Confessions That Damaged A Celeb's Career

In a world of PR statements written and reviewed by publicists, sometimes it's refreshing to hear celebrities speak freely, even if it lands them in hot water. Oftentimes, their lack of self-awareness sets the stage for them to say off-the-wall statements that are not only shocking and controversial but downright bizarre. Depending on how scandalous the confession is, it can land them in headlines for weeks and force them to bow out of projects

In Hollywood, celebrities who have ruined their career with a scandalous confession usually only have one road toward redemption. Apologize, go on an extended hiatus, and do a sit-down emotional interview with the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Diana Sawyer. Who could forget Lance Armstrong's hour-long interview with Winfrey after confessing to doping? 

Despite moves to repair their image, oftentimes getting their career back on track is easier said than done. Many of these stars had a hard time reaching the A-list status they were once comfortably sitting at. Their infamous unfiltered moment left them with a damaged career and a reputation in limbo. Here are a few confessions that should've stayed in the vault.

John Mayer's TMI in Playboy

John Mayer became famous as the crooning man with a guitar and lyrics about heartbreak and romance. But following a messy interview with Playboy Magazine in 2010, Mayer was left with a reputation as a racist, sexist, and simply not a nice person. In the interview, the singer gave an unfiltered portrait of his personal life and had a lot to say about his sex life — especially with Jessica Simpson. He referred to their relationship in the bedroom as "sexual napalm" and called her a drug to him. 

If that wasn't odd enough, the singer went on to drop the n-word in an answer about his relationship with the Black community. He went on to discuss his dating history with even more racist references. "I don't think I open myself to it," he said when asked about dating Black women. "My d**k is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a f***in' David Duke c**k." With many people like Ice T and Talib Kweli expressing outrage about his racially charged comments, Mayer was forced to apologize and retreat from the public eye. He went on a two-year hiatus from music before returning. As most celebrities do when coming off a controversy, he took a trip to "Ellen" and spoke about how he's changed. "I did some couple of really dumb interviews and then it kind of woke me up," he told Ellen DeGeneres.

Katherine Heigl was too honest about her movie

If you're a star in Hollywood, one lesson you learn quickly is to never badmouth a project you're starring in. In 2008, Katherine Heigl did an interview with Vanity Fair that damaged her career forever. Heigl spoke about the film "Knocked Up" and confessed to hating the movie. "It was a little sexist," she said of the film's writing. "It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days." 

Heigl went on to say how difficult it was to love her character in the film. Her co-star Seth Rogen later admitted to Howard Stern that he felt betrayed hearing her comments. "We were funny together. I was having a really good time, and then when I heard afterward that she didn't like it, that she seemed to not like the process, and she did not like the end product either," he revealed. "I think when that happens — also your trust feels somewhat betrayed." Following her "Knocked Up" comments, Heigl's rising career took a hit. In an interview with The Washington Post, the actress recalled feeling shunned by Hollywood. "I knew that whatever they felt I had done that was so awful, they would overlook it if I made them money — but then my films started to make not quite as much money," she said.

Tila 'Tequila' Nguyen confessed to loving Hitler

If you think of stars who gained popularity on social media, you have to mention Tila "Tequila" Nguyen. After starting on MySpace, she became one the earliest examples of a social media star. She's not new to making headlines but in 2013, she made the news for all the wrong reasons. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nguyen took to her blog and confessed to being a Hitler sympathizer. Her posts were filled with Nazi praise despite insisting she is not anti-semitic. "Hitler was a good man and it takes some f—ing balls for someone to say this out loud this day and age, especially for a public figure like myself..." she wrote.

In the same year, the star posted a photoshopped image of her outside of Auschwitz, per TMZ. Despite these alarming posts, "Celebrity Big Brother was apparently" unaware of her past when they cast her in 2015. Following just one day in the house, Entertainment Tonight announced that producers booted her off the show. "The views Tila had expressed, and permitted to remain uncorrected, are totally unacceptable and, accordingly, her continued involvement in the program was untenable," a spokesperson for the channel said. In a statement to the outlet, Nguyen apologized for her past remarks and claimed it was a terrible mistake. A year later she would be banned from Twitter after posting a photo of her doing the Nazi salute.

Stephen Collins confessed to a crime

After starring in one of the most family-centered shows in the early 2000s, many were shocked to hear Stephen Collins confess to doing the unthinkable. According to People, during a family therapy session in 2012, the "7th Heaven" actor confessed to previously sexually abusing three underage girls. Collins' ex-wife, Faye Grant who could be heard on the tape, was secretly recording the session but denied being behind the leak to the press, per Page Six

After the tape made the tabloids, the LAPD re-launched a 2012 investigation into Collins. Following the shocking confession, Entertainment Tonight confirmed the actor was fired from his role in the upcoming film "Ted 2". He was also dropped from a recurring role in the ABC series "Scandal" per The Hollywood Reporter. Two months after the news broke, Collins released a statement to People about the incident. "Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since," he said. He revealed he apologized to one of his victims but decided it was best to not approach the other victims, in fear of "opening up old wounds". In a sit-down interview with Katie Couric, the actor confessed to his crimes and insisted he was not attracted to underage girls. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Megan Fox was fired for this confession

In 2009, Megan Fox was riding high on the success of the "Transformers" franchise. However, during one interview she confessed her true feelings about director Michael Bay. "He's like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is," she explained. Fox went on to compliment the director, but the comments still rubbed people the wrong way. One person offended by the comments was director Steven Spielberg. Bay revealed that it was he who demanded that Fox be fired from the franchise (via The Guardian). 

Following the backlash, the star took an extended hiatus from films, with many wondering if she was blacklisted. "I was so lost and trying to understand, like, how am I supposed to feel value or find purpose in this horrendous, patriarchal, misogynistic hell that was Hollywood at the time?" Fox said to The Washington Post. "Because I had already been speaking out against it and everyone, including other women, received me in a very negative way for doing it." 

In 2013, she returned to action films with none other than Bay. The two reconciled and reunited for the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" reboot. "I've always loved Michael," she told Entertainment Weekly. "We've had our battles in the past but even when I've been really outspoken about difficulties we've had, I've always followed up by saying that I have a particular affinity to him."

Liam Neeson apologized for this confession

Some of the wildest celebrity confessions come from their lengthy press tours for upcoming projects. The stars are usually bored or ready to dive deep into their method of acting practices. In 2019, while promoting the film "Cold Pursuit," Liam Neeson learned that press junkets are not the place to confess to almost committing a murder. According to The Independent, Neeson recalled a close friend of his being raped and his own pursuit of revenge. "She said it was a black person," he explained. "I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I'd be approached by somebody — I'm ashamed to say that — and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some 'black b*****d' would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him." 

After disclosing this, Neeson expressed remorse for his actions but a media firestorm quickly erupted. Many called his comments racist and were baffled that he confessed to wanting to kill an innocent person. With an upcoming release, Neeson was forced to clear the air. The actor appeared on Good Morning America in an attempt to further explain himself. "I had never felt this feeling before which was a primal urge to lash out," he explained. He later insisted he was not racist and had learned from the experience. "It shocked me and it hurt me ... I did seek help, I went to a priest," he added.

Milli Vanilli's confession ruined their career

Milli Vanilli were a music duo with a scandalous confession. The German R&B duo became popular in the late '80s and even received critical acclaim for their work. They famously won a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1990 but scandal soon followed and they were forced to return the trophy. According to Variety, nine months after their big Grammy win, the group and their manager were forced to confess the secret surrounding their success: Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan were not the voices on their own album. The pair had not sung a single note on their hit records like "Girl You Know It's True," and even were caught lip-syncing during one live performance. 

After confessing and even holding a press conference to discuss the scandal, the two had their Grammy revoked and were shunned by the music industry. "We were afraid for two years that this day would come," Pilatus told the Los Angeles Times at the time. "We've cried about it sometimes, that the secret might come out. But deep inside, we wanted it to happen." After finally confessing, the two were endlessly ridiculed and their careers were never the same. Despite having their own talents, the duo was forever seen as talentless and fraudulent. The duo later released an album with their own vocals, which only sold two thousand copies, per The Guardian. It was a far cry from the seven million copies they sold as Milli Vanilli.

B.o.B confessed to being a flat earther

One of the best features of Twitter is celebrities have the freedom to reveal their deepest thoughts on the most random topics, like the Earth's shape. In 2016, rapper B.o.B. joined the likes of Kyrie Irving when he confessed to believing in the flat earth theory. "A lot of people are turned off by the phrase 'flat earth' ... but there's no way u can see all the evidence and not know... grow up," he tweeted (via The Guardian). The artist even posted pictures of "evidence" and argued with his followers. "Have u been to the edge? Or is that what your science book told you?" he tweeted to one fan. 

During the debate, we're sure B.o.B. didn't expect astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson to join in and shut down his claims. Tyson's tweets debunking his theories would later force the rapper to later make a diss track. "Duude — to be clear: Being five centuries regressed in your reasoning doesn't mean we all can't still like your music," Tyson added, putting the final nail in the flat earth coffin. 

Following that debacle, and many other odd tweets, the rapper stepped away from the spotlight. In an interview with Billboard, he admitted to regretting his response on Twitter. "It definitely gets exhausting with people," he said. "When your inbox goes from girls sending you nudes to people sending you philosophy essays, it definitely takes some of the fun out of a cell phone."

Jude Law confessed to cheating

In 2004, Jude Law was one of the select few heartthrobs on the big screen. He was even named People's Sexist Man Alive. In 2005, the headlines surrounding Law were no longer about his swoon-worthy looks or films. The actor found himself in a cheating scandal that sounded straight out of an episode of your grandmother's favorite soap opera. Law's nanny for his children with ex-wife Sadie Frost did an exclusive interview with Sunday Mirror detailing their hookups. The problem? The actor was engaged to Sienna Miller at the time. According to the nanny, the two had a passionate affair and slept together multiple times. During one hookup the two were caught by one of Law's children. The child later told Frost, who promptly fired the nanny. 

As the affair unraveled in the tabloids, Law came clean. He confessed to the affair in a statement and apologized to Miller (via People). Their relationship fell apart and his career suffered. His complicated personal life began to overshadow his work. His heartthrob status also took a hit with many seeing the actor as a cheater. The actor has worked hard to be known more for his work rather than his scandals and looks. "I just want to be seen doing my work and I'm just a bit tired of being talked about for what I'm wearing, or what I'm not wearing, or what my hairline is doing, or who I've been seen with," he told The Guardian.