For the past month or so, Hollywood has stood on edge as the man behind Hollywood’s biggest film distributing company, The Weinstein Company, has been accused by several women of sexually harassing and abusing them. High-profile actresses such as Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lupita Nyong’o, Rose McGowan, and Mira Sorvino (among numerous other women) have all pointed the finger at Harvey Weinstein and claimed that the man used his power to abuse other women. The controversy has gotten so big and bad that Harvey Weinstein has been fired by the company that he founded himself.
The news surrounding Harvey Weinstein has been shocking for many people, but it comes as no surprise to those who worked in the Hollywood circles that Weinstein colluded around. The only thing shocking is that those who did know about Weinstein’s dreaded deeds let it happen for so long and that it took so long for his antics to reach the public eye. The sad part is that Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only sleazebag to rendezvous around Hollywood. Hollywood is littered with such sleazebags, but like Weinstein, their antics are either swept under the rug or completely forgotten. Or worse, forgiven. Here are some examples.
15. Casey Affleck
Ben Affleck recently came under fire for a controversial stint on MTV TLC a few years ago, but somehow, the more lascivious antics of his younger brother Casey remain under the radar. In 2010, Casey Affleck settled two lawsuits of sexual harassment from two former co-workers. One case came from Amanda White, who alleged that Casey Affleck had harassed her with numerous sexual advances, including one instance when he convinced the guitarist for Spacehog to expose his privates to her. Casey Affleck also violently grabbed her by the arm and sent abusive text messages after she refused to spend a night in his hotel room. Another suit came from Magdalena Gorka, who while staying with Casey Affleck in his apartment, was allegedly approached by him in his underwear and reeking of alcohol and verbally attacked her for rejecting his advances. Despite this, he won an Oscar this year.
14. John Lennon
Before he earned himself a worldwide recognize image as the flower power-loving hippie, John Lennon had actually had a dark past with his first wife, Cynthia Powell. Before her death in 2015, Powell went on record stating that Lennon had a rather aggressive side to him when they first met. According to Powell, Lennon was a jealous type who would grow increasingly possessive of her when they were together and, at times, would beat her out of fury. Lennon would later admit his violent behavior toward Powell and women in general during interviews and in the 1967 Beatles song “Getting Better.” He would cite that recognizing his anger issues allowed him to become an advocate for peace. While there was a chance that not many fans in the 1960s were aware of Lennon’s aggressive past, they all may have simply forgiven Lennon after seeing that he was willing to change.
13. Mike Tyson
In July 1991, Mike Tyson was arrested for raping 18-year-old Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington, and was convicted on February 10, 1992. There has been speculation that Tyson came off as unlikable to a biased jury, and Tyson claims that the sex was consensual. But nonetheless, Tyson served less than three years of a six-year sentence, was given a four-year probation, and was forced to register as a sex offender. Normally, when celebrities get convicted of such a horrible crime, their careers are pretty much done. For Tyson, it didn’t take long before he was able to bounce back and reach the height of his fame. Upon his 1996 comeback as a boxer, he steamrolled through the opponents put in front of him with ease. Since then, he’s had several movie deals and even his own cartoon.
12. R. Kelly
We all remember the infamous sex allegations against R. Kelly from 2002 that included half-naked photos of an underage girl found at Kelly’s house and a shocking videotape depicting R. Kelly having sex with and urinating on an underage girl. Whether you witnessed the trial firsthand or remember the Chappelle’s Show skit, “Piss On You,” is a different story, but at the end of the day, Kelly was acquitted due to lack of probable cause. Despite Kelly claiming he wasn’t in the video, it’s been pretty much a unanimous opinion among even his most devoted fans that he was, in fact, the man in the tape. History tells us that all it takes for fans to get over a singer’s shocking accusations is for the singer to release good music. Thanks to hits like “Ignition,” most people try to forget that he was linked to child p———y.
11. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp, for the most part of his career, has kept a mystery around himself by keeping his private life away from his public life, so much so that he and Amber Heard were married in a private ceremony in 2015. A year later, in the wake of his divorce from Heard, his private life became public when she revealed that Depp had been both physically and verbally abusive to her during the “entirety of [their] relationship.” As proof, she released to the public a photo of her battered face, alleging that Depp did the deed, and a video of Depp going off in a drunken rage in their kitchen. Despite this, the police believed that there was no evidence to the crime of domestic abuse. This briefly sullied Depp’s perfect image but not long enough to hurt his acting career, as he’s due to appear in Murder on the Orient Express later this year and a new Harry Potter film next year.
10. Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg came onto the scene as a mediocre rapper and actually managed to carve out a pretty respectable career as an actor over the years, but his pre-fame past is actually pretty dark. He was dealing and addicted to drugs by the time he was 13 years old and was arrested for a few racially motivated assaults. His worst crime occurred in 1988 when he was 16 when he knocked out a Vietnamese man named “Thanh Lam” with a stick while yelling racist epithets at him. As he was fleeing the scene, he was approached by another Vietnamese man named “Hoa Trinh,” and Wahlberg punched Trinh in the face so violently that he was permanently partially blinded in one eye. And when Wahlberg was arrested for the incident, he apparently admitted to the police that he had done it and had used a whole lot of racial slurs to refer to his victims during the admission. Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder for the incident.
9. Sean Penn
One infamous Hollywood legend tells us that Sean Penn beat, tortured, and battered ex-wife Madonna for nine hours straight when they were married in the late ’80s. While Madonna has recently come out and said that Penn had never laid a violent hand on her in their four years of marriage, that doesn’t mean that Sean Penn isn’t notorious for other acts of violence. Penn has a long history of lashing out at people. His earliest offense came in 1986 when a scuffle with songwriter David Wolinski put Penn on a 90-day probation. A year later, an attack against a photographer on a movie set left Penn with a 60-day jail sentence; he only served 33 days. He assaulted another paparazzo in 2009 and served 36 months probation with community service. These anger issues have never seemed to slow down the 2-time Oscar winner’s success in the slightest.
8. Mel Gibson
The several crimes and offenses of Mel Gibson read like a weird rap sheet. We say “weird” because, despite everything he’s done, Gibson has spent no prison time; nor has his Hollywood career been ruined. This is the same man who got caught spewing anti-Semitic slurs while getting pulled over for a DUI, the same guy who told Oksana Grigorieva (who was his girlfriend at the time this audio was released) that it would be her fault if she got “r—d by a pack of n—–s” and even received a domestic abuse-related restraining order from her. On top of all this, he’s made several homophobic, racist, and just flat-out appalling comments over the years, but he still retains a job in Hollywood because he made Braveheart. He’s even got a new movie, Daddy’s Home 2, coming out soon.
7. Roman Polanski
In March 1977, on Los Angeles soil, Roman Polanski was charged with the raping, drugging, and sodomizing of 13-year-old Samantha Gailey. All charges were dismissed after he took a plea bargain, and the least he could do was plead guilty to the lesser crime of sex with a minor. When he found out that there was a chance he could be deported and face imprisonment, he booked the first flight he could to flee to France and hasn’t looked back since. Apart from a 2009 arrest in Zurich that went nowhere, Polanski’s been sure to stay out of countries that would arrest him on behalf of the US. Surprisingly, several celebs in Hollywood were willing to sign a petition calling for his release from his 2009 Zurich arrest.
6. Victor Salva
Not many people know this man by name, but they certainly know him by his work. Best known as the director of Jeepers Creepers, Victor Salva was convicted in 1982 for taking part in abusing a 12-year-old boy during the filming of Clownhouse (those who’ve seen the film know that Salva filmed some questionable shots of some shirtless boys during the film). Salva was caught videotaping the boy and having child p*rnography in his home. He pleaded guilty to oral s*x with a boy and lewd conduct. However, five years after being released from prison, he directed Powder, a Disney film. It probably helped that he happened to be good buddies with Francis Ford Coppola, his mentor. Then, he directed a whole trilogy of Jeepers Creepers films, with the latest released this year.
5. Emile Hirsch
Emile Hirsch was a star always on the cusp of breaking out into becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood, but it seemed like there was always some kind of setback. Such setbacks were often shrouded in alcoholism. One such instance came at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival when a drunk Hirsch got into a verbal confrontation with producer Daniele Bernfeld. He briefly left the scene, only to return and put Bernfeld in a choke hold, drag her across a table, and throw her to the ground. Hirsch tried to say he was merely defending himself, but that’s hard to believe when he said he couldn’t remember much of what happened. He is still a prominent face in Hollywood.
4. Rick James
Most of us know Rick James as the party animal he always portrayed himself to be in his songs. However, one aspect that has been swept under the rug these last few years is the fact that he was an abuser during the ’90s. A key instance of his horrible antics came in 1993 when James and girlfriend (future wife) Tanya Hijazi were accused of holding a woman named “Frances Alley” hostage for six days and torturing her in various ways, including burning her with a cocaine pipe. They were also charged with beating music executive Mary Sauger to a pulp. He ended up serving two years at Folsom Prison for his crimes. No one likes to mention these instances because he was just so darn hilarious on Chappelle’s Show. That’s all people mention nowadays.
3. John Wayne
One of the most iconic names and instantly recognizable faces belongs to John Wayne. In his time, The Duke was one of the biggest names in Hollywood — so big that everyone was quick to sweep his 1971 interview with Playboy Magazine under the rug, the same interview where he made several racist remarks against “the blacks,” as he referred to African Americans when calling them uneducated and unfit for leadership positions. He even went as far as to say “I believe in white supremacy.” He also made some homophobic comments in the wake of the recent release of Midnight Cowboy. Wayne called the film “perverted.” Be it because of Wayne’s Hollywood influence or the fact these topics were still taboo by the public, no one cared about Wayne’s insults.
2. Chris Brown
Chris Brown reached the height of his fame at a young age, and not long after, he reached an even stronger infamy when he physically assaulted Rihanna in 2009. The next few years would see Brown find himself in a number of additional controversies, such as being charged to serve 131 days in jail due to a 2013 felony charge over an allegedly homophobic fight, but he was released early in June 2014. Originally, he was sentenced to only serve time in rehab, but he was kicked out due to violent behavior. In between all of this in 2013, Brown had a fight with Frank Ocean over a parking space. Last year, a woman made a report that he had threatened her with a gun although no proof was found. Despite all of this, Chris Brown still has a strong and loyal fanbase.
1. Woody Allen
When news broke out that Woody Allen felt “sad” for Harvey Weinstein and feared that this whole situation would inspire a “witch hunt” across Hollywood, the fact that this came out of Allen’s mouth came as a surprise to no one — not when Woody Allen has such a strong history of sexual harassment and assault himself. During his 1992 custody battle with Mia Farrow, their 7-year old daughter, Dylan, accused Allen of molesting her. Although the case was dropped later on, Allen’s behavior toward his daughter was considered “grossly inappropriate.” In related news, he wound up marrying his adopted daughter. If there would be some type of “witch hunt” in Hollywood, it’s likely that it would start with Woody Allen.
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