What is your biggest secret? Everyone has skeletons in their closet they would rather not let the public know. Unfortunately, when you are a celebrity, the ability to keep things from your past private is a luxury that you do not seem to have.
For some individuals on this list, their past is a place of extreme sadness. Many celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, grew up in difficult circumstances or suffered horrific acts. While it can be easy to look at people who are famous and think that their life is so easy, you may be blown away by some of the life experiences that your favorite stars have experienced. It may also be inspiring to see how these individuals took some of the toughest moments of their life, and used it to push their passion even further.
Other individuals on this list did not necessarily have anything tragic happen to them in their past, they've just done some incredibly shocking things. Everyone loves Mark Wahlberg, but would you love him as much if you knew all about his violent and racist past? I guess you're about to find out, because he is only one of the 20 names that made the list.
Overall, these are 20 celebrities who have incredibly shocking and dark pasts. While some of these facts aren't going to make you fall in love with people you admire, many of these celebrities have gone through some horrific life circumstances. At the very least, you'll be left with a better understanding of some of your favorite stars and learn some astonishing facts, some of which may pull at your heartstrings.
17 Stephen Colbert - His Two Brothers And Father Died In A Plane Crash
16 Mark Wahlberg – Beat And Blinded A Man
Mark Wahlberg is a tremendous actor, but that does not mean he has a tremendous past. In 1986, when Wahlberg was only 14, he was under police investigation after he threw rocks and yelled racial slurs at a group of schoolchildren. Wahlberg allegedly stated, “We don’t like black ******* in this neighborhood, so get the f*** away from the area." When Wahlberg saw the black individual the next day, he proceeded to throw rocks at them again.
That doesn’t even come close to the time he attacked two Vietnamese men. When he was 16 and walking around, carrying a five-foot stick (because that's normal), he approached a man, Thanh Lam. He proceeded to call Lam a "Vietnam f***ing shit" and then beat him with the stick. When Wahlberg was later approached by police officers he exclaimed, "You don't have to let him identify me. I'll tell you now that's the motherf***er who's head I split open."
15 Fran Drescher – Was Abused At Gunpoint And Battled Cancer
Fran Drescher has had to deal with multiple tragedies, but nothing may be worse than what happened in January of 1985. Drescher was at home with her husband and their friend when two armed robbers entered the apartment. Drescher and her female friend were then raped while at gunpoint. While her husband Jacobson was not raped, he was physically beaten and then tied up and forced to watch the entire ordeal.
14 Keanu Reeves – Lost A Child And Long-Term Partner
13 Charlize Theron - Saw Her Mother Kill Her Father
Charlize is one of the most talented actresses out there. Whether you loved her in Mad Max, or you were amazed by her transformation in Monster, her dedication is without question amazing.
When Charlize was growing up, her father was an alcoholic, who was verbally abusive towards Charlize. On one night, he returned home and shot up the locked gate, as well as the door to the kitchen. Charlize ran to her bedroom, while her father shouted that he was going to kill both her and her mother that night.
12 Lena Dunham – Sexually Abused Her Younger Sister
Lena Dunham is not the most well-known actress out there, but that did not stop her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, from drumming up all kinds of controversy. In the book, Dunham admits to childhood sexual experimentation with her sister, Grace, who is six years younger than Lena.
A passage in the book talks about “Lena Dunham playing with her sister’s vagina when Dunham was seven and her sister was one year old. She also writes about bribing her sister with candy so that she could kiss her on the lips and masturbating in bed next to her. Their mother was aware of at least some of the behavior, but apparently didn’t think much of it."
11 Jimmy Savile – Took Advantage Of Young Children In Hospitals During "Charity Visits"
This one is not a shock, especially if you are British, but when the news first broke it was astonishing.
Jimmy Savile was an English DJ, television and radio personality who was also a knight. Almost a year after he died, claims were reported that he had committed sexual assault on many prepubescent girls and boys, as well as some adults. The total number of victims is not confirmed, but over 450 people were allegedly abused by Savile. This included “126 indecent acts and 34 rape/penetration offenses.”
10 Kelsey Grammer – Younger Sister Was Abducted, Sexually Assaulted And Murdered
Kelsey Grammer is a tremendously talented actor, most well known for his role of Fraiser.
9 Jack Nicholson – Thought His Mother Was His Sister
8 Woody Harrelson – His Father Was A Hitman
7 Fergie – Was Addicted To Meth
6 Phill Lewis – Killed Someone In A Hit And Run
You might recognize him from The Suite Life Of Zach and Cody, but before he was doing that, Lewis was in some serious trouble. In 1991, Lewis was drunk and behind the wheel when he got into a collision with 21-year-old Isabel Duarte.
5 Drew Barrymore – Former Drug Addict
In 1987, Matthew Broderick was in an awful car accident while on vacation in Northern Ireland. Broderick was there with Jennifer Grey, who appeared in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with Broderick. Broderick was driving a rented BMW, when he accidentally crossed into the wrong lane and collided with a Volvo. The two people in the Volvo - Anna Gallagher (28), and her mother (63) - were both killed instantly.
In a statement to the authorities, Broderick said, "I don't remember the day. I don't remember even getting up in the morning. I don't remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg." His leg was, in fact, fractured.
4 Tim Allen – Trafficked 650 Grams Of Cocaine
3 Don King – Beat Employee To Death
If there is one man that you do not want to get on the bad side of, it's Don King. A former boxing promoter, he was described by Tyson as a “bad man, a real bad man. He would kill his own mother for a dollar, he’s deplorable, he’s greedy, and he doesn’t know how to love anybody.”
2 Rob Lowe – 1988 Underage Sex Tape
Rob Lowe has had some outstanding acting roles to his name, including being on The West Wing and in Parks and Recreation. Before all of that, when Lowe was 24, he recorded himself having a three-way with two other women. Not such a big deal, until you find out that one of the women was only 16 years old! While 16 was still in the age of consent for Atlanta, where the incident occurred, it was illegal to film someone who was only 16.
1 Oprah - Was Sexually Abused
Oprah is one of the most successful women in the entertainment industry, but to get to where she is, she had to escape some dark times. In 1986, on her television show, Oprah opened up about how she was sexually molested by her cousin when she was only 9 years old. It has been reported that she was also molested by her uncle and a family friend. At the age of 14, Oprah gave birth to a son, but he was born prematurely and died shortly after birth. The story of her son's birth was later sold to the National Inquirer in 1990 by a member of her family.
Sources: People.com, Gawker.com, Houstonpress.com, Abcnews.go.com
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