The shady side of Kaley Cuoco you don't know about

She may come off as America's bubbly sweetheart Penny on The Big Bang Theory (2007-), but Kaley Cuoco's real life is much different from that of the character she portrays on TV. Her world is rife with turmoil and shady decisions — including rocky relationships, misguided publicity stunts, and unhealthy obsessions.

Cuoco is also one of the most candid actresses in Hollywood, having revealed countless personal stories in interviews over the years. But the truth isn't always pleasant, particularly regarding her exes— Cuoco's not afraid to publicly grind an axe is what we're saying.

Though she's full of talent, this award-winning leading lady also has a knack for spilling the tea and tossing shade at almost every turn. Does she cause drama on the set? Allegedly. Want to know about her plastic surgery? No problem. Has she dated losers? Pull up a chair. Here's everything you don't know about the shady side of Kaley Cuoco.

According to Kaley Cuoco's socials, her ex doesn't exist

If you take a gander at Kaley Cuoco's Instagram account, you won't find any photos of her ex-husband, tennis player Ryan Sweeting. Okay, we get it. Who wants a lasting reminder of love lost on the internet? The harsh part of this move was its scope and efficiency. Cuoco deleted any and all traces of Sweeting the day before they announced their divorce in September 2015, according to Us Weekly. She also unfollowed him and removed any mention of him from her Instagram bio.

For his part, Sweeting eventually followed suit. As their nearly 21-month-marriage fell apart, the former tennis player deactivated his Facebook profile and deleted all the photos on his Instagram account. Ghosting from the internet itself? No matter whose team you're on, that's a little extreme and all kinds of shady. 

About six months after announcing her divorce from Sweeting, Cuoco resumed the social media PDA by plastering her platform with her new beau, professional equestrian Karl Cook. The horse-enthusiast duo has since gotten engaged (more on that in a minute), but there's still a bit more to know about her first ill-fated marriage.

Kaley Cuoco's blink and you'll miss it first marriage

As news of their divorce hit the tabloids, word got out that it was supposedly triggered by Ryan Sweeting's alleged addiction to painkillers. According to the Daily Mail, Sweeting — who has a history with drugs, including a 2006 arrest on charges of DUI and possession of a drug with the intent to sell — became addicted to painkillers after back surgery. 

"She supported him but she said he couldn't make the commitment to get sober," a source told Us Weekly. "He'd tell her he was working on it and instead go get wasted."

Um, define "support," because In Touch claimed it was actually Kaley Cuoco's partying that undermined their marriage. "Kaley would go out with her friends, without her wedding ring, and get wasted," the tab reported. "She'd drink two bottles of wine by herself."

It's no wonder sources for People magazine claimed the couple "seemed miserable" right before the divorce. Speculation aside, the fact is: Cuoco married a man she'd been dating for only six months, then cast that union aside after only 21 months. That's her prerogative, but those impulsive decisions certainly counter her sweet and sunny public image. 

Kaley Cuoco's rebound with Karl Cook didn't take long either

Remember how we just mentioned that there were only six months between Kaley Cuoco's divorce from Ryan Sweeting and the start of her relationship with Karl Cook? Well, in between them she wasn't exactly staying at home and drowning her single-girl sorrows in Netflix and Häagen-Dazs.

For all the tabloid attention her divorce received, you'd have thought Cuoco may have gone for some more low-key hookups afterward, but instead, she was linked to Arrow star Paul Blackthorne, then country musician Sam Hunt, followed by The Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki. Cuoco denied all those rebound rumors.

At the time of this writing, she and equestrian Cook, who is lesser known as a horseman and better known as the son of billionaire software entrepreneur Scott Cook, are inching toward the two-year mark. While this courtship has admittedly lasted longer than Cuoco and Sweeting's entire marriage, it would seem that taking it slow still isn't Cuoco's preference because…

And just like that, Kaley Cuoco got married. Again.

Karl Cook popped the question to Kaley Cuoco on Dec. 1, 2017, which the freshly engaged couple documented on their respective Instagram accounts. Cuoco shared a video of herself in the moments after the proposal, sobbing uncontrollably and flashing her giant new sparkler. Cook shared a video of him slow dancing with his fiancée, which he recorded selfie-style.

For anyone paying attention to Cuoco's public remarks about her relationship with Cook in the months prior, the proposal was a foregone conclusion. First, Cuoco admitted to People magazine in August 2017 that she is "open to anything" on the subject of marriage, even though her divorce was only finalized in May 2016.

One month later, she told the New York Post that she's "never been in a relationship like this," and that she and Cook have been "completely inseparable" since their first date. "I'm trying to slow this one down. And I'm not a slow person. I'm just not! I can't help but want everything right then," Cuoco added. Uh huh, we've noticed. 

The loved-up couple officially tied the knot on June 30, 2018. 

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a shady publicity stunt!

Rebounding at a rapid pace is nothing new for Kaley Cuoco. It seems to be her modus operandi. Just weeks after her brief engagement to addiction specialist Josh "Lazie" Resnik was called off, the actress was spotted partying it up with a mystery man at a nightclub in Hollywood. "Kaley and the guy were giggling all night in the V.I.P. section, where they were kissing, dancing and even did an impromptu photo shoot," sources told People.

Then, in a truly bizarre twist of events, she had a highly-publicized and unexpected fling with Man of Steel star Henry Cavill. That courtship lasted a measly two weeks, causing some to wonder if the hookup was merely a publicity stunt — both parties were represented by the same PR company at the time. 

"I had no one following me until I met Superman," Cuoco told Cosmopolitan in 2014. "I've been in this business for 20 years, and my whole life, I could go anywhere, do anything. There had not been one paparazzi photo of me until like several months ago. The recognition was crazy."

Did Kaley Cuoco cause big bangs behind the scenes, too?

Rumors abound that Kaley Cuoco's shady antics on The Big Bang Theory set are jeopardizing the show's future. At one point in 2016, a hoax story even made the rounds online about actress Christina Applegate replacing Cuoco for Season 10. That fallacy was fueled by numerous reports about drama among castmates over salaries and scripts.

In April 2016, Radar Online claimed co-star Mayim Bialik thought Cuoco's $1 million per episode rate was far too steep (Bialik reportedly earned only $100,000 per show). That assessment allegedly sent Cuoco's temper into orbit. "Kaley is furious at Mayim for trash-talking her earnings," an insider told the tab.

According to CelebDirtyLaundry, "The cast and crew are all fed up with Kaley's constant mood swings," and one source said Cuoco "flips out about makeup, wardrobe, even the catering."

Though no member of the cast has lent any first-person credence to those claims, Variety reported in 2017 that Cuoco and the rest of the Big Bang principle cast agreed to a pay cut as part of a deal to boost the salaries of lesser players Bialik and Melissa Rauch. Cuoco even alluded to the pay negotiations during an interview with Jimmy Kimmel in which she said that the cast's new contract after Season 10 was dependent on "a very expensive question."

Again, we're not entirely sure if the Variety report is true, but if it is, that sheds an entirely different light on Cuoco's dynamic with the rest of the cast. One thing his clear, however, and it's that no matter what's going on behind the scenes, Cuoco seems to be at the center of it.

Penny dated Leonard IRL on the DL

One of Kaley Cuoco's longest relationships was the one she kept secret. In 2010, the actress dropped a bombshell when she revealed to CBS Watch that she dated co-star Johnny Galecki, who plays Dr. Leonard Hofstadter, for nearly two years. "It was a wonderful relationship but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together. We were so protective of ourselves and the show and didn't want anything to ruin that," she said.

Cuoco claimed their incognito lifestyle eventually tore them apart. "We couldn't do anything. It wasn't as fun as we wanted it to be," she said. "Everyone was always asking, and we deny-deny-denied. And I'm like, 'Why am I denying this person that I love?' It took a little bit of a toll on me and I think it did for him, too."

We get being worried about impacting America's top comedy, but worrying about it for two whole years? That level of restraint seems wildly out of character when compared to the openness of her most recent relationships. Not to mention, Cuoco clearly wasn't thinking about the show when she got very touchy-feely very publicly with her ex soon after her divorce. At the 2016 People's Choice Awards, the inseparable duo shared plenty of pictures on social media. Though Cuoco added a "#notdating" hashtag to her photo collage, the pals' public displays of affection certainly blurred the lines between reality and TV.

Kaley Cuoco blurs the lines between her romances

Granted, when you once dated the co-star of the show on which you're still acting, there's no avoiding that ex. Even so, Kaley Cuoco might want to learn a thing or two about keeping one's professional and personal lives separate.

Case in point: on March 15, 2017, she posted a photo to Instagram of her husband, the aforementioned Karl Cook, hugging and making kissy faces with her ex boyfriend, Johnny Galecki, on the set of The Big Bang Theory. Sure, it's nice to see that everyone is as chummy as they claim to be, but it still feels a bit, you know, forced, especially coming from an Instagram account that already screams "thou doth protest too much."

But, hey, whatever works!

Kaley Cuoco's shady take on feminism and equality

Kaley Cuoco came under fire in December 2014 for a disastrous interview with Redbook, in which she admitted that feminism isn't something she thinks about. "Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around," she said. "I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality." Apparently, that answer didn't sit well with feminists around the world.

Cuoco quickly pulled the "words can be taken out of context" defense on Instagram and has been trying to clean up that interview ever since. "Of course I'm a f***ing feminist," she told Cosmopolitan in 2016. "Look at me. I bleed feminism. I get equal pay to my male costars on a big show, I have my own home, I'm as independent as you could possibly be." Gee, Gloria Steinem would be so proud. 

Does Kaley Cuoco's ignorance of the U.S. Flag Code count as shady?

Kaley Cuoco stepped in a steaming pile of controversy on July 4, 2016, when she posted a photo on Instagram of her dogs sitting on an American flag placed on the ground. She intended for the photo to be a fun Independence Day message, but the U.S. Flag Code dictates that Old Glory should not touch the ground or be utilized as bedding.

According to Page Six, Cuoco's photo was immediately ripped to shreds in the comments section. "Shame on you, Kaley," wrote one Instagram user. "You lost a fan."

As the barrage intensified, Cuoco deleted the photo and issued an apology on Instagram. "…I have the utmost respect for my country. I am a proud American in every sense of the word. I understand the American flag stands for our freedom and represents American heroes, past and present."

"I made a mistake," she said. "I sincerely apologize to anyone that has been offended by my previous post. This is no way reflects my feelings toward what the American flag represents. Living in the public eye can be extremely difficult at times. Every mistake and every imperfection is amplified. I am not perfect. I am a proud American, today, tomorrow, always." The apology was accompanied by a photo of the American flag in the shape of a heart.

Knowing how obsessed she is with online chatter, did this unfortunate error leave Cuoco feeling remorseful? Not so much, at least not if you judge by her other Independence Day posts, which featured beer drinking and goofy 'Merica clothing.

Kaley Cuoco should stay out of the comment section

Speaking to Cosmopolitan in 2014, Kaley Cuoco openly admitted to being "obsessed" with what people say about her online. "I'll read something from someone in Indiana who's like, 'She looked disgusting in that dress,' and it's going to ruin my night," she said.

Cuoco even found herself doing the unthinkable — acting on the advice of cyberbullies. "I started reading and thought, 'Maybe I need to make more of an effort and not go out in my UGGs and be disgusting.' So I started putting on makeup. And they started writing, 'Wow, someone really likes being in front of the camera' and 'Her hair's done now for coffee.' I couldn't do anything right," she said. "But I'm obsessed. I openly admit to being totally insane about that."

On the one hand, it's vaguely charming to read about a celebrity who acts just like we do on occasion. On the other, Cuoco's preoccupation with what people think about her suggests a troubling degree of narcissism and fragility. In which case, we hope she never finds this article.

Kaley Cuoco is Kaley Cuoco's biggest fan

Kaley Cuoco's questionable stance on feminism came into a play a second time when she gave an interview to Women's Health in November 2016, during which she stressed the importance of being as happy with outer beauty as well as inner beauty.

"'As much as you want to love your inner self … I'm sorry, you also want to look good," she told the magazine. "Years ago, I had my nose done. And my boobs — best thing I ever did," she said. "Recently I had a filler in a line in my neck I've had since I was 12." She added, "I don't think you should do it for a man or anyone else, but if it makes you feel confident, that's amazing."

How…progressive? 

Kaley Cuoco is still shading Ryan Sweeting

Kaley Cuoco touched on what went wrong with her marriage to Ryan Sweeting in September 2017, when she alluded to his alleged problem with painkillers. She told the New York Post, "You just have to want to help yourself. You can love someone so much, but if you don't love yourself, it doesn't matter, because you can't accept love."

By April 2018, Cuoco took the gloves off completely when she told Cosmopolitan she never thought she'd wed again. "My ex ruined that word for me. I married someone the first time who completely changed," she said, adding, "The person I ended up with was not the person I originally met. And that wasn't my fault — that was his."

What's interesting about Cuoco's remarks is that she wasn't even specifically asked about Sweeting. The question was about "walking down the aisle for the second time," and instead of just focusing on her new relationship and upcoming nuptials, Cuoco made the decision to once again throw shade on her ex. Was there really any need for that?

The curious case of the crappy tipper

Kaley Cuoco actually seemed to be in a bit of a grove in Spring 2018 in terms of throwing shade at past lovers, because she also shot an episode of "Sad Hot Girls" (Yep. That's real.) for Vogue and called out an ex for being a bad tipper.

Back when she was 19 years old and just getting her start in Hollywood, Cuoco says she started seeing "John" (supposedly not his real name, but more on that in a second), who was a very famous actor. "At 19, I'm sitting there looking at this guy — I'm going, 'I'm gonna marry him. This is the father of my children,'" Cuoco says, revealing that her dating MO hasn't change a whole lot over the years. Anyway, after many meals, and many sneak trips back into restaurants to cover his bad tipping, Cuoco finally broke up with the cheapo mystery celeb. So, who was he?

She won't say, but Jezebel thinks she left enough clues — including the notion that "John" may not have been an alias at all — to have possibly implicated none other than Jonathan Taylor Thomas of Home Improvement fame. Well, actually, Jezebel cited another celeb gossip blog, Celebitchy, where a commenter pointed out that Cuoco and JTT starred on 8 Simple Rules together, which would have lined up with Cuoco's cheap tipper timeline. Granted, there's a ton of speculation there, but the point is that it's a can of worms that Cuoco happily, and shadily opened.