When you live your life in the spotlight, the public can be pretty unforgiving of your mistakes. With celebrities opening up their lives to their fans on social media, the crazed celebrity culture, and cellphone technology, it is not easy to get away with much these days. We are all guilty of making decisions that we regret, but celebrities can make one wrong move that can easily destroy their career.
Unfortunately for these 15 celebrities, the dumb decisions they made in their personal lives resulted in their careers being ruined. Many of them were at the height of their careers with lots of attention on them when they made these mistakes, which is why the repercussions were so detrimental.
There are some public figures that are able to bounce back from their mistakes and regain the public’s approval over time, but these disgraced stars’ unforgivable acts wrecked their reputations, making it unlikely, or even impossible, for them to come back from their downfalls. Whether people in the industry are unwilling to work with these people anymore or the public has lost all respect, their lives in the spotlight are officially over.
Some of these people got caught red-handed doing something shocking, while others implicated themselves in a bad situation by saying or doing something stupid. From wearing black face makeup, to lip-syncing, to racist social media comments, to plastic surgery, to owning child p*rnography and even murder, check out the 15 celebrities that ruined their careers in the dumbest of ways.
15 Ashlee Simpson
People know Ashlee Simpson as Jessica Simpson’s younger sister. She made a name for herself in the early 2000’s with her own music and even landed herself a gig on Saturday Night Live in 2004. Unfortunately, Simpson used pre-recorded vocal tracks, which became obvious to the audience during her second song.
Once Ashlee realized that the audience knew she was lip-syncing, she kind of hung her head low and walked off stage, while the band continued to play for a bit until NBC cut to a commercial. The debacle was detrimental to Simpson’s career and she never really recovered from it, despite her attempts to blame “acid reflux” and her drummer for the mishap. Ashlee Simpson isn’t currently making music; she married Diana Ross’ son, Evan Ross, in 2014 and shares a son with her ex-husband, Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz.
14 CeeLo Green
CeeLo Green was on a roll with his career in 2014, coaching on the popular vocal competition series, The Voice, and making and producing hit records. However, things went south for the musician when he pled no contest to a felony count of ecstasy possession after he drugged a woman, rendering her unconscious, on a date.
CeeLo Green claimed that he had consensual s*x with the woman and the prosecutors did not press r*pe charges. Where he really went wrong was when he tweeted out to his fans that “if someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously, so WITH implies consent,” followed by another tweet that said that “People who have really been r*ped REMEMBER!!!” Green’s social media comments infuriated the public. He apologized for his remarks, but the damage was done.
13 Iggy Azalea
Iggy Azalea had a successful rap career in the making until she wrecked her reputation with racist remarks on Twitter. The female rapper has been harshly criticized for making fun of Mexicans, Asians, and stereotyping black people. She also called gay people “d*cks” and “h*mos.”
Azalea was forced to drop out of her headlining gig at the Pittsburgh Gay Pride event after the LGBTQIA community protested her performance. The musician wrote a statement saying that she was “truly disappointed” that she had to cancel and that she “truly support[ed]” the event and the gay community.
The rapper was later dropped from her label with T.I. as a result of more drama that she started on social media with other music artists, including Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks.
12 Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen was the star of one of the most popular shows on television, Two and a Half Men, but totally messed things up for himself when he made some anti-Semitic comments about the series’ creator, Chuck Lorre, during an interview on the Alex Jones Show.
Sheen attacked Lorre further on TMZ, saying that he “violently hated” him, calling him a “stupid, stupid little man,” even claiming that he “own[ed] him.” It turned out that Charlie did not have as much power as he claimed, and he was later fired from Two and a Half Men in the middle of the season. Sheen was replaced by Ashton Kutcher in the show. Following additional bizarre rants and behavior, his career has dwindled over the years.
11 Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is a famous wrestler who brought his family into the spotlight on their VH1 reality show, Hogan Knows Best. Hulk made a huge mistake when he went off on a racist rant in the middle of his infamous s*x tape with his friend’s wife. The tape ended up being the center of a public lawsuit with Gawker, but what really destroyed Hogan was what he said about his daughter Brooke’s new boyfriend. He made several extremely racist comments.
Hulk Hogan’s contract with WWE was terminated and he was widely criticized. The father of two made a public apology, but that did not do much to save his permanently shattered reputation.
10 Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough lost major respect after she showed up to a Halloween party in 2013 wearing black face makeup, dressed as Uzo Aduba’s character from Orange Is The New Black, Crazy Eyes. Apparently, the Dancing With The Stars alumnus’ good friend and fellow actress Isla Fisher told her to go wash her face before she was photographed, but it was too late!
A photo of Julianne wearing black face was all over the tabloids the next day. The public ripped her apart for being so senseless, which resulted in her issuing an apology. Hough said that she was a “huge fan” of the Netflix show and that it was “never [her] intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way.” Regardless of her apology, her career suffered greatly afterward.
9 Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong was a national hero who fought for cancer and came in third place in the Tour de France in 2009, but just one year later, the bicyclist hired a defence attorney to represent him in a federal investigation into allegations of fraud and doping.
The US Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and imposed a lifetime ban on him in 2012. As a result, Lance stepped down as chairman of Livestrong, Nike terminated his contract, and Anheuser-Busch did as well. In 2013, the athlete actually admitted to using banned performance-enhancing drugs during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. He and his company, Tailwind Sports, were sued by the Justice Department for the millions that the US Postal Service spent sponsoring his team. Lance Armstrong’s career and reputation have been in shambles ever since.
8 Aaron Hernandez
Aaron Hernandez was a star player in the NFL before he ended up serving a life sentence in prison for a murder conviction. The former New England Patriots tight end was convicted in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, who was dating his fiancée’s sister. Prior to this conviction, Hernandez was tried but acquitted of killing two men, who were gunned down after one of the men reportedly spilled a drink on the football player in a Boston nightclub.
Sadly, Aaron Hernandez committed suicide in his jail cell in Massachusetts this past spring. He was found hanging by a bed sheet that he had attached to a window, with “John 3:16” written across his forehead. The Bible verse reads: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
7 Thomas Gibson
Thomas Gibson made a name for himself starring in the hit CBS crime show, Criminal Minds. The actor reportedly kicked one of the show’s co-producers, which got him suspended from the show. That suspension led to an investigation which resulted in Gibson being fired from the series.
The Criminal Minds star apparently already had two strikes against him before this altercation, including a 2010 incident on set and a DUI charge in 2013. Criminal Minds released a statement after they gave the actor the axe: “Thomas Gibson has been dismissed from Criminal Minds. Creative details for how the character’s exit will be addressed in the show will be announced at a later date.” Gibson’s dumb decision to lash out at one of the producers not only halted his acting career, but also severely tarnished his reputation.
6 Robin Thicke
Robin Thicke’s music career was doing extremely well, with his song “Blurred Lines” topping the charts. However, he probably couldn’t have guessed that one picture of him with a fan would lead to the downfall of his career. In 2013, Robin took a photograph with an attractive blonde fan. At first glance, you wouldn’t think anything strange was going on, but upon taking a closer look, it is apparent in the mirror reflection that the singer had his hand practically up the woman’s dress.
Robin Thicke was married to Paula Patton at the time. The photo sparked some major controversy and eventually led to the couple’s divorce. The two ended up in a nasty battle for custody of their son. Robin Thicke’s 22 year-old girlfriend, April Love Geary, is currently expecting her first child with the singer. “Blurred Lines” was Thicke’s last hit song.
5 Jennifer Grey
Jennifer Grey made a name for herself in classic films like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Dirty Dancing. She was on the path for success but then she did something that brought her career to a halt. Jennifer Grey’s fans were shocked to see that she got a nose job in the early nineties that left her looking unrecognizable.
The actress even told The Mirror in 2011 that her plastic surgery was “the nose job from hell” and that she would always be known as “this once-famous actress nobody recognizes because of a nose job.”
Although she may have felt insecure about her prominent facial structure, it became obvious to Grey after her surgery that her nose was one of her defining features saying, “I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous.”
4 Stephen Collins
Stephen Collins was a beloved actor who played a pastor and a father in the family-friendly series, 7th Heaven. Collins’ career was brought to a halt after People reported that the actor had admitted to abusing underage girls in the past during a 2012 therapy session. His ex-wife Faye Grant had recorded the session which was leaked to the public via TMZ in 2014.
The reports led to the NYPD, LAPD, and Manhattan Special Victims Squad launching an investigation into Collins’ alleged crimes. That same year, the actor admitted to People that he had indeed assaulted underage girls on three separate occasions. Fans of the actors were absolutely shocked to hear that he had committed these horrible acts. Stephen Collins has not worked since the tape leaked.
3 Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson was one of the most popular actors in Hollywood, starring and directing in some huge blockbuster films. The actor’s issues with alcohol abuse eventually caught up with him. Gibson was caught in a recording during a DUI stop after police caught him speeding with an open bottle of liquor, going off in an offensive rant which included racist and anti-Semitic comments. The actor even attempted to flee the scene but was later cuffed and detained. What he said in the back of that police car will haunt his career for the rest of his life.
A few years later, another recording of Mel Gibson was leaked online. The actor spewed out another round of hate speech, aimed at his ex-wife. Subsequently, his talent agency immediately dropped him.
2 Paula Deen
People used to think about butter when they thought about Paula Deen. Unfortunately, the celebrity chef is now associated with being a tasteless racist.
The southern chef admitted in a deposition to making racist and anti-Semitic remarks and hiring black waiters to look like “slaves” at a wedding. Paula Deen’s former employee brought her and her brother, Earl “Bubba” Hiers, for alleged s*xual and racial workplace discrimination.
As a result of her racist remarks, Paula Deen’s career suffered. Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House restaurants closed after ten years of business and she was dropped by virtually all of her sponsors. However, the celebrity chef is in denial that her reputation was ever at risk, saying she didn’t need to make a comeback because she “never went anywhere.”
1 Mark Salling
Mark Salling was one of the most popular characters on Fox’s hit show Glee but in 2016, the actor was indicted on charges of buying and possessing child p*rnography. The public was absolutely shocked by the allegations. The authorities reportedly discovered over 100,000 pages of incriminating evidence against Salling. The actor was cut out of the miniseries, Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets. The director made a statement via Facebook saying that he would “personally be paying for the reshoots” and that he hoped “that Mark finds inner peace.”
Obviously, this demolished his career, but on top of the child p*rn accusations, he was also under investigation for r*ping a woman in October 2016. His trial for illegal p*rnography possession recently began on September 12, 2017.
Sources: tmz.com, usmagazine.com, tmz.com, ew.com, espn.com, nypost.com