25 of the Most Shocking Celebrity News Stories of 2016
1) Kim Kardashian’s armed robbery in Paris - October
The second half of 2016 was not the best for Kim Kardashian. While in Paris in the early hours of 5 October – as her bodyguard Pascal Duvier was minding her sisters Kourtney and Kendall at a nearby nightclub – armed men entered Kim’s rented apartment, tied her up, gagged her and robbed her of millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery. During the terrifying incident, Kim is said to have begged for her life and used her young children – daughter North, three and one-year-old son Saint – as a reason for her attackers not to kill her. Traumatised, she quickly jetted out of France the next morning, and in the months since has only been spotted out in public a handful of times. She has also remained totally silent on her numerous social media accounts. Let’s hope she bounces back in 2017.
2) Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie split! – September
After 12 years and six children together, Hollywood’s golden couple sensationally split, having only been married for two years. Instead of separating amicably, ever since Angelina filed divorce papers on 16 September, the pair have been locked in a bitter custody battle over their six children: Maddox, 15, Pax, 12, Zahara, 11, Shiloh, 10 and eight-year old twins Vivienne and Knox. It’s said that an incident on board a private plane carrying the famous family from France to Los Angeles, led Angelina, 41, to file for divorce from 52-year-old Brad, saying it was for “the health of the family”. Allied actor Pitt is said to have become inebriated during the flight and is accused of being “verbally abusive” towards eldest son Maddox, leading to an investigation into child abuse by the FBI and the LA County Department of Children and Family Services. While Brad has since been cleared of any wrongdoing, his visits with his children are still being supervised by therapists and Angelina retains full custody.
3) Donald Trump Elected President of the US – November
No one believed it would really happen, but on 8 November, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States of America. Despite having huge celebrity endorsement behind her and the backing of President Obama and his wife Michelle, the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton – wife of former President Bill Clinton – was drubbed by 70-year-old Trump. Best known as a real-estate-developer-turned-reality television star, the president-elect boasts no political experience. In his victory speech he said: “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past – of which there were a few people – I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country.” He is set to take the oath of office on 20 January 2017.
4) Amber Heard & Johnny Depp’s Breakup – May
Not only did Amber Heard and Johnny Depp split after just one year of marriage, but their separation will go down as one of the messiest in Hollywood history. After filing divorce papers, Amber obtained a temporary restraining order against Johnny and accused the actor of being “verbally and physically abusive” towards her throughout their relationship, which began on the set of their movie, The Rum Diary in 2009. To back up her claims of violence, she submitted pictures of her bruised face, along with witness statements. In response to her allegations, Johnny’s lawyers claimed that Amber was “attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse”. The pair reached a settlement in August, with the actress set to receive $7million, which she plans to donate to charities.
5) David Bowie Dies – January
David Bowie passed away at the age of 69 following a private battle with cancer. A statement posted on the artist’s official social media account announced the sad news. It read: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.” The influential singer/songwriter, whose real name was David Jones, only released his 29th album, Blackstar, a week before his death, to coincide with his 69th birthday. The singer crossed genres dabbling in glam rock, art rock, soul, hard rock, dance pop, punk and electronica, and is considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all time. He is survived by his model wife Iman and their daughter Alexandria, 15, as well as his 45-year-old director son Duncan Jones, known as Zowie Bowie.
6) Kanye West’s Mental Breakdown – November
He’s often been accused of being unhinged, but Kanye West actually checked into hospital over fears for the state of his mental health. After behaving “erratically” while at the home of his personal trainer on 21 November, Kanye was admitted to hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Citing anxiety, paranoia, depression, working overtime on his tour and fashion line, as well as stress over wife Kim Kardashian’s armed robbery in Paris as reasons for the decline in his mental health, Kanye was kept in hospital for 10 days for treatment. Kim is said to have held a bedside vigil throughout his stay, but divorce rumours continue to circle the pair, who married in 2014. The 39-year-old Famous rapper is now out of hospital (with freshly bleached locks) and is said to be receiving ongoing treatment.
7) Prince Dies At 57 – April
Musical genius Prince shockingly passed away at the age of 57 from an overdose. The singer was found dead at his secretive Paisley Park estate, in Minnesota, only a week after he suffered a mid-air health scare following a gig, which prompted the pilot of his private jet to make an emergency landing in Illinois, where the singer was hospitalised. His representative subsequently assured fans that the singer was battling the flu and he returned home to recuperate. Prince, whose full name was Prince Rogers Nelson, shot to fame in 1982 after the huge success of his breakthrough album, 1999. He scored a string of hits, including Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, and The Most Beautiful Girl in the World, selling over 100 million records during his career, and picking up seven Grammy Awards. The star also won the Academy Award for Best Original Song Score for Purple Rain in 1985.
8) Hiddleswift’s Two-Month Relationship! – June
Some could argue that 26-year-old Taylor Swift has almost had as many boyfriends as hit singles, and 2016 proved to be a busy year in the romance department for the Shake It Off singer. Just a mere two weeks after she split from DJ Calvin Harris following a 15-month relationship, she was snapped kissing British actor Tom Hiddleston, 35, on the beach next to her sprawling Rhode Island mansion. Their romance, which saw them dubbed as ‘Hiddleswift’, took off at lightning speed, with the duo jetting to the United Kingdom to introduce Tay Tay to Tom’s parents, embarking on romantic city breaks around Europe, and Tom (rather embarrassingly) wearing an ‘I heart TS’ vest during her famous fourth of July celebrations. However, two months later it was all over. Was it just a showmance?
9) Alan Rickman Dies – January
Fans of British actor Alan Rickman were left devastated when he died, aged 69, after a battle with cancer on 14 January. The Harry Potter franchise and Die Hard star’s shock passing was confirmed by his family in a statement that read: “The actor and director Alan Rickman has died from cancer at the age of 69. He was surrounded by family and friends.” Tributes poured in from Hollywood stars, including Emma Thompson, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and the Potter books’ author JK Rowling. His Sense and Sensibility co-star Kate Winslet said: “He was loved enormously by so many. He was an exceptionally warm and giving man and an utterly phenomenal actor and gifted director. He was a warm-hearted puppy dog, who would do anything for anyone if it made them happy".
10) Anton Yelchin Dies – June
Actor Anton Yelchin died in a freak accident on 19 June after his Jeep rolled down his driveway and crushed him against a brick pillar at his San Fernando Valley home in California. It’s since been confirmed by the Los Angeles County’s coroner office that 27-year-old Yelchin, who played the character of Pavel Chekov in the three recent film versions of sci-fi saga Star Trek, died within a minute, with the cause of his death being blunt traumatic asphyxia. The actor was on his way to meet friends, but when he didn’t show up, they drove to his house, where they discovered his body. His model of vehicle, a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, was part of a massive recall for “roll-away risk.” His co-stars Zoe Saldana, Zachary Quinto and Justin Timberlake were quick to praise him as an “amazing human being.”
11) Michael Bublé’s Son’s Cancer Battle – November
Devastated Michael Bublé announced that he was putting his singing career on hold as his three-year old son Noah has been diagnosed with liver cancer. The 41-year-old Home singer told fans that he and his wife Luisana Lopilato were “devastated” at their young son’s diagnosis, saying: “We have always been very vocal about the importance of family and the love we have for our children. Luisana and I have put our careers on hold in order to devote all our time and attention to helping Noah get well.” Reports suggest that doctors initially thought little Noah was suffering from mumps (a contagious viral infection), but it was then discovered that he has cancer. The youngster is said to be undergoing treatment and will be able to spend Christmas at home with his famous dad and family. Michael and Luisana, who married in 2011, are also parents to nine-month-old son Elias.
12) Taylor Versus Kimye! – August
Taylor Swift and Kanye West have always had a difficult relationship, however, things came to a head this year when Kanye released his controversial track Famous. In the lyrics, Kanye refers to Taylor as a b***h and claims he made her famous. Despite insisting that the lyrics were approved by Taylor in advance, the song caused outrage, with many accusing Kanye of being disrespectful and misogynistic, and Taylor and her camp did not appear to have given the thumbs-up to anything he had to say. However, Kim Kardashian wasn’t going to let her husband go down without a fight, taking to Snapchat to post a video recording of a phone call between Tay Tay and Kanye, where she seemingly gives her approval to the rapper’s lyrics. Kim also claimed that Swift’s attorneys warned her and Kanye to destroy the footage – an order that Kim ignored. The music video for Famous was released on 25 June, featuring Kimye in bed with undressed likenesses of famous faces – including Taylor’s, of course!
13) Prince Harry Confirms Relationship With Meghan Markle – November
The British royal family are notoriously tight-lipped on personal matters and rarely respond to any type of gossip about members of ‘The Firm’. However, 32-year-old Prince Harry broke rank when he made a statement confirming his relationship with Suits actress Meghan Markle and expressing his unhappiness with the media’s intrusion into their budding romance, claiming she has been subjected to a “wave of abuse and harassment” ever since news of their relationship broke. The statement from Kensington Palace said: “He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it’s her life and his.” Harry met Meghan in Toronto during the summer while he was promoting his Invictus Games. The pair were snapped together for the first time in London in December.
14) Mark Salling’s Disturbing Arrest – May
He was once tipped as a shining new star, thanks to his role as Noah Puckerman in hit show Glee, but a dark cloud has hung over the 34-year-old ever since he was arrested for the possession of indecent images of children in late May. Police officers raided his home in Sunland, California in December 2015 following a tip-off, and allegedly discovered “thousands” of inappropriate images on his personal devices, which were seized. He was released after posting $20,000 (Dhs107,000) bail. He has pleaded not guilty to the federal criminal charges and was due to appear in court in July, but proceedings have been postponed. Salling, who once dated his Glee co-star Naya Rivera, has been indicted on two counts of receiving and possessing pictures and if he’s convicted, he’ll face up to 20 years in prison for receiving the photographs and another 20 years for possessing them.
15) Cheryl & Liam Dating & Pregnant! – February
They confirmed their May- December romance earlier this year, with many eyebrows being raised at their 10-year age gap, and the fact that former Girls Aloud singer Cheryl and One Directioner Liam Payne met when he was a 16-year-old contestant on reality singing show The X Factor UK, on which she was a judge at the time. Though it’s been rumoured for months that 33-year-old Cheryl, who split from her second husband Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini last year, is expecting her first child with 23-year-old Liam, the pair have remained tight-lipped on the pregnancy. However, there was no mistaking Cheryl’s sizeable baby bump while the pair went on a night out in London recently, confirming that there is indeed a little one on the way for the pretty pair!
16) Louis Tomlinson’s Mother Dies, Aged 43 – December
One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson’s mother, Johannah Deakin, passed away suddenly after a short battle with leukaemia, aged 43, on 9 December. Louis, 24, and his mother were known to be incredibly close and in addition to the 1D star, she leaves behind six other children – daughters Lottie, 18 and Félicité, 16, and two sets of twins, Phoebe and Daisy, 12, and little Ernest and Doris, two. Louis’ former bandmates Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan all jetted in from around the world to support him as he took to The X Factor UK stage to perform his debut solo single, Just Hold On, only three days after his mother’s sad passing. Zayn Malik, who has been at odds with Louis ever since he quit One Direction last year, also publicly reached out to his ex-bandmate to offer his sympathies.
17) Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth’s Reunion! – April
Despite being teenage sweethearts and even getting engaged, no one thought that Liam Hemsworth and wild child Miley Cyrus would reignite their romance following their 2013 split. However, at the beginning of the year, rumours swirled that the duo were back in touch and shortly after Miley was spotted wearing her Neil Lane 3.5-carat diamond engagement rock once again. The Hunger Games actor Liam, 26, confirmed that he and 23-year-old Wrecking Ball singer Miley were back together and engaged again, saying: “People will figure it out, they already have. They’re not dumb.” The pair are now reportedly planning their nuptials and eyeing up a love nest to purchase in Liam’s native Australia.
18) Céline Dion’s Double Loss – January
The My Heart Will Go On singer had a tragic start to the year when both her husband and brother succumbed to cancer in the same week. Her husband René Angélil died at their home in Las Vegas, just two days before his 74th birthday, following a long illness. Céline, 48, has since revealed that René had wanted to die in her arms, but she was performing on the night that he passed away, and she didn’t want to wake him when she returned home. His body was found on the floor the next morning by a nurse – a thought that left Céline distraught – but she has since said that she is finally at “peace” with his death. Before his death, the couple had celebrated their 21st wedding anniversary. Céline’s grief deepened days later when her brother Daniel died after a battle with throat, brain and tongue cancer.
19) Selma’s Plane Meltdown – June
Actress Selma Blair hit the headlines this year when she had a bizarre meltdown on board a flight after mixing alcohol and medication. The Cruel Intentions star was taken off a plane from Mexico to Los Angeles on a stretcher after losing her cool during the trip and raging about an unseen foe. Selma yelled: “He burns my private parts. He beats me. He’s going to kill me,” as staff attempted to calm her down in the first-class section of the plane. Upon landing, she was taken to a hospital. In a statement released days later she said: “I made a big mistake yesterday. I’m a flawed human who makes mistakes and am filled with shame over this incident. I’m very sorry.” Selma also expressed how thankful she was that her four-year-old son Arthur didn’t witness her meltdown as he was asleep at the time.
20) Maria Sharapova’s Doping Ban! – January
The sporting world was left in shock when tennis player Maria Sharapova (at the time the richest female athlete in history), failed a drug test and was banned from the court for two years by the International Tennis Federation. The 29-year-old Russian, who has won five grand slam championships, failed a routine test during the Australian Open in January, testing positive for meldonium, a drug that had just recently been banned. In a teary speech before the world’s press, Sharapova admitted to taking the drug, but insisted that she took it before it was prohibited and for health reasons only, having been prescribed it by her doctor for the last decade. Following an appeal, her two-year ban has been reduced to 15 months and she will be able to return to the professional tennis circuit on 26 April 2017.
21) Jim Carrey Implicated In Ex’s Death – September
In 2015 Jim Carrey was in mourning following the suspected suicide of his ex-girlfriend Cathriona White, but this year the actor was sued for her wrongful death. The Ace Ventura star was forced to defend himself against claims that he was the cause of 30-year-old Cathriona’s tragic passing, after her estranged husband filed a lawsuit against him. Mark Burton, who was married but separated from Cathriona at the time of her death, claims that she contracted diseases from Carrey, some of which were incurable, which caused her to take her own life in September 2015. Cathriona and Carrey, 54, dated on and off for three years, before she was found dead in her Los Angeles home only days after the pair broke up for a second time. Jim has strongly denied the accusations, saying: “The real disease here is greed, shameful greed!”
22) Rob & Blac Chyna’s Relationship – January
They surprised fans and Rob Kardashian’s famous siblings when they announced in May that they were engaged and having a child together after dating for only five months. With Rob’s teenage half-sister Kylie Jenner dating Chyna’s ex, Tyga, the relationship raised eyebrows from the beginning. The Kardashians’ lawyers even filed documents opposing Chyna’s efforts to trademark her presumed married name: Angela Renée Kardashian. Nonetheless, the pair’s baby girl Dream Renée Kardashian was born in November and the pair seemed content… that was until recent weeks, when Rob took to social media to reveal that Chyna had left their shared home, taking Dream with her and was refusing to let him see his one-month-old daughter. Watch this space…
23) Naomi Watts & Liev Schreiber Split! – September
Another long-term Hollywood couple to part ways in 2016 was Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, who separated after 11 years together. The acting duo famously never married, but were considered to have one of the most solid relationships in showbiz. The pair are parents to two sons, Alexander (known as Sasha), nine, and seven-year-old Samuel. The couple released a joint statement confirming the sad end to their long romance. They said: “Over the past few months we’ve come to the conclusion that the best way forward for us as a family is to separate as a couple.” They continued: “It is with great love, respect and friendship in our hearts that we look forward to raising our children together and exploring this new phase of our relationship. While we appreciate your curiosity and support, we ask the press to be mindful of our children and respect their right to privacy.”
24) Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green’s Surprise Baby! – April
They saddened fans when they announced in August 2015 that they were splitting after a long romance, which resulted in five years of marriage and two sons, Noah, three, and Bodhi, two. However, before the ink on the divorce papers even had a chance to dry, 30-year-old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles star Megan shocked fans when she debuted a sizeable baby bump while appearing at ComicCon in April! In light of there being a third baby on the way for Megan and 43-year-old Brian, the pair announced that they were giving their marriage another shot and happily welcomed a third son, Journey River Green, into the world on 4 August. Let’s hope things continue to work out for the genetically blessed duo and their adorable brood.
25) Ryan Lochte’s Robbery Lie – August
The US swimming team had everyone talking about them after the Rio Olympics, but not for their sporting achievements. One night after partying, Ryan Lochte and three teammates shared a taxi back to the athletes’ village. The next day Lochte claimed that en route they had been pulled over and robbed at gunpoint, and that, unlike his teammates, he had refused to get on the ground when told to do so. In reality, video footage proved this to be a lie, showing that the swimmers had stopped at the petrol station to use the bathroom; finding the door locked, they allegedly broke in to use the facility and caused damage while inside. After seeing the vandalism, the security guards used their guns to force the athletes to wait for the police to arrive. He’s since apologised for his fibs.