Celebrities That Attacked Their Fans

Fame might get you everything money can buy, but if you can't even walk to the corner store without being approached or photographed, it probably gets kind of annoying. Eventually, that can wear down even the sweetest stars and transform them into momentary monsters — even sweet Malia Obama reportedly snapped at a grandmother who took her photo without her permission in 2017. But some stars take it to the next level and fully humiliate or hurt the people who made them famous in the first place. Never bite the hand that feeds you, even if that hand is super annoying.

Jokes aside, violence and threats are serious. There's nothing more gutting for a stan than watching their idol go for the jugular — even if it's just figuratively. Fueled by a moment of distress or a serious lapse in judgement, the celebrities on this list have lashed out at their fans. Next time, y'all need to take a deep breath.

Kevin Gates' attack on a fan landed him in jail

In October 2016, rapper Kevin Gates was charged with battery after a 2015 incident when he kicked a female fan in the front row of a performance in a Florida club. Gates claimed the woman was trying to pull down his shorts (which appears to be true,) but the court decided that's not a viable reason to kick a concertgoer. The assault, for which he received a six-month jail sentence, happened just as Gates was climbing the charts and enjoying the spoils of what could have been a long career. 

According to TMZ, he was released from prison in January 2018, so perhaps this could be the year he rebuilds his relationship with the public.

Did Rihanna hit a fan in self defense?

Rihanna's rise to mega-stardom is thanks, in no small part, to her devil-may-care attitude, which plays out poetically in her music, her videos, and even through her social media accounts. It wasn't until a June 2013 performance in Birmingham, England, that fans began to see the pop star's behavior as more reckless than rebellious. 

During the show, Rihanna left the stage and walked into the crowd, still singing, when a fan reached out and grabbed the singer's arm. In response, Rihanna smacked the fan on the head with her microphone. According to the Mirror, one onlooker took to Twitter to explain the incident away, writing, "[Rihanna] just hit someone with her mic on accident haha oops," to which Rihanna replied, "Purpose! That b**ch won't let me go." Fair point, but the microphone strike was clearly not a playful bop on the head. After the incident, it seemed all was forgiven and forgotten, but it wouldn't be the last time Rihanna's behavior was put on notice by her fans.

In May 2014, Queen RiRi was accused of cyber-bullying a teenage fan named Alexis Carter. The 16-year-old reportedly wore an outfit based on Rihanna's 2010 Grammy dress to her Hollywood-themed prom. On Instagram, Rihanna posted a side-by-side comparison of her look (under which she wrote "On IG") against Carter's version (under which Rihanna wrote "In Real Life.") The post, shared with some 35 million followers, attracted a lot of media attention for its cruel tone.

Chris Jericho: Real-life heel?

When you see a professional wrestler pretending to be in agony or under a magic spell, they are more than likely practicing what's known in the industry as "kayfabe." It's the art of make-believe, convincing fans that the grudges and team-ups, ladder falls and betrayals are all real. Things get interesting when wrestlers, who've built their personas on kayfabe, interact with fans in the outside world. It's hard to tell what's true and what's a put-on. 

In 2009, Bleacher Report said wrestler Chris Jericho was leaving a match in Canada when a crowd of fans and hecklers blocked his vehicle. He got out, was pushed around by some of the fans, and then reportedly socked a female in the face and spit on her friend. The sucker punch is graphic enough that the whole melee initially appears to be for show, but unfortunately, that was not the case. The meat of the expletive-laden exchange was caught on camera

Beware of Pitbull

Pitbull is as close to a walking and breathing advertisement as exists in the music industry. It's hard to imagine any instance in which "Mr. 305" would jeopardize his very lucrative endorsement deals, but people are still people, even people named after dogs. In an uncharacteristically real moment during a 2009 concert in Colorado, Pitbull reportedly lashed out at a fan.

In what has become a familiar, yet ironic refrain for celebrities, fans such as the one Pitbull faced seem to seize opportunities to belittle their idols. It's as if by some transitive property, mocking, pranking, or getting over on a celebrity makes the joker as famous as the star. In Pitbull's case, this so-called fan was invited on stage (by Pitbull), but then proceeded to fan dollar bills out over the performer. While funny, Pitbull didn't take kindly to being compared to a stripper. 

The "Fireball" singer told MTV the fan had been disruptive multiple times during the concert. "I told him, 'Look, dog, you already got three strikes. Don't make it rain no more. I'm telling you. I ain't gonna talk about it no more, I'm just gonna be about it. Don't do it no more.'" It turned out, Pitbull was about it, and when the fan kept flaunting cash, Pitbull punched him in the face...hard...and then kept right on rapping. "I'm a nice guy," he told the crowd during the next break.

This psychic failed to foresee a beatdown by Lindsay Lohan

Actress Lindsay Lohan has had a tough go of it in Hollywood. To what degree her troubles have been self-inflicted is up for debate, but what is not in question is the actress's ability to throw a punch. 

During a spat in the VIP section of Club Avenue in New York City in 2012, Lohan reportedly lashed out at a woman named Tiffany Ava Mitchell. Mitchell is a psychic from Palm Beach, Fla. who, according to Extra TV, began having premonitions about people at the age of 10, so when she spotted Lohan at the club, she felt inclined to tell the star all about her future. 

Lohan was neither amused nor interested and dismissed Mitchell, who then told TMZ Lohan called her a "f**king Gypsy" and punched her in the face. Lohan was charged with third-degree assault, reported People. A skeptic could say Mitchell should have seen that coming. 

Ron Artest and 'The Malice at the Palace'

In one of the most appalling incidents to ever occur during a sporting event, Indiana Pacers forward Ron Artest climbed over the scorer's table during a 2004 regular season away game, entered the stands, and started heaving punches at a fan. Artest reportedly believed the man had thrown a drink at him during a break in the action. The crowd was already riled up, and what transpired would forever be dubbed the "The Malice at the Palace." 

Indiana Pacers forward Stephen Jackson had this to say about the fight to ESPN's Grantland: "Ron made a selfish decision by going into the stands. We all made selfish decisions, but at the same time, we were protecting each other. It's kind of hard to see if that's right or wrong." According to the network's blog, "What happened that night went well beyond nearly $10 million in forfeited paychecks and 146 games lost in suspensions...It represented the NBA's worst nightmare: confirmation of the broad-stroke stereotype that its athletes were spoiled thugs."

Kid Cudi went nuts on a good samaritan

During a 2009 concert at Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom, Kid Cudi got involved in a bizarre game of "whose wallet is this" that left one innocent fan with a cut under his right eye. 

Cudi, who at the time was enjoying the success of his hit "Day and Night," picked up a wallet that had been thrown on stage and attempted to toss it back to the appropriate person in the first few rows. According to TMZ, Cudi mistakenly passed the wallet to the wrong fan who, seeing as it was not his, flung it right back onstage in the rapper's direction. What happens next is, by any measure, an overreaction by the rapper. Cudi jumps right into the fray and starts swinging wildly, making contact with the face of a man named Michael Sharpe. 

Being a big fan, Sharpe reportedly decided not to press charges

Ariana Grande's verbal outburst cost her big time

In video obtained by TMZ in 2015, pop tart Ariana Grande is seen licking a doughnut. That seemed innocent enough, but the incident drew intense scrutiny from the public, not just because of the pint-sized star's obnoxious behavior, but because of what Grande utters to a shop employee who is carrying a fresh tray of doughnuts to the counter. "What the f**k is that?" Grande says, referencing a batch of supersized pastries. "I hate Americans. I hate America."

To make matters worse, the viral footage was reportedly filmed on the Fourth of July. Grande issued an apology for the outburst, saying, "As an advocate for healthy eating, food is very important to me, and I sometimes get upset by how freely we as Americans eat and consume things without giving any thought to the consequences that it has on our health and society as a whole. That being said, let me once again apologize if I have offended anyone with my poor choice of words." 

Sorry or not, Grande's antics reportedly took her out of the running to perform for the president at a White House gala.

Akon literally threw a fan into the crowd

Violence is never an acceptable response to heckling, but in the case of Akon, the deliberate use of a wrestling maneuver will go down in history as one of the most ingenious, though illegal, methods of expelling an obnoxious fan. 

While performing at an outdoor concert in Fishkill, N.Y., Akon responded to a 15-year-old fan who had thrown something onstage by reportedly removing his shirt, bringing the guilty party up in front of the crowd, lifting the teen above his head, positioning the kid's body across his shoulders, and then throwing him off the side of the stage into a group of cheering fans.

One year later, Akon appeared in a Fishkill courthouse to plead guilty to reduced charges brought by the family of the teenager. According to the Poughkeepsie Journal (via The Guardian), the fan met the singer outside the courthouse, approached Akon, and said, "Thanks." When Akon began to apologize, the boy's father jumped in and said, "You threw my son off the stage." Fair enough. Akon was forced to pay $350 to the family and serve 65 hours of community service. The fine was obviously symbolic, considering Akon is worth an estimated $80 million.

Don't try to get fresh with Will Smith

Will Smith deserves some credit for actually holding back after an interview took a weird turn during a red carpet appearance at the Moscow premiere of his 2012 film Men in Black 3. The red carpet is a lawless place where reporters and fans get momentary but unobstructed access to stars who, in the interest of self-promotion, are forced to stand by and field all kinds of silly questions. There are even compilation videos dedicated entirely to the strange things that happen in those moments. In this case, as Smith makes his way through the procession of wanting reporters, he stops to take a question from a supposed Ukrainian journalist.

It turns out the journalist was actually Vitalii Sediuk, a well-known celebrity prankster whose victims have included Kim Kardashian and America Ferrera. While it's difficult in the video to make out how Sediuk begins the conversation, the situation quickly becomes strained when he tries to embrace Smith, who at first accepts Sediuk's hug, but then Sediuk goes in for a kiss. Smith responds by shoving the jokester, saying "What the hell is your problem buddy?" before back-handing Sediuk as the crowd roars.

Smith later clarified the incident on the Late Show with David Letterman, saying, "It was just awkward...He says, 'I'm your biggest fan, can I have a hug?' So I go to give this joker a hug and he tries to lean in and kiss me."

Justin Bieber did not pick on someone his own size

Justin Bieber is no stranger to confrontation. He's picked fights with fans and paparazzi with equal gusto, although each act of machismo is backed by the slim singer's team of very large bodyguards. In the summer of 2016, Bieber picked the wrong dude to mess with. 

Outside a hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, the Biebs was approached by a 6-foot-5-inch man named Lamont Richmond and his two female friends. According to a TMZ interview with Richmond, he asked the "Sorry" singer if the two women could take a photo with Bieber and get an autograph, to which Biebs reportedly responded, "No autographs tonight, motherf**ker." 

Those were Harsh words delivered to a man twice his size. A brawl erupted. Richmond reportedly wound up restraining Bieber, telling TMZ that if he "went full force, he would have killed him." Since the altercation, Richmond has reportedly received death threats from Beliebers and was fired from his job, so it appears this former fan won the battle but lost the war. 

Afroman punched a female fan in the head

One might think that Afroman, the singer of "Because I Got High," would be a low-key, unshakable character who prefers sitting around smoking weed to violent assaults on women, but that's not entirely the case. 

In video filmed during a February 2015 performance in Biloxi, Miss., Afroman is seen viciously punching a female fan in the head after she attempts to dance with the musician. In an interview with WLOX News, Haley Byrd, who was the victim of the assault, says, "I was diagnosed with a concussion. I had several facial contusions, and my whole right side of my face was swollen. I had a busted lip. It was bleeding, and I'm also seeing an oral surgeon for the alignment of my jaw. Until this day I'm still dealing with the anxiety issues."

From the video, it's difficult to determine what, if anything, was so offensive to Afroman. Police stopped the show and promptly arrested the musician, who was released after paying a $330 bond. Afroman did apologize for the incident, telling TMZ that he mistook the female fan for a male heckler and that he was frustrated because he had walked "a half mile" to get to the early show and did not have a chance to eat dinner or "medicate" as he usually does before a performance. 

Did Christan Bale really make his young fans cry?

Christian Bale is known for his temper. During a 2008 press junket for The Dark Knight (2008), Bale reportedly assaulted his mother and sister in the Dorchester Hotel in London. The actor voluntarily spoke to British authorities about the incident and was released due to insufficient evidence.

Four years later, Bale's former publicist and personal assistant, Harrison Cheung, published a biography about the actor called Christian Bale: The Inside Story of the Darkest Batman. In the book, Cheung details several incidents when the actor flew off the handle, including a time when a fan letter was sent to Bale's home. Bale allegedly sent Cheung a fax saying the fan should be "eliminated." "Better to be safe than sorry," Bale reportedly said. "A screwdriver thrust thru the eyeball into the brain prevents any screaming. Let me know how it goes." '

Elsewhere in the biography, Cheung writes that Bale would "lecture little girls about being rude and intrusive until tears streamed down their faces, and their parents tugged them away from our table." Not cool, buddy. Not cool.

You mess with Gigi Hadid, you get the horns

Notoriously annoying superfan Sediuk, of the aforementioned Smith smooch, had a go at supermodel Gigi Hadid in September 2016 outside a fashion show in Milan. 

Seduik bear hugged Hadid, lifting her off the ground, as she was walking through a crowd toward a waiting vehicle. In video footage of the incident, Sediuk wades through the commotion and creeps up behind her, grabbing Hadid from behind. She responds by delivering a swift elbow to her attacker's face, yelling, "Let go of me! Who the f**k are you? You piece of s**t!" Hadid later defended her actions on Twitter, saying she had every right to defend herself.

Sediuk issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter about the event: "While I consider Gigi Hadid beautiful, she and her friend Kendall Jenner have nothing to do with high fashion. By doing this, I encourage the fashion industry to put true talents on the runway and Vogue covers instead of well-connected cute girls from Instagram." 

It seems Sediuk was trying to promote his opinions on high fashion, but his stunt probably provided better publicity to Hadid and the boxing gym she frequents. 

Shia LaBeouf slugged a fan — for artistic reasons

In 2016, Shia LaBeouf rode an elevator for 24 hours, talking politics, reportedly playing "snog, kill, avoid," and mingling with civilians who hopped on board after waiting in line for the opportunity. The event, titled #Elevate, was an interactive art performance held at Oxford University by the actor and his two collaborators, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner. The trio have worked together before. In February of 2014, LaBeouf walked down the red carpet of the Berlin premiere of Nymphomaniac wearing a brown paper bag on his head that had the words "I am not famous anymore" written on it. That piece was entitled #IAMSORRY, and while it did cause a general wave of confusion, the work did not inflict any physical harm on the participant or the unsuspecting crowd.

That was not the case during #Elevate. One student on the elevator supposedly begged and then taunted LaBeouf into hitting him in the face. Only the audio was caught on tape (the elevator doors were closed during the hit,) but LaBeouf apparently obliged the fan's request, according to the Daily Mail. It was apparently all in the name of art, and seemingly nobody was hurt or even offended. 

Ezra Miller got violent in a flash

With The Perks of Being a Wallflower stoking nostalgia on Netflix, Fantastic Beasts behind him, and a new DC Comics film on the way, Ezra Miller was clearly having a moment in April 2020. We now know that moment may have been a bit too much for the actor to handle thanks to a video that surfaced online that appeared to show the star attacking one of his fans.

According to Variety, who spoke to a source allegedly at the scene, the incident took place around 6 p.m. in Reykjavik, Iceland at a bar called Prikið Kaffihús, which is one of Miller's favorites in town. Apparently, the Justice League star got physical after he "was confronted by a group of eager fans, who were 'quite pushy.'" In the video, you can see a smiling woman gearing up for what seems to be a play fight as a man who appears to be Miller asks, "Oh, you wanna fight?" The man then grabs the woman by the neck and slams her to the ground as the person videotaping yells, "Whoa, bro. Bro!"

Though it's not clear if the two parties were joking around or serious, Variety reports that bar staff were considering it a "serious altercation," and an "angry and upset" Miller was escorted from the establishment. At the time of this writing, the actor has yet to make a public statement, and the Independent reports that fans are calling for Miller to be removed from his role in The Flash.