College admissions scam
They're rolling the dice! On April 15, Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli pleaded not guilty to two conspiracy charges in a college admissions cheating scandal. Prosecutors allege that the "Full House" actress and the designer, who were soon also hit with conspiring to launder bribes charges, paid $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California and falsely designated them as crew team recruits. "[Lori and her husband] claim they were under the impression they might be breaking rules, but not laws," a source told "Entertainment Tonight." "They feel they were manipulated by those involved and are planning that as part of their defense…They realize how serious the charges are, but feel that once the judge hears their story, he will see they had no bad intentions." Experts aren't so sure and neither were brands affiliated with the family: The Hallmark Channel cut ties with her, she didn't return to "Fuller House" and several beauty brands stopped working her social media influencer daughter, Olivia Jade). Lori and Mossimo's troubles only got worse as the year went on. On Oct. 22, they were also charged with federal program bribery, which carries a five-year prison sentence; they pleaded not guilty. But Lori wasn't the only Hollywood star implicated in the scandal…
Felicity Huffman took a different approach after she was named in a college admissions cheating scam in the spring. On May 13, the "Desperate Housewives" alum pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, admitting her part in a scheme to boost her daughter's SAT scores to help her get into a good college. Felicity, who broke down in tears as she apologized in court, said that her child, who has a learning disability, didn't know the actress paid $15,000 to a middleman to have a shady proctor correct her test answers. Prosecutors recommended that the actress pay a $20,000 fine and be given four months in jail, but in September, a judge sentenced Felicity to just 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine and community service. "I have inflicted more damage than I could've ever imagined," Felicity told the judge before her sentencing. "I take full responsibility for my actions… I am prepared to accept whatever sentence you deem fit." Felicity's husband, William H. Macy, was not indicted. On Oct. 15, the actress turned herself in to begin serving her sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution near Oakland, California. She was released on Oct. 25.
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"Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek announced on March 6 that he'd been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. "Normally, the prognosis for this is not very encouraging, but I'm going to fight this, and I'm going to keep working," he told fans in a video. "And with the love and support of my family and friends and with the help of your prayers also, I plan to beat the low survival rate statistics for this disease." In a late May People magazine cover story, Alex revealed that he was responding well to treatment for the disease, which has a 9 percent survival rate. In fact, his doctors told him he was "near remission" and he returned to "Jeopardy!" in August. However, in September, Alex said his numbers were going the opposite way and he was undergoing more chemotherapy as his battle continued.
Britain's royal family got a little bigger this year! On May 6, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan welcomed a little prince into the world, though they decided their son will not use a royal title and will instead be known simply as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Archie is seventh in line for the throne. "This little baby is absolutely to die for," the Duke of Sussex said hours after his son's arrival. "I'm just over the moon. It's been the most amazing experience I could ever have possibly imagined. How any woman does what they do is beyond comprehension."
Gone too soon
Luke Perry passed away on March 4 after suffering a massive stroke a few days earlier. The actor — who rose to fame on the original "Beverly Hills, 90210" and had been starring on The CW's "Riverdale" at the time of his death — was 52. The news stunned fans and the entertainment world, and many celebs took to social media to share their feelings. Former "90210" costar Shannen Doherty said she was "struggling with this loss and am having a hard time with my thoughts." Tori Spelling was in "utter shock." The tributes poured in, including from his two adult kids and his fiancée, actress-turned-therapist Wendy Madison Bauer. On March 11, Luke was buried in Tennessee, where he owned a farm. The rebooted "BH90210" series honored the man who played Dylan McKay. "Riverdale" also dedicated an episode to him when it returned for a new season in the fall.
Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson's relationship did not end well. Yes, the details involved infidelity, but no one saw this twist coming! In a bombshell report published on Feb. 19, The Hollywood Unlocked claimed that Tristan and Kylie Jenner's best friend, Jordyn Woods, "were all over each other" at a house party in Los Angeles on Feb. 17. E! News reported that the basketball star tweeted and later deleted, "FAKE NEWS." It wasn't. It also wasn't the first time Tristan was accused of cheating on Khloe (that happened days before she gave birth to their daughter in 2018). The Kardashian-Jenner clan confirmed the infidelity and was not having it when Jordyn — who had to move out of Kylie's guest house in the wake of the betrayal — attempted to apologize. On March 1, Jordyn sat down with family friend Jada Pinkett Smith on the actress's "Red Table Talk" show and insisted there was "never anything intimate… It was an innocent time," though she admitted the NBA star kissed her on the lips. But there was "no passion" during the kiss, she claimed. After the interview, Khloe sounded off. "Why are you lying @jordynwoods ??" Khloe tweeted. "If you're going to try and save yourself by going public, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME PRIVATELY TO APOLOGIZE FIRST, at least be HONEST about your story. BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!" After the dust settled, Khloe tweeted that Tristan was to blame, not Jordyn.
Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez got engaged on March 9 in the Bahamas. They shared their magical moment with their social media followers a few days later, posting proposal pictures and gushing remarks about one another. A few days after she said "yes," A-Rod revealed that he knew very early on that he would eventually pop the question to J.Lo, and that he was very meticulous when it came to choosing her 16-carat diamond ring. A source told Page Six that the former baseball star spent seven months looking for the perfect ring. "He wanted to get it right. The proposal has been a long time coming. Alex knew she was the one and has been painstakingly planning everything," a source said. The ring is reportedly valued at $1.8 million. In June, J.Lo revealed that they're planning to wed in the next year and that for her fourth marriage, she wants to exchange vows in a church for the first time.
Trouble with the law
Just three days into the New Year, Lifetime started airing the docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly." It caught the attention of authorities in Georgia who investigated the R&B star for alleged sexual misconduct with girls and young women, something that was explored in the scathing six-part documentary. As the revelations made headlines — it was also alleged that the Grammy winner kept women as sex slaves — music stars including Lady Gaga and Chance the Rapper pulled their collaborations with the singer from streaming services. In February, the "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse in Chicago. Those charges date back to multiple incidents as far back as 1998 and involve girls as young as 13, prosecutors revealed. In March, the star got incredibly emotional during an interview with Gayle King on "CBS This Morning" and ranted that the women accusing him of physical and sexual abuse were lying. The same day that part of the interview was released, he was jailed in Chicago for failing to pay more than $161,000 in child support to his ex-wife, which he later made good on. As if that weren't enough, in late May, 11 new charges were filed against him for more alleged sex crimes. He pleaded not guilty. He was also arrested on July 11 in Chicago for multiple federal sex crimes in two different states. In a 13-count indictment from the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Illinois, charges include child porn, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. In a separate five-count federal indictment out of the Eastern District of New York filed on July 12, the singer was charged with racketeering and several violations of the Mann Act and allegations of forced labor. Then in August, Minnesota prosecutors charged the singer with two sex crimes: engaging in prostitution with someone under 18 and hiring/offering/agreeing to hire someone for sexual contact. In December, he was indicted on bribery charges for asking a government official in 1994 to secure a fake ID for an underage female. NBC News confirmed the bogus document was pursued so that he could marry 15-year-old singer Aaliyah when he was 27.
Surprise, Miranda Lambert got married! The country superstar took to Instagram on Feb. 16 to share the news that she'd secretly wed New York City police officer Brendan McLoughlin. Media outlets soon dug up details on the unexpected romance: The two exchanged vows in Tennessee in January after reportedly meeting less than three months earlier while Miranda was in the Big Apple to perform at the "Good Morning America" studios, which are next to Brendan's beat. They've been doing the long-distance thing since she's based in Nashville and he's based in New York, where an ex lives with his son, Landon, who arrived the same month Brendan and Miranda got together. The couple made their red carpet debut at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April. She's continued to gush about her man and silence critics online.
It's over for Wendy Williams and her husband of 22 years, Kevin Hunter. On April 11, Wendy's attorney confirmed that the talk show host had filed for divorce following widely reported claims that Kevin, who managed Wendy and served as her show's executive producer, had fathered a child with another woman with whom he'd allegedly had a years-long affair. Kevin — whom Wendy also fired — later said in a statement, "I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans. I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs." Not long before the divorce news broke, Wendy tried to fend off reports of marital turmoil and also spoke openly about how she was struggling with addiction issues and was temporarily living in a sober house. In June, she was linked to a new man — fashion designer Marc Tomblin, who made headlines for not only being 27 years Wendy's junior but for being a convicted felon — though Wendy told TMZ she was simply having some "no-strings-attached fun" following her heartbreaking split. She and Marc didn't last much longer. She later said she was dating a doctor.
Kim Kardashian West wants to become a lawyer, and in the spring of 2019, she revealed that she was nearly a year through a four-year apprenticeship with a San Francisco law firm. Her plan hasn't come without sacrifices in her personal life, she explained. In an April 15 Instagram post, Kim — who along with husband Kanye West welcomed her four child, son Psalm, via surrogate — said she had to "disconnect" with many people in her orbit. "For anyone assuming this is the easy way out, it's not. My weekends are spent away from my kids while I read and study. I work all day, put my kids to bed and spend my nights studying," she wrote. "There are times I feel overwhelmed and when I feel like I can't do it but I get the pep talks I need from the people around me supporting me. I changed my number last year and disconnected from everyone because I have made this strict commitment to follow a dream of mine — It's never too late to follow your dreams." Kim, by the way, already has a standing job offer from famed attorney Robert Shapiro and a nickname among inmates — "The Princess of Prison Reform" — because of her work that helped free 17 inmates (and counting).
Adele is no longer sending her love to husband Simon Konecki — the couple is divorcing (she formally filed in September). They were a couple for seven years and had one son, Angelo, together. "Adele and her partner have separated," the singer's rep said on April 19. "They are committed to raising their son together lovingly. As always they ask for privacy." According to reports, the couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement when they married. A source told People magazine at the time that there would be no drama — and so far, that's proven true. "I just can't see her divorce getting messy because she's so careful when it comes to her son," the source said. "She's always five steps ahead in terms of how a decision will affect him." Shortly after the breakup announcement, Adele partied at her huge 31st birthday bash. In the fall, she was linked to British rapper Skepta.
Mark Zuckerberg, you've got company! On March 5, Forbes magazine declared that reality TV star and cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner had become the world's youngest self-made billionaire. Kylie was 21 when she did it, whereas the Facebook founder was 23 when he hit the milestone. During the same week the Forbes story came out, a report emerged claiming that Kylie suspected rapper boyfriend Travis Scott of cheating on her. He denied any infidelity and they stayed together. However, new that the couple had split emerged in October. "The internet makes everything 100 times more dramatic than what it really is," Kylie tweeted. "Travis and i are on great terms and our main focus right now is [our daughter] Stormi our friendship and our daughter is priority." In November, Kylie had some good news to celebrate: She sold a 51 percent stake in her Kylie Cosmetics and Kylie Skin lines to Coty, the conglomerate behind Clairol, CoverGirl and Max Factor, among other top brands. The price? $600 million.
Hate crime victim?
Where to begin?! In January, "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett claimed he was the victim of a hate crime after, he said, he was attacked by two men on a Chicago street in the middle of the night. After launching an investigation, however, police started to feel that something wasn't adding up. On Feb. 21, Jussie was arrested for allegedly staging the attack against himself with the help of two men whom he paid. But Jussie, who was facing 16 felonies, caught a heck of a break: On March 26, the criminal case against him was dropped by prosecutors. The decision was highly controversial, with Chicago's mayor and police superintendent, among others, slamming it. The mayor hinted at corruption in the State's Attorney's Office, calling the decision to drop the charges a "whitewash of justice." The city of Chicago also sued the actor for six figures for the cost of its police work as they investigated his alleged racial and homophobic attack. The fallout affected Jussie's career: "Empire" creator Lee Daniels announced on June 4 that Jussie would not be returning to the FOX show for its final season. In August, a Chicago judge announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate how local prosecutors handled Jussie' case. If the special prosecutor deems it appropriate, he has the authority to file new charges. In November, Jussie filed a malicious prosecution counterclaim in federal court, alleging that the city of Chicago created a false narrative when it said the attack was a hoax.
Roller coaster year
Britney Spears has had a doozy of a year. In January, she revealed that she was calling off her planned Las Vegas residency due to her father's poor health. In the spring, she checked into a mental health facility but insisted to fans that "all is well." Then her longtime manager said she might never perform again (though he later clarified his comments to explain that Britney had no plans to perform in the near future as she worked on her mental health). In May, TMZ reported that Britney told a judge she wanted to break free of the conservatorship that's controlled and guided her life for the last 11 years — or at least gain some new freedoms. She also allegedly told the judge that dad Jamie Spears, who controlled the conservatorship, committed her to a mental health facility against her will and forced her to take drugs. (A lawyer for Britney's mother, Lynne Spears, reportedly made the same allegation.) The judge ordered an independent investigation into Britney's health and well-being. In September, the relationship between the pop star — who's spent a lot of time with trainer boyfriend Sam Asghari this year — and her father took a turn when he was accused of physically abusing Britney and Kevin Federline's teen son, Sean Preston. Jamie was soon cleared but in the midst of the drama, he asked a judge to temporarily relieve him of his conservator duties and have the pop star's care manager fill in while he dealt with more health issues. Jamie is set to again grab the reins in January 2020.
Jennifer Lawrence and art dealer Cooke Maroney tied the knot at the Belcourt of Newport mansion in Rhode Island on Oct. 19 before a star-studded guest list that including Adele, Sienna Miller, Kris Jenner, Emma Stone, Ashley Olsen, Cameron Diaz, Nicole Richie and Amy Schumer. The bride wore a Dior wedding dress (not a surprise since she's the face of the luxury brand). Earlier in the year, J.Law opened up about Cooke publicly for the first time on the "Naked With Catt Sadler" podcast. The Oscar winner said, "He's the greatest human being I've ever met. He really is, and he gets better… I feel very honored to become a Maroney."
Rapper Nipsey Hussle was murdered in broad daylight outside his Marathon Clothing store in the Hyde Park section of Los Angeles on March 31. He was 33. On April 2, police arrested Eric Holder, who's since pleaded not guilty to murder. Police said the suspect and Nipsey (real name: Ermias Asghedom) had a personal dispute. Candlelight vigils were held around the world and many celebrities and athletes paid tribute to the Grammy-nominated artist. More than a week after his death, thousands of people gathered at L.A.'s Staples Center to honor the slain rapper. The emotional service, which was attended by stars including Beyonce and JAY-Z, featured a video tribute by Snoop Dogg and a performance by Stevie Wonder. Former President Obama also sent a letter honoring the well-liked music star, who left behind two children. In October, Nipsy's girlfriend, Lauren London, was granted guardianship of the son she and rapper share. The rapper's immediate family members were granted guardianship of his 10-year-old daughter, Emani. The family had called the girl's birth mother, Tanisha, unfit.
Say hello to Mr. and Mrs. Pratt. On June 8, Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger got married at the ritzy San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. One day after the nuptials, Katherine posted a photo from the wedding to Instagram. "Yesterday was the best day of our lives! We became husband and wife in front of God, our families and those we love," she wrote. "It was intimate, moving and emotional. We feel so blessed to begin this new chapter of our lives, she said in part. The wedding came about five months after the couple announced their engagement on Instagram. This is the first marriage for Katherine, whose parents are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, and Chris's second. The actor's ex-wife, Anna Faris, publicly supported the engagement.
Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk have split after four years together, People magazine reported on June 6. The breakup news followed reports that there was trouble, with a source telling Us Weekly that the pair had not "been getting along for a while." People reported that the actor and the model were working out a custody arrangement for their 2-year-old daughter, Lea. "Entertainment Tonight" reported that Irina thought about breaking things off with Bradley while he was promoting his Oscar-nominated film "A Star is Born" with Lady Gaga. "They talked things through a great deal and seemed to hold off and keep up appearances for the time being," a source told the outlet. "It was recommended they delay a split at what seemed to be the peak of his career because the negative attention would take away from the excitement of the release." On July 18, the former duo struck a custody deal for their 2-year-old daughter, Lea.
Lady Gaga and fiancé Christian Carino called off their engagement and split up in February after two years together. After her steamy performance with Bradley Cooper at the Oscars, many on social media speculated that the "A Star is Born" co-stars were secretly in love with one another — which Gaga was quick to deny. A source told E! News the pop singer's romance with her agent "just didn't work out. Relationships sometimes end." The source added, "It's not a long dramatic story." During a June performance in Las Vegas, where she has two residency shows, Gaga publicly referenced her split for the first time, telling the audience, "Last time I sang this song, I had a ring on my finger, so it'll be different this time." She was later linked to audio engineer Dan Horton, but she confirmed in October that she was single.
On Feb. 3, "The Young and the Restless" star Kristoff St. John was found dead of heart failure. He was 52. The death was ruled accidental, but alcohol consumption was also a factor. The soap opera star's fiancé, Kseniya Mikhaleva, took to Instagram to mourn. "How did it happen ??? How ??? Why did you leave so early ???? and left me alone … I can't believe," the heartbroken model captioned a since-deleted photo of herself and Kristoff. "You were everything to me … you were a loving father, a loving man… how love?? we should doing a lot of things in future…" About a week after his death, "Y&R" put together a special tribute to the actor and in April, the soap aired a special episode dedicated to him.
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are headed to the altar. The singer and the actor got engaged on Valentine's Day and soon posted an Instagram photo of the pop star's flower-shaped ring featuring a pink jewel in the center. "Full bloom," Katy captioned the snapshot. Orlando shared the same image, captioning his, "Lifetimes." Katy later shared the sweet and humorous story of the actor's helicopter proposal during an episode of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." The stars began dating in early 2016. They split after a year but reconciled in early 2018.
Deportation drama and a big split
"The Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Joe Giudice finished a three-year prison sentence for fraud in March, but he was immediately sent to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility while he fought and appealed his deportation to Italy. Joe, however, was so miserable in the ICE facility that he decided to leave voluntarily and go to Italy while waiting for a judge to decide if he can live in America. During a conversation with Bravo exec Andy Cohen, Teresa — as she's said before — admitted that divorce is real possibility, especially if Joe is permanently deported to Italy. "I want the best for him. I want him to be happy and I want him to be successful," he said. "But I don't know if we could stay together, him living across the [world]." In mid-December, it was revealed that they'd made a big decision: People magazine reported that, according to a source close to the Giudice family, Joe and Teresa had decided to separate after 20 years of marriage, though, the source added, there were "no plans for divorce" at the time.
Kevin Spacey appeared in a Massachusetts courthouse on Jan. 7 and pleaded not guilty to charges that he groped an 18-year-old man at a bar in 2016. It marked one of the first times the once-celebrated actor had appeared in public since he was accused of sexual assault and harassment in late 2017. According to the criminal complaint, the teen said he lied about his age while at a bar (he told Kevin he was 23). After that, Kevin allegedly bought the man drinks and then groped him, the complaint explained. Kevin was arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery, which is a felony. The following day, Kevin's team argued that the teen was the pursuer and was flirting with Kevin. In June, the court released some of the texts exchanged between the accuser and his girlfriend on the night in question. Kevin's legal team also sought the man's iPhone as the defense believed the complete text exchange would clear the actor. The following month, in July, prosecutors dropped the charges against Kevin after his accuser invoked the Fifth Amendment after initially testifying that he did not delete anything from a cell phone central to the case.
Actress Michelle Williams' marriage of less than a year is over. "Michelle and Phil separated at the beginning of the year. It was an amicable split and they remain friends," a source told People magazine on April 19. The actress and indie rocker Phil Elverum secretly married in the summer of 2018 in the Adirondacks following a brief romance.
Sex cult case
Former "Smallville" star Allison Mack pleaded guilty on April 8 to charges pertaining to her involvement in an alleged sex cult that's an offshoot of the group NXIVM, which had publicly presented itself as a self-help organization. Prosecutors said she was in on a scheme to turn women into sex slaves for NXIVM leader Keith Raniere — who in June was found guilty in federal court of racketeering, sex trafficking and possession of child pornography and now faces life in prison. Allison was set to be sentenced in September on two racketeering charges, but the sentencing was postponed. "I believed Keith Raniere's intentions were to help people, and I was wrong," she said in court. "I know I can and will be a better person." Allison faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge, though it's expected she'll get far less than that.
Legendary director John Singleton passed away on April 29 after his family took him off life support. He was 51. The director had been in the hospital since suffering a stroke on April 17. Afterward, many of Hollywood's biggest names took to social media to honor the "Boyz in the Hood" and "Poetic Justice" director. Regina King said he was "one of the greatest to ever do it." Samuel L. Jackson called him a "true friend." Angela Bassett said, "He gave a voice and an opportunity to many. Count me in that grateful number." Following John's death, reports indicated that his family was gearing up for a battle over his estimated $35 million estate.
Let's just say 2019 has been a trying year for Jenelle Evans and David Eason, who by year's end was her soon-to-be ex-husband. The former "Teen Mom 2" stars became public enemy No. 1 in late April after David shot and killed the family dog after it nipped at but didn't injure their 2-year-old daughter, Ensley. This set off a chain reaction, leading to the couple losing custody of their children. Jenelle publicly said she was standing by her man, and she did. In order to get back Ensley and her sons from other relationships, Jace, 9, and Kaiser, 4, a judge said the couple had to undergo marriage counseling and parenting classes. David — whose daughter Maryssa (from a previous relationship) was allegedly removed from the home too — was reportedly ordered to have a psychological evaluation for his "anger issues." In the wake of the dog incident, MTV dropped Jenelle from "Teen Mom 2." (David was fired in 2018 after he posted homophobic missives on social media.) In July, five weeks after the kids were removed from the home, Jenelle and David regained custody. The drama continued, however, as Jenelle announced on Oct. 31 that she had filed for divorce and wanted full custody of Ensley. According to reports, she also desperately wants her MTV job back.
Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino paid his debt to society… behind bars. The "Jersey Shore" star surrendered to authorities on Jan. 15 to begin an eight-month federal prison sentence. For the majority of the year, Mike's home was the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York. The MTV star, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2018, was released on Sept. 12. "We are elated to finally close this chapter of our life. Thank you to our family, friends and fans for the continuous love and support during this time, it brought us so much peace and comfort," The Situation and wife Lauren said in a statement. "We look forward to continuing our life as husband and wife and working on baby situations! We truly believe that the comeback is ALWAYS greater than the setback and we can't wait to show the world ours." After prison, his first meal? Pizza.
Liam Neeson was backpedaling in early February after telling a story in an interview about how 40 years ago, he wanted to kill a "black bastard" after learning that a black man had raped his friend. The backlash against the actor built all month. On Feb. 5, Liam went on "Good Morning America" to attempt to explain. "I thought I was defending her honor," he said while being adamant that he isn't a racist or bigot today. He told Robin Roberts that back then in the moment, he didn't think about the fact that he could have killed a totally innocent person. Liam added that he knows he was wrong and that he realized that a few days later when his "primal hatred" subsided. On Feb. 5, just a few hours after his "GMA" interview, the red carpet for Liam's film "Cold Pursuit" was canceled. The comments were akin to kryptonite. Co-star Michelle Rodriguez tried to support Liam, but she had to apologize after public outcry.
Cuba Gooding Jr. was arrested on June 13 and charged with one count of misdemeanor forcible touching and one count of sexual abuse in the third degree after a woman claimed the Oscar winner groped her breast in a New York bar on June 9. The alleged victim reportedly told police that Cuba, who was released, was "extremely intoxicated" when he touched her at the Magic Hour Rooftop Bar and Lounge. According to the New York Post, security had to intervene after the woman and the actor got into an argument. Cuba and his attorneys have insisted he's innocent and that they have faith in the legal system. His arrest, however, seemed to open the floodgates, as more women came forward alleging that the actor got handsy with them too. Over the summer, another said he groped her a decade ago. In October, a waitress said he grabbed her buttocks without her consent. A mid-October indictment included 12 allegations for which Cuba is not being charged: Prosecutors wanted to include the allegations to show a pattern of behavior. Then, on Oct. 22, the district attorney in New York announced that the actor had been indicted on two more counts related to alleged sexual misconduct — a count of forcible touching and another sexual abuse in the third-degree charge. On Dec. 9, New York prosecutors filed court papers containing allegations of sexual misconduct from seven more women — bringing the number of Cuba's accusers to 22 — also in hopes of showing a pattern of behavior. In total, Cuba's facing six charges related to three different accusers. He's maintained his innocence.
Heart and health
After a long, difficult battle with throat cancer and then stage 4 lung cancer, reality TV star Beth Chapman passed away peacefully on June 26 in Hawaii. She was 51. Beth's husband, Duane "Dog the Bounty Hunter" Chapman, was by her side when she took her last breath, which is fitting, as they navigated life together at home and on TV. After Beth's death, Dog had a rough go of things, suffering a "heart emergency" in September (it was confirmed he did not have a heart attack). The reality TV star said he saw the episode as a huge wake-up call. Dog, by the way, said he was admitted for a "broken heart," a clear reference to his wife's death.
More upsetting allegations
More allegations of sexual misconduct were levied against Matt Lauer in October, but this time, the charge was far more serious: rape. He denied it. The disgraced TV anchor was fired from NBC in late 2017 after the network received a credible complaint of "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." In Ronan Farrow's October book "Catch and Kill," the former NBC staffer who made that all-important claim, Brooke Nevils, came forward to publicly allege that the "Today" star had raped her in his hotel room while they were in Russia covering the 2014 Winter Olympics. Brooke eventually went to human resources and confided in former "Today" host Meredith Vieira, for whom she'd worked. In an open letter on Oct. 9, Matt claimed the sexual relationship was consensual. Brooke, he wrote, "seemed to know exactly what she wanted to do." In September, Matt and Dutch former model Annette Roque finalized their divorce, ending their 20-plus-year marriage. Little is known about the divorce settlement, but it was reported in June that Annette is getting up to $20 million and their horse farm in the Hamptons as well as joint custody of their kids.
Heidi Klum tied the knot with German rocker Tom Kaulitz on Feb. 22, a date significant to them as it marked exactly a year from the day they first met. They managed to keep the news secret for months — it wasn't until July that the media found out about the nuptials. After the news came out — Tom's twin brother posted photos from the bachelor party in Las Vegas — Heidi started wearing a ring. The couple later had a splashy second wedding in Capri, Italy, in August.
In July, Ed Sheeran confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in the celebrity world: He's married. During an interview with Charlamagne Tha God that month, the singer confirmed that he and longtime love Cherry Seaborn had tied the knot. The admission came when he was talking about his new song "Remember the Name," in which he speaks about his wife. He told Charlamagne, "It was actually before me and Cherry got married and I knew that we'd be married by the point that the song came out. [I thought] Someone's gonna hear that and be like, 'Oh, they're married!' I didn't know how that would be construed, but obviously it's already come out." Ed and Cherry reportedly wed in December 2018.
Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara are engaged, Us Weekly reported on July 21. Earlier in the year, the couple sparked engagement rumors when the "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" actress was spotted wearing a ring. The under-the-radar duo, who are believed to have started dating in late 2016, have yet to formally confirm their engagement.
Hawaiian "I do"
Dwayne Johnson has called longtime love Lauren Hashian his "wife" for years. On Aug. 18, it became official. The actor and Lauren, the mother of two of his children, married in Hawaii, he announced on Instagram. One day after the nuptials, the actor posted a photo of them in their wedding-day attire (he wore white pants and a white shirt and two leis; she wore a lacy white dress). "We do," he captioned two stunning photos with his bride. "August 18, 2019. Hawaii. Pōmaikaʻi (blessed)." The couple share daughters Jasmine and Tiana.
Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus' marriage didn't even last a year. In early August, the couple announced that they had separated. Less than two weeks after that, on Aug. 21, Liam filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences." He listed their date of separation as "TBD." The former couple, who married in December 2018 after 10 years of an on-and-off relationship, have an ironclad prenuptial agreement, according to TMZ, and share no children, so it's expected that that divorce will be a relatively smooth one. Friends of the couple said they weren't surprised it didn't work out. One day before the split announcement, Miley was photographed making out with Brody Jenner's ex, Kaitlynn Carter, while on vacation in Italy.
Miley Cyrus officially moved on from both Liam Hemsworth and "The Hills" star Kaitlynn Carter in October as she and singer Cody Simpson began flaunting their new romance all over social media. Days later, the "Slide Away" singer was hospitalized after being diagnosed with tonsillitis. Cody, naturally, was there to support Miley and even wrote a song in her honor and sang it to her while she reclined in her hospital bed. "I'm very happy. We are very, very happy," Cody later told reporters. He added, "She's creative. She's very passionate about what she does, and I'm very similar in that sense. That's why we get along so well… We just have a ball, yeah, and that's the most important part of a relationship, you know?" The Australian musician was still by Miley's side when she celebrated her 27th birthday in November.
On Aug. 13, reality TV stars Todd Chrisley and Julie Chrisley were indicted by a federal grand jury for tax evasion and other financial crimes. The next day, the couple surrendered to the FBI and pleaded not guilty before a judge. Atlanta's WSBTV reported that the 12-count indictment, which also implicates the couple's former accountant, alleges tax evasion, wire fraud and the use of the Chrisley's production company to hide their reality TV income from the IRS. The indictment says the family didn't pay income taxes from 2013 to 2016 and used false documents to secure millions in loans. Todd defended the family in a lengthy Instagram post a day before the indictment was handed down, claiming they were being blackmailed. He wrote that he wouldn't "go into details," about the case, but said it "involved all kinds of really bad stuff like creating phony documents, forging our signatures, and threatening other employees with violence if they said anything." He added that his family has "nothing to hide and have done nothing to be ashamed of. Not only do we know we've done nothing wrong." He added that they have "hard evidence" to prove it. As if that weren't enough, Todd's estranged daughter, Lindsie, accused her dad and brother, Chase, of extorting her with a sex tape at the same time. They've denied that accusation. There was also more drama involving the family feud between Todd and Lindsie.
Rapper A$AP Rocky was found guilty in an assault case in Sweden, but he won't serve prison time. On Aug. 14, four judges convicted Rocky and two of his friends for assaulting a man during a street fight in Stockholm in June. The music star and his crew claimed self defense, but the court saw it differently. The case captured international attention and President Donald Trump even got involved. Although Rocky didn't have to serve jail time — though he was behind bars for a month while the case played out — he was still required to pay restitution to the victim and also cover Sweden's court expenses. He's also on probation for two years.
The relationship between Debra Messing and Megan Mullally has reportedly crumbled. For much of the year, reports claimed that the "Will & Grace" stars were feuding. In mid-August, fans noticed that the women no longer followed each other on Instagram though both still followed co-stars Sean Hayes and Eric McCormack. The unfollowing came after Megan deleted a cryptic post on her Instagram Story that said, "One of the best feelings is finally losing your attachment to somebody who isn't good for you!" Many wondered if that was dig at Debra. In a separate cryptic post, Megan said, "Don't ask people for directions if they've never been where you're going!" On Aug. 15, a video from the set showed the women keeping their distance. In October, the feud seemed to be confirmed when it was reported that Megan would miss several episodes of the final season, which airs in 2020, because of "on-set tensions." Several media outlets have claimed the "frosty" relationship between the women was to blame for the rebooted show's cancellation.
Julianne Hough made a big reveal this year when she indicated she's "not straight," even though she's married to a man. The "Dancing With The Stars" alum told the August issue of Women's Health that she started a "massive transformation" several months after marrying former NHL player Brooks Laich. Because she has a very emotionally and physically intimate relationship with her partner, it allowed her to be open. "I [told him], 'You know I'm not straight, right?' And he was like, 'I'm sorry what?' I was like, 'I'm not. But I choose to be with you,'" she told the mag. "I think there's a safety with my husband now that I'm unpacking all of this, and there's no fear of voicing things that I've been afraid to admit or that I've had shame or guilt about because of what I've been told or how I was raised." Brooks later publicly praised his wife.
Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx's under-the-radar romance ended this year. A source told Page Six on Aug. 19 that Katie was overheard at a dinner saying their relationship had been over for some time. "What Jamie does is his business — we haven't been together for months," she supposedly said. News of the split came after Jamie was seen out in Los Angeles with aspiring singer Sela Vave. Katie and Jamie were first romantically linked in 2013 and worked hard to keep their nearly six-year romance secret. After the split, there were differing stories about what led to their demise (one report said they had different lives; another said Katie was fed up with Jamie being "disrespectful.") Curiously, the breakup happened not long after they finally made their public debut as a couple at the Met Gala in May.
Master recordings feud
Taylor Swift's "worst case scenario" — that's what she called it — occurred in late June when her Big Machine Label Group back catalog was sold to a company owned by Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber's longtime manager, thus giving him control of her master recordings from her 2006 self-titled debut through 2017's "Reputation." Taylor was incredibly upset and claimed Scooter had "bullied" her for years. "Now Scooter has stripped me of my life's work, that I wasn't given an opportunity to buy," she said. "Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it." Scott Borchetta, the CEO of Big Machine, claimed Taylor could have purchased her catalog but didn't. Weeks later, Taylor released (via a new label) her seventh studio album, "Lover," which debuted at No. 1. While promoting it, she said she was going to rerecord her masters in 2020, when she's contractually allowed. "I'm very excited about it because I think that artists deserve to own their work. I just feel very passionately about that," she said on "Good Morning America." The feud reared its head again in November when Taylor claimed Big Machine wouldn't let her perform her old songs at the American Music Awards, a claim they challenged though Taylor didn't back down. Otwo days before the AMAs, Scooter shared a lengthy open letter to Taylor in which he expressed his desire to meet in person to hash out their differences.
So long, Easy Rider. On Aug. 16, Peter Fonda, a legend in Hollywood, passed away at 79. After his death, his sister, Jane Fonda, said, "I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing." Many in Hollywood took to social media to honor the two-time Oscar nominee. "I had the honor of working with #PeterFonda on the first movie I ever made (as an angsty teenager with a nose ring)," Jessica Biel said. "Ulee's Gold was a huge opportunity and he believed in me. I'm forever grateful for him and the impact he had on me and my career. I'm sure countless others can say the same. Rest in paradise."
After almost 22 years together, Larry King and his seventh wife, Shawn Southwick King, are divorcing. The TV legend filed divorce documents in L.A. Superior Court on Aug. 20. This is Larry's eighth divorce (he was married to one ex-wife, Alene Akins, twice). The couple share two adult children who TMZ claimed encouraged their dad to pull the plug. This was actually the second time Larry filed for divorce from Shawn (the first time was in 2010, after which they reconciled). This time, the divorce looks messy, as reports claimed Shawn was blindsided by the filing. There were other reports alleging that she was meddling in Larry's estate and compromising the inheritance of their two sons, something she denied.
Fatal boating accident
"Shark Tank" star Kevin O'Leary was involved in a fatal boat accident in Canada on Aug. 24. Two people died and others were injured when Kevin's boat collided with a larger vessel on Lake Joseph in Ontario. TMZ reported that Kevin's wife, Linda, was driving their watercraft at the time. She was given a DUI test and passed. There were differing accounts of what happened: The reality TV star, also known as "Mr. Wonderful," said the larger boat didn't have its navigation lights on when the accident occurred at 11:30 p.m. (police later confirmed that). In September, Linda was charged with "careless operation of a vessel," as authorities said she was driving too fast. The driver of the other boat was also charged. Linda could face a $10,000 fine if found guilty but will not see jail time.
Kevin Hart was involved in a terrible car accident in Los Angeles in the early morning hours of Sept. 1 due to reckless driving. His friend was behind the wheel of the comedian's classic car when it careened off the road, through a fence and down a ditch. Kevin's security team got him out of the area and took him home. He was then transported to a hospital, where it was determined that he'd suffered three spinal fractures, which required back surgery. On Sept. 11, Kevin was released and transferred to a live-in rehab facility to begin grueling physical therapy. After about a week, he was finally allowed to head home, where he continued physical therapy. In October, Kevin slowly began returning to work.
Congrats! Jenna Dewan and boyfriend Steve Kazee, are expecting their first child together, they announced in September. "We are beyond overjoyed and couldn't be happier to be expanding our family!" the couple told People magazine. Jenna already shares 6-year-old daughter Everly with ex-husband Channing Tatum. Jenna and Steve, a Tony Award winner, have been together for over a year.
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Jen Harley have reportedly split up for good after perhaps the most disturbing incident in their off-and-on relationship. On Oct. 4, the "Jersey Shore" star was accused of chasing Jen with a knife during a moment of rage, allegedly threatening to kill her. He denies the claim. Reports claimed he also holed up (with their daughter) in a home he and Jen were renting in Los Angeles and that police had to tase him when he refused to come out. Then, on Oct. 7, TMZ reported that, per an emergency protective order, the MTV star was required to stay 100 yards from Jen following the incident. Prosecutors decided not to press felony charges against Ronnie but he was still hit with five misdemeanors: one count of domestic violence, one count of brandishing a weapon, one count of child endangerment, one count of resisting arrest and one count of criminal threats. It was later revealed that the city attorney also slapped him with another count of resisting arrest as well as one for false imprisonment.
On Oct. 21, Nicki Minaj announced on Twitter that she and Kenneth "Zoo" Petty had gotten married after less than a year of dating. The rapper posted a video to Instagram that showed matching "Mr." and "Mrs." mugs alongside black and white baseball caps that had "Bride" and "Groom" written on them. She used bride and groom emojis in her caption along with her real name. "Onika Tanya Maraj-Petty 10•21•19," she wrote. Nicki had been calling Zoo — who has a criminal record — her "husband" for months, but it's now official. They plan on having a bigger ceremony to celebrate their marriage when her work schedule allows it. Her diamond ring, by the way, is 17 carats and worth $1.1 million.
2019 was supposed to be a banner year for Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria as they prepared to expand their family. Then in April, Hilaria announced devastating news: She had experienced a miscarriage. In September, the couple — who have four kids together — had cause for celebration as they announced that Hilaria was pregnant again, with a girl. They were so confident in the pregnancy that they had a gender reveal with their four children. However, on Nov. 11, Hilaria announced more sad news: She'd suffered another miscarriage, her second this year. "We are very sad to share that today we learned that our baby passed away at 4 months," she said on Instagram. "Even though we are not OK right now, we will be." Hilaria and Alec have said they plan to try again.