The shady side of Jeremy Renner

Jeremy Renner is one of Hollywood's most popular and prolific actors, having landed two Oscar nominations and a coveted role in the Avengers movies in just over five years. He's also one of Hollywood's most controversial. From messy divorces to rumors about his sexuality, Renner's personal life has played out like catnip for the press. Here are the many times the media has attempted to find the man behind the curtain — and the many times he's fought back.

His divorce was really nasty

In December 2014, it was reported that Renner's marriage to Sonni Pacheco was ending after only 10 months. From the get-go, the divorce proceedings showed signs that things were about to get pretty ugly. According to court documents obtained by E! News, Pacheco — who has a daughter, Ava, with Renner — demanded that Renner "immediately return [her] stolen passport, birth certificate, social security card and be restrained from making further efforts to conceal same." She also wanted the couple's prenup to be invalidated due to "fraud."

Court papers filed in March 2015 and later obtained by The Wrap shed further light on the couple's messy marriage. In the papers, Renner alleged that Pacheco "exercises bad judgment" and once left their daughter at home "without any supervision for fifteen minutes."

Fortunately for Renner, the couple's divorce was settled less than a month after his statements to the court hit the press. As part of the settlement, the couple got joint legal and physical custody of Ava, according to People. Renner was also ordered to pay $13,000 a month in child support.

His roommate came to his defense

Incidentally, Renner and Pacheco's brief marriage played out a little like Three's Company. The reason: their home included a roommate, Kristoffer Winters, whom The Hollywood Reporter described as Renner's "live-in business partner" and whom Renner described as "my brother" in a 2012 profile. Winters wound up playing a key role in Renner's divorce from Pacheco by providing pretty damning evidence against Renner's now-ex-wife.

"On approximately eight additional occasions at our Franklin [Avenue] home, Sonni told me that she did not believe in marriage and only wanted Jeremy to marry her so that she could become a United States citizen and avoid returning to Canada," Winters said, according to court documents. "I heard Sonni say at least five or six times when we were together at the Franklin house that Jeremy should be nice to her and not fight her on green card or money issues or else she would release intimate videos of him to TMZ," he continued.

Winters also alleged he saw Pacheco "regularly smoke cigarette and drink alcohol" while she was pregnant. Now, if only our college roommates had been that observational.

He's shot down gay rumors for years

According to Queerty, rumors about Renner's sexuality began in 2010 in part because of a quote his old teacher gave to The National Enquirer. "I have never had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy's boyfriend, but the fact that Jeremy is gay has never been a primary concern," the teacher was quoted as saying.

Renner finally spoke out about the rumors to The Hollywood Reporter in 2012, expressing disgust with the media for linking him to everyone from Winters to his Hurt Locker co-star Anthony Mackie. "I want my personal life to be personal, and it's not f—ing true," he said. "And I don't care if you're talking about things that are true, you're still talking about my personal life. How about I go peek in your window, take what underwear you wore last night, whose husband you were f—ing, and shove that in the megaphone throughout your neighborhood? How does that feel? It's none of your goddamn business."

Renner bluntly discussed the rumors again in a 2015 profile for Playboy. "When you Google yourself and the first thing that comes up is 'Jeremy Renner gay,' it's like, 'Oh, now you've arrived. You're now a giant movie star,'" he said (via People). "… F—ing say whatever the hell you want about me … To suggest that it's negative, that being gay is a terrible thing, a perversion or whatever — I just don't get it. Don't you wish we were in a world where we're not shaming, judging, and boxing people in?" Mic drop.

He called Black Widow a derogatory name

In April 2015, Renner experienced a major online backlash after calling Black Widow a "slut" for her romantic involvements with characters in the Avengers series. The jaw-dropping interview forced Renner and co-star Chris Evans — who called Black Widow a "whore" — to issue immediate apologies. "I am sorry that this tasteless joke about a fictional character offended anyone," Renner said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "It was not meant to be serious in any way. Just poking fun during an exhausting and tedious press tour."

Yet, strangely enough, Renner seemed to shrug off the controversy during a subsequent interview on Conan. "I'm pretty unapologetic about a lot of things," Renner said. "But yeah, I got in a lot of Internet trouble. I guess that's a thing now. Mind you I was talking about a fictional character, and fictional behavior."

""If you slept with four of the six Avengers, no matter how much fun you had," Renner said, addressing host Conan O'Brien, "You'd be a slut." "I'd be a slut. Just saying." Oy.

He made a poorly received joke at J. Lo's expense

Renner vs. the Internet might as well be a setup for the next Avengers movie. In January 2015, he battled critics after making a joke about Jennifer Lopez's, uh, physical features while presenting an award at the Golden Globes. "You want me to do it? I have the nails," Lopez asked Renner before opening the envelope. "You've got the globes, too," Renner retorted.

The backlash once again prompted Renner to respond on social media. "A reminder not to take this s— so seriously," Renner wrote. "Thanks Jennifer — you're a gem." In his defense, Lopez later told E! News she was flattered by Renner's joke. ""That was really funny. He's a very funny man. It even made me a little hot," she said.

He made controversial remarks on equal pay in Hollywood

From a publicity standpoint, 2015 wasn't exactly the strongest year for Renner. Following controversies surrounding Jennifer Lopez and Black Widow, Renner drew criticism yet again for his response to an essay on equal pay in Hollywood written by his American Hustle co-star Jennifer Lawrence. When asked by Business Insider if he would negotiate pay alongside his female co-stars, Renner said, "That's not my job … I don't know contracts and money and all that sort of stuff … I'm a performer and I know human behavior. When it comes to that sort of stuff I let other people deal with that. I do what I'm good at, that's what I focus on."

Renner's comments generated a lot of press, mainly because they seemed to conflict with quotes on the issue by another one of Renner's American Hustle co-stars, Bradley Cooper. Naturally, Renner took to social media to clarify his comments. "On the issue of gender equality, I have always supported women deserving equal pay. Period," Renner wrote, calling the story a "media spin." "A person should be rewarded only by their merit or service to their given field. Gender, race, creed, or sexual orientation should have absolutely no influence in pay, positively or negatively."

He continued: "I have always asked for all of us to move towards a unity and equality not just in pay, but social acceptance and discover compassion and tolerance within ourselves, to bridge our differences; united we stand. We will always be one. Like it or not."