When it comes to celebrity news, 2018 was royally packed. Let's look back at some of the more monumental stories from the year that was, starting with the first royal wedding. The world watched on May 19 as Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan tied the knot at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. They are now officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Meghan wore a dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the first female artistic director at French fashion house Givenchy. When Harry saw his bride, he whispered, "You look amazing." And she did. The guest list was essentially a who's who of pop culture: George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Priyanka Chopra, Tom Hardy, James Corden, Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams and Idris Elba were all there. Of course, it was hardly smooth sailing leading up to the vows…
RELATED: The best royal wedding dresses
Just days before Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan wed in England, drama unfolded thanks to Meghan's family, particularly her father, Thomas Markle Sr. In the lead-up to the big day, Thomas was snapped by a paparazzi photographer as he seemingly prepped for the wedding in various ways. He was pictured doing everything from being measured for a suit by a purported tailor to lifting weights while walking outdoors to reading a story about his daughter and Harry on a computer at an internet cafe. The whole thing was a scam. It was all staged. Initially, Thomas' eldest daughter, Samantha Markle, took the blame, saying she encouraged her dad to do the staged photo shoots to clean up his image (he also allegedly got a portion of sales). The retired Hollywood lighting director later called the decision "a mistake."
One day after saying he would no longer attend the royal wedding in the wake of his paparazzi photo scandal, Thomas Markle had a change of heart and said he would walk the bride down the aisle. That, though, was easier said than done: Five days before the wedding, Thomas said he suffered a heart attack. In the end, he didn't attend the wedding, and Prince Charles helped walk Meghan Markle down the aisle. Thomas watched the wedding on TV while recovering from surgery to repair damage incurred by the heart attack, which he says was brought on in part by the stress of the paparazzi scandal.
RELATED: Meghan's best post-wedding looks
Thomas Markle Sr. didn't attend the royal wedding, and neither did the rest of Duchess Meghan's estranged family. In fact, they weren't ever invited, and that set off a whole string of chaos. (Meghan's incredibly discreet and tight-lipped mother, Doria Ragland, however, was front and center at the epic ceremony.) Meghan's half-sister, Samantha Markle, never one to hold her tongue, blasted Meghan and Prince Harry on Twitter for a good portion of the year before and after the royal shun. Half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. called Meghan a "phony" for failing to extend an invite. He even wrote Harry an open letter encouraging him to not marry Meghan. "It's not too late, Meghan Markle is obviously not the right woman for you," he told Harry in the beginning of the letter. "As more time passes to your royal wedding, it became very clear that this is the biggest mistake in royal wedding history." He said his half-sibling was a "jaded, shallow, conceited woman that will make a joke of you and the royal family heritage." A week later, Thomas then wrote another letter, this one to Meghan, pleading for a last-minute invitation. The invite never came.
Nearly five months after Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry tied the knot, the palace announced the news that everyone was really hoping to hear: Meghan is pregnant. Just a few days before the announcement, Twitter speculated that she had a bun in the over when she showed up to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding wearing a tent-like coat (some reports even claimed they shared their pregnancy news with family members at cousin Eugenie's wedding). Meghan is due in the the spring, just before she and Harry are set to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
More royalty arrived in 2018! On April 23, Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed a son, His Royal Highness Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge, at St. Mary's Hospital in London. Their third child weighed 8 pounds, 7 ounces. William was at Kate's side for the birth of the little prince, who is fifth in line to the British throne. "The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and members of both families have been informed and are delighted with the news," Kensington Palace's Twitter feed said.
Pippa Middleton welcomed her royal-adjacent baby on Oct. 15. It's the first child for Duchess Kate's sister and her new husband, James Matthews. Like Kate, Pippa gave birth in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary's Hospital in Paddington, West London — the same place where Kate and Prince William welcomed all three of their royal children. Pippa and James kept the gender of their little one under wraps until after their little prince was born.
On July 24, Demi Lovato was rushed to the hospital after what was originally reported as a heroin overdose in her home, but it turned out to be other drugs. According to TMZ, Demi was discovered unconscious in her bed and was treated with Narcan, an emergency opioid overdose reversal agent. Three weeks later, TMZ reported that Demi had been freebasing oxycodone laced with fentanyl off tinfoil — the same drug that caused music legend Prince's OD death in 2016. Demi, who fell off the wagon several months earlier after marking six years of sobriety, knew exactly what she was taking, her drug dealer later told TMZ. It nearly killed her. Sadly, many in Demi's circle foresaw something like this happening and tried to stage an intervention in the weeks leading up to the overdose, but she rejected their help and also fired her sober coach.
On Aug. 4, after nearly two weeks in a Los Angeles hospital where she suffered from extreme nausea, a high fever and other complications, Demi Lovato was released and went straight to rehab on a private plane. A few days later, TMZ reported that Demi made it clear that she wanted to focus on her sobriety and her team began helping her get rid of all the negative friends and influences in her life who might have contributed to her heartbreaking decision to start using drugs again. Sources close to the pop star told TMZ that "there will be a major focus on separating her from toxic people in her life once she gets out of rehab — including even a distant relative who is believed to have a negative impact on her."
Demi Lovato broke her silence about her overdose on Aug. 5 on Instagram, thanking God for "keeping me alive." "I have always been transparent about my journey with addiction," she began her Instagram letter. "What I've learned is that this illness is not something that disappears or fades with time. It is something I must continue to overcome and have not done yet." She thanked her fans, her family and her healthcare team. "I now need time to heal and focus on my sobriety and road to recovery," she added. "The love you have all shown me will never be forgotten and I look forward to the day where I can say I came out on the other side." She ended her Instagram by valiantly stating, "I will keep fighting." She spent three months in an out-of-state rehab center and in November returned to Los Angeles, where she's selling the home she OD'd in and living part-time in a sober living house.
Days after multiple reports indicated that Aretha Franklin was "gravely ill," the Queen of Soul passed away on Aug. 16 from pancreatic cancer. She was 76. As expected, tributes poured in to honor the legend. Former President Barack Obama, who shared a special bond with Aretha, wrote, "Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade — our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace." President Donald Trump called her "a great woman, with a wonderful gift from God, her voice." Diana Ross tweeted, "I'm sitting in prayer for the wonderful golden spirit Aretha Franklin." John Legend called her "the greatest vocalist I've ever known." Aretha's death was expected. The icon, who received visits from Stevie Wonder and the Rev. Jesse Jackson right before she died, had been "ill for a long time," People magazine reported on Aug. 13. To accommodate Aretha's many fans, her family had an open-casket public viewing and memorial at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
On Aug. 31, celebrities and dignitaries came out in force to officially say goodbye to the Queen of Soul one final time. The guest list included former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Jennifer Hudson, Ariana Grande, Faith Hill, Tyler Perry and more. During the service, Bill said, "We started out not as a president, a first lady, a senator, a secretary of state. We started out as Aretha groupies or something." As Stevie Wonder performed, he said, "God bless Aretha. God bless you. Amen."
On Sept. 6, Burt Reynolds passed away at the age of 82 in Florida. Multiple reports indicated the "Smokey and the Bandit" star suffered a heart attack. The screen legend left a legacy unmatched by almost anyone in Hollywood. After the sad news broke, Arnold Schwarzenegger tweeted, "Burt Reynolds was one of my heroes. He was a trailblazer. He showed the way to transition from being an athlete to being the highest paid actor, and he always inspired me. He also had a great sense of humor."
Rapper Mac Miller was found dead in his Los Angeles-area home on Sept. 7 of what the coroner later confirmed was an accidental drug overdose involving cocaine, fentanyl and alcohol. He was 26. "He was a bright light in this world for his family, friends and fans," his family said in a statement. A week after the death, Mac's ex Ariana Grande broke her silence. "I adored you from the day I met you when I was nineteen and i always will. I can't believe you aren't here anymore," she said. "I really can't wrap my head around it. We talked about this. So many times. I'm so mad, I'm so sad I don't know what to do." She added, "You were my dearest friend. For so long. Above anything else. I'm so sorry I couldn't fix or take your pain away. I really wanted to. The kindest, sweetest soul with demons he never deserved. I hope you're okay now. Rest."
Chef and television star Anthony Bourdain was found dead by a friend and colleague in his hotel room in France on June 8. He was 61. Authorities classified his death as a suicide, and CNN, which aired his beloved show "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," confirmed the heartbreaking news. "His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller," the network said in a statement. "His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time." Anthony was a true star in the entertainment world, and fans reacted with shock. "Anthony. One of my idols. Unapologetic, passionate and one of the best storytellers on the planet," Chrissy Teigen tweeted. "Thank you for making food so exciting. And always standing up for everything right. Horrible. Why why why. Be at peace now :(" "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio wrote, "RIP doubtful. Tony's restless spirit will roam the earth in search of justice, truth and a great bowl of noodles."
Legendary fashion designer Kate Spade was found dead in her New York City apartment on June 5 of an apparent suicide. The 55-year-old designer and sister in law of comedian David Spade left behind a husband and daughter. A week after her death, Kate Spade New York announced that it was donating $1 million to organizations that specialize in mental health causes and suicide prevention in memory of the company's founder.
Rapper XXXTentacion died on June 18 after he was gunned down in his car in Miami. The controversial rapper was leaving a motorcycle dealership when he was murdered. Police revealed there was a struggle between the rapper and multiple men who shot XXXTentacion repeatedly. The gunmen fled with a designer bag containing $50,000. Four men have been arrested in connection with the killing.
Talk about a family baby boom! It seemed like everyone from the Kar-Jenner clan welcomed a baby in 2018. It all started on Jan. 15 when Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West added a third baby, a daughter, to their brood. They named her Chicago after Kanye's hometown. Chicago was born via surrogate. "Kanye and I are happy to announce the arrival of our healthy, beautiful baby girl," the reality TV star wrote on her website. "We are incredibly grateful to our surrogate who made our dreams come true with the greatest gift one could give and to our wonderful doctors and nurses for their special care. North and Saint are especially thrilled to welcome their baby sister." Kim added, "We're so in love."
Through her entire pregnancy, Kylie Jenner remained mum. She never publicly confirmed that she was pregnant until after she and boyfriend Travis Scott welcomed their baby. However, on Feb. 4, in a highly-produced video chronicling her pregnancy journey, Kylie revealed that her daughter arrived on Feb. 1 in Los Angeles. She and Travis named the baby Stormi Webster. "I'm sorry for keeping you in the dark through all the assumptions. I understand you're used to me bringing you along on all my journeys. My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world," he said during her announcement. "I knew for myself I needed to prepare for this role of a lifetime in the most positive, stress free, and healthy way I knew how. There was no gotcha moment, no big paid reveal I had planned. I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion so I chose to do it this way for my little life and our happiness. Pregnancy has been the most beautiful, empowering, and life-changing experience I've had in my entire life and I'm actually going to miss it."
Khloe Kardashian's 2018 was filled one very, very big low and one incredible high. First, the positive… On April 12, Khloe welcomed her daughter, True, in Cleveland. Sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kim Kardashian West were there during the birth, as was mom Kris Jenner and BFF Malika Haqq. Khloe spent the rest of the year gushing about her baby, but she also had to deal with online trolls who had less than pleasant things to say. Oh, by the way, the baby's father, Tristan Thompson, was also on hand for the birth, which shocked many that Khloe would be so kind considering the scandal he created for himself earlier the same week…
Just days before Khloe Kardashian gave birth to baby True, videos surfaced showing her boyfriend, Tristan Thompson, cheating on her with several women. The first video published by the Daily Mail on April 10 showed the NBA star appearing to kiss a woman at a New York City rooftop bar on April 7. TMZ later posted video of Tristan in what appeared to be the same outfit arriving to his hotel in the early morning hours of April 8 with a woman who was later seen leaving the hotel with an overnight bag. TMZ also published another video of Tristan making out with one woman while another touches him intimately. The website said it was recorded on Oct. 7, 2017, at a hookah lounge outside Washington D.C., when Khloe was three months pregnant. While initial reports claimed their romance was "hanging by a thread," Khloe quickly forgave Tristan and made it clear that was going to stand by her man, despite her family's disapproval. However, in October, it was reported that the romance was "not in the best place." But in November, it was clear that Khloe and Tristan were still a couple as they celebrated Thanksgiving together in Cleveland as a family.
Kanye West made several statements that raised eyebrows throughout the year. First, in May, he revealed that he became addicted to opioids after having liposuction a few years ago. "Two days before I was in the hospital I was on opioids," he said during a bizarre interview on "TMZ Live," referencing his November 2016 mental breakdown during his "Saint Pablo" tour. "I was addicted to opioids. I had plastic surgery because I was trying to look good for y'all." He later insisted that he's in a good place mentally and said he, not a doctor, is deciding how much medication he should take. During the month of May, the rapper-designer — who released new albums in June — also repeatedly expressed his "love" for Donald Trump and controversially claimed that slavery was "a choice." Later in the year, he met with Trump in the White House. There, he used foul language in the Oval Office, told the president he needed to get a better airplane and said that he feels like "Superman" when he wears his Make America Great Again hat. He also revealed that his iPhone pass code is "000000." In late October, however, Kanye — who also made headlines with an epic pro-Trump rant on the "Saturday Night Live" stage in October — tweeted that he was "distancing myself from politics."
Disgraced comedian and onetime TV icon Bill Cosby was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault during his sexual assault retrial in April. A jury of seven men and five women voted unanimously, believing that Cosby drugged and molested Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in January 2004. The verdict came on the second day of deliberations. Afterward, Cosby told Page Six, "This is what they wanted."
D-Day for Bill Cosby came on Sept. 25 — that was the day a judge sentenced him to three to 10 years in state prison in Pennsylvania. Just before the sentence was handed down, the judge ruled that Cosby would be known as a "sexually violent predator." The disgraced comedian then emerged from the courtroom in handcuffs, a startling sight for a star once dubbed "America's Dad." During his first few weeks as inmate NN7687, prison officials confirmed that the 81-year-old star had no contact with other inmates whatsoever.
In August, a paparazzi picture emerged of Ben Affleck — who was supposed to be sober — getting a liquor delivery at his home. On Aug. 22, ex Jennifer Garner staged an intervention to get him help. According to reports, Ben was receptive and agreed to go to rehab for the third time. After 40 days in treatment — during which he was allowed to leave the facility's campus to return to his home to work out and take meetings — Ben completed his program. "The support I have received from my family, colleagues and fans means more to me than I can say. It's given me the strength and support to speak about my illness with others," Ben wrote in a statement on Instagram. "Battling any addiction is a lifelong and difficult struggle. Because of that, one is never really in or out of treatment. It is full-time commitment. I am fighting for myself and my family." While in rehab, Jen wasn't the only woman supporting Ben…
Ben Affleck's love life seemed to be filled with speed bumps in 2018. Over the summer, Ben and "Saturday Night Live" producer Lindsay Shookus, whom he publicly dated for more than a year, split up. "They both tried to make it work, but the distance just proved to be too much for them right now," a source told E! News. "Family comes first for them both." Then in August, the actor was spotted having dinner with 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton. He continued to romance Shauna, and she remained by his side while he was in rehab. Just days after he got out, the duo even vacationed in Montana together. They split in October, the same month Ben and ex Jennifer Garner finalized their drawn-out divorce.
Roseanne Barr's incredibly popular rebooted show, "Roseanne," was canceled on May 29 after she posted a racially charged tweet about former President Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett that read, "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj." Roseanne apologized and said her joke was in "bad taste" (she also blamed it on the drug Ambien), but it was too late. After ABC announced it was pulling the plug on the show, cast member and producer Sara Gilbert called her TV mom's comments "abhorrent." She tweeted, "This is incredibly sad and difficult for all of us, as we've created a show that we believe in, are proud of, and that audiences love — one that is separate and apart from the opinions and words of one cast member."
Not long after the cancellation of "Roseanne," reports revealed that new life could be breathed into the sitcom. In June, ABC announced that it would air a spin-off called "The Conners" starring everyone except Roseanne Barr. In the opening episode, which aired in October, the matriarch of the family, Roseanne, was killed off via an opioid overdose. In September, Roseanne said she was moving overseas partly because she doesn't want to be in the United States when "The Conners" premiered.
On Feb. 15, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux announced that they had separated after two and a half years of marriage and nearly seven years as a couple. The announcement came after multiple tabloids claimed the duo's relationship was on the rocks. "Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly," the couple said in a statement. "Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else's fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another." The split was "mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year," the statement explained. A source told E! that the duo simply weren't a good match. "Jennifer and Justin fell in love hard and fast and yet they were never really suited to one another. He was a New York hipster that loved the alternative lifestyle and Jennifer was living a much more reclusive life when they first started to fall in love," a source said. "The initial chemistry between them made it easy for them to ignore their differences and incompatibility." There was also speculation that couple never actually legally got married, so there was no need for a divorce.
Five months after Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux's split, reports indicated that she was casually dating. A source told "Entertainment Tonight" that Jen was just having fun. Us Weekly said she was loosely dating two men. "It's very hush-hush," a source said, adding that neither was an actor. One man was allegedly a tech titan, while the other was an "industry creative." Justin also apparently moved on: He's been linked to "Spider-Man: Homecoming" star Laura Harrier, Emma Stone and others, though it's all speculation.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's divorce got messy in 2018. Really messy. On Aug. 7, Angelina's new lawyer claimed that Brad was basically a deadbeat dad and had not paid any "meaningful child support" for their six kids since she left him in 2016. She wanted "retroactive child support" from her ex, court documents said. Brad's lawyer called the filing "unnecessary" and "a thinly veiled effort to manipulate media coverage." Further, he blasted claims that Brad hasn't paid up. Brad "previously loaned [Angelina] $8 million to assist her in purchasing her current residence and has paid $1.3 million in bills for the benefit of [Angelina] and the minor children," his lawyer said in court docs. The financial support debacle followed drama earlier in the summer that saw a judge warn Angelina — who wants sole custody while Brad wants joint custody — that she could lose custody if she continued to drive a wedge between the kids and their father. Brad was temporarily given every-other-day visitation with their brood not long after, and in October, newly filed court documents revealed that a final custody evaluation had, at last, been put into motion.
In September, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie apparently got tired of fighting and, according to "Entertainment Tonight," agreed to a truce. "Brad and Angelina actually set up a secret meeting at her house," a source told "ET." "It's the first time they have truly gotten together to make things work since their group therapy with the children. Brad and Angie's meeting was a success. They are going to stay with the plan set forth through the courts." The source added, "Angelina decided it was time to try to make things work and Brad was relieved and very ready for the offer. Brad has been dedicated to making peace throughout the process and now it finally seems like they are at a point where they can create a calmer situation for the kids." Something must have changed, as in November, court documents revealed that a judge set a December trial date to determine custody in their divorce after the exes were unable to agree on a plan themselves.
Ariana Grande had a busy (and heartbreaking) love life in 2018. In May, reports indicated that she'd split with boyfriend Mac Miller, a relationships she later said was "toxic." Just a few days later, Ariana was linked to comedian Pete Davidson. Within a matter of weeks, the two got engaged. In an interview with Variety, Pete said he told Ariana he would marry her on their first date (he officially proposed while they were in bed). The duo got multiple tattoos to honor each other. Then, tragedy struck in September and everything changed…
In September, rapper Mac Miller, Ariana's ex, passed away from a drug overdose. The death rocked Ariana, despite the fact they hadn't been together in months. His passing also affected her relationship with Pete Davidson, and on Oct. 14, she broke up with him and called off their engagement. Mac's death was "a life-changing fork in the road," TMZ reported. "Ariana realized a couple of things — she couldn't be fully invested in her relationship with Pete, and she had rushed into a looming marriage way too fast by getting engaged." In November, Ariana released "Thank U, Next" — song name-checking four of her most well-known exes, including Pete and Mac, that made it clear she was ready to move on and focus on herself.
Justin Bieber found love again with Hailey Baldwin. In July, after just a few weeks of dating, he proposed to the model in the Bahamas. "Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY," he gushed on Instagram. "I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make. My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn't want to spend it with anybody else." They'd become husband and wife in just a matter of weeks.
In early September, Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin were photographed walking into a New York City courthouse where marriage licenses are issued. It turns out, they got married that day at the courthouse too. "They went ahead and did it without listening to anyone," a source close to the couple told People at the time. Hailey, however, tweeted that she wasn't married. "I understand where the speculation is coming from, but I'm not married yet!" she wrote. Again, they were. Eventually, they acknowledged that they are actually husband and wife, but reports indicated they plan to have a religious ceremony in the future for friends and family.
On April 2, the world was shocked when Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan revealed they'd called it quits after almost nine years of marriage."We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple," they said in a joint statement. "We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now. There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it's time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible. We are still a family and will always be loving dedicated parents to Everly." Despite the split, they were often pictured together with their 5-year-old daughter. Channing even called Jenna "baby" on Instagram.
By the fall, both Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan were dating other people. In early October, Channing was spotted with British pop star Jessie J, whom reports revealed he'd been seeing for a few months — he was even spotted at her concerts in Seattle, Salt Lake City, Houston and Los Angeles. Jenna went public with her new man, Tony Award-winning actor-musician Steve Kazee, several weeks later. Like Chan, reports indicated Jenna and Steve had been in their new relationship for a few months.