The 25 Most Shocking Moments of 2014
25 Cheryl’s Surprise Wedding
It was the surprise wedding of the summer when Cheryl Cole married her French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months of dating. The couple tied the knot in an intimate ceremony on the island of Mustique with only four witnesses, including Cheryl’s mum, Joan, and PA Lily England. Confirming the news, the X Factor judge posted a pic of her whopping princess-cut diamond engagement ring and diamond-encrusted wedding band on Twitter, saying: “I usually don’t discuss my personal life, but to stop the speculation I want to share my happy news. Jean-Bernard and I married on 7/7/14. We are very happy and excited to move forward with our lives together.” Few knew Cheryl was even dating the restaurateur, who she met at Cannes Film Festival in May. A source close to the 31-year-old said: “Only a handful of people knew. She’s never been so happy.”
24 Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon’s Split
After months of speculation, Nick Cannon finally confirmed back in August that his marriage to Mariah Carey was over, vowing to remain on good terms with his ex for the sake of their children, three-year-old twins Morocco and Monroe. “We’ll forever be family. At the same time, we’re there for our children, making them the number one priority and understanding they’re loved,” he told Good Morning America. Behind closed doors, however, the split was said to be far from amicable, with rumours of cheating and in-fighting. Though Mariah has remained tight-lipped, Nick took to Twitter to deny reports he did the dirty, calling the rumours “absurd”. It seems his diva ex sees things a little differently. During a performance of the Billie Holiday song Don’t Explain in Tokyo in October, Mariah changed the lyrics to have an apparent pop at her estranged ex, singing, “I know you cheated, mother*****r”. It’s thought that a divorce settlement is currently being worked out, with custody of their two kids the major bone of contention.
23 Rihanna’s Nearly-Nude Dress
She’s never exactly conservative when it comes to her fashion choices, but Rihanna made jaws drop when she took to the stage at the CFDA Awards in June wearing a super-sheer crystal gown that left nothing to the imagination. The singer was honoured at the bash as a fashion icon and she clearly wanted to make a statement as she bared her chest and bottom when collecting the award from Vogue’s Anna Wintour. Dressed in a see-through floor-length Adam Selman dress embellished with more than 216,000 crystals, the 26-year-old sashayed up the steps to the stage with just a fur scarf to protect her modesty. During her acceptance speech, RiRi gushed about her love for fashion, saying: “Fashion should never be frustrating, it should be fun. As long as I can remember, fashion has been my defence mechanism.” Designer Adam Selman later said: “We definitely wanted to make it a little bit scandalous.” Mission accomplished!
22 Michelle Rodriguez’s Rocky Relationships
We’re used to celebs keeping their love lives under wraps, but when Michelle Rodriguez and Cara Delevingne decided to take their blossoming friendship public at the beginning of the year, they clearly wanted to max the shock factor. The 21-year-old model and the Fast & Furious star, 35, ensured all eyes were on them as they took in a New York Knicks basketball game in January. Clearly both worse for wear, they acted out throughout the match at Madison Square Garden. But the fiery friendship appeared to end just as quickly as it started, with rumours of a fall-out sparked when Michelle failed to show at the wedding of Cara’s sister Poppy in May. But the actress didn’t waste any time moving on with her life and soon fell into the arms of another hard-partying star – 22-year-old Zac Efron. The pair was spotted kissing and cuddling in Sardinia over the summer, but the fledgling relationship quickly fizzled out.
21 Lindsay Lohan’s List of Lovers
It was just a small piece of paper, but when Lindsay Lohan decided to scrawl down the names of her past conquests, the results were so sizzling they generated headlines the world over. US tabloid In Touch got hold of the dynamite document and exposed a host of A-list men the Mean Girls star claimed to have hooked up with, among them Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine, Zac Efron and Joaquin Phoenix. The now-infamous list, which also featured Orlando Bloom, Ryan Phillippe and Benicio Del Toro, was reportedly written on 30 January at a Beverly Hills hotel. “It was her personal conquest list,” said a source.“She was trying to impress her friends with the list and then tossed it aside.” The publication of the 36 names sent shock waves through Hollywood, not least because most of the guys, who included Ashton Kutcher and Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan, are now married or in committed relationships.
20 Kesha Checking Into Rehab for Bulimia
The year got off to a shaky start for Kesha, who was admitted to a treatment facility in January for anorexia and bulimia amid claims by her mother, Pebe Sebert, that she was being bullied about her weight by her management team, an allegation they strongly denied. As Kesha was checked into Timberline Knolls clinic in Illinois, Pebe, 57, said: “[The doctors] told me her blood pressure and sodium were so low they’d never seen that, except with someone who’d had a heart attack or stroke. They said it was a miracle she hadn’t dropped dead on stage.” In an official statement at the time, the Tik Tok singer, who cancelled an appearance at RedFestDXB the following month, reassured fans, saying: “I’m a crusader for being yourself and loving yourself, but I’ve found it hard to practise. I’ll be unavailable for the next 30 days, seeking treatment for my eating disorder, to learn to love myself again, exactly as I am.”
19 Dame Ange marrying Brad at last!
What a whirlwind year it’s been for Angelina Jolie! Not only did she wed her long-term partner Brad Pitt in an intimate ceremony in their enchanting French chateau, but she was also made an honorary dame by the Queen of England for her humanitarian work. Details of the Maleficent star’s fairytale wedding were released to People magazine for the princely sum of $5 million, which the couple donated to charity. Ange was reportedly walked down the aisle by eldest sons Maddox, 13, and Pax, 10, while Shiloh, eight, and Knox, six, acted as ring bearers. Drawings by the couple’s six children were also hand-embroidered onto Ange’s one-of-a kind Atelier Versace gown, while the famous offspring also penned the vows. Two months later, Ange’s magical year was topped off when she was invited to Buckingham Palace to be presented with an honorary damehood for her efforts to stamp out rape in war zones. The award was announced in June and was presented to Ange by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in October.
18 L’Wren Scott’s Suicide
The fashion world was horrified in March by the suicide of designer L’Wren Scott, Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, who was found hanged in her Manhattan flat. The 49-year-old was reportedly $6 million in debt and was said to have been distraught and “embarrassed” by the failure of her fashion business, but had refused financial help from Jagger, her long-term partner. The Rolling Stones singer was in Australia at the time of her death and was said by friends to be “completely shocked and devastated” by the news. Friends of the designer – including actress Ellen Barkin – later gathered at her apartment to pay their respects. Her death came weeks after the stylist was forced to cancel her London Fashion Week show, a move she blamed on a delayed fabric shipment, although friends say the reality was that the business was rapidly nosediving. Sarah Jessica Parker and Martin Scorsese were among the mourners at a star-studded memorial service held in New York City on 2 May.
17 Joan Rivers’ Death
Legendary comedienne and E! host Joan Rivers died suddenly after suffering complications during routine throat surgery. Her Fashion Police co-star Kelly Osbourne was among the first to mourn the outrageously acerbic comic, with a touching post on her Facebook page in which she wrote: “I’m completely heartbroken by the loss of my beloved Joan. Not only was she my boss, she was and will always be my teacher, therapist, closest friend, inspiration and the only grandmother I ever knew. She was family and I will never forget her.”
Daughter and reality star Melissa Rivers organised a suitably showbiz send-off for her late mother, according to instructions left behind by the comedy queen. The funeral was attended by celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Kelly Osbourne and Donald Trump, and featured choir performances of classics such as What a Wonderful World and Big Spender, while Hugh Jackman also sang. Joan’s friend Kathy Griffin is set to replace her on the E! show.
16 Shia LaBeouf’s Rape Revelations
In one of the most bizarre celebrity stories of the year, actor Shia LaBeouf reported he’d been raped by a woman at a Los Angeles gallery. In February, the Transformers actor invited the public to visit him during his #IAmSorry performance art piece, during which he sat in a small room wearing a paper bag over his face that read “I am not famous anymore” over a period of several days. The 28-year-old made the stunning revelation in an interview with Dazed & Confused digital in November, in which he said: “One woman came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened. [She] whipped my legs for 10 minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me.” Artists Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, who worked with Shia on the project and were at the gallery at the time, confirmed the reports, saying they intervened as soon as they realised what was happening.
15 Beyoncé’s Risqué Grammy Performance
Beyoncé made jaws drop back in January with her extremely raunchy performance at the Grammy Awards, during which she writhed around in a revealing black thong and fishnet tights. During the sassy routine to her hit song Drunk in Love – which opened with the singer straddling a chair – Bey also twerked and ran her hands seductively up and down hubby Jay Z’s tuxedo-clad legs after he joined her on stage. The performance – which aired at 8pm in the US – attracted criticism from viewers, who complained that the sultry appearance was inappropriate for younger viewers, not least because many of the explicit lyrics that had to be bleeped out. The audience at the Staples Centre in LA greeted the superstar couple with deafening cheers during their first joint live performance of the song, but viewers at home took to Twitter to slam the X-rated appearance, which many compared to Miley Cyrus’ embarrassing twerking performance with Robin Thicke the previous year.
14 Amal Tames Clooney
Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor George Clooney broke hearts everywhere when he tied the knot with British barrister Amal Alamuddin in a lavish Italian ceremony in September. The couple – who started dating in October 2013 – wed in Aman Canal Grande Venice before 100 VIP guests including Matt Damon and his wife Luciana, Cindy Crawford and her husband (and George’s best man) Rande Gerber, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Bill Murray. The star-studded crowd, who were all gifted iPods with a playlist selected by the bride and groom, reportedly burst into spontaneous applause as the loved-up couple exchanged vows. The 36-year-old bride wore a custom-made off-the-shoulder Oscar de la Renta gown, while the Gravity actor wore a tux by his favourite designer, Giorgio Armani. Notably absent from the festivities were George’s long-time pal Brad Pitt and wife Angelina Jolie, who reportedly snubbed the ceremony to avoid the “media circus”.
13 Bill Cosby Rape Allegations
He became a household name in the Eighties, thanks to his starring role on The Cosby Show, but veteran comedian Bill Cosby found himself thrust back into the spotlight this year when a number of women came forward claiming to have been raped by the 77-year-old funnyman. The most high-profile accuser is former supermodel Janice Dickinson, who says the actor drugged her glass of wine before sexually assaulting her in 1982. Similar allegations were made by another model, Beverly Johnson. To date, two dozen women have made allegations, including rape and indecent assault, against the star – including one who said she was aged just 15 at the time. The deluge of allegations has already resulted in a planned Netflix Cosby retrospective being cancelled and an appearance by the star on popular talk show The Late Show with David Letterman being scrapped. The allegations have been strongly denied by the married actor’s lawyer, Martin Singer. “The new, never-before-heard claims from women who have come forward in the past two weeks with unsubstantiated, fantastical stories about things they say occurred 30, 40 or even 50 years ago have escalated far past the point of absurdity,” he said.
12 1D’s Narcotic Scandal
One Direction’s squeaky-clean boy-band image was tarnished in May when a video emerged showing band members Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik apparently inhaling an illegal substance on board their SUV on the Latin America leg of their stadium tour. In the footage, 22-year-old Louis’ voice can be heard from behind the camera saying: “So here we are, leaving Peru. Joint lit. Happy days!” He then smokes a roll-up before handing what he calls “Mary J herself” to Zayn, 21, who exhales and exclaims “Nice”. The video caused outrage among drug charities, parents and many of the band’s young fans, with some even taking to social media to burn their concert tickets in protest. Liam Payne – dubbed ‘Daddy Directioner’ by fans because he’s viewed as the most responsible – later issued an apology on behalf of his bandmates. He tweeted: “We’re only in our twenties – we all do stupid things at this age. We all have a lot of growing up to do.” The scandal was quickly buried and didn’t affect the boys’ 39-date US tour as was initially feared.
11 Rene’s New Face
She’s remembered primarily for transforming her appearance for her role as Bridget Jones – famously packing on 20lb to play the literary singleton – but it seems Renée Zellweger has been making some changes to her looks off-screen as well. The 45-year-old turned heads at Elle’s 21st annual Women in Hollywood Awards in California in October, by looking so dramatically different that she was barely recognisable. The Jerry Maguire star’s wrinkle-free face was the talking point of the evening, with her suspiciously puffy appearance prompting rumours she’d had surgery. Commentators speculated that the actress may have had an upper eye lift as her signature squint seemed to have disappeared, while it’s also alleged her smooth appearance was down to Botox. But the actress was quick to deny the allegations, maintaining that her new look was down to a healthy lifestyle and being loved up with her musician boyfriend, Doyle Bramhall II, a former university friend.
10 The iCloud-Hacking Scandal
Hollywood was rocked to the core when hackers invaded a host of celebrity’s iCloud accounts over the summer, leading to a number of explicit photos being published online. A list of 100 famous targets including Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Kelly Brook, Vanessa Hudgens, Kim Kardashian and Kate Upton fell prey to the 4Chan hacker, causing a predicable internet frenzy. Jennifer Lawrence, one of the first stars to confirm that the pictures of her were authentic, lashed out at the intrusion, calling it a “sex crime”. She said: “Just because I’m a public figure, just because I’m an actress, doesn’t mean that I asked for this. It doesn’t mean that it comes with the territory. It’s my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it’s not my choice is absolutely disgusting.”
9 Ryan & Eva’s Secret Baby
They tried to keep their baby news under wraps until the birth, but as her bump grew, actress Eva Mendes had to find increasingly creative ways to conceal the fact she was carrying the child of one of the world’s most lusted-after men, Ryan Gosling. The actress, who declined to confirm or deny the pregnancy rumours, was snapped trying to hide her tummy with an array of props, from a bunch of flowers to a handbag and a flowing scarf, after a US tabloid broke the story back in July. Thankfully, the super-private couple became a bit more talkative after their daughter was born on 12 September, with Eva spilling all the details behind their choice of baby name, Esmeralda. “We were really excited about naming her,” the 40-year-old actress explained. “We both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame and just think it’s a beautiful name. Her middle name is Amada, which was my grandmother’s name. It means ‘beloved’ in Spanish.” Aww.
8 Peaches Geldof’s Death at 25
It was a case of history repeating itself when Peaches Geldof was found dead from an apparent narcotics overdose, hours after posting a picture of her late mother, TV presenter Paula Yates, who died the same way, on Instagram. The 25-year-old mother-of-two’s body was discovered in bed by her husband, while she had been looking after her newborn son, Phaedra, at her home in Kent. An inquest later revealed that she had drug paraphernalia scattered around her Dhs5 million family home. Peaches’ father, Sir Bob Geldof, paid tribute to his daughter in a statement, calling her “the wildest, funniest, cleverest, wittiest and most bonkers of us all”. He added: “[Her husband] Tom and sons Astala and Phaedra will always belong in our family, fractured so often, but never broken.” Peaches had spoken about how she had struggled to come to terms with her mother’s death in 2000, adding that she hoped that becoming a mother herself would help her heal the effects of her “troubled” childhood.
7 Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Overdose
Hollywood mourned the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman when he was found dead on the bathroom floor of his New York apartment following an overdose – an inquest into his death found the 46-year-old had consumed a toxic mixture of class-A substances. Gwyneth Paltrow led the tributes to her former co-star, posting a behind-the-scenes picture from the set of the 1998 film The Talented Mr Ripley and writing: “Philip was a true genius.” George Clooney said: “There are no words. It’s just terrible.” Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett were among the stars in attendance at the funeral of the fiercely private actor. Hoffman left behind his partner Mimi O’Donnell and their three children, Willa, Cooper and Tallulah.
6 Gwyneth & Chris’‘Uncoupling’
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announced they were splitting after 10 years of marriage in a bizarre joint statement posted on her Goop website. The star couple used the now-famous phrase “conscious uncoupling” in a much-memed and mocked statement, in which the Iron Man actress and her rocker husband spoke about their wish to stay united for the sake of their two children, Apple, nine, and seven-year-old Moses. “We have always conducted our relationship privately,” Gwyneth, 41, and Chris, 37, wrote, “and we hope that as we consciously uncouple and co-parent, we will be able to continue in the same manner.” They added: “We are, however, and always will be a family, and in many ways we are closer than we have ever been.” While the pair have remained friendly and are often spotted together on family outings, they’ve both since dated other people. Chris briefly saw Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence, while Gwyneth is said to be loved up with Glee co-creator Brad Falchuk.
5 Solange’s Elevator attack on Jay Z
This year’s Met Gala descended into a brawl for one of the world’s most famous families when Solange Knowles went loco on her brother-in-law Jay Z in a scandalous elevator fight. CCTV footage of the attack shows a furious Solange manically kicking and punching the rapper in a frenzied attack as the trio left the style gala at New York’s Standard Hotel. The spat, which ended when a security guard intervened, was apparently sparked because Solange believed Jay was getting “too close” to celeb stylist Rachel Roy. Beyoncé was quick to respond, issuing a joint statement playing down the fight, which read: “The most important thing is that our family has worked through it. Jay and Solange each assume their share of responsibility for what has occurred.”
4 Kanye Attacks a Teenager
Kanye West proved he’s not a man to be messed with when he launched a violent attack on a teen, alleging the youth had hurled racial abuse at his wife Kim back in January. The incident happened after the 18-year-old spotted her outside a furniture store and launched into a wild rant in front of the assembled paparazzi during which he reportedly called Kim an “n***r-lover”. When the reality star called her baby daddy for back-up, witnesses say Kanye roared up in his Lamborghini moments later, tracking the boy down to a nearby chiropractor’s waiting room and reportedly behaving “like a boxer going in for the kill”. A bystander said: “The 18-year-old was sitting in a chair as Kanye made a beeline for him and, without saying a word, started slugging him in the face.” Fortunately for Kanye, no charges were filed and the matter was settled out of court for a reported $250,000 (Dhs918.3k).
3 Kimye Covers Vogue
Kim and Kanye covered the April issue of US Vogue and the controversial choice sent fans of the mag into a tailspin. Famous readers such as Sarah Michelle Gellar joined the outraged subscribers, tweeting: “Well I guess I’m cancelling my Vogue subscription. Who’s with me?” Her boycott was backed by 8,000 retweets and 11,000 favourites, but Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour was clearly prepped for the backlash. In her editor’s letter, she poured scorn on rumours that Kanye forced her hand, writing: “As for the cover, my opinion is that it is both charming and touching, and it was, I should add, entirely our idea to do it. You may have read that Kanye begged me to put his fiancée on Vogue‘s cover. He did nothing of the sort. The gossip might make better reading, but the simple fact of the matter is that it isn’t true.” It seems the decision paid off as the issue was reportedly one of the title’s best-selling of the year.
2 Kim’s Booty Breaks the Internet
She’s never been shy of sharing snaps of her famous booty on Instagram, but Kim Kardashian threatened to “break the internet” when she revealed a cheeky snap from a risqué cover shoot with Paper magazine. Kim shared the two naughty covers, purporting to show the results of her post-baby diet, with her 21 million Instagram followers on 21 November, captioning the revealing snaps with the magazine cover line: “Break the internet.” But the web was already abuzz with memes mocking the pictures after the images exploded onto the web two days earlier. As well as an image of her well-oiled naked posterior, a second cover image showed Kim wearing a cocktail dress shooting bubbly into a glass that was perfectly balanced on her shelf-like derrière. As if the first round of snaps wasn’t enough to set the cyberworld ablaze, the release of a third full-frontal nude shot definitely was. Photographer Jean-Paul Goude claimed the naked pose was all Kim’s idea, saying the reality star’s attitude was: “If we’re gonna do it, let’s really go there.”
1 Robin Williams’ Suicide
The world mourned the loss of one of its greats in August when actor and funnyman Robin Williams was found hanged at the age of 63. The Good Will Hunting star had spoken of his struggles with severe depression and anxiety, while after his death it was revealed he was also battling the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, an illness he’d only discussed with those closest to him. Robin’s wife, Susan Schneider, said she’d been left “utterly heartbroken” by the tragedy and urged fans not to focus on his death but to remember the “joy and laughter he gave to millions”. Fellow comedian Steve Martin led the tributes, calling the Mrs Doubtfire star a “great talent, acting partner and genuine soul”, while Danny DeVito said he was “devastated”, adding: “My heart is broken by this news.” It later emerged that the actor was suffering from a devastating form of dementia known as Lewy bodies, which is linked to Parkinson's and is likely to have disrupted his brain functions.