As we’ve established, 2019 was a hugely eventful year for celebrity scandals. But it wasn’t just limited to the big headlines revealed by the press. There were also plenty of lesser-known stories that made the news, from A-listers taking selfies in the privacy of their homes to celebrities trading raunchy rumours in instagram comments. It felt like there was something new to gossip about every day.
But while most of the attention was focused on the rich and famous, there were also countless stories about regular people who found fame through social media. And as this year’s Hollywood A-list become even more famous than ever before (with some topping the 40-year-old mark), it’s important to remember that not all rich and famous are created equal. Some may treat their fame and fortune like a curse, while others enjoy their celebrity and use it to their advantage. Regardless, these are the celebrities whom you should know, regardless of whether you like them or not.
It was already a troubled year for British actor Robert Pattinson before his car accident last November put a further damper on things. The 28-year-old star had been linked to a string of break-ups and divorces, most recently splitting from actress Vanessa Agnelli in December. Although Agnelli declined to comment at the time, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume that she was fed up with the in-and-out nature of her dating relationships with high-profile men, especially due to their tendency to attract more paparazzi. In the months that followed, the media fawned over Robert Pattinson, dubbing him the “king of Instagram” (the platform’s most followed user at the time was Kylie Jenner, with 126.4 million followers).
It’s safe to say that Kylie’s sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, didn’t see things the same way. The pair took to social media to slam the “overly affectionate” actor, accusing him of being in “awkward puppy dog mode” and “liking” every photo of himself that was posted to Instagram, even when he was clearly bored out of his mind.
In an interview with GQ, Robert Pattinson confessed that he had a “bizarre” relationship with the media. “I don’t really have a typical relationship with the press. Usually, when I meet them, it’s been like a one-night stand. Like, ‘Here we go, a few drinks, some laughs, and then we both go our separate ways,’” he said. “It’s never ever been like a full-blown, long-term relationship. So, I think that when I do interviews now, it’s still a bit of a shock to me.”
Regardless, he did admit that he found it “strange” when fans started “coming out of the shadows” and “approaching” him on social media, even after the car accident, which put his Twilight Saga fame on hold.
Arguably one of the most famous faces in the world today, Tiger Woods, was dogged by scandal throughout the entire year. It all started when the golfing great was filmed seemingly cheating on his wife, Elin Nordegren, with multiple women. Although he initially denied the allegations and threatened to sue the porn website that leaked the videos, Woods eventually admitted to multiple infidelities. In the end, he was dealt a heavy blow when Elin filed for divorce, citing “irretrievable breakdown” of their relationship as the cause. Tiger has since found peace in his marriage to porn star Christy Beckwith, however, the scandal still haunts him; in 2019, he had a tough time finding a sponsor for his new golf team, the “American Dream”.
It was a rough year for Canadian pop star Justin Bieber as well, with some of his most iconic moments coming at the expense of his own privacy. The 22-year-old singer was dogged by scandal throughout the year, from a 2017 incident where he was photographed naked to a 2018 case of his passport being cancelled due to a criminal charge. It all started in February when Justin Bieber was accused by photographer Mario Testino of “spiking” his bath water with LSD before a photo shoot in 2017.
While the singer vehemently denied the accusations, insisting that they were “ridiculous” and that he “never did anything like that,” he was ultimately found guilty of smuggling drugs into a detention facility and received a 12-month prison sentence. Following his release, he addressed the issue head-on during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he talked candidly about his drug addiction. “I have to come clean…I am powerless over drugs and alcohol,” he told Oprah Winfrey. “I have tried so hard to be strong, but I am not. There is no way to make this stuff go away. This is a fact of my life now. And it won’t be easy for me to overcome. But I have to try. Because I’ve disappointed a lot of people.”
The following month, it was revealed that Justin Bieber’s passport had been cancelled due to a criminal charge. The singer’s attorney explained that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation had informed the authorities of the singer’s “previous history of arrests” relating to alcohol and driving offences. Although the agency had requested that the passport be revoked due to “Bieber’s substantial international success,” the request was later denied. Despite the setback, Justin Bieber continued to tour around the world, headlining sold-out shows and appearing on magazine covers, including this month’s Vogue, which hailed him as a “reincarnation” of Hollywood’s golden era. He also starred in the third season of Stranger Things, which premiered in August and became one of the streaming service’s most popular shows. In September, he released his tenth album,, which became his best-selling album in Canada yet. A month before his twenty-second birthday, it seems that Justin Bieber is still learning to master his newfound fame.
When it comes to celebrity scandals, timing is key. If you’re going to make a splash, you need to do it when most people aren’t paying attention. That seems to be the strategy behind Australian comedian Pete Davidson, whose infamous “glorious twosome” with Kate Upton, known as the “Cream and Cheese” stunt, went viral in January. The two famous stars were spotted canoodling on a bearskin rug while dining at restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City, with Pete Davidson revealing their “secret” attraction to each other during an interview. Although they have yet to comment on their burgeoning romance, neither one of them have denied that they are an item, with sources telling TMZ that the couple had actually been dating for “several months.”
In the wake of the scandal, Pete Davidson was reportedly dropped by two of his agencies. The Australian comedian also faced criticism for his insensitive joking about the pandemic. During a stand-up set in Melbourne in late April, the comedian quipped, “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life it’s that you should never trust a Chinese person. Especially when it comes to buying art. They’ll give you a good price, but you’re going to end up having to take it out of their hands. As soon as you do, they’re going to do something sneaky.” After the set was cut short by a quarter of an hour, the audience, which was mainly made up of Chinese tourists, walked out in protest. When asked about the incident by TMZ, Davidson attempted to clarify that he was only joking and was actually “hugely supportive” of China’s efforts to combat the pandemic.
Megan Thee Stallion
Another Australian comedian who found fame on the back of a joke gone wrong is Megan Thee Stallion. The 28-year-old gained a huge following in 2019 after she tweeted her dissatisfaction with the lack of black comedy TV shows, leading to the creation of her new sitcom, Black Megga. As the name would suggest, the comedy series follows the misadventures of Megan, played by Megan Thee Stallion, a middle-aged, overweight black woman living in New York City. She’s probably the only white person in the world who decided to be funny and unique just for the sake of being different, and the results are hilarious.
In one of the show’s most recent episodes, Megan falls in love with a white man and has to decide whether or not to tell him about her black heritage. Although she eventually decides not to, the romance does get a bit too real for some viewers, with some tweeting about how upset they were during the show’s finale.