Celebrities - no matter whether we love them or loathe them, we're always gossiping about them.
Some celebs in particular have aired their dirty laundry for all to see this year (see picture). We've seen splits, we've seen rants and we've even seen one pop-star crash into a Snappy Snaps.
Join us as we look back at some of the biggest celebrity scandals of 2010.
Cheryl and Ashley Cole’s quickie divorce
They were considered one of Britain’s most famous couples, but in September their relationship came crashing down when Cheryl and Ashley Cole were granted a fast-track divorce, ending their four-year marriage in just one minute and twenty seconds.
Their relationship was tainted by constant allegations of extramarital relations on the part of the Chelsea football player. In February 2010, claims surfaced that Ashley had cheated on Cheryl with up to five women - in addition to the two previous alleged sexual encounters with a hairdresser and a glamour model back in 2008. Ashley landed in hot water again when provocative pictures he took of himself were sent to a glamour model and were splashed all over the papers. He denied responsibility, saying the saucy images were sent after he had passed the phone to a friend and forgot to delete the photos he had taken.
After the fresh claims became public, Cheryl appeared at the Brit Awards performing her chart-topping solo single ‘Fight For This Love’ without her wedding ring on, sparking rumours that their troubled marriage was over.
On 23 February, Cheryl announced she was separating from her husband and asked the media to respect their privacy. On 26 May 2010, she filed for divorce at London's High Court citing ‘unreasonable behaviour’ of estranged husband Ashley as the reason for their break-up.
Their ‘quickie divorce’- titled by their initials CAC vs AC - was granted by a District Judge under the ‘special procedure rule’ at the Principal Registry of the High Court's Family Division. The couple, who were both absent from the divorce hearing, reportedly split their estimated £22 million fortune, with Cheryl taking custody of their two dogs, Buster and Coco.
In June, fellow X Factor judge Simon Cowell publicly re-introduced her as Cheryl Tweedy at the show’s auditions, where she was met by a standing ovation from the crowd.
Another year to forget for Mel Gibson
It appears that Mel Gibson cannot maintain a clean and tasteful image in the public eye for long. He has previously made the headlines for angry outbursts which have lead to accusations of his being homophobic, anti-Semitic and racist.
This year, the Hollywood actor’s already diminished reputation took a turn for the worse, following reports that Los Angeles Police were investigating him over claims of domestic violence.
In April, it was reported that Gibson, 54, and second wife Oksana Grigorieva, 40, had split. A series of profane recordings were leaked on YouTube in which a panting Mel lashed out, spewing sexist and racist remarks to his estranged wife. The two have been involved in a bitter custody battle over their 11-month daughter, Lucia.
During one recording the female voice believed to be Oksana says: “You were hitting a woman with a child in her hands? What kind of a man is that? Breaking her teeth twice in the face! What kind of man is that?”
The angry male voice, who is alleged to be Mel, says: “Oh, you're all angry now! You know what, you f***ing deserved it! You need a f***ing bat in the side of the head... You need a f***ing brain transplant. You need a f***ing soul....Threaten ya? I'll put you in a f***ing rose garden. …You understand that? Because I'm capable of it.”
A domestic violence restraining order was issued against Gibson based on claims that he had knocked Oksana’s teeth out and bruised their baby daughter during a fight.
In November, the Daily Mail reported that Gibson had confessed in a sworn court declaration to slapping his former girlfriend - but had done so because he thought she was endangering their baby.
Footballers playing away
The words ‘love rat’ and ‘love cheat’ have barely stayed out of the newspapers this year, with a string of allegations about English Premier League players being unfaithful to their WAGs. We’ve seen wedding and engagements rings removed - and in some cases put back on again - following detailed ‘kiss and tells’ that revealed the sordid behaviour of some of the biggest names in football.
After a groundbreaking privacy ruling, details emerged of John Terry’s affair with team-mate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel. In February’s landmark case, a ‘super injunction’ was lifted by the High Court, allowing the British press freedom to report the details; namely that the Chelsea player and former ‘Dad of the Year’ had allegedly been cheating on wife Toni Poole with the French model for four months during 2009. The judge’s removal of the temporary gagging order was hailed as a major victory for the right to freedom of expression taking precedence over the right to privacy. Terry was soon dropped as England captain by manager Fabio Capello. However, John and Toni are still together, and attempting to work through their problems.
In the wake of Terry’s affair, fresh revelations of Peter Crouch’s infidelity left Toni Poole’s friend Abbey Clancy devastated. The 6 ft 7in Spurs player was accused of sleeping with an £800-a-night teenage Algerian prostitute while he was celebrating his friend’s stag weekend in Madrid. Weeks later, 24 year-old model Abbey, who stuck by Crouch throughout the claims, announced that she was twelve weeks pregnant with the striker’s baby.
News of Wayne Rooney bedding a prostitute was splashed all over the tabloids in September. It was claimed that the Manchester United striker had paid 21 year-old prostitute, Jennifer Thompson, for sex on numerous occasions while his TV sweetheart Coleen was pregnant with son, Kai. This was not the first time that Rooney had been accused of cheating on Coleen - in 2004, it was reported that he had visited 48 year-old prostitute Patricia Tierney – at the time he was just 18.
A plethora of high profile couples have called time on their relationships this year. Here are the five most talked about separations.
Sandra Bullock and husband Jesse James were the first superstar couple to drop the bombshell. It was reported that TV personality and motorcycle builder James had been cheating on the talented actress with a tattoo model, while Bullock filmed her award-winning movie, ‘The Blind Side’. Because of the scandal, the screen siren decided not to attend the film’s British premiere. At the end of June, the Bullock/James divorce was finalised in Texas, citing ‘discord or conflict of personalities.’
Hollywood golden couple, British actress Kate Winslet and director Sam Mendes, also revealed that they had ended their seven-year marriage. The split, announced by their legal representatives, was said to be ‘entirely amicable’. Both parties are said to be fully committed to the joint parenting of their children, Mia, 10 and Joe, 7.
Elin Nordregen, wife of superstar golfer and serial cheat Tiger Woods received a staggering $100 million after their divorce was finalised in August. Elin also reportedly obtained custody of their two kids, as well as child support. The couple’s marital problems first surfaced when his network of mistresses, and alleged sex addiction, became public at the end of 2009.
‘Beautiful’ singer Christina Aguilera shocked the world with the announcement that she and her music marketing executive husband Jordan Bratman were to divorce after nearly five years together. Aguilera filed for the divorce citing ‘irreconcilable differences’ as the reason for the split. The two are said to be seeking joint legal and physical custody of their son, Max. In a statement, she said that although the pair had split, their commitment to their son would remain as strong as ever. Unconfirmed tabloid reports hinted that the couple split after Aguilera had been having affairs with women.
In October, ‘Friends’ actress Courtney Cox and David Arquette also confirmed that they were no longer together. They met on the set of the movie ‘Scream’ in 1996, and were wed three years later, but announced to the world in mid-October that they were beginning a trial separation after 11 years of marriage. David Arquette admitted on Howard Stern’s radio show that during their separation, he had been sleeping with another woman - subsequently reported as being 28-year-old waitress Jasmine Waltz. But Arquette later clarified that he did not cheat on Cox by sleeping with Waltz, as the terms of the famed Hollywood couple’s relationship allowed them to see other people.
Vernon Kay’s ‘sexting’ scandal
On 9 February 2010, the Lancashire born TV presenter became embroiled in a 'sexting' scandal after he admitted to exchanging racy messages with Page Three model, Rhian Sugden. It was also reported that Kay, who has been married to 'Strictly Come Dancing' star Tess Daly for ten years, had sent sexual messages to four or five other women.
Mancunian glamour model Sugden is said to have first met Kay, 35, at a nightclub in his home town of Bolton after he began ‘following’ her on Twitter. He allegedly asked for her number at the club, and after their meeting, reportedly began to send her text messages of an explicit nature. Kay’s agent admitted that the father-of-two had sent the messages, but insisted: “They never at any point had a physical, sexual relationship.”
Following his indiscretions, the presenter used his Radio 1 show to apologise to wife, Tess, 38, and kids Phoebe, five, and eight-month-old Amber. He said: “I knew it was getting silly, I’m never going to do it again, and hopefully I can clear the slate clean and start again. I’ve been an idiot and I’ve let my family down.”
Kay said he had treated the messages as ‘harmless banter’, but has now realised that his behaviour was not appropriate for a married man. He has pledged to stop his saucy texting habit and do ‘whatever it takes’ to resolve the situation with Tess.
Good boys of pop get caught out
They are seen as the squeaky clean boys of the pop world, but Ronan Keating and Mark Owen’s images both faltered in 2010, as the tabloids reported that the boy-next-door band members had been cheating on their wives.
After Ronan shocked the nation in May by announcing the end of his 12 year-marriage, the rumour mill whirred into action. A statement on the Boyzone singer’s website was released, claiming that father-of-three Ronan and wife, Yvonne, 38 had split amicably. However, while there was no official comment giving the reasons behind the split, rumours were rife in the press of Ronan cheating with a backing dancer on his solo tour. According to sources, Ronan’s relationship with Leeds-born Francine Cornell blossomed as Boyzone kicked off their UK tour at the Odyssey last year.
Meanwhile Take That star Mark Owen - who won the affections of the British people with his boyish charm - did not try to hide his indiscretions from the public. In March Mark admitted to cheating on his wife with at least ten different women. It was reported that the pop heartthrob also ended a four-year affair with 24-year-old Neva Hanley in September 2009, just weeks before his wedding.
The singer, 38, says the other flings were one-night stands that took place when he was on tour with the band. He blamed his long battle with alcohol addiction for his infidelity, and said he was 'deeply sorry' for the pain he had caused wife Emma. The couple have two young children, Elwood and Willow Rose. Mark previously said in a Sun interview after they outed him as a serial cheat, that: “I have been an idiot, a d***head, a k***head. I have been living with the guilt”. He continued: "It has always been there - you carry it around with you. It held me back in my relationship with Emma. I wouldn't have done any of this if I had my time again."
George Michael goes to prison
In the past few years, George Michael has probably become more famous for his run-ins with the law than he has for his music. A succession of sex, drugs and driving scandals have seen him on the front pages - and in court - more often than in the charts. After escaping previous charges with fines or warnings, the bad boy was finally jailed for the first time in September, for driving under the influence of drugs.
In July, the Grammy award-winning singer was returning home from the Gay Pride parade when he was caught on CCTV driving into the front of a Snappy Snaps store in Hampstead, North London. Michael was soon arrested on suspicion of being unfit to drive. It was reported that while Michael was high on marijuana, he had also been taking a prescription medication, Amitriptyline, at the time.
As well as having to serve an eight-week prison sentence, the star was also slapped with a £1,250 fine and a five-year driving ban. District Judge John Perkins told the singer he had taken a ‘dangerous and unpredictable mix’ of prescription drugs and marijuana. Michael, who has a previous conviction for the same offence, was told by Perkins there was no option but jail.
The pop prince was released from Highpoint Prison in Suffolk on 11 October after serving four weeks of his sentence.
Joaquin Phoenix’s nervous breakdown hoax
For the last two years, Hollywood A-lister Joaquin Phoenix has been successfully conning the world by staging a nervous breakdown - apparently all in the name of art. The clean-cut ‘Walk the Line’ actor was exposed as a fake in an interview with the New York Times given by his brother-in-law, who praised Joaquin for giving ‘the performance of his career’.
Phoenix’s first attempt to trick the public was his announcement in late 2008 that he had retired from acting to pursue a new career as a rapper, and romantic comedy ‘Two Lovers’, co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow, would be his last film. In February 2009, Phoenix appeared on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ to promote the film, but during the interview the mumbling actor seemed confused and unresponsive towards David Letterman's questions about the film and his career plans.
However, in September this year, it was revealed that the eccentric star had merely been staying in character for a fictional film about a famous bearded drugged-up star – Phoenix – suffering a meltdown while trying to make it big in rap.
Director Casey Affleck claimed Phoenix's apparent psychological meltdown during the documentary merely proved his excellence as an actor. Affleck, who is married to Phoenix’s sister, Summer, admitted that he never intended to trick anybody. He said: “The idea of a quote, hoax, unquote, never entered my mind”. Phoenix appeared on the ‘Late Show’ again on 22 September admitting that his retirement and eccentric behaviour were part of Affleck’s new mockumentary, ‘I'm Still Here.’
Socialites in trouble
Paris Hilton’s DUI arrests, driving violations, and jail time have been well-documented since the start of her ‘career’ as one of America’s best-known socialites. Although she was wrongly accused of smoking marijuana at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium during the World Cup game in South Africa, she was busted by Las Vegas Police for cocaine possession in August. When police pulled over the vehicle Hilton was riding in and found 0.8g of cocaine in her purse, she claimed to have thought it was chewing gum. Las Vegas Police Department Sergeant John Sheahan said the substance subsequently tested positive as cocaine. Ms Hilton was booked into the county jail before being charged and released.
Hilton pleaded guilty to two misdemeanours on 17 September. Under the terms of the plea bargain, she was sentenced to one year probation, 200 hours community service, a $2,000 fine and was ordered to complete a drug abuse programme. Clark County District Attorney David Roger warned that: “If she is arrested for anything besides a minor traffic violation she will spend a year in jail. There will be no discussion. The court will have no discretion.”
Fellow Hollywood party-girl Lindsay Lohan followed Hilton’s lead as she began a 90-day prison term. She had failed to attend nine mandatory court-ordered drug tests, imposed in 2007 after the former child actress pleaded guilty to misdemeanour drug charges, and no contest to three driving charges. On 20 July, 24-year-old Lohan was filmed breaking down in tears in the courtroom when a Beverly Hills Superior Court judge read out her sentence. In addition, the judge ordered Lohan to check into rehab for three months after her release from jail. The troubled startlet served just 13 days of the 90-day jail term - in isolation as a result of overcrowding issues. She briefly returned to jail in September after failing more drug tests.
The media reported that Lohan had confirmed her failed drug tests on her Twitter account, as she thanked her fans for their support. She said: “Substance abuse is a disease, which unfortunately doesn’t go away overnight. I am working hard to overcome it and am taking positive steps forward every day. I am testing every single day and doing what I must do to prevent any mishaps in the future.”
Roman Polanski sex abuse scandal
Renowned Polish film director Roman Polanski, 76, faced more claims of sexual abuse this year, while being placed under house arrest in Switzerland. The fresh accusations came 33 years after he pleaded guilty to another charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
In the previous case of abuse, Polanski is alleged to have given 13-year-old Samantha Geimer a cocktail of champagne and drugs during a 1977 photo shoot at the Hollywood Hills home of friend Jack Nicholson, before having sex with her.
British actress Charlotte Lewis, 42, announced in May that ‘The Pianist’ director had also forced himself on her 25-years ago. In a press conference in Los Angeles, Lewis told reporters that Polanski sexually abused her in his Paris apartment in 1982 when she was still a teenager. She stated: “I am also a victim of Roman Polanski. He sexually abused me in the worst possible way when I was just 16 years old.”
Lewis also added that the incident happened four years after Polanski fled the US to avoid prison for the sexual assault of Geimer. Lewis, who had starred in his 1986 film ‘Pirate’, said that he took advantage of her, and that she had been forced to live with the consequences of his behavior ever since.
An extradition request for Polanski to return to the US where he faces sentencing in the 33-year old child-sex case was rejected by Swiss courts. As of 12 July, Polanski has remained a free man.