The biggest Hollywood scandals in the last 50 years

Drama is not exclusive to Hollywood sets and stages.


1994–1995: OJ Simpson was arrested and charged with the murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. He was acquitted after a 10-month trial that was widely televised.

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2003-2005: Michael Jackson is accused of child abuse. He was acquitted after a four-month trial that was quite a media spectacle.

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2005: Jennifer Aniston files for divorce from Brad Pitt after five years of marriage. Months later, she opens her relationship with her Mr and Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie, with whom he was rumored to be having an affair during filming.

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2009: Chris Brown was charged with assault in a domestic violence incident with his then-girlfriend Rihanna. Someone close to the star leaked photos of Rihanna’s injuries.

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1973: Singer-songwriter Gram Parsons dies at the age of 26 from causes unknown to this day. He previously expressed a desire to have his ashes scattered in Joshua Tree, but his family opted for a burial in New Orleans. Gram’s friends Phil Kaufman and Michael Martin were later arrested after stealing Gram’s body from LAX and taking it to Joshua Tree in a borrowed hearse. They tried to cremate Gram by pouring gasoline all over the coffin, but the ensuing fire brought police to the scene.

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2012, 2015: Whitney Houston is found dead in a bathtub during the 2012 Grammy weekend. Nearly three years later, her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unconscious in eerily similar circumstances. Bobbi Kristina was in a coma for six months before her death. she was 22

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1977: Elvis Presley is found dead in an upstairs room in his Graceland mansion. He officially ruled a heart attack, many believed drug abuse was involved.

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1995-1996: Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape was stolen and leaked on the early web. The couple would later sue Penthouse editor Bob Guccione about the chair tape.

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1992: Woody Allen admits he is dating his former stepdaughter, Soon-Yi Previn, amid sexual assault allegations. The couple married in 1997.

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1997: Mike Tyson ripped off a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a game. Holyfield was rushed to the hospital for surgery, and Tyson faced a $3 million fine.

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2010: Sandra Bullock announces her separation from husband Jesse James after reports of infidelity become public, days after winning the Oscar for the blind side. Later, it would be revealed that the infidelities came to light while the couple was in the process of adopting a child.

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1982: Ozzy Osbourne bit off the head of a bat that a fan threw onstage, assuming it was fake. Was not. People still debate whether the incident was real, fake, fake, or a total hoax.

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2007: Kim Kardashian and Ray J.

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1977: Roman Polanski, 43, was arrested and charged with drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Gailey during a photo shoot the night before at Jack Nicholson’s Hollywood home.

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1989: Todd Bridges was arrested and charged with attempted murder. He was acquitted and later charged with assault with a firearm, of which he was also acquitted.

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2019–2022: R. Kelly is sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after being indicted on racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

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2006: Mel Gibson launches an anti-Semitic tirade after being arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving. He was later charged with misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated, driving with an elevated blood alcohol level and driving with an open container of alcohol in a car.

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1994: Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes is arrested after setting fire to her boyfriend Andre Rison’s Atlanta home, leading to five years of probation.

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1978: Hogan’s Heroes The star, Bob Crane, was found bludgeoned to death amidst an extensive collection of explicit pornography.

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1984: Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father the day before his 45th birthday in an argument over insurance paperwork.

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2004–2005: Martha Stewart was arrested and charged with a series of felonies, including conspiracy and making false statements to investigators, resulting in a five-month stint in prison.

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1978: Sid Vicious attempts suicide after being released from prison, when he was accused of the death of Nancy Spurgeon. He died of a drug overdose in early 1979.

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1994: Anna Nicole Smith marries oil baron J. Howard Marshall II, 89, at 26.


1996–2003: Robert Downey Jr. suffers a series of arrests, including one for driving drugged and naked down the Sunset Strip throwing imaginary rats out of his car window. He spends time in jail and numerous rehab stints before meeting his now-wife, Susan Downey, and committing to her sobriety.

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2019–2021: Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are accused of a massive college admissions cheating scam to get their children into the colleges of their choice. Both served time in federal jail as a result.

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1984: Vanessa Williams resigns as Miss America after backlash over nude photos taken in 1982 that were later published on Penthouse.

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1972: Jane Fonda travels to Hanoi, Vietnam in the midst of the Vietnam War and implored the military to stop targeting farmland and civilian areas. She later apologized for insulting the military by implying that they were exaggerating the conditions they faced in the country.

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2011: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver divorce after his affair with the family’s former housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena, came to light. Baena’s child was revealed to be Arnold’s son, conceived while Shriver was pregnant with her youngest child and born just days apart.

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1977: Freddie Prinze commits suicide in front of his manager at the age of 22.

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2012: Katie Holmes leaves Tom Cruise after five years of marriage.

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1987: Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Gray are involved in a fatal car accident in Ireland resulting in the deaths of a mother and daughter. The accident occurred days before dirty Dancing it came out in theaters. Broderick was later convicted of negligent driving.

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3. 4.

2009: Kanye West interrupts Taylor Swift onstage as she accepts her MTV VMAs, saying that Beyoncé deserves the award, starting a very long and bizarre feud.

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1975: Sonny & Cher announce their divorce after 13 years together and six years of marriage. Four days after it was finalized, Cher married Gregg Allman.

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1988: Rob Lowe’s sex tape with two Atlanta women, one of them a minor at the time. Lowe denied any knowledge of her age and was never charged with any crime, but settled a lawsuit with her family.

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1992: Sinead O’Connor tore up a photo of Pope John Paul II while performing Bob Marley’s “War” at saturday night live to comment on child abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

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2011: Charlie Sheen bragged about having “tiger blood” and #winning in a public meltdown.

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1988: Brenda Harvey Richie was arrested after she allegedly caught Lionel Richie cheating on her with Diane Alexander and kicking each of them. Police were said to have entered and seen her assault Diane.

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1997: The Ellen DeGeneres sitcom was canceled after both the character and the comedian came out as gay.

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2018: Bill Cosby is accused of sexual assault after more than 50 women come forward with accusations. He was sentenced to a prison term that was later revoked.

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1974-1976: Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton divorce (’74), remarry (’75), and separate again (’76).

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2014: Leaked security footage shows Solange Knowles assaulting her brother-in-law Jay Z in the elevator leaving the 2014 Met Gala, with Beyoncé on board.

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Four. Five.

1980: Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan for traveling with 7.7 ounces of marijuana. He was later released and deported.

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1989: Milli Vanilli was caught lip-syncing at a live MTV performance and it was later revealed that they weren’t the voices behind her biggest hits.

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2001: Winona Ryder is arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

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1977: Farrah Fawcett leaves the hit series Charlie’s Angels after the first season and is sued for breach of contract.

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2011: Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphies divorce after 72 days of marriage.

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