People Reveal The Dark Pasts Others Don’t Know About Well-Liked Celebrities

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People tend to idealize celebrities. Because they are constantly in the spotlight, society is exposed to them so much that it’s almost like they’re forced to follow their lives. Regular people end up aspiring to be as successful as they are.

But it’s important to remember that these celebrities are human beings too. They go through unimaginable struggles despite having a name that everybody knows. Some internet users shared a few of the lesser known, dark histories of certain highly-praised celebrities including Tina Fey, Samuel L. Jackson, Tiffany Haddish, Ashton Kutcher and Eric Clapton. Some of these stories are devastating, some are shocking and some are just downright cruel.

Time to throw some shade on these stars’ pasts.

#45 I Mean, It Can Happen To Anyone

Joaquin Phoenix was raised in a cult called the “Children of God.”

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#44 Probably Why He’s So Good At Writing Fiction

Neil Gaiman was raised as a Scientologist.

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#43 He Channeled His Anger Into Food

Gordon Ramsay’s father was a violent alcoholic who regularly abused him and his mother. Eventually, his father left them and changed his name, leaving behind his mother to raise two boys by herself. Things eventually got better for Gordon, but his brother had a hard time rebounding.

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#42 Oh my, Chuck

Chuck Berry served time in jail. He was sued for putting hidden cameras in the bathrooms of his restaurant.

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#41 This Actor Suffered A True Tragedy

On December 4, 1988, [Gary] Busey was severely injured in a motorcycle accident. He was not wearing a helmet and his skull was fractured. Doctors feared he suffered permanent brain damage.

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#40 Nothing Stays A Secret For Long

Jack Nicholson found out at age 37 that the woman he thought was his sister, was really his mother (she was 18 years old when she gave birth to him). He also discovered that the woman he thought was his other sister, was really his aunt.

Because his mother was so young when she gave birth, her parents chose to raise Jack as their own son, and thus everyone thought his mother was really his sister.

He didn’t find this out from his own family. Time Magazine was researching the actor and found this out, and then revealed it to him.

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#39 But, How Common Was This Actually?

Eric Clapton was raised by his grandparents and led to believe his mother was his sister.

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#38 Just A Happy Accident

Bob Ross was once a master sergeant in the US Air Force and the first sergeant at the US Air Force Clinic at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska. He hated having to yell at his soldiers and vowed upon leaving the armed forces to never channel that same type of aggression again. So, he took up painting and became super chill, and you know the rest of the story.

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#37 Imagine Being The Son Of A Real Criminal

Woody Harrelson’s father, Charles Harrelson, was an American organized crime figure and hitman who was convicted of assassinating federal judge, John H. Wood Jr. This was the first assassination of a federal judge in the 20th century. Charles was also accused of being involved in the JFK assassination, and attempted to escape prison in 1995 but failed.

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#36 He Didn’t Remember How To Use PRNDL

Phil Lewis, aka Mr. Moseby from the Disney show, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, took the life of a woman while he was driving intoxicated.

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#35 “He Continued To Play In The NHL”

Dany Heatley (former Ottawa Senators player) wrecked his car with his teammate. He faced up to 20 years in prison and $5,000 US in fines if convicted. He pled guilty to four of six charges, got three years’ probation, and had to deliver 150 speeches about the dangers of speeding. He also could not drive except to go to work, the doctor, the grocery store or for attending his speeches.”

He continued to play in the NHL.

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#34 It Purple Rained On Him

Prince had a child that was born with Pfeiffer syndrome. The baby passed away around a week later.

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#33 The Hulk Literally Saved Him

I’m not sure how well-known this is, but Mark Ruffalo apparently found out he had a brain tumor right around the time when his wife was about to give birth to their first child. Then, his brother died… He was either murdered or he overdosed, I’m not sure. He was also in a bad financial situation for a long time, until he got the Marvel role.

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#32 This Actor Gave Up His Career For His Family

Rick Moranis (Ghostbusters, Spaceballs, Honey, I Shrunk The Kids) was at the height of his career when his wife developed cancer and passed away. He took fewer and fewer roles before completely retiring to care for and parent his young children. Such a good guy.

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#31 I Hope The Nanny Reboot Turns Things Around For This Actress

Fran Drescher had a hard life. Her husband left her when he realized he was gay (they divorced in 1999) and she got uterine cancer in 2000.

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#30 Just A Little Slap On The Wrist

Vince Neil drove while intoxicated and killed Hanoi Rocks’ drummer, Razzle, in the ’80s. He served 30 days in jail and bailed himself out for $2.5 million.

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#29 It’s Never Too Late For A Father-Son Relationship

NBA legend Karl Malone had a child with a 13-year-old when he was a sophomore in college. He denies paternity and has never publicly commented on it despite DNA confirmation. The son, Demetress Bell, was an NFL player for five years. He said he only met his father on one occasion after he graduated high school. During that encounter, Malone told him it was too late for themt o have a father-son relationship and he would have to make his way on his own.

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#28 Where Is The Line Between Prank And Torture?

Pretty sure a lot of Alfred Hitchcock’s infamous “pranks” would qualify as workplace harassment or just flat out felonies. Like, that time he handcuffed two actors together (who had just met for the first time) and then pretended to not have the key for a whole day.

Or that time he made a bet with a stagehand and handcuffed him to a piece of scenery in the studio for the night. He locked the cuffs and gave the guy a drink to help “calm his nerves”. The drink was spiked with the most powerful laxatives available on the market and when they returned the next day, the guy was crying in a massive puddle of his own feces.

And there was also that other time when he locked Tippi Hedron in a room with several live birds that all attacked her and left her bedridden for a week. He then sent her six-year-old daughter a life-like wax replica of her mother in a coffin.

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#27 Sir Patrick Stewart Has Taken To Helping Others With Similar Struggles

Sir Patrick Stewart has talked about growing up in an abusive household. His father was abusive to his mother. She would call the police on him, and they’d dismiss it and tell her she must have provoked him somehow.

Stewart later learned that his father was diagnosed with PTSD. That’s why he supports charities dedicated to treating PTSD, as well as charities aimed at helping people get out of abusive relationships.

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#26 Only $175?

Matthew Broderick crossed into the wrong lane and collided head-on with a Volvo driven by a mother with her daughter. He was fined $175.

To be fair, he was tested for substances and it was found that he was not driving under the influence. At the hospital, he had a small stroke, and the crash gave him a concussion that which made it difficult for him to remember no memory of the accident.

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#25 This Comedian Quite Literally Started From The Bottom

Tiffany Haddish’s stepfather tampered with the brakes of their family car. She and her siblings thankfully opted out of the trip, but their mother was left with severe brain damage that triggered schizophrenia. Haddish and her siblings were put into foster care at 12 years old and they weren’t reunited until they were taken in by their grandparents three years later. In the early years of her comedy career, she was homeless and lived in her car.

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#24 We Wouldn’t Wish This On Our Worst Enemy

Keanu Reeves’ girlfriend gave birth to their stillborn child in 1999. They then broke up due to the grief, and in 2001, she died in a car accident.

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#23 Some Real-Life Terror For This Actor To Drawn Upon

In 2005, Benedict Cumberbatch was ambushed, robbed, and put in the trunk of his car with his hands bound before being dumped by the side of the road and rescued.

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#22 Mental Illness Doesn’t Discriminate

Richard Simmons was 268 pounds when he was around 19 or 20 and he took art classes in Florence, Italy. He later became anorexic. I read his book and he said he pretty much only drank water and wouldn’t eat food, which caused his hair to fall out and his skin to get all gray and saggy. He also made himself throw up. So yeah, his late teen years were not pretty.

He was actually an extra in Fellini’s Satyricon in 1969, as an overweight flute player. He was also a dancing meatball in a few commercials in Italy.

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#21 The Fast And Furious Relationships Of Paul Walker

Paul Walker dated a 16-year-old when he was 33.

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#20 A Writer And A Hero

Clive Barker once had a fan come up to him at a book signing, reveal a razor blade and attempt to hurt himself. Barker responded by pressing the fan’s wrists down, pushing the cuts against the books. He staunched them enough to save his life and even scrawled his own signature on the kid’s books in the blood before paramedics got there.

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#19 She May Have Derailed, But She Came Back

Tennis star Jennifer Capriati basically had her career derailed for two years due to substance abuse issues. She was also arrested for shoplifting during this period. She came back from that and eventually won three Grand Slam titles in the early 2000s,

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#18 This Author Bettered Himself While Serving Time

The guy who wrote the Rotten Ralph books got the idea to be a children’s author while serving time for trafficking illegal substances. After prison, he got a master’s degree, became a professor for a little while, and then created the children’s writing master’s program for two colleges. He’s also won many awards for his books.

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#17 Only A Tiny Bit Illegal

Jerry Seinfeld openly dated a 17-year-old high school student when he was 38 years old. He took her on the red carpet and everything.

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#16 A Lesser Known Fact About Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher has a twin brother with cerebral palsy. Apparently, he wasn’t expected to survive as an infant and has had a few other close calls.

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#15 Is It Not Common Knowledge That This Is Illegal?

Steven Tyler was 27 years old and started a relationship with a 14-year-old girl. He eventually convinced the parents to make him her guardian so he could continue to be with her while he took her on the road with him. He got her pregnant, forced her to get rid of the child, then struggled with addiction. He returned her to her parents three years later.

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#14 This Smallville Actress Was In A Cult

Allison Mack, who played Chloe in Smallville, was a trafficking recruiter for the cult NXIVM, which portrayed itself as a self-help group. Once she recruited people, she would blackmail them to keep them in. Turns out, she was second in command of the entire cult, right behind the leader, Keith Raniere. She was caught in April this year but was released on a five-million-dollar bond and I’m not sure what has come of her conviction yet.

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#13 I Refuse To Believe This

Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a Dr. Seuss, hated children.

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#12 Fergalicious

Fergie is a recovering addict.

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#11 All For Education Reform

Samuel L. Jackson has a pretty intense part of his history that not many people may know about. In 1969, Jackson and several other students held members of the Morehouse College board of trustees hostage on the campus, demanding reform in the school’s curriculum and governance. He was charged with and eventually convicted of unlawful confinement, a second-degree felony.

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#10 He Would Be Happy To Know It’s Legal In Some States Now

Louis Armstrong indulged in A LOT of herb and reportedly even had President Nixon carry bags through security for him (that way, it wouldn’t be checked). He said he couldn’t carry them “because he was an old man”.

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#9 This NFL Player Has Zero Contact With His Family

I guess a lot of NFL fans might know this, and it isn’t that dark, but Aaron Rodgers has zero communication with his family, and nobody really knows why. The theory is that they were money hungry and Rodgers was very protective of his wealth. At some point, he started dating Olivia Munn and he eventually cut off all communication with his family.

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#8 “You’re Going To Remember This Day Forever”

This is about Tina Fey. A guy walked up to her when she was a kid, said something to the effect of “You’re going to remember this day forever” and basically gave her half a Glasgow smile, which is effectively cutting the corner of the mouth.

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#7 Becoming President Was The Only Way To Deal With His Emotions

Teddy Roosevelt’s mother and wife died on the same day, only a couple of hours apart while he was in Albany for the state legislature. His wife gave birth to his daughter, Alice, only two days before she passed.

This devastated Teddy so badly that he ordered nobody speak his wife’s name. He also gave his daughter to his sister to be raised so he could move out to Western North Dakota and raise cattle along the Montana-North Dakota border. He credits the time in his life spent in the Badlands as the reason he became president and the only thing that could help him heal from his devastation. That’s how much he loved the region.

After a massive blizzard in 1885 wiped out his entire cattle herd, he moved back out east, started raising his daughter again (who became a national celebrity) and eventually went on to become president of the United States.

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#6 Well-Known Journalist Is An Abusive Boss

I used to wonder why famous, highbrow UK journalist and celebrity Mariella Frostrup always had a new personal assistant. My questions were all answered as soon as I got the opportunity to work closely with her.

I discovered that she’s a witch in real life who treats anyone in her orbit like an indentured servant. She berates and insults them incessantly, and they end up writing the work she is paid to do by major news organizations.

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#5 This Writer Changed The Laws Of An Entire Country

Ok, she’s not globally famous, but I think this is an interesting story. Brazilian soap-opera writer Glória Perez’s dark past had a huge impact on the country, actually.

Her daughter Daniela was an actress and had a role in Glória’s soap-opera “De Corpo e Alma” (1992). Her character, Yasmin, had a romantic relationship with actor Guilherme de Paduas’ character “Bira”. During the story’s development, Guilherme started to harass Daniela, trying to get more importance on the show. Then, one day, he was informed that Bira and Yasmin would break up later in the story

Turns out, Guilherme got so obsessed with fame that he started to believe Daniela asked her mom to make the couple break up in the story just to spoil his career, which motivated him and his wife (who was pregnant at the time) to go after Daniela with a dagger. The murder shocked the country and Glória started a campaign to harden up the penalty for intentional homicide in Brazil. The campaign succeeded.

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#4 He’s A Genuinely Good Guy

Danny Trejo was a huge addict since he was a kid, and spent time in San Quinton (among many other prisons.) He’s been sober for years and does a lot of advocacy work for the abused and the downtrodden.

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#3 Hey, You Have To Start Somewhere

Jackie Chan was in an adult film for his first movie role.

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#2 “He Resurrected Himself”

Andre Agassi was on top of the tennis world when he got addicted to methamphetamines, and his career spiraled out of control, sinking him down into the relative unknown. He eventually was able to resurrect himself and turned his entire career back around.

#1 Oh, We Remember

Please remember Chris Brown. That piece of garbage doesn’t deserve to be relevant.

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