[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
It has certainly been a wild ride in 2021 — especially in the celebrity scandal department.
Throughout the year, many A-listers did not fail to stir up a ton of drama, including (but not limited to, of course) Armie Hammer, Alec Baldwin, Sharon Osbourne, and the royal family. They’ve certainly kept everyone pretty busy! So without further ado and in no particular order, here are all of the biggest celebrity shockers that unfolded in 2021.
Royal Family Showdown!
No one had a big year of drama quite like the royal family, especially after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially stepped down as senior royals AND took part in an explosive tell-all about the institution. In case you forgot, the couple dropped bombshell after bombshell in their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey, touching on topics such as suicide, racism, and strained relationships. Specifically, the Suits alum revealed how there had been discussions about the “color” of their yet-to-be born son’s skin.
It’s safe to say after spilling their truth there were some massive reactions from the institution, and the consensus is that they were all PISSED! And while many thought the death of Prince Philip would mend fences, it didn’t look like it helped too much. In fact, the whole ordeal only got worse when Harry dished out some more thoughts about his father’s parenting skills on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast. While speaking on his mental health journey, the Duke of Sussex slammed Charles for continuing a “cycle” of “genetic pain and suffering” when he was a child.
“I don’t think we should be pointing the finger or blaming anybody, but certainly when it comes to parenting, if I’ve experienced some form of pain or suffering because of the pain or suffering that perhaps my father or my parents had suffered, I’m going to make sure I break that cycle so that I don’t pass it on, basically.”
And it didn’t end there…
In May 2021, the rogue prince and Oprah debuted their mental health docu-series, further speaking on his troubled relationship with the Prince of Wales. Here’s hoping next year is a little quieter for this bunch — but it doesn’t seem likely at this point!
The Downfall Of Sharon Osbourne
While the royals had the most drama, Sharon Osbourne probably had the biggest downfall of the year. The 68-year-old came under fire for her passionate defense of Piers Morgan, who made some less-than-favorable comments about Meghan Markle’s tell-all special. She said at the time during a tense exchange with co-host Sheryl Underwood:
“I feel even like I’m about to be put in the electric chair because I have a friend who many people think is a racist, so that makes me a racist.”
A couple of days later, Osbourne issued a public statement apologizing to the people of color she “offended and/or to anyone that feels confused or let down by what I said, I am truly sorry.” However, the floodgates had already opened.
Following the debacle, Holly Robinson Peete chimed in with some allegations against Osbourne, claiming the star said she was “too ghetto” for The Talk. Multiple reports also came out against Ozzy Osbourne‘s wife, accusing her of using extremely homophobic and racist language towards former co-hosts Julie Chen and Sara Gilbert. All of which Sharon has denied.
Still, in the end, CBS announced that the music manager “decided to leave” the show.
Armie Hammer & The Cannibalism Tales
Who thought we’d be talking about this story in 2021?! Earlier this year, Armie Hammer faced a major controversy after a woman, who allegedly had an intimate relationship with him, created an Instagram account to share the horrific details of the bizarre sexual interactions they used to have.
The person, known as @houseofeffie on IG, also posted a series of screenshots of explicit conversations that allegedly occurred between Hammer and multiple women in the DMs. And trust us when we say they were really bad. The alleged conversations included discussions of rape fantasies, BDSM, and cannibalism. Yes, you read that right, cannibalism.
The unnamed person behind the account claimed she had an affair with Hammer for four years, starting in October 2016 while he was still married to Elizabeth Chambers. When the damning posts went viral, other women (including model Paige Lorenz) soon came forward with their own horror stories involving the actor. Some of the conversations were shared on the account, which included an instance where Hammer allegedly told the women how he wanted to “bite pieces off of” them and eat their hearts. Just some truly disturbing things.
Later, the IG account creator came forward in a press conference alleged that the Call Me By Your Name star raped her for over four hours back in April 2017, during which he allegedly slapped her head against a wall and physically abused her.
Predictably, Hammer denied all of the allegations against him. He then reportedly entered an in-patient treatment program on May 31 and has since been released.
Bachelor Franchise Shake-Up
The Bachelor franchise never fails to serve up the drama… or scandals.
This year, the reality dating series became embroiled in a massive racism shocker after Chris Harrison defended season 25 contestant Rachael Kirkconnell for her resurfaced antebellum-themed party photos from college. In a painful-to-watch interview with Rachel Lindsay on Extra, the longtime host questioned whether the offensive pictures were “[not] a good look in 2018, or is it not a good look in 2021?” before claiming that the franchise was “not in the business of dealing with every problem that you have.”
WTF?! We still cannot get over how Harrison completely dismissed the former attorney.
Following the backlash from Bachelor Nation, he issued a lengthy statement apologizing for perpetuating racism. Kirkconnell also shared a message of her own, claiming she “didn’t recognize how offensive and racist [her] actions were.”
And despite breaking up on After The Final Rose, Matt eventually (and with a lot of back-and-forth, mind you) rekindled his relationship with Rachael and they’ve seemingly been going strong ever since. But unfortunately for Chris, he inevitably got the boot and was replaced by Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe for a minute before former Bachelor Jesse Palmer took over.
Chrissy Teigen Is A Bully?!
Chrissy Teigen‘s reign on social media came crumbling down after multiple people came forward with accusations of bullying over the summer. It all started when Courtney Stodden claimed in a profile with The Daily Beast that the 35-year-old had repeatedly told them to commit suicide on social media for years. Following public criticism, Teigen apologized to the 26-year-old for her past behavior in a lengthy statement on Twitter.
However, the floodgates were opened! Soon, more incidents resurfaced involving other celebs like Lindsay Lohan, Farrah Abraham, Quvenzhané Wallis, Dencia, and more. Most notably, Michael Costello took to Instagram to explain how a misunderstanding with Teigen led to missed career opportunities and eventually caused thoughts of suicide. He claimed a former employee created a fake post to make it seem as though The Project Runway alum used a racial slur online, which led to Teigen calling him out. And when he tried to explain his side of the story, she allegedly said:
“Racists like you deserve to suffer and die.”
However, a report by Business Insider pointed out some inconsistencies in the designer’s IG post from Chrissy. John Legend soon became involved in the exchange on social media, with the hubby specifically slamming Costello for allegedly fabricating a DM interaction between them.
It soon became a massive clap back situation, with Mike eventually saying he won’t comment on the allegations anymore. Since then, Chrissy has attempted to lick her wounds by repeatedly lamenting her time within the “canceled club.” But ultimately, she just wants to be forgiven for her wrongdoings now that she’s “done the work.”
We guess the only direction is up from here for Chrissy!
Demi Lovato’s FroYoGate
Demi Lovato had absolutely zero chill when it came to a visit to The Bigg Chill frozen yogurt shop in 2021. Back in mid-April, the 29-year-old singer called out the small business for allegedly promoting diet culture and using offensive language, writing on the ‘gram at the time:
“Finding it extremely hard to order fro-yo from @TheBiggChillOfficial when you have to walk past tons of sugar-free cookies/other diet foods before you get to the counter. Do better please. #dietculturevultures.”
In response, the frozen yogurt shop wrote they provided items for those with diabetes, Celiac disease, and vegans. But Lovato was not having it and revealed a private message exchange they had with the place. The store wrote to the Sonny with a Chance alum:
“We are not diet vultures. We cater to all of our customers’ needs for the past 36 years. We are sorry you found this offensive.”
To which the Skyscraper crooner replied:
“You can carry things for other people while also caring for another percentage of your customers who struggle DAILY just to even step foot in your store. You can find a way to provide an inviting environment for all people with different needs. Including eating disorders. Don’t make excuses, just do better.”
Lovato then shared an image from The Bigg Chill’s social media account, showing the phrase “Eat Me Guilt Free” and adding:
“This screams diet culture and I won’t be gaslit by the media or anyone else that says otherwise. I don’t need to feel guilt-free about eating anything. This was what I was talking about and this is directly from their own page.”
Following the exchange, people took to social media to express their disagreement with the Camp Rock star for putting the company on blast to their millions of followers. Many pointed out how Lovato even ignored the needs of those who suffer from health issues and might need sugar-free options from a dessert place. The Confident hitmaker later uploaded a video on the ‘gram apologizing for the way they handled the situation with the fro-yo shop, saying:
“It’s also important to know that my intentions were not to come in and bully a small business, but I walked in and walked out because I was so triggered. It made me really sad. I’m genuinely sorry people took it wrong, but I just get really passionate. … Y’all know me, I get pretty feisty and sometimes my emotions get the best of me. It never comes from a place of hate, it’s always coming from a place of love.”
On the bright side, The Bigg Chill seemingly got out of a major pandemic slump, as they gained over 48,000 followers on the platform since the incident. So at least is was a win for someone!
Marilyn Manson Disturbing Allegations
Throughout 2021, Marilyn Manson‘s alleged disturbing past actions came back to haunt him…
Back in February, Evan Rachel Wood came to light with her terrible experiences from her relationship with the rocker, alleging he groomed and sexually abused her since she was a teen. Following her confession, several other victims also came forward with their own similar traumatic and terrible incidents, which he has since vehemently denied. He also currently faces several lawsuits from women who claim he raped, assaulted, and sex trafficked them — including Game of Thrones actress Esme Bianco, his former assistant Ashley Walters, model Ashley Morgan Smithline, and an unnamed accuser.
If that wasn’t bad enough, he was further embroiled in controversy when Kanye West invited DaBaby and him on-stage during a Donda album listening party. People, including Wood, were unsurprisingly and understandably upset by the move, with many viewing it as a huge f**k you to any sexual assault survivor.
Here’s hoping 2022 brings some justice to the victims.
DaBaby’s Homophobic Rant
Speaking of DaBaby…
The 29-year-old rapper found himself being canceled in 2021 after going on a completely homophobic rant at the Rolling Loud music festival. During his set, he made several hateful, misinformed comments about the LGBTQ+ community and people with HIV/AIDS while saying:
“If you didn’t show up today with HIV/AIDS or other STDs that’ll make you die in 2-3 weeks… Fellas, if you didn’t suck a n**** d**k in the parking lot.”
WTF?! Despite several poor attempts at apologies, DaBaby was dropped from several high-profile events, including Lollapalooza, Governors Ball, and iHeartRadio Music Festival, to name a few. In one of his many failed apologies, he even complained about the internet “publicly working against” when all he needed was to be educated:
“I appreciate the many people who came to me with kindness, who reached out to me privately to offer wisdom, education and resources. That’s what I needed and it was received. I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made. Again, I apologize for my misinformed comments about HIV/AIDS and I know education on this is important.”
Here’s hoping he actually makes some sort of effort towards meaningful change, growth, and amends soon.
Britney Spears Vs. Her Conservatorship
It was a HUGE year for Britney Spears.
While the #FreeBritney movement started years ago, the campaign gained momentum in 2021 following the premiere of The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears. The documentary about the pop sensation’s controversial conservatorship, which was overseen by her father Jamie Spears since 2008, soon became a worldwide sensation, sparking conversation about her treatment for the past decade and seemingly propelling her legal proceedings.
Several months later, the 39-year-old singer detailed the horrific abuse she faced while under her conservatorship for years and voiced her desire to end it once and for all. During the court testimony, she opened up about how she was forced to perform, wasn’t allowed to get married, have more children, or remove her IUD. Britney also said she believed her father and team should be in jail and announced wanting to sue her family.
Following the court hearing, Bessemer Trust and court-appointed lawyer Samuel Ingham all resigned from their roles on her conservatorship team. Her manager Larry Rudolph also quit after the pop star expressed her plans to retire. Shortly afterward, Brit was granted permission to hire an attorney of her own choosing. With the help of Mathew Rosengart, Jamie was soon suspended from his role as her conservator and an investigation launched into his abusive actions over the last 13 years.
But now, the conservationship is officially over!
A lot has happened for Britney this year, and there is certainly still more to come in her ongoing investigation. We’ll have to see what the New Year will bring — but we’re glad she’s heading into it finally free!
Zayn Malik & The Hadid Family Fallout
It has been a tumultuous end of the year for the Hadid family.
As you know, news broke of an alleged altercation between Zayn Malik and Yolanda Hadid towards the end of October, with reports revealing the former One Direction member had “struck” Yolanda and she had filed a police report. According to the court documents at the time, he was charged with four criminal offenses of harassment against Gigi Hadid and her momma. He had allegedly “shoved” Yolanda into a dresser and caused her “mental anguish and physical pain” — although the 28-year-old singer denied having any physical contact. Zayn also allegedly called the former model a “f**king Dutch slut” and ordered her to “stay away from [my] f**king daughter [Khai].”
Although Gigi had been in Paris, France, for fashion week during the fight, he had called the Victoria’s Secret model where he told her to “strap on some f**king balls and defend your partner against your f**king mother in my house.” But why did this ugly interaction start? It turned out the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star supposedly angered Zayn when she “barged” into the couple’s home without calling or knocking first. This reportedly had been a source of contention, as he seemingly disliked how Yolanda continuously overstepped her boundaries. The Pillowtalk crooner was also ticked off that she’d post pictures of his 1-year-old daughter Khai without permission regardless of his wish to keep his family life private.
Despite pleading no contest at the time, Zayn was fined and forced to complete 90 days of probation for each count — totaling up to 360 days. He also must complete an anger management class and domestic violence program, as well as have no contact with Yolanda. Soon after the news broke of the fight, the couple was reported to have called it quits after six years of dating. Additionally, it was revealed that Zayn was dropped by his record label, RCA, his manager, and brand deals amid the incident.
We’ll have to wait and see how Gigi and Zayn move forward with co-parenting next year.
Alice Evans & Ioan Gruffudd Divorce Drama!
To say this divorce has been messy would be a complete understatement!
Alice Evans revealed that her husband of 13 years, Ioan Gruffudd, had unexpectedly left their family back in January, claiming he was no longer in love with her. Since then, she has documented every painful and emotional twist in their post-breakup proceedings on social media. Seriously, we are talking about her putting him on blast at every turn — even admitting he had ghosted her for nine months!
Later, the 102 Dalmatians leading lady hinted he abandoned them to start up a relationship with another woman. Her suspicions were seemingly confirmed when the Titanic actor went IG official with new girlfriend Bianca Wallace, in which he gushed over how she helped him find happiness again following his split. What’s even worse is that Alice claimed Ioan only unblocked her on Instagram just to show off his first post with the young actress. And since learning of her ex’s new romance, she has further alleged that the Fantastic Four alum has been cheating on her for three years.
As we said, this has been messy, and the drama doesn’t end there! The 53-year-old Vampire Diaries star soon accused Wallace of being “creepy” and liking her social media posts from more than three years ago!
It’s hard to imagine this divorce situation getting any better in the coming year.
Alec Baldwin’s Rust Shooting
While filming his latest movie, Rust, Alec Baldwin became the center of a tragedy after allegedly firing a prop gun that killed director of photography Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
The accidental shooting took place on the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico back in October after first assistant director Dave Halls reportewdly declared the weapon was “cold” before handing it off to the 63-year-old actor. Baldwin was holding the gun when it suddenly discharged and shot Hutchins and Souza. The two victims were immediately rushed to receive medical attention after being struck, but the 42-year-old director of photography was sadly pronounced dead at the University of New Mexico Hospital.
As more details of that day emerged, Halls and head armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed were among those who came under scrutiny for the tragic incident – primarily for their lack of safety precautions on set. Several lawsuits have been filed against the two crew members, as well as Baldwin stemming from the incident. But one of the biggest takeaways from the key gaffer Serge Svetnoy and script supervisor Mamie Mitchell‘s suits is that the scene they were rehearsing never called for Baldwin to pull the trigger of the gun.
But during an interview with George Stephanopoulos in December, Baldwin claimed he never did, asserting he was only following Hutchins’ directions on the set:
“I’ve been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally.”
However, criminal charges are still up in the air at this time as the investigation is ongoing – something the First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has continuously made clear. It most likely could be several more weeks before it’s even wrapped up, with police trying to figure out why the gun was loaded in the first place.
We’ll have to wait and see if charges will be brought forward in the new year.
Travis Scott’s Astroworld Tragedy
Travis Scott made headlines in 2021 after a crowd surge at his Astroworld Festival resulted in 10 dead and hundreds injured.
First responders were called to the concert attended by 50,000 in Houston, Texas, in October when “the crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage” at one point, resulting in a mass casualty incident. Live Nation and Travis later canceled the remaining dates of the festival, issuing statements on the situation. He said on IG:
“I’m absolutely devastated by what took place last night. My prayers go out to the families and all those impacted by what happened at Astroworld Festival.”
Following the tragedy, Scott came under fire when videos on social media emerged of him not stopping the set when pleas from crowd members erupted amid the chaos. Scott later posted an IG video responding to the criticism, claiming he wasn’t aware of the severity of the situation until later:
“Anytime I could make out, you know, anything that’s going on, you know, I stop the show and, you know, help them get the help they need.”
His girlfriend Kylie Jenner also issued a statement to explain why she continued posting on social media while the incident took place. The pregnant momma had attended the concert with their 3-year-old daughter, Stormi Webster. In the IG message, Kylie claimed the couple did not know people were dying or suffering injuries during the event and learned of the deaths after the show:
“Travis and I are broken and devastated. I want to make it clear we weren’t aware of any fatalities until the news came out after the show and in no world would have continued filming or performing.”
Since then, though, Scott’s career seems to be in a downward spiral, with the Goosebumps artist facing billions of dollars worth in damages stemming from the aftermath. He has attempted to do damage control, partnering with the online counseling service BetterHelp to offer free therapy for those traumatized by that day and even to cover funeral costs for victims. However, at least half of the families have refused his help.
Scott broke his silence about the tragedy in his first interview with Charlamagne tha God, insisting he had no idea what was going on at the time:
“It wasn’t until minutes before the press conference that I figured out exactly what happened. Even after the show, you’re just kind of hearing things, but I didn’t know the exact details until minutes before the press conference. And even at that moment you’re like, ‘Wait, what?’”
Perhaps, Scott will take accountability in the new year.
Which celeb scandal shocked you the most this year, Perezcious readers? Let us know in the comments (below)!
[Image via MEGA/WENN, WENN/Avalon, WENN, The Talk/YouTube]