13 Biggest Celebrity Scandals of 2016: 'Becky With the Good Hair' to Billy Bush
By Jackie Willis
This year had its fair share of drama.
From messy celebrity splits to Beyonce and Kanye West's controversial lyrics to TV hosts making headlines, scandals were inescapable in 2016.
Here's a look at 13 moments this year when celebrities found themselves at the center of the news cycle:
Upon Queen Bey's release of "Sorry" off her Lemonade visual album, which was a narrative about a woman whose partner had been cheating on her, fans immediately started speculating who, if anyone, Jay Z's wife was referring to when she sang, "You better call Becky with the good hair."
Not long after these two split, Swift confirmed that she had secretly written Harris and Rihanna's hit song, "This Is What You Came For." After news broke of the singer's involvement on the track, her ex-boyfriend took to Twitter to express his disappointment over Swift revealing her identity, and to take a swipe at her then budding romance with Tom Hiddleston.
"Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though," he wrote. "I figure if you're happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do."
In April, Ripa was just as shocked as viewers to learn that Strahan would be leaving Live!after co-hosting the daytime talk show to take a full-time position at Good Morning America. After the news broke, Ripa did not show up for work the next day, and instead started her already-scheduled vacation early, not addressing Strahan's exit until her return to Live! the following week.
"The love, the show of support to this bizarre time has been really overwhelming. I really needed a couple of days to gather my thoughts after 26 years at this company, I earned the right," she told viewers at the time. "I always speak from the heart and I didn't want to come out here and just say something I might regret. So, what transpired over the course of these days has been extraordinary. It started a much bigger conversation about communication and consideration and, most importantly, respect in the workplace."
While in Rio, Lochte first claimed that he and three teammates -- Gunnar Bentz, James Feigen and Jack Conger -- were coming home after a night of partying when their taxi was pulled over by men pretending to be law enforcement. At the time, he alleged that one of the robbers pointed a gun at his forehead and stole their money. Lochte later altered his story, saying that the group was not pulled over but instead they were robbed at a gas station after having the taxi stop so they could use the restroom.
However, Rio police officials claimed that the swimmers vandalized the bathroom at the gas station and urinated on the building. According to their report, two gas station security guards were the ones who pointed their gun at the swimmers, demanding monetary payment for the damages.
In October, the 45-year-old TV personality officially parted ways with the Today show a little over a week after the release of a 2005 tape in which he's heard laughing and joking as Donald Trump makes lewd comments about women, one of which was Entertainment Tonight's host, Nancy O'Dell.
It was a hard year for the Ghostbusters star when it came to social media. Months after being trolled on Twitter with racist and body shaming comments, Jones was hacked and her personal identification as well as multiple nude photos of someone who appeared to be the comedian was leaked.
The release of these images sparked outrage in the Hollywood community, with everyone from Katy Perry to Octavia Spencer speaking out in defense of Jones. "This @Lesdoggg attack is troubling. The rampant racism percolating in society right now is shameful and sad. She made a movie, that's it!" Spencer tweeted. "Karma always finds a way to right a wrong. Don't hate someone b/c of their ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or gender #KarmaWins."
A few weeks after the leaked pics, Jones returned to Twitter with a message for her fans and supporters. "Thanks to my fans and friends!" she wrote. "I'm soooooo ok really. And I will always be funny been through a lot in my life and I ALWAYS GET BACK UP!"
The rapper called off her engagement to the NBA pro not long after a recording surfaced that was purportedly Young talking about cheating on her with another woman. Azalea later took to Twitter and alleged that she caught Young in the act.
“I broke up with Nick because I found out he had brought other women into our home while I was away and caught them on the security footage,” she wrote. “This is just like a second shot to the chest. I feel like I don’t even know who the hell it is I’ve been loving all this time. People in this world really are f**ked up.”
Young tweeted not long after the cheating allegations, writing: "If you perfect, then be perfect. I live in a world where people f**k up, learn from it and move on."
Azalea appears to have moved on from Young, as she's been dating fellow rapper French Montana for several months.
In May, Heard filed for divorce from Depp after a year of marriage, and it's been an ongoing legal battle ever since. The two were “in the process of finalizing the settlement agreements” in their divorce earlier this month, with the actress' lawyer telling ET that the estranged spouses have yet to sign the final document.
The two came to a $7 million settlement agreement in August after Heard withdrew her request for a domestic violence restraining order. "Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love," Depp and Heard said in a joint statement. "Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm."
Speaking of messy breakups, in September, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt after two years of marriage, and since then, there's been some back and forth over the custody of their six children.
Court documents recently obtained by ET reveal that the two have been unable to agree on a custody schedule. In November, Pitt's attorney, Lance Spiegel, requested for Pitt to have more time with the children than what was in their Oct. 26 temporary custody agreement, requesting the frequency of their therapy sessions to be increased to twice a week. However, Jolie's attorney, Laura Wasser, said that she defers to the therapists in order to determine the frequency of Pitt's visits, and stressed that the two should stick to their Oct. 26 agreement.
As of now, this custody battle appears to most certainly carry on into the new year.
In May, a source close to Sharon told ET that the rocker had been living a "double life," and that his alleged relationship with hairstylist Michelle Pugh "wasn't just a one-time hookup." Months later, Ozzy admitted that he suffers from a sex addiction and that Pugh wasn't the only woman that the Black Sabbath singer had relations with.
“Over the last six years, I have been dealing with a sex addiction," he said in a statement. "I am mortified at what my behavior has done to my family. I thank God that my incredible wife is at my side to support me."
While Pugh described her relationship with Ozzy as a whirlwind romance, he said it was purely physical. "I’m sorry if Ms. Pugh took our sexual relationship out of context," his statement continued. "I’d also like to apologize to the other women I have been having sexual relationships with. Out of bad comes good. Since the press exposed this, I have gone into intense therapy."
Multiple sources told ET that Aaron has been estranged from his entire family for years. "The entire situation is painful for the family," a source close to the Rodgers said.
Aaron's girlfriend, actress Olivia Munn, also alluded to the strained relationship between Jordan and the NFL star when ET chatted with her in May. "Aaron doesn't really ... I don't think he's really talked with his brother," Olivia told ET when asked about Jordan appearing on The Bachelorette. "So, I actually don't know. It's complicated -- I'll say that."
Ever since Rob started dating his sister Kylie Jenner's boyfriend Tyga's ex-girlfriend and mother of his child, there's been drama. So, it was only fitting that Rob and Chyna got their own reality show after announcing that they were engaged and expecting a baby just months after getting together.
The couple recently welcomed their daughter, Dream, into the world this past month, and a source close to the couple told ET that, as of now, they're scandal free. "Everyone who is close to Rob, including his family and best friends, really respect and love Chyna," the source said. "They see how happy she makes Rob and are thankful that she got him to turn around. Rob has been a great father and really loves Chyna."
It's hard to say what 2017 has to offer for these celebrities, but what we do know is that Rob and Chyna will be back with another season of their reality show. Here's a look inside the couple's relationship: