9 of 2019’s biggest Hollywood celebrity scandals

2019-12-27 11:41
Khloé Kardashian, Tristan Thompson and Jordyn Wood

Cape Town – 2019's had its fair share of ups and downs and has seen some of the biggest scandals in Hollywood come to light.

With just a few days to go before we kick off 2020, we're looking back at the Kardashian drama, the royal battle with the press and the college admissions scandal that left everyone so shook, they turned it into a movie.

1. The cheating scandal that rocked the Kardashians

In February this year while Khloé Kardashian and Tristan Thompson were still together, rumours emerged that Tristan cheated on the reality star, again, and this time with Kylie Jenner's closest friend and model, Jordyn Woods.

The couple who share one-year-old True broke up and Khloé accused Jordyn of breaking up her family. Keeping Up with the Kardashians documented the entire thing, while Jordyn Woods appeared on Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk.

Recently, a clip of her taking a lie detector test revealed that she was telling the truth when she said she didn't sleep with Tristan.

Khloé has yet to comment on that clip, though she said days before it aired that she forgives both Tristan and Jordyn.

2. The college admissions scandal

In March 2019 several Hollywood stars were charged in Operation Varsity Blues, which later became known as the college admissions scandal, and saw the investigation into a scheme in which wealthy parents allegedly bribed college coaches and other insiders to get their children into some of the nation's most selective schools.

The most high-profile of cases included Desperate Housewives star, Felicity Huffman, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 days in prison, and Full House actress, Lori Loughlin, who pleaded not guilty. Her case is ongoing, and due to the nature of it, legal experts say should she be found guilty she will serve a minimum of two to three years in prison.

In July, Lifetime announced they'd be rolling out a movie based on the scandal.

Lori Loughlin

3. Jussie Smollett's alleged fake racial and homophobic attack

In January support came pouring in for Empire star, Jussie Smollett after he was rushed to hospital after an attack in Chicago. He said they shouted racial and homophobic slurs before pouring a chemical substance on him, beating him up and wrapping a rope around his neck.

Two months later, however, he was charged with 16 felony counts related to making a false report and police claimed he staged the attack to promote his career. He pleaded not guilty, and all the criminal charges against him were dropped.

In May the City of Chicago sued the actor for $130 106 for investigative charges.

The case is now being re-examined with a special prosecutor assigned to it.

4. The explosive Surviving R Kelly docu-series

Following the release of the explosive docu-series, Surviving R Kelly, which explores the various sexual assault claims against the famous artist, new accusations were made this year. An attorney for R Kelly said the R&B star denies all allegations, but he was later imprisoned.

In February, R. Kelly was charged with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, three of whom were underage and in May, the artist was charged with 11 counts of sexual assault in Illinois - charges that carry a mandatory minimum of six years in prison.

Kelly has been in jail since he was arrested in July.

Since, new charges have been laid against R Kelly for his alleged illegal marriage to Aaliyah.

R Kelly

5. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's battle with the press

As they concluded their successful tour of Africa, Prince Harry released a statement saying he and Meghan Markle have decided to sue various publications for their "ruthless campaign" against the royal couple. He spoke specifically about their treatment of his wife, likening it to that of his mother.

"My deepest fear is history repeating itself," he said in his statement. "I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces."

In November, Meghan Markle addressed the "untrue and offensive" tabloid rumours head-on in new court documents.

6. Prince Andrew's explosive interview

In recent weeks royal experts have called 2019 the queen's new annus horribilis after Prince Philip's car crash and hospitalisation, Harry and Meghan's battle with the press and, of course, Prince Andrew's explosive interview critics called "disastrous" – a "rotten idea".

In the BBC News Night interview he discussed claims made by Virginia Roberts that when she was seventeen, she was acquired by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions.

His Royal Highness vehemently denied all allegations levied at him.

He has since stepped back from all public duties as a member of the royal family.

prince andrew

7. Taylor Swift vs Scooter Braun in the battle for Taylor Swift's master recordings

Earlier this year Taylor Swift wrote a scathing Tumblr post calling Scooter Braun out for acquiring her master recordings without Taylor, herself, being given the opportunity. The Lover hitmaker said she only heard the news when it was announced to the world, and wrote, "Scooter has stripped me of my life's work that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it. This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at fifteen to someone for whom the term 'loyalty' is clearly just a contractual concept."

READ MORE – Unpacking the Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun drama: This is how things got here

In November, Taylor Swift was honoured with the artist of the Decade Award at The American Music Awards for her incredible career. She claimed she was initially told she couldn't perform any of her own, older songs owned by Scooter, but eventually did. She opened her medley with oner songs though – the feminist anthem The Man – and wore a white button-down shirt with titles of all her Big Machine-released albums.

8. Liam Neeson and the giant elephant in the room

In January News24's Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor, Herman Eloff interviewed Liam Neeson for his film Cold Pursuit. During the same round of media interviews, however, he admitted to a shocking racist moment in his past though, in which he confessed that he "walked the streets with a cosh, hoping to be approached by a black bastard" so that he could "kill him" after someone close to him was raped many years ago.

The confession made headlines, and Channel24 was conflicted about whether or not to publish the South Africa exclusive.

HERE'S WHAT WE WROTE ABOUT THAT INTERVIEW: Liam Neeson and the giant elephant in the room

Liam Neeson

9. Justin Timberlake and the scandal with his co-star

Justin Timberlake was photographed cosying up to an actress on a boozy night out – and it wasn't Jessica Biel. The photos and videos published by The Sun show the 38-year-old holding hands with Alisha Wainwright while on a night out; in another photograph, she rested her hand on the Can't Stop The Feeling! singer's leg.

The Palmer actor later broke his silence and wrote on Instagram, "A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement – but let me be clear – nothing happened between me and my costar."

Clearing the air, he said, "I drank way too much that night and I regret my behaviour. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son."

He added, "I apologise to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be. This was not that.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Read more on:    celebrities

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.