15 Career-Ending Things A-List Actors Got Away With

The silence of crimes in Hollywood is obviously a very hot topic right now. Celebrities, particularly female celebrities, in great numbers are speaking out against the abuses they've received and witnessed in the industry. Over the years, we've seen and heard of a number of scandalous things take place. Some of these result in criminal charges. Some just go away. Well, we wanted to take a look at some of the worst things that actors have done that people have forgotten about over the years. These won't be solely crimes against women, but many are. These are crimes that should have probably ruined a career in the public eye but, for whatever reason, didn't.

We've seen scandals and abuses work in different ways. We've seen a few stars have their careers ruined over accusations of crimes without any charges ever being laid. The insinuation is enough. Take Bill Cosby, for example. There's a good chance–even if the accusations against him are proven false and even if he wasn't already retired from the industry–that he would never work again. Now that's an extreme case, but there are smaller examples too. Paul Reubens' career was severely damaged in the '90s when he was arrested for a lewd act in an adult theater. Rob Lowe found himself in danger of losing his entire career after a 'tape' leaked featuring him with a 16-year-old girl. There have been others whose actions have made their careers suffer. We won't be including the Mel Gibsons of the world because, even though they may still be working, they didn't "get away with it." They took a major hit. We'll focus on the ones that did not suffer and are still working away as happy as clams. Here are 15 Career-Ending Things A-List Actors Got Away With.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Casey Affleck

Considering that the allegations against Casey Affleck were settled out of court, we can't be sure of the truth behind them. Still, the accusations of what transpired while shooting the film I'm Still Here are shocking. Two different female crew members, Magdalena Gorka, the film’s director of photography, and Amanda White, a producer, filed lawsuits against Affleck for s*xual harassment and other things. Both women accused Affleck of being mistreated. White said that Affleck tried to coerce her into spending the night with him among many other things. Gorka, who quit the project on two separate occasions, said that she woke up one night to Affleck in bed with her. Obviously, Affleck's recent Best Actor award shows that these accusations did not hurt his career in the least.

14 Michael Fassbender

via Digital Spy

In 2009, before Michael Fassbender was the star that he is today, the actor's former girlfriend, Sunawin “Leasi” Andrews, filed charges against him for assault. She claimed that the actor was drunk and woke up in a pool of his own urine. He took out his anger on her, throwing her into a chair and breaking her nose. She says that, in another fight, the actor dragged her alongside a car. In this struggle, she twisted her ankle, blew out her kneecap, and burst an ovarian cyst. Later, when the two reconciled, Andrews dropped the charges.

13 Wesley Snipes

via irish mirror

Years ago, Halle Berry gave an account of one of her ex-boyfriends hitting her in the ear. The actress said that the abuse left her with a punctured eardrum and 80% hearing loss in that ear. She never gave the name of the star, but said he was well-known in Hollywood. Years later, R&B singer Christopher Williams, one of Berry's exes, tried to clear his own name of the crime. He said, "The stuff they wrote about [me] and Halle was totally false. They said something like I busted her eardrum, and I'm tired of it. I never said it [before] but I'm so tired of people thinking I'm the guy [who did it]. Wesley Snipes busted her eardrum, not me."

12 Josh Brolin

via ET

Although they've since been divorced, Josh Brolin and his ex-wife, Diane Lane, went through some turbulent times near the end of their marriage. The most extreme of the events came when Brolin was arrested at the couple's Los Angeles home. Police responded to a call of domestic abuse and took Brolin away. The couple's spokesperson released the following statement:

“There was a misunderstanding at their home for the lowest-end misdemeanor charge of domestic battery … Diane did not want to press charges and asked them not to arrest him, but in cases involving the possibility of any physical contact, the police have to arrest first, ask questions later.”

11 John Wayne

via Chicago Tribune

Even though John Wayne's eye-opening Playboy interview has become more popular these days, this is a man who was considered one of the true icons of film during his time. Times have changed. Yes. Perspectives have been altered. True. But, John Wayne's comments were racist then and are still racist now. In the 1970's, Wayne said, "I believe in white supremacy, until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility." That does not need to be interpreted under a different lens to see the issues with it. It's racist. Saying "Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves" is simply not a product of the times. It's a statement of supremacy, a feeling that still exists in racists.

10 Shia LaBeouf

via Wikimedia

Shia LaBeouf has done a number of things that could have ended his career. Maybe his actions have just been tight-roping what is acceptable as "bad boy" behavior and what is unforgivable. Although he's had public fights with men and women before, he's always been back at work not long after. There was the plagiarism thing, which threatened his career, but he turned it into a publicity stunt and all was forgotten. Recently, however, LaBeouf was arrested for another public drunkenness event. This time, he resorted to racism, suggesting that a black police officer was going to hell because of his skin color. The body cam footage documents LaBeouf's arrest and will likely have him in hot water for a while, but will the public forgive and forget again?

9 Johnny Depp

via YouTube

Although the reported events that took place between Johnny Depp and ex-wife Amber Heard are conflicting, some of the accounts–such as Heard's filing for divorce and a temporary restraining order–claimed that Depp assaulted Heard in a fight in December of 2015. The report said Depp “began obsessing over something that wasn’t true” (allegedly, an affair between Heard and Billy Bob Thornton). He was then said to have thrown a phone at her face, hitting her in the cheek and eye. One of Heard's friends, Io Tillett Wright, wrote an essay for Refinery 29 about the relationship, saying, "The reports of violence started with a kick on a private plane, then it was shoves and the occasional punch, until finally, in December, she described an all-out assault and she woke up with her pillow covered in blood. I know this because I went to their house. I saw the pillow with my own eyes. I saw the busted lip and the clumps of hair on the floor."

8 Charlie Sheen

via EskiPaper.com

Much, if not most, of Charlie Sheen's career problems stem from his breakdown and public fight with Chuck Lorre, the creator of Two and a Half Men. But Sheen has long had other problems go public. His career just never really took a hit from the other things. Back in 1996, Sheen was arrested after a violent fight with girlfriend Brittany Ashland. The next year, Sheen pleaded no contest to battery charges. In 2006, then-wife Denise Richards claimed he threatened to assault her and kill her when she filed for divorce. Sheen denied these claims, but three years later, on Christmas Day, Sheen was arrested on second-degree assault charges after allegedly strangling and threatening his next wife, Brooke Mueller, with a knife. The following year, Sheen pleaded guilty to third-degree domestic violence charges. Amazingly, it was calling Lorre a bad name that hurt his career the most.

7 Steven Seagal

via YouTube

After the Weinstein thing came out, Lisa Guerrero, a correspondent with Inside Edition, recalled a creepy audition for Fire Down Below with legendary creep Steven Seagal. She claims that Seagal met her at his home for an audition in a silk robe. He also asked her to come back to his house for a private nighttime rehearsal. She did not. This type of claim is nothing new for Seagal. Back in 1998, Jenny McCarthy said that during her audition for Under Siege 2, Seagal insisted that she undress. She ran out of his office and told her story. That same year, nine other women wrote in to Penthouse magazine to accuse Seagal of various indecencies. He denied it, and it was forgotten.

6 Woody Allen

via the studio exec

Listen, we can only take the information that is made public and that information is conflicting. The reality is that Woody Allen was accused of s*xually assaulting Mia Farrow's daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was a little girl. Even though there were no criminal charges placed on Allen, Presiding Justice Wilk concluded at the time that "the credible testimony of Ms. Farrow, Dr. Coates, Dr. Leventhal, and Mr. Allen does, however, prove that Mr. Allen's behavior toward Dylan was grossly inappropriate and that measures must be taken to protect her." In 2014, 11 years after the alleged events took place, Dylan Farrow published an open letter detailing the relationship between her and Allen and suggested that Allen made her feel uncomfortable many times during her childhood. Although many stood up to defend Farrow, many others defended the A-list actor and director.

5 Terrence Howard

via muzul

Terrence Howard is a strange guy, but his career in the film industry and on television has been outstanding. This, considering all that he has been charged with and accused of in his life, is incredible. You would think he would have been barred from working. Back in 2001, Howard was arrested after he punched his then-wife, Lori McCommas, in the face. He was later charged with assault, harassment, terroristic threats, and stalking. Amazingly, he plead guilty to only disorderly conduct. Years later, in 2010, a week into his marriage with Michelle Ghent, Howard allegedly punched her in the face as well. Three years later, while trying to reconcile their relationship, Ghent would get into another physical altercation with Howard. This time, she was allegedly punched, pushed, and strangled. The year before that, however, Howard was accused by his then-girlfriend, May Seng Yang, of punching, pushing, and strangling her. Howard's current wife says, "He refuses to kill a fly." You know who else said something similar?

4 Marlon Brando

via Pinterest

Even though the world didn't know what happened on the set of The Last Tango in Paris back in 1972, the actors involved, Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, and the director, Bernardo Bertolucci, knew. The most infamous scene in that film is the so-called "butter scene." In it, Schneider's character is r*ped by Brando's character. Years later, Schneider gave the truth of the account, a truth that Bertolucci admitted to:

“I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that. Marlon said to me, ‘Maria, don’t worry, it’s just a movie,’ but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real, I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little r*ped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me nor apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take.”

3 Kevin Costner

via THR

Back in 2006, there was a lot of talk about a mystery celebrity who exposed himself to a masseuse in a Scottish hotel. This celebrity was said to act in a very lewd manner toward the masseuse. When this woman complained to her managers at the hotel, they fired her. Afterward, the details came out that the star was Kevin Costner. Costner was staying at the hotel for his honeymoon at the time. The masseuse claimed, "[Costner] asked me if I was comfortable touching him everywhere and I said no. Throughout the massage, he kept putting his hand underneath his towel but he never kept it there long enough for me to suspect anything." Eventually, she said that Costner grabbed her wrist and made her touch him. The accusation was denied by Costner's representative.

2 Ben Affleck

via the daily dot

It's difficult to really say how far we've come since 2003, but it's safe to say that things are much different now. Even though everyone is likely well aware of the event, we weren't a few weeks ago. Apparently, Ben Affleck got away with a very strange and indecent act on MTV’s Total Request Live in 2003. In an interview with Hilarie Burton, Affleck appeared to grab Burton's breast. For viewers, it was hard to see what really happened, and the reactions were even stranger. Burton later said, after a fan called Affleck out in response to his condemnation of Harvey Weinstein, "[I] had to laugh back then so I wouldn’t cry." Affleck apologized via Twitter, saying, "I acted inappropriately toward Mrs. Burton and I sincerely apologise." While his performance in Daredevil put Affleck's career in jeopardy, grabbing an unsuspecting woman's breast on television didn't.

1 Sean Connery

via Pinterest

Apparently, no one really thought that anything was strange when Sean Connery told Playboy magazine in 1965, "I don't think there is anything particularly wrong about hitting a woman—although I don’t recommend doing it in the same way that you’d hit a man... An open-handed slap is justified, if all other alternatives fail and there has been plenty of warning. If a woman is a b**ch, or hysterical, or bloody-minded continually, then I’d do it." But, looking back, that was a red flag. That's why the accusations from his ex-wife, Diane Cilento, were so revealing. She tells of a night at a hotel when she came home late and drunk. "Once inside our room in the darkness, I felt a blow to my face and was knocked to the floor and passed out for a few seconds. Then I was screaming, we were both shouting. I got to my feet and tried to fight back, but another blow sent me flying. I managed to get through the bathroom door and locked myself in. I spent the rest of the night sprawled on the bathroom floor, covered with towels, whimpering." Ashamed and scared, Cilento didn't go public about this night until 40 years later.

Sources: Wikipedia; TMZ; IMDB; Reddit; THR

More in Entertainment