Special Report

Biggest Scandals in Hollywood History

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Since the movie industry moved to California from the East Coast in the early part of the 20th century – if not before – scandals in all their forms have been a part of Hollywood lore. That includes infidelities and romantic escapades, sexual abuse, racist and anti-Semitic rants, rumored murder, outright fraud, and more. (Here is a list of celebrities who are currently in or have been in prison.)

24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of 32 scandals that shocked Hollywood (and the rest of the country) by drawing on a wide selection of media reports, book excerpts, and online resources.

Scandals that involve celebrities primarily involved in the music industry, such as Britney Spears’s relationship with her family, were not included.

Some of the scandals we included refer to events that may have hastened the end of a person’s career. Others had broad societal impact, such as the sexual abuse accusations against producer Harvey Weinstein that led to the #MeToo movement – which in turn called to account countless other men in power for similar offenses. In some cases, however, the scandals seemed to have little effect on the personalities in question, much less on the world at large.

Stars such as silent-screen comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and swashbuckling romantic hero Errol Flynn faced sexual assault charges that were frontpage news. Both were acquitted, but Arbuckle’s career was forever tainted. The reputations of Oscar winners Ingrid Bergman and Jane Fonda, on the other hand, were tarnished by personal behavior that the public found repugnant, but both were able to resurrect their careers. (These, though, are the 21 biggest scandals in Oscar history.)

Click here to read more about the biggest scandals in Hollywood history

Racist and anti-Semitic rants by Roseanne Barr and Charlie Sheen either on television or  Twitter have all but scuttled their careers. Another star, Mel Gibson was considered toxic by the industry after racist and anti-Semitic comments were divulged, and it took 10 years for him to rehabilitate his image.

1921: The trials of Roscoe Arbuckle

Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle was a silent film star who had made $3 million over three years as the star of 18 silent movies. In 1921, he signed another million-dollar contract and Arbuckle’s friend Fred Fishback planned a big party to celebrate at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Among the guests was actress Virginia Rappe. During the party, Arbuckle was accused of raping her, leading to her death several days later from a ruptured bladder.

Newspapers had a field day with the scandal. It took three trials that included testimony from comedy icons Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton on Arbuckle’s behalf to ultimately acquit him. One week after the acquittal, Will Hays, hired by the film industry to restore its image, banned Arbuckle from appearing in movies. Hays would change his mind eight months later, but the damage was done. After the scandal, Arbuckle worked only sporadically as a director, under a pseudonym, and appeared in two short comedies, but died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1933.

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1924: The death of Thomas Ince

Ambitious director Thomas Ince was called the “Father of the Western.” He spared no expense for realism. When he staged the Battle of the Little Big Horn for the 1912 silent movie “Custer’s Last Fight,” importing about 100 Sioux for the movie, many of them participants in the actual battle with the U.S. 7th Cavalry. In 1924, famed newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst invited Ince on his yacht to celebrate the filmmaker’s 44th birthday. It was there that he died – after overindulging on food and drink, according to the official report. There were rumors that Hearst had shot him, however, or that Ince’s wife was somehow involved. A version of the Ince affair formed the plot of the 2001 Peter Bogdanovich film “The Cat’s Meow.”

1938: Walt Disney personally welcomes Nazi director Leni Riefenstahl to his studios

In October 1938, one month before the Kristallnacht pogrom destroyed Jewish businesses in the Third Reich, Walt Disney gave Adolf Hitler’s favorite filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl (“Triumph of the Will”) a tour of his studio. He showed her some Mickey Mouse sketches, and she offered to show him “Olympia,” her documentary about the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Disney said no thanks, because he didn’t want Hollywood to know he was playing host to a woman many in the movie industry reviled.

1938: Jackie Coogan sues his parents for stealing his money

TV audiences in the 1960s remember Jackie Coogan as the lovably ghoulish Uncle Fester on the show “The Addams Family.” But in 1921, he became famous as the child star in Charlie Chaplin’s classic silent, “The Kid.” The public was shocked when it was discovered that Jackie’s mother and stepfather had plundered nearly all of his multimillion-dollar income, leaving him financially strapped.

In 1938, the 23-year-old Coogan sued the two and won, though after legal fees he only had $126,000 left from his original fortune. The state of California passed legislation that became known as the Coogan Act. This law allowed judges the discretionary power to require that a contract set aside some of a child-actor’s income in a trust fund or savings account, to be accessed when the child has reached the age of majority.

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1930s-1940s: Judy Garland’s battle with drugs

Judy Garland was among the most glittering of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s galaxy of stars in the 1940s. But her youth was spent not with her peers but under the constant deadline pressure of filmmaking. She was given stimulants and depressants, and other drugs to keep her weight down. Little wonder that she became an addict and, later in life, an alcoholic. She was hospitalized countless times for health crises, ranging from nervous breakdowns to injuries from falling down drunk. Her tragic life ended in 1969 in London. An autopsy concluded that the cause of death was listed as accidental “barbiturate poisoning (quinabarbitone) and incautious self-overdosage.”

1942: Errol Flynn accused of sex with two underage girls

As World War II was raging in 1942, Errol Flynn, the devilishly grinning star of such swashbucklers as “Captain Blood,” was accused of drugging and raping two teenage girls – one on his yacht and another at a party. Even with the war on the front pages, the scandalous affair was page-one fodder. Ultimately, Flynn was acquitted on three counts, as his defense team painted the accusers as opportunists trying to take advantage of a celebrity. Flynn’s career was tainted but not over, and he would forever have the reputation as womanizer.

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1950: Ingrid Bergman’s affair with Roberto Rossellini

Swedish-born actress Ingrid Bergman, who soared to stardom opposite Humphrey Bogart in “Casablanca” in 1942, would win the first of her two Oscars two years later in “Gaslight.” With her career and public acclaim at its height, she asked to work with acclaimed Italian director Roberto Rosselini in 1949, and he cast her in “Stromboli,” which filmed the following year. Though both were married, they had an affair. Rosselini had a reputation for womanizing, but Bergman’s public image was pure and unspoiled (though she had had previous affairs). The public was shocked, especially when it was discovered she was pregnant with Rosselini’s child. Bergman’s reputation in America was tarnished, even after the two divorced their spouses and got married. It would not be restored until she and Rosselini divorced, and after her Oscar-winning star turn in “Anastasia” in 1957.

1952: Charlie Chaplin’s exile

Movie legend Charlie Chaplin and his wife, Oona, set sail for England in September 1952 for his first visit to his homeland in 21 years, to promote his new film “Limelight.” Little did he know that once he was on the high seas, U.S. Attorney General Thomas McGranery had issued an order banning the comedian from re-entering the United States and requesting his attendance at an immigration hearing. Chaplin, who had never become a U.S. citizen, refused. He had been under suspicion by the U.S. government for communist sympathies for years, and in the heat of the Red Scare of the 1950s, refused to give names to Congress. Thus began a 20-year de facto exile from America and a life in Switzerland. Chaplin would return to the United States only once, in 1972 at the age of 83, to receive an honorary Academy Award. The audience gave him a 12-minute standing ovation.

1958: Lana Turner’s boyfriend murdered in her house

One of Lana Turner’s best films was “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946), in which she played the loveless wife of an older man who she plotted to have killed by her lover. Twelve years after the film came out, Turner would be embroiled in a real-life homicide. Turner’s boyfriend at the time was gangland enforcer Johnny Stompanato, a reputed associate of Los Angeles mob kingpin Mickey Cohen. Turner’s 14-year-old daughter, Cheryl Crane, believed Stompanato was abusing her mother and stabbed him to death. In the sensational trial that followed the jury determined it was justifiable homicide. Turner’s career continued unimpeded. She starred in the well-received movie “Imitation of Life” a year later and would appear in movies and television well into the 1980s before she passed away in 1995. Crane was sent to a boarding school as a ward of the state of California and later became a restaurateur and then real estate agent and mystery novelist.

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1959: Elizabeth Taylor and her best friend Debbie Reynolds’ husband

Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds had been friends for years while working together at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Then Taylor’s husband, showman Mike Todd, was killed in a plane crash and Reynolds’s husband, singer Eddie Fisher, went to comfort her. That led to an affair and in turn led to Reynolds and Fisher divorcing in 1959. Fisher would become Taylor’s fourth husband later that year. Taylor’s reputation was briefly tainted and was called a homewrecker. However, MGM deftly used her new, sultry image to its advantage in films such as “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “Butterfield 8,” both of which were critical and box-office successes. Reynolds told Access Hollywood in 2013 that the two finally buried the hatchet sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

1959: The death of George Reeves

The death of George Reeves, television’s Superman, is among the most puzzling episodes in Hollywood history. The official story is Reeves, who had earlier appeared in such classic films as “Gone With the Wind” and “From Here to Eternity,” was depressed over being typecast as the American superhero – he had played the part for 104 episodes – and wanted different roles. When he realized that they weren’t forthcoming, he shot himself in the head with a pistol upstairs at his house while a party was going on below. Party guests, some of whom were inebriated, told conflicting stories and evidence was mishandled. It took attendees 45 minutes to call the police. The cops found two gunshot holes in the carpet as well as the one in the ceiling that they traced to the wound in Reeves’s head, even though witnesses claimed to have only heard one shot. There were also unexplained bruises on Reeves’s body, leading some to believe that he’d been murdered.

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1962: Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy’s affair

Try as his handlers might to suppress them, rumors of President John F. Kennedy’s assignations were commonplace during his presidency, and the most famous one was his alleged affair with Marilyn Monroe. One of the events that spurred the rumor mill was the sex symbol’s rendition of “Happy Birthday,” which she sang to the president in a now-infamous seductive manner (and a skintight dress) on May 19, 1962, at Madison Square Garden. Author Seymour Hersh named Monroe – also reputedly involved with JFK’s brother Robert – as one of JFK’s mistresses in his book, “The Dark Side of Camelot.” Three months later, on Aug. 5, the troubled actress was found dead, allegedly from an overdose of sleeping pills. To this day, people believe she was murdered – by the CIA according to some rumors. Kennedy would be assassinated the following year.

1972: Jane Fonda travels to Hanoi, Vietnam

Actress Jane Fonda earned the enduring moniker “Hanoi Jane” from Vietnam War veterans for taking her antiwar activism too far. Fonda appeared in North Vietnam in 1972 while the war was raging and was used as a propaganda tool by the communist government. She spoke on Radio Hanoi and denied the claim that American prisoners of war were being mistreated. Yet it was the photo of her posing with a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun that provoked the most outrage.

Fonda’s career was not damaged by her actions. She won the first of her two Oscars in 1972 playing a prostitute in “Klute” and would go on to star in such films as “The China Syndrome” “Coming Home,” and “On Golden Pond.” Most recently, Fonda starred with Rita Moreno, Sally Field, and Lily Tomlin in this year’s “80 for Brady.”

1977: Roman Polanski accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl

Director Roman Polanski was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl at actor Jack Nicholson’s house during a photo shoot in 1977. Rather than face American justice, the filmmaker fled to Europe in 1978, where he has remained ever since. Repeated attempts to extradite him from Switzerland and his native Poland have been unsuccessful. Polanski, who helmed such movies as “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby,” won the best director Academy Award in 2003 for “The Pianist” but could not attend the ceremony. In May 2018, the film academy announced it had expelled Polanski from its membership.

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1978: Christina Crawford publishes “Mommie Dearest”

In 1978, a year after her mother’s death, Christina Crawford published her memoir “Mommie Dearest,” detailing the abusive relationship she’d suffered with her mother, Joan Crawford. The book shocked Hollywood and led to other tell-all books from the offspring of celebrities. In her book, the younger Crawford, one of four children adopted by Joan Crawford, depicted her mother as a cruel alcoholic and obsessive perfectionist who repeatedly hit her and verbally abused her over the slightest misstep. Christina Crawford felt compelled to write the book following her mother’s death because of what she saw as the discrepancy between her mother’s public persona and private life. The book was made into a movie that starred Faye Dunaway in 1981. Crawford reissued the book 30 years after it was first published with a new introduction, supporting testimonies from contemporaries, and photographs not included in the 1978 edition. Christina’s twin sisters, Cathy and Cindy, have publicly said Christina lied about their mother’s behavior.

1981: The death of Natalie Wood

Natalie Wood was a Hollywood golden girl who first starred as a child actor in “Miracle on 34th Street” in 1947 and whose later film credits included “Rebel Without a Cause” and “West Side Story.” Her life came to a tragic end in 1981 after she drowned following a night of drinking on a yacht with husband Robert Wagner and fellow actor Christopher Walken. Authorities called her death an accident, as the 43-year-old actress appeared to have fallen overboard and couldn’t swim. From the moment of her passing, however, her demise has been the subject of tabloid stories, television specials, and rumors that she was murdered. In 2011, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials reopened the investigation. Two years later, county coroner’s officials changed Wood’s cause of death from “accidental drowning” to “drowning and other undetermined factors.” Their report referred to fresh bruises on the actress’ arms and knee, a scratch on her neck, and a scrape on her forehead as possible indicators that she might have been assaulted.

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1988: Rob Lowe sex tape

Actor Rob Lowe made a sex tape with a 23-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl whom he met at an Atlanta nightclub in 1988. Lowe said he didn’t know the teen was underage. He settled a lawsuit with her family and was not charged with a crime. Lowe has said in interviews that the episode helped him to get sober. He went to rehab and refocused his life. Lowe says he’s been sober for more than 30 years. What actually might have been more damaging to his career was a cringeworthy performance at the 1989 Oscars. Lowe performed an opening number that parodied a version of “Proud Mary” with Snow White (played by actress Eileen Bowman). It is considered to be one of the most embarrassing moments in Academy Awards history.

1992: Woody Allen has an affair with adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn

In 1992, Oscar-winning director Woody Allen began an affair with Soon-Yi Previn, one of the children his then-partner, Mia Farrow, had adopted with one of her previous husbands, pianist and conductor André Previn. Farrow discovered the liaison when she found a stack of explicit photos Allen had taken of Soon-Yi. Though Soon-Yi is 35 years younger than Allen, the two married and today they have two adopted children of their own, Bechet and Manzie Allen. The children have been outspoken defenders of their father, who has been accused of sexual abuse by Farrow’s adopted daughter Dylan when she was 7 years old. Allen, one of cinema’s greatest contemporary filmmakers, has won four Academy Awards for writing and directing. However, the accusations of sexual abuse have tarnished his career. Actors including Colin Firth, Mira Sorvino, and Greta Gerwig, who worked with him on previous projects, have said they no longer will do so. Ironically, Ronan Farrow, Allen’s and Farrow’s only biological child, became a leading figure in investigating and reporting sexual abuse accusations against his father, as well as Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein (see below).

1994: 26-year-old Anna Nicole Smith marries 89-year-old oil baron J. Howard Marshall II

Oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall was depressed in 1991 following the deaths of both his wife and his mistress. In order to snap out of the funk, his driver suggested they go to a strip club. It was there that he met Anna Nicole Smith, who was 63 years younger than him. Marshall was smitten and asked her to marry him several times. The 1993 Playboy Playmate of the Year finally said yes in 1994. In August 1995, Marshall died from pneumonia. He did not include Smith in his will, but nevertheless his passing touched off a legal battle between Smith and Marshall’s son E. Pierce Marshall. Their legal wrangling would outlast both of them. The younger Marshall died in 2006 and Anna Nicole Smith died the next year of an accidental drug overdose.

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1996: Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape, stolen and leaked

A disgruntled contractor working for musician Tommy Lee sought revenge by stealing a safe from Lee’s vacant mansion that contained the infamous sex tape of the Mötley Crüe drummer and “Baywatch” star Pamela Anderson. After multiple rejections, the contractor eventually struck a deal with a mobster for $50,000 to cover manufacturing and distribution costs for the tape. It took two years for the tape to become one of the earliest internet sensations. Along the way, Anderson and Lee’s marriage dissolved. Since that time, Anderson has appeared in films such as “Alone at Night” and the movie version of “Baywatch,” and continues to find work in the entertainment business. Lee’s Mötley Crüe, called the “World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,” is currently on a world tour with fellow heavy metal band Def Leppard.

2001: Winona Ryder arrested for shoplifting

By 2001, Winona Ryder had established herself as a young actress portraying misunderstood or troubled characters in films such as “Beetlejuice,” “Girl, Interrupted,” and “Edward Scissorshands.” Her career was sidetracked after she was convicted of shoplifting $5,000 worth of designer clothes from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills in December 2001. Ryder was sentenced to three years’ supervised probation, ordered to do 480 hours of community service, and fined $2,700. She had to pay compensation to Saks for the stolen items and had to undergo counseling. After taking a prolonged break in her career, she returned to movies and television and has appeared in such well-received films as “Black Swan” as well as the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things.”

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2005: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s divorce

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were the “It” couple in Hollywood from the time they debuted as an item on the red carpet at the 1999 Emmy Awards. A year later they were married. But the marriage only lasted five years, beset by rumors that Pitt was cheating on Aniston with actress Angelina Jolie, with whom he co-starred in the romantic thriller “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Nine years after Aniston and Pitt divorced in 2005, Pitt married Jolie. The following year, Aniston married actor and screenwriter Justin Theroux. Pitt’s career was unaffected by the divorce from Aniston. He has appeared in the wildly successful Ocean’s caper franchise and won a best supporting actor Academy Award in 2020 in the Quentin Tarantino movie “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood.” Aniston more than landed on her feet, with roles in comedies such as “We Are the Millers,” the Horrible Bosses films, and a starring role in the television series “The Morning Show.” Aniston and Theroux separated in 2017 and divorced the following year. Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in 2016 and the two have been engaged in an acrimonious legal battle, partially involving custody of their children, ever since.

2006: Mel Gibson’s DUI and drunken rant

Actor Mel Gibson (“Gallipoli,” “Lethal Weapon,” “Braveheart”) almost sabotaged his career in 2006 after he was arrested for driving under the influence in Malibu and launched into an anti-Semitic rant. There would be other missteps to follow. He was heard on leaked tapes from 2010 where he screamed racist remarks at his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva. Gibson had also allegedly made homophobic comments. Gibson was shut out from work in Hollywood for a decade, but made the World War II film “Hacksaw Ridge” in 2016, earning six Oscar nominations. Gibson has since apologized for his behavior and blamed it on excessive drinking. Even so, his past actions continue to haunt him. In 2020, Winona Ryder said she recalled Gibson making anti-Semtic remarks directed at her in the 1990s. Gibson denied her claims and called her a liar.

2011: Charlie Sheen’s public meltdown and rants

Actor Charlie Sheen proved to be his own worst enemy and has had a troubled complicated life. Sheen, who starred in the hit sit-com “Two and a Half Men” and was earning $1.8 million per episode, caused the show to shut down temporarily in January 2011 after he began treatment for drug addiction. A month later, the show’s full season was canceled after Sheen insulted show co-creator Chuck Lorre and used an anti-Semitic allusion in an interview with syndicated radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. This incident was followed up by a series of obscenity-peppered rants on his Twitter account. After his firing from “Two and a Half Men,” Sheen was diagnosed with HIV and sued by former lovers for having had unprotected sex with them. Work has been sporadic for Sheen. He returned to TV with a new sitcom called “Anger Management,” which lasted two seasons, and more recently has made appearances on shows such as the sitcom “The Goldbergs.”

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2014: Photos of celebrities leaked to public

Since the rise of the internet, hacking photos of famous people has become commonplace. In 2014, hackers accessed the iCloud accounts of celebrities and grabbed photos of Kate Upton, Ariana Grande, and many others. The most famous celeb victimized – Jennifer Lawrence – went on the offensive. “The Hunger Games” star’s spokesperson said “This is a flagrant violation of privacy. The authorities have been contacted and will prosecute anyone who posts the stolen photos of Jennifer Lawrence.” In a Variety article, Lawrence called the hacking of photos “a sex crime. It is a sexual violation.” In the wake of photo hacking, the Oscar winner received her fourth Academy Award nomination and has starred in such movies as “Red Sparrow” and “Joy.”

2014: The Sony Hack

In November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace. The hackers were thought to be working for North Korea. They swiped private emails and information about the company’s pay scale, and posted four unreleased Sony movies to file-sharing networks. The group also threatened to blow up movie theaters planning to show Sony’s movie “The Interview,” a comedy about two Americans who assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. At first, Sony caved and shelved the movie. But critics warned that kowtowing to terrorist threats would set a bad precedent. Sony reversed its decision and released the film in a few theaters and online.

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2017: Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo

In 2017, New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor who broke the story about allegations of sexual harassment against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, considered one of the most powerful and feared executives in the film industry. Their reportage, along with subsequent stories by Ronan Farrow and others as well as public statements by some of Weinstein’s victims, ended decades of silence and intimidation and launched the #MeToo movement that would also bring a reckoning to many other male abusers who had exploited their positions of power. In 2020, Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault in New York and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Two years later, he was found guilty of further charges in Los Angeles and given an additional 16-year sentence.

2018: Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault

A pioneering African-American comedian, Bill Cosby became the first black man to co-star in a television series (“I Spy” in the 1960s) and went on to become “America’s Dad” on his top-rated television series “The Bill Cosby Show.” His seemingly unimpeachable image was altered forever in 2018 when Cosby became one of the first celebrities sentenced for sexual assault in the #MeToo era. Sixty women accused Cosby of sexual assault, and rape in charges dating from the 1960s. In April 2018, he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced for up to 10 years in state prison. His conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on June 30, 2021, and his immediate release from jail was ordered after it was determined that he had been denied protection against self-incrimination. In 2022, however, he was ordered to pay $500,000 in damages to a California woman who alleged that he had assaulted her in 1975, when she was only 16.

2018: Roseanne Barr Twitter meltdown

ABC canceled its hit revival of “Roseanne” in 2018, hours after star Roseanne Barr tweeted a racist remark about President Obama’s former adviser Valerie Jarrett. The tweet was deleted and Barr quickly apologized, but the damage was done. Comedian Wanda Sykes, an African-American who was a consulting producer for “Roseanne,” quit the show before it was summarily canceled. Barr, who had been known for her progressive politics, became a supporter of Donald Trump, as was her character on the sit-com. The series returned with a new title, “The Connors,” with Barr’s character having been killed off. Barr’s career has never recovered and she continues to make controversial statements.

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2019: Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman charged with college admissions cheating scam

Primetime television veterans Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman became involved in a wide-ranging college admissions cheating scam. Loughlin, known for the family comedy TV series “Full House,” and her husband were indicted for allegedly paying $500,000 to the University of Southern California to gain admission for their daughter. In May 2020, she pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. She was sentenced to two months in federal prison and was released in December 2020. Huffman, who appeared on the hit television series “Desperate Housewives,” was convicted of fraud for paying $15,000 to have her daughter’s SAT scores falsely inflated to improve her chances of getting accepted into a prestigious college. Huffman served 11 days in jail.

2019: Jussie Smollett bogus attack

Jussie Smollett, an actor on the series “Empire,” claimed he was attacked by two supporters of Donald Trump on a cold night in Chicago. Smollett said his assailants wore MAGA hats, poured an “unknown chemical substance” on him, put a noose around his neck, and told Smollett that he was in “MAGA country.” The whole incident was a hoax. Smollett was found guilty of five charges in December 2021, over his false reports of being attacked. He was sentenced to 150 days in jail, 30 months felony probation, restitution to the city of Chicago in the amount of $120,106, and a fine of $25,000. He served six days in jail. The two men who had allegedly attacked him were Nigerian immigrants who had worked as extras for the “Empire” series. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said Smollett “took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career.” According to Internet Movie Database, Smollett has had no acting credits since the incident.

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2022: Ellen Degeneres hostile work environment

The image of Ellen Degeneres, who dominated the daytime talk-show circuit with her carefree, fun-loving format, took a hit in 2020 when claims of a hostile work environment and sexual misconduct around the show surfaced. At the start of her 18th season she addressed these allegations in her opening monologue, and took full responsibility for the scandal. “We have had a lot of conversations over the last few weeks about the show, our workplace and what we want for the future,” she said. “We have made the necessary changes and today we are starting a new chapter.” The show’s run ended in 2022, after having won a staggering 62 Daytime Emmys over its 19-season run.

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