Celebrity lies exposed… but how could they not be in this day and age? As someone in the public eye, not only do you have to worry about reporters rooting out your secrets; nowadays, everyone you pass by on the street could also be using his or her phone to record the footage that reveals your ugly truths.
Let’s face it – everybody’s grasp of the truth is a little shaky these days. But one’s public image does still count for something. And, at times, a celeb will let one of those fibs slip out that they live to regret later down the line. Maybe it’s an aspect of their lives that doesn’t jibe with a carefully constructed public image. Or maybe, it’s just another crappy publicity stunt to get their name in the news when talent – assuming there’s any to begin with – just isn’t cutting it.
Maybe it’s easy to understand lying once in a while when the mics and cameras are in your face all the time. After all, whose life could stand up to that kind of scrutiny? But when you’re also getting richly rewarded for the fame that comes from your notoriety, you can at least expect to get called out for your fibs. From indiscretions to career enhancement run amok, our list proves there are as many different lies as there are liars.
15. Kim Kardashian
Lying and reality TV stars seem to go hand and hand, which says a lot. Nick Cannon recently revealed that when he was dating Kim Kardashian, she told him that she didn’t have a sex tape. The two dated from 2006 to early 2007, and we’re not sure how the subject came up exactly. Oh, so by the way… got any sex tapes out there I should know about? However, it happened, and Kim apparently assured Nick at the time that there were no revealing tapes of her lurking out there. Naturally, he was a little shocked and surprised when her famous sex tape with ex Ray J surfaced everywhere online in 2007. In fact, it’s what led to their breakup. Kim K lied about her age when she started out, and she even lied about North’s due date to the media. Kim’s always denied getting any plastic surgery or other work done to maintain that famous figure. The photographic evidence is out there, however. Images from over the years show changes to her nose, butt, boobs, and even injections to the face and more. And that ability to bounce back into bikini shape immediately after giving birth? It’s all part of “reality” we guess – the one where fans forget all the fibs.
14. Beyoncé Knowles
Almost all of your fave big-name pop stars don’t write their own material – everybody knows that, right? So why lie about it, or, at least, misrepresent your role? There have been many rumors and a lot of gossip over the years about Mrs. Carter’s songwriting contributions on her releases. When “Irreplaceable” came out in 2006, she talked about writing the lyrics in interviews. Years later, Ne-Yo revealed in a radio interview that he’d written the song, with Queen Bey contributing only background harmonies. She claimed to have written all the songs on her 2008 release, Sasha Fierce. Yet, singer Chrisette Michele told a magazine interviewer that the song “Ego” had originally been written for her own album and that it had been her decision to give the track to Queen B instead. In 2013, Bey did a GQ interview where she talked about writing the songs for Destiny’s Child, but just a casual look at their releases shows that none of them are credited to her alone – some include seven different names. Singer-songwriter Linda Perry (who wrote Pink‘s megahit “Get The Party Started”) named Bey in a magazine interview as one of the many stars taking songwriting credits they didn’t deserve. Beyoncé’s an incredible singer and performer – isn’t that enough?
13. Britney Spears
Britney Spears famously started her career as a Mouseketeer on the 1990s version of the Mickey Mouse Club. It was a hit factory that’s spawned stars like Justin Timberlake (a mouse-mate of Brit’s) Miley Cyrus, and Hilary Duff. Maybe, it was that squeaky clean start to her career that made her lie about being a virgin. Starting out as a solo artist, her shtick was all about being America’s sexiest virgin, and she even claimed that she was still waiting for marriage during her highly publicized relationship with Justin Timberlake. It took years for Justin to put the lie to her story, and in the end, even her mother spilled the beans in a memoir where she revealed that Brit had done the deed as early as high school. More recently, it seems like Britney’s not against lying on her social media feeds. In January 2016, she posted a picture she’d supposedly just taken of Mexican grilled corn. Eagle-eyed Instagram users, however, spotted that the photo was actually from a Food Network recipe. It was the first one that turned up on a Google search for “Mexican grilled corn.”
Micheal Ray Stevenson, aka Tyga, has made a name for himself in the highly competitive world of rap and hip-hop with a straight outta Compton kind of vibe. But then, back in 2012, someone dug up an old episode of an MTV show called Bustas. The episode, which had never aired before, saw Tyga as an 18-year-old, bragging about his wealthy, privileged upbringing in the Valley. Say what? Once the video came to light, he denied it and claimed it was a scripted interview that was designed to boost his career. He did move out of Compton, as it turns out, but not till he was 11. Or so he says now. Which is true? And why lie? Rumors and lies have swirled around his love life, including during his relationship with Kylie Jenner. Transgender model Mia Isabella claims that Tyga lied on a TV interview in July 2017 when he said that the two had never dated. Mia says they had had an ongoing relationship for three years. Lying is just going to keep it in the headlines, Tyga.
11. Caitlin Jenner
As the former Bruce Jenner, and, more recently, since transitioning to Caitlin, Jenner has come up with a number of seemingly pointless public lies. Back in 2013, as Kim K’s stepdad, Bruce told tabloids that he’d only met Kanye West one single time. Journalists later pointed out that he’d actually been photographed with West on several occasions. At the time, Kim was pregnant with the baby that would be North, so perhaps, Jenner meant to imply that Kanye wasn’t being a good prospective father. Caitlin also admitted to bending the truth on her short-lived reality TV series I Am Cait – a show that was praised for its forthright honesty about Caitlin’s transition. In the show, Caitlin introduced actress Candis Cayne as one of her best friends. Caitlin later admitted she had actually cast the 45-year-old actress in the role of her best friend based on seeing her on TV and hadn’t even met her before the sequence was shot for the show.
10. Kenya Moore
Kenya Moore, longtime star of Real Housewives of Atlanta, has always had an on-again, off-again relationship with the truth. This summer, the big bombshell reveal of the season’s end was Kenya’s secret marriage back in June 2017 during a holiday in St. Lucia. As she tells it, her new hubby is publicity shy, and that’s why no one’s really captured the two on camera. You’ll forgive fans of the show for being a little skeptical. Back when she first signed on to RHOA, Kenya’s boyfriend on the show was a guy named “Walter Jackson.” But, back in 2012, Jackson told a radio audience that their whole relationship had been faked for the cameras – including all that talk about marriage and starting a family, and all the groping and kissing, too. The two were so convincing, even the show’s producers thought it was legit. Kenya’s supposedly angry about the skepticism about her current relationship and has posted about it on Instagram. But can you blame anyone for doubting?
9. Wyclef Jean/Lauryn Hill
The Fugees were one of the seminal hip-hop groups of the 1990s and rose to stardom with their 1996 release, The Score. But, at the pinnacle of their success, the band broke up in 1997. It turns out lies were at the heart of the breakup – but whose? Wyclef Jean went public with his version of the story in 2012 when he detailed his roller-coaster affair with Lauryn Hill while the band was imploding. The affair continued even after Jean got married. Hill became pregnant, and Jean claims that she told him the child – her son Zion David – was his. The father, however, turns out to have been Rohan Marley, son of Bob. Jean says finding out about the lie is what did the Fugees in for good. For his part, Rohan Marley claims that everything Jean said about the affair was a lie, including the fact that it happened at all. Whatever the truth is, it’s too bad the lies scuttled a great band, and no doubt, everyone involved wishes the whole story would just go away.
8. Steve Rannazzisi
Actor and standup comedian Steve Rannazzisi starred in The League, the show about a fantasy football league that ran from 2009 to 2015. For years, he told the colorful story of how he’d been inspired to pursue a career in comedy after a harrowing experience during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City. He claimed he’d been working for Merrill Lynch on the 54th floor of the south tower when the first plane hit. He even went into detail about how the blast to the other tower had rocked the building and started a panic. In 2015, however, the NYTimes uncovered the truth – he’d never been at the World Trade Center that day, and in fact, he’d never worked for Merrill Lynch. When he was contacted by the NYTimes, he finally came clean and admitted to what he called an “inexcusable” lie. We can understand someone telling fibs at the beginning of his career to make himself sound better, but he’d been repeating it for years.
7. Rebel Wilson
Aussie actress and comedian Rebel Wilson was hilarious in Pain & Gain with Mark Wahlberg and Anthony Mackie, and she’s been getting raves in the role of Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect flicks. She’s got that outrageous edge that adds to her comedic roles. She also has a bit of an outrageous sense of the truth earlier in her career, when it came to writing her bio, at any rate. Up to a couple of years ago, she was claiming that “Rebel Wilson” was her real name, and that she had been born in 1986. An Australian tabloid got on the case, however, and dug up the facts: her name is “Melanie Elizabeth Bounds,” and her birth date falls in 1980 – a full six years earlier than her claims. She went from 29 to 35 in one fell swoop when the story broke in 2015. Why even bother trying to cover anything up nowadays? It’s a futile effort.
6. Angelina Jolie
While she’s known for many things from acting and directing to her work with the UN, Angelina Jolie is probably most famous for her personal life, with a PR team that’s carefully crafted her public image. The occasions when Angelina Jolie has slipped from the truth are among the lesser known and least-publicized aspects of her life. At one time, she used to claim that she was part Iroquois until then-estranged father Jon Voight went public with the fact that it was a family lie perpetuated by Jolie’s mother – one of those tales told to make the family seem more interesting. During an interview back in 2004, (between Billy Bob Thornton and Brad Pitt) Jolie spoke about having “a few lovers,” and there have been several women who’ve claimed to have had affairs with her. Yet, in February 2017, she claimed that she’d only ever slept with four men in her whole life. Then, there was that whole story about how she and Brad hadn’t gotten together until after the separation from Jenn… which turned out to be a lie. There were also many claims of lies designed to make Brad look bad after the famous celebrity couple’s separation – but we’ll let the divorce lawyers sort those out.
5. Brian Williams
Is nothing sacred anymore? Apparently not – not even cherished news anchors and our trust in their word. Brian Williams spent a decade as the anchor and managing editor of the NBC Nightly News, one of the plummest of plum jobs in the journalism universe. But maybe it’s just that – being at the very top of your game for so long, you get a little soft with things like the absolute truth. On the show, on January 30, 2015, Williams regaled his audience with the story of how he’d been in a helicopter that was struck down while he was embedded with the US Army in Iraq in 2003. The problem was, it never happened, and veterans who’d been there were quick to call him out on it. Williams had to make a public apology on air, saying he had “misremembered” the events. He stepped down from his role as anchor, and then, NBC made the suspension official at six months with no pay. It was a huge slap in the face for the famous newsman. Nowadays, he’s hosting The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on MSNBC.
4. Victoria Beckham
She’s got a glamorous image most women would kill for, she’s a former pop star and model, and nowadays, she’s a fashion designer and businesswoman — not to mention, she’s married to one of the soccer world’s true star players. So, what’s Victoria Beckham got to lie about, anyway? Turns out, she lied about plastic surgery for years. Posh Spice was often pestered by tabloids about changes to her physique and face, and she always denied getting any cosmetic work done. Turns out that it’s one aspect of her life – and a lie – that she now regrets. Victoria went public with her feelings about a lot of those issues in a piece she wrote for a British magazine in January 2017. She called her previous denials of having breast augmentation surgery “stupid” and said she regretted the whole procedure. Really, it’s about whatever makes you feel good about yourself, so kudos to Ms. Beckham for taking her mistake and trying to make it into a lesson for others.
3. Bill O’Reilly
Recently fired Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has often been accused of stretching the truth during a long career that stretches back to the 1970s. In 2013, he published the bestseller Killing Kennedy. In the book, he claimed to have been near enough to hear the shotgun blast when a figure involved in the Kennedy assassination committed suicide in 1977. That claim was debunked by a newspaper reporter. As with Brian Williams, in 2015, claims surfaced that O’Reilly had fabricated several titillating war stories in which he was the main protagonist. O’Reilly’s involved covering the Falklands War in Argentina. In a book, as well as on air on his show, O’Reilly claimed that many had been killed during a riot he had witnessed, a fact that was disputed by other reporters who’d been at the scene. O’Reilly was also reported to have been stationed over 1,000 miles away from the front lines of the conflict during his time in Argentina. Naturally, Bill O’Reilly had been critical of fellow newsman Brian Williams when his scandal came out, saying, “Reporting the news comes with a big responsibility.” Maybe they should both be in reality TV. O’Reilly has denied any wrongdoing.
2. Brooks Ayers
Brooks Ayers was a businessman and the boyfriend of diva Vicki Gunvalson on the Real Housewives of Orange County for four seasons. He was, that is, until he decided to come up with a blockbuster twist for the show — he claimed to have been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Brooks spoke about the diagnosis, his symptoms, and treatment, and it was naturally one of the major themes on the show. But there were always doubters, so much so that he had to come up with hospital records as proof for the E! Network. The papers he submitted, however, turned out to have been forged. Even when faced with that admission, Brooks still tried to claim that the illness itself was real and mentioned treatments at the City of Hope Hospital. But the hospital issued a statement saying they had had no record of it. The lie and its aftermath led to Brooks’s break-up with Vicki, and he was turfed from the show after its 10th season.
1. Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans
Jona Bechtolt and Claire L. Evans are the core of YACHT, an electro-pop band from Oregon. They’ve been in the biz for years and have produced a number of well-received indie releases since 2002. Their last release, I Thought The Future Would Be Cooler, came out in 2015, so maybe that’s why they thought a good old-fashioned internet scandal might be a cool way of staying relevant. In May 2016, the couple posted an update to the band’s FB page claiming they’d made a sex tape that was hacked. “Just because we’re public figures doesn’t mean we asked for this,” they wrote. They even tried to sell the tape for $5 a piece under the guise of taking back what had been stolen. The next day, they admitted the whole thing was a publicity stunt. Fans and other observers rightfully ripped the two for the ridiculous lie, and they publicly apologized. What’s sad is that the duo were known for their sense of innovation when it came to promotions, such as a video that played only when Uber rates rose above a specific level in Los Angeles or a website that sent out faxes. Why do something so ridiculous?
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