Celebrities Who Treat Their Employees Like Trash

On the surface, being a celebrity assistant seems like a great gig. You get to meet other celebrities, hang around on sets or backstage at concerts, and enjoy the luxury lifestyle of high-end dining and accommodations, even if only from the sidelines. But there is a significant downside. On top of taking care of menial tasks like fetching coffee and lugging suitcases, celebrity assistants are often on call 24/7, making a personal life all but impossible, and in the worst cases, assistants actually suffer emotional and even physical abuse at the hands of their famous employers. Probably due to ironclad non-disclosure agreements, it's not often we get a real glimpse behind the showbiz curtain and actually find out what celebrities are like in their day-to-day, but for whatever reason, these assistants decided to share their stories of what it was like to be fame adjacent.

Scott Rudin

Scott Rudin is a powerhouse film producer with titles under his belt such as Captain Phillips (2013), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and Moneyball (2011). He's a major player, and as is often the case with Hollywood hard-hitters, he has a reputation for being tough to work for. That's actually putting it mildly. In a profile for

In a profile for The Atlantic, multiple former employees spoke out against the temperamental producer, alleging everything from a fondness for throwing objects, including framed photos and phones, to an inclination for firing people for seemingly innocuous reasons such as buying the wrong muffins. In fact, the article puts his assistant casualty count at anywhere from 119 to 250 people, which over the course of a 36-year career could equate to just under seven assistants per year. That's a lot of hiring and firing.

Perhaps the darkest thing those unlucky enough to find themselves in Rudin's employ ever witnessed was a gift he sent to Harvey Weinstein, another Tinseltown giant, after an unsuccessful partnership producing The Hours (2002). According to New York magazine, the duo allegedly disagreed on everything about the film, especially the marketing. Rudin reportedly ended the relationship by sending Weinstein, a noted "chain-smoker," a crate of cigarettes with the message, "Thanks as always for your help." Geez, would a gun loaded with a single bullet have been too subtle?

Courtney Love

It's tough to read Jessica Labrie's account of what she endured as Courtney Love's assistant without a heavy dose of cynicism. After all, did she somehow forget she'd taken a job with one of the most unabashedly abrasive celebrities on the planet? According to the Los Angeles Times, in a 2012 lawsuit filed against Love, "Labrie seeks wages and expenses due, and punitive damages for wrongful firing, wage and overtime violations, false promise, breach of contract, negligent and intentional misrepresentation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress."

Labrie also proposed an exposé about her employment with Love provocatively titled "Get Me A Xanax." TMZ got a copy of the proposal, which promised all kinds of dirt on Love, including details about her being an alleged hoarder, media manipulator, and drug abuser. It doesn't seem like the book was ever published, which is not surprising given the overexposure of Love's over-the-top behavior. Reading a book about it would be like reading a novel about Kim Kardashian called "Famous For No Reason." (On second thought, the latter would probably be a best-seller.)

Christian Bale

Harrison Cheung has to be somewhat of a folk hero to fanboys, since he somehow turned his fan letters to Christian Bale into a marketing job, which eventually led to a much more personal role in the actor's life. Working uncompensated for Bale for 10 years, Harrison became a fixture in the actor's life as an assistant and publicist, all seemingly out of admiration for the star. Cheung later wrote a book about his experience, called "Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman," so one could say he just had a delayed payday.

The book is not as bitter as it sounds. According to an interview with Comic Book Movie.com, it seems like Cheung went out of his way to avoid the salacious tabloid nature of most unauthorized biographies. He describes Bale as "my favorite actor," and says, "I had a fun time working in the entertainment industry." Cheung even delicately handled Bale's infamous Terminator Salvation (2009) meltdown and his"mom and sister red carpet attack," describing both scandals as misunderstandings that were largely overblown by the media. If there was anything especially revelatory in Cheung's account of his time with Bale, it would probably be the anecdote about the actor's fascination with decay and his gross habit of leaving things in jars to rot on his windowsills. Yes, that is certainly weird, but if that's the craziest thing to learn about a star who sort of has a reputation as a rage monster, that's really not too bad.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga is unquestionably a huge musical talent, but she has also carved out a niche for herself as a chameleon of sorts, constantly reinventing her image. Is it a huge surprise to think that working for her would fall outside the normal 9-to-5 experience? No. Is it a surprise to learn that Gaga—a singer/songwriter who prides herself on the inclusion of everyone no matter what race, creed, or color—called someone a "f***ing hood rat" during a deposition? Yeah, kinda.

Gaga was referring to former assistant Jennifer O'Neill, who sued the "Poker Face" singer in 2011 for "$393,000 for 7,168 hours of overtime, plus damages," reported Page Six. O'Neill alleges that she was required to be available 24/7, and even had to sleep in bed with Gaga, a claim actually backed up by another former assistant, Angela Ciemny, as detailed in the book, "Poker Face: The Rise and Rise of Lady Gaga."

Gaga didn't do herself any favors during her deposition. She came off as angry, which is understandable, but also a little vicious. According to People, Gaga dropped a bunch of f-bombs and didn't seem to grasp the concept that even though celebrity assistants get to ride in cool planes, they also might want to get paid and have a life. "It is, like, such an amazing luxury that I get to travel the world and have planes, [O'Neill] doesn't even see what a luxury it is, but she thinks it's owed to her for no reason," said Gaga. "She slept in Egyptian cotton sheets every night, in five-star hotels, on private planes, eating caviar." Gaga did also say that she was going to give all of the money O'Neill was seeking to "my employees that work hard for me now that deserve it." No word on whether that happened, but we hope Gaga at least found a non-paid sleeping buddy because that just sounded sad.

Naomi Campbell

Like Bale, Naomi Campbell has a reputation that precedes her. She's a notorious diva with a phone-throwing habit whose anger has even gotten her into trouble with the law.

Unlike Bale, Campbell's former assistant, Rebecca White, made no attempts to ease that perception. In fact, White intensified Campbell's bad rep with inflammatory statements such as, "She would intimidate and yell and gain her power by making people cry." That was just part of what White told the New York Post about her temperamental supermodel boss. She also revealed Campbell's crazy hotel room requirements, including the exact placement of "25 lily-scented candles," that had to be the specific luxury brand Diptyque, and that's not all. According to White, Campbell also liked to send expensive gifts to people while doing some seriously dirty stuff to them on the side. "I remember sending another model [a gift] because Naomi had slept with her boyfriend...[Naomi] said, 'Send something to make sure she thinks I'm her friend.'"

Yeesh, that sounds bad, but it should also be pointed out that White may not be a person of high moral fortitude. In the wake of Heath Ledger's tragic death, she dished to the tabloids about how she allegedly witnessed Ledger abusing drugs. She also threw a disturbingly unwarranted jab at Michelle Williams, Ledger's widow, telling the Daily Mail, "Heath was an Adonis and she was dowdy and not in his league—career-wise or looks-wise—and no one could understand why they got together." So, yeah, maybe White and Campbell were actually just two peas in a pod who recognized the worst parts of themselves in each other.

Lindsay Lohan

Gavin Doyle is a celebrity hanger-on-turned fashion photographer who once served as Lindsay Lohan's personal assistant during her more turbulent period. In an interview with Cosmopolitan, Doyle claims he and Lohan had been friends for years when she asked him "if he'd like to help" while she shot The Canyons (2013) and Liz & Dick (2012), which at the time of this writing were her last starring film roles. Doyle agreed and served as her assistant, which he regarded as "grueling" due to long hours on set and uncomfortable due to his role as Lohan's go-between with the production staff. His duties allegedly included him requesting changes to the script.

Surprisingly, Doyle generally had good things to say about Lohan, but he did take issue with that time she tried to throw him under the bus by lying to police about a car accident. According to Doyle, he and Lohan were headed to dinner in a rented Porsche with Lohan at the wheel, which was already problematic because "Gavin promised the producers of Liz and Dick that Lindsay wouldn't drive during filming (she'd recently been taken off probation after a 2007 DUI charge)," reported Cosmopolitan. When the actress slammed into the back of an eighteen-wheeler, she allegedly panicked and told police Doyle had been driving., and that was when Doyle's loyalty ended. He

That seems to be the moment when Doyle's loyalty ended. He told police the truth, and Lohan was convicted of reckless driving, serving seven years probation. An intense falling-out ensued. Lohan even kicked Doyle out of her SUV in front of the paparazzi. They've been

The dynamic duo have been seen together since, but Doyle moved on to work for Purple magazine as a photographer. Something tells us that beats babysitting LiLo by a mile.

Katt Williams

For the past several years, comedian Katt Williams has led a disturbing off-stage life in which he constantly gets into fights, does shady stuff with dogs, and gets dragged into court for various reasons. Perhaps most alarming is Williams' history of physical altercations with women.

One former assistant, Angelina Triplett-Hill, claimed in a lawsuit that she witnessed Williams "violently beat other women in her presence," and was once the subject of his rage when he knocked her unconscious by hitting her in the face and slamming her to the ground, reported TMZ. Triplett-Hill sued Williams for more than $1 million, but she's probably at the end of a long line of plaintiffs also awaiting restitution for run-ins with the tiny torpedo. We'd say hopefully he's got enough cash to give everyone what they deserve, but if the crazy and violent stories are true, that would just make his wealth even more depressing.

Cesar Millan

According to Petful.com, the downfall of Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer (2004-12), can be traced back to 2006 when the American Humane Society finally had enough of his so-called "dominance" training methods and called on producers to cancel his popular show. The New York Times then published a sharp-tongued piece, and the pile-on continued.

Though Millan has continued to appear on TV to discuss all-things-dog-related, his troubles have not ended. In 2010, he reportedly attempted suicide over a combination of career and family failures. Then, in 2014, Adriana Barnes, an employee at Millan's dog rehabilitation facility, filed a lawsuit alleging harsh working conditions. According to TMZ, Barnes claimed she worked long shifts without breaks and "was bitten 5-6 times by dogs and on one occasion she 'was trampled by a llama.'" Barnes said she was fired by Millan when she approached him with her grievances. We know this is probably going to sound bad, but we can't help but wonder if when Barnes complained to Millan, he started yelling "Shh! Shh!" and jabbing his fingers into her ribs.

Lance Armstrong

By now everyone knows about Lance Armstrong's fall from grace, including the stripping of his seven Tour de France titles and his admission to taking performance-enhancing drugs, but what a lot of people might not realize, at least according to former personal assistant Mike Anderson, is that Armstrong would allegedly go out of his way to defame and destroy anyone who stood in his way.

In a feature for Outside, Anderson says he met Armstrong through their shared enthusiasm for cycling, which eventually led to a personal assistant job. It was a casual arrangement, which allegedly included a promise that Armstrong would help Anderson finance a bike shop in the future. Over the course of three years, Anderson said he watched Armstrong's marriage implode, discovered what he believed was evidence of Armstrong's doping, and witnessed strong-arm legal tactics used to bully the cyclist's detractors. After an incident in which Anderson was party to what he felt was Armstrong maneuvering to avoid a drug test, his employment was terminated.

When Anderson attempted to get Armstrong to hold up his end of the bargain and finance a bike shop, Anderson claims he found himself on the receiving end of the cyclist's ire. After refusing to sign a retroactive nondisclosure agreement that would have made him "liable for a large sum of money if I even mentioned ever having worked for Armstrong," Anderson told Outside his reputation was smeared publicly and claimed he was dragged through years of court proceedings. Anderson said he became a pariah in the cycling industry—which he believes was Armstrong's doing—and eventually moved his family to New Zealand "to start a new life."

There are a lot of celebrities on this list who allegedly did a lot of crappy stuff to people, but none of them supposedly destroyed a man's life and ran him out of the country. Congratulations, Armstrong. It seems you may still be a champion, even if it's the title for the most horrible boss.