Nothing sells newspapers and magazines faster than a celebrity scandal. We have a thirst for gossip. Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Michigan, told LiveScience, "There are two evolutionary benefits to celebrity gossip: The first is for our own personal benefit; learning what high-status individuals do, so you might more effectively become one. The second reason is more political, and relates to how we have complex social circles. Knowing what is going on with high-status individuals, you'd be better able to navigate the social scene."
With the media fighting to get the latest scoop, it appears there is nobody off limits and no story too shocking to reveal to the world. However, the public's thirst for fresh gossip is so heightened that often publications have to resort to other tactics to try and keep readers interested.
Many times before the "celebrity scandals" we have all believed actually turned into nothing more than a big hoax. These following celebrities were all dragged into story lines that were so crazy and bizarre we all had no choice but to believe it must have been true.
15 Kylie Jenner Pregnant At 18
In March this year, every showbiz magazine was reporting that 18-year-old Kylie Jenner was to become a mother for the first time with her rapper boyfriend, 26-year-old Tyga. Life and Style magazine were allegedly told by an insider, "She’s gained a little weight and she says she’s been having the weirdest cravings for Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts."
Although it read like a joke - people actually took it seriously and Kylie faced the ultimate online backlash with many branding her far too young to start a family. One fan tweeted: "First lip fillers, now this!" in response to the reality TV star settling down early.
Kylie then responded to all the haters online the best way she knew - she put on her tightest dress, showing the flattest stomach and strutted around in front of the paparazzi. She also slammed the media online tweeting: "It's been the same rumor for years." Before adding: "When I decide to go to that next stage in my life I will be the first to let you know...not a weekly blog." She then returned to her full-time career selling her Kylie lip-gloss range and Snapchatting.
14 Louis Tomlinson's Baby Was Fake
We aren't too sure where to start with this fake celebrity scandal (which was lead by some very determined One Direction fans) but here it goes: In January, One Direction's Louis Tomlinson shared the news that he had a baby boy named Freddie, and the baby mama Briana Jungwirth asked to be kept out of the spotlight.
Then things got really weird as fans suggested the baby was either a doll or simply didn't exist. Fans believed One Direction's PR Ann-Marie Samson, who had a baby at the same time, was using this baby to pose as his. Louis was rightly furious and voiced his anger when paparazzi stopped him in LA to ask if his baby was real and he replied, "Have a bit of respect for a baby, pal." He can also be heard in the video posted by the Mail Online that the rumors are "sick" and "cruel."
Briana also dropped her "no publicity" rule and posted on Instagram: "How dare anyone call my child fake? That's sick and morally wrong. Say all you'd like but I won't let anyone take away the happiness I have for my baby son. I know Louis won't either." Case closed.
13 Ted Cruz Is The Zodiac Killer
What was only meant to be a funny meme online, turned into a huge scandal that killed off Ted Cruz's whole political campaign earlier this year. Someone stated that Ted Cruz could be The Zodiac Killer, a serial killer loose during the 1960s/1970s who was never caught, and the world got in on the trend. When respectable polling company Public Policy Polling asked voters about the matter, they found that 38% of voters in Florida believed that Ted Cruz might be the Zodiac killer.
The frenzy was so large (with "Zodiac Killer" trending for days online) that it became bigger than anyone, who clearly just wanted to take a quick jibe at the Presidential hopeful, ever expected. The internet argued back and forth with each other over "is he, isn't he" until finally someone with a bit of sense cleared up that the dates just didn't match up. Twitter user @redpillamerica wrote: "To those Cruz trolls who insist that we ‘look at the facts’ that Ted was not even born when the Zodiac was committing these horrid crimes... yes we know. Lighten up!"
Four months later, Cruz stepped down from the presidential race and suspended his campaign. There are many PR nightmares a campaign can succeed through - but when the world thinks you're a serial killer there's really not much coming back from that.
12 Rihanna Slept With Jay-Z
When Rihanna first burst on the music scene in 2005 with her debut single Pon De Replay she became an instant hit overnight - both on the charts and with a scandal on the front page of all the tabloids. The big story back then was that she was sleeping with Jay-Z not long after he signed her to his label and that Beyonce's was furious.
This scandal managed to last ten whole years before finally her publicity team confessed that they made it all up in order to make her famous. Well, it worked for Rihanna, but for Jay-Z and Beyonce their marriage never fully recovered as Queen Bey's latest album Lemonade touches on the topic of infidelity and jealousy throughout.
In 2015, Rihanna’s ex-producer, Jonathan Hay, confessed to Inside Edition, "I was desperate at the time because I wanted to have a hit record. We were young and stupid." Hay claims that he has since apologized to everyone involved but when it takes a decade for someone to say sorry it really doesn't smack of sincerity.
11 The Kardashians Hate Chyna
Earlier this year, when Blac Chyna announced her pregnancy with Rob Kardashian after the pair had been dating only a few months - the public wasn't the only one who appeared shocked. The Kardashian-Jenner clan who are constantly present on social media all of a sudden appeared to go very quiet and didn't send the couple any congratulations over the Twittersphere. This prompted a huge scandal: Chyna was determined to steal the Kardashian crown to get revenge on Kylie Jenner stealing her baby daddy Tyga away from her.
This apparent celebrity spat went on for months until Kim finally signed up to Snapchat and revealed the truth. The one-time rivals and ex-BFFs were captured laughing together in San Diego as Kim lovingly rubbed Chyna's very visible bump. They were also joined by Kim's children North and Saint, her sisters Khloe and Kourtney, Kourtney's ex Scott Disick and their kids, Mason, Penelope and Reign, and the matriarch of the family Kris Jenner. At one time we all thought they would never be in a room together but it looks like it's just another celebrity tabloid rumor gone too far.
10 Harry Styles Dating Radio One DJ Nick Grimshaw
Another One Direction scandal hit the newsstands last year, when Harry Styles was believed to have been in a relationship with Radio 1 DJ and X Factor judge, Nick Grimshaw. What started out as a bromance quickly became front-page news that they were a couple and Harry's management were ready to slap a lawsuit on anyone who exposed them.
When Harry gave an interview to GQ magazine he revealed he "didn't even know" about the rumor - you know, the one that caused a Twitter trend and took over every tabloid in the world - and confirmed, "We’re not dating, no. We’re just friends." When asked if he was bisexual, he replied, "Bisexual? Me? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I’m not."
Harry has had quite the reputation over the years as being a bit of a playboy. He's been romantically linked to Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevingne and Taylor Swift (although that one didn't end too well) yet he has no plans to cut back on chasing the ladies anytime soon.
9 Angelina Jolie And Her Brother Dating
Let's go back to the year 2000, a gothic-like Angelina Jolie walked the red carpet at the Oscars with her brother James Haven and right in front of the world's press decided to lock lips with him. Questions were raised over just how close the siblings were and Jolie fuelled these rumors after discussing her heightened physical appetite in other interviews.
Their mother's close friend Cis Rundle finally exposed the truth in an exclusive interview with Radar Online. She revealed, "The day she kissed Jamie at the Oscars, it was the first day Marcheline was treated for cancer. They left the hospital together and got ready together." Seven years after the photo was taken, they lost their mother to cancer and as a precautionary measure Jolie received a double mastectomy - a surgery to remove mammary glands.
Cis added, "Nobody in the world knew that they spent the day in the hospital. It was like, ‘Look where we’re at now.’ But the world saw something incestual. It was meant to be ‘Here we are.’ They only ever had each other. They had a very tight relationship with each other and their mother."
8 Lady Gaga Is Not A Full Woman
Back in 2010, Lady Gaga had become a worldwide name after landing big number ones like "Bad Romance". Then out of nowhere a rumor appeared online that Lady Gaga was a hermaphrodite. The "Paparazzi" singer also fueled the reports as she told Q magazine, "We all know that one of the biggest talking points of the year was that I have a d**k, so why not give them what they want? I want to comment on my d**k in a beautiful, artistic way. How I wanna show it. And I want to call this piece Lady Gaga Dies Hard." Now we all know Lady Gaga says some crazy things but even this was too confusing for her fans to handle.
Then months later, probably after a quick word from her publicity team, she did a U-turn and told a French TV station, "I love the rumor that I have a male member. I’m fascinated by it. In fact, it makes me love my fans even more that this rumor is in the world because 17,000 of them come to an arena every night and they don’t care if I'm a man, a woman, a hermaphrodite, gay, straight, transgendered, or transsexual. This has been the greatest accomplishment of my life - to get young people to throw away what society has taught them is wrong."
7 Nicki Minaj's Butt Is Fake
Not many people can take their eyes off Nicki Minaj's world famous bum but when she performed during the Fashion Rocks concert in 2014 her famous derriere was talked about for many different reasons. The crowds and cameras captured a moment where it appeared her entire behind deflated right before their eyes as she danced in tiny hot pants.
Then to add more fuel to the fire, plastic surgeon Dr. David Feldmar claimed in his expert opinion the Anaconda singer had definitely had some form of butt-boosting surgery. He told Radar Online, "It does appear that she’s had some sort of augmentation in the gluteal area. It looks like she had gluteal implants placed, or perhaps got fat injections."
In 2011 during an interview with Extra she finally confirmed: "I don’t mind the questions, I don’t mind the fascination (with my butt) ... But I’ve said this before, it doesn’t define me. So, I try my best not to focus my energy on it. Like, if you guys focus energy on and spend energy on it, I don’t mind it. You know, people are sitting in the barbershop talking about my butt, it’s conversational. As long as they’re talking about Nicki Minaj, I’m good." We are going to put her collapsing behind down to just an unflattering angle and put this to rest...for now.
6 Steve From "Blues Clues" Is Dead
Blues Clues had been a huge hit on Nickelodeon since 1996 and the star of the show really was Steve Burns. In 2000, he was named one of the most eligible bachelors in the world (alongside the likes of George Clooney and Brad Pitt) by People magazine and he also dated Playboy models. Steve was the guy everyone wanted a piece of.
Then one day Steve just didn't show up on the program anymore and the storyline was "Steve has gone to college." Then the scandal came out - Steve had died of an overdose after spending years secretly fighting addiction. Fans around the world weeped and mourned his loss until it was revealed that the whole drug scandal was complete fiction and Steve had just had enough of kids shows.
Traci Paige Johnson, co-creator of Blues Clues, revealed to Spin magazine: "(Steve) didn’t want to be a children’s host. He loved kids, but he didn’t want to make a career out of it." Burns himself also confirmed, "I knew I wasn't going to be doing children's television all my life, mostly because I refused to lose my hair on a kid's TV show, and it was happening, fast." Maybe somebody misheard "hair loss" as "heroin overdose"? Easily done.
5 Kanye West Bankrupt
This year on Valentine's Day instead of spending the evening gushing about how great it is to be one half of the famous Kimye, Kanye took to his Twitter to make a completely different statement. He tweeted: "I write this to you my brothers while still 53 million dollars in personal debt..." Following with: "For the past 3 years people who knew about the debt tried to use it against me in negotiations... I wanted the world to know my struggle… my dreams brought me into debt and I’m close to seeing the light of day…" It was official - Kanye was broke.
So how did Kanye lose $53 million? It was apparently down to his venture into the fashion industry and the launch of his Yeezy brand at Madison Square Garden. Jonathan Reed, C.E.O. of brand consultancy CS Global told Vanity Fair, "For a large show, you’re thinking about venue expenses, set and stage expenses, audio and special effects, labor costs, which at a place like Madison Square Garden, which is union, is more expensive. This can run into seven figures very quickly. That doesn’t include any of the talent—models, hair, makeup, stylists. That’s its own huge bucket, another easy seven figures."
Total cost of everything? Turns out it was $16 million and with a personal net worth of $145 million this was far from being "bankrupt" for Kanye. We should have all known he's always been one to exaggerate - everyone stay calm he's not homeless just yet.
4 Rachel Roy Was "Becky With The Good Hair"
Beyonce launched her most anticipated album to date titled Lemonade earlier this year and one lyric that really stuck out was: "He only want me when I'm not there/He better call Becky with the good hair." Beyonce's beehive went into overdrive trying to decipher exactly who "Becky" was.
Then fashion designer Rachel Roy posted a picture of herself and a friend on Instagram with the caption: "Good hair don’t care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self-truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens." Roy was also the speculated reason behind the now famous elevator fight between Jay-Z and Solange; along with this Instagram post it was enough for Beyonce's fans to launch an online attack on her.
After weeks of abuse online, Roy finally went public and in an official statement to People magazine she stated: "I want to put the speculation and rumors to rest. My Instagram post was meant to be fun and lighthearted, it was misunderstood as something other than that. There is no validity to the idea that the song references me personally. There is no truth to the rumors." Well, looks like Beyonce's fans are going to have to find someone else to attack now...
3 Miley Cyrus Died And Was Replaced
Miley Cyrus is not one to shy away from controversy but this scandal was one that probably caught her completely off guard. In 2012, the following post appeared from an anonymous user on bulletin website 4Chan: "Couple years back, there were reports that someone had found Miley Cyrus' body way out in East LA, with signs of dehydration, along with bruises on her wrist and neck. It was all over (Californian radio station) KCAL for, like, a day, and then the very next day KCAL apologized for promoting 'blatantly untrue slander.' If anyone can find the video clip, it would be much-appreciated."
This then prompted an online conspiracy that Miley was killed off by Disney in 2010 and replaced as part of an elaborate cover-up. Her father Billy Ray Cyrus also fueled the rumors when he was asked by New York Daily News if he regrets Miley being involved with Disney so young, he replied, "I’d take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I’d erase it all in a second."
However, there is no truth to it other than Miley wanted to completely change her image. She told Elle magazine, "A lot of people when I started this transition in my life, encouraged me to be very free. But when I started to free myself, they very quickly wanted to put me back in my cage again. They were like, 'Okay, well, fly – but don’t fly too far; don’t get too high...' I use myself as, like, a sacrifice for my fans, to be like: 'Look, I'm like you!'"
2 Justin Bieber Had An Illegitimate Child
One name that will surely haunt Justin Bieber forever is Mariah Yeaters. TMZ reported that Bieber was the father of her four-month-old son, Tristyn Anthony Markhouse Yeater. In 2011, just ten days before Christmas, the then 17-year-old Bieber was summoned by Los Angeles Superior Court to take a paternity test to determine if he really was the father of the 20-year-old fan's child.
Yeater claimed she had met Bieber backstage at one of his concerts and she was seeking $170,000 a year in child support. She told the Daily Star, "I pray that Justin sees these photos, looks at Tristyn and knows in his heart that this is his child and our child. It's going to be a nightmare for all of us if he keeps denying it. I just want what is right for our son I feel terribly hurt that we have been abandoned and none of my calls to Justin were returned."
This was not the first time a celebrity had been accused of fathering an illegitimate child and probably not the last time it all turned out to be a big fake. Days before Bieber was due to take the paternity test, Yeater withdrew her lawsuit after it was revealed the Where Are U Now singer was planning to counter-sue due to the bogus claim. Yeater, and baby Tristyn, were not heard from again.
1 Beyonce Faked Her Pregnancy
There was a time when we all believed Beyonce could do no wrong, but then in 2011 her dress folded in a strange way when she sat down for an interview and it became an international scandal. During an interview on an Australian TV show, a then-pregnant Beyonce "squashed" her baby bump on screen - the heavily pregnant singer's dress folded inwards in a peculiar way and many believed she was lying about her pregnancy having instead opted for a surrogate.
Finally years after the birth of her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, the scandal was put to an end during her On The Run tour with husband Jay-Z as the couple showed video footage of their most intimate moments. In one shot, a clearly pregnant nude Beyonce has her modesty covered by her own hands and Jay-Z stood behind her cuddling in. Case closed.
Looking back on the days when everyone was discussing "Beyonce baby-gate" the "Run The World" singer revealed in an HBO special, "That was crazy. It wasn't hurtful, it was just crazy."