The biggest celebrity scandals of 2021
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Celebrities provided us with countless unforgettable moments in 2021, including marriages and divorces, the arrival of babies, red carpet and award show appearances, and of course, some scandals too.
From abrupt TV personality departures to stars getting “canceled,” Hollywood A-listers certainly gave fans plenty to talk about. Check out this year’s biggest celebrity scandals below.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a wide-ranging interview in March which saw the couple make bombshell accusations about members of the British royal family, including that there were “concerns and conversations” about how dark her son Archie’s “skin might be when he’s born.”© Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images In this handout image released on March 5, 2021, Oprah Winfrey interviews Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese via Getty Images
Winfrey later told Gayle King that despite pressing Prince Harry “on camera and off” about who was a part of those conversations, he would not say.
Harry told Winfrey that he felt trapped by royal life and was surprised that he was cut off financially and lost his security last year. He also said he felt his family did not support Meghan, who acknowledged her naiveté about royal life before marrying Harry, as she endured tabloid attacks and false stories.
Meghan also revealed that she experienced suicidal thoughts while living overseas and dealing with the media frenzy surrounding the royal family. She said she tried to seek help through the palace’s human resources department, but was allegedly told by a “senior” member of the institution that her receiving mental health care would reflect poorly on the family.© Photo by Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes toward the former American actress. Photo by Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began last year over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes toward the former American actress. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, California. They welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana in June.
Following reports of cyberbullying, Cravings mogul Chrissy Teigen faced heavy criticism this year.
The 35-year-old cookbook author was called out by Courtney Stodden for years of unwarranted social media bullying. Lindsay Lohan, Farrah Abraham and “Project Runway” star Michael Costello also accused Teigen of cyberbullying.
Then, Teigen was dealt a huge blow after reports circulated that retail giant Bloomingdale’s had pulled out of a deal it had in place with the model. Macy’s, which shares a parent company with Bloomingdale’s, also said it’s “not actively selling Cravings by Chrissy Teigen on our site,” but it’s unclear if they will bring back her products in the future.
Teigen publicly apologized for her past behavior multiple times, including in a lengthy post on Medium, which she shared on social media.
She also opened up about being put in the “cancel club” following the controversy.© Gotham/GC Images John Legend and Chrissy Teigen out and about on March 6, 2021, in New York City. Gotham/GC Images
“Iiiii don’t really know what to say here…just feels so weird to pretend nothing happened in this online world but feel like utter sh-t in real life,” Teigen wrote on Instagram in July. “Going outside sucks and doesn’t feel right, being at home alone with my mind makes my depressed head race. But I do know that however I’m handling this now isn’t the right answer.
“I feel lost and need to find my place again,I need to snap out of this, I desperately wanna communicate with you guys instead of pretending everything is okay. I’m not used to any other way!! Cancel club is a fascinating thing and I have learned a whollllle lot. Only a few understand it and it’s impossible to know til you’re in it.”
“And it’s hard to talk about it in that sense because obviously you sound whiney when you’ve clearly done something wrong,” Teigen added. “It just sucks. There is no winning. But there never is here anyhow. All I know is I love you guys, I miss you guys, and I just needed an honest moment with you because I’m just…tired of being sick with myself all day.”
She ended her post jokingly asking if there was a “cancel club reunion” she could attend.
Britney Spears’ conservatorship drama was perhaps one of the most talked-about controversies in Hollywood in 2021. After numerous documentaries covering the pop star’s legal and family drama, a judge relieved her from the 13-year court order once and for all in November.© Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic A judge ruled to end Britney Spears’ conservatorship in November. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Despite Spears’ newfound freedom, several issues still exist. She claimed in her July testimony that her father is guilty of “conservatorship abuse.” She’s also gone after other members of her family, including her sister, Jamie Lynn Spears, and her mother, Lynne Spears, claiming that they failed to help her.
While the conservatorship has ended, questions still remain whether her father, Jamie Spears, will agree to be deposed by the singer’s attorney Mathew Rosengart.
In a statement to Fox News in September, Rosengart said, “To the extent Mr. Spears believes he can try to avoid accountability and justice, including sitting for a sworn deposition and answering other discovery under oath, he is incorrect and our investigation into financial mismanagement and other issues will continue.”
In June, Chris Harrison exited the “Bachelor” franchise following a racism controversy. He reached a deal with Warner Bros. and producers.
“Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise. We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey,” Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment said in a statement obtained by Fox News.
Harrison posted a message to fans on his Instagram. “I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter. I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together. While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime,” he wrote.
He had previously stepped aside from his hosting duties for “The Bachelorette” after defending contestant Rachael Kirkconnell after it came to light that she attended an Antebellum-themed party prior to appearing on the show. The 24-year-old, who appeared in Season 25 with Matt James, the show’s first Black lead, issued a lengthy apology after the photos resurfaced. She condemned her past actions, which included attending an “Old South”-themed party in 2018 at a plantation and dressing up in a Native American costume.
On Nov. 5, Travis Scott’s Astroworld music festival made headlines after a reported crowd surge resulted in 10 dead and hundreds more injured.
Authorities have said 50,000 people attended the event in Houston, Texas. Over 300 people were treated at a field hospital on-site at NRG Park, and at least 13 were later hospitalized.
Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña called the event “a mass casualty incident.” “The crowd began to compress towards the front of the stage, and that caused some panic, and it started causing some injuries,” the fire chief said. “People began to fall out, become unconscious, and it created additional panic.”
Following the tragedy, the remaining dates for the Astroworld Festival were canceled. Live Nation, the organizers and Scott released statements.
Live Nation shared on Twitter, “Our hearts are with the Astroworld Festival family tonight – especially those we lost and their loved ones.” “We are focused on supporting local officials however we can. With that in mind, the festival will no longer be held on Saturday. As authorities mentioned in their press conference earlier, they are looking into the series of cardiac arrests that took place. If you have any relevant information on this, please reach out to the Houston Police.”
One day later, the rapper took to Instagram saying, “I’m honestly just devastated,” in a series of videos shared to his account. “We’re actually working right now to identify the families so we can help assist them through this tough time.”
Scott emphasized that he didn’t know the severity of the issues going on during the concert. He said the following week that he was still “actively exploring routes of communication” with families affected by the tragedy, a statement from his reps obtained by Fox News Digital said.
“Over the last week, Travis Scott and his team have been actively exploring routes of connection with each and every family affected by the tragedy through the appropriate liaisons,” the statement continued. “He is distraught by the situation and desperately wishes to share his condolences and provide aid to them as soon as possible, but wants to remain respectful of each family’s wishes on how they’d best like to be connected.”
“To those families who would like to reach out directly to his team, please send an email to the below address where we will have a team on hand to assist,” the statement continued before adding the address, AW21information@gmail.com.
Multiple lawsuits against Scott, other Astroworld performers, Live Nation and more have since been filed.
Alec Baldwin became the center of tragedy when a fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins took place on the set of the movie “Rust” on Oct. 21.
Baldwin was starring and producing the film and has since been named in lawsuits filed by other crew members. The tragedy occurred on the Bonanza Creek Ranch in New Mexico.© Jim Spellman/Getty Images Alec Baldwin claimed he did not pull the trigger in an interview regarding the fatal shooting on the set of “Rust.” Jim Spellman/Getty Images
Santa Fe County Sheriff’s officials said Hutchins, 42, and director Joel Souza were shot on the rustic film set in the desert on the southern outskirts of Santa Fe. Authorities confirmed that a firearm discharged by Baldwin, 63, killed Hutchins and wounded Souza, 48.
In early December, Baldwin claimed in an interview with ABC that he did not pull the trigger of the gun. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Department said it is awaiting results from the FBI, which would shed light on how the gun could have been fired, whether that was just pulling back the hammer – which hits the firing pin – just pulling the trigger or both.
“Guns don’t just go off,” Sheriff Adan Mendoza told Fox News Digital. “So whatever needs to happen to manipulate the firearm, he did that and it was in his hands.”© Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is survived by her husband and their son. Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks
Assistant director Dave Halls, as well as the movie’s head armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, are among other members of the crew who have come under scrutiny.
Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the “Rust” set. They have said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed, amid independent civil lawsuits concerning liability in the fatal shooting.
“Jeopardy!” has been on television since 1984 and had rarely seen scandal in the decades since then. However, the show’s history was recently marred by controversy when the search for a replacement for late host Alex Trebek led the show to hire executive producer Mike Richards before he was ultimately ousted from the role.
The saga isn’t quite over yet, as “Jeopardy!” is still looking for someone to serve as a permanent host. For now, “Big Bang Theory” alum Mayim Bialik and “Jeopardy!” famed champ Ken Jennings are co-hosting. The two were named as temporary co-hosts following Richards’ decision to end his relationship with Sony entirely.
© Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage via Getty Images Mike Richards apologized for past comments he made on a podcast he hosted between 2013 and 2014. Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage via Getty Images
On Aug. 31, 2021, it was announced that Richards would no longer work as an executive producer on “Jeopardy!” or “Wheel of Fortune.”
“We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks,” a note from Sony brass said to staffers said at the time. “That clearly has not happened.”
Richards’ exit was driven by scandals from his past that bubbled to the surface. Among them were a handful of comments he made during a podcast several years before that were deemed sexist. He had also previously been named as a defendant in multiple discrimination lawsuits filed during his 10-year run as executive producer of the “The Price Is Right,” per Variety.
Sharon Osbourne faced allegations of racism that ultimately led to her jumping ship with the “The Talk” after years on the air.
The former reality star announced in March she “has decided to leave” the long-running CBS daytime talk show.
Her departure came a few weeks after a heated exchange between Osbourne, 68, and co-host Sheryl Underwood, in which Osbourne expressed support for Piers Morgan after he left “Good Morning Britain” over differing opinions about Meghan Markle following the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home,” CBS’ statement said.
It continued: “As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts.” AdChoices
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