We’re almost at the end of 2019, and what a year it’s been for celeb scandals.
From the Jordyn Woods/Tristan Thompson scandal, to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s war against the press – there’s been plenty to write about in Goss HQ.
Reflecting on the past 12 months, we’ve listed the most SHOCKING celebrity stories of 2019.
1. Prince Andrew’s Involvement in Jeffrey Epstein Scandal
Prince Andrew hit headlines a lot over the past year, and it wasn’t for a good reason.
The Duke of York came under fire for his former friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein – who commit suicide in prison back in August.
The 66-year-old was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, and was being held without bail.
Amid the scandal, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, claimed that she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was just 17 back in 2001.
The Duke vehemently denied her allegations during a controversial interview with Newsnight last month, and downplayed his friendship with Jeffrey,
Despite his denial, the way Prince Andrew answered the interviewer’s questions sparked serious backlash – and he’s since been forced to step down from royal duties.
2. The Wagatha Christie Scandal
It’s………… the most entertaining scandal of 2019.
Back in October, our jaws quite literally dropped when Coleen Rooney publicly accused Rebekah Vardy of selling stories about her in an explosive statement on social media.
The wife of Wayne Rooney was quickly dubbed ‘Wagatha Christie’, after the famed detective novelist, as social media users praised her sleuthing skills.
Coleen publicly accused Rebekah of selling fake stories about her, after she planted false information on her personal Instagram.
Coleen claimed she planted false information on her private Instagram page and blocked everyone from her story – except Rebekah’s account.
The mother-of-four said stories about her basement flooding, returning to TV, and gender selection were only viewed by Rebekah’s account – and the false stories all made it into the press.
Coleen believes this is proof that the fellow WAG allegedly sold stories about her private life.
Despite Coleen’s claims, Rebekah has vowed to prove her innocence, and has apparently hired a team of forensic IT experts to help her do so.
3. The Infamous Jordyn Woods/Tristan Thompson Scandal
We can ALL remember where we were when this story first broke, and we’re not going to lie, we didn’t believe it at first.
But then as the hours passed, more and more things started coming out of the wood work – and it turns out Jordyn Woods really DID kiss Tristan Thompson at that house party in February, causing an all out war with the Kardashian-Jenner family.
The scandal hit even more headlines then when Jordyn appeared on Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith to address the situation.
Her comments on the show infuriated Khloé Kardashian, who subsequently slammed Jordyn on Twitter for “lying”, and breaking up her family.
Months later, the situation has more or less died down, but Jordyn is no longer a part of the KarJenner clan’s crew.
Khloé and Tristan have been broken up ever since, but the NBA player has been desperately trying to win her back in recent weeks.
We REALLY hope she doesn’t take him back…
4. The U.S. College Admissions Scandal
Earlier this year, actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were among 50 parents charged in connection with a college admissions scheme – which allowed parents to pay sums of money to secure spots for their children at top-ranked schools.
Most parents charged in connection with the case pleaded guilty to the charges against them, in exchange for reduced jail time.
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was among those who pleaded guilty, and has already completed her prison sentence.
Felicity made a “charitable contribution” of $15,000 to participate in the scheme, on behalf of her daughter.
She pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and was sentenced to 14 days in jail, but ended up serving just 11 days.
Although Felicity decided to plead guilty, Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them – and their case is still ongoing.
Lori and Mossimo are accused of paying William “Rick” Singer $500,000 to help get their daughters Olivia and Isabella, 20, into the University of Southern California.
5. Meghan and Harry’s War Against the British Press
During their royal tour of South Africa back in October, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry waged war against the British press.
In an explosive statement, the Duke of Sussex revealed his wife’s plans to sue the UK Mail on Sunday, for publishing a “private and confidential” letter that she sent to her estranged father, Thomas Markle.
The father-of-one slammed the British press for “bullying” his wife, and said he feared “history repeating itself” – referencing his late mother, Princess Diana.
Just days later, Meghan opened up about dealing with negative press in ITV documentary following their trip to Africa.
The Duchess looked close to tears as she admitted that “not many people” have asked if she’s okay.
In the documentary, Meghan also said she was warned against dating Prince Harry.
She said: “My British friends said to me ‘I’m sure he is great but you should not do it because the British tabloids will destroy your life.’ I very naively…[said] ‘What the hell are you talking about?’”
Separately, Prince Harry is reportedly set to sue The Sun and The Mirror over alleged “phone hacking”.
It is unknown if the claims are regarding recent voicemails or historic hacking, but back in the 2000’s the Royals were at the centre of some hacking cases, but they never tried to take legal action.
According to reports, the filing was made days before Meghan launched her legal action against the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
6. Tati Westbrook vs. James Charles
The Tati Westbrook/James Charles scandal was undoubtedly the biggest online feud of 2019.
Back in May, James lost millions of followers and subscribers after Tati “exposed” his alleged inappropriate behaviour.
In case you didn’t know, their feud erupted when the pair fell out over James partnering with hair vitamin brand Sugar Bear Hair in exchange for Coachella artist passes.
James and Tati have been friends for years, and Tati owns rival vitamin brand Halo Beauty – so James partnering with SBH was considered a huge stab in the back.
Defending his decision, James claimed that SBH contacted him about the artist passes, after they heard he was being mobbed by fans in the VIP area.
However, others pointed out that the 19-year-old should have just left the festival, rather than betraying his best friend by partnering with her rivals.
James essentially went into hiding following the scandal, but then redeemed himself by uploading a video titled No More Lies, which saw him address all the claims Tati made against him.
The beauty guru’s reputation has since recovered, along with his subscriber count, but we don’t think people will forget their epic feud anytime soon…
7. Surviving R. Kelly: The Fallout
If you haven’t heard about the allegations against R. Kelly, then you must be living under a rock.
The scandal erupted back in January, when Lifetime released a shocking documentary series, in which multiple women accused the singer of emotional and sexual abuse.
Kelly is now facing multiple sexual abuse charges, with trials in Chicago and New York next year, but he has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Most recently, the star was accused of bribing a public official, one day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, who was just 15-years-old at the time.
According to court documents obtained by E! News, the musician has been accused of bribing an official to obtain the “creation of a fraudulent identification document” for someone only identified as “Jane Doe #1.”
He allegedly bribed the official the day before he wed Aaliyah on August 31, 1994.
Their marriage was annulled months later, after her family found out what had happened.
Sadly, the singer later died at the age of 22 in a plane crash back in 2001.
8. Caroline Flack’s Assault Arrest
The newest addition to this list has to be Caroline Flack’s very recent arrest.
On December 17, the popular TV presenter was forced to step down from hosting ITV’s Love Island – days after she was arrested for assault.
The star was arrested and charged with assault by beating, following an incident at her home involving her boyfriend Lewis Burton.
In a statement on social media, she said: “There have been a significant number of media reports and allegations in regards to my personal life. While matters were not as have been reported, I am committed to co-operating with the appropriate authorities and I can’t comment further on these matters until the legal process is over.”
“However, Love Island has been my world for the last five years, it’s the best show on telly.”
“In order to not detract attention from the upcoming series I feel the best thing I can do is to stand down for series six. I want to wish the incredible team working on the show a fantastic series in Cape Town.”
Caroline continued: “And on a really personal level, I have never experienced such kindness and love in my whole life.”
“Not just from friends and family who are always the greatest… but also from total strangers who send messages to me offering help and understanding.”
“Please know that I see them… and my boyfriend Lewis… I love you,” she added.
There is no word yet as to who will be replacing Caroline on the hit TV series.
9. Free Britney
Britney Spears has had… an interesting year to say the least.
The singer appeared in court back in May – and accused her father of forcing her to enter a mental health facility earlier this year.
The singer appeared in court alongside her parents to speak to a judge who oversees her conservatorship, which was established in 2008 after she suffered an alleged breakdown.
A conservatorship is an involuntary status usually reserved for elderly or very ill people who are suffering from dementia or otherwise incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves.
Britney’s father Jamie has been in charge of his daughter’s assets since the conservatorship was established, however the agreement doesn’t give him the power to put her into a facility without her consent.
The 37-year-old is now allegedly demanding more freedom, and told a judge that her father made her check into a Los Angeles unit for 30 days on April 3, after she stopped taking her doctor-prescribed medication.
After hearing Britney and her parents speak in court, the judge ordered an 730 expert evaluation, a process usually used to determine the mental health and competence of a parent in a divorce case.
Outside the courthouse, a host of the singer’s fans were protesting outside, holding signs which read “Free Britney” and “End the conservatorship now”.
Britney appeared in court after the hashtag #FreeBritney started trending on Twitter in April, after Britney was admitted into the mental health facility.
Complicating matters even further, Britney’s father allegedly got into an altercation with her son Sean Preston in August.
After the incident, Jamie filed papers to temporarily resign from his role as Britney’s personal conservator.
Care manager Jodi Montgomery is filling in as Britney’s conservator until a January 22 hearing is set to review Jamie’s conservator status, where “findings of the probate investigator report will be discussed.”
On top of all of this, Britney is also fighting for custody of her two children.
In September, the singer’s ex-husband Kevin Federline gained 70 percent custody of their two sons Sean Preston, 14, and Jayden James, 13.
Britney was left with only 30 percent unsupervised custodial rights, but they previously had a 50/50 custody agreement following their 2007 divorce.
10. Taylor Swift vs. Scooter Braun
The drama between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun kicked off back in June, when the singer branded the music manager a “bully” when his company bought her back catalogue.
At the time, she said, “Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” however, Scooter and the CEO of Big Machine, Scott Borchetta, have claimed that she was given the opportunity to buy it.
Their feud then resurfaced again in November, when Taylor claimed Big Machine wouldn’t let her perform her old songs at the American Music Awards.
Scooter then publicly reached out to Taylor in an open letter in a bid to settle their differences, after his family started receiving death threats.
But Taylor has refused to back down, and unapologetically slammed Scooter at Billboard’s Women In Music Awards earlier this month.
11. Dan Osborne’s Denials
Dan Osborne is another person who has hit a lot of headlines this year, and for all the wrong reasons.
Dan’s actress wife Jacqueline Jossa appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here recently, and went on to win the show.
Jacqueline’s time in the jungle was quite the rollercoaster though, as her campmate Myles Stephenson told her that he believed Dan might have been unfaithful to her, after seeing messages on his ex Gabby Allen’s phone.
Dan and Gabby were previously linked after they were papped looking cosy on a yacht in Marbella, but at the time they both denied claims that they had hooked up.
During her stint in the jungle, Dan was also accused of having a threesome with model Chloe Ayling and US reality star Natalie Nunn – following their appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.
The former TOWIE star has strongly denied claims that he’s been unfaithful to Jacqueline, but in a recent statement Dan admitted to making mistakes.
He said: “So after weeks, months, years of constant articles & rumours, some true, some very untrue. I want to publicly say, I know I have made mistakes, we all do as humans, but I’ve made some that have almost cost me my family.”
“I have seriously learnt from these massively, so I want to publicly apologise to my beautiful wife and my family for the mistakes I’ve made.”
Dan released his statement after Jacqueline said she wanted to press the “reset button” on their marriage during an interview on ITV’s Lorraine.
The former EastEnders actress said Dan know’s he’s “done wrong”, and admitted that she’s been giving him hell for the past two years.
12. Jussie Smollett’s Alleged Attack
We were all shocked when Jussie Smollett claimed that he had been violently attacked in the street back in January.
At the time, the actor told police that he was attacked by two masked men in the early hours of the morning in Chicago.
The Empire star alleged that the men violently beat him while yelling homophobic and racial slurs.
But then in a shocking turn of events, the Chicago Police accused Jussie of staging the entire episode for publicity, and the star was charged with filing a false police report.
Prosecutors ended up dropping their case against him in March, but the police and the city’s mayor stood by their claims and accused the courts of letting him “off scot-free”.
The City of Chicago then announced it was suing the actor for the money it spent investigating the attack.
They have reportedly requested that he pay $130,000 in costs to cover the time police spent investigating.
In court documents filed last month, Jussie called this action against him “malicious”, and in a countersuit he accused the city, police and others of causing him “reputational harm, humiliation, mental anguish and extreme emotional distress.”
13. Leaving Neverland
A harrowing documentary about Michael Jackson was released this year, bringing up old accusations against the star.
Leaving Neverland, which was released in March, details past allegations of child sexual abuse made against Michael – focusing on accusations made by choreographer Wade Robson and computer programmer James Safechuck.
The disturbing documentary caused a lot of people to turn against the late singer, and many stopped playing his music – including RTÉ Radio 1 host Ryan Tubridy.
But despite the documentary’s shocking allegations, a number of stars have shown their support for Michael, including Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand.
Barbra Streisand came under fire after she claimed Michael’s accusers were “thrilled to be there”.
In an interview with The Times of London, the legendary singer was asked what she thought about Leaving Neverland.
The 76-year-old said she “absolutely” believes the alleged victims – but then said, “His sexual needs were his sexual needs, coming from whatever childhood he has or whatever DNA he has.”
She continued, “You can say ‘molested,’ but those children, as you heard say [in the documentary], they were thrilled to be there. They both married and they both have children, so it didn’t kill them.”
Barbra faced serious backlash for her comments, and has since released an apology.
14. A$AP Rocky’s Assault Arrest In Sweden
We’re all pretty familiar with this arrest, because he missed headlining this year’s Longitude because of it.
A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested and detained by Swedish authorities in early July – after he was accused of attacking 19-year-old Mustafa Jafari on June 30.
His arrest caused serious outrage at the time, as the Grammy-nominee claimed that Mustafa Jafari provoked him and two members of his entourage, who were also charged with assault.
Following his arrest, people close to the rapper claimed he was being held in “unsanitary” conditions, and US President Donald Trump publicly called for his release.
Sadly Trump’s request was ignored, and the rapper ended up spending over a month in a Swedish prison before he appeared in court.
Rocky ended up being found guilty of assault, but was given a suspended sentence after he already spent a month in custody.
The 30-year-old was also ordered to pay damages to the victim.
Thankfully, the rapper will be back to headline Longitude at Marlay Park next summer, and we’re sure he’ll put on one hell of a show for his fans.
15. The Backlash Against Liam Neeson
A year ago you could have told us that Liam Neeson could do no wrong, but he made a big mistake this year.
Back in February, the Irish actor came under fire for making some controversial comments during an interview.
The 66-year-old admitted that he walked the streets looking for a “black b*****d” to kill – when he found out that his friend had allegedly been raped.
Naturally, Liam’s comments sparked serious backlash, and the red carpet premiere for his film Cold Pursuit in New York was abruptly cancelled.
Weeks later, the actor finally released an official apology, and said: “Over the last several weeks, I have reflected on and spoken to a variety of people who were hurt by my impulsive recounting of a brutal rape of a dear female friend nearly 40 years ago and my unacceptable thoughts and actions at that time in response to this crime.”
“The horror of what happened to my friend ignited irrational thoughts that do not represent the person I am.”
“In trying to explain those feelings today, I missed the point and hurt many people at a time when language is so often weaponized and an entire community of innocent people are targeted in acts of rage,” he continued.
“What I failed to realize is that this is not about justifying my anger all those years ago, it is also about the impact my words have today. I was wrong to do what I did.
“I recognize that, although the comments I made do not reflect, in any way, my true feelings nor me, they were hurtful and divisive. I profoundly apologize,” he added.
16. Justin Timberlake’s Hand Holding Shame
This is a pretty recent story, but it definitely deserves a spot on this list.
Back in November, the actor was papped holding hands with Alisha Wainwright during a night out in New Orleans, where they have been filming their upcoming movie Palmer.
The story hit headlines worldwide, and fans were quick to question why he looked so close with his co-star.
Over a week later, Justin publicly apologised to his wife Jessica Biel on Instagram – but people weren’t happy with his statement.
Justin said he “should have known better” and seemed to blame alcohol for his behaviour.
He wrote: “I stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumours that are hurting the people I love.”
“A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgement – but let me be clear – nothing happened between me and my costar.
“I drank way too much that night and I regret my behaviour. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son.”
“I apologise to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be. This was not that.”
Although many people commended Justin for owning up to his mistake, a lot of people slammed the star for blaming alcohol.
17. Jenny Greene QUITTING 2fm
We were all shocked when Jenny Greene suddenly announced her departure from RTÉ 2fm back in March after 12 years.
After her co-host Nicky Byrne left his post at 2fm to go on tour with Westlife, bosses wanted to move Jenny to the 8-10pm slot from Sunday to Thursday – but it was an offer she simply couldn’t accept.
The popular radio DJ then announced her departure from the station in a shock statement on social media, and the news caused serious backlash, as fans furiously called for her return.
And it turns out their calls were successful, as the broadcaster has since landed her very own drivetime show on the station.
Speaking to Goss.ie after returning to the station in May, Jenny said the listeners had a huge part to play in her comeback.
She said: “I’m so grateful because I really feel that that definitely played a big part in me coming back, so thank you, I owe a lot of people pints.”
18. Muireann O’Connell’s Departure From Today FM
While we’re on the topic of Irish news, we have to talk about Muireann O’Connell’s dramatic exit from Today FM.
Back in July, it was announced that Muireann would be leaving the station alongside Louise Duffy, as Mairead Ronan joined the line-up.
When the news broke, Muireann addressed the situation by tweeting: “Hello lovely people! I have been fired from @TodayFM It’s all good.”
“Like, it’s embarrassing and I’m a bit sad but I love almost everyone in that station and wish them all the best in the future.”
But despite her own feelings at the time, Muireann graciously used her announcement to wish Mairead Ronan luck in her new role, saying: “@cocomairead will be great!”
At the time, a number of fellow broadcasters offered their support to Muireann, and her departure garnered a huge reaction.
Speaking to Goss.ie in August, Muireann said she was surprised and delighted by the reaction, and teased a potential return to radio.
19. Lamar Odom’s Shocking Memoir
Lamar Odom finally released his much-anticipated memoir this year, and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
In the tell-all book, the basketball player opened up about his failed marriage to Khloé Kardashian, and his history with alcohol and drug abuse.
But the most shocking story from his book detailed an alleged incident at the Hotel Roosevelt in 2012, when Khloé caught him cheating.
Lamar claimed that Khloé “beat the s*** out of” a woman, after she found him with a bevy of “naked girls” in a hotel room.
In his book, Lamar also admitted that he once threatened to kill Khloe while he was high on cocaine and ecstasy.
In December 2013, Khloe filed for divorce from Lamar, but later delayed the divorce proceedings after he was hospitalised in October 2015.
After helping with his recovery, Khloe and Lamar eventually finalised their divorce in 2016.
20. Kim Kardashian West: Reality Star Turned Lawyer
Speaking of the Kardashians, we HAVE to talk about Kim K and her incredible achievements this year.
Back in April, the KUWTK star shocked the world when she announced that she’s studying law, and plans to take the bar in 2020.
The mother-of-four has been very vocal about reforming the prison system in the United States, and she famously helped free Alice Marie Johnson earlier this year, who was serving a life sentence for a non-violent drug offence.
After petitioning President Donald Trump earlier this year, the 64-year-old prisoner was granted clemency.
Kim has since helped free multiple prisoners through the 90 Days of Freedom campaign, which was launched by Kim’s lawyer Brittany K. Barnett, in partnership with lawyer MiAngel Cody of The Decarceration Collective.
The prisoners are all being released under the First Step Act, a bill which aims to reduce mandatory minimum prison sentences and reintegrate inmates into society.
It looks like the sky is the limit for Kim, as she recently revealed her hopes to start her own law firm focused on prison reform.
21. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show AXE
To be honest, this story wasn’t particularly shocking as we kind of knew it was coming – but it still deserves a spot on this list.
Following months of speculation, the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was officially cancelled this year.
The news was confirmed by the chief financial officer and executive vice president of L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, during a conference call.
Victoria’s Secret Angel Shanina Shaik had sparked rumours that the show was cancelled back in July.
During an interview with Australia’s Daily Telegraph, Shanina said: “Unfortunately, the Victoria’s Secret Show won’t be happening this year. It’s something I’m not used to because every year around this time I’m training like an Angel.”
When asked why the show wasn’t going ahead this year, she suggested it might be because “they’re trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show.”
The show has come under fire in recent years, as many have called out the brand’s alleged lack of inclusivity.
22. Mark Cagney’s Shock Departure From Ireland AM
Another big story that shocked us this year in Ireland was Mark Cagney’s shock departure from Ireland AM.
The much-loved TV presenter left the show at the end of July, after hosting the programme for over 20 years.
Although Mark originally said he had “stepped down” from his role, he later claimed that bosses didn’t renew his contract.
Speaking to Ray D’Arcy on RTÉ Radio 1, he said: “I had known it was coming for a long time. I knew for about a year because the last contract I got was for 12 months.”
“They didn’t renew my contract. But there is absolutely no acrimony whatsoever. I knew it was coming, it was time and maybe I should have done about two years ago.”
When asked if he had any say in his departure, he said: “Oh God no,” before adding, “But again, there is no twisted and bitter ‘Oh they got rid of me’. It really was time to go.”
“You get to a point where you can’t do anymore and you have used all of the tricks in your bag. It was time for something new and for fresh blood. It was literally time to hand to baton over.”
In the final Gosscast episode of 2019, Goss.ie Founder Ali Ryan and Goss.ie Editor Kendra Becker talk through the biggest stories of the year.
From the Tristan Thompson and Jordyn Woods scandal to the Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney drama, the girls are spilling all the tea. Take a listen:
Listen on iTunes and Spotify: