Stars Whose Dark Secrets Were Exposed In 2018

Who isn't interested in hearing about stars' dark secrets? Most people must be, as celebrity gossip is a booming business. In 2011, The Week reported that the industry brings in over $3 billion a year. According to CNBC, a celebrity controversy can even spell great news for brand sponsors. For a decent chunk of change, "limo drivers, hairdressers, [and] personal assistants" are all too willing to sell stars' most intimate secrets to the tabloids. These days, entertainers must brace for the possibility — or, increasingly, the inevitability — that their darkest secrets will be exposed to the world, one way or another.

Well, gossip rags certainly weren't hurting for material in 2018. In just one year's time, a former small screen star was connected to a bizarre sex cult, an NCIS icon revealed troubling details about her time on the show, and a famed actress was accused of unspeakable deeds.

From violent domestic spats to long-simmering tensions between actresses, these are darkest celebrity secrets that were unearthed in 2018.

Vanessa Marquez's secret torment

From 1994 to 1997, actress Vanessa Marquez portrayed Nurse Wendy Goldman on the long-running NBC medical drama ER. In 2017, the actress made headlines after firing off a tweet that accused George Clooney of dismantling her career. "Clooney helped blacklist me when I spoke up abt harassment on ER," she wrote (via E! News). "'Women who dont play the game lose career.' I did."

In 2018, Marquez made headlines again for the saddest reason imaginable. The actress was fatally shot at her home by South Pasadena police on Aug. 30, 2018. She was 49 years old. According to The Hollywood Reporter, authorities were performing a welfare check following an "emergency medical call," allegedly made by Marquez's landlord.

Sheriff's Lt. Joe Mendoza told Variety the actress was suffering from "mental problems" and appeared to be "gravely disabled." Roughly an hour and a half into their visit, Marquez aimed what looked like a real gun at police officers, and they fatally shot her on the spot. It was soon discovered that her gun was, in fact, a realistic-looking BB gun.

Speaking to The Daily Beast, acquaintances painted a picture of a woman who'd long been suffering in secret. According to friend Toni McGee, Marquez was "imprisoned by her own illness. She mostly just liked to watch TV. ... Death was at her door so often that she was always thinking about it."

​Actor Marion 'Pooch' Hall's bizarre arrest

On Oct. 3, 2018, Ray Donovan actor Marion "Pooch" Hall was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated as well as "child endangerment," according to People. The star was reportedly spotted "weaving" through traffic, a child visibly sitting in his lap. A witness claimed the child had hands on the steering wheel. According to a spokesperson at the Burbank Police Department, police quickly responded to reports of a traffic accident on North Buena Vista Street that occurred around 7:30 p.m. Hall had allegedly smashed his vehicle into a parked car, but miraculously nobody was reported as injured.

According to the same spokesperson, Hall "displayed obvious signs of alcohol intoxication and was unable to perform standardized field sobriety tests." TMZ reported that the actor "blew a .25," more than three times the legal drinking limit. The spokesperson confirmed the actor's "two-year-old son was riding in the car with him at the time of the collision and was determined to have been riding in the vehicle unrestrained, as required by law."

On Oct. 25, 2018, Hall reportedly pleaded "not guilty" and told the judge he'd entered a 60-day rehabilitation program, according to TMZ. If ultimately convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of six years and six months in prison.

​Jeffrey Tambor verbally harassed co-star Jessica Walter

The problem with most celebrity interviews is that they come off as airless and artificial... but in 2018, one interview distinguished itself by being all too real. In May 2018, a New York Times roundtable discussion with the Arrested Development cast flew off the rails. Most of the ensemble was present, including Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, and Tony Hale. From the get-go, the mood was understandably tense: As season five of Arrested Development was wrapping production, Tambor was being accused of sexual harassment by an actress and former assistant on Transparent, the Amazon show that ultimately ousted him.

The actor's on-set behavior was broached during the NYT interview. Though Walter had previously kept her feelings private on the matter, she abruptly opened up about Tambor harassing her on set — an incident Tambor briefly acknowledged in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter earlier that month. Walter tearfully claimed Tambor "never crossed the line on our show, with any, you know, sexual whatever." She added, "Verbally, yes, he harassed me, but he did apologize."

She said she was learning to "let go" so that they could "be friends again," but claimed, "60 years of working, I've never had anybody yell at me like that on a set. And it's hard to deal with, but I'm over it now." 

When Hale tried softening the blow by saying, "We've all had moments," Walter tellingly countered, "But not like that. ... That was bad."

​The feud between Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker

For years, former Sex and the City stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall have been dogged by rumors that bad blood flowed freely between them. Parker, at least, often did her best to downplay those tales. In a 2016 Howard Stern interview, she claimed, "It used to really confound me and really upset me because we were part of a family of 'Sopranos' and nobody ever questioned the relationships of the men on that show" (via CNN).

As Us Weekly previously reported, Parker offered her sympathies to Cattrall shortly after her brother Christopher was found dead at his home in February 2018. Parker wrote on Instagram, "Dearest Kim, my love and condolences to you and yours and Godspeed to your beloved brother." Cattrall fired back with an Instagram message of her own: "I don't need your love or support at this tragic time @sarahjessicaparker." In the same message, she sniped, "Let me make this VERY clear. ... You are not my family. You are not my friend. ... Stop exploiting our tragedy in order to restore your 'nice girl' persona."

Parker never directly responded to that particular message, but in an interview with People in February 2018, she did open up about some disparaging comments Cattrall made in a 2017 Piers Morgan interview, in which Cattrall had said, "I think [Parker] could have been nicer."

"There was no fight," Parker asserted. "It was completely fabricated, because I actually never responded."

Pauley Perrette implied there were 'multiple assaults' at work

After portraying forensic scientist Abigail "Abby" Sciuto for 352 episodes on CBS's long-running crime procedural NCIS, actress Pauley Perrette announced in October 2017 that she was leaving the show. At first, it looked like a straightforward goodbye, with the network releasing a statement that called Perrette "a valued member of both NCIS and the CBS Family" (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

But not so fast. In May 2018, Perrette fired off some disturbing tweets that suggested something far more sinister had informed her decision to leave. "There is a 'machine' keeping me silent," she wrote, adding, "He did it." The tweets got even more unsettling as Perrette wrote, "Maybe I'm wrong for not 'spilling the beans.' ... I'm trying to do the right thing, but maybe silence isn't the right thing about crime. I'm... Just... ?"

Another tweet was even more damning, as it bluntly implied she hadn't felt "safe" at work. "I've been supporting anti-bullying programs forever," she wrote. "But now I KNOW because it was ME! If it's school or work, that you're required to go to? It's horrifying. I left. Multiple Physical Assaults. I REALLY get it now."

As Entertainment Tonight reported, CBS responded to Perrette's claims with a boilerplate statement that acknowledged there'd been a "workplace concern." A spokesperson said the network "took the matter seriously and worked with her to find a resolution," noting, "We are committed to a safe work environment on all our shows."

​Allison Mack's sex cult controversy

On April 20, 2018, former Smallville star Allison Mack was arrested in Brooklyn, N.Y. on federal charges of "sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy," according to Deadline. The indictment alleged the actress was heavily involved in a cult called NXIVM (pronounced "Nexium"). In a statement, United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue claimed Mack "recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group. ... The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants' benefit" (per The Hollywood Reporter). 

The bizarre sex cult — allegedly co-founded in 1998 by a man named Keith Raniere (a.k.a. "Vanguard") — was reportedly a "pyramid scheme," and Mack allegedly played a pivotal role in converting female members into "slaves." According to the New York Post, Mack's former Smallville co-star Kristin Kreuk introduced Mack to the cult, but she insisted she never had anything to do with the organization's unseemly practices, which allegedly included ritual branding. "The accusations... that I recruited women as 'sex slaves' are blatantly false," Kreuk wrote on Twitter in March 2018. 

According to assistant U.S. attorney Moira Penza, Mack "starved women until they fit [Raniere's] sexual feminine ideal," all under the pretense "of female empowerment" (via The Cut). If jurors are convinced that Mack knowingly lured women into this alleged cult to become "slaves," the punishment will likely be severe. In April 2018, Variety reported she could get 15 years to life in prison if convicted.

​Tommy Lee's broken relationship with son Brandon

On the evening of March 5, 2018, police pulled up to the California home of Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in order to investigate "an incident," according to People"My fiancée and I were in bed when my son busted into the room and assaulted me," Tommy tweeted the following afternoon. People claimed the altercation had left him with a bloodied lip, and he needed to be "transported" over to a hospital that night to have his injuries treated.

On March 7, 21-year-old Brandon Lee — one of two children Tommy fathered with ex-wife Pamela Anderson — wrote a statement to People that claimed his father's "alcoholism" was at the root of the unpleasant skirmish. He insisted he'd "worked tirelessly organizing an intervention and it's incredibly upsetting that it never came to fruition." Brandon added that he had wanted his "dad's hopeful sobriety" to remain "a private family matter," but felt compelled to "speak out" because of Tommy's "accusations on social media."

Apparently, Tommy wasn't about to take any of this lying down. Mere hours after the People article was published, Tommy fired off a tweet to share his side of the story. "I'm happier than I've been in my entire life," he wrote, adding that he only enjoyed a couple of drinks every now and again because he's "retired." He also strongly contested Brandon's statement to People: "You didn't arrange any intervention. ... Just coverin ur a**!!"

Meghan Markle: Secret author of dishy Hollywood blog?

Meghan Markle's half-sister reportedly called her a "social climber" with a "soft spot for gingers." And she's allegedly not just Prince Harry's wife — she's also his distant cousin, according to Elle. But of all the supposed secrets we learned about Markle in the year she married Harry, we have one very clear favorite: The Daily Mail is 100 percent convinced that Markle was formerly the secret author of a very naughty industry blog.

The Working Actress was an anonymously written online diary that materialized back in January 2010 and abruptly called it a day in the summer of 2012. Its dishy posts chronicled the trials and travails of a "hustling" young actress as she navigated the cutthroat world of Hollywood. (Sample line: "I'm not gonna lie, I've spent many days curled up in bed with a loaf of bread and some wine. A one-woman pity party.")

In February 2018, the Daily Mail claimed they could officially "unmask" the blog's author, thanks to tips from "impeccable sources in California." The tabloid ladled on the drama pretty damn thick, writing, "Step forward, out of the shadows, Meghan Markle." Meanwhile, an actor named Lance Carter eagerly told the Daily Mail, "Yeah, it was definitely Meghan who wrote it." 

Time certainly seemed convinced. Taking a page from Andrew Morton's biography, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, the magazine included The Working Actress in a list of the royal's former jobs. For what it's worth, we're sold.

Heather Locklear's violent acts

On Feb. 25, 2018, former Melrose Place star Heather Locklear was reportedly arrested in her California home on "suspicion of felony domestic violence," according to USA Today. Authorities allegedly arrived at the house in response to a report of a domestic disturbance. The Daily Beast claimed it was Locklear's brother who made the call after visiting his sister's house and finding Locklear and her boyfriend having a dispute. He reportedly noticed a "visible mark" on the unnamed man.

According to Capt. Garo Kuredjian, a spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, there was "visible evidence that Locklear had battered her boyfriend." The actress reportedly proved unreasonable and highly difficult to deal with. Kuredjian told the Associated Press that "she was kicking at and pushing our deputies" (via USA Today). As TMZ reported at the time, the "intoxicated" actress allegedly told officers, "If you ever come back to my house I will shoot you." This reportedly led officers to search the premises for a gun Locklear had registered to her name in 1985, but they didn't find it.

USA Today reports Locklear was arrested, cleared at a nearby hospital, and ushered to Ventura County jail. According to Peoplethe actress was released less than 12 hours later. Page Six reported that Locklear was hospitalized later that day after suffering a suspected overdose. Promisingly, People later reported in September 2018 that Locklear was "doing really well" and was spending her 57th birthday in rehab.

Thomas Ravenel's alleged despicable behavior

Prior to 2018, Thomas Ravenel wasn't exactly a stranger to scandal. According to People, the former Southern Charm star was indicted in 2007 on "federal cocaine distribution charges." Since then, the politician has taken great strides to cement his "playboy" reputation, even parodying himself in an unaired 2015 political ad that found him "raising the roof" at an inadvisable dance party.

Some extremely unpleasant allegations against Ravenel came to light in 2018. In May, real estate agent Ashley Perkins told People that Ravenel had sexually assaulted her mother, Debbie Holloway Perkins. Ashley claimed they'd met on Tinder and that the alleged incident occurred on their very first date. As if that weren't already troubling enough, Ashley said Ravenel went to great lengths to cover up the scandal by reportedly silencing Debbie with a mountain of money. "They ended up settling for $200,000," Ashley stated, alleging that a signed "non-disclosure agreement" forbids Debbie from speaking out about the incident. Ravenel denied these accusations via his lawyer.

Then, in September 2018, Ravenel was arrested and "charged with assault and battery in the second degree," according to People. The arrest followed an investigation into another accusation from Dawn, a former nanny to Ravenel's children. The incident reportedly occurred in January 2015. "I feel relief," Dawn told Live 5 News (via People), "but I'm not 100-percent satisfied because he was charged with assault and battery and the crime extended beyond that."

​Asia Argento's reported secret settlement

On Aug. 19, 2018, The New York Times published a damning report about movie star Asia Argento, exposing an alleged dark secret. The piece claimed the #MeToo activist had covertly agreed to pay actor Jimmy Bennett $380,000 after he'd accused her of sexual assault. Bennett claimed to suffer from "emotional problems" after an alleged encounter with Argento in a California Ritz-Carlton hotel room. He claimed that, on May 9, 2013, Argento fed him alcohol and performed oral sex on him, and then they'd allegedly had intercourse. At the time, Argento would've been 37 and Bennett 17.

Two days later, journalist Yashar Ali shared a statement by Argento in which she vehemently denied those claims, insisting she was "deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false." She assured the public that she'd "never had any sexual relationship with Bennett." The next day, TMZ published allegedly leaked texts that appeared to contradict those statements. "The horny kid jumped me," read one text, reportedly written by Argento. Another text published on the site read, "I had sex with him. ... I didn't know he was a minor until the shakedown letter." A third text read, "It wasn't raped [sic] but I was frozen. ... He told me I had been his sexual fantasy since [he] was 12."

By Sept. 5, 2018, USA Today reported that Argento's story had changed. She claimed, via her new lawyer Mark Jay Heller, that Bennett had "'sexually attacked' her."