The Real Reason These Celebs Disappeared From The Spotlight

Hollywood careers are notoriously precarious. Between scandals that render a star unmarketable to audiences, actors and actresses aging out of their leading lady/man years, and voluntary retreat from public life to regain privacy (or even just some peace of mind), there are many ways an A-lister can quickly become a so-called "has-been." One day you're in, the next day you're out.

Even Indiana Jones himself soured on life in the spotlight. "There's nothing good about being famous. You always think, 'If I'm successful, then I'll have opportunities.' You never figure the cost of fame will be a total loss of privacy," Harrison Ford once lamented, according to The Guardian. While the Star Wars actor never became a total recluse, he is famously private.

The celebs on this list seem to be following Ford's lead in hiding from the limelight. Out of sight doesn't always mean out of mind, though. These celebs might have stepped behind the curtain to hide from the spotlight, but we're here to tell you the real reasons we no longer see them on the red carpet.

Kevin Spacey's house of cards colossally collapsed

Kevin Spacey's acting career stopped in its tracks in the wake of several accusations of sexual misconduct. The House of Cards star's downfall began when actor Anthony Rapp alleged to Buzzfeed that Spacey tried "to seduce" him at a party when he was 14 years old and Spacey was 26. Several other accusations quickly followed suit, leading to criminal and civil cases against Spacey in Massachusetts, Los Angeles, and London. Prosecutors in Massachusetts eventually dropped the charge after Spacey's accuser stopped cooperating with prosecutors. Spacey's Los Angeles case was dismissed after his accuser unexpectedly died. As of this writing, the disgraced actor is still under investigation in London. 

In a poorly-strategized move, Spacey responded to Rapp's allegation with an apology that included him publicly coming out as gay. Spacey caught major blowback for this decision, in part, because homosexuals have historically had to fight the stigma of purportedly being sexual predators. He also received industry blowback. Spacey was cut from the final season of Netflix's House of Cards, as well as the streaming service's biopic about Gore Vidal — the combination of which cost the streaming service $39 million.

Within a week of Rapp's allegation, Spacey also sought treatment for sex addiction in Arizona at The Meadows rehab clinic. Aside from court appearances required for the now-dismissed criminal case against him, a poetry reading in Rome in August 2018, and some strange Holiday-themed posts on Twitter and Instagram, Spacey has become a near-total recluse. 

Cameron Diaz is so over Hollywood

Former Hollywood "it" girl Cameron Diaz has all but disappeared from the entertainment industry on her own terms. During a March 2018 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Diaz said to her The Sweetest Thing costars, Christina Applegate and Selma Blair, whom she had not seen in years, "I am actually retired, so I would love to see you ladies."

In her own words for In Style's 25th anniversary issue in August 2019, Diaz said, "I've given more than half of my life to the public. I feel like it's OK for me to take time for myself now." She added, "It's fun to just not have anybody know what I'm up to. Because my time is all mine." She also suggested that she was more interested in focusing on friendships and her marriage to Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden. However, she did hint, "I have some things brewing, but it's a little too early to talk about them." 

Four months later, on January 3, 2020, Diaz "announce[d] the birth of [her] daughter," Raddix Chloe Wildflower, on Instagram. Her post read, "While we are overjoyed to share this news, we also feel a strong instinct to protect our little one's privacy. So we won't be posting pictures or sharing any more details." As of this writing, that is Diaz's only IG post for 2020, which is approximately on pace for the three total posts she shared on the site in 2019. 

Kat Von D didn't want to miss a moment of her son's first year

Tattoo artist Kat Von D's life has changed dramatically since she married goth artist Rafael Reyes in 2018. They welcomed their first child, Leafar Von D Reyes, on November 29, 2018 — his name a nod to father Leafar Seyer's stage name and mom Katherine Von Drachenberg's professional moniker. The former LA Ink star spent 2019 working out to regain her pre-baby body, starting a vegan goth shoe line, and enjoying time with her infant son.

She keeps her fans in the loop via Instagram. On Leafar's first birthday, Von D posted, "Everyone warns you about how fast your child will grow, but it is so true. Leafar is reaching milestones every day, and I'm so lucky that I'm able to be there to witness each and every moment."

On January 16, 2020, the tatted makeup magnate shocked fans in another Instagram post announcing she had sold her interest in the vegan makeup line she started more than a decade ago with her business partner, Kendo. "This past year has been one of great change for me," she wrote. "It has become clear to me that I just can't do everything at the maximum capacity." The company has been rebranded as KvD Vegan Beauty and is now solely run by Kendo.

Von D has an album and concert tour in the works, so we can expect to see her outside of Instagram soon!

Did Jussie Smollett stage the final scene of his career?

Sometimes, stunting works. But the high-profile stunt allegedly pulled by Jussie Smollett on January 29, 2019 backfired, and then backfired again. The Empire actor allegedly staged a hate crime to garner public sympathy for the purpose of, according to Chicago Police officials, gaining leverage for salary negotiations for the upcoming season of Empire.

Smollett told Chicago police he had been physically attacked by two assailants who purportedly used homophobic and racial slurs (and praise of President Donald Trump), put a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him. His story unraveled, however, and Smollett was charged filing a false police report, which is a felony. A grand jury later indicted him on "16 separate counts of disorderly conduct related to" the initial charge, per The New York Times. He also lost his job on Empire. In March 2019, all 16 of the charges against Smollett were suddenly dropped, but new grand jury, led by a special prosecutor, filed six new counts similar to the original indictment in February 2020, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Smollett's alleged scheme, which seemed to be an attempt at taking advantage of an acrimonious political climate, sent him into hiding instead. He hasn't really been seen publicly outside of court appearances, he hasn't disappeared completely. The coronavirus pandemic apparently inspired him to return to Instagram, where he posted a video of himself singing with the caption: "Quarantine day 421...Hope y'all are staying safe. Spread love and kindness...not Rona."

Barbara Walters 'isn't up to speaking with people'

If ever there was a night made for a Barbara Walters public appearance, it was December 31, 2019. That evening, social media was abuzz with clips of Walters saying, "I'm Barbara Walters, and this is 20/20," the opening line of the long-running news show that she co-anchored for 25 years. Fans wondered if she would make an appearance to recite her signature welcome as they rang in the new decade. Alas, there was no sign of Walters. (Though Cheri Oteri did revive her famous SNL impersonation of Walters during CNN's New Year's Eve broadcast.) So, what happened to the pioneer journalist? It's actually unclear, as of this writing, but her former colleagues have shed some light on the matter. 

In an interview for Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of The View, released in early 2019, Jenny McCarthy alleged Walters had exhibited erratic behavior and forgetfulness on the set of The View. McCartney also told Us Weekly, "I heard that she's in a place of not doing great."

A source told Radar Online that Whoopi Goldberg was "heartbroken" upon seeing Walters' alleged deterioration in March 2019. Walters reportedly didn't recognize her friend and called for help upon seeing Goldberg. Rosie O'Donnell told Us Weekly the same month that Walters "isn't up to speaking with people." 

Since retiring from The View in 2014, Walters has kept a relatively low profile, but her reps have told the tabloids that she is "doing fine." 

One morning, Matt Lauer was just... gone

Although the #MeToo initially chipped away at Hollywood's A-List, the media business also saw the downfall of powerful anchors and producers. Matt Lauer was perhaps the most shocking. 

According to Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill (via Variety), former NBC News staffer Brooke Nevils alleges that Lauer sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in Sochi, Russia, when the network was there for Winter Olympics coverage. An NBC investigation lasting just over 24 hours found the allegations credible, and they decisively took action, terminating Lauer. More reports of Lauer's alleged workplace sexual misconduct arose afterwards, with 12 women coming forward to The Washington Post with claims of unwanted "sexual advances" from the disgraced anchor. After months of silence, Lauer released a statement in which he vehemently denied "any allegations or reports of coercive, aggressive or abusive actions." He did, however, say, "I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately."

Since then, Lauer has spent his time in the Hamptons, keeping a relatively low profile until he released another, arguably more aggressive statement of defense to Variety in October 2019. In the second statement, Lauer insisted that his encounter with Nevils was "mutual and completely consensual." He also seemingly addressed his other accusers, saying that they "have abandoned shared responsibility" for their participation in what he called "extramarital relationships." The missive was not well received, and although there were rumors that Lauer was planning a comeback, that does not seem likely as of this writing.  

Felicity Huffman has spent her post-scandal time making amends

The college admissions scandal rocked the country, largely because celebrities were embroiled in the scheme. The two most notable celebs caught falsifying documents were Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. Both have avoided public appearances, but Huffman's legal woes seem far less severe because she took responsibility for her actions in a guilty plea and expressed genuine remorse.

An Emmy winner for her role on Desperate Housewives, Huffman served 11 days of her 14-day jail sentence, paid a $30,000 fine, and is required to complete 250 hours of community service for paying $15,000 to have her daughter's SAT scores changed. Loughlin and her husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, face up to 20 years in prison for allegedly paying $500,000 to fraudulently gain their daughters' admissions to the University of Southern California as crew team recruits.

Huffman also seems to have garnered public sympathy. Instead of rushing to rebuild a Hollywood career, Huffman has decided to focus on helping others and being a good role model. She connected with women she met in prison and wants to help them readjust to life once they are released from behind bars by working with A New Way of Life. Of the help Huffman is providing, organization founder, Susan Burton, told People, "She's been cooking for the women, cleaning the homes, shopping and answering the phone. We love having her here!"

Huffman's focus on betterment since the scandal erupted has led to time well spent.

Ricky Martin is drinking La Copa de la Vida

Latin superstar Ricky Martin, his husband, Jwan Yosef, and their four children are one big, happy family. With much of his time spent behind closed doors in a house full of children, Martin has traded one kind of La Vida Loca for another, and it seems he's never been happier! Time spent at home with his bustling family is Martin's "greatest joy," according to Architectural Digest. Martin announced he and Yosef were expecting their fourth child at the Human Rights Campaign national dinner on September 28, 2019, where Martin was being honored for his LGBTQ advocacy. The couple announced the arrival of a son one month later via Instagram.

On being an openly gay man having a family in the public eye, Martin told Out"A lot of people tell me, 'Well, your kids are on the covers of magazines...' and I'm like, 'Yes because I want to normalize this...I want people to look at me and see a family and say, 'There's nothing wrong with that.' It's part of my mission. It's part of my kids' mission as well." Martin has scheduled a 2020 tour, and it sounds like we should expect to see much more of Martin, Yosef, and their children as they demonstrate one of many methods of creating familial bliss with the world. 

Megyn Kelly's leap to NBC led to her exit from the spotlight

According to CBS News, Megyn Kelly "changed her life forever" when she moderated the network's 2016 Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Kelly challenged Trump's treatment of women. He later dismissed her to CNN's Don Lemon, famously saying, There was ... blood coming out of her wherever." Kelly emerged from this tussle an unlikely hero.

When Kelly left Fox News, NBC scooped her up, likely intending to capitalize on her newfound mainstream stardom. The peacock network gave her a Sunday evening news show to run against CBS' 60 Minutes, but it suffered abysmal ratings, so they moved Kelly to Today. The most high-profile moment of her morning show experience came during Kelly's awkward exchange with Jane Fonda that grew into a full-blown feud. But that wasn't what sealed her fate. 

During her tenure at Fox News, Kelly was frequently criticized for what were interpreted as incendiary remarks about race. When she inched up to that line again during her now infamous segment about controversial Halloween costumes, it was the final PR-disaster for Kelly at NBC. Why? Essentially, Kelly said she didn't understand why "blackface" or "whiteface" costumes were racist.

The network pulled Kelly's Today segment and ultimately parted ways with her, paying her the remaining $30 million on her contract. And although here have been many rumors of her planning a TV comeback, Kelly has mostly spent most of her time away  enjoying her family.