1.While promoting his film Cold Pursuit, Liam Neeson discussed how he related to the revenge story by recounting the time he found out a man had raped his friend. Because the friend stated that the man was Black, Neeson said he "went up and down areas with a cosh [a bludgeon], hoping I’d be approached by somebody — I’m ashamed to say that." He continued, "I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘Black bastard’ (Neeson used air quotes) would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.”
“There were some nights I went out deliberately into Black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence," he also said on Good Morning America. He called his actions "terrible" but claimed he was not racist, saying he would've done the same thing but in other neighborhoods if the man who had attacked his friend had been white. “If she had said an Irish or a Scot or a Brit or a Lithuanian, I know I would have had the same effect. I was trying to show honor, to stand up for my dear friend, in this terrible medieval fashion.” He later apologized for his comments, saying he'd "missed the point."
2.Matt Damon said he "retired" using the F-slur for gay people after he made a joke and his daughter gave him a "treatise" on the subject. "The word that my daughter calls the 'f-slur for a homosexual' was commonly used when I was a kid, with a different application," Damon said. "I made a joke, months ago, and got a treatise from my daughter. She left the table. I said, 'Come on, that's a joke! I say it in the movie Stuck on You!'"
He later walked back this version of the story, saying he had "never called anyone 'f****t' in [his] personal life and this conversation with [his] daughter was not a personal awakening." He said he was attempting to contextualize to his daughter the progress that had been made since he was a kid, telling her he'd heard the F-slur often as a kid "before [he] knew what it even referred to." He said he "explained that that word was used constantly and casually and was even a line of dialogue in a movie of mine as recently as 2003; she in turn expressed incredulity that there could ever have been a time where that word was used unthinkingly."
3.Charlamagne Tha God once suggested that he raped his wife, saying, “Me and my wife dated for a whole year, she would not give me no pussy. Me and my wife hung out one Saturday night and she got sloppy drunk and passed out in my momma’s house and I got that pussy. She was f–king me back, and all that, but she was really drunk. I asked her yesterday, ‘Did I rape you the first time we ever had sex?’ And she goes, ‘I mean in hindsight, yeah.'”
He also spoke on his show about another time in which he got a girl drunk and gave her Spanish Fly (a sexual stimulant), then had sex with her, and admitted to hitting his girlfriend when he was 16.
4.Matty Healy has found himself the subject of controversy for many of his remarks, in particular the ones he made on the The Adam Friedland Show. In the episode (which Spotify later removed), Adam tells a story about leaving Healy's apartment with friends, and one of the women with them going back to Healy's apartment because she'd forgotten her water bottle. “She went back in and Matty, like, on his phone and then on his 77-inch OLEDs just got Ghetto Gaggers blaring,” Adam recalled, referring to a racist and misogynistic porn site where Black women in particular are degraded and humiliated. “Thirty seconds after the hang, just hardcore pornography.”
Healy corroborated the story, saying, "You're not exaggerating. It was 30 seconds, like, you guys were still waiting outside. She came back in; I was already flustered. I was dressed as ‘guy who is jacking off,’ so I had, like, an untucked shirt, and I think it literally was Ghetto Gaggers on the TV — somebody just getting, like, brutalized."
5.John Lennon once admitted to domestic violence. In the Beatles song "Getting Better," Lennon wrote, "I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved," and he later expanded on the lyric in an interview with Playboy in 1980. "I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically — any woman," he said. "I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women," he said. "That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything's the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace."
6.Eric Clapton also admitted to abusing ex-wife Pattie Boyd. “There were times when I took sex with my wife by force and thought that was my entitlement. I had absolutely no concern for other people,” he told the Sunday Times, admitting to being a “full-blown” alcoholic and beating Boyd.
7.Numerous '70s and '80s rock stars have sung about hooking up with minors in their songs, perhaps most notably "Jailbait" by Ted Nugent (many of these rock stars, including Nugent, also became involved with minors). Even more damning, Aerosmith's Steven Tyler wrote about having sex with a minor in his memoir. “She was 16, she knew how to nasty, and there wasn’t a hair on it," Tyler wrote. He was 26 at the time. He also wrote, “Her parents fell in love with me, signed a paper over for me to have custody, so I wouldn’t get arrested if I took her out of state. I took her on tour."
It's likely that Tyler is referring to Julia Holcomb, who sued him last year for sexual assault, sexual battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress back in the '70s. She says that Tyler persuaded her mother to sign over guardianship to him. Holcomb also says in court documents that she became pregnant and Tyler made her have an abortion.
8.Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers also wrote about having sex with a 14-year-old in his autobiography Scar Tissue. The girl — who reportedly inspired the song "Catholic School Girls Rule" — came backstage at his concert and the two had sex. According to Keidis, she then continued on with the band to Baton Rouge. After their show, the girl revealed that she was 14 and her father was the chief of police in her town, adding that "the entire state of Louisiana" was looking for her because she'd been reported missing.
Keidis said he wasn't scared "because, in my somewhat deluded mind, I knew that if she told the chief of police she was in love with me, he wasn’t going to have me taken out to a field and shot, but I did want to get her the hell back home right away. So we had sex one more time.” He was in his mid-20s at the time.
9.John Stamos once told a story about getting his friend laid by tricking a woman into thinking she was having sex with him in the mid '80s. "I was in a band. I was playing somewhere in Finland, and there was a girl hanging around who was really drunk and interested in me. I wasn't into her, but my friend was. So the girl came back to my hotel, and I turned the lights down, and we started making out. I said, 'Hold on a second, I've gotta go brush my teeth.' It was dark, I left the room, and I sent in my friend who looked like me. And she thought she was having sex with me, but she was really having sex with my friend."
10.Cardi B admitted in an Instagram Live that she used to drug and rob men "to ... survive." She said, “I had to go strip. I had to go ‘Oh yeah, you wanna fuck me? Yeah yeah yeah, let’s go back to this hotel.’ And I drugged n****s up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do. Nothing was mothafuckin’ handed to me." In response to backlash, Cardi tweeted, “I never claim to be an angel I always been a street bitch. Ya be glorifying this street rappers that talk and do that grimmey street shit but they can’t stand a street bitch.”
When the video resurfaced and caused renewed backlash, Cardi took to Instagram to write, "Whether or not they were poor choices at the time, I did what I had to do to survive. I never claimed to be perfect or come from a perfect world," also saying, "I never glorified the things I brought up in that live [video], I never even put those things in my music because I'm not proud of it and feel a responsibility not to glorify it. ... I made the choices that I did at the time because I had very limited options." She also claimed the men she had drugged were "conscious, willing, and aware" and involved with her at the time.
11.Jennifer Lawrence once told a story on The Graham Norton Show about scratching her butt on sacred Hawaiian rocks while filming The Hunger Games. "We were filming in Hawaii, and there were… sacred… rocks — I dunno, they were ancestors, who knows — they were sacred. And you're not supposed to sit on them, because you're not supposed to expose your genitalia to them. I, however, was in a wet suit for this whole shoot, so, oh my God, they were so good for butt itching!"
She says one of the rocks she used for itching was dislodged and fell down the side of a mountain, coming close to striking and killing the sound engineer. “All the Hawaiians were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s the curse!’ And I was sitting in the corner like, ‘Haha! I’m your curse! I wedged it loose with my ass!’” She later apologized for her comments, saying she meant "absolutely no disrespect to the Hawaiian people."
12.Demi Lovato once tweeted about a "prank" she pulled on her bodyguard, claiming she'd hired a sex worker to grab "him in his 'area.'" She then deleted it, then tweeted, "I could tweet something about craving jelly beans and it would offend someone," and told people to listen to her song "Warrior," writing, "Of all people I know about sexual abuse. You don't have to educate me."
Lovato eventually apologized for her tweet, and her bodyguard Max called the incident Lovato referred to "a joke and a fun prank," saying he wasn't offended.
13.In an anthology about bad sex, Alison Brie wrote about convincinga male gay friend to have sex with her. "And what if he were to discover he was actually straight? I would have saved him from a life of dysfunctional penetration. Literally my vagina would have been his road to salvation!" she wrote. The two did have sex, even though he purportedly didn't want her to touch his penis, and had difficulty getting aroused, which only caused Brie to brainstorm new solutions. Brie called the whole thing a failure, though she's apparently still friends with the man.
14.Lena Dunham garnered significant controversy writing about her interactions with her younger sister in her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl. She wrote that as a young teenager she would masturbate in bed even when her sister was sleeping next to her, and that when she was 7, she'd bribe her sister into kissing her (comparing this behavior to that of a sexual predator), and also examined her sister's vagina (who was 1 at the time) out of curiosity. Right wing blog Truth Revolt referred to these incidents as sexual abuse, which Dunham later called "upsetting and disgusting."
She later issued a statement saying that her sister had approved everything she wrote about her, and that she does not "condone any kind of abuse under any circumstances," adding, "Childhood sexual abuse is a life-shattering event for so many, and I have been vocal about the rights of survivors. If the situations described in my book have been painful or triggering for people to read, I am sorry, as that was never my intention. I am also aware that the comic use of the term 'sexual predator' was insensitive, and I’m sorry for that as well."
15.T.I. stated in a 2019 interview that every year since his daughter turned 16, he'd taken her to the gynecologist to check if her hymen is intact in order to see if she's still a virgin (for the record, this is not a good indicator of virginity, and the World Health Organization has called virginity testing "a violation of the human rights of girls and women"). TI later claimed he'd “embellished” and “exaggerated” the story, that he'd only gone to her doctor's appointments when she was younger, and that his daughter had no problem with it (though she did, he said, “have a problem with me talking about it," which he claimed to have apologized for).
"She understands my intentions and she knows who I am, who I’ve always been," he continued, but his daughter Deyjah's comments indicated otherwise. She claimed T.I. had come with her to her gynecologist since she was 14 or 15 and that she "couldn't have said no." She called the situation "a little traumatizing," saying she was "very shocked, hurt, angry, [and] embarassed" that T.I. had spoken publicly about it.
16.Marilyn Manson reportedly made a number of disturbing claims in his 1999 autobiography, including that he once repeatedly harassed a "hot brunette" along with a friend. “I fell back on my usual deviant way of getting a girl’s attention: malicious, asinine behavior." He said he would make threatening phone calls to her, telling her they were watching her and saying things like, "You better not leave work tonight, because we’re going to rape you in the parking lot and then crush you underneath your own car.” He then apparently made the calls daily for weeks, progressively getting "meaner."
Manson also claimed that he'd plotted to kill his ex-girlfriend and ex-bandmate Nancy. "She had to die," he wrote. “While I didn’t think it was right to take a human life, I didn’t think it was right to deny myself the chance of causing someone to die either, especially someone whose existence meant so little to the world and to herself. At the time, taking someone’s life seemed like a necessary growing and learning experience, like losing your virginity or having a child.” He claims he and a friend followed Nancy to discover her routine, then came back to light her house on fire. He ended up getting spooked by sirens and decided too many people would suspect him.
17.And finally, porn star Riley Reid has told the story of losing her virginity multiple times, calling it a "fun story." She says she was at the movie theater with her then-14-year-old boyfriend (she says she was two weeks from turning 16) when they were fooling around in the seats. She asked if they could have sex but he repeatedly said no, not wanting to lose his virginity in a movie theater. Despite his protestations, she says she sat on his lap and the two had sex, with Reid saying she "forced him upon myself" and that he didn't push her off. She's even referred to the incident as rape in multiple now-deleted tweets.