Fans Are Sharing The Most Shocking Celebrity Rumors That Turned Out To Be True

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Note: This post contains mention of sexual assault.

Recently, I asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about the wildest celebrity rumors they heard that actually turned out to be true.

Here are 11 of their top answers:

1."So much of the #FreeBritney movement just seemed like parasocial fans overstepping, but it turned out they were right about a lot..."

<span> Chelsea Guglielmino / Getty Images, Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Via Getty</span>
Chelsea Guglielmino / Getty Images, Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Via Getty

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"Came here to say that. The #FreeBritney people were ridiculed mercilessly, and they turned out to be some of the people who kept her going."

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For 13 years, Britney Spears's father, Jamie Spears, and lawyers kept her under a conservatorship. Many fans led a movement calling for her to be freed from the conservatorship, which gained traction in recent years.

During a virtual court appearance in 2021, Britney said, "I just want my life back... This conservatorship is abusive." She also said that, under the conservatorship, she wasn't allowed to remove her IUD or even ride in a car if her boyfriend was driving.

A few months later, Britney was finally freed from the conservatorship.

In her 2023 memoir The Woman in Me, she wrote, "I don't think people knew how much the #FreeBritney movement meant to me. Especially in the beginning... I think my connection to my fans helped them subconsciously know that I was in danger. Fans of mine — even though I hadn't said anything online or in the press about being confined — they just seemed to know."

2."Tommy Mottola [allegedly stealing] the ideas of his newly ex-wife Mariah Carey so he could give them to Jennifer Lopez. It always seemed like a standard corrupt music industry rumor to justify the iconic 'I don't know her' dis, but ended up being true!"

Closeup of Mariah Carey onstage
Kmazur / WireImage / Via Getty, Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic, Inc / Via Getty

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In her memoir The Meaning of Mariah, Mariah wrote, "Tommy was furious when I cut the strings he used to manipulate me. There was no way he would allow me to have a huge success after leaving him and Sony. He was not going to let me or Glitter shine."

She said that, for the song "Loverboy," she sampled "Firecracker" by Yellow Magic Orchestra. However, a month before her song came out, Tommy and Jennifer Lopez used the same sample for "I'm Real."

She wrote, "After hearing my new song, using the same sample I used, Sony rushed to make a single for another female entertainer on their label (whom I don’t know)... And after all that shit, 'Loverboy' ended up being the best-selling single of 2001 in the United States. I'm real."

3."I stumbled across a gossipy article that claimed 23-year-old Loretta Young and 34-year-old Clark Gable, famous Hollywood actors, had an affair during the making of Call of the Wild (1935), and he ended it when she became pregnant. She secretly gave birth to a daughter and placed her in an orphanage. Months later, Young announced to film magazines that she had adopted an orphaned toddler named Judy. She wasn't married, so she explained she met Judy during a charity visit to the orphanage and felt she had to adopt her."

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John Springer Collection / Corbis via Getty Images, Frank Edwards / Getty Images

"The rumors surfaced when Judy started resembling Clark Gable. After hearing those rumors, Judy confronted her adoptive mother, who admitted she was indeed her biological mother.

However, Judy, who died in 2011, never learnt her mother's other secret. Gable and Young didn't have an affair. He allegedly date-raped her. Judy was the result.

I found it so outlandish that I assumed it was just gossip until I learnt that Young confirmed almost all of it in her authorized biography."

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Judy was 31 when she confronted Loretta about the rumors surround her parentage and learned the truth. Loretta publicly confirmed that Judy was the daughter of Clark Gable in her memoir, Forever Young: The Life, Loves, and Enduring Faith of a Hollywood Legend, which was published after she died.

In 2015, Linda Lewis, her daughter-in-law, told BuzzFeed News that watching Larry King Live is likely what prompted Loretta to ask her friend/biographer, Edward Funk, and Linda to explain what the term "date rape" meant.

Linda said, "I did the best I could to make her understand. You have to remember, this was a very proper lady....[She said,] 'That's what happened between me and Clark.'"

4."Ariana Grande's marriage ending (remember her ring was 'just being cleaned' for, like, months?), and her alleged cheating scandal."

Closeup of Ariana Grande
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Cindy Ord / Getty Images

"I've been one to stick up for her because I really enjoy her music, and I would try to look past some of the bad things she’s done because she's done a lot of good as well, and she's been through a lot of very public heartbreak. But that whole scandal really finally warped any positive perspective I had of her.

Especially since there have long been rumors that she's a serial cheater who seems to go after men who are also in relationships."

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In August 2022, Ariana addressed speculation over her marriage in a TikTok makeup tutorial. She said, "I'm just not wearing my wedding ring. It's getting cleaned. I'm not getting a divorce. Before you start, don't."

About a year later, TMZ reported that she was getting a divorce from Dalton Gomez after two years of marriage. Three days later, reports came out that she was dating Ethan Slater, her Wicked costar, who was also married at the time. Both Ariana and Ethan were reportedly separated from their spouses when they got together.

5."Buffy Sainte-Marie being Beverly Santamaria. Still not over this. It's fucking heartbreaking."

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6."Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith being [non-monogamous]! They did have some [unconventional] stuff going on within their relationship!"

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith

7."Sir Christopher Lee was such a badass in real life that some of the stuff he did in WWII is *still classified.*"

Closeup of Sir Christopher Lee

8.The theory that Taylor Swift was arriving to the Eras Tour stage every night by hiding in a janitor cart. I thought it was just another version of the ridiculous theory that she snuck out of her house by hiding in a giant suitcase!

Closeup of Taylor Swift onstage

9."I know we're all used to Harry and Meghan now, but I was blown away when the engagement was announced. And then the Oprah interview and memoir validating many of the accusations made against his family. What a time!"

Closeup of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

10.Arnold Schwarzenegger having an affair and fathering a child with his family's longtime housekeeper.

Closeup of Arnold Schwarzenegger

11.And finally: "On a low-key note: Dolly Parton having a bunch of tattoos."

Closeup of Dolly Parton

Which wild celeb rumor were you most shocked to find out was true? Share your answers in the comments!

Note: Some entries have been edited for length/clarity.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here