15 Celebrity Scandals Everyone Forgot
The 24-hour news cycle being what it is and rich people being what they are, scandals come at us so fast these days that no one can keep track. Before you’ve finished reading a headline about a Hollywood heartthrob caught DM-ing teenagers, you get a notification about a tech CEO proposing that the poor simply eat their children. No one could blame you for forgetting that…
Lindsay Lohan Tried to Kidnap a Child
In 2018, Lohan went live on Instagram as she harassed a homeless family in Moscow and tried to convince the children to leave with her, scolding their parents for not letting them leave with the first slurring stranger who offers them movies in a hotel room. Eventually, she appeared to grab at one of the children and was struck by their mother. She never faced any charges and refused to explain the incident, telling Paper Magazine she was “too tired” to talk about it.
Jerry Seinfeld Dated a High Schooler
At the height of his ‘90s sitcom fame, when he was 38 years old, Seinfeld was apparently reduced to picking up women in Central Park, one of whom was a 17-year-old high school student named Shoshanna Lonstein who he very publicly dated for the next four years. He claimed not to know how old she was when he asked her out, but he did find out at some point over the next half-decade.
Paul Walker Dated Two Teenage Girls
At the time of his death, Walker was living with a 23-year-old woman who, it was revealed, was 16 when she began dating the then-33-year-old movie star. Walker previously dated a 16-year-old girl when he was 28 as well. Basically, he got older, they stayed the same age.
Rob Lowe Filmed Himself Having Sex With an Underage Girl
Long before he was raising hilarious awareness about men with eating disorders, a sex tape featuring Lowe, a 23-year-old woman, and a 16-year-old girl leaked to the press. He also claimed not to know how old the latter was, paid off her family, and later said the incident was “the best thing that ever happened to” him because it motivated him to get sober, so that’s gross.
Reese Witherspoon Was Drunkenly and Hilariously Arrested
In 2013, Reese Witherspoon’s husband, Jim Toth, was arrested for driving drunk, and like one of her spunky characters, Witherspoon just couldn’t not get in everybody’s face about it. “Mrs. Witherspoon began to hang out the window and say that she did not believe that I was a real police officer,” the arresting officer wrote. After she defied his order to stay in the car and started ranting about her right as an “American citizen” to “stand on American ground,” he handcuffed her and she went full cliche. “Do you know my name? You’re about to find out who I am,” she blustered. “You are going to be on national news,” she continued, as if he was the one who looked dumb.
David Letterman Was Forced to Admit to Sexual Misconduct
In 2009, a CBS employee attempted to extort Letterman out of $2 million, forcing him to reveal live on air that he’d had inappropriate relationships with members of his staff. What was going on in 2009? Were we really so distracted by Slender Man that we missed this?
Tupac Was Convicted of Sexual Abuse
Hip-hop fans are probably aware that Tupac spent some time in prison in 1995, but what it was for -- luring a woman to his hotel room, where he and three other men sexually assaulted her, according to the victim -- tends to get glossed over. Tupac denied the charges, but the fact that he was actually convicted in this American justice system and the total lack of understanding of consent in those denials (“How am I going to force a woman to do something to me that we’ve already done consensually?”) are pretty damning.
Snoop Dogg Was Tried For Murder
Yes, that kindly old stoner grandpa who cooks with Martha Stewart. He was accused of a gang-related murder in the mid ‘90s, but he was defended by Johnnie Cochran fresh off his O.J. victory, the LAPD totally botched the investigation, and everyone seemed to agree that Snoop wasn’t even the one holding the gun, so the prosecution never had a chance, but everybody got to make a lot of “Murder Was the Case” jokes.
Nicolas Cage Was Arrested For Domestic Abuse
In 2011, Cage was arrested in New Orleans after drunkenly arguing with his then-wife about where they lived. No, really. Witnesses reported that he violently pulled her toward what he insisted was the house they’d rented and generally disturbed the peace. The charges were eventually dropped, but not before he was bailed out by Dog the Bounty Hunter, because this story needed to get weirder.
Elvis Costello’s Racist Rant
In 1979, Costello started a brawl with several other musicians in a bar by racistly disparaging James Brown and Ray Charles. Yeah, that word was used. A lot. Even back then, he was all but canceled, so he called a press conference to explain that “it became necessary for me to outrage these people with the most offensive and obnoxious remarks I could muster to bring the argument to a swift conclusion and rid myself of their presence.” You know how sometimes you gotta incite a race riot to get people to leave you alone. It works so well!
Paul McCartney Went to Jail in Japan
In 1980, McCartney flew to Japan with his band, Wings, and a giant bag of weed, which could have gotten him seven years in prison. He ended up serving only nine days, leading singalongs of the other inmates, before he was released and deported. When asked what the hell he was thinking, he suggested that he subconsciously wanted to break up the band, but it seems like there are easier ways. It’s not like he hadn’t done it before.
Jennifer Lawrence Wiped Her Ass With Hawaiian Culture
There was a period in the mid 2010s when we thought every anecdote about Lawrence’s bodily functions was both endearing and hot, emboldening her to tell a story about filming The Hunger Games in Hawaii and using sacred rocks to scratch her ass. She even caused a landslide, marking the only time J-Law’s butt has been bad.
Ted Danson Did Blackface
In 1993, Danson somehow got it into his head that it would be hilarious to appear at the Friars Club roast of his then-girlfriend, Whoopi Goldberg, in full minstrel blackface. He proceeded to perform a horrifically racist set to an audience that cycled through confused chuckles to stunned silence to storming out. Goldberg later revealed that she’d masterminded the stunt herself, but they also broke up soon after, so … good one, Whoopi.
Vanessa Williams Did Porn
In 1984, future pop star and astronomy misunderstander Vanessa Williams was crowned the first black Miss America, but her accomplishment was undermined by the revelation that two years earlier, she’d posed for nude photos simulating sex with another woman, which were published by Penthouse upon her win. She was stripped, this time of her crown, and explained that the photographer told her that only her silhouette would be visible. Ladies, never fall for that.
Matthew Broderick’s “Careless Driving” Killed Two People
In 1987, Broderick was driving on the wrong side of a country road in Ireland when he hit an oncoming car, killing the two women inside. He faced up to five years in prison, but in the end, he only had to pay a $175 fine for “careless driving.” Decades later, he appeared driving a Honda in a Super Bowl commercial, to which the victims’ family responded, “Oh, come on.”
Top image: Angela George/Wikimedia Commons