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10 Celebrity Scandals That Rocked Hollywood

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Liam Neeson is hardly alone when it comes to Hollywood stars finding themselves embroiled in scandal. The “Taken” star took to the airwaves Tuesday on “Good Morning America” trying to put a new spin on the charges that he’s racist after revealing he felt the desire to lash out at black people decades ago to avenge the rape of a friend.

Neeson told an Irish newspaper that, after being told the attacker was black, he “went up and down areas with a cosh (stick or truncheon)” hoping a black person “would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”

Over the years scores of celebrities, both actors and athletes, have found themselves the subject of unwanted attention because of dubious behavior or comments on their parts. Here’s a look at some of the more high profile scandals that have rocked Hollywood in recent years.

Note: For the purposes of the list, serious criminal charges or allegations… .i.e. Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, R. Kelly) have been omitted.

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Roseanne Barr Racist Tweet
Roseanne Barr found herself out of a lucrative paying job after ABC canceled its successful reboot of “Roseanne” in 2018 following the Barr’s racist tweet likening former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett to a cross between the Muslim Brotherhood and a “Planet of the Apes” actor. ABC went on to reboot the series minus Barr as “The Conners.” Barr has painted herself as the victim, saying earlier this year she was fired because of her support for Israel and that the network was looking for an excuse to fire her.

Kathy Griffin Poses With Severed ‘Trump Head’
The comedienne found herself in a ton of hot water in 2017… and on the end of visits from the Secret Service… after she posted a photo of herself holding a severed head that bore the likeness of Donald Trump. Griffin was fired from her most high-profile job as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve celebration and several comedy gigs were canceled. She at first apologized for the image during a tearful news conference, but since that time has rescinded her apology and renewed her attacks on Trump… this time sans graphic images.

Donald Trump Access Hollywood Tape
In 2016 it was revealed Trump was caught in a 2005 hot-mic discussion with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush while on a Hollywood set to make an appearance on a soap opera.

On the tape, Trump brags about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife. Bush joins in, laughing at some of Trump’s comments and later encouraging an actress to hug Trump.

Trump downplayed the crude exchange, which included the now infamous “Grab ’em by the pu–y,” phrase as locker room talk. He went on to be elected president of the United States.

Ryan Lochte’s Fake Gas Station Encounter
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte was banned from swimming for 10 months in 2016 and forfeited $100,000 in bonus money that went with his gold medal at the Olympics, as part of the penalty for his drunken encounter at a gas station in Brazil.

Lochte claimed to have had a gun held to his head at a Rio de Janeiro gas station, where he and three other American swimmers had stopped to use a restroom, but later confessed he “over-exaggerated” the encounter.

The controversy apparently only boosted Lochte’s pop culture cred as he’s gone on to star in both “Dancing With the Stars” and was cast in “Celebrity Big Brother” in 2019.

Paula Deen ‘N-Word’ Controversy
Paula Deen’s 2013 acknowledgment that she’d used a racial slur in the past effectively ended her relationship with the Food Network and toppled her cooking empire. But Deen staged something of a mini comeback in recent years.. .in 2015 she was a member of the “Dancing With the Stars” cast.

Mel Gibson Domestic Violence Arrest/Anti-Semitic Tirades
Mel Gibson went from being one of tinseltown’s top A-Listers after starring in hits ranging from the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, Oscar-winning “Braveheart” and producing the highest grossing foreign language filming the U.S. with “The Passion of the Christ” to becoming a virtual pariah following a number of high profile controversies.

Gibson was sentenced to three years’ probation, counseling and community service in 2011 after pleading no contest to one misdemeanor count of domestic violence allegedly committed against ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in 2010. Gibson also came under fire for a July 2006 DUI arrest in Malibu, Calif., where he was recorded making anti-Semitic remarks including “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world!” according to the 2006 arrest report.

Although radioactive for a time, Gibson’s career survived the scandal and he’s now in the midst of a resurgence. He starred opposite Sylvester Stallone in 2014’s “The Expendables 3,” signed on for “Daddy’s Home Two” in 2017 and directed the Oscar-nominated “Hacksaw Ridge” in 2016.

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Tiger Woods Cheating Scandal
Nothing could go wrong for Tiger Woods… until everything went wrong for Tiger Woods. In November 2009 Woods was involved in a one-car accident outside of his Orlando-area home on Thanksgiving. Woods was charged with a minor traffic violation for careless driving. But soon details started to trickle out about alleged indiscretions with the married golf star.

A month later Woods released a statement on his personal website apologizing for his “infidelity” and announced that he would be taking “an indefinite break from professional golf.” Soon, it was revealed Woods had been engaged in a number of extramarital affairs, including with some adult film stars. Companies like Gatorade, AT&T, Accenture and Tag Heuer all cut ties with Woods.

Woods’ career never fully recovered following the scandal, as injuries also derailed him. He hasn’t won a major tournament since 2008.

Kim Kardashian Sex Tape
It was the sex-tape that arguable launched an empire. Prior to the reveal of the 2003 sex tape Kim Kardashian was primarily known as being the buddy of socialite Paris Hilton. But after the tape, made with former boyfriend Ray J, Kardashian was no longer in Hilton’s shadow.

Last year Kardashian said on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” that she was on ecstasy while making the tape.

“I got married on ecstasy,” Kardashian casually admitted, referencing her short-lived first marriage to music producer Damon Thomas. “I did ecstasy once and I got married, I did it again and I made a sex tape (with former boyfriend Ray J.) Like everything bad would happen.”

Hugh Grant Solicitation Arrest 
In 1995 “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno asked the question on everyone’s mind…”What the hell were you thinking?” Although the public at large never received a real answer to the question, the solicitation controversy didn’t do all that much to harm Grant’s career, as he went on to star in a number of hits including the “Bridget Jones” franchise and rom-com fave “Notting Hill,” opposite Julia Roberts.

Pee Wee Herman Arrest for Public Masturbation
When you go by the name of Pee Wee Herman and you’re arrested public masturbation the jokes almost write themselves. Luckily for Paul Reubens the arrest happened before the advent of social media. In 1991 the popular children’s television star was arrested and charged with exposing himself inside an adult theater in Sarasota, Florida.

While the arrest threw Reubens’ career off track for a number of years he has stayed in the public view appearing in several big-budget projects, including “Mystery Men” and “Blow” opposite Johnny Depp.

Reubens also appeared in television projects including “Reno 911!”, “30 Rock,” “Dirt,” “Pushing Daisies,” and “The Blacklist.” In 2010, he starred on Broadway in The Pee-wee Herman Show and in 2016, Reubens helped write and starred in the Netflix original film “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” reprising his role as Pee-wee Herman.

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Scarlett Johansson Gets Slimed by Colin Jost While Accepting MTV’s Generation Award – NBC4 Washington

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Scarlett Johansson got a surprise from husband Colin Jost during the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The 36-year-old “Black Widow” star accepted the Generation Award with a pre-taped segment that aired during the awards ceremony on Sunday. She began her acceptance speech by thanking her co-workers from throughout her career, in addition to expressing appreciation for her fans.

“I never would have been able to continue to evolve as an actor for the last 30 years without the support and dedication of so many cast and crew members that make up the nomadic traveling-circus family that are movie sets, and the dedication and hard work of so many people that goes into making any movie continues to inspire me as a performer,” Johansson said.

“Thank you so much to my fans for riding the wave with me and for supporting my career so I can continue to have the good fortune to pursue the job that is my passion,” she continued. “I realize what an absolute gift it is to be able to have the opportunity to do what I love, and I couldn’t do it without your continued support.”

Things got wild as Johansson was in the process of introducing a previously unseen clip from “Black Widow” when Jost walked over to her in their home and poured a bowl of green slime over her head.

Scarlett Johansson’s Best Looks

“What the f—?” Johansson said.

“MTV! You got slimed,” Jost responded.

After the “Rough Night” actress explained that the 38-year-old “Saturday Night Live” star was thinking of Nickelodeon, he replied, “I’m very, very sorry.”

She fired back, “Just get a towel,” and then wouldn’t let him attempt to dab her face with it.

In introducing the star prior to the segment, Billy Porter quipped, “She’s the only Oscar nominee I know who can bench press more than Chris Hemsworth and look hotter doing it.”

Earlier this month, a press release announced Johansson would receive the award.

“The highly coveted ‘Generation Award’ celebrates beloved actors whose diverse contributions to both film and television have turned them into household names,” the statement said in part.

Previous recipients include Dwayne Johnson, Reese Witherspoon, Jamie Foxx, Adam Sandler, Will Smith, Sandra Bullock, Tom Cruise, Chris Pratt and Robert Downey Jr.

Prior to the Generation Award, Johansson had been nominated for six MTV Movie & TV Awards prizes over the years. She nabbed the golden popcorn in 2013 for “Best Fight” for “The Avengers.”

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NowThis Editor Versha Sharma to Take Over at Teen Vogue After Controversy Over Previous Pick – NBC4 Washington

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Teen Vogue has chosen Versha Sharma, a top editor at NowThis, to replace Alexi McCammond as editor-in-chief after a swirl of controversy over McCammond’s past anti-Asian tweets.

Sharma takes over May 24 at the digital-only publication after McCammond and the Condé Nast title parted ways before her appointment took effect.

“I am incredibly excited and grateful for this awesome opportunity,” Sharma tweeted of Monday’s announcement.

Anna Wintour, the global editorial director of Vogue and chief content officer for Condé Nast, said in a statement that Sharma is a “natural leader” with a “global perspective and deep understanding of local trends and issues — from politics and activism to culture and fashion.”

Sharma was named managing editor of NowThis, a digital news site, in 2015. In 2012, she covered the U.S. presidential election for MSNBC.com. She is the recipient of an Edward R. Murrow award with the NowThis Reports team for a short documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and she’s on the board of directors of the Online News Association.

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Sharma grew up in Louisiana and lives in New York.

McCammond, who is Black, was tapped in March at age 27 as the incoming editor in chief to replace Lindsay Peoples Wagner, but derogatory tweets from when she was a teenager and college student in 2011 caused a backlash after the appointment was announced.

Sharma said in the statement issued by Teen Vogue that she has long admired the magazine for “building and fostering a community of young people who want to change the world.”

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John Mulaney and Wife Anna Marie Tendler Break Up After 6 Years of Marriage – NBC4 Washington

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After more than six years of marriage, comedian John Mulaney and wife Anna Marie Tendler are splitting up.

Individual reps for each party confirmed the news in a statement to Page Six on Monday. E! News has reached out to reps for comment.

“I am heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage,” Tendler expressed through her spokesperson. “I wish him support and success as he continues his recovery.”

A spokesperson for Mulaney also confirmed the news of the divorce to the outlet and added, “John will not have any further comment as he continues to focus on his recovery and getting back to work.”

The “Big Mouth” actor and accomplished artist tied the knot in July 2014 in Boiceville, New York. Friend and “Schitt’s Creek” actor Dan Levy served as the couple’s officiant at their wedding.

The 38-year-old comedian completed a stint in rehab in December 2020, where he stayed for 60 days to treat issues relating to cocaine and alcohol addiction. He moved to outpatient care in February 2021.

When Comedians Get Serious

Mulaney has been open when it comes to discussing his struggles with addiction, most notably in a 2019 interview with Esquire.

“I drank for attention,” he shared with the magazine. “I was really outgoing, and then at twelve, I wasn’t. I didn’t know how to act. And then I was drinking, and I was hilarious again.”

The “Saturday Night Live” alum is set to officially return to work on the comedy circuit after completing outpatient care — booking four mid-May shows at the New York City venue City Winery. Tickets for those shows are sold out.

Tendler, for her part, is pursuing a Master of Arts degree from NYU Steinhardt in fashion and textile studies.

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Los Angeles Lakers Nine-Part Docuseries Coming to Hulu in 2022 – NBC4 Washington

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Los Angeles Lakers Nine-Part Docuseries Coming to Hulu in 2022 originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Los Angeles Lakers are getting their own version of “The Last Dance.”

A nine-part docuseries on the Lakers will be coming to Hulu in 2022, the team announced on Monday. Unlike ESPN’s highly popular “The Last Dance” — which centered around Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls — this series will detail the last four decades of the Lakers. That includes everything from Jerry Buss purchasing the organization, to Magic Johnson and the “Showtime” Lakers, to the Shaq-and-Kobe dynasty, to LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the team to its latest championship last season.

Those are some rather compelling Hollywood storylines.

The series will include new interviews with more than 35 members of the Lakers organization, including Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as never-before-seen interviews with the late Jerry Buss. It will be directed by Antoine Fuqua, whose Muhammad Ali documentary “What’s My Name?” won a Sports Emmy for outstanding long documentary.  

“When Dr. Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, he sat alone at center court of the Forum and thought of all the possibilities,” Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss said in a statement. “But even in his wildest dreams, my father could not have imagined what the next decades would bring for our organization, our league and our city of Los Angeles. I am thrilled that the true story of the Lakers will finally be shared with the world — and that we are in such capable hands with Hulu and Antoine, a director whose storytelling I’ve admired for years.”

The 1980s Lakers will also be the subject of a drama series on HBO, with a cast that includes John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson and Sally Field as Jessie Buss.

Mike Gavin contributed to this story

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Miss Mexico Andrea Meza Crowned Miss Universe 2021 – NBC4 Washington

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And we have a new Miss Universe.

After more than a year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Miss Universe competition was finally held Sunday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Mario Lopez and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, who won the crown in 2012, co-hosted the show, which featured a special performance by Luis Fonsi.

Taking home the ultimate crown this year was Miss Mexico Andrea Meza, who wowed the selection community with her beauty and brains.

During the final statement round, Miss Mexico was asked to address the topic of changing beauty standards.

“We live in a society that more and more is more advanced and as we have advanced as a society, we have advanced with stereotypes,” she shared via translator. “Nowadays, beauty is not only the way we look. For me, beauty radiates not only in our spirits, but in our hearts and the way we conduct ourselves. Never permit someone to tell you that you are not valuable.”

And just minutes before, Miss Mexico also faced the final question round where she was asked to share how she would have handled the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miss Universe 2021: Swimsuit Competition

“I believe there is not a perfect way to handle this hard situation such as COVID-19,” she said. “However, I believe that what I would have done, was create the lockdown even before everything was that big because we lost so many lives and we cannot afford that. We have to take care of our people. That’s why I would have taken care of them since the beginning.”

Before the show, Paula M. Shugart, who serves as the president of the Miss Universe Organization, addressed the pandemic and how the pageant was staying safe.

“We have spent months planning and preparing safety precautions to develop this edition of Miss Universe – one that will be memorable, special and totally innovative,” she said in a statement.

Beauty queens from 74 countries and territories competed in the pageant, however just 21 contestants advanced to the final round. After first competing in the swimsuit contest, which you can see photos from here, 10 moved on to the evening gown competition. Five contestants were selected to participate in the question and answer round.

The last time the Miss Universe pageant was held was in 2019, when Miss South Africa, aka Zozibini Tunzi, took home the ultimate prize. Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was the first runner-up and Miss Mexico Sofa Aragn was the second runner-up.

At the time, Tunzi really impressed the judges with her answer to the question, “What is the most important thing we should be teaching girls today?”

She replied, “I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership. It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time. Not because we don’t want to, but because what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world.”

Of passing the torch to her successor, Tunzi said in a statement, “I always knew that my reign as Miss Universe would be unlike any other. While it was nothing like what I had imagined my year to be, this year has opened doors for me I could never have imagined.I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect virtually with people all over the world and elevate the causes I care most about.”

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