January 23, 2020 | Melissa Budish

People Share Their Unpleasant Encounters With Celebrities

Everyone has a favorite celebrity that they hope to meet one day in person, be it a famous actor, musician, athlete, politician or public figure. In our minds, we assume these celebrities are the nicest people on the planet; however, that is sometimes not the case in reality. The following stories submitted by people from around the world tell of real unpleasant encounters with Hollywood's elites. Of course, everyone's experience is different, so make sure to take these stories with a grain of salt:

The opinions represented in this article do not represent those of Humaverse Inc., its writers, or its staff.


#1 Bigheaded Behavior

I was sitting in the lounge in one of the big music studios in Hollywood. Out of nowhere, Bruno Mars walks up, looks at me, and says, “Where the heck is my cab?” I looked at him and said, “Who the heck are you?” I really had no idea who he was, but the dude did act like an absolute jerk. Mind you, I was just an audio engineer—I was not even remotely responsible for figuring out where this man's cab was.


#2 Thanks For The... Napkin?

Oprah didn’t tip me on a $200 lunch... Instead, she signed a napkin for me and acted like she was doing me a huge favor. The kicker was when she walked in, they gave away all of my other tables so she didn’t have to wait for anything. So I made $4/hour for two hours for the privilege of serving Oprah and she went on and on about signing a napkin for me... that I never asked for.


#3 The Queen Of Divas

I used to work at a Hard Rock Hotel. Mariah Carey was the absolute definition of a freaking diva. She used a bunch of employee passageways and we were instructed that if we looked her in the eyes, we would get written up. We were also told that we had to immediately vacate any room that she entered, even if we were in the cafeteria on break or in the bathroom doing our business.


#4 Selective Kindness

Back in the 90s, I worked on the stage musical production of Beauty and the Beast. The guy who played the talking clock is an Australian celebrity by the name of Bert Newton. He always used to say hi and make conversation UNTIL he found out I was one of the lighting crew. After that, he wouldn't even glance at me.


#5 That Was Uncalled For

Probably 10 or 11 years ago, I was working behind the scenes of a WWE house show. My job was to find the contest winners and bring them to introduce them to a couple of the bigger stars. My immediate report went to Ricky Steamboat, who was incredible. I had a question for him (I don't remember what it was anymore), but he was standing there talking to Chris Jericho.

Not wanting to be rude, I stood to the side, waiting for their conversation to end before I interrupted. Jericho stopped mid-sentence, looked at me and said: "Are you freaking lost?" When Ricky turned around to see who Jericho was talking to, he recognized me and was super pleasant. He answered my question, but Jericho was upset and thought I was a groupie or something.

#6 Backhanded Compliment

It was the mid-90s. I worked at a golf course that was so “exclusive” not even Michael Jordan could be a member. The day was very rainy and the course was closed to everyone except the foursome Jordan was in. He ran late and the other three started without him. He arrived and they loaded his clubs on the cart. I was standing probably 50 feet away as he was getting ready to leave and meet his group... there was no one else around.

There was nothing for me to do since no one else was on the course or the driving range. I was not gawking or anything, I was just marveling at how tall he is (they don’t look so tall on TV). He called me over. “How can I help you, Mr. Jordan?” “Can I have that towel?” “Of course sir.” “Thanks, I knew you were good for something.” Nice.


#7 Cuba Not-So Gooding Jr.

I met Cuba Gooding Jr. once at a cast and crew wrap party which was at my usual bar... They just finished shooting the "End Game." He was relatively polite to me—he even helped me prank a friend, but he openly admitted that he was just out looking to get lucky and ended up leaving with a girl that also frequented the same bar. He's married, so I thought that was a jerk move.


#8 The Worst Tippers Ever

My uncle works at a Vegas casino. None of the Kardashians or Jenners tip anyone. Ever. He was with them for over three hours and he didn’t receive a dime. Overall, he was treated like total garbage. Scott Disick, however, is a great tipper and great guy all around, which is surprising because he comes off as opposite in the TV show.


#9 The Price To Pay

This goes both ways. I ran into Kirstie Alley 25 years ago, when “Veronica’s Closet” was on. She was quiet but sweet. People came up and wanted photos, but she was with her kids and politely declined; citing her kids. Nearly everyone acted like she had slapped them and turned them down, but she was calm and gracious. It kind of made me sad.


#10 Too Famous To Care

I had a friend whose elderly father was a lifelong Streisand fan. Her father ended up with terminal cancer, and in his last year, his adult children contacted Streisand explaining his situation and hoping to get a signed picture to surprise him with before his passing. A letter was sent back on Streisand’s behalf explaining that she simply had too many fans to accommodate requests like that. My friend would never watch one of her movies again.


#11 Just Doing My Job

A friend of mine worked on "Looper" in New Orleans. It was a very common occurrence where Bruce Willis would wander off of the set and various PA's would be sent to scour the area to find him. My buddy found him in a bar. He sheepishly approached him and said, "I'm sorry to bother you Mr. Willis, but they're calling for you on set." Bruce Willis looked up at him and then proceeded to just keep drinking like he wasn't even there. My buddy had to walk outside, radio in that he had found him, and wait for someone with a higher pay grade to come and wrangle him back to set.


#12 Mother Unlike Daughter

I met Naomi and Wynonna Judd at a meet-and-greet session at K-Mart corporate headquarters. I had a K-Mart store plan from their home town for them to autograph. Wynonna was a complete uber-witch. She scribbled her name on it, scrunched up the paper, and threw it at me with some sarcastic comment about rednecks and hillbillies. Then her mom (Naomi) took the paper, gently smoothed it out and told me that it was the most thoughtful thing she had autographed all day. Very nice and genuine woman.


#13 How To Lose Fans

I Went to GenCon a few years ago and Wil Wheaton was right behind my husband and me. I'd had a huge crush on him as a young girl and I really looked up to him. I turned around and asked if he could snap a quick photo with us. He pretended that I never spoke. His wife gave me these sad eyes and then his freaking entourage explained that he doesn't talk to fans.

Well, screw you, dude. You could have spoken to me. We were three feet apart. Now I can't watch any episodes or movies he is in. It kills it for me. I see his true nature. I never said anything offensive. I respected his personal space. And I walked away after being told no. I didn't force an over the shoulder selfie either.


#14 No One's Favorite

When I was a waitress working in California, Gary Coleman (the actor from Different Strokes) would come in the restaurant pretty regularly, despite nobody ever wanting to wait on him because he was a bad tipper. People would always say he expected to be attended to as if he were royalty. This was years after his show had been canceled.


#15 Overwhelming Ego

Don King. I didn’t recognize who he was, so I asked for his ID before checking him into the hotel. When I looked up from the computer screen, the look he was giving me made me turn completely cold. I genuinely thought we were seconds from this guy reaching out and grabbing me for daring to not recognize him. I am not a big person and he is a very tall man—fortunately, a coworker who DID recognize him intervened and took over the transaction, giving him what he felt was the proper amount of ego-stroking.

After that point, as far as he was concerned, I no longer existed. Super rude, but the anger and malice in his expression when I hadn’t recognized him just left me grateful to have him turn his attention away. I think he did say something along the lines of: “Don’t you know who I am?” But I honestly don’t remember it. I just remember the look on his face—I’ve dealt D-list celebrities and plenty of sports stars who pull the “Don’t you know who I am” card all the time, and I’m generally just amused by it. This was something else altogether. He creeped me the heck out.


#16 Diva Mentality

Sam Smith. One of my female friends works security at the local arena, and her entire crew was told something like: “When you’re working with Mr. Smith, he doesn’t want any of you to look directly at him when you’re close to him, understand everyone?” Apparently, he absolutely lost his cool with one of her colleagues because he had the bare-faced cheek to look in his direction while he was walking down a corridor.


#17 "I Don't Think So"

It's sort of my fault, but I met a well known gay British celebrity in a gay bar. I was there because a girl I had a crush on and who had just had a bit of a break-up wanted to go grab a drink without being hassled by men. She didn't know that I fancied her, but I offered to take her (as a friend) out for a drink or two, and she said she wanted to go to a well-known gay bar in town.

Anyway, this celeb came into the place, and she got all excited and asked him for an autograph. She was generally being a little bit of a nuisance to him—sure, he just wanted to have a drink without this, but he was cool about it.

I was totally tipsy at this point, but I wanted to thank him for being cool about it. So I, a straight guy, went up to him and asked if I could buy him a drink. He just looked down at his nose at me, disgusted, and said "I don't think so."


#18 A Huge Prick

The jerk crown goes to Mitch Albom. He's colossally rude to everyone. He openly berated the baristas and the cafe for his coffee's lack of quality. He was a prick to every employee. He sat in this super-tight t-shirt and sat with his left arm behind his right to try and push out his biceps and look buffer... which is hilarious because he's maybe 5'6 and 130 lbs.

He was slimy and gross to every woman in sight from ages 18 to 45. It was the worst signing ever. Plus, he acted like, "Tuesdays with Morrie" is wisdom on the level with the Dalai Lama. My boss actually had to ask him to leave immediately when his scheduled signing was over. His agent was a very nice woman who was clearly sick of his nonsense. That poor lady.


#19 Taking Out His Anger

A tipsy-laden Robbie Knievel tried to start a fight with some friends and me at a gas station because he claimed we cut him off. He was belligerent, swearing up a storm, and not entirely coherent. He also punched the gas pump we were at because that's just how upset he was. Our reaction was 80% "what the heck" and 20% "go home, you're tipsy." This was a little after his dad had passed away.


#20 I'm An "Influencer"

I went to a convention near my town. It was a sort of cartoon convention and gaming convention combo. On 10 separate occasions, I was asked, "Do you know who I am?" Not a single one of them were people I knew. When I expressed this, they all had the same responses but with different names.

"My name is Sprinkle Tim (or some equally ridiculous name) and I have over 50,000 subscribers on YouTube and Twitch." Apparently, there was a panel being held about how to grow your internet persona. It drew out some of the worst people ever. I wouldn't even call any of these people celebrities, but that was the image they had in their heads.


#21 Despicable Conduct

Alec Baldwin. Oh, how I now despise that man. Back in 2002, I was at an event for work and he was a special guest. He appeared to be somewhat intoxicated and as he walked past me. He plowed into me, spilling my entire drink down the front of my outfit. He never said excuse me, or I’m sorry, or anything. He was just a total jerk. To this day, I will not watch anything if I know he’ll be in it. So yeah, I still hold a grudge.


#22 Tardy And Rude

Jennifer Lawrence was by far the worst celebrity I ever encountered. She showed up an hour late to a cinema premiere because she decided to visit a friend beforehand. It delayed all of us, then she complained about people shouting at her while she was walking the carpet. At some point, she snapped her high heel while walking down the stairs and, for some reason, that was also our fault. Nothing but hostility from that woman.


#23 A Nasty Experience

I was an extra in a comedy sketch with David Walliams and Jack Whitehall. Jack's great, but David... They were playing these stuck up tennis personalities and I was David's ball girl. During one take, he clicked his fingers and beckoned me to bring his towel to him. I did so, quickly, as instructed. Then, he wiped his brow and pretty aggressively thrust the towel back to me. I was unprepared and dropped the thing.

We try to do the scene again and the same happens—he clicked, I ran over, but this time he wiped his sweaty arse in tight shorts as well as his forehead and then threw the towel back to me, higher this time so it splatted right over my head. I got David Walliam's sweat on my face. He never came over to apologize, never said a single word to any of us extras despite there being very few of us. Honestly the rudest experience I've had with a celebrity in five years of film and TV work.


#24 Childhood Dreams Crushed

The Sandman at ECW in the late ’90s. He threw his beer can, way before Stone Cold Steve Austin, and I ended up catching one. After the show, he was signing autographs and I caught up with him. I said, “I caught your can, could you sign it?” He looked at me dead in the eyes and said, “I’m not signing your freaking can, kid” and walked away.


#25 Sorry, Kevin Bacon

When I was about 5 years old my dad took my brother and me to the Seattle Science Center. A fellow by the name of Kevin Bacon happened to be in line with his wife and kid. My dad attempted to lowkey point out to us that it was Kevin Bacon, but subtlety is not his strong suit, so everyone else in the vicinity started to notice. Kevin tried to stay incognito, but too many people were aware of his presence at that point, so he left. Thanks, dad.


#26 Those Dang Pop Stars

I’ve been in radio for over 20 years. Pink was a jerk for refusing to sign some autographs for a bunch of young fans after promising to sign them 30 minutes earlier. Lenny Kravitz wouldn’t say anything to anyone at the station. Justin Timberlake was extremely cool. Lionel Richie once gave me a beer after we accidentally stumbled into his trailer backstage. Bon Jovi and Jon Stewart were both incredibly personable. Beyoncé was cold. Kid Rock was boring. And Britney refused to say a word to me.


#27 Chill, Dude

I was in Arizona for a college soccer tournament, and we were sitting in the lobby of our hotel before we left for our first game. Gary Busey walks into the hotel and I guess I was just staring that direction while I waited to get on the bus. He thought I was staring at him and said, “If you like it so much, why don't you take a freaking picture?”


#28 You Never Really Forget

Bill Nye the Science Guy. I was 15 and I met him at some high school science event. I went up to him to shake his hand only to receive the lowest effort, dismissive handshake of my life. I did not even get minimal eye contact while I was telling him how much of a fan I was. I am 34 and still remember...


#29 Definition Of Privilege

Kathie Lee Gifford is the definition of privilege. Years ago, I worked at a nice downtown restaurant near a theatre that hosts Broadway shows. The restaurant frequently hosted celebrities, so we weren't strangers to high profile people. Apparently, Kathie Lee Gifford starlights as some type of theatre person, and honestly, I didn't know who she the entire first week—perhaps this is why we were treated so dismally.


#30 Saved By The Gretzky

I remember a night when Wayne Gretzky insulted Michael Jordan at the table. It was a private salon game. Michael had ordered a drink from the cocktail waitress, and he gave her a five-dollar chip. Wayne took it off the cocktail waitress's tray, gave it back to Michael, grabbed a hundred-dollar chip from Michael's stack and put it on the cocktail waitress's tray. Then he said, "That's how we tip in Las Vegas, Michael."


#31 Humility: Non-existent

I met Amy Schumer at a hotel bar. The bar was crowded, and I had no idea it was dominated by her and her friends. I sat down next to one of her people and ordered. Amy leaned over her friend and said, ” What exactly makes you think you should be here?” I shrugged and said the open seat was my first hint. She looked so insulted, and her friend who I was next to gasped. The bartender went to put my drink on the bar for me, and Amy put her meaty hand on his arm, saying, “No, don’t serve this jerk, he needs to go.”

Some dude in a black polo came over and said that I was bothering Miss Schumer, and needed to leave. I told him I had no idea who this lady was (at the time I had never heard of her and her stolen jokes). He grabbed me by my shirt collar with one hand and gave me the whole macho “Easy way, or the hard way” bit. I told him that that line sounded good coming from Stallone, but not from him. Amy then screamed, “Just get the heck out!!!” So I beat feet. I didn’t see any “reserved” sign on the bar, and I wasn’t trying to chat up her friend. Weirdo.


#32 Bronx Attitude

I work at a casino and I see quite a few celebrities. Firstly, Kevin James treated just about every employee like they were wasting his time. "JUST GET IT DONE!" Also, Jennifer Lopez was banned from one of the casinos I worked at. She famously told upper management she didn’t want “poor people” looking her in the eyes and wanted any staff that went near her to look down. She also demanded a new mattress in our villa (a custom made bed) at 3 a.m., then tried to get the casino to essentially break into a mattress store for the mattress she wanted them to buy.


#33 Second Strike

Once upon a time, when I was a small military brat, my father volunteered backstage at a USO show. At this particular USO show, Jennifer Lopez was performing. I was about 11 and I was absolutely obsessed with her. Since my dad worked backstage, he was able to get me a pass to go back and meet her. Before the show started, my dad took me backstage and told me to stand over by the stage entrance. I stood there for a hot minute and then I saw her walk by. I waited until she was near me and I mustered all the bravery I had to ask her to sign the very sweaty composition notebook I had been monkey-gripping. She looked at me like she just saw a dog vomit then said nothing and just walked away.


#34 Three Jerks

Steven Seagal. Absolute bell-end. He was looking at other women while married, was often tipsy while on set, and just a jerk in general. Kiefer Sutherland. Mama mia, this guy thought that every time the sun came up it was because he had his pants down. He was decent enough to the people who directed and mattered to him, but everyone else was treated like dirt. Bob Hoskins. Just generally a bit of a prick— he lost his cool at people for the littlest things. Rhona Mitra was pretty nice though; friendly, congenial, and just so very pretty in real life.


#35 Zero Tip

Vivica A. Fox. I used to be a bartender at a hotel, and she came in with a guy late one night after an event. He ordered a drink for himself and a house red for her, so I turned to her and asked if she preferred a cab or merlot. She gave me the DIRTIEST look and flounced off to a table without answering. He said, “Just give her red, whatever,” and left a zero tip. They ordered four rounds, no tip each time. They also complained that someone else came in and sat at a table near them and tried to get me to make them move. The other guests didn’t even try to approach her or talk or anything, she was just mad that they dared to sit at a neighboring table.


#36 Real Classy, Dude

My brother told me this happened to his friend in high school: She went to go see John Mayer live and she was super hyped because she’d opted for the VIP tickets that let her meet him after the concert. After the concert, John Mayer came out of his room only to say, “If you’re not going to sleep with me, you might as well just go.” Real classy fellow, that John Mayer.


#37 Super (Slim) Shady

I wrote to Eminem but he never called me back. I even left my pager, my cell and my home phone at the bottom. I sent two letters back last Autumn but I don’t think he received them. I went to his concert and he didn’t speak to me. I wished he’d signed an autograph for my brother Matthew—he’s only six years old and we waited for him for four hours, just to be turned away.


#38 Power Trip

In the late eighties, I was in a bar in DC called the Fifth Column. It was late, close to 2 a.m., and I was at the bar trying to pay my tab. This dude sort of jostled me as he tried to get a bartender’s attention. It was Mickey Rourke. The woman next to him did a double-take and said, “You’re Mickey Rourke! Wow!” or words to that effect. He glared at her and ordered a drink. About 30 seconds later, the bouncers came over and escorted the woman, me, and a couple of others out of the bar, saying we had “bothered Mr. Rourke,” and, OF COURSE, I had already paid my tab.


#39 Not Humble At All

I attended and bartended at Ohio State. When Ezekiel Elliot came into the bar I was working at, I was trying to make small talk trying to be friendly with him while serving him his drinks and he was a complete jerk. He was very rude and it was as if he almost expected me to give him free drinks because he was the star running back for OSU.


#40 The Meet-And-Greet Blunder

William Shatner. I had paid for a meet and greet and was waiting patiently to take a picture with him. I fumbled for my ticket or token to give to the security guy. It literally took three seconds of fumbling, and then he yelled, "Hurry up will you?!" He clearly did not want to be there. He took a photo with me, then shoved me aside. That made me feel horrible as a fan.


#41 Shame On You

Saw Richard Simmons at Toronto airport back in 2011. Mary Murphy was there too, but I’m not sure if they were traveling together. This caused a small crowd around them in the baggage claim area. One woman tried to talk to Richard—she was quite excited and really wanted to chat with him. She said nothing to provoke what he said. The immediate words out of his mouth were, “You know, just because it’s an all-you-can-eat restaurant, doesn’t mean you have to eat it all.” Everyone was pretty shocked. She was a little bigger than average, but nothing to suggest she drove restaurants out of business.


#42 Crush, Crush, Crushed

Paramore. The band came into the restaurant I was working at and the hostess had a panic attack from being completely starstruck. This was in New Mexico a few years back. The hostess found me and said she wanted to take a picture with them, but didn’t have the confidence to ask. I told her I’d go ask and proceeded to do so. The band at their table obliged, so I headed back to the hostess to give her the thumbs up. As the hostess headed over, the band eloped the tables, breaking the hostess’s heart. I’ve talked poorly of them ever since.


#43 Why So Angry?

Wes Studi came into a cafe that I waited tables at. I served him and he was pretty rude and pushy. He got really upset at some people that recognized him and asked for a photo. He then demanded to be compensated for the inconvenience. He was with Russell Means who was very nice and ended up paying for everything, so it wasn't a total loss. I just didn't understand why Mr. Studi was so upset from the second he sat down.


#44 Totally Inconsiderate

I met Russell Crowe one time while working for a newspaper company in Sydney, Australia. I got sent to a hotel with a photographer to watch him do an interview. Russell showed up 45 minutes late, with no warning, walked into the windowless apartment and started chain-vaping. I’m asthmatic. I had to step outside. I talked to his security guard though. Really nice Polynesian guy.


#45 Still A Diva?

Not me, but my dad. He’s a cameraman, and he worked with Russell Crowe on a shoot. He said he was the biggest jerk to the crew and acted a bit like a diva. Mind you, this was easily 15ish years ago, so I don’t about him now.


#46 Stand-Off With The Terminator

Once, I worked for a large movie company. I was grumpy all day, so when I saw an open elevator not crowded with folk as I was leaving, I quickly got in and pressed my floor number. That’s when I heard a thick voice behind me, sounding a bit far away, saying: “Hold the door.” I pretended not to hear it, given my bad mood. The doors were closing and I turned. That’s when Schwarzenegger’s angry off face appeared behind the slit between the ever closing doors. “I asked you to hold the doo—” Then, they shut in his face and the elevator went down. I’m so sorry T-800.


#47 "Do You Know Who I Am?"

A family friend of mine used to work for TSA in Orlando. Adam Levine has just played there or something and just started walking straight through the security checkpoint. She stopped him saying, “You have to wait in line just like everyone else.” He replied, “I’m not everyone else! Do you know who I am?!” I don’t recall what she said back but he got super upset and walked to the back of the line.


#48 You're Not All That

I was at a Kid’s Choice Awards after-party. I was like, eight years old or something. My friend and I approached Keke Palmer—not even to get an autograph—just to say hi. She gave us a dirty look and then proceeded to ignore us and talk to her friends. Yeah, that crushed my little Nickelodeon-watching heart. I don’t know if she is still like that, but what a terrible thing to do that to a kid.


#49 You're Like, D-List...

Nick Lachey is a total jerk. I was managing a sandwich shop in college near his home. He and his (actually really nice) wife would come in from time to time. We would usually comp his order since the entire shopping plaza would instantly show up and stack a line out the door and around the corner. He never tipped and even elbowed his little cutie when she tried to. He would never look at anyone or say hi the entire time in the store... Dude, you're like D list... His brother Drew is pretty nice though...


#50 Go Braves

I saw Pete Rose at the airport on Thursday. He saw my Braves gear I was wearing and said: "Braves are getting beat, buddy." I asked for a picture and he just replied with the score, "6-0." I think it’s kind of that funny he just walked up unsolicited and smack-talked my team because I was wearing their gear. I mean he’s still kind of a jerk, but it’s funny.



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