Top 10 celebrity stories from 2016
Brangelina broke up. Kim Kardashian dropped off social media. Hollywood lost the election. In a year when the seemingly impossible became reality on a very regular basis, the celebrity-scape hardly knew what hit it.
Here are 10 of the most buzzed-about celeb stories from 2016.
No. 10: Leslie Jones
Once the all-female “Ghostbusters” reboot opened in July, online trolls singled out cast member Jones with a barrage of racist and sexist remarks. “I feel like I’m in a personal hell,” she wrote on Twitter. “I didn’t do anything to deserve this. It’s just too much. It shouldn’t be like this. So hurt right now.” She bailed on social media for a while, but after she returned, Jones’ website was hacked. Stolen nude selfies of the 48-year-old actress were posted there along with her passport and driver’s license. The site was shut down, because America clearly can’t have nice things.
No. 9: Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne
Sharon Osbourne skipped a day of work in May while rumors that she had kicked Ozzy out of their house were running rampant. The next day, she sipped a Beyoncé-inspired lemonade on “The Talk” and confirmed it: She kicked him out, he came back, she moved out instead. This time Ozzy had been cheating for years with his hairdresser, and the rock star declared he’d been caught up in sex addiction and headed for three months in rehab. So, with his leash shortened, the couple reunited.
No. 8: Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris
Swift and Harris broke up in late May, which was initially amicable and notable primarily for how long the couple took to get there: They dated for over a year, and it was supposedly the love-but-not-in-love story that did them in. Then in July someone leaked word of their secret collaboration on his summer hit, “This Is What You Came For,” and her people confirmed it. Harris said his ex, who was by that time dating actor Tom Hiddleston, had wanted to keep her role secret and was now trying to make him look like a bad guy.
No. 7: Kesha and Dr. Luke
Kesha’s long court battle against music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald was a bicoastal thing for most of the year, as the pop star fought to get out of her contract with a man she has accused of sexual and mental abuse. As the music producer maintained his innocence, famous women rallied around Kesha. In April, she said she had been offered “freedom” if she retracted claims that Dr. Luke had raped her. The other side disagreed. After losing in court multiple times over the year, Kesha is now putting her eggs in the appeals basket.
No. 6: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Depp and Heard called it quits in May after only a year of marriage. She filed for the split and also sought a temporary restraining order against the “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor for alleged domestic abuse. The estranged couple finally struck a deal in which he agreed to pay her $7 million, and the restraining order request was dismissed. She said she’d be donating the dough, so without her permission he paid the money directly to a charity. She was not pleased.
No. 5: Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian
Kardashian and Odom finally got divorced, but not before he got better, then got worse. She’d called off their split in 2015 after he nearly died from an overdose at a Nevada brothel and helped nurse him back to health. The new year saw him in the Friend Zone, however, and shortly after Odom was well enough to go cocktailing again — and he did — Khloe refiled for divorce. On the day a judge gave Khloe and Lamar’s divorce the final OK, Lamar checked himself into rehab.
No. 4: Celebrities and the election
Once Bernie Sanders was out of the race, liberal Hollywood gave its all to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Fundraisers were hosted. Concerts were given. Tweets were tweeted. Famous people said they’d move to Canada, and all the while Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon made “Saturday Night Live” great again, with his Trump and her Hillary going at it weekend after weekend. Then Clinton lost. Hollywood still hasn’t recovered.
No. 3: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Jolie shocked Pitt in September with a divorce filing asking for full physical custody of their six kids. Jolie accused her spouse of getting physical with their oldest son, Maddox, but an investigation cleared the actor. Pitt currently has visitation with his children, but that’s it. The A-list’s most famous parents have lawyered up and are hashing it out in regular ol’ L.A. County Superior Court. These days, Pitt is doing his best to keep certain aspects of the divorce private, after an unexpected filing from Jolie’s team officially disclosed aspects of their temporary custody agreement.
No. 2: Kim Kardashian
If it had happened to anyone else, the headlines would have read, “American Woman Held at Gunpoint Overseas in Scary Overseas Jewel Heist.” Instead, a lot of people assumed the mother of two had made up her story about being bound, gagged and having her life threatened by masked men who broke into her Paris hotel room in October and stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry. In the months after the robbery, Kardashian essentially disappeared from the public eye. Social media hasn’t been the same, and the police so far haven’t been successful in finding any of the five robbery suspects, some of whom could be seen on surveillance video.
No. 1: Kanye West
This was the year when “Kanye being Kanye” turned into Kanye West being hospitalized after an apparent breakdown. In the days leading up to his doctor’s 911 call, the rapper had praised Donald Trump, cut a show short after ranting about Jay Z and Beyoncé, nixed a Forum show at the last minute and canceled the rest of his Saint Pablo tour. Dehydration and exhaustion were tossed around as the official reasons behind Kanye’s eight-day stay at UCLA Medical Center. And two weeks after his release, West met with President-elect Donald Trump for a chat and a photo op.
Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.
From the Oscars to the Emmys.
Get the Envelope newsletter for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes stories from the Envelope podcast and columnist Glenn Whipp’s must-read analysis.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.