Not every story capturing headlines this year had to do with President Trump. From #MeToo continuing to sweep through the entertainment industry to an alleged sex cult with Hollywood ties, here are 15 of the biggest stories to shake Hollywood in 2018 (in no particular order).
Megyn Kelly fired for blackface remarks
NBC axed Megyn Kelly Today after the talk show host controversially defended blackface while talking about Halloween costumes. Although she tearfully apologized, Kelly’s future at the network also came to an end. The former Fox News host is apparently nearing a $30 million settlement with NBC that will allow her to work for other outlets.
Kanye West calls slavery ‘a choice’
2018 was full of ups and downs for the singer, who has taken a lot of heat for his support of Trump. But perhaps the most shocking moment came when West said that slavery “sounds like a choice” during a manic TMZ Live interview. Kim Kardashian’s husband apologized for his remark, but it didn’t stop people from debating his mental health. West revealed his bipolar diagnosis this year, and then he later claimed it was a misdiagnosis.
Demi Lovato suffers nearly fatal overdose
On July 24, the “Sober” singer was rushed to the hospital after reportedly overdosing on fentanyl-laced oxycodone. Following an extended hospital stay due to complications, Lovato immediately entered rehab, where she remained for three months. Lovato has vowed to “keep fighting” her addictions.
Heather Locklear’s turbulent 2018
The Melrose Place star was arrested twice this year: first in February following a violent domestic dispute with her boyfriend, and again in June for battery against a police officer. She sought treatment after both incidents for substance abuse and mental health problems. Shortly after completing a three-month program, she was placed on a psychiatric hold in November. The actress has reportedly returned to rehab.
ABC cancels Roseanne
Despite its monster ratings, the network swiftly pulled the plug on the hit show after Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett. The actress later claimed that she “didn’t know” Jarrett “was African-American.” It wasn’t enough to save the show; however, ABC greenlit the spinoff The Conners with the entire cast and crew minus Barr.
Tristan Thompson caught cheating on Khloé Kardashian
Videos and photos were released of the Cleveland Cavaliers player getting close to various women who were not his pregnant girlfriend. The devastating scandal broke days before the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star gave birth to their first child, daughter True. Thompson and Kardashian are still together and working on their relationship.
Matt Lauer fired after allegations of workplace misconduct
The longtime Today host was let go after multiple sexual harassment allegations. Lauer apologized for what he called his “troubling flaws” but said that some of the accusations against him were “untrue or mischaracterized.” The morning host has retreated from the spotlight and is working through a divorce with his estranged wife, Annette Roque.
Old tweets torpedo gigs for Kevin Hart and James Gunn
Disney-ABC found itself in the middle of two sticky situations this year. The studio removed director Gunn from the third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy after old jokes about pedophilia and rape were resurfaced by alt-right agitators on Twitter. It was a move denounced by many of the cast and crew, but Disney stood firm in its decision. As for Hart, he pulled out of hosting the 2019 Oscars after old homophobic tweets and jokes were unearthed. The comedian said that ABC (a network owned by Disney) pressured him to apologize, something he felt he had already done over the years.
Nxivm sex cult tied to Smallville’s Allison Mack
The former CW darling was arrested and charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, conspiracy to commit forced labor and racketeering conspiracy charges. Mack is accused of being a slave master in a women-branding secret sorority within the self-help group Nxivm. She pleaded not guilty to all charges and is out on bail awaiting trial.
Bill Cosby heads to prison
The once-beloved comedian was convicted in April on three counts of felony aggravated indecent assault. He was later sentenced to three to 10 years in state prison for the sexual assault of Andrea Constand and deemed a “sexually violent predator.” In October, a judge rejected the former Cosby Show star’s bid for a new trial or sentencing hearing, and he remains imprisoned.
Elder-abuse allegations engulf Stan Lee
Prior to the comic book legend’s passing, Lee was battling more than just health issues. Privately, those close to the godfather of Marvel Comics were accusing each other of elder abuse within his network of family and caretakers. Lee’s daughter was ultimately granted an elder-abuse restraining order against his former manager. The situation was serious enough that even the Los Angeles Police Department began investigating abuse claims concerning Lee.
Asia Argento accused of sexual assault
The Italian actress, one of the most prominent faces of the #MeToo movement, denied allegations that she had assaulted child actor Jimmy Bennett in 2013, when he was 17 and she was 37. Argento admitted to settling with Bennett, although she claimed it was her boyfriend, Anthony Bourdain, who paid off Bennett. Bennett has not wavered on his accusation.
Ariana Grande calls off engagement to Pete Davidson
Less of a scandal and more of a pop-culture sensation, Grande and Davidson’s whirlwind courtship dominated headlines this year as he popped the question just weeks after they started dating. However, the “Thank U, Next” singer called off their engagement four months later. The sudden death of Mac Miller, whom Grande ended her two-year relationship with this past spring, devastated the Grammy-winning singer. She declared this “one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life.”
Cardi B and Nicki Minaj’s feud escalates at fashion week
The rappers got into an altercation at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party when Cardi B lunged at and threw a shoe at Minaj. The women have a complicated history, but Cardi B was particularly upset because she believed that Minaj was talking badly about her baby girl, Kulture. Minaj denied the accusations and called the incident “mortifying and humiliating.” They continued to feud but ended up calling a truce — for now.
Les Moonves exits CBS after sexual misconduct allegations
The chairman of the board, president and CEO of CBS was accused by multiple women of sexual harassment and misconduct in a Ronan Farrow investigation for the New Yorker. More women have come forward in the wake of the scandal. Moonves stepped down; however, his $120 million severance payout is in jeopardy after he purportedly destroyed evidence and misled investigators looking into the allegations.
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