Every so often, a photograph appears online or in the tabloids of a jumper cable-carrying celebrity coming to the rescue of a lowly commoner whose car broke down in the middle of nowhere. Such pictures are generally the work of a savvy PR professional who saw the opportunity to further the goodwill attached to their client’s name and went for it.
Any PR team worth its salt will ensure its clients are portrayed in a positive light in the media; a job comprised of two main tasks: 1) Making sure all flattering pictures of the celebrities they represent make it to print. 2) Making sure all unflattering pictures of the celebrities they represent do not make it to print.
The second of those two tasks used to be pretty easy, but it has become significantly more difficult thanks to the rise of the internet. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the photographs the PR superheroes of Hollywood have been fighting to have deleted and/or destroyed.
Here are 15 celeb photos of 2017 we can't unsee.
15 Kevin Hart's Mistress
Although this isn’t actually a picture of Kevin Hart, it’s definitely a picture that Kevin Hart does not want you to see. Here, we are shown a woman by the name of Montia Sabbag, a freelance stripper and self-proclaimed recording artist. In late 2017, Sabbag was unmasked as Hart’s mistress and subsequently admitted to having an “intimate relationship” with the Hollywood star. According to Montia, she and the married Hart slept together on three occasions and he even used his private jet to fly her to Las Vegas for a “wild weekend”.
The pair’s relationship became public knowledge when a team of extortionists attempted to wrangle millions from Hart with the threat of releasing a video of one of their encounters. Although suspicion understandably fell on Sabbag, she denied any involvement in the extortion plot and has been working with police to track down the true culprits.
14 Bella Hadid Promotes The Infamous Fyre Festival
Remember The Fyre Festival? I’m sure you do, no matter how hard the media tries to make you forget about it. For those who may have missed the whole saga, The Fyre Festival was supposed to be a luxury music festival which would welcome only the richest of the rich and the hottest of the hot. It was due to take place on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma in the lead up to summer 2017 but fell to pieces just days before it was intended to kick off, which left dozens of festival-goers stranded on the island.
In the wake of the festival’s epic failure, the many social media influencers who had been paid to promote The Fyre Festival via Instagram deleted the advertisements in an attempt to distance themselves from the scandal. One of those influencers was Bella Hadid, who deleted the post shown in this screenshot in which she declares her excitement for the festival without including the legally mandated “#ad”.
13 Chris Jericho Fights With A Fan
For the most part, WWE Superstar and rock singer Chris Jericho has a pretty good relationship with his fans. Of course, even the strongest of relationships have their ups and downs, as the first ever WWE Undisputed Champion proved during the summer of 2017.
This picture shows Jericho in the middle of a shouting match with a fan in New York City. According to those who witnessed the altercation, the unnamed man approached the future WWE Hall of Famer for an autograph and became incensed when Jericho declined. Y2J, not one to back down from an argument, responded to the autograph hunter’s rage with the words “F*ck your ass”. The backlash Jericho received in the aftermath of the altercation prompted him to publicly apologize for his actions, which he blamed on being “emotionally shattered” after the death of friend and fellow musician David Z.
12 Chanelle Hayes' Parking Lot Struggle
Chanelle Hayes started off her public career as just another hot girl who wanted to be famous. In 2007, her search for stardom took her to the British version of the reality television series Big Brother. Upon leaving the Big Brother house, Hayes decided to pursue a career in modelling, which would explain why she has worked so hard to have this picture removed from the internet.
Here, we see Hayes looking stressed out as she attempts to load her infant son and his various belongings into her car. In her lips, she holds a long plastic bag which eclipses much of her torso, but it is painfully obvious the reality television star has ballooned in weight. Hayes’ weight gain, coupled with an unavoidable pimple that rests in the center of her forehead, leaves her looking a far cry from the young woman who won the heart of Ziggy Lichman on Big Brother all those years ago.
11 Matthew McConaughey Or A Beach Bum?
Matthew McConaughey is one of those frustratingly handsome Hollywood actors that every guy simultaneously admires and hates. The actor’s good looks, along with his roles in movies like Dallas Buyers Club, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Magic Mike, have earned him a staggering net worth of $95 million.
However, jealous males can take solace in this 2017 picture of McConaughey, which shows him looking virtually unrecognizable. The image was snapped by paparazzi in November of 2017 and features the Hollywood heartthrob on the set of his upcoming movie The Beach Bum and boy he sure looks like a beach bum. With matted hair, three days of stubble, and an outfit that would make you wish you had glaucoma, McConaughey is a wrinkled shadow of his former self.
10 Bill Clinton Ogles Ivanka
During the 2016 US presidential election, the Democrats did their best to present the marriage of Hillary (their candidate) and Bill Clinton as strong and stable. This was difficult to do given Bill’s infamous past infidelities, but to the DNC’s credit, they managed to pull it off. Of course, all efforts to turn Bill Clinton into a dedicated and loving husband fell by the wayside when Donald Trump took the White House and it wasn’t long before the dirty dog was up to his old tricks.
This picture shows the former US president ogling Ivanka Trump, Donald’s daughter, during the elder Trump’s inauguration ceremony in January of 2017. Adding to the absurdity of the picture is a very unhappy looking Hillary who has caught her husband in the act, although he is far too invested in Ms. Trump to realize. Unfortunately, this picture does not show Ivanka, but judging by the expression on Slick Willie’s face, she must have looked pretty good.
9 Kevin Spacey Hiding From His Crimes
Kevin Spacey is a fantastic actor, there’s no denying that, but he is also an absolutely terrible person. In October of 2017, actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey of historical sexual harassment, which opened the floodgates and gave rise to dozens of further accusations of sexual misconduct towards the House of Cards star. After a brief and widely criticized statement, Spacey disappeared from the public eye and stopped responding to calls and texts from even his closest friends. He would not be seen again until nearly a month later, when this image surfaced online.
Here, we see Spacey strolling through The Meadows, an Arizona clinic at which he is receiving treatment for sex addiction. The once-proud star makes a half-hearted attempt to disguise himself with a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap, one of only a few indications that he is aware of the magnitude of the crimes he has committed.
8 Woody Allen With Roy Price
Since 1992, Woody Allen has been battling to protect his legacy from the unrelenting accusations of sexual assault from his ex-girlfriend and leading lady, Mia Farrow. Allen’s desire to avoid fueling Farrow’s admittedly unfounded claims largely, if not entirely, explains his attempts to distance himself from Roy Price in the wake of the Amazon Studios head’s own sexual harassment scandal.
According to those close to Allen, the comedy legend was relieved to learn that Price’s fiancee had called off their October wedding after news of Price’s sexual misconduct broke because he and his jazz band had been booked to perform at the ceremony. With Allen’s association with Roy Price essentially dead and gone, his PR team has been working tirelessly to bury evidence that it ever existed, such as this picture of the pair smiling together in happier times.
7 Mariah Carey's Diamond Bikini
Singer and noted diva Mariah Carey has always been one of those people who takes pride in their appearance and you can’t exactly blame her for it when you consider how freaking good she looked back in her heyday. In 2017, however, Carey is pushing 50 years of age and she just doesn’t have the body she used to, a fact everybody seems to be aware of but her.
In July of 2017, Carey took to the stage for the final performance of her Caesar’s Palace residency decked out in a glittering leotard that left almost nothing to the imagination. While the outfit no doubt would have looked incredible on the singer 20 years ago, it made her modern day-self look short, stubby, and Barney the Dinosaur-esque.
6 Amanda Bynes: Yet Another Transformation
Amanda Bynes was once impossible to avoid. In her late teens and early 20s, her flawless face was pretty much everywhere as she made the jump from The Amanda Show to movies like What a Girl Wants and She’s the Man. One decade and a slew of personal problems later, however, the former teen idol has become something of a recluse. Every now and then, however, a picture of Bynes pops up online, such as this one here. In this image, we see her looking significantly heavier than she was the last time she made a public appearance. Her fat cheeks and thick plastic glasses leave her looking far older than her 31 years. With rumors that she is planning a spectacular return to show business, it's no wonder Bynes would rather have kept this image to herself.
5 Justin Bieber's Pants
Over the past couple of years, Justin Bieber’s PR team has worked tirelessly to help the star shed the non-threatening nice guy image he cultivated as a teen idol. In early 2017, it seemed that Camp Bieber’s mission to reinvent The Biebs as a no-nonsense bad boy was nearing completion, but the Baby singer managed to undo all of the hard work with a simple wetting of his pants one February afternoon.
This picture, which Bieber has worked hard to have scrubbed from the internet, shows the multi-millionaire pop star strolling true Hollywood in a very baggy, very wet pair of cotton trousers. Obviously, it’s impossible to tell how that stain got on his sweatpants, but given its size and location, it’s a pretty safe bet that it ain’t sweat.
4 The McMahons Sure Love Trump
Ignoring its ties to Donald Trump is surprisingly difficult for WWE. The embattled US president has hosted and even performed at a number of WWE events and also holds a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. The fact that Linda McMahon, the wife of WWE’s CEO Vince McMahon, is a member of the Trump administration doesn’t help matters.
This photo shows the entire McMahon family hanging with President Trump in the Oval Office in the early days of his presidency. It was intended for private use, but the meeting of the McMahons and the Trumps was too large for even the White House to cover up. Considering the picture features Vince’s heiress apparent Stephanie McMahon smiling alongside one of the most hated presidents in the history of America, its leaking could prove to be a public relations nightmare for WWE for years to come.
3 Jon Stewart With Louis C.K.
This past November, comedian Louis C.K. was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, accusations which he almost immediately copped to. Although they only became mainstream news after the New York Times shined a light on them, the rumors about C.K. were swirling in the comedy community for years, with almost every comic in America being aware of them. However, former host of The Daily Show Jon Stewart has repeatedly claimed that he knew nothing of the allegations against his friend until they were reported by the mainstream media, likely in an attempt to defend himself against social media detractors who felt those in the comedy world should have outed Louis sooner. Stewart has claimed that he never encountered the rumors about C.K. because he never had anything more than a working relationship with the man. That claim would seem to be contradicted by this picture of the pair hanging out together at a dinner party in their (slightly) younger years.
2 Bob Dylan Spotted In A Rare Photo
Bob Dylan is arguably the single greatest singer-songwriter of all time. He is also notoriously private and has shunned the press and pretty much all media attention since he first came into the spotlight in the early 1960s. This picture, like almost every picture Dylan has willingly posed for over the past five decades, was supposed to be for private use. It was taken after the Hurricane singer’s 2017 concert in Dublin and shows him with Celtic punk legend Shane MacGowan. Somehow, the image found its way onto the internet, much to the delight of Dylan’s loyal fans who revelled in a chance to see their hero in a rare personal moment, even if he was rendered practically invisible by his hoodie/baseball hat combo.
1 Donald Trump Stares Straight At The Eclipse
Optometrists have long warned that looking at the sun - or where the sun is supposed to be - during a solar eclipse without specially crafted eyeglasses can cause permanent damage to the eyes. This claim is fake news, at least according to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
This photograph was allegedly taken during the solar eclipse of August 2017 and shows Trump observing the phenomenon without protective glasses while pointing to it as if he were a small, easily amused child. The image quickly went viral and sparked widespread criticism and mockery of Trump, who was allegedly incensed by what he perceived as a lack of respect from citizens of the United States. Although he has fought to have the image and similar pictures removed, it continues to do the rounds on Facebook and Twitter and shows no sign of being eclipsed any time soon.