Chris Brown’s Battery
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that some of these celebs still enjoy careers. While Chris Brown may have ruined his reputation back in 2009, he’s still dancing on stage in 2021, which is saying something.
Anyway, entertainer Chris Brown beat up his then-girlfriend Rihanna at a pre-Grammy party, and pictures of the star’s bruised face were splashed all over the tabloids. RiRi ended up in hospital after the incident. Since then, Brown has had other run-ins with the law.
Jerry Lee Lewis’ Child Bride
Anyone that’s heard of singer Jerry Lee Lewis knows that he married his cousin. But, did you know that the cousin in question was only 13 years old at the time? Yeah — that’s right.
Jerry Lee Lewis was considered the first wild man of rock and roll, but his popularity plummeted when he got hitched to cousin Myra Gale Brown. Altogether, Lewis was married seven times. He was with Brown for over a decade, and they split amid her allegations of abuse.
Tila Tequila’s White Supremacy
Clearly, there’s no rest for the wicked, because now we have to talk about Tila Tequila. At one point, the TV personality was everywhere, including as the most popular person on Myspace. The celeb had her own dating show, but eventually killed her career when she appeared on the British show, Celebrity Big Brother.
Tila Tequila only lasted two days on the show when she was asked to leave based on her white supremacist views. Producers had uncovered Tequila’s website where she’d written pro-Hitler comments.
Milli Vanilli’s Lip-Sync Scandal
Listen, the presence of Milli Vanilli on this list really proves that not all of these careers were killed over the same sort of issue. Some celebs on this list are literally imprisoned because of their crimes, whereas this German-French R&B duo just messed up a performance and paid the ultimate price.
Essentially, the extremely popular ’80s duo performed live on MTV, the track skipped, and their lip-syncing was exposed. When it was discovered the pair didn’t sing on their albums, fans demanded refunds, and their Grammy was revoked!
Mel Gibson’s Anti-Semitism
Here’s another A-lister whose reputation took a serious hit, but whose career never actually died. Actor Mel Gibson was an Oscar-winning actor known for his work in Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, and Mad Max.
In 2010, recordings of the celeb ranting at his then-wife were released, and he pleaded no contest to a battery charge. Prior to that, the star was pulled over while driving under the influence and launched into an anti-Semitic rant. Gibson was blacklisted for almost a decade — not long enough!
Ian Watkins’ Shocking Crimes
Fans were shocked when the co-founder and lead vocalist of rock band Lostprophets was exposed as a serious criminal. In 2013, the Welsh musician was sentenced to 29 years in prison for crimes involving babies, young children, and animals.
Disgustingly, the day after Watkins’ guilty plea was accepted, he referred to his crimes as “mega lolz.” Since then, Watkins has been continuing his crimes from prison, and was sentenced to even more time for contacting potential victims using a cell phone while locked up.
R. Kelly’s Imprisonment of Women
Really, R. Kelly should not have had the career he did. If the police had listened to the accounts of the entertainer’s victims and their families in the early stages, Kelly’s disgusting actions might not have continued.
As with many of the celebs on this list, R. Kelly’s money and celebrity meant that he could prey on young women for years. Kelly went so far as to imprison women in his home, as shown in docu-series Surviving R. Kelly. The celeb is currently in jail facing 22 federal crimes.
Sinead O’Connor’s SNL Stunt
Now known for her outlandish behavior, Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor shocked audiences when she appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1992. O’Connor sang an a cappella version of “War” by Bob Marley, and started ripping up a picture of Pope John Paul II while singing and looking into the camera.
Interestingly, O’Connor was protesting abuse within the Catholic Church, and did so nine years before the Pope acknowledged it. Regardless, the world went wild, and even Madonna criticized the singer in the press.
Janet Jackson’s Wardrobe Malfunction
While some celebs on this list have seriously harmed others, singer Janet Jackson’s career took a massive hit because she exposed herself on stage. There are various conflicting accounts of this incident, with people initially thinking that Jackson’s exposed breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show was a costume malfunction.
However, years later people think that Jackson’s co-performer Justin Timberlake orchestrated the incident. Following the incident, Janet Jackson was uninvited from the Grammys, and blacklisted from radio and music channels. Justice for Janet!
Jennifer Grey’s Nose Job
Here’s another talented woman that didn’t really deserve to see her career plummet. Jennifer Grey is best known for playing Baby in Dirty Dancing, though she also starred in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Red Dawn, as well as in various other movies and TV shows. However, when Grey had a nose job, she basically made herself anonymous.
Jennifer Grey has since remarked, “I went in the operating room a celebrity — and came out anonymous. It was like being in a witness protection program or being invisible.”
Charlie Sheen’s Treatment of Women
It’s remarkable how many celebrity men have admitted to harming women and then continued to work with little or no consequences. Actor Charlie Sheen has made tabloid front covers with his wild behavior and womanizing ways. The star has been married three times, and has faced accusations from several of his partners.
Actress Denise Richards accused Sheen of threatening her with violence, and with looking at inappropriate images of children. His next wife, actress Brooke Mueller, eventually acquired a restraining order against him.
Josh Duggar’s Predatory Crimes
Josh Duggar is the eldest child of Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, the couple featured on the reality show, 19 Kids and Counting. However, when the family was set to star on The Oprah Winfrey Show, reports arose of Josh’s previous crimes.
Indeed, as a teenager, Duggar had acted inappropriately with multiple children, including his own sisters. When he told his parents, they spoke with Church elders and sent him to a “program.” In light of this, and Duggar being on Ashley Madison, the show was canceled.
Dani Mathers’ Shameless Snapchat
Model and actress Dani Mathers has starred in soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful, as well as in Playboy. Mathers ended up losing her regular radio gig on the Heidi and Frank Show when she posted an image of another woman online.
More specifically, when she was in the gym, Dani Mathers took a video of a 71-year-old woman in the shower. She captioned the snap, “If I can’t unsee this then you can’t either.” She ended up charged with 45 days in prison.
Lori Loughlin’s College Admissions Fraud
Actress Lori Laughlin, and her husband, were charged by the FBI for taking part in fraudulent activities to get their daughter into college. In a nationwide scandal, Operation Varsity Blues uncovered that the actor and her husband had bribed organizations so their daughters would be accepted to the University of Southern California.
Lori Laughlin served two months in prison for her crimes, and was dropped from Fuller House. Her YouTuber daughter, Olivia Jade, also lost work but was able to remain at USC.
Ryan Lochte’s Olympic Lie
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is the second most decorated swimmer in Olympic history, but most people know his name for other reasons. Back in 2016, Lochte and his fellow athletes claimed they had been robbed in Rio De Janeiro during the 2016 Olympics. However, the details were slightly different than that.
In reality, Lochte and his pals had vandalized a gas station and paid money for the damage. As a result of lying, the athlete was suspended for 10 months and lost millions in endorsements.
Hulk Hogan’s Racist Rant
Hulk Hogan is another celeb who killed his career by revealing his unacceptable views. The former wrestler is one of the most recognized athletes in his sport, especially because of his forays as an actor and reality TV star.
Back in 2015, a compromising tape of Hogan was released. In the tape — where the wrestler is with a woman — Hogan makes various racist comments. In fact, at one stage he admits being racist “to a point.” As a result, WWE fired him.
PewDiePie’s Anti-Semitic Slurs
YouTuber Felix Kjellberg — best known as PewDiePie — has faced numerous controversies. One of the most popular figures to appear on the platform, PewDiePie has offended various groups and still managed to keep a substantial following.
In 2017, the YouTuber used anti-Semitic, racist, and homophobic slurs. When challenged, Kjellberg admitted to taking his so-called jokes “too far,” but complained about the outrage. Alas, this celeb didn’t really ruin their career, as PewDiePie still boasts over 100 million subscribers.
Lance Armstrong’s Damning Doping Scandal
If you really want to see someone that ruined their career overnight, look no further than disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong. For years, Armstrong’s name was synonymous with cycling, with success, and with those rubber bracelets that supported the Livestrong Foundation.
However, the US Anti-Doping Agency eventually named Lance Armstrong as the ringleader of “the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” As a result, Armstrong received a lifetime ban from all sports and was stripped of his medals.
Felicity Huffman’s SAT Subterfuge
So far we’ve seen actress Lori Laughlin face the consequences of her involvement in a nationwide college admissions scandal. Well, Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman — and potentially her husband, William H. Macy — were also involved.
In 2019, the actress was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. Eventually, Huffman pleaded guilty to having someone take her daughter’s SAT exam, and was sentenced to 14 days in prison. For unclear reasons, Macy was not charged alongside his wife.
Amanda Bynes’ Erratic Behavior
Child star Amanda Bynes fronted her own TV show, and starred in several successful movies including What a Girl Wants and Hairspray. Much like many of her noughties party girl peers, Bynes suffered from addiction and ended up facing legal issues.
After several incidents with the police, Bynes’ mother was granted conservatorship over her daughter. Amanda Bynes has since apologized for her erratic tweets during this time, but her acting career never recovered. The star hasn’t acted since 2010.
Michael Jackson’s Multiple Allegations
Despite being an iconic entertainer, Michael Jackson’s career started to decline in the late 1980s, and it only got worse from there. MJ’s changing physical appearance made him a controversial figure, and he was accused of serious crimes from as early as the 1990s.
The Prince of Pop was then subject to a wave of media criticism when he held his newborn baby over the railing of his four-story hotel room. Since his passing, Jackson has faced more allegations of inappropriate conduct towards minors.
Robin Thicke’s Creepy Dancing
When singer Robin Thicke performed with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, it became the most tweeted about event in history. At that stage in her career, Cyrus was transitioning from cutesy country child star to twerking, grill-wearing, Bangerz-era Miley.
For that reason, and because of his song’s creepy lyrics, audiences didn’t take too kindly to Thicke grinding all over a scantily clad Cyrus. This was made even worse by the singer’s black and white ‘jailbait’ suit.
Mark Salling’s Criminal Offenses
Understandably, Glee star Mark Salling’s career went down the toilet when he was accused and convicted of a string of serious crimes. The actor, who played bad-boy Puck on the musical series, was arrested in 2015 for possessing thousands of inappropriate images of children.
Mark Salling pleaded guilty to the charges against him, but passed away before he was formally charged. Prior to that, the actor was accused of engaging in inappropriate conduct by one of his ex-girlfriends.
Boy George’s False Imprisonment
English singer Boy George has faced various legal issues, partly due to his long-term addiction issues. In 2005, the singer was charged with falsely reporting a burglary, and in 2006 a warrant for his arrest was issued when he didn’t show up to court.
More seriously, the Culture Club singer was convicted of assault and the false imprisonment of a Norwegian model. Apparently, the singer restrained the model and beat him with a metal chain. For these crimes, he was imprisoned for four months.
Logan Paul’s Insensitive Footage
Arguably, Logan Paul’s career should have been over when he posted incredibly insensitive videos of human bodies on his YouTube channel. The footage was taken in a Japanese forest, and was aired alongside other videos of Paul harassing locals.
Much like Boy George, Chris Brown, and PewDiePie, Logan Paul has been able to continue his career despite multiple scandals, including animal cruelty and using slurs. The American YouTuber has over 22 million subscribers, and has gone on to work as an actor and boxer.
Jeffree Star’s Nasty Behavior
Here’s another controversial online figure that could perhaps do with a little less media attention. YouTuber Jeffree Star has been accused of racism and bullying by multiple high-profile figures including Kat Von D, Kylie Jenner, and Tati Westbrook. Plus, in a skit posted to Myspace, the makeup artist was seen using racial slurs.
In 2020, Star was accused of multiple cases of engaging in inappropriate conduct, and of previously having a white supremacist website. The site, named “Lipstick Nazi,” featured pictures of swastikas.
Michael Richards’ Racist Tirade
Prior to 2006, actor Michael Richards was best known as Kramer from Seinfeld. The star won the Emmy for Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series three times, and decided to branch out into standup comedy when the show wrapped.
However, while performing at a comedy club called the Laugh Factory, Richards launched into a racist tirade when some audience members wouldn’t quiet down. After footage was released, Richards apologized, but his stand-up career was over. We’d say that’s definitely for the best.
Paula Deen’s Plantation Party Plans
In 2013, celebrity chef Paula Deen was sued for racism and sexism, and accused of regularly using racial slurs. The TV personality apparently wanted her brother to have “a true Southern plantation-style theme” wedding complete with African American servers. Ultimately, she decided not to because of the possible media backlash.
Thankfully, Paula Deen lost a whole bunch of endorsements, publishing deals, and cooking shows because of her prejudiced beliefs. However, it’s worth pointing out that sales of her books massively increased during this scandal.
Ashlee Simpson’s Ill-Timed Jig
For some reason, a lip-syncing scandal can really be the undoing of a professional musician. Sure, we get that they’re supposed to sing, but isn’t it pretty common for performers to just mouth along when they’re doing a so-called live performance?
Much like Milli Vanilli before her, singer Ashlee Simpson’s career came to an abrupt end when she was caught lip-syncing on Saturday Night Live. When the wrong backing track started playing, Simpson started doing an awkward jig. And, when she blamed the band, the backlash began.
Kaley Cuoco’s Hideous Hairpiece
Listen — compared with some other famous faces on this list, Kaley Cuoco did basically nothing wrong. In fact, she did absolutely nothing wrong. However, when the Big Bang Theory actress wore fake bangs to the SAG awards, she remarked that the resulting chaos “almost ruined” her career.
It turns out that Cuoco’s hairpiece was hiding a black eye and stitches that she’d received while on set. The actress and costar Johnny Galecki were playing a prank when she ended up actually injured.
Ellen DeGeneres Toxic Talkshow
Though Ellen DeGeneres has always been welcoming to celebrities, it seems that her kindness didn’t extend to her staff. After a scathing exposé revealed the “toxic” working environment behind the scenes, there were multiple calls for the talk show host to be “canceled.”
Not long after the allegations emerged, DeGeneres shared that she would be ending her long-running show in 2022. While the host claims she simply wants to move on to new projects, many think that the timing is a bit suspicious.
Kevin Spacey’s Inappropriate Behavior
For decades, actor Kevin Spacey was considered one of the most acclaimed and accomplished actors in Hollywood. All of this changed when, in 2017, the actor was accused of inappropriate conduct by 20 men.
Some of the charges and accusations went as far back as the early 1990s. Given the severity of the charges, Spacey was immediately shunned by Hollywood. He was quickly fired from the successful Netflix show, House of Cards, and was essentially blacklisted from any future roles.
The Not-So-Funny Louis C.K.
Comedian Louis C.K. has always been known for his edgy brand of comedy and outspoken personality. In 2017, the comedian made international headlines when allegations emerged regarding multiple instances of inappropriate behavior. Five women accused C.K. of indecent exposure and inappropriate conduct.
Following their allegations, C.K. was disinvited from various media appearances and his shows were removed from various popular streaming platforms. Several years after the allegations, C.K is still touring, yet it seems that many in Hollywood aren’t quite ready to forgive him.
Elizabeth Berkley’s Career Regrets
When you’re an actor, taking on a risky role can sometimes cost you your career — a lesson that actress Elizabeth Berkley knows all too well. Though she was known for her role in the hit television show, Saved by the Bell, Berkley decided to sign onto the steamy drama Showgirls.
The film, which featured outrageous storylines and frequent nudity, was universally panned. According to the film’s director, Paul Verhoeven, “Showgirls certainly ruined the career of Elizabeth Berkley in a major way.” Berkeley’s career never recovered from the disastrous film.
Johnny Depp’s Personal Life Becomes Public
As an actor, Johnny Depp has played some of the most iconic characters in film history. For most of his career, the actor tended to shy away from the spotlight. In 2016, the talented actor’s personal life overshadowed his professional career when serious allegations emerged regarding his volatile relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard.
Heard and Depp accused one another of domestic abuse and substance abuse. The allegations caused Depp to be dropped from the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and have affected any future roles and projects.
Marilyn Manson’s History of Mistreating Women
From his clothing to his song lyrics, Marilyn Manson has become one of the most controversial stage personalities in music. In 2021 Manson received attention, not just for his music or image, but for allegations stating that the “shock-rocker” had abused and assaulted multiple women.
The rocker’s ex-girlfriend, Evan Rachel Wood, alleged that she was “horrifically abused” by Manson throughout their three-year relationship. Wood’s claims, along with allegations brought forth by other women, resulted in the singer being dropped from television roles, his music label, and his talent agency.
Lea Michele’s Mean Side
She may have played the role of a naive good girl on Glee, but according to co-stars, Lea Michele was no angel. In 2020, Glee co-star Samantha Ware alleged that Michele made working on the hit show a “living hell.”
Ware, and others, accused the actress of engaging in racist behavior and creating a toxic environment behind the scenes. The allegations were so serious that the actress was dropped from meal-kit company HelloFresh.
Hilaria Baldwin’s Spanish Scandal
Of the many strange events of 2020, Hilaria Baldwin’s Spanish scandal seemed to be one of the strangest. The social media influencer, and wife of actor Alec Baldwin, was revealed to not actually be of Spanish descent as she had previously stated.
In a cryptic social media post, a friend from Hilaria’s early life revealed that her supposed Spanish heritage was just a “decade long grift.” It turns out that Hilaria has been born and raised in Boston, not in Mallorca as she claimed.
Brian Williams Loses Credibility
A once regular face in news, Brian Williams’ career almost came to a screeching halt thanks to a controversial story he shared on Dateline NBC. As a journalist on Dateline NBC, Williams reported that during the Iraq War, the helicopter he was in had come under fire.
Williams’ description of the event continued to change with each telling until eyewitnesses of the event began to speak up. Eventually, Williams had to admit that he hadn’t accurately reported the event, resulting in a six-month suspension from NBC Nightly News.
Roseanne Barr Goes Too Far
While social media can be a source of positivity, it can also be a place to share negative and even offensive messages. Comedian and actress Roseanne Barr enjoyed success on her long-running sitcom, Roseanne. In 2018, the show was revived with the show’s original cast.
Unfortunately, the revival’s success was short-lived when Barr compared President Barack Obama’s senior advisor to a character from Planet of the Apes in a tweet. The tweet caused an abrupt cancellation of the sitcom and a wave of criticism against Barr.
Gina Carano’s Social Media Slip-Up
Gina Carano seemed to have been following a career trajectory not typically seen in Hollywood. Carano was able to successfully move from the world of MMA to Hollywood, leading to roles in films like Fast & Furious 6, Deadpool, and The Mandalorian.
This admirable success came to an abrupt stop when several controversial tweets made by the actress emerged. The comments made on social media caused her to be removed from The Mandalorian and other future projects involving the Star Wars franchise.
Chris Harrison’s Insensitive Remarks
In 2021, longtime host of popular reality shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, Chris Harrison, announced that he would be leaving the reality television franchises. The move, which surprised fans of the shows, came shortly after it was revealed that Harrison had made racially insensitive comments.
Harrison has been the host of the shows for close to 20 years. While little is known about who will take over hosting duties for Bachelor Nation, it’s clear that Harrison won’t be returning.
Justin Timberlake Gets Called Out
With a successful solo career and even movie roles, it seemed that Justin Timberlake was untouchable — that was until many media outlets began realizing his role in ex-Britney Spears’ mental health issues, and the downturn in Janet Jackson’s career.
Supporters of Spears pointed to many examples of Timberlake treating the pop star poorly, which possibly contributed to her future breakdown. Fans of Jackson believe that it wasn’t fair that Timberlake was able to simply walk away from the Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction controversy, while Jackson’s career was essentially derailed.
Armie Hammer’s Scandalous Secret Life
Few people could have imagined the stories that would emerge regarding actor Armie Hammer. Known for his good looks, and roles in some of the biggest films in recent years, the world was shocked when stories about the actor’s private life were revealed.
It turns out that behind the scenes, the actor had mentally and physically abused multiple women. Immediately following these revelations, the actor was forced to drop out of multiple film projects and he was dropped by his own talent agency.
Chrissy Teigen’s Terrible Tweeting
For years, Chrissy Teigen was known as the unofficial “Queen of Twitter” thanks to her frequent posting and habit of getting into fights on social media. Teigen would soon learn that there was a price to pay for her frequent tweeting when it emerged that she had been bullying reality television star, Courtney Stodden.
Stodden claimed that Teigen harassed and verbally abused her with a barrage of mean messages, and she wasn’t the only one. Since then, Teigen’s cookware line has been dropped by Macy’s and Target.
The Chicks’ Political Statement
Country trio The Chicks learned who their real fans were when they made comments about ongoing issues between tensions between the US and Iraq. When frontwoman Natalie Maines joked about not being proud of her country, the band faced major backlash.
Fans destroyed their albums, radios boycotted their music, and threats were issued against Maines. The backlash against the group was so huge that the American Red Cross refused a one million dollar donation from the band. Thankfully, they’ve since made a comeback.
Tana Mongeau’s Terrible TanaCon
YouTuber Tana Mongeau has had her fair share of controversies. The internet personality tried to call out fellow YouTuber iDubbbz for using racist slurs, but it backfired when he responded with many examples of her doing the same thing.
Then, in 2018, Mongeau hosted her own convention “TanaCon,” which ended up being canceled on the very day it was held. Fans passed out while waiting in the sun with no food and water, leading people to compare the event to Fyre Festival.
Michael Vick’s Dog Fighting Ring
Technically, this is another person who went to prison and still continued with their career afterward. We’re just saying, Janet Jackson was blacklisted for an accidental nip slip, whereas this guy earned millions of dollars after being convicted of actual crimes. Something’s not right here.
NFL quarterback Michael Vick pleaded guilty for being involved in a dogfighting ring and went to prison for 21 months. The athlete had extensive facilities at his home, and there was evidence of serious animal cruelty.
Bill Cosby’s Decades of Harm
The world was shocked when they discovered that long-beloved TV actor Bill Cosby was actually a serious and dangerous criminal. The actor and comedian faced multiple accusations of engaging in inappropriate conduct with women, dating all the way back to the 1960s.
Overall, over 60 brave women came forward to accuse Bill Cosby of harming them. Unfortunately, not all of the cases could be tried because so much time had passed. However, Bill Cosby is still behind bars for up to 10 years.
Belle Gibson’s Cancer Fraud
And here we have the controversial Belle Gibson. The so-called wellness guru claimed to have cured her own cancer through diet and exercise, and to donate generously to charity.
It turns out that Belle Gibson never even had cancer, and also wasn’t exactly donating her cash. The scammer eventually admitted to making the whole thing up, but she still hasn’t paid back fines. As recently as 2020, Gibson has been seen pretending to be part of the Ethiopian community.