Stars with really sketchy significant others

Stars don't always make the best relationship decisions. It's hard to imagine how people with the world at their fingertips — and any imaginable choice of suitors and beauties falling at their feet — would fall in love with criminals or creeps, but these celebs all shacked up with characters who were allegedly really sketchy. 

Some stars were warned, but apparently blinded by their infatuation or in denial about their partner's serious issues. Others got out of their doomed relationships relatively unscathed. Tragically, some didn't make it out at all. From Oscar darlings Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway to musician Tracy Cyrus and reality star Courtney Stodden — men and women from across the entertainment industry have allegedly been victimized, bamboozled, or simply mistreated by the folks they loved. Let's take a closer look at some stars with really sketchy significant others.

Brittany Murphy did not heed the red flags

Actress Brittany Murphy met screenwriter Simon Monjack at a photo shoot when she was 13, reported People. They're paths reportedly crossed again at her 28th birthday party, and a year later, they married. The Hollywood Reporter noted that when they met, Monjack was broke and embroiled in several lawsuits. He apparently saddled a former fiancée with thousands of dollars in unpaid rent and had a habit of bouncing checks (including one for $10,000 to a casting director that Murphy paid for him).

Director George Hickenlooper told the New York Daily News that he tried to warn Murphy about Monjack. Sources also told The Hollywood Reporter that Monjack was allegedly "flim-flammed" people for money and "created a web of paranoia around Brittany and used it to separate her from anyone who might have challenged his dominance." Reporter Alex Ben Block, who wrote the THR piece, claimed Monjack "exaggerated or simply fabricated" much of what he told him "about his family, education, marriage and career."

When a 32-year-old Murphy fell ill and died suddenly in December 2009, Monjack was convinced "she had literally died of a broken heart," reported THR. He died five months later, at age 40, in an eerily similar fashion. After his death, TMZ revealed he had two secret love-children (whose mothers emailed him demanding child support) and had wired huge sums of money to various lawyers and "someone in Europe for some sort of settlement."

Trace Cyrus was duped about a pregnancy

Before dating Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin, erstwhile Disney starlet Brenda Song had a roller coaster relationship with a different star — and the worst of the "downs" were allegedly her doing.

Years of relationship drama between Song and Metro Station frontman Trace Cyrus (brother of Miley Cyrus) came to a head in 2015 on social media. Song wrote on Instagram (via Just Jared): "I usually never speak of my personal life, but I'd like to clear up some rumors. A few years ago there were rumors that I was pregnant and/or had a miscarriage. I just want to say that those rumors were not true. They were just lies and fabrications. I apologize for not clearing this up sooner and for the continual damage that these lies have caused @TraceCyrus. We may no longer be together but I hope he can forgive me and I wish him nothing but the best."

Heavy, right? But it gets worse. Trace reportedly commented on her apologetic post: "Yes they were lies THAT U MADE UP and told me, my entire family and all our friends."

Courtney Stodden's mom allowed her 16-year-old daughter to marry a much older man

There's plenty of skepticism to go around on this one. At a time when most parents are still signing permission slips for their kids to go on class field trips, Courtney Stodden's mom, Krista Stodden, seemingly had no qualms about giving her 16-year-old daughter written permission to marry 51-year-old actor Doug Hutchison in 2011. In fact, the actor said mama Stodden was the one that suggested the special arrangement. 

"With parental consent, no sexual emails and no physical contact, Hutchison wasn't breaking any statutory-rape laws," ABC News reported, and "39 states allow 16-year-olds to marry as long as they have documented parental consent and a birth certificate."

Krista has since second-guessed her blessing. "I do take full responsibility, however because I am the one that did sign the paper for her to marry this man," Krista told Radar Online in 2015. "If I had to do it all over again I cannot tell you if I would be signing that paper." Krista believes "external influences" created a "very icy" relationship with her daughter and claimed Hutchison has done "horrible things."

Courtney apparently has mixed feelings about the shocking age gap too. "It's mind-boggling to me that we were able to do it — that my mom would sign a bit of paper to let me marry a 50 year old," she said (via The Sun) in 2016. In March 2018, after seven years of marriage, a 23-year-old Courtney filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences and requesting Hutchison not receive spousal support, reported People

Anne Hathaway's dad hired a P.I. to look into her ex

Before settling down with now-husband Adam Shulman, Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway fell head over heels for a criminal. The actress dated Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri for five years and even talked about getting married. That is, until his arrest in 2008.

Follieri was charged with 14 counts of conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud, after which he spent nearly five years in prison. "Using his personal charm, Follieri managed to dupe celebrities, politicians and even the Vatican into trusting him," reported ABC News. Hathaway reportedly "dumped" the jet-setter right before he was busted. After nearly five years behind bars, he was released and deported to Italy. 

The actress declined to go into details about what she knew of Follieri's dealings, but she did tell W magazine, "As soon as I found out about the arrest, I had to get on a plane to Mexico to do a press tour for Get Smart. And then I spent a week in shock at a friend's house." She added, "It's a situation where the rug was pulled out from under me all of a sudden, but just as suddenly my friends threw another rug back under me."

Vanity Fair reported that Hathaway's father was suspicious of Follieri during the romance, even going so far as to hire a private investigator to look into his daughter's lover.

Lea Michele may have dated a male gigolo

Lea Michele was heartbroken when her former flame and co-star, Cory Monteith, died of a fatal mix of heroin and alcohol in July 2013. She mended her heart with hunky Matthew Paetz in 2014, but his alter ego may have gotten in the way.

In a case of life imitating GleeTMZ reported that Paetz was a former gigolo for Cowboys4Angels, a site offering "male companionship" to ladies that was featured on the Showtime series Gigolos. Paetz, who operated under the pseudonym "Christian," described himself as a "massage therapist" and "life and dating coach," charging $350 an hour, $6,000 for a weekend, and $17,500 for a week. 

Michele reportedly kept their relationship quiet for months, but when they did go public, the actress gushed about him in interviews and defended his controversial career. "She was also very supportive of him even when her friends were skeptical of him because of his past," an insider told E! News. "Lea wanted to believe in love and wanted to believe the good in him. She didn't think he should be punished for his past."

It seems Michele believed a little too hard, because she was allegedly "blindsided" and "crushed" when he took off in February 2016, reported Us Weekly. A source told E! News that Michele "got no reason or explanation for the split" because he wouldn't even talk to her.

Ronda Rousey overlooked domestic abuse allegations

Professional fighter Ronda Rousey generally keeps her relationship with husband and UFC fighter Travis Browne under wraps, but their union is not without controversy. Browne's estranged wife, fitness model Jenna Lee Webb, accused him of spousal abuse, even posting photos of her alleged injuries on Instagram and Twitter with warnings for Rousey. Browne was suspended by the UFC while a law firm investigated the claims, but the organization reported that "there was inconclusive evidence" to support the allegations.

Rousey tearfully addressed the abuse claims with ESPN in 2015: "It's hard, it's really hard. I'm very anti-domestic violence, but I know that he didn't do anything," she said. "Now I'm put in a situation where I'm finally happy with somebody that respects me and cares about me, and I'm like, 'What do I do?'" The pair tied the knot in August 2017, so whatever Browne's issues may have been, they weren't enough to change Rousey's heart, though perhaps she should keep her guard up.

Convicted killer Phil Spector held Ronnie Spector hostage

Singer Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes was married to music producer Phil Spector. Though her success was great for him financially, it supposedly made him possessive and insecure. Ronnie told The Telegraph that Phil got so jealous of the attention Ronnie received from other men (including John Lennon) that he imprisoned her in their home, only letting her leave once a month to get feminine hygiene products. If she was gone longer than 20 minutes, he'd allegedly send a bodyguard out to find her. She claimed he hid her shoes to keep her from going out and wouldn't let her perform live.

"The last year of my marriage I didn't talk at all," Ronnie said, "because if I said anything he'd yell at me, so why say anything? I was a scared little girl from Spanish Harlem living in this mansion with five servants, not knowing what to do with any of it. I cried every night I was married."

In 2009, Spector was convicted of shooting and killing actress Lana Clarkson at his home in 2003. When asked about Spector's 19-to-life sentence, Ronnie told The Telegraph, "It feels wonderful! The more he tried to destroy me, the stronger I got. It made me think, 'How dare you? You don't own me.'"

Apollo Nida committed fraud right under Phaedra Parks' nose

When The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Phaedra Parks married Apollo Nida, he had just finished a five-year prison sentence for racketeering. When Parks joined the Bravo franchise, Nida "said she was making far more money than he was and that he felt pressure to keep up," reported the Associated Press (via Page Six). 

According to the AP, Nida reportedly went back to his criminal methods to make a buck, creating a fake debt collection agency and stealing identities to nab funds from various government agencies. He also created fake auto dealerships to get loans for cars that didn't exist. He claimed Parks was kept in the dark. He pleaded guilty to mail, wire, and bank fraud and was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $1.9 million in restitution to JP Morgan Chase Bank, Delta Airlines, the IRS, and the states of California, Connecticut, and Texas, reported Page Six

When Nida and Parks divorced in 2017, she made it abundantly clear that she was ready to move on. "Apollo and I started dating in high school and now I'm in my early 40s, so it was time to go. That's almost a lifetime," she told Us Weekly in 2017. "Thank God it's over, but thank God it happened because we have two beautiful kids." 

Sandra Bullock and Kat Von D put up with way too much

While Sandra Bullock and Jesse James were dating in 2004, the American Chopper star posed as Hitler in full-on Nazi regalia. Sources told Us Weekly that the reality star was not actually a Neo-Nazi — just a "history buff." More controversy followed in 2007, when James was accused of selling motorcycles that violated California's clean air laws. He was fined $271,250 by the California Air Resources Board, People reported. However, it was the revelation in 2010 that James cheated on Bullock with a slew of women, including Nazi-propaganda-wearing Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, that prompted Bullock to file for divorce, reported Us Weekly

James rebounded with renowned tattoo artist Kat Von D, but his old habits died really, really hard — they were on-again off-again until calling it quits for good in November 2011. According to People, James allegedly cheated on Von D with a whopping 19 women.

Mariah Carey may have kissed some frogs

Superstar Mariah Carey was just 18 years old when she got together with her much older manager and Sony Music boss Tommy Mottola. According to Entertainment Weekly, she later described the union as "oppressive" and referred to the prison-like home they shared as "Sing Sing." 

He didn't necessarily disagree. "If it seemed like I was controlling, let me apologize again," he wrote in his 2013 memoir, Hitmaker: The Man and his Music (via ABC News). "Was I obsessive? Yes. But that was also part of the reason for her success." 

Mottola clearly thinks he made Carey a star, and he allegedly thought he could take it all away too. According to XXL magazine (via Fox News), Mottola allegedly instructed record executive Irv Gotti "to make a record for Jennifer Lopez that sounded exactly like one Gotti's company had made with Carey for her movie, Glitter — even though Glitter was not finished and Lopez would beat Carey to the punch and undermine a project she was recording for Sony." Sources claimed Mottola "was surreptitiously viewing footage of Glitter while his ex-wife was shooting it."

In 2016, Carey got engaged to billionaire James Packer, who may have some shady dealings of his own. After their breakup, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Packer was being investigated for possibly giving gifts to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. When asked about the controversy, Carey, ever flawless, quipped, "I don't know where the motherf**ker is!"