Celebs Who Have Gotten Randomly Attacked

Celebrities are regular people who are often celebrated for their remarkable abilities. Whether they're a fantastic actor, an amazing singer, a politician, or something else entirely, the people we collectively celebrate make up a minority of impressive individuals many people adore. Unfortunately, when someone becomes a celebrity, there are plenty of people who despise them along with their throng of fans, and sometimes, these fans can become violent.

Of course, celebrities have faced random attacks from people who want nothing more than to become famous by doing something awful. Still, in many cases, a celebrity faces a random attack when someone who doesn't like them happens to walk by and takes advantage of the situation. Whatever the reason, celebrities are often subjected to more random violence than the rest of us, and this applies to celebs from various fields.

Actors, singers, and other artists have all been randomly attacked and lived to tell the tale. Some attacks are brutal and cause serious damage, while others are minor and do little more than land the assailant behind bars. Whatever the severity, each of these celebrities faced a random attack when they least expected it.

Bill Gates took some pies to the face in Belgium

Bill Gates is one of the world's wealthiest people, and he has spent much of his money contributing to a variety of charitable causes via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has also generated many enemies through his business practices throughout the 1980s and '90s. This was proven true when Gates arrived in Brussels, Belgium, during a visit with Belgian government and business leaders in February 1998.

Shortly after stepping out of his car, Gates smiled and greeted onlookers as he made his way into the building. Before he could do this, he passed by a column concealing an attacker! Fortunately, the assault landed more on the side of silly than threatening because as soon as Gates cleared the column, he got slammed in the face by a cream pie. Brussels investigators found that five pie-carrying people were waiting for Gates, and two of them had even barely missed pelting the CEO with their pies.

Gates wasn't hurt and didn't press charges against his assailants, who likely carried out the attack to make a bit of money, with several TV networks offering up to $4,000 for pictures of the attack. Belgian police arrested a man and woman connected to the attack but released them soon after.

Steve Buscemi has been attacked multiple times

Steve Buscemi has lived a fascinating life, starting out as a New York City firefighter before breaking through in the movie industry. Before long, he became a collaborator of director Quentin Tarantino and starred in series like "Boardwalk Empire," which brought him numerous accolades, including a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. Outside of his professional work, Buscemi has found himself the target of not one but two random attacks.

In 2001, Buscemi was with fellow actor Vince Vaughn in a bar in Wilmington, North Carolina, when two men picked a fight with them. The fight occurred outside, where Buscemi was stabbed above his eye, jaw, throat, and arm. The wounds thankfully weren't severe, and he was treated and released from the local hospital. That was a severe occurrence, but it wasn't the last time Buscemi landed in trouble with a random attack.

In May 2024, Buscemi was walking in New York City when a random attacker walked up and punched him in the face. The attacker got away, and Buscemi's injuries were superficial, so he was treated and released from Bellevue Hospital. The NYPD later identified Buscemi's assailant as 50-year-old Clifton Williams, though no motive for the random attack has been released to the public.

Benedict Cumberbatch survived a kidnapping

These days, Benedict Cumberbatch is a worldwide star, having played everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Doctor Strange. In the early aughts, he was still making a name for himself, he and several of his acting pals working on the 2005 TV series, "To the Ends of the Earth," were driving in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, when they had a tire blowout, requiring a stop to fix it.

While working on the car, six armed men popped up and yelled, "Look down! Look down! Put your hands on your heads! Look at the floor!" They frisked the actors, looking for money, drugs, and weapons. After finding nothing of value, they kidnapped the actors, bound their limbs, and left Cumberbatch on the ground, leading him and his friends to assume they were about to be executed.

Fortunately, that didn't happen, and inexplicably, the kidnappers let them run free. In recounting his story to The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, Cumberbatch said of the kidnapping incident, "It really, really enriches your values in life. It's incredibly important." Cumberbatch came away from the experience loving life, and thankfully, his life and career only improved following the assault.

Leona Lewis was punched in the face at a book signing

Leona Lewis' career has seen her go from winning "The X Factor" in 2006 to launching her recording career soon after. She has also dabbled in acting, modeling, and wrote her autobiography, "Dreams," in 2009. In October of that year, Lewis attended a book signing in London when a man approached her, but he wasn't keen on getting Lewis' autograph.

The man, named Peter Kowalczyk, walked up to Lewis and punched her in the face. Lewis sustained minor injuries and canceled a scheduled visit to Germany. Lewis pulled away from the public for a short time but later emerged and got on with her life, having sought medical attention from a private doctor. Kowalczyk was arrested shortly after the assault, and London police charged him with assault under the Mental Health Act, temporarily confining him at a mental health facility for evaluation.

Evidently, Kowalczyk had previously attempted to become a contestant on "The X Factor," but according to his father, Tomasz, he didn't get through the audition process. Lewis' success on the program and her work as a guest judge may have incensed Kowalczyk, leading him to randomly assault Lewis. The day after the incident, Lewis issued a statement (via Today): "Yesterday was a horrible shock and left me extremely hurt and upset."

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Brad Pitt was lunged at during the Maleficent premiere

Brad Pitt is probably one of the best-known actors in the world, and he has built a career on his inimitable talent and, let's be honest, his incredibly handsome features as a two-time People's Sexiest Man Alive. While he has promoted many of his own movies, he was randomly assaulted while supporting his now ex-wife and then-fiancée, Angelina Jolie, during the premiere of "Maleficent" in 2014.

After Pitt and Jolie walked the red carpet, out of nowhere, a man rushed the actor by jumping the crowd control barriers outside the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The assailant lunged and grabbed at Pitt, breaking his glasses. The man, Vitalii Sediuk, a Ukrainian TV reporter, was arrested and fired after the incident, which wasn't the first or last time Sediuk did something similar.

Sediuk has a history of assaulting celebrities at red carpet events, having kissed Will Smith, earning him a slap, and he also jumped under America Ferrera's dress at a Cannes red carpet event. He also crashed Adele's Grammy acceptance speech and caused all sorts of commotion in various celebrity hot spots around the world. Pitt wasn't harmed by the assault, but Sediuk lost his job, earned a restraining order, and a great deal of infamy.

Gigi Hadid was grabbed at a fashion show

Gigi Hadid is one of the world's most renowned models, having earned numerous accolades and she's graced fashion magazine covers for years. Hadid is one of the highest-paid models in the world, and she has a large following of fans. Unfortunately, being a celebrity who commands a lot of attention became a problem for Hadid in 2016 while she attended a fashion show.

Outside of the Max Mara fashion show in Milan, Italy, a man went up to Hadid and tried to grab and pick her up. Hadid managed to throw her elbow in the man's face, so he dropped her and ran away while her security team placed her in a car. According to Elle, Hadid's quick reaction resulted in more pain for Sediuk than herself, screaming out, "Let go of me! Who the f*** are you? You piece of s***!" She even tried to chase after him before her security reacted to the situation.

The man turned out to be none other than Vitalii Sediuk, and assaulting Hadid was one of many incidents involving the self-described prankster. Hadid later tweeted (via ABC News), "I'm a HUMAN BEING — and had EVERY RIGHT to defend myself. How dare that idiot think he has the right to man-handle a complete stranger. He ran quick tho."

Someone tried to assault Justin Bieber in a nightclub

Justin Bieber shot to superstardom early in life, and he has continued to dominate as one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has also been involved in several incidents, many of them violent and involving paparazzi or fans. Bieber has been arrested and run afoul of the law in various jurisdictions for his behavior, substance use, and other issues, including assault and egging someone's house.

In 2016, Bieber found himself on the other side of an assault while partying at a nightclub in Munich, Germany. While making his way through a crowd to leave the club, a man reached for Bieber, shoving him. Fortunately, the singer wasn't hurt or pushed to the ground, and he maintained his composure as the venue's staff, including a barmaid dressed in traditional German clothing, protected Bieber and escorted the man out.

A source told TMZ, which published footage of the assault, that the man has been attempting to get close to Bieber throughout the night and decided to attack once he was. The attacker's identity remains unknown, nor is it clear if he faced any charges resulting from the incident. It appears that whoever the man was, he got away with the assault, as there's no record of his arrest.

Rick Moranis survived a random attack in New York City

Rick Moranis was once one of the most prominent comics working in film throughout the 1970s, '80s, and into the '90s, but he retired from acting in 1997 to be with his family more after his wife passed away. He occasionally appears at events and has done voice acting and other work within the industry during his decades-long hiatus from appearing in live-action movies.

It's not common to spot Moranis in public, but he does venture out of his home in Canada every once in a while. In 2020, Moranis ventured out in New York City, where he became the victim of a random attack. Around 7:30 in the morning, Moranis was walking on Central Park West when a homeless man ran up to him and punched him in the head before running away. Moranis was injured and fell to the ground, requiring a trip to the hospital.

Fortunately, Moranis wasn't severely injured, and the NYPD wasted no time in hunting down the assailant, finding Marquis Ventura and arresting him. In August 2022, Ventura plead guilty to assault in the 2nd degree, attempted assault in the 2nd degree, and other several charges related to a separate attack against the owner of a liquor store and other assaults.

Seth Rollins put his assailant in a headlock

Wrestling fans know they're watching scripted entertainment during a match, so every once in a while, a fan gets it in their heads that wrestlers aren't as tough as they appear. Seth "Freakin" Rollins is one of the best professional wrestlers of his generation, and while he puts on a good show, that's not an indication that he's not a capable fighter, which two fans learned the hard way.

In 2016, a fan figured he would put Rollins to the test during "WWE Raw." Deciding he could take Rollins, a fan rushed into the ring and tried to attack the wrestler. Rollins was speaking to the crowd at the time, and upon noticing the man approach him, he pushed him hard to the ground before stepping back to allow security to tackle the man to the ground and carry him away.

Years later, at "Monday Night Raw" in 2021, Rollins walked away from the ring when he was blindsided by a fan. The man rushed the wrestler, grabbing him by the waist and bringing him to the ground. Rollins immediately reacted, fighting off the man and holding him in a headlock before security tackled the man, taking him away as Rollins exited. The assailant reportedly attacked Rollins because he blamed him for falling victim to a catfishing scam that cost him $3,000.

Dave Chappelle got tackled on-stage during a performance

Dave Chappelle is no stranger to controversy, having built his comedy career taking jabs at all kinds of people and communities. It has made him a star, but it has also put a few targets on his back, as some aren't keen on his particular brand of comedy. In May 2022, Chappelle met one such person while performing at the Hollywood Bowl Arena in Los Angeles.

During his set, a man rushed the stage while pointing a gun at him, tackling Chappelle to the ground. The gun was later revealed to be a replica that contained a lockable blade. Chappelle wasn't injured in the attack, but his assailant, Isaiah Lee, most certainly was. After security got a hold of Lee and took him away to be arrested, he ended up with a broken arm and was taken to a hospital.

TMZ reported that later, Chappelle admitted he was glad the attacker was injured, saying, "I felt good my friends broke his arm." He also thanked his friends and security at an after-party. According to TMZ, a mob rushed the attacker almost as soon as he rushed the stage, leading Chappelle's friends, Jamie Foxx and Busta Rhymes, to get a few good licks in before Lee was taken away by police. Lee was held in police custody until March 2024, when a judge allowed him to be released to a recovery center until his eventual trial, which was delayed due to a "mental health diversion," per ABC.

Chris Redd was knocked off his feet

Chris Redd's standup career has seen him travel all over the world, making people laugh. He also scored a spot on "Saturday Night Live" in 2017 and has appeared in various movies and television series over the years. Redd doesn't make many headlines outside of his comedy, but he found his way into a physical altercation outside of New York City's the Comedy Cellar in October 2022.

After stepping out of his vehicle, a man walked up to Redd and punched him in the nose before fleeing the area. Redd was knocked off his feet and sustained an injury to his nose, requiring treatment at a local hospital. The assailant was dressed as a security guard, and while the man's motive wasn't immediately clear, TMZ reported that he tried to snatch Redd's chain, which fell apart after the man grabbed it. But Redd cleared up the misinformation later on his Instagram (via Rolling Stone), saying, "Nobody snatched my chain bro. Y'all will just write anything!!"

The attacker wasn't identified, nor has he since been arrested, so he remains at large. Redd had to cancel several appearances at the Comedy Cellar, pushing his next spot to the end of the month. While he was injured in the attack, it wasn't serious, and Redd has returned to his normal activities, though he likely keeps an eye on random people dressed as security guards.

Bethenny Frankel took a random punch in New York City

Bethenny Frankel worked in television and gained fame as the runner-up on "The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" in 2005, which she followed with numerous appearances on "The Real Housewives of New York City" and other reality TV shows. Frankel went on to work as a philanthropist, an author, and she founded the Skinnygirl lifestyle brand.

Frankel has built up a career that has garnered widespread attention, and she has a sizable fan base. Unfortunately, Frankel learned that not everyone is a fan when, while apartment hunting in New York City, a homeless man attacked her. Frankel explained what happened in a 2024 TikTok video, where she explained that a homeless man walked up to her and hit her in the face, explaining, "Hit me is more [accurate], it wasn't like a closed-fist, just hit me in the face."

Security handled the situation, and Frankel got away from her assailtant without serious injury. After the incident, Frankel texted her broker, saying, "I don't want to see apartments anymore. This city is insane." Fortunately, Frankel wasn't seriously injured in the attack, but the assailant definitely left an impression on the "Real Housewives" alum.

Michael Stuhlbarg was attacked by a man in Central Park

Michael Stuhlbarg began acting in the 1990s, landing roles in a variety of films, including "A Serious Man," "Men in Black 3," and two "Doctor Strange" movies, to name a few. He also starred alongside Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire," but unfortunately, working with Buscemi on the same show isn't the only thing the two actors have in common.

Like Buscemi, his assault occurred in New York City and was completely random. In April 2024, Stuhlbarg was walking on the Upper East Side in Central Park when a man approached and threw a rock at him, striking Stuhlbarg in the back of the neck. Stuhlbarg was immediately incensed and gave pursuit out of the park, leading to the arrest of Xavier Israel, who was charged with felony assault.

Stuhlbarg wasn't injured from the rock and didn't require medical attention. He also didn't let the attack muck up his schedule and went on to appear the following day in a stage production of "Patriots." Israel has a history of random attacks,and was caught on video assaulting a man who tried to give him a coat, and according to the New York Post, that was one of many violent assaults in Israel's past.