19 Forgotten Hollywood Scandals That Shocked Fans

Keeping up with celebrity scandals nowadays is as easy as opening a social media app. The moment someone slips up, you'll find their name at the top of a trending list, and it'll be all people talk about for a day or two.

Two people squatting in a bathroom and scrolling on their phones
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With the daily overload of information, it's almost impossible to remember all the madness and tabloid fodder. Here are some of Hollywood's wildest scandals that might've slipped your mind.

Mariah Carey scrolling through her phone and touching her hair
NBC

1.Sandra Bullock experienced the most insane whiplash in 2010 when her husband at the time, Jesse James, was exposed as a cheater immediately after she won an Oscar for her performance in The Blind Side. They'd also just adopted a baby boy named Louis. Several women claimed to have affairs with James while he was married to Bullock, and his subsequent Nazi photo scandal didn't do him any favors.

Jesse James and Sandra Bullock posing at an awards show red carpet

Naturally, Sandy filed for divorce after the ordeal.

Steve Granitz / WireImage

2.Vanessa Williams' career hit a painful low in 1984 when Penthouse published nude photos of her without her consent. The photographer had promised the beauty queen they would merely be silhouette shots. The images caused an uproar, and 21-year-old Williams had to relinquish her post as Miss America.

Vanessa Williams holding a piece of paper and speaking into microphones

The good news is that Williams bounced back and became an accomplished actor and musician.

Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images

3.Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders, who was married at the time, crushed the hearts of countless teenagers around the globe. After all, this drama unraveled during the tail end of the Twilight film craze. Since then, both Stewart and Pattinson have excelled in their careers, the scandal is but a blip on the general public's radar.

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson posing with popcorn shaped awards

Rupert Sanders' wife at the time, Liberty Ross, filed for divorce after the highly-publicized mess.

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

4.TLC's Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes and Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Rison had a wild relationship, to say the least. A notable instance of abuse in a grocery store parking lot got so heated that Rison flashed a gun. Yet, the pair stayed together. Their toxicity peaked in June of 1994 when Lopes burned down the football player's $1.3 million home. She also took a vacuum cleaner pipe to the windshields of his truck and two cars. Lopes turned herself in for the crime the following day.

Andre Rison leaning into Lisa Left Eye Lopes for a photo

As wild as it sounds, the pair reconciled after the scandal and maintained an on-and-off relationship until Lopes' fatal 2002 car accident.

Kmazur / WireImage

5.Hugh Grant and a sex worker named Divine Brown were arrested in Los Angeles in 1995 for "lewd conduct." To make matters worse, Grant was in a relationship with fellow actor Elizabeth Hurley at the time. Despite his very un-charming slip-up, he remained the ideal, romantic leading man for his audience.

Hugh Grant sitting on a talk show couch

A hot British accent will make people forget most things, honestly.

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6.She was 26. He was 89. Anna Nicole Smith's marriage to oil baron J. Howard Marshall II was the perfect tabloid fuel. The pair married in 1994, with the groom speaking from a wheelchair and reassuring their audience that his love for the model was real. He died a year later.

Anna Nicole Smith smiling and showing off her wedding ring

7.In 2014, two of the five One Direction boys raised eyebrows when a video of them smoking marijuana in Peru was posted online. Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson were seen smoking a joint in a vehicle — a risky move for a boy band with a relatively "clean" image.

The One Direction boys posing on a red carpet

“That’s just Zayn warming up there before the show,” joked Tomlinson in the video, informing us that this wasn't a new hobby.

Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

8.Louis and Zayn weren't the first boy band members to face a weed scandal. In 1980, Paul McCartney was arrested in Japan for traveling with half a pound of marijuana. The music icon faced a smuggling charge and a potential seven-year prison sentence, but instead, he was released and deported from the country.

Paul McCartney posing on a red carpet

His explanation for the incident? “This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet, so I thought I’d take it [to Japan] with me.”

Anthony Harvey / Getty Images

9.Arnold Schwarzenegger had an affair in 1996 that wouldn't remain a secret forever. After cheating on Maria Shriver with their former housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena, the latter became pregnant and birthed a boy named Joseph. The worst part? The boy was conceived while Shriver was pregnant with her own son, and the two were born days apart.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver posing on a red carpet

Shriver filed for divorce in 2011, and it was finalized a decade later.

Steve Granitz / WireImage

10.Elvis Costello’s career nearly ended in an Ohio bar in 1979. During a drunken outburst, he referred to Ray Charles as a "blind, ignorant [n-word]," immediately making a similar statement about James Brown. He also took shots at American Black music and America as a whole.

Elvis Costello posing on the Grammys red carpet

What else is there to say besides he's lucky Twitter didn't exist back then?

Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic

11.Roman Polanski's attraction to underage girls was known in the film industry. In 1977, his greatest scandal unfolded when he was arrested and charged with six offenses against a 13-year-old girl. After hearing that the judge planned to reject his plea deal (he pled guilty to the "lesser" charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor), he fled to France. Yet, many people seem to have forgotten about his perversion or simply don't care. At the 2020 César Awards (aka "the French Oscars"), Polanski won Best Director for his film An Officer and a Spy.

Portrait photo of Roman Polanski

It wasn't even until 2018(!!) that Polanski was expelled from the Oscar Academy.

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12.Hollywood sex tape scandals were all the rage at one point, but many people forget that Rob Lowe pioneered them. The actor filmed himself having sex with two women (one was merely 16 years old) in Atlanta. He didn't face criminal charges as the age of consent in Georgia is 16. Lowe claims he didn't know the younger woman was a teenager.

Rob Lowe smiling

Lowe refers to the scandal as the "greatest thing that ever happened" to him, claiming that it helped him get sober.

Jim Spellman / WireImage

13.Russell Crowe is known for having an unpredictable temper, but his most notable scandal involved a hotel employee and a telephone. In 2005, an angry Crowe hurled a phone at an NYC hotel clerk when his call wouldn't connect to his wife in Australia. He was swiftly handcuffed by the NYPD and taken to a nearby station house.

Russell Crowe posing at a film press event

Crowe pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and avoided serving prison time.

Daniele Venturelli / WireImage

14.Musical duo Milli Vanilli experienced a fall as drastic as their rise when they were caught lip-synching during a live MTV performance. Of course, this alone wasn't what ruined them; countless pop acts have been — and continue to be — successful while lip-synching. Granted, it was a bigger offense at the time. The true bombshell was that their hits were sung by other vocalists altogether.

Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli posing for a photo

The fallout was massive. Fans demanded refunds for their album purchases, the duo's "Best New Artist" Grammy was revoked, and their record label cut all ties with them.

Michael Putland / Getty Images

15.Just before the iconic Dirty Dancing film hit theaters in 1987, star Jennifer Grey and her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick were involved in a fatal car crash in Ireland. Broderick was behind the wheel at the time, and the crash killed two women — mother and daughter. He was later convicted of careless driving.

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey smiling on a red carpet

In her 2022 memoir, Grey revealed that the accident still haunts her.

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16.He's no stranger to controversy, but the leaked 2007 voicemail where Alec Baldwin called his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, a "rude, thoughtless little pig" was egregious, even for him. The pair has since put the incident behind them and maintain an amicable father-daughter relationship.

Ireland Baldwin and Alec Baldwin posing on a red carpet

Ireland even joked about the situation while roasting her father on Comedy Central in 2019.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images for Comedy Central

17.Jon & Kate Plus 8 was a cultural phenomenon in the late 2000s. The reality show about Jon and Kate Gosselin and their eight kids boasted shockingly high viewership on TLC. Naturally, the couple's messy divorce was a huge deal for the media, and the ensuing custody battle over their children was even more intense.

Kate and Jon Gosselin smiling at an event

18.Phil Spector was an innovative producer and entrepreneur who worked with big names (like The Beatles, Ike & Tina Turner, and Ramones) and changed music with his "Wall of Sound" method. Imagine the chaos when he was convicted of murdering aspiring actress Lana Clarkson in 2003. Police found her body in Spector's home — a gunshot wound to the head — mere hours after the two met.

A photo of Phil Spector in court

Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison for second-degree murder. He served 12 of those years before he died in 2021.

Pool / Getty Images

19.Remember when Sinead O’Connor ripped up a picture of Pope John Paul II while performing on Saturday Night Live in 1992? The brazen commentary on child abuse within the Roman Catholic Church drew immediate backlash, ruining her career, and the musician was quickly banned from SNL.

Sinead O'Connor smiling

Reminiscing on the performance, O'Connor said, "An artist’s job is sometimes to create the difficult conversations that need to be had. That’s what art is for.”

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What are some famous Hollywood controversies that you feel the public forgot about? Let me know in the comment section below!