However, there are more sinister rumors circulating that her silent strategy is part of a deal with the couple in exchange for hush money.
10 Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon
Over the course of Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon's marriage, the over-the-top couple had no qualms showering the world with all the details about their relationship. From lavish gifts and getaways, to their annual renewal of vows, if the couple did just about anything, you’d be sure to hear about it. However, it was an entirely different story when they chose to end their marriage after six years.
Rumor has it that Mariah slapped Nick with a Confidentiality Agreement that prevented him from discussing their break up. What’s more, their divorce settlement was said to impose a hefty fine if either of them spoke out. With Mariah making more bank than Nick, her fine was apparently twice as much as Nick’s. It seems to have all worked splendidly so far, with neither star showing a willingness to ever spill the beans.
9 Charlie Sheen
This outrageous scandal involves the embattled former Two and A Half Men star, Charlie Sheen. This was followed by a rapid descent down the ranks of the rich and famous due to his increasingly bizarre antics. All hell broke loose when Sheen made a startling revelation late last year that he is HIV positive. The news in itself sent shock waves throughout Hollywood, particularly when it came out that he had his sexual partners and house guests sign a Confidentiality Agreement about his illness.
The agreement stipulated that they must maintain the secrecy of practically all matters involving Sheen, lest they face a $100,000 fine and any damages a disclosure would cause him. The signees even waived their right to seek a court settlement if any disputes about the contract arose. Despite all the control measures he took, in the end, Sheen outed himself. Why? He was reportedly being extorted for millions in blackmail money.
8 Oprah Winfrey
Oprah may no longer be the reigning talk show queen, but in her heyday, she resolutely commanded the airways. As a host, Oprah was known for her big personality and the even bigger exclusive scoops she revealed to the public when stars joined her show. This incident, however, isn’t about any big shot celebs. It instead involves Unicus Performance Training, a personal training company hired to appear on her show in 2010.
Unicus reportedly signed a Confidentiality Agreement which explicitly prohibited them from discussing anything, anytime, about either Oprah or her company, Harpo. Oprah must have been caught by surprise when she spotted Unicus’ mass email that announced their upcoming appearance on her show. While in clear violation of the terms of the agreement, it was Unicus who turned the tables by filing a lawsuit against Oprah and Harpo by claiming they didn’t pay a cent for the workout program planned for the show.
7 Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
The award for one of the messiest celebrity breakups of all time certainly has to go to Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren. When news broke that Tiger had apparently prowled on multiple party girls, adult stars, escorts, and strippers during what everyone thought was a fairytale marriage to Elin, the world was in disbelief. Why would the golf legend throw everything away by making so many indiscretions?
After media outlets found out, they were on Tiger and Elin like moths to a flame, pressing them 24/7 for all manner of details. For some reason, little has left their lips even months on, perhaps due to a rumored lifetime Confidentiality Agreement which allegedly awarded Elin with $100 million in their divorce settlement on the condition she never alludes to their marriage or divorce. For those holding out for a tell-all book, don’t hold your breath because it’s unlikely we’ll ever get to the bottom of what exactly went on.
6 Britney Spears
Technically, this alleged Confidentiality Agreement wasn’t doled out by the pop princess herself, but rather, her father. Possibly due to her upbringing as a child star, Britney’s parents have always been a bit protective of her, but this rumor really takes the cake for “overprotective parenting.”
You may remember nearly ten years ago, back in 2007, Britney checked into a facility following a widely publicized mental breakdown. Radar Online reported that her father was given conservatorship over his daughter. This gave Britney’s father the responsibility for caring for his famous daughter while she could not take care of herself. One of the powers he apparently exercised on her behalf was to screen her lovers. When Britney started dating former flame David Lucado, Mr. Spears apparently made him undergo a background check and sign a Confidentiality Agreement to ensure his daughter’s private life remained that way.
5 Jennifer Lopez
For a woman who can claim the song “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” as one of her biggest hits, it seems her metaphors about love don’t always extend to real life. After divorcing from her husband of ten years, Marc Anthony, Jennifer jumped back into the dating pool with backup dancer Casper Smart. The multitalented couple were together for around two years when they decided to call it quits. While news of a Hollywood breakup is nothing new, what makes this one particularly interesting is that Smart was employed by J.Lo as a dancer.
According to Radar Online, Casper signed a Confidentiality agreement “when he began working for Jennifer Lopez, as she requires all of her employees to do.” The contract apparently extends to all interactions with her during and outside work. Yep, that includes any employees-turned-boyfriends. According to the source, Casper had no problem signing the contract and told Jennifer many times that he’d sign it even if he didn’t work for her.
4 Liam Gallagher
You better strap yourselves in, because this story is a particularly juicy one! It involves two-timing, an unexpected pregnancy, and of course, a Confidentiality Agreement. The whole crazy situation started when it came to light that former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher was cheating on his wife, Nicole Appleton from All Saints, with journalist Liza Ghorbani.
To make matters even more complex, Ghorbani announced she was pregnant with the “Wonderwall” singer’s baby. Gallagher vehemently denied that he was the baby’s father, and demanded a paternity test only to discover that, indeed, he was. With this confirmation, Gallagher apparently attempted to make Ghorbani sign a Confidentiality Agreement to prevent her from discussing any details about their relationship or his finances. She reportedly said no at the time, but they likely struck a deal of some sort because she’s kept a zip on any details to this day.
3 Donald Trump
With the world’s eyes on every move Presidential hopeful Donald Trump makes, a load of his dirty laundry has come out to air. One interesting insight that was uncovered is that he has quite a penchant for using Confidentiality Agreements to keep his employees in line. According to the Associated Press, everyone from his campaign manager and advisors to his campaign volunteers are required to sign a contract which prohibits them from “releasing any confidential or disparaging information about the real estate mogul, his family or his companies.”
We saw this in action when Trump said his famous catchphrase from The Apprentice, “You’re fired!” to long-time campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. It was a surprise move, apparently driven by growing tensions between the two. Despite being blindsided, Lewandowski has since only spoken of his former boss and his children in positive terms.
2 John Travolta
Despite repeated denials, John Travolta is one celebrity who can’t seem to shake rumors about his sexuality. So when the Grease star’s former male pilot spilled that they’d been in a six-year relationship, everyone’s ears pricked up. While it shouldn’t really matter what Travolta’s sexual orientation is, what had everyone alarmed was the fact that he’s been married to his wife, Kelly Preston, for over two decades.
So how does a Confidentiality Agreement come into play? Well, Radar Online reported that Gotterba believes Travolta and his attorneys have all this time been using a fake contract to keep him from speaking out about his former boss. He claims that the document contains his forged handwriting, and that he has no idea who the attorney listed in the contract is. It’s an incredibly messy court case with each side accusing the other of lying through their teeth. If Gotterba wins his case, you can be sure that we’ll hear some earth shattering confessions. Stay tuned!
1 Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Let’s end with one of the most explosive and messy celeb breakups of recent times; the divorce of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. It all started with a standard announcement of their plans to divorce in May this year. But when the headline “Amber Heard accuses Johnny Depp of abuse” broke, Hollywood was rocked to its core. Heard released a number of statements detailing the alleged abuse, and videos and photos reportedly showing this abuse quickly surfaced. Depp, on the other hand, accused Heard of concocting the shocking claims in order to milk his wallet dry.
The bitter and very public court battle faced repeated delays due to applications made by both parties to access various legal protections. While Heard successfully obtained a restraining order against Depp, Depp was reportedly not so successful in his attempts to convince Heard to sign a Confidentiality Agreement which would protect his financial information. This only added fuel to Amber’s detractors who staged a relentless campaign to slander the actress as a merciless Gold-digger. Well, she certainly schooled the naysayers when she recently announced her plans to give every single cent from her recent divorce settlement to domestic violence charities.