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Whether or not you think it's a sign of the demise of our culture, you have to admit that celebrity gossip is weirdly entertaining. There's something kind of nice about shutting off for a hot minute—forgetting about your student loans, or your breakup, or Donald Trump—and reading some way-too-personal stuff about people you only know from TV or the movies. Also, in our own lives we're inclined to gossip behind people's backs (you know you are). Gossiping about celebrities allows us to take that inclination an entirely new level, because we're so detached from the famous people we're talking about. It becomes to feel like a sort of fantasy, a narrative we all build together separate from reality.
Because it's so enjoyable and easy, and because we need that sort of escape, celebrity gossip is at an all-time high, in terms of quality and quantity. More and more websites are devoted entirely to sussing out (and manufacturing) the personal lives of celebrities, and that's led to an unfathomable dearth of content in 2015. One minute we have an outlet reporting on Leonardo DiCaprio's beard having fleas, and the next invasive photos of Justin Bieber are hitting the internet. What a time to be alive.
With 2015 wrapping up, we collected the best defining moments in celebrity gossip—real and fake—this year. Turn off your mind, relax, and keep reading.
The Year in Leo
Alright look, pretty much every year is Gossip Hall of Fame-worthy for DiCaps. But 2015 was one of the best, and really, one of the most well-rounded in terms of flavors of content. The gossip streets hit all the usual Leo-slays-models notes—he macked on Kelly Rohrbach while sitting on a Citibike and then later on a daybed in the Hamptons while sipping rose, he stole a girl from Bieber, he freaking HOOKED UP WITH RIHANNA—but it went so much further than that. Gossip magazines and sites had a field day thanks to the scruffy, near-portly appearance Leo had to don for his role in The Revenant. The National Enquirer hilariously reported that Leo’s frontier beard had fleas! Then OK! said Rihanna thought he was too fat for her! And then a website said he got RAPED BY A BEAR! TWICE!
Most celebrities find their love lives exploited by the celebrity gossip news cycle, but Leo Gossip is so much more nuanced; it has so many more layers, and in 2015 became so multi-faceted that the reports fully constructed a Leonardo DiCaprio wholly separate from the real Leonardo DiCaprio. I think I like real-life Leo—he’s a pretty good actor, etc.—but I’m pretty sure I like fake-gossip Leo even more. He’s so fucking interesting.—Andrew Gruttadaro
Amber Rose vs. Kylie Jenner & khloé Kardashian: The Feud of 2015
Kylie Jenner, professional teen, has really made a name for herself in the last year. She’s gone from being the less interesting sister of Kendall to becoming a fashion icon in her own right. She launched a high-demand lip line that’s being sold on the black market for 10 times its tag price. She's also dating Tyga—and while it's not my place to speculate on the foundation of that relationship, it's sure caused her some headaches.
Tyga has fathered a child with Blac Chyna, who is close with anti-slut shaming queen Amber Rose. Rose, like all of us, has some opinions about the nature of Kylie and Tyga's relationship and freely shared them with the world on New York's Power 105.1 when she said, "Kylie's a baby. She needs to go to bed at 7 o'clock and relax. Tyga should be ashamed of himself."
Naturally this didn't go over well with the Kardashian clan, most notably Khloé, whose Twitter fingers then blasted Rose for the unsolicited commentary. "Please don't worry about my sister who has a career and her shit together at ONLY 17,” adding, “Please stop talking about us in interviews mama. None of us talk about you."
This happened all the way back in February, but it was a feud that reverberated throughout the year, and though Khloé said she doesn't talk about Amber, she surely talked about her feud with Amber. And vice versa.
Man, being famous seems really lame.—Catie Keck
lindsay lohan ruins a wedding
I haven't even confirmed if this series of events actually happened or not because I'm too afraid to find out it was all made up. So instead I'm going to operate under the assumption that the following is all true and completely factual. So, Lindsay Lohan—noted tabloid hot mess, noted fluent Arabic speaker (??)—went to a friend's wedding this past summer. That alone should make ANYONE nervous. Weddings are the easiest thing to ruin and of course LiLo made a scene—allegedly. She reportedly claimed she got drugged and ran around naked at her villa, painted her nails during the ceremony, started interrogating people in a British accent, DJ'ed "The Boy Is Mine" repeatedly (AT A WEDDING, MIND YOU), and stole jewelry. These are too weird not to be true, right? I feel like statistically at least one of these things has to have happened.—Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Kim Kardashian vs. Kylie Jenner: sex tape showdown
Okay, I think we can all agree that this is almost definitely not a true story. But it's so good—SO GOOD—that it transcends needing to be factual. Per Hollywood Life, "Kim’s worried that if Kylie were to make a sex tape with Tyga, not only would it earn more money than her tape with Ray J, it would catapult Kylie into a different stratosphere of fame and Kim doesn’t want that. She doesn’t want Kylie to be the biggest thing on earth right now."
This story is legit soap opera madness. Like, imagine Kim Kardashian (net worth $85 million, more famous than god, etc.) hearing that a sex tape of starring her 18-YEAR-OLD sister might hit the internet and her first reaction being, "Oh shit, I gotta shut this shit down immediately." No "should I be worried about my teenage sister having sex on camera with a 25-year-old man." None of that weak shit. You think Kim K got so famous by letting other people—family included—broadcast their sex lives to millions of people? Nah, son.
(P.S. A month later, Hollywood Life reported that Kim was begging Kylie not to make a sex tape not because she was jealous, but because she didn't want Kylie to ruin her life. C'mon though, that's way more boring.)—Andrew Gruttadaro
Miley Cyrus and Dane Cook Hooked up?
You know what’s worse than sucking robot dicks? Anything to do with Dane Cook’s. But that didn’t stop Miley Cyrus, queen of all things neon and ratchet, from reportedly getting down with both this year. In September the boning rumor first popped up, and we were wild skeptical, but guess what—it wasn’t the first time they’d interacted. The two were seen dancing together at a club back in 2013, when Miley was 21 and Dane Cook was possibly even more washed. And earlier this year Miley reposted a Dane Cook Instagram post. Dane Cook is not a funny person (let alone comedian), so why else would someone repeat anything he's said unless they’ve bonded by sex? It all adds up, even if the thought of bumping Dane Cook’s ugly is repulsive.—Ian Servantes
Look At Vin Diesel's "Dad bod"
I'm still not sure if Vin Diesel is a real human being or not but he might be my favorite person ever. The action star slash viral lipsync video icon, who's been known for his buff guy status for a decade, was recently photographed hanging out shirtless on his balcony, and people dared to write the words "DAD BOD" in their headlines. It's kind of ridiculous considering how fit he is (and how he's basically built his entire career off of his fitness), and Vin decided it was too. He took to Instagram to call out the body shamers, posting a lifted shirt pic to show everyone the real deal. When we sat down for an interview after the whole travesty, he said, like a boss, "I'm okay because I've had the best body in New York City for decades." Ain't that the truth.—Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
Kate Hudson Cougars It Up on nick Jonas
God bless Kate Hudson. Freed from the clutches of Matt Bellamy's stadium rock after four years, Kate looked at herself in the mirror and said, yeah I may be in my mid-thirties now, but I'm still banging as hell and I'm gonna date like it. Enter Nick Jonas. Really, Kate Hudson and Nick Jonas are the ideal cougar-cub relationship—it was invented for them. Proof for that: Kate Hudson took Nick Jonas to Disney World for a date. She probably bought him some ice cream after that and picked him up some LEGOs too...and then had sex with him.—Andrew Gruttadaro
Ukrainian lady accuses mila kunis: you stole my chicken!
Kristina Karo is an aspiring YouTube star whose most popular video has 650,000 views since November 2014. Kristina Karo is also a Ukrainian woman who sued Mila Kunis earlier this year, claiming the actress callously stole her pet chicken “Doggie” years before becoming a star on That '70s Show. These are two entirely unrelated facts of Karo’s life. There’s just noooo way the former informed the latter.
Mila and hubby Ashton Kutcher made sure to clear up any possible motive from her accuser in a video response. She sincerely apologized to whose lawsuit was, curiously, never actually served to Kunis. The paperwork must have been lost amongst the emotional trauma. Or the thirst for fame. I get those two things confused sometimes.—Ian Servantes
2015: the year love died
For the first six months of the year, everything seemed okay. Maybe a few celebrity breakups here, the annual Will and Jada split rumor there—but nothing out of the ordinary. Then Ben Affleck smashed a nanny and the floodgates opened wide. A week after Ben and Jennifer Garner announced their divorce (and Ben became the real sadboy Nick Dunne), Kourtney Kardashian dumped Scott Disick; Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale broke up and she released a very emotional song about it (and started dating, um, that country bro); Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green got divorced; Charlize Theron broke up with Sean Penn by ghosting on him like the badass hero she is. Things got so ridiculous in this post-Ben and Jen world that even Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy broke up in an effort to get their Muppets show more publicity—and it TOTALLY worked. Cuffing Season probably should’ve been canceled altogether, because as this year showed, love really doesn’t exist anymore.—Andrew Gruttadaro
Avril lavigne is dead (and someone is impersonating her)
This is one of those rumors that's SO incredulous that it makes you actually stop and think, "WAIT, WHAT IF?" Thanks to some Brazilian fan site (why is it always Brazil?) the Internet was for a moment convinced that Avril Lavigne had died after her debut album and had since been replaced by a woman named Melissa Vandella (lol I know). This claim was based on some moles that supposedly changed on her body and this one interview where they asked her if she was a clone and she stumbled (I probably would too?). Anyway, it's kind of the perfect rumor, and it's made even more perfect by the fact that Avril Lavigne has gone through pretty minimal physical transformations (aside from hair color, wardrobe, etc.) between the ages of 17 and 31.—Kristen Yoonsoo Kim
jaden smith finds love, love steals handbag
At first I was like, aww, Jaden Smith found some weird love, that's nice but it's strange that he's not romantically involved with the Jenners anymore :( . And then that little misfit got caught stealing a $16,000 Hermes Birkin bag and I was like, whoaaa this girl is real. And then she wore a shirt with a picture of her mugshot on it and I lost the ability to speak.—Andrew Gruttadaro
naya rivera announces pregnancy...on ex big sean's album release day
Glee’s Naya Rivera has long been known for her epically shady-ass behavior, from allegedly keying and egging co-star/ex-bf Mark Salling’s car to feuding with Kim Kardashian and Lea Michele. But her relationship and subsequent breakup with rapper Big Sean fueled some of the most delicious gossip of 2014, especially after they called off their engagement. She accused him of stealing a Rolex from her house, and things got nastier from there. It all seemed to culminate when Naya recycled her and Big Sean's entire wedding day and married a seemingly random dude, Ryan Dorsey.
Naya has a knack for stirring the pot, so much so, that she’s elevated it into an artform. Going into 2015, it was easy to worry that Naya, now wifed up, would hand over her crown to a new scheming ingenue. Luckily for us, that wasn’t the case. On February 24th, the new most #blessed day of the year, Naya took to Instagram to announce that she was expecting a “bun in the oven” with Dorsey. Seemingly innocent, right? Mm, nah. That announcement came on the SAME day that Big Sean dropped his eagerly anticipated new album, Dark Sky Paradise. Dorsey claims that they had to tell everyone before OK! Magazine spilled the news, but Naya’s gossip history really gives us all the answers we need. Long live the queen!—Kerensa Cadenas
Oh Hey, it's Bieber's D*ck
Justin Bieber, professional apologizer, has had a big year. For one, he dropped one of the most fire albums of 2015. And for another, he finally put to rest any question that he isn’t packing a really, really big dick.
Earlier this year, rumors circulated that Bieber’s “bulge” had been Photoshopped for his ad for Calvin Klein (this would’ve hardly been the first time a Calvin Klein ad gave its subject a new body). Naturally this made for some fun Internet fodder and then we all basically forgot about it. But then, some months later, Justin’s dick reemerged like some sort of phoenix from the ashes to have the last word on Penisgate.
The Canadian singer was photographed in the buff while on vacation in Bora Bora, the photos were leaked, and whether you’d like to admit it or not, Justin Bieber’s dick is definitely, um, large. [Ed. note: For the record, this is how some of the ladies of Complex reacted to this news.] We learned some time later than his fans call it “Jerry.” Do with that information whatever you wish.—Catie Keck
That Kim Kardashian baby BUmp Is Soo Fake!
I can't exactly say why this happens to really famous women who get pregnant, but every time the Kim Ks and Beyonces of the world have a kid, rumors surface that they didn't really have that kid. It happened with Blue Ivy, it happened with North, and this year, it happened with Kim Kardashian's second child.
The hubbub arose around July of this year when Kim posted a selfie in which she was sporting a pretty sizable bump. People thought it was too sizable though. Like, they thought Kim was wearing that thing the dad from 10 Things I Hate About You makes his daughter wear before going out with a boy. This was something that actually happened.
So what did Kim do? That queen took off ALL her clothes and let her naked body say, "Fuck the world, don't ask me for shit":
First they say I'm too skinny so I have to be faking it...Now they say I'm too big so I have to be faking it...SMH! pic.twitter.com/oSrR7dMImi— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) August 11, 2015
By the way, Kim gave birth last week and named the kid SAINT, so there's also that.—Andrew Gruttadaro
Vivica A. Fox largely implies 50 cent is gay
Vivica don't play, 50. But first, some background—Vivica A. Fox and 50 Cent were romantically involved in the early 2000s. He brought her to the 2003 MTV VMAs and it was sort of an iconic moment...but it also made their relationship seem more serious than it was. They broke up, and it wasn't a good breakup according to Fox herself. So you can understand how there might be some negative vibes between the two.
But no one could have predicted Fox's answer when Andy Cohen asked her what she thought about 50 Cent calling Empire gay. "The pot's calling the kettle black," she said, and then she sat back with a look on her face like, "Fuck yeah, I just called 50 Cent gay." She kind of walked it back a little and implied he was sexually ambiguous, but really, there's no walking back a shot like that. And yeah, 50 Cent replied.—Andrew Gruttadaro
Ronda Rousey for Captain Marvel?
2015, in terms of sports figures making a splash in pop culture, was truly Ronda Rousey’s year. Aside from appearing in blockbuster films like Entourage and Furious 7, the former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion locked down the lead in a “reimagining” of the Patrick Swayze classic Road House and, if fans can make it happen, Marvel’s Captain Marvel, which isn’t even set to hit theaters until 2019.
Back in August, Rousey let it be known in a Reddit AMA that she was trying to tackle the superpowered female character in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, a role that everyone from Charlize Theron to Emily Blunt has been rumored to be up for and/or interested in. With Ronda having such a stranglehold on the Internet because she was(!) a powerhouse who was kicking ass and taking names—and the fact that she kind of resembles Carol Danvers (a.k.a. Captain Marvel) more than other women, particularly in stature—the Internets had a field day with Photoshopping Rousey into various states of Captain Marvel awesomeness, which Rousey made sure to spread all over her Instagram like wildfire.
And her plan may have worked.
Almost two months later, Marvel President Kevin Feige said he was in “love” with the Rousey-as-Captain Marvel campaign. He went on to say that their mantra has always been about “who's the best person to inhabit the character,” and it’s not like Marvel hasn’t worked with fighters before (former WWE superstar Batista was Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy, and on the Marvel Comics side, former WWE superstar CM Punk is writing a Drax series). While we’re three-plus years away from this film hitting the theaters, we should have an idea of who Marvel will entrust their first female character-driven solo film to before then. Fingers crossed!—khal
Rob Kardashian Calls Kim "The Bitch from 'gone girl'"
To recap, here are some things that Amy Dunne, a.k.a. "the bitch from Gone Girl," does in Gone Girl:
- She fakes her own murder and disappearance
- She frames said murder and disappearance on her husband
- She slashes Neil Patrick Harris' throat mid-coitus
- She frames Neil Patrick Harris (now dead) for kidnapping
- She artificially inseminates herself with her husband's sperm, thus trapping him in their marriage
So yeah, maybe don't compare your sister to "the bitch from Gone Girl" on Instagram?—Andrew Gruttadaro
And Finally, Lesbians
Gal pals, gal pals everywhere! 2015 was a good year for ladies loving ladies and finally, it seems, that the tabloid favorite term "gal pal" might be going by the wayside in 2016. We hope, at least. No one got the gal pal treatment more than Kristen Stewart, who’s rumored romance with assistant Alicia Cargile was scrutinized, partly because they were always inseparable, in matching "casual wear," and even holding hands on a romantic secluded beach. So when Stewart commented on her sexuality in an interview with Nylon magazine—“Google me, I’m not hiding,” she said—tabloids had to reevaluate how they talked about Stewart and Cargile. As of October, Stewart and Cargile were rumored to have ended their eight month relationship, but here’s hoping the “pals” worked it out.
Elsewhere, Disney princesses and former BFFs Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato were both linked to two of the hottest women in the lesbian streets, Cara Delevingne and Ruby Rose. Gomez was allegedly dating Delevingne after meeting her in May, as the pair was shown being affectionate in, according to one site, “almost lesbian pix” of the two in swimsuits. Gomez shut the rumors down but not after she said that she loved the rumors and considered Cara a close friend. And as for Lovato, before Ruby Rose was OITNB Ruby Rose, Rose claimed that she and Lovato had slept together, and it was rumored that they dated for two years. Lovato shut those rumors down swiftly, in an interview with us, saying bluntly, “I did not have a relationship with Ruby Rose.” Not gonna lie, still hoping that it actually happened.
But perhaps a late 2015 entry might outshine all the other gal pals of the year. In a May-December turn, legendary actress Holland Taylor, 72, shared in an interview that she was currently in a relationship with a younger woman and has long been out. Said younger woman is Ryan Murphy muse, Sarah Paulson, 40. Maybe if Holland hadn’t said anything, people wouldn’t have discovered right away, but the pair’s Twitter accounts aren’t shy about their obvious affections for one another, so maybe love still exists.—Kerensa Cadenas