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11 Celebrities Who Did Horrible Things And Everyone Just...Forgot About It

It's shocking what rock stars write in their autobiographies.

Content warning: This post contains mentions of sexual assault, violence, and child abuse.

1. Karl Malone impregnated a 13-year-old girl when he was 20.

Malone on the basketball court in 1987 while playing for the Utah Jazz
Rick Stewart / Getty Images

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Malone impregnated 13-year-old Gloria Bell when he was 20 years old and playing basketball for Louisiana Tech. While Malone initially did not admit to being Demetress Bell's father, a judge ruled that Malone was indeed the father after a paternity test.

2. Pete Townshend of the Who used his credit card to access a child pornography site.

Townshend playing guitar onstage during the band's Las Vegas residency
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

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Townshend admitted to using his credit card to gain access to the site but claims he was innocent of any wrongdoing and didn't actually enter the site. He also claims he was accessing the site for "research." The police gave him a warning and he was on the sex offenders list for five years, but no charges were filed.

3. Rick James assaulted a woman and held her against her will, keeping her bound to a chair for at least 12 hours.

James in a portrait session wearing a deep-neck red shirt
George Rose / Getty Images

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The musician and his then-girlfriend, Tanya Hizaji, had invited a 24-year-old woman to James' home. When the woman tried to leave later, James allegedly tied her to a chair, and he and Hizaji beat her and burned her with a hot crack pipe. James was convicted of assault and holding the woman against her will, but dodged a torture charge that might have landed him in prison for life. He served just over two years of a five-year sentence.

4. Infamous boxing promoter Don King stomped a former employee to death because he owed King $600.

Don King wearing a tuxedo during a press event
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King was found guilty of second-degree murder, but the judge reduced his sentencing to non-negligent manslaughter. He was sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison but was pardoned after about four years by then–Ohio Gov. Jim Rhodes.

5. Steven Tyler was in a relationship with a 16-year-old when he was in his mid-20s, and bragged about it in his autobiography.

Tyler at an event for the Janie's Fund charity
Theo Wargo / Getty Images

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In fact, Tyler even got her age wrong in the book, claiming that the girl — later revealed to be Julia Holcomb — was only 14 when they met in 1973 (if the year is correct, he would have been about 25). When Holcomb told her side of the story years later, she alleged that Tyler convinced her mother to let him take legal guardianship of her so that she could travel on tour with him. She also alleges that he impregnated her at 17 and convinced her to have an abortion.

6. Jon Hamm was arrested in college in connection with a hazing incident in which a fraternity pledge was assaulted.

Jon Hamm at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2020
David Crotty / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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According to court and school records, Hamm was named in a 1991 lawsuit that detailed how a pledge at Hamm's fraternity said he was beaten with a paddle and led around with a claw hammer under his genitals, and had his pants lit on fire as part of a hazing ritual. Criminal charges were filed and Hamm received probation.

7. Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers said in his own autobiography that he knowingly had sex with a minor.

Keidis performing onstage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gie Knaeps / Getty Images

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In his 2005 autobiography, Scar Tissue, Kiedis wrote about having sex with a girl he thought was 18, but who later told him she was only 14 years old. He tells how she revealed her age to him and told him that her father was the chief of police in the area, and how he "had sex one more time" with her after that. Kiedis was 23 years old at the time.

8. Chris Brown violently assaulted Rihanna and has been accused of several other assaults in the years since, including allegations from Karrueche Tran that ended up granting her a five-year restraining order against Brown.

Brown at the premiere of a documentary about his life
Jonathan Leibson / Getty Images

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Brown received probation, a restraining order, and community service in a plea deal for assaulting Rihanna and was later sentenced to jail time for violating his probation. He has denied the allegations of assault against Tran. He continues to receive awards and nominations for his music to this day.

9. Victor Salva, director of Jeepers Creepers, pleaded guilty in 1988 to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14, having oral sex with a child under 14, and procuring a child for pornography, after abusing a 12-year-old actor on the set of one of his movies.

Salva at a red carpet event in 2014
Paul Archuleta / FilmMagic / Getty Images

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Child pornography was also found in Salva's home. He served just 15 months in prison, and most of his career in movies happened after his release, including Powder and the entire Jeepers Creepers franchise.

10. Woody Allen took nude photos of — and later married — his ex-girlfriend's daughter while he was finalizing his adoption of her siblings. He continues to make movies to this day.

Allen accepting an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

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In December 1991, Allen finalized his adoption of his ex-partner Mia Farrow's two children, Dylan and Moses. At the same time, he began a sexual relationship with Farrow's other daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, who was 21 at the time, while Allen was in his mid-50s. They married shortly after and remain married to this day.

Allen was also accused of sexually abusing Dylan Farrow when she was 7 years old. Dylan maintains that the allegations are true, but the courts cleared Allen of those charges. Those allegations notwithstanding, an appellate court determined in a separate custody case that Allen's actions in beginning a relationship with Previn while formally acting as her siblings' adopted father were "totally unacceptable" and that "at the very minimum, it demonstrates an absence of any parenting skills."

11. Elvis Presley met his wife, Priscilla, when she was 14 and he was 24.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley holding hands at their wedding
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

According to biographies about Presley, he met Priscilla when she was 14. Elvis was 24 at the time. While they did not marry until Priscilla turned 21, the two spent significant time together while Priscilla was underage and still in high school. By some accounts, Elvis even lied to Priscilla's parents by saying they would stay in Los Angeles and be chaperoned at all times during one of Priscilla's visits, only for Elvis to take Priscilla to Las Vegas instead.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search for your local center here

If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-2253 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.