2010: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
Since the ball last dropped in Times Square, we’ve come to expect the unexpected, as the decade kicked off with some of the most sensational, scintillating celebrity stories we’ve seen in awhile.
Busted relationships? There were a few of those to go around — and we’re not talking Conan and the Peacock.
Couples to call it quits in loud, if not scandalous fashion, included Mel and Oksana, Eva and Tony, Sandra and Jesse and Elin and Tiger. Just to name a few.
Lady Gaga continued her reign atop the music world, while Canadian teen sensation Justin Bieber was a one-man boy band-esque sensation.
Kim Kardashian dated her way through the wide world of sports, hooking up with NFL’s Reggie Bush and Miles Austin, then NBA star Kris Humphries.
Sadly, we lost some very talented folks as well in the past year, as the world will miss Dennis Hopper, Tony Curtis, Gary Coleman, Elizabeth Edwards and Lena Horne, to name a few.
As we toast 2010, kick back, relax and enjoy this stroll down memory lane of the year that was — 2010.
Mel Gibson won’t soon forget 2010, the year his career crumbled faster than a three-day old cake. Finally getting back over the hump of his 2006 anti-Semitic rant, Gibson’s breakup with ex Oksana Grigorieva was amplified by a series of tapes exclusive to RadarOnline.com. On the now famous recordings, Mel admits hitting Grigorieva, uses racial slurs, and makes death threats such as “I’ll put you in a f **kin rose garden you c**t! You understand that? Because I’m capable of it. You understand that?”
In the fallout from his multiple affairs being exposed to the public, Tiger Woods made his share of mea culpas, but none enough to save his marriage. Wife Elin Nordegren, humiliated publicly, divorced the golfer, getting $110 million and the lion’s share of custody of their children, Sam and Charlie. Elin told People in her interview this summer her “immediate plan is for the kids and me to continue to adjust to our new situation.”
Disney diva Demi Lovato had her fair share of troubles in 2010, dropping off her international concert tour to enter rehab for “emotional and physical issues.” Troubles for the Camp Rock star reportedly hit their boiling point after Lovato had a run-in with her backup dancer Alex Welch, who is now threatening to sue. Welch’s lawyer, Donald Karpel, told us his camp will be “seeking punitive damages for assault, battery and for mental stress” after Lovato reportedly left the dancer with a black eye and multiple bruises.
Lindsay Lohan had quite an adventurous 2010, as the red-headed pop culture phenom was booked on separate occasions for violating probation in her 2007 DUI case. After a stint behind bars, Lohan was sentenced to stay in rehab facility through the New Year. She’s slated to return to court in February.
Charlie Sheen lived up to his bad boy rep in October, when the TV star trashed his room at New York’s Plaza Hotel, as police said they found the actor drunk and naked after responding to reports an “emotionally disturbed individual” was causing a disturbance in the legendary establishment. The Hot Shots! star had reportedly thrown tables and chairs around the room and wrecked a chandelier before police responded to the call. The 45-year-old actor, who admitted to authorities he’d been “out partying,” had been out with a prostitute, according to one of our sources, who told us Sheen accused the prostitute of stealing his wallet, triggering the expensive tantrum. “Charlie was back to being Charlie and had a hooker,” our source said. “The prostitute says Charlie was using cocaine … she said after he did the coke, he flipped out, couldn’t find his wallet and accused her of stealing it.”
In the wake of the bombshell announcement that Courteney Cox and David Arquette were splitting up, the quirky actor called into Howard Stern‘s Sirius radio show for a tell-all interview in which he told the Private Parts author he’d bedded another woman (bartender Jasmine Waltz). Arquette told Stern, “I did have sex with her one time, maybe twice … my sexual encounter made me pretty feel manly.” He told Stern he wasn’t sure if Waltz had sold the story to the tabloids, but said it was irrelevant.
In the wake of Jesse James‘ multiple affairs on Oscar-winning wife Sandra Bullock, tattooed stripper Michelle “Bombshell” McGee enjoyed her 15 minutes of tabloid notoriety, mainly for her admiration for Nazi lore, be it her swastika tattoo or a picture that surfaced online showing her refrigerator with the phrase “White Power” spelled out on it in magnets. McGee would go on to tell Howard Stern she doesn’t hate Jews, and embraces certain delicacies of the culture, such as lox and gefilte fish. A weepy James took to the ABC airwaves for a tell-all interview where he claimed he was an abused child, and said he still loves Bullock, but it wasn’t enough to salvage the marriage.
After Sandra Bullock‘s Oscar triumph was upended by revelations of her husband Jesse James’ serial cheating, The Blind Side star took a few months out of the limelight before emerging stronger than ever, both in her career and personal life. She made her presence known in the show biz world by kissing Scarlett Johansson (whose own marriage would crumble by year’s end) at June’s MTV Awards, saying, “Let’s get back to normal.” After the split, Bullock finalized the adoption of an adorable New Orleans tot, Louis Bardot, and moved into a posh home in The Big Easy.
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore remained atop the Hollywood couple chain at year’s end, amazing as their marriage had been plagued by rumors of infidelity on the Punk’d star’s end. Kutcher’s alleged mistress, Brittney Jones, 21, has been shopping herself to adult entertainment studios in hopes of cashing in on her new-found notoriety.
Eva Longoria And Tony Parker Split
Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria Parker and San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker called it quits in 2010, after rumors sprouted Parker had an inappropriate relationship with the wife of his ex-teammate Brent Barry, Erin Barry. The couple, who married in 2007, first got together after they were introduced following a Spurs game in 2004.
Ex Pulls Plug On Gary Coleman
Gary Coleman‘s ex-wife Shannon Price decided to pull the plug on her the former child star after he fell in his Utah home and began bleeding profusely and foaming at the mouth. On May 28, two days after he fell into a coma as result of a brain hemorrhage after his fall, Price pulled the plug, and Coleman died at 42. He was subsequently cremated. The actor’s death marked another sad chapter for the Diff’rent Strokes cast, as Todd Bridges’ Hollywood hopes have been all but dashed by drug-related incidents, while Dana Plato committed suicide via pill overdose in 1999.
Poison singer Bret Michaels fell ill following an April 21 hemorrhage (bleeding at the base of his brain stem) that left him in the hospital for two weeks. Michaels said as he faced the real possibility of dying, “I begged [my doctor], I said, ‘Please don’t let me go out in that gown — Give me a cape, bandanna, anything! — I want to go out with the boots on and guns blazing!'”
Michael Douglas’ Sad Cancer Battle
Michael Douglas waged a courageous fight against Stage IV throat cancer in 2010, as he completed an eight-week regimen of radiation and chemotherapy to eliminate the deadly growth. The Fatal Attraction star said his doctors gave him an 80 percent chance of recovery at the onset of treatment. “I’m not dealing with mortality issues until they tell me, ‘Oops, we have to go back and do surgery’ or something like that,” the Wall Street star told USA today in September. “The tumor is shrinking. The odds are good.”
Casey Johnson Overdose Death
Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson was just 30 when authorities discovered her lifeless body in her West Hollywood home, as she died from Diabetic Ketoacidosis as a result of neglecting to take her insulin shots and other medicines she needed to live. Johnson was romantically tied to Hollywood socialite Courteney Semel and reality TV diva Tila Tequila.
Corey Haim, the star of 80s hits such as Lucas, The Lost Boys and License To Drive, died at the age of 38 on March 10. Haim, who battled drug issues, had an enlarged heart and water in his lungs. He was living with his cancer-stricken mother in Burbank at his time of death, and died virtually penniless. Said his best friend, Corey Feldman: “He was his own enemy. I mean, look, a lot of people that are artists tend to be their own worst enemy because we’re passionate people.”
Prince William Puts A Ring On It
Prince William and Kate Middleton, an item for almost a decade since meeting as students at Scotland’s St. Andrew’s University back in 2001, announced their engagement. The couple is slated to get married April 29, 2011 at the historic English church, Westminster Abbey.
It was a tough year for former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, who admitted in a North Carolina court she’d aborted the child of a man she’d been romantically involved (Antwaun Cook) after finding out he was married (she said she thought they were separated). Barrino, who attempted suicide August 10 as news of the affair went public, later said she “was just overloaded, for six years I’ve been carrying so much.”
Chris Brown threw a Hail Mary to try and save his spiraling career, as the convicted woman beater broke into tears at this summer’s BET Awards while performing a tribute to the late Michael Jackson. Rumors in the wake of the memorable performance sprouted that Brown had been using fake tears to trigger the emotional outburst, which he claimed to have had because Jackson was an idol of his growing up.
Miley’s Big Bong Hit
Miley Cyrus in December was recorded by a friend smoking salvia — an herb said to have hallucinogenic qualities (that’s legal in California) — out of a water pipe. “I’m having a little bit of a bad trip,” a loopy Cyrus says in the video. “Is that a Liam look-alike — is that my boyfriend? Is that me tripping? Does that look like Liam at all? I want more of that s—.”
Marie Osmond Suicide Heartache
Marie Osmond‘s son Michael Bryan (Michael Blosil) jumped from the eighth floor of a Los Angeles building to his death February 26, leaving a suicide note behind. Bryan said in the note that he wanted to finally be at peace, according to his best friend Ruthann Clawson. “He wanted me to tell his family that he loves them, that he loves each and every one of them, because he was scared to do it himself,” she told ET.
Survivor producer Bruce Beresford-Redman stands accused of killing his wife Monica at a Cancun resort in the spring of 2010, and is might be extradited to Mexico, where he faces an aggravated homicide charge in connection with the slaying. Bruce, Monica and their young children had been staying at the Moon Palace resort in Cancun, when Monica, 41, was reported missing after not returning from a shopping trip. Her body was found in a sewer at the resort April 8, and authorities said there were signs of asphyxiation and major damage to her right temple. He’d been reportedly having an affair with Joy Pierce, who also works in the entertainment industry.
Clueless’ actress Brittany Murphy Dies After Collapsing In Shower; Death Ruled Natural
Actress Brittany Murphy was found dead December 20 at 32, as coroner officials said her cause of death was a natural one, the result of acute pneumonia. Authorities also cited severe anemia and drug intoxication as contributing factors in the death of the pretty actress, who starred in films such as Clueless and 8 Mile.
Simon Monjack, the 40-year-old widower of Brittany Murphy, was found dead in the master bedroom of the couple’s Hollywood Hills home on the night of Sunday, May 23. His last interview was given May 13 to RadarOnline.com. At that time, the grief-stricken widower showed off the gravestone he picked out for Murphy while remembering his beloved wife, who he’d eventually be buried alongside at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles. “I think it’s time for everybody to realize,” Monjack said, “that Brittany was just an incredibly happy, precious angel that lives on through her fans and in our hearts.” His cause of death was, like Murphy’s, ruled as the result of acute pneumonia and severe anemia.
2010 was an eventful year for Randy and Evi Quaid, the oddball celeb couple whose frequent brushes with the law — and blow-offs of the court — made for plenty of police blotter and tabloid fodder. In an interview with Good Morning America from Vancouver — where they were laying low — they said they feared they’d be killed, if they returned to LA, by “Hollywood star whackers” for financial gain. Evi said those targeting she and her husband include an estate planner, an accountant and the mafia, all working in force to “take the money” they’ve accumulated in their careers. “We are refugees — I mean that’s essentially what it is — Hollywood refugees, seeking to be left alone by the criminals,” Evi said. “I genuinely feel like these people are trying to kill us.”
Oprah Winfrey denied the longtime rumors she’s been in a same sex relationship with her close friend Gayle King, in a December interview with another TV icon, Barbara Walters. Asked by Walters about her relationship with King, Winfrey said, “I have said, ‘We are not gay’ enough times … I’m not lesbian, I’m not even kinda lesbian.” She said the rumors irritate her “because somebody must think I’m lying, number one; number two is, why would I deny it? That is not the way I run my life.”
True Blood‘s Anna Paquin, in the spring of 2010, revealed she’s bisexual in a public service announcement for True Colors, an advocacy group for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community. Her husband, Stephen Moyer, told Playboy Magazine that Paquin’s sexuality “wasn’t something that was kept from me. I condone what she has done 100 percent, and it’s her business to talk about it, not mine. It doesn’t change anything — I’m proud of who she is.”
The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson said she was drunk and “not in her right place” when caught on tape accepting $40,000 from an undercover reporter in exchange for business access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew this past May. In the video taken by a reporter from the UK tabloid News of the World, Ferguson reportedly accepted the money in exchange for access to the British business ambassador with the promise she “can open any door you want.” Scotland Yard said Ferguson had done nothing illegal.
NFL legend Brett Favre had a bad year on- and off- the field, as the veteran signal caller was embroiled in a scandal after the married jock reportedly sent cell phone pictures of his genitalia to ex-New York Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger in 2008, when he was on the team. Favre’s career looks to be ending with a whimper after an awful, injury-plagued season with the Minnesota Vikings.
A huge controversy erupted over a Sesame Street skit involving Elmo and Katy Perry, which resulted in the show’s producers not airing the clip after complaints about the pop star’s low-cut dress poured in, upon a preview being uploaded to YouTube. The show’s executive producer Carol Lynn Parente said the decision ultimately came down to the show’s long-standing interactive communication with parents. Said Katy’s hubby Russell Brand: “Sesame Street will NOT be brought to you by the number 34 or the letter D.”
Former TV hunk Jeremy London claimed he was kidnapped by “two black guys” and forced to do drugs at gunpoint June 10, as he said he was held at gunpoint by a pair of Samaritans-turned-sinners after they helped him out with a busted tire. London said he was forced in the backseat at gunpoint by the men, who popped pills and smoked contraband, while forcing him to do the same.
Dutch playboy Joran van der Sloot was accused of killing another young woman, five years to the day of the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba. Van der Sloot is currently being held in a Peruvian prison, accused of killing college student Stephany Flores in his hotel room on May 30.
Sexy redhead Anna Chapman was one of the Russian spies arrested in New York City June 27 and deported back to Russia July 8. Chapman and the other nine spies were given a heroic welcome upon their return to their home country.
John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston welcomed son Benjamin, who weighed in at birth at a healthy 8 lbs., 3 oz. The sexy Saturday Night Fever star was also dogged by ongoing rumors he’s in the closet. Said Carrie Fisher: “My feeling about John has always been that we know [he's gay] and we don’t care. Look, I’m sorry that he’s uncomfortable with it, and that’s all I can say. It only draws more attention to it when you make that kind of legal fuss. Just leave it be.”
An October discussion with right-wing controversy magnet Bill O’ Reilly over Park5, the Mosque-Muslim community center near Ground Zero, infuriated The View‘s Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg to such an extent they walked off their own show. O’Reilly said Park5 was inappropriate, adding he personally opposed it “because Muslims killed us on 9/11.” Goldberg cursed while Behar said, “I don’t want to sit here now,” and the pair abruptly exited the stage.
The Tonight Show chair prompted one of the year’s biggest show biz stories, as NBC in January looked to replace Conan O’Brien with the man he’d replaced less than a year before, Jay Leno. Despite a groundswell of support from fans hoping to save Conan’s job, NBC wound up giving him $45 million to leave, paving the way for Leno to return. After touring the country in the months following his leaving NBC, Conan’s back with a new, self-titled TBS talk show.
John Mayer’s Loose Lips
John Mayer nearly launched his career into Michael Richards territory when he gave a controversial interview with Playboy in which he freely threw around the N-word. “Someone asked me the other day, ‘What does it feel like now to have a hood pass?'” Mayer said. “And by the way, it’s sort of a contradiction in terms, because if you really had a hood pass, you could call it a n—– pass.” When asked if black women throw themselves at him, he said his “d— is sort of like a white supremacist. I’ve got a Benetton heart and a f——‘ David Duke c—. I’m going to start dating separately from my d—.” Mayer cleaned up the controversy quickly, apologizing about the comments during a February concert.
A Super Bowl ad, a top-rated Saturday Night Live gig and a new show called Hot In Cleveland — 2010 was been arguably the best year of 88-year-old Betty White‘s career. On a sad note, Betty’s Golden Girls co-star Rue McLanahan died at 76 in June after suffering a massive stroke.
Simon Cowell Quits Idol, Plans World Domination
American Idol judge Simon Cowell left the top-rated Fox show this past May to begin work on his own singing contest next year, an American version of his British show, The X Factor. On it, he’ll serve as both executive producer, as well as a judge. American Idol, in turn, bought in two big name celebs — Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez — to try and fill the void left by the surly British mogul.
American Idol’s Judge Shake Up
American Idol’s panel of judges got quite the makeover in 2010, as Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler were inked by Fox in the wake of some huge changes to the country’s favorite talent competition: Paula Abdul left following the end of the show’s 2009 season, while Simon Cowell left after the 2010 season finale. Ellen DeGeneres abruptly quit after just a year, saying she wasn’t a good fit for the show. Only Randy Jackson remains on the panel.
E! talk show host/Jennifer Aniston crony Chelsea Handler called Angelina Jolie a “c—” and a “b—-” during a raucous stand-up performance in December. “I hate her too, I hate that b—-,” Handler said of Jolie. “She’s a homewrecker, she is. [Jolie] gives interviews [and says,] ‘I don’t have a lot of female friends.’ That’s because you’re a f—ing c—, that’s why!” Jolie wasn’t the only A-lister to get throttled by a media pundit, as Bill O’Reilly called Aniston “destructive” after the Friends star said she didn’t think women need men around to properly rear their kids.
For all of the celeb break-ups this year, there were plenty of “I do’s,” as well. Carrie Underwood looked amazing on her wedding day, as she tied the knot to Ottawa Senators hockey star Mike Fisher in July. Other celebs who tied the knot in 2010 included: Vince Vaughn and Kyla Weber; Molly Malaney and Jason Mesnick; Harrison Ford and Callista Flockheart; Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mevinksy; Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen; Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy; and Russell Brand and Katy Perry, to name a few.