There's so much celebrity gossip that you can't keep track of it all. Even scandals that were once Pretty Big Deals can be forgotten. So we're dusting off some old scandals that will make you say, "Wow, how did I forget about that?"
1. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson, known for his roles in "Lethal Weapon" and "Braveheart," has also been associated with anti-Semitism, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. Yeah, remember all that? He really hopes you don't, because after lying low following various scandals, he's been trying in recent years to revive his career. So let's take a look at some of Mel's largely forgotten scandals, and remember them...
Following an interview with a Spanish newspaper in 1991, Gibson was criticized for homophobia. The actor made demeaning comments about gay sex while at the same time asserting that "they were good people, kind. But their thing is not my thing." Gibson justified his comments by claiming to have been drunk, stating, "I shouldn't have said it but I was tickling a bit of vodka during that interview." GLAAD denounced Gibson's comments and requested an apology from him. In a 1995 interview with Playboy, Gibson said about it, "I'll apologize when hell freezes over. They can f--- off."
Drunk Driving and Misogyny
In 1984, Gibson was banned for three months from driving in Ontario, Canada, after crashing into another car while driving drunk. But that DUI arrest wouldn't be his last. In 2006, Gibson was arrested in Malibu, California, again for driving drunk as well as speeding with an open container of alcohol. During the arrest, Gibson infamously said to a female arresting officer, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar t--s?" And also, "I own Malibu… I am going to f--- you." He also ranted about Jewish people, a favorite topic of his, during the arrest. Which leads us to...
Gibson, whose father was known to be virulently anti-Semitic, said to the male police officer during his 2006 DUI arrest, "F---ing Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." The police report leaked to TMZ, sparking a major outcry and backlash against the actor. Gibson issued a public apology for his drunken behavior. He asserted that his words were "blurted out in a moment of insanity," and he later discussed the details of his comments with TV host Diane Sawyer, again apologizing for his behavior.
In 2010, Gibson's ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, spoke to TV's Larry King about Gibson's abuse. She told King that Gibson physically assaulted her while she held their baby. She also played a recording she made of an abusive phone call with Gibson. On the recording, Gibson tells her, "You go out in public and it's a f---ing embarrassment to me. ... You look like a f---ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n-----s, it will be your fault ... because you provoked it." And also, "I am going to come and burn the f---ing house down … but you will b--- me first." And that's Mel Gibson.
2. Winona Ryder
Back in 2001, Winona Ryder shocked us all when she was caught shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. The "Heathers" star was filmed on CCTV stealing over $5,000 worth of clothes, hair accessories and handbags. According to sources, Ryder was seen using a scissors to cut the tags of the merchandise that she was swiping.
Ryder in Custody
After stuffing the stolen items into a large bag that she had brought into the store, Ryder was halted by security on the sidewalk outside Saks. At around 7 p.m., the actress was arrested and held in custody for about four hours, finally discharged on a sizable $20,000 bail.
Ryder's attorney asserted that the incident was a "misunderstanding", claiming that "the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing" and highlighting that this was the actress' first encounter with breaking the law. Lt. Gary Gilmond of the Beverly Hills police department described the then 30-year-old as "very courteous, polite, friendly." Ryder was also found in illegal possession of anti-depressant drugs.
In November 2002, Winona was charged with grand theft and vandalism. She earned herself a a three-year sentence of supervised probation, 480 hours of community service, a fine of $2,700 and an order to pay back Saks for the stolen merch. The actress was also advised to seek counseling support. As for her career, she essentially went MIA from the public eye during the 2000s.
What the Actress Had to Say
Speaking to Porter magazine years after the scandal, Ryder said, "It allowed me that time I really needed. ... I just had other interests, frankly." Ryder added, "Psychologically, I must have been in a place where I wanted to stop." Clearly demonstrating to us that a career break is sometimes necessary to look after our mental health. Ryder is currently starring in the hit TV series and SAG Award-winning show "Stranger Things."
3. Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey
The year is 1987. Jennifer Grey had just filmed "Dirty Dancing" and was at the peak of her career. The actress and her then boyfriend Matthew Broderick were on a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood, traveling around Ireland for the summer. But their low-key vacation turned into the holiday from hell when they were involved in a deadly car crash...
Broderick and Grey, who met on the set of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," were driving through Enniskillen in Northern Ireland when they stopped to ask a police officer for directions. He gave them a scenic route, which may have confused the couple, so they stuck to their own original route, leading the officer to tail them. He later recalled that the actor's BMW "wasn't going too fast." But on that rainy Aug. 5, they collided with a car carrying 28-year-old Anna Gallagher and her 63-year-old mother, Margaret Doherty.
Gallagher and Doherty were killed in the crash. Broderick sustained a broken leg. Grey walked away with a few scratches. According to a firefighter at the scene, the side of Broderick's car had to be cut open in order to extract him. But his concern was with the people in the other car. He repeatedly shouted, "Did I hurt them?" Reports following the accident suggest that Broderick verged to the right side of the road, forgetting that, in Ireland, cars drive on the left side. Broderick to this day has no memory of the accident, only of waking up in hospital with a strange feeling in his leg.
Following his recovery, Broderick was charged with reckless driving and faced five years in prison. But the actor got off lightly when authorities relented, fining him $175 and a bail of $4,075. Broderick and Grey quickly returned to the States. The family of the two Irish women called the sentence a "travesty of justice" and reported being frustrated that the world was interested only in the actors and not their loved ones who died in the crash.
Broderick left a note for the family of the victims in which he apologized for the incident, but did not contact them again. Today, the family have publicly affirmed that they have forgiven the actor. The aftermath of the accident for Grey came at a time when she was being idolized and adored for her role as Baby in "Dirty Dancing." She later reminisced how "the juxtaposition of that deep sorrow, the survivor's guilt, and then being celebrated as the new big thing just didn't jibe," and that her head was never the same again.
4. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has become best known over the last decade as Iron Man, one of everyone's favorite Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before that, he was in a several of '80s teen movies, he was a "Saturday Night Live" cast member, and he earned himself an Oscar nomination for his work in the 1992 movie "Chaplin." But his life hasn't always been so successful. His current accomplishments have led many fans to forget RDJ's struggles and scandals in the '90s, a time when he seemed totally washed up...
Drugs and Guns
In 1996, Downey was arrested for possession of heroin and cocaine as well as a .357 Magnum handgun. A police officer found the contraband after catching Downey speeding in his Porsche. It was quite a heavy amount of possessions for a first offense, but that arrest would only be followed by years of arrests and convictions for the actor, including a crime committed while he was still awaiting trial for his drug and handgun possession charges...
Breaking and Entering
Two weeks after the arrest for drugs and a handgun, Downey was arrested again, this time for breaking into his neighbor's house in Malibu while under the influence of drugs. This became known as the "Goldilocks" incident because Downey stripped down to his underwear and fell asleep in his neighbor's bed. The neighbor tried to wake him but was unable to, instead calling the police, who brought Downey to a drug rehabilitation center. His neighbor didn't press charges, but Downey served nine days in jail after escaping from the rehab center and hitchhiking home.
In 1997, Downey skipped a drug test, violating his probation. As a result, a judge sentenced him to 113 days in a Los Angeles state prison. After this time, he was released from prison but checked into a court-ordered rehab program for another 120 days. Following almost a year in prison and rehab, the actor was released and quickly began working again. He was cast on the TV series "Ally McBeal." But his legal problems weren't over yet...
Downey found TV success on "Ally McBeal," winning a Golden Globe and earning an Emmy nomination. But the actor was arrested again in 2000, in Palm Springs, this time for possession of cocaine and Valium. The next day, he was released after paying a hefty bail of $15,000. He continued to work following this arrest. Things got better from there, though. Downey has been sober since 2003, finding major comeback success with movies like "Tropic Thunder" and "Iron Man." Today, he seems healthier and more popular than ever at age 54.
5. Vanessa Williams
Known for her roles in "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives," Vanessa Williams caught the attention of the public when she became the first black woman to be crowned Miss America. She was also the first winner to give up her title. The controversy behind her decrowning put Williams in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. But it would set her up nicely for a career comeback as a singer and, later, as an actor.
In 1984, after she had won the title of Miss America, nude pics of Williams emerged from when she worked as a photographer's assistant. She claimed the photos were silhouettes and that she would not be recognizable in the images. But, following her new fame, she was certainly identifiable, and Penthouse magazine published the prints in their September 1984 issue.
Giving Up Her Crown
In July 1984, Williams was forced to turn in her Miss America crown after the pageant's organization got wind of the nudes. Years later, Williams reflected on the controversy as making her feel "betrayed and violated, like I had been raped." At the time, Playboy's Hugh Hefner told Time magazine about the scandal, "The single victim in all of this was the young woman herself." In a public statement immediately following the incident, Williams insisted there was more to her than just a series of racy photos, and more to her than the title of Miss America too. It wouldn't be long before she'd prove it to the world...
Holding Her Head High
In the late '80s and early '90s, Williams enjoyed a successful pop music career, scoring a smash hit with 1992's "Save the Best for Last," which stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks and earned Williams a Grammy nomination. She later started an acting career, appearing in movies like "Eraser" and "Soul Food," and starring in hit TV series such as "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives." But the story of Vanessa Williams' relationship with the Miss America pageant wasn't over yet...
Thirty-two years after Miss America officials stripped Williams of her Miss America title, they invited her to be the pageant's head judge in 2016. During the pageant, Miss America CEO Sam Haskell took the stage to apologize publicly to Williams and her mother for "anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are." The audience gave Williams a standing ovation.