11 of the Most Shocking Celebrity Scandals of All Time


Where were you when you found out about these shocking celebrity scandals? Some of these hit hard.

Surprise divorces, arrests, cheating, and more–let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit 11 of the biggest scandals of all time!

celebrity scandals

George Michael’s Bathroom Arrest

In 1998, former Wham! front man George Michael was arrested for lewd acts in public park bathroom in Beverly Hills. The singer had long been plagued with rumors about his sexuality, but he never intended for the news to break in such a shocking way.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes

Remember the moment Tom started jumping on Oprah’s couch as he declared his love for Katie Holmes? That was when we all realized that something wasn’t quite right with the box office megastar.

We got weird vibes all throughout Tom and Katie’s marriage, but it wasn’t until she pulled off an escape worthy of a big-budget action thriller that we realized how weird things were in the high-ranking Scientologist’s personal life.

Winona Ryder Gets Caught Stealing

In 2001, Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Ryder had been dealing with a prescription pill addiction for years, unbeknownst to her fans, and her conviction for grand left derailed her career until she was cast in Stranger Things.

Martha Stewart Heads to Prison

Honestly, I still forget sometimes that this happened. In 2002, Martha Stewart was caught selling off nearly 4000 shares of stock as part of an insider trading deal. Stewart served 5 months in federal prison, but she didn’t let that damage the empire she’d built.

Brad, Jennifer, and Angelina

You don’t even need their first names, do you? The fallout of this celebrity scandal has lasted for over a decade. When Brad Pitt divorced Jennifer Aniston to be with Angelina Jolie, we all took sides.

As much as we were rooting for Brad and Angie to make it, the couple is currently negotiating their divorce. Jennifer also split from her man, Justin Theroux, last year. Maybe all these people should try being single for a while?

Mel Gibson Shows His True Colors

If you were born after 1990, you might not realize that Mel Gibson used to be a big-deal action star. But in 2006, he went on a hideous anti-Semitic rant against a police officer who pulled her over.

We also heard leaked audio of him berating his partner at that time in another profanity-laced screed. He still gets cast in major movies, but we’ll never forget what kind of guy he is out of character.

Britney Melts Down

We’d known for a while that something was up with Britney. She made erratic decisions, gave spacey interviews, and generally seemed to be headed toward disaster. Then in 2007, Britney shaved her head and attacked a car with an umbrella.

It was obvious she needed help, and the pop star has spent the last decade under the conservatorship of her dad while ex Kevin Federline keeps their sons.

Kristen Stewart Kills Bella Swan for Good

Knowing what we do now about Kristen Stewart, it’s obvious that the rebellious starlet felt smothered by her own stardom. She was so closely linked to the character of Bella Swan–especially since she was dating costar Robert Pattinson in real life–that only a major scandal could set her free.

She got it when Stewart was caught cheating with director Rupert Sanders in 2012. Since then, she’s gone on to bleach her hair, star in indie dramas, and date a string of women.

Hugh Grant Gets Caught With His Pants Down

Way back in 1995, Hugh Grant was one of the biggest rom-com stars in Hollywood. With his gorgeous long-term love, Elizabeth Hurley, on his arm, he seemed like he’d rule the box office for the next decade.

Then he was arrested for soliciting prostitute Divine Brown. Hurley left him, and his star was tarnished. Of course Grant continued to work, but for the rest of the 90s he was the butt of many late-night TV jokes.

Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction

It seems almost quaint now, but in 2004 this was one of the biggest celebrity scandals. During the life Super Bowl Halftime show, Justin Timberlake ripped off part of Janet Jackson’s costume to expose her breast.

Was it planned ahead of time? We’ll probably never know. In the years since then, JT has gone from strength to strength, but Jackson’s career has never really recovered.

O.J. Simpson’s Flight from Justice

If you didn’t live through it, you can’t imagine the scope of this scandal. In 1994, O.J. Simpson led a car chase through LA in his iconic white Bronco.

He was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, as well as her friend Ronald Goldman. The trial was all anyone wanted to talk about, and everybody had a theory about what really happened.