It’s safe to say that 2016 was an especially crazy year. So much happened in Hollywood (and beyond) that we honestly have had trouble keeping everything straight. From reality star Donald Trump being elected president of the United States, join us as we count down the 30 buzziest celeb headlines of 2016.
- Donald Trump elected president of the United States
In the wee hours of Nov. 9, businessman-turned-reality-star-turned-politician Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in what was perhaps one of the most surprising upsets … well, ever. Despite numerous polls showing Hillary Clinton winning (some by a lot), Trump rallied in the Rust Belt and surged to achieve a surprising victory. “Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business,” he told followers as he took the stage to address his supporters. “I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us on our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.” In the wake of his election, Trump has continued to shake things up. He kicked off a “Thank You” tour, has made some interesting choices when it comes to Cabinet positions, irked China by making a call to Taiwan, and has been taking meetings with everyone from Kanye West to Bill Gates. If we could only get him to take a break from Twitter.
- Brangelina breaks up
With as much drama as when they got together, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s 12-year relationship came to sudden end in September. The controversial pair with the famous portmanteau, who hooked up when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, parted due to “parenting styles” — though it later came out that they had a nasty fight on a private jet, with their six children present, that culminated in their eldest, Maddox, going shoulder to shoulder with his dad while defending his mom. Pitt was ultimately vindicated of any wrongdoing, but seems like the loser anyway as he has barely seen their kids (and the visits are always supervised) and must submit to drug and alcohol testing several times a month. (Pitt’s Allied co-star Marion Cotillard made it clear she wasn’t the “other woman” in the split.) While it’s never nice to see any family torn apart, a small bright spot in the Brangelina bust up were the hysterical Aniston memes that served as reminder that what goes around comes around.
- Kim Kardashian robbed at gunpoint in Paris
On Oct. 3, Kim Kardashian was held at gunpoint, forced into a bathtub, and robbed by men dressed as police officers in a private apartment. She had been in France for Paris Fashion Week, along with her mother, Kris Jenner, and sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner. The attackers made off with a whopping $10 million worth of jewelry, including her nearly 20-carat second engagement ring from husband Kanye West. Though she was physically unharmed, a spokesperson for the reality TV star said she was “badly shaken.” In the aftermath, social media was declared at least partly to blame, as Kim had inadvertently revealed she was alone in her hotel room (sans body guard) when she Snapchatted herself FaceTiming shortly before. (Her bodyguard was watching over Kendall and Kourtney’s night out at the time.) Since the attack, Kim has been keeping a low profile and has not posted on Instagram or Twitter.
- Prince dies
The world was devastated to learn Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park compound in Minnesota on April 21. He was 57. Just one week before, the beloved musician (full name Prince Rogers Nelson) had suffered a medical emergency that forced his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois. The next day, however, the Purple One appeared at a concert and assured his fans that all was well. Later testing revealed his cause of death to be an accidental drug overdose of the opioid Fentanyl. During his lifetime, Prince had sold more than 100 million records. He was in discussion with Netflix about a Paisley Park reality show at the time of his death.
- Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp and accuses him of domestic violence
Last year, the biggest headline about the movie star couple was their marriage and the scandal over their unvaccinated dogs in Australia, but they really blew that away in 2016. Amber Heard shocked everyone when she filed for divorce from Johnny Depp after just 15 months of marriage and three days after the death of Depp’s beloved mother in May. Later that same week, the Danish Girl actress sought and was granted a restraining order against the actor, whom she said had abused her throughout their marriage. Depp vehemently denied the allegations of abuse, a police report surfaced, his exes defended him, and she was accused of making the claims for financial gain. It got uglier before they eventually settled the split in August, and she vowed to donate the $7 million she won in the deal to charity.
- Ryan Lochte lies about being robbed during the Rio Olympics
Ryan Lochte made headlines around the world when he revealed he was held up at gunpoint and robbed by thieves posing to be police officers in Rio. The 12-time Olympic medalist was on his way home with three other swimmers when the incident occurred. Only it didn’t. As investigators dug into Lochte’s story, they discovered the four swimmers had vandalized a gas station. And as Lochte made the press rounds, his story kept changing until the truth finally came out: There was no robbery. “I overexaggerated that story, and if I had never done that, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” Lochte confessed to NBC’s Matt Lauer. The U.S. Olympic Committee ultimately suspended Lochte from swimming events for 10 months for the scandal that nearly caused an international incident. Lochte was also ditched by several major sponsors, but landed a gig on “Dancing With the Stars.” Blame it on Rio!
- Kanye West hospitalized after mental breakdown
After making headlines in November erratic behavior at his concerts — which he then canceled indefinitely — Kanye West was hospitalized at UCLA Medical Center. Some reports claimed the rapper was being treated for “sleep deprivation and exhaustion” while others classified Kanye as having a “mental breakdown.” He was released after nine days and has continued to receive outpatient treatment. The anniversary of the death of his mother combined with lingering effects from Kim Kardashian’s robbery reportedly triggered his breakdown. According to ET, West’s doctors were “reluctant to diagnose anything.” In December, he was back, attending art openings and taking meetings with President-elect Donald Trump. However, the European leg of his tour has been canceled.
- ’The Voice’ singer Christina Grimmie killed by fan
Everyone was stunned when rising pop star Christina Grimmie — who competed on Adam Levine’s team on Season 6 of “The Voice” and finished third — was tragically killed by an obsessed fan in Orlando. The alleged murderer, Kevin Loibl, shot Grimmie as she signed autographs following one of her shows before he turned the gun on himself. Loibl had two legally purchased guns in his possession at the time of the murder-suicide. According to Loibl’s “only friend,” Kevin became fixated on the singer and “watched everything having to do with her” on YouTube and her social media accounts. Loibl’s family said he had no history of mental illness, but “lived like a hermit.” While he had no criminal record, police were called to the family’s home in 2014 because of a domestic disturbance involving Kevin and his father’s girlfriend. Hollywood mourned the loss of Grimmie. She was 22.
- Chris Brown arrested after standoff with cops
Chris Brown was arrested in Los Angeles on Aug. 30 following a nearly 10-hour long standoff with police. The charge? Suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. A woman — who was later identified as Baylee Curran — called 911 after Brown allegedly threatened her with a gun. It reportedly all went down in the early morning hours at Brown’s house when Curran was admiring a piece of the R&B singer’s jewelry. “Chris came in, pulled out his gun and said, ‘I’m getting so sick of you people,’ pointed the gun at me, [and told me] to get the f*** out of the house,” she claimed. Brown was released after posting $250,000 bail, and the case is currently stalled due to lack of evidence — and a sketchy alleged victim.
- David Bowie dies
It felt like the day the music died all over again when the singing icon passed on Jan. 10. In a time when we are oversaturated with news, David Bowie’s 18-month battle with cancer was a closely guarded secret, so his death at 69 was a shock. During his 40-plus-year career, the “Ziggy Stardust” singer transformed before our eyes, taking us on inspiring musical journeys. His final album — “Blackstar”, released two days before his death — was like his parting gift to the world. Personally, his marriage to supermodel Iman was always one of the more stable ones in Hollywood, so seeing her grieve tugged even more at our heartstrings
- Taylor Swift faces off with Kimye over ‘Famous’ lyric
It’s been seven years since Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs, and though they’d seemingly reconciled, 2016 was the year all that ended. When Yeezy debuted his song “Famous,” it dropped this controversial line: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b**** famous.” West, who’s recently made news for other rants and for a hospitalization, swore that he’d run the line by the singer, but T.Swift’s people insisted he hadn’t. The video for the song came out over the summer, featuring wax figures of numerous famous people (including Swift) in bed with the rapper. Meanwhile, in defense of her husband, Kim Kardashian intimated that she had a recording of his conversation with the “Bad Blood” singer. Kardashian went ahead and released the audio of them chatting, even though she claims Swift’s camp threatened legal action if she did. Swift responded on Instagram, stating she was “being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination,” claiming West did not tell her she would be referred to as a “b****.” Fans took sides, but that died down as quickly as Swift’s brief relationship with Tom Hiddleston burned bright, then flamed out.
- Kelly Ripa is livid after ABC neglects to give her a heads up that Michael Strahan is leaving their gab fes
Kelly Ripa survived replacing Kathie Lee Gifford on the ABC morning show “Live!” in 2001, palled around with Regis Philbin until he left in 2012, and spent the next four years with former NFL player Michael Strahan as her co-host. But when Ripa was not given any advance notice that Strahan would be leaving “Live With Kelly and Michael” for “Good Morning America,” the usually perky blonde was furious. Ripa, who had been with ABC for 26 years, took a few days off to “gather [her] thoughts” as word traveled that she had been ambushed by the news. She returned week later, and Strahan’s departure date was moved up as things remained clearly strained between the two. Ripa has had a revolving door of guest co-hosts ever since.
- Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber spar on Instagram
There’s nothing like a pair of famous exes going at it on social media! It all started in August, when Justin Bieber slammed fans for flooding his Instagram with negative comments about then girlfriend Sofia Richie. “I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate this is getting out of hand,” Bieber exclaimed underneath a photo of the two of them. Selena Gomez decided to get in on the action, writing, “If you can’t handle the hate then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – it should be special between you two only.” After Selena claimed her former flame “cheated multiple times,” Justin fired back, “I cheated.. oh I forgot about You and Zayn?” Naturally, this exchange in the comments section was captured for all to see. Both stars ended up taking a break from social media shortly after the spat (Justin still hasn’t returned to Instagram); however, Selena took that break one step further when she stepped out of the limelight for nearly three months to deal with “anxiety, panic attacks, and depression” due to lupus.
- Beyoncé debuts ‘Lemonade,’ leaves everyone wondering who ‘Becky with the good hair’ is
To paraphrase Beyoncé’s husband Mr. Carter, you know you’ve hit a crazy level of fame when the fact your marriage made it is huge news. And for many, that’s the story that the masterful audio and visual album that Beyoncé released in April told. “Lemonade” touched on infidelity, anger, forgiveness, and renewal. But it was a few key lines in the anger part, particularly the song “Sorry,” that got people talking. When she said, “He only want me when I’m not there / He better call Becky with the good hair,” listeners had a few ideas as to who Becky was. The Beyhive’s targets included Rita Ora, Taylor Swift, designer Rachel Roy, and even celebrity chef Rachael Ray. (Fans got their Rachels mixed up.) While were plenty of denials and clarifications, Beyoncé and Jay Z never publicly commented on “Becky with the good hair,” beyond in song, and the world was left to wonder … that is until “Sorry” songwriter Diana Gordon dismissed the speculation and insisted the controversial lyric was about no one in particular. “I laughed, like this is so silly. Where are we living?” Gordon said. “I was like, ‘What day and age from that lyric do you get all of this information? Is it really telling you all that much, accusing people?’
- Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian Get Engaged and Welcome a Baby
Rob Kardashian shocked fans (and his own family) when he emerged from hiding in February with a new girlfriend … Blac Chyna. Chyna — who shares a son with Kylie Jenner’s beau Tyga — was persona non grata in the Kardashian family due to her public feud with Kylie. Despite the Kardashian clan’s displeasure, Rob popped the question to Chyna in April, after only three months of dating! Weeks after getting engaged, it was revealed Chyna and Rob were expecting their first baby together. Naturally, a reality show (Rob & Chyna) was in order! The couple — who broke up and got back together several times during her pregnancy — welcomed their daughter, Dream Kardashian, in November and they were one happy family for a few weeks. Chyna and Rob had another fight that resulted in Chyna packing up their daughter and moving out. “This weekend I was in an emotional bad place and did some things that embarrassed myself and my family,” Rob wrote on Instagram. “I apologize and I’m seeking help to deal with my flaws/issues.” Stay tuned…
- Leslie Jones quits Twitter because of nasty trolls, makes triumphant return that lands her a gig at the Olympics
Bet you didn’t know you needed the phrase “slay all day” in your life, but once “Saturday Night Live”‘s Leslie Jones rose to prominence this year, triumphing over Twitter trolls and championing the U.S. Olympics team like no one before, it was on. The comedian had been an SNL player since 2014, but it wasn’t until this past summer that she became a household name after she shared the ugly, racist, and sexist comments she had been receiving on social media following her turn in the all-female remake of Ghostbusters. The vitriol drove her from Twitter but the outpouring of support she got from colleagues, fans, and even Twitter’s CEO helped her return. And that meant we got to watch her unbridled enthusiasm for the Rio Olympics in general and for the U.S. teams in particular from the comfort of her couch. With her crazy color commentary, hilarious insights, and millions of followers, it was only a matter of time before NBC sent her to Rio to cheer on Team USA in person. Slay all day, Leslie!
- Taylor Swift caught kissing Tom Hiddleston 2 weeks after splitting with Calvin Harris
Well, that was swift! Just a couple of weeks after breaking up with DJ Calvin Harris, Taylor Swift was spotted locking lips with actor Tom Hiddleston. The “Bad Blood” singer and Avengers star were first spotted dancing together at the Met Gala in May — while Swift was dating Harris — and they had a whirlwind courtship over the summer. The PDA-inclined couple were spotted together in Nashville, England, Italy, Australia, and Rhode Island … where Hiddleston thought it was a good idea to sport an “I [heart] T.S.” shirt. Although Hiddleswift even met Taylor’s parents, their love affair was short-lived. Tom and Taylor split after three months together but are still friends … reportedly.
- Janet Jackson announces she is expecting first child at 50
The world has watched this superstar grow up, make history, and at times stumble (Nipplegate, anyone?). So when the then 49-year-old singer announced in April that she would be delaying her widely anticipated “Unbreakable” world tour because she and her Qatari billionaire husband Wissam Al Mana were planning their family, it got a lot of attention and even more speculation. Even though she was spotted bundled up and shopping in a baby furniture store in September, it wasn’t until October that she confirmed her pregnancy in the pages of People, glowing in a white ensemble that featured her baby bump and saying, “We thank God for our blessing.”
- Housekeeper is accused of holding Richard Simmons hostage
After decades of leading cheesy workouts in his many exercise videos and at a Beverly Hills gym, Richard Simmons was suddenly silent. No one really noticed until the New York Daily News reported in March that Simmons was being held at his home against his will by his longtime housekeeper, Teresa Reveles. The flamboyant star dismissed the accusation in phone interview the day after the story was published, saying that he just wanted a break following a knee injury that kept him from teaching classes. “For all the people that were worrying about me, I want to tell them that I love them with my whole heart and soul, and … not to worry — Richard’s fine,” he said on Today. “You haven’t seen the last of me. I’ll come back, and I’ll come back strong.” Sadly, the workout guru’s gym, Slimmons, closed its doors in November. “Truly, you don’t need me to tell you what to do anymore,” Simmons wrote on Facebook. “You know. It’s within you. It’s in your heart and it’s been there all along. So get up and get moving!”
- Mariah Carey and her billionaire break off engagement
Looking back, we should have predicted the end of Mariah Carey’s engagement to Aussie businessman James Packer in July when we published our story on how he was always wearing track pants while she was in evening gowns. He may have done well presenting her with a 35-carat engagement ring (it was up to the elusive chanteuse’s standards), but they were a mismatched couple from the start. And the fact that they couldn’t share a super-sized yacht while vacationing should have been another red flag. (Their prenup was another disaster.) Instead, Mariah went full-speed ahead incorporating Packer into her reality series, Mariah’s World, which debuted earlier this month, and the powers that be had to scramble to edit him out and play up what seems to have been her fake romance with one of the backup dancers, Bryan Tanaka. Oh, Mimi.
- Hulk Hogan sues Gawker — and wins!
In one of the stranger lawsuits in recent decades, former pro wrestling star Hulk Hogan sued Gawker for posting a sex tape that featured Hogan and a friend’s former wife. That wasn’t the strange part, though. The strange part was that Hogan’s suit was largely funded by Silicon Valley honcho Peter Thiel, who had been harboring ill-will toward the site ever since it outed him for being gay nearly a decade before. Hogan (real name: Terry Gene Bollea) was awarded a whopping $115 million by a Florida jury, who believed he had “suffered severe emotional distress” since the tape surfaced three years ago. Though Gawker insisted for months that it would win on appeal, in early November, the site caved and reached a settlement with Hogan, agreeing to pay $31 million. In between those two turning points, however, the site’s founder, Nick Denton, exited, and the site was sold to Univision. Univision’s first order of business was stripping the site of all the other articles that were involved in litigation.
- Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry make a splash when they go public with new romance
Orlando Bloom and Katy Perry hooked up at a Golden Globes afterparty in January, and while we could get into the nitty-gritty of their courtship (Disney dates! Coachella kisses! Met Gala accessorizing! Matching jammies at Thanksgiving!), the true highlight of their romance, at least in our eyes, was their trip in Sardinia, Italy, which saw Bloom stripping down to nothing while taking his ladylove on a paddleboarding ride. We’re not sure if these crazy kids will make it, but they’ll always have Sardinia — and so will the Internet.
- Shannen Doherty reveals breast cancer has spread
In August, Shannen Doherty let it be known that the breast cancer she had been battling had spread. “I had breast cancer that spread to the lymph nodes, and from one of my surgeries, we discovered that some of the cancer cells might have actually gone out of the lymph nodes,” the 45-year-old actress explained. She also revealed that she’d undergone a single mastectomy in May. Throughout her treatment, the Beverly Hills, 90210 alum was open and honest about the experience, even going so far as to share a series of pics that documented her shaving off her hair. While she continues to bravely battle the disease, her husband is battling her ex-manager. In December, Kurt Iswarienko sued for failure to pay Doherty’s medical-insurance premiums, which caused her policy to lapse in 2014 during which her cancer developed and spread. He also claimed the breast cancer had hurt their love life. Meanwhile, Doherty has been undergoing radiation treatments and continues to provide fans with regular updates on her cancer fight.
- Iggy Azalea and Nick Young split after he impregnates his ex
Iggy Azalea and NBA player Nick Young’s relationship miraculously survived scandal in March, after footage leaked of Young bragging to a his Lakers teammate that he’d cheated on his fiancée. (They got engaged in June 2015.) However, the controversial Aussie rapper stuck with him — and went on a “We’re Still Together, So Deal With It” press tour. There was only so much she could take though. “I broke up with Nick because I found out he had brought other women into our home while I was away and caught them on the security footage,” she explained on Twitter. One more shock was the discovery, through TV news, that Young’s ex was expecting her second child with him. “This is just like a second shot to the chest,” Azalea confessed. “And I feel like I don’t even know who the hell it is I’ve been loving all this time.” She’s been recovering from the split by posting lots of sexy photos and leaning on her plastic surgeon’s shoulder, which is the Hollywood way
- Jim Carrey Slapped With 2 Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In a strange twist, the estranged husband of Jim Carrey’s late girlfriend, Cathriona White, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the actor in September one year after she committed suicide. White was found dead in her home after overdosing on a lethal amount of Ambien, Propranolol, and Percocet, none of which she had a prescription for. The suit filed by Mark Burton accused Carrey of obtaining controlled substances under a fake name and giving them to White. A few weeks later, White’s mother filed a similar suit against the actor. Brigid Sweetman, alleged that her daughter contracted three STDs from Carrey without warning, and that her suicide was a result of that, as well as having illegally obtained prescription medication from the actor. Carrey — who insists the medication was stolen — called Sweetman’s suit a “shakedown” and had this to say in response to Burton’s claims: “It would be easy for me to get in a back room with this man’s lawyer and make this go away. But there are some moments in life when you have to stand up and defend your honor against the evil in this world.”
- Lindsay Lohan gets engaged, announces she’s pregnant, then calls the whole thing off
Lindsay Lohan’s 2016 actually got off to a promising start. The actress appeared to find love with Russian entrepreneur Egor Tarabasov and got engaged in the spring, but their relationship went up in flames in August when Lindsay alleged on social media that she was pregnant (although she was photographed smoking during this time) and that Egor was out cheating on her with a hooker. LiLo also claimed her beau had physically abused her. Egor denied the “harmful” and “false” allegations and no charges were brought against him, but that didn’t stop the Mean Girls star from giving interviews in which she publicly slammed her ex and claimed he never paid for anything. Egor fired back insisting it was Lindsay who was broke. Needless to say, it’s a good thing this wedding never happened! Plus, then she might not have ever opened up her new nightclub in Athens, Greece…
- Sharon Osbourne temporarily breaks up with Ozzy after he admits to affair
The rock ‘n’ roll couple, married in 1982, had survived everything from his drug addiction to — the kiss of death for many couples — a reality show, but it looked as if it were all over because of another type of addiction: sex addiction. Ozzy Osbourne’s four-year relationship with hairstylist Michelle Pugh was revealed in May, and Sharon spoke openly about her marital problems on The Talk. “I honestly, at this point today, have no idea what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life,” she said. The future looked bleak as the couple’s daughter Kelly reacted to the news by tweeting out Pugh’s phone number along with an unsavory message, prompting Pugh to file a lawsuit. By July, the story took another dramatic turn, as Ozzy publicly insisted his marriage was “back on track,” and that a sex addiction was to blame for his affair with Pugh. Sharon later noted on her show that Ozzy was going through treatment for his addiction and that she was proud of him for doing so. Rock on?
- Prince Harry’s new girlfriend is ‘Suits’ actress Meghan Markle
The tabloids went crazy when it was revealed in November that Prince Harry — one of the world’s most eligible bachelors — was dating Suits star Meghan Markle. In an unprecedented move, the British royal confirmed his romance with the American actress after she was “subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.” The statement read that “Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm.” Despite the media frenzy, Megan and Prince Harry appear to be going strong. She’s been spotted at Prince Harry’s residence in London and has reportedly met members of his famous family. Anyone else rooting for a royal wedding?
- Corey Feldman gives a bizarre performance on ‘Today,’ then marries one of his ‘angels’
Corey Feldman, the ’80s child star (also known as half of the two Coreys), certainly caught attention in September when he appeared on Today for a head-scratching performance — well, some would call it just plain bad — of his song “Go 4 It.” His “angels,” a group of women he claims to have saved from life on the streets, played and sang backup, while he imitated Michael Jackson’s dance moves, spinning and grabbing his crotch, and singing … not well. The reaction from the Internet was swift. “We just wanted to tell everybody that, like, it’s been really painful,” Feldman said in a Facebook Live post the day after the show aired. “We put ourselves out there and we did the best that we could. And, like, I’ve never had such mean things said about me. Like constantly.” Things got better for the actor, though. He returned to Today for another performance in October and, the following month, married his angel Courtney Anne, in his third trip down the aisle. Part of his reasoning was that his bride is Canadian, and he was concerned she might deported once Donald Trump becomes president. Please give this man a reality show in 2017.
- Jennifer Aniston and Renee Zellweger take a stand against shaming by writing op-eds
Dealing with Hollywood’s outlandish standards of beauty, coupled with society in general’s expectations that a woman is only really happy if she has the stereotypical husband and children at home, must be exhausting. This was the year that two of the industry’s heavyweights took it upon themselves to speak out about it. Jennifer Aniston made the first move in July with an essay written for the Huffington Post, calling for people to stop obsessing over whether or not she’s pregnant. “If I am some kind of symbol to some people out there, then clearly I am an example of the lens through which we, as a society, view our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, female friends and colleagues,” she wrote. “The objectification and scrutiny we put women through is absurd and disturbing.” Zellweger penned her essay for the same publication the following month, pleading with readers to stop speculating about whether she had eye surgery and begin talking about “our many true societal challenges and how we can do better.” Oh, she didn’t have eye surgery, by the way.