Celebrities who've been accused of being manipulative

All celebrities are manipulative in one way or another because they're selling something, be it movie tickets, albums, or detox tea. Stars are also selling themselves to a degree, which means they have an image to protect, whether that be through conveniently-timed paparazzi strolls, throwing their rivals under the bus via social media, or leaving shady comments in songs or on social media. However, some stars are much more manipulative than others — allegedly.

Some celebrities have been accused of faking entire romances for publicity (and sometimes only one party involved is informed), and other famous faces have supposedly reneged on private agreements in order to publicly humiliate others. This list even includes a once-little-known actress who's been bashed for allegedly dropping everyone in her life to climb the social ladder and become the Duchess of Sussex. Yep, these celebrities have all been accused of manipulating others, be it friends, lovers, or the media, with varying degrees of success.

Did Bradley Cooper want fans to go gaga over rumors?

If insiders are to be believed, Bradley Cooper wanted an Oscar for A Star Is Born so badly that he was willing to potentially break his co-star's heart (and maybe irk his baby mama) to do it. A source told Page Six that Cooper and Lady Gaga's chemistry was no accident. "Hollywood is buzzing that Gaga fell for Bradley during preproduction and filming, creating the intense emotional energy you see on-screen and at the Oscars … He wanted an authentic love story on-screen." The source claimed Gaga was "vulnerable." A second insider said Cooper was milking his connection with Mother Monster for attention at the 2019 Oscars.

For her part, Gaga was candid about the Oscars performance being staged — by Cooper. "Everything that you saw, the way that it was shot, the way that they pushed the piano out, you saw them put the piano together, and us walk up onstage, no intro. All of that, that was all him," she told Jimmy Kimmel Live, noting that the idea was to be "connected the entire time." She added, "When you're singing love songs, that's what you want people to feel. I'm an artist and I guess we did a good job. Fooled ya!"

In any case, if Cooper really was gunning for an Oscar just for him, maybe his motivations were too … ahem … sha-lolla-shallow to succeed. He was passed over, while Gaga won best original song for "Shallow."

Calvin Harris says Taylor Swift tried to 'bury' him for fun

Taylor Swift has a habit of calling out her exes in her music, but she apparently met her match when she and Calvin Harris broke up in the summer 2016. After the split, it was suddenly revealed that Swift co-wrote Harris' hit, "This Is What You Came For," under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg. After the breakup, TMZ claimed Swift wanted credit, reporting that "her squad is sick of Calvin trashing Taylor and feel he should be thanking her for quietly giving him a smash hit."

Harris then tweeted confirmation that Swift was involved, but he certainly didn't thank her. "I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals," he said (via Us Weekly). He claimed Swift wanted to use the pseudonym. "…Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though. I figure if you're happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do." Harris also referenced Swift's longstanding feud with fellow pop star Katy Perry in a follow-up tweet: "I know you're off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy [Perry] ETC but I'm not that guy, sorry. I won't allow it." He later told British GQ that he regretted lashing out at Swift publicly.

Kimye and Taylor Swift form their own dark triad

Taylor Swift and Kanye West's feud began in 2009, when he interrupted her at the MTV Video Music Awards. Things got real ugly in 2016, when West released "Famous." In that track, he raps: "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b***h famous." Swift's squad swiftly slammed the song, and the singer allegedly shaded it during her acceptance speech for album of the year at the 2016 Grammy Awards. However, West's wife, Kim Kardashian, told GQ that Swift actually gave West permission to use her name in the song. Swift's rep denied that, but then Kardashian released a recording of Swift supposedly approving West's request to rap about her. Swift played semantics, asking, "Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me 'that b***h' in his song? It doesn't exist because it never happened."

Regardless, Kim K Kim K labeled Tay a snake, and then Swift adopted the snake moniker for her Reputation tour and her "Look What You Made Me Do" video. By March 2019, Swift still hadn't let it go and was wearing the drama like a badge of honor. "It would be nice if we could get an apology from people who bully us, but maybe all I'll ever get is the satisfaction of knowing I could survive it, and thrive in spite of it," she wrote in Elle.

Khloe Kardashian slams Jordyn Woods...then takes it back

Tristan Thompson reportedly cheated on Khloé Kardashian a lot throughout their tumultuous relationship, but it wasn't until he cheated on her with Kylie Jenner's BFF, Jordyn Woods, that Kardashian finally kicked her baby's daddy to the curb. Still, Kardashian initially placed the blame squarely on Woods' shoulders, despite it clearly taking two to tango.

After Woods appeared on Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk to share her side of the story, Kardashian tweeted: "Why are you lying @jordynwoods ?? If you're going to try and save yourself by going public, INSTEAD OF CALLING ME PRIVATELY TO APOLOGIZE FIRST, at least be HONEST about your story. BTW, You ARE the reason my family broke up!" However, some reports claim Kardashian and Thompson were largely living separate lives before the cheating scandal even broke. 

Only after Kardashian began receiving backlash, did she soften her stance toward Woods. "I'm a rollercoaster of emotions & have said things I shouldn't have," she tweeted. "Honestly, Tristan cheating on me & humiliating me, wasn't such a shock as the first time. What's been harder & more painful is being hurt by someone so close to me. Someone whom I love & treat like a little sister. But Jordyn is not to be blamed for the breakup of my family. This was Tristan's fault."

Blac Chyna may have won the petty Olympics

While most Kardashians can be accused of being manipulative, it was Blac Chyna who turned the tables on the family who's famous for being famous, allegedly exacting her revenge through Rob Kardashian. Here's how: Blac Chyna was Tyga's ex and baby mama and a close friend of Kim Kardashian. Tyga broke up with Chyna and took up with Kylie Jenner. Chyna rebounded with Rob, and they soon welcomed a daughter named Dream and embarked on their own reality show journey — the ill-fated Rob & Chyna. Their relationship grew toxic, but it seemed to take Rob much longer than the rest of the world to see it.

In the midst of a fight with Chyna in the summer 2017 — a feud rife with revenge porn, cheating allegations, and body-shaming on both sides — Rob had this to say on Instagram (via E! News): "My daughter is the best thing that happened to me and she will know that Chyna did this out of spite not love cuz she mad my little sister took her baby daddy. Thank u… God and my Dad for watching down on me and showing me this."

He wasn't the only man to accuse Chyna of being manipulative. Another one of her exes, R&B artist Pilot Jones, told Us Weekly she outed him as bisexual on social media and bullied him, even after he claims to have landed her a lucrative business deal. "She's a master manipulator," he said.

Nicki Minaj acted more like M. Bison than Chun Li

Remy Ma has exchanged a series of diss tracks with Nicki Minaj through the years, and their beef reportedly extends beyond just insults set to hot beats. Remy told talk show host Wendy Williams that Minaj tried to sabotage her career. "She's been doing this to a lot of females, from Lil' Kim to Mariah [Carey] to Taylor [Swift] … and no one says anything," Remy alleged, noting that she didn't mind the disses, but definitely did not appreciate "the behind the scenes things … trying to keep me off red carpets or trying to make sure awards don't go to me or she's not going to be in attendance, or trying to get people to make bad reports about my album sales or just anything else that I'm doing."

Cardi B has also accused Minaj of similar tactics. After hurling a shoe at Minaj at a New York Fashion Week party in September 2018, Cardi took to Instagram (via People) and fumed, "I've let a lot of s**t slide! I let you sneak diss me, I let you lie on me, I let you attempt to stop my bags, f**k up the way I eat! You've [threatened] other artists in the industry, told them if they work with me you'll stop f**king with them!!" 

How did Minaj respond? With merchandise mocking Cardi's claims.

Drake may be a low-key troll

Drake's sketchy behavior tends to fly under the radar. He's been accused of faking an entire relationship with Jennifer Lopez for press, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. In June 2012, Drizzy and Chris Brown's entourages reportedly got into a bottle-throwing melee at a New York City nightclub, and given Brown's reputation for his temper, many assumed he was at fault. However, a club promoter who was present during the incident told Complex that Brown supposedly sent a bottle of champagne to Drake, who returned it with a vulgar note about Rihanna, with whom they both had off-and-on romances. (Drake also allegedly referenced Brown's ex, Karrueche Tran, in "Live From The Gutter.")

In addition, Drake reportedly feuded with Kanye West for years, though much of it was done quietly until 2018, when West slammed Drake for allegedly stoking false rumors of an affair with Kim Kardashian. Drake rapped about a woman named "Kiki" (Kardashian's nickname) in his hit "In My Feelings." According to Entertainment Weekly, West also unleashed a tweetstorm that called out Drake for dissing Yeezy's sneakers in French Montana's "No Stylist." Let's not forget the time Drake took it upon himself to alter the lyrics on "Know Yourself" during a show in Chicago in order to call West a flop. West even accused Drake of calling to threaten him

For his part, Drake reportedly upped security at his own house because he and Kanye live in the same neighborhood.

Ariana Grande sounds like a catty copycat

When Ariana Grande dropped "7 Rings" in January 2019, multiple rappers, including Soulja Boy and Princess Nokia, accused her of copying their work. She didn't acknowledge them, but she did sort of respond to rapper 2 Chainz, who also noted similarities. He claimed her track's flow mimicked his "Spend It." The hot pink trap house visuals in her "7 Rings" video also look a lot like his own "Door Swangin'" video. Though Grande never publicly admitted any wrongdoing, she opted to feature 2 Chainz on the "7 Rings (Remix)," and she sang the hook on his subsequent song "Run the World."

2 Chainz told Genius that he "built a rapport" with Grande after talking to her about the debacle. "She was more or less saying that, 'Well, yeah, I thought people knew I took it from you,'" he recalled. "And I said, 'Well, how would people know that?"

Grande also may have played her ex-fiancé, Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson. When Davidson poked fun at himself and the breakup in a Saturday Night Live promo in November 2018, Grande tweeted (then deleted): "For somebody who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh. Thank u. Next." An insider told TMZ Grande felt betrayed because she and Davidson supposedly promised to not discuss the split publicly. The next week, she dropped "Thank U, Next" — a song in which she mentions Davidson by name — right before SNL aired.

Meghan Markle could be the queen of social climbers

Meghan Markle was accused of using others as stepping stones before she married Prince Harry and became the Duchess of Sussex. Piers Morgan alleged that he and Markle were friends before she met Prince Harry, but he claims she ghosted him and "social climbed her way out of [his] orbit." Morgan reportedly isn't alone in his gripes about the former actress.

One of Markle's childhood pals, Ninaki Priddy, alleged that Markle ditched her old friends and dropped her first husband, producer Trevor Engelson, after she achieved fame on Suits. "There's Meghan before fame and Meghan after fame," Priddy told Weekend magazine (via the Express). After Markle and Prince Harry announced their engagement, Priddy told the Daily Mail, "It's like she has been planning this all her life. She gets exactly what she wants and Harry has fallen for her play." In a separate story, Priddy alleged that Markle "was calculated — very calculated — in the way she handled people and relationships. She is very strategic in the way she cultivates circles of friends." (Geez, we're going to go out on a limb and suggest that ditching Priddy may have been the best play for the duchess.)

That said, author Andrew Morton described a similar scenario in his book, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. He claimed Markle divorced Engelson because she was "no longer dependent on her husband's connections."