Stars Who Had A Really, Really Bad 2016

2016 is a year that will probably live in infamy because it was chock full of celebrity deaths and general bad news that had people bumming pretty hard until the end. Heck, even its final minutes were eventful, as Mariah Carey's spectacular New Year's Eve stage blunder gave the year the calamitous end it deserved. For a good many of those celebs who did survive it, too, the year was filled with scandals and setbacks. Here are some stars who had a very bad year in 2016.

Kim Kardashian

It was the robbery heard 'round the world, quite literally speaking. Kim Kardashian's year started out in the regular course, with her filming Keeping Up with the Kardashians, raising her two kids, and generally being famous for being famous, per usual. She even had a major uptick in wow factor when she called out Taylor Swift for misleading fans about Kanye West's permission to use her name in his "Famous" lyrics by presenting the receipts of their conversation for all the world to hear.

Things went alarmingly awry when she hit Paris for its Fashion Week bonanza and, after an eventful day on the sartorial sidelines, she was targeted by armed robbers who invaded her hotel room and lifted millions of dollars worth of jewelry, including her oft-shown off on social media engagement ring from hubby Kanye West. To make matters worse, the assailants tied her up and put her in a bathtub, and she feared for her life. "They're going to shoot me in the back," she later recalled of her fears in that moment, "there's no way out ... It makes me so upset to think about it." Shortly after the scary encounter, things started going south for her husband, too.

Kanye West

Soon after cancelling his tour stop in New York in light of the "family emergency" Kardashian's robbery experienced caused, West went on a public tirade at another show, in Sacramento, California this time, about the lack of concern his once-bestie Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Beyonce Knowles showed for his family's crisis, and his theory that Beyonce sabotaged his MTV Video Music Awards chances which hurt his feelings, adding some jumbled thoughts about the presidential election results and the woes of the music industry at large before abruptly cancelling that concert mid-show as well.

After that, West cancelled the rest of his Saint Pablo tour schedule and was immediately hospitalized for concerns about his mental wellbeing. He was released about a week later, but drew the ire of many fans by meeting with controversial President-elect Donald Trump at his home the next month. "I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues," West wrote on Twitter, adding, "These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums, and violence in Chicago." He also said, "I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change." Many were perturbed by his decision because not only had he admitted in his pro-Trump rant to abstaining from voting in the race, but his wife was also an outspoken supporter of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Hayley Atwell

The acting business is definitely a feast or famine type of career field, and for Hayley Atwell, 2016 started out in the former category but ended up being a double bummer. Not only was her Marvel small screen series Peggy Carter cancelled by ABC, but the network also shut down her new legal drama Conviction shortly after it debuted. That's a tremendous momentum drop for a girl who had just found herself among the lustrous Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Captain America movies, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man. Ouch.

Leslie Jones

The backlash surrounding Paul Feig's mostly female reboot of Ghostbusters was a story in and of itself, but no one quite caught the brunt of the brutality quite as hard as Leslie Jones. The Saturday Night Live actress was repeatedly harassed by online Twitter trolls who heaved racial slurs, obscene photos, and other derogatory remarks at her to the point that she walked away from her previously boisterous digital presence altogether in July, writing, "I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this. So hurt right now." Among her most famous trollers was Milo Yiannopoulos, who told ABC's Nightline that he wasn't sorry for spearheading such racist and misogynistic internet attacks of the actress because, "Trolling is very important. I like to think of myself as a virtuous troll, you know? I'm doing God's work."

Jones then had trouble finding a premiere gown that would fit her and revealed that no designers wanted to dress her for the event—after which, Christian Siriano happily obliged. As if all of that weren't tough enough for one year, her website was then hacked in August, resulting in leaks of her personal photos, including nudes, to the internet. She reacted to the situation during a Weekend Update segment on Saturday Night Live by joking, "All they did was release some nude pics of me, which is nothing because, I don't know if y'all know this about me, but I ain't shy ... I am very comfortable with who I am. I am an open book. I keep my porn in a folder labeled porn. If you want to see Leslie Jones naked, just ask." Things started to take a turn for the better once she was invited to attend the Rio Olympics as a celebrity guest commentator, but still. It was rough goings for Jones for a good chunk of 2016.

Brad Pitt

Some of the year's celebrity break-ups were more subdued than others (see also: the blink-and-you'd-miss-it separation announcement from Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts). But the dissolution of Brangelina sent shockwaves throughout the celeb-o-sphere because not only were the two mega-A-listers calling it quits, which is de facto front-page news without any added detail, but they were also doing so in spectacularly scandalous fashion.

Angelina Jolie's sudden divorce filing in September citing the "health of the family" was jaw-dropping in and of itself, and the fact that it was followed by allegations that Brad Pitt may have been physically abusive to their eldest adpoted son Maddox and murmurs of his possible substance abuse issues meant that the attendant gossip warfare that went down between the sparring stars was on virtually every tabloid cover for months. And the openly documented mud-slinging that commenced between high-profile reps for each party only fueled the flames of speculation and intrigue. The two have since dialed down the publicity of their private feud, but the damage was arguably already done to Pitt's reputation. It probably didn't help heal any wounds that Pitt's big holiday movie release Allied, which dropped smack dab in the middle of the fracas, bombed at the box office.

Johnny Depp

If Pitt's public profile took a hit from his split, then Johnny Depp's was outright eviscerated by his own hand, in a very literal sense. Amber Heard filed for the divorce from the actor in May, citing the ordinary "irreconcilable differences," but it didn't take long for the truth of their cantankerous parting to come to light, after a rep for Depp cavalierly dismissed any rumors about the reason for their break-up by saying, "Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life. Hopefully, the dissolution of this short marriage will be resolved quickly."

Heard then revealed that she wanted a restraining order against the actor for alleged abuse, and when she showed up to the hearing, her face was visibly bruised, supplanting most denial arguments. But after her allegations were still called into question by Depp's attorneys, who claimed she was just looking for financial security out of the deal, Depp's friends and longtime ex-girlfriend Vanessa Paradis came forward to say no way had he done these things.

That's when video evidence showing Depp hurling objects in a fit of rage during one of their arguments emerged, and the ball quickly got rolling on settling her claims against the actor. Heard pledged her divorce award to a domestic abuse organization, while Depp became a major source of scorn. When it was revealed that he would be a central part to the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, fans were none-too-thrilled about his inclusion in the cast, partially because of the fact that he was at the center of such spousal abuse allegations just a few months prior to the film's release.

Ryan Lochte

The year was going swimmingly, so to speak, for Olympic athlete Ryan Lochte, who won his 12th Olympic medal—a gold one, no less—in the 4x200m freestyle event at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. But he foiled his own successful trip by inciting in an international scandal after accusing Brazilian police impersonators of robbing himself and his teammates at gunpoint after a night out on the town.

The swimmer had shared his harrowing tale of being attacked by armed robbers on international news, but investigators quickly began to poke holes in the veracity of his account. Trough a winding and complicated investigation that included his teammates being held in the country and questioned by police, it was discovered Lochte had largely fabricated his victimization. The scandal was not only an embarrassment for the gold medalist, his teammates, and Team USA as a whole, but Lochte was also suspended from the sport, subjected to a significant fine, and stripped of several sponsorship deals as a result of his misleading statements.


Pawn Stars' resident potshot recipient Chumlee (real name: Austin Lee Russell) was always presented as a bit dim-witted on the show, but 2016 painted him in an entirely different light after he was arrested for possession of illicit drugs and guns in March after police searched his home as part of a sexual assault investigation. The reality television personality reached a plea deal that would allow him to avoid jail time for the offenses, and he has yet to be dropped by A&E from the series, but his reputation as the good-natured fall guy for the Harrison family business has certainly but put on the defense as a result of his year.

Taylor Swift

Ordinarily, Taylor Swift's relationship break-ups tend to be good for business and brand because they've been consistent sources of inspiration for her buzziest revenge anthems, but 2016 was a double-whammy of sorts. Not only did she split with her DJ boyfriend Calvin Harris (real name: Adam Wiles) after more than a year of dating in June, but she quickly moved on to actor Tom Hiddleston—much to Harris' rumored chagrin—and that matching, despite being fast and furious with parent meet-and-greets and him wearing an "I Heart TS" shirt at her star-studded Fourth of July "Taymerica" celebration, fizzled out very quickly. Two for two in one year? Woof.

Ex-boyfriend drama, "Imma let you finish, but ..." perhaps even worse for Swift was the fact that Kim Kardashian coughed up the audio receipts to prove that Kanye West did indeed ask her permission to use her name in his lyrics for "Famous," despite Swift's claims that she was blindsided by the content of the song and that she had never been consulted about the song before its release. Swift had even used her Grammys acceptance speech to seemingly blast West for trying to "undercut" her successes and taking credit for her accomplishments, as his lyrics suggested, but after Kardashian's revelations, Swift's sweet and innocent act was seen as just that and there was little room for recovery.

Billy Bush

The list of scandals which have been attributed to Donald Trump and his affiliates over the year is incredibly immense, but perhaps no one felt the sting of complicity quite as fully as television personality Billy Bush. The celebrity interviewer was fired by NBC News after a leaked tape of him speaking with Trump during a 2005 Access Hollywood interview featured the future presidential tape bragging about being sexually aggressive with women without their permission. Bush seemingly kept his spirits high, even after the leak cost him his job and Trump still got promoted to the highest office in the land. Such is life?

Selena Gomez

2016 was supposed to be a pretty stellar year for Selena Gomez. She was releasing her Revival album and going on tour as well as finally, finally extricating herself from the conversation of Justin Bieber's life and uproarious behaviors. But even the best laid plans didn't exactly pan out for the pop starlet, for more reasons than one. For starters, she again found herself back in the thick of that "Same Old Love" after an ill-advised Instagram spat on Bieber's feed, after which she cancelled her Revival tour, citing myriad issues, including lupus flares as well as anxiety and depression.

Gomez then took 90 days off of work (and cellular communications, to boot) to work on her mental and physical well being, and went radio silent on her popular Instagram channel until winter, when she returned with a note of gratitude for her followers, writing that while 2016 was one of "the hardest" it was also "rewarding" because she "finally fought the fight of not 'being enough.'" The silver lining to so many setbacks is that she was able to secure a very lucrative spokes modeling deal with Coach to usher in 2017 on a positive note.

Rachel Roy

The jury's still out on whether Beyonce was referring to a real-life person or a cultural institution at large with that "Becky with the Good Hair" lyric in her Lemonade song "Sorry," but the BeyHive still stung its chief suspect Rachel Roy with a vengeance shortly after the visual album dropped in April. Roy, a fashion designer who's run in the Knowles sister's circles for some time, was immediately pegged as the woman who must've caused so much trouble for Beyonce and her marriage in her seemingly autobiographical song verbiage after she posted a now-deleted Instagram picture of herself in a car with a friend with the caption "Good hair don't care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. live in the light #nodramaqueens."

She'd previously been thought to be the reason for Solange Knowles' elevator fight with Jay-Z in 2014. As a result of the perceived connection to "Becky," Roy's social media feeds were swarmed with actual bee emojis (as well as a slew of nasty accusations) by Beyonce's fans, even after Roy outright denied having anything to do with the situation. Even the similarly-named celebrity chef Rachael Ray caught some of the fallout for Roy, who had to cancel public appearances as a result of unwanted attention. Roy ended up being the most-googled designer of the year for all the wrong reasons.