Celebrities are just like us... other than the sex scandals, Illuminati connections, extravagant spending habits, faked deaths, and abandoned porn careers.
These often-suspect rumors, built up into tall tales and conspiracy theories by tabloids, should be easy to ignore. If only. True or not, we can't look away from the outrageous, the scandalous, and the absurd. Putting them in any kind of order is itself something of an absurd endeavor, but that's exactly what we're going to do. Celebrity rumors are a kind of mirror, reflecting which behaviors pop society deems unacceptable, which personalities are most deserving of scorn, and the tenuous balance between celebrity culture and media.
To rank the 100 craziest rumors of all time, we considered the perfect balance of spectacle and plausibility. It's a complex, totally subjective calculus that also takes into account just how captivatingly fun each rumor is. So while most of these aren't true, well, you never know.
100. The Sex and the City quartet hates each other
Sarah Jessica Parker has always said that the most hurtful thing about her time on the show was the persistent chatter that the four women at the center of the show couldn't stand each other. After nearly two decades of showing up at each other's movie openings, charity events, and assorted galas, they still can't shake the big rumor.
99. Cameron Diaz only washes her face with Evian
This rumor is actually kinda true. Diaz said that when she's on a film set she doesn't like to wash her face with the tank water in the trailer and uses bottled water instead. But does she do it all the time? We hope not.
98. Jason Statham's character in The Transporter is gay
Everyone assumes that because Statham's Frank Martin is such a tough guy action hero that he has to be straight, right? Louis Leterrier, who directed the first two installments of the franchise said he always imagined the character as gay, but no one else thought so. When the third movie got a new director, a reporter asked Letterier about him turning the character straight. Leterrier replied that he rewatched his old movies and they weren't that gay after all. But for those who want to believe it, go ahead.
97. The creator of Mad Men made January Jones' life a living hell
Throughout the acclaimed AMC series' run, critics constantly wondered why Jones's Mad Men character Betty Draper was such a monster. Then, when Jones's character gained a ton of weight between seasons, everyone assumed there was a full-on feud between the actress and controlling creator Matt Weiner. That was the only reason people could think of why he made the formerly gorgeous Betty into a fat beast. In reality it might have been just a clever way to cover Jones's real life pregnancy.
96. Michael Jackson is Dave Dave
When Dave Dave (né Dave Rothenberg) was a kid, his father doused him in kerosene and set him on fire. Michael Jackson paid for many of his surgeries. Now certain internet whackadoodles think that Jackson is really alive and disguised as Dave Dave. This seems as likely as Jacko owning the Elephant Man's bones.
95. Kurt Cobain wrote Hole's Live Through This
Because a woman couldn't possibly be equally (or more) talented than her partner, the release of Hole's second studio album sparked speculation that the Nirvana front man wrote the album for his wife, Courtney Love. The rest of the band says this is not the case and Love defends herself in the most Courtney Love way possible saying that when Cobain asked to help she said, "No fucking way, man! I've got a good band, I don't fucking need your help."
94. Damon Albarn wrote Elastica's self-titled debut album
See above, except substitute the Blur front man with his then-girlfriend Justine Frischmann. Albarn did play keyboards on some tracks on the album, but Frischmann wouldn't even let him use his real name because she knew such accusations would fly. He's credited as Dan Abnormal instead.
93. Steven Spielberg directed Poltergeist
Spielberg wrote and produced the 1982 horror movie, but it was directed by genre master Tobe Hooper, who made Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Because Spielberg was so active on set, and Poltergeist looked similar to previous movies, many believe to this day that the Jaws director did all the heavy lifting. There was even an investigation by the Directors Guild of America, but they determined that Hooper helmed the classic. Could have fooled us.
92. Geraldo Rivera was born Jerry Rivers
Some say that the talk show host, who was getting in fights with neo-Nazis before it was cool, changed his name so that Latino viewers would be more fond of him. That claim is as empty as Al Capone's vault.
91. Jennifer Lopez insured her butt
After tabloids printed that Jennifer Lopez took out a $27 million policy on her famous backside, she had to go on late-night television to deny that rumor. However, after years of looking at it, many "appraisers" would probably give it a similar value.
90. Jacqueline Susann and Ethel Merman were lovers
Unless you're a gay man of a certain age, you may not have heard that the Valley of the Dolls author and the Broadway diva supposedly had an affair. Many believe that widely reported incidents of Susann teaching Merman how to strip for Gypsy, and showing up at her door shouting, "Ethel, I love you," led to steamier fiction. But what happened behind closed doors we'll never know.
89. Curt Schilling faked his infamous bloody sock
In 2004, the Red Sox faced off against their mortal enemies, the Yankees, for the American League Championship. The game reached miracle status when team doctors stabilized an ankle injury plaguing star pitcher Schilling, who threw an incredible game as blood seeped out of his wound. Naturally, some sore losers say Red Sox team members painted the sock, or filled it with ketchup, so that Schilling could have even more glory. To answer that, Schilling tweeted a picture of his ankle injury.
88. Michael Bay's secret biological father was a Hollywood legend
As a director, Bay is known for explosive action movies like the Transformer series. He might have inherited more than a style from director John Frankenheimer, who made The Manchurian Candidate. Bay was adopted and, while searching for his biological parents, history revealed that Frankenheimer had a one-night stand with his mother and might be his real dad. Gene tests later proved otherwise -- at least that's what Frankenheimer says.
87. Jan and Marcia Brady hooked up
While many of The Brady Bunch kids have opened up about their peccadilloes on set, there is still one case of she said/she said that hasn't been resolved. In her memoir, Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia, says she made out with co-star Eve Plumb, who played Jan, one day at work. Plumb denies it. Sure, Jan.
86. Big Daddy Kane told Oprah he has HIV
After Eazy-E died in 1995 due to complications associated with AIDS, there was a witch hunt for other rappers who had HIV. For some reason there is a collective misremembrance that Big Daddy Kane went on the Oprah Winfrey Show and told the host he had the virus. No such footage exists. Unless the Illuminati has it and is keeping it a secret.
85. Bill Gates is Satan
If you add together the ASCII values (Where A=65, B=66, etc) in Bill Gates III's name, it adds up to 666. If that's not proof that he's the Antichrist, then just remember that stupid talking paperclip from Microsoft Word.
84. Disney murdered Lindsay Lohan's twin
Everyone knows that young Lohan made her big splash playing the dual roles of twins in the remake of The Parent Trap. Well, not everyone. Some think she had a sister named Kelsey who acted alongside of her, and when it became obvious Lindsay was the better actress, Disney killed her not-as-talented sister. What is this The Hunger Games? The proof is that Lindsay had so many problems later in life, because she feels responsible for her dead twin.
83. Diane Sawyer was Deep Throat
Back before we knew the real identity of the source that clued journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein into Richard Nixon's crimes at the Watergate hotel, many theorized network news anchor Diane Sawyer was behind the leak. Sawyer was an aide in the Nixon White House and a high-profile target for amateur investigators. The real source was Mark Felt, the assistant director of the FBI, who revealed himself in 2005, shortly before his death.
82. Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Mario Lopez died in a car crash immediately following Saved by the Bell
There was nothing more devastating to middle schoolers in 1993 than the cancellation of Saved by the Bell... except the two main heartthrobs died in a car crash after celebrating the series' wrap. Thankfully the rumor was just that because who else could go on to host Extra? Screech?
81. Margot Robbie is actually in her 30s
The breakout Aussie actress says that she was born in 1990, but some think she's shaved five years off of her age, mostly using a 2008 article claiming she's 23 as proof that she got younger after getting famouser. Robbie's stans say that article is just wrong. Fake news strikes again.
80. The members of Wu-Tang Clan all had sex with a single groupie
This tale comes from a crazy place: Divorce Court. On an episode of the show, a man accused his wife of sneaking backstage at a Wu-Tang concert and sleeping with the entire rap collective in one night. When the band's manager posted a picture of the episode on Instagram, Method Man denied that it happened. "I would have spotted her and said which one of u bitches brought the chaperone," he wrote. "She's clearly an old-er [sic] thot." Ouch.
79. Who is the subject of Carly Simon's "You're So Vain"?
Hollywood's longest-running blind item is the identity of a man in an apricot scarf that Simon's been singing about since 1972. Contenders include Mick Jagger, David Geffen, Warren Beatty, and Simon's ex-Jim Hart. She's released bits of information here and there and confirmed in 2015 that the second verse is about Beatty and the other two verses are about two different men.
78. Courteney Cox bleaches her butthole
No one is quite sure how this rumor got started, but future Transparent creator Jill Soloway used it to great effect in her short story "Courtney Cox's Asshole" published in Exquisite Corpse magazine. The story, told from the perspective of Cox's personal assistant, ensured its place in the hearsay Hall of Fame.
77. Paris Hilton's mom gave her sex lessons
Kathy Hilton is from a notorious Hollywood family (her half-sisters are Real Housewives of Beverly Hills stars Kim and Kyle Richards). Her mother, Kathleen Richards, apparently hired a man to give young Kathy sex lessons in a van parked outside their family home. When it came time for Paris to learn, rumor has it that Kathy passed the courtesy along to her daughter. Thanks to One Night in Paris, the curious can all inspect her schooling.
76. Ashanti actually sang Jennifer Lopez's big hit
Before she became a pop star, Jennifer Lopez was known as an actress, tabloid fixture, and former Fly Girl. Maybe that's why no one believed that she was the one singing her 2001 single "I'm Real" and that it was a "Milli Vanilli" situation. Who was supposedly providing the vocals? None other than Ashanti, who was a backup singer at the time. Ashanti denied this ever happened.
75. The Red Ranger was a gay porn star
When muscle-bound hunk "Brock" turned up on popular gay porn site SeanCody, many noticed that he looked a lot like Austin St. John, the actor who played the Red Ranger on the first season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. St. John adamantly denies that it's him and Brock's scenes were yanked for a brief period after threats of a lawsuit. Today they're back up and, well, they do really look alike. OK, Brock's a bit hotter.
74. Mick Jagger had an unorthodox Mars bar
In 1967, cops busted a party at Keith Richards' Redlands and, according to legend, found Jagger performing cunnilingus on then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull by eating a Mars bar out of Marianne's faithful. While the raid happened, the Mars bar is a fabrication, one Faithfull swears Jagger picked up during his stint in prison.
73. Mae West used semen as a de-aging cream
The bawdy comic, who lived to be 87, always looked great for her age. In the time before Botox, what did people consider her fountain of youth? Semen facials, of course. Seems legit, even though there's no scientific proof that this actually works.
72. Mister Rogers killed 150 People as a Marine sniper
No, Fred Rogers did not cap 150 people while wearing a cardigan. (He also was not arrested for child molestation.) Rogers wasn't even ever in the Marines. However, Bozo the Clown, Captain Kangaroo, and Drew Carey all served.
71. Errol Flynn was a Nazi spy
A controversial 1980 biography of the silver screen star claims that he not only met Hitler, but was also a closet bisexual. In 1981 his daughters sued for libel, but the case was dismissed because it's impossible to libel the deceased.
70. Carol Channing loves corn
The very colorful tale that's been passed around Broadway back rooms for years is that one day legendary singer Carol Channing was in the women's room and after relieving herself said, "Corn? I don't remember eating corn!" Most of us would just rather remember her saying "Raspberries."
69. Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marlon Brando fled New York together on 9/11
A story, originally published in Vanity Fair, claims that Jacko and his two close friends, guests at his New York performance on September 10, 2001, all fled New York together on the morning of September 11, after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. There was even a movie made about it. But the truth is much more mundane: they all filtered out of the city separately, a few days later.
68. Larry King kept a fan under his desk to blow away farts
Call the former CNN interviewer a gas bag, but it might be more true than you know. Internet message boards were alight with tales of King cutting the cheese and forgetting to pass the crackers. One even claimed that King kept a fan under his desk so that guests wouldn't get a whiff of his flatulence.
67. Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey forced Dave Chappelle off the air
Though a huge hit for Comedy Central, The Chappelle Show halted production and faded to black after Chappelle suffered a meltdown in 2005. Many cited the comedian's difficulties off screen, but one conspiracy theorist has posited that a group of black entertainers headed by Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey got him taken off the air because they thought he was showing a negative portrayal of black life. Cosby keeping his behavior secret for decades? No, that doesn't sound like Cosby at all.
66. Katy Perry is really JonBenét Ramsey
With one crazy YouTube video, one silly conspiracy theory can become a fad. That is just what happened to this rant about how JonBenét's death was faked so that she could become the pop megastar. People will believe anything.
65. Steven Yeun played Short Round from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
A Facebook meme tried to fool people into thinking that Glenn from The Walking Dead was also in the famous 1984 Harrison Ford movie. Just do the math, how could a guy who looks like he is in his late 20s star as a 10-year-old in a movie from three decades ago? The real Short Round is Jonathan Ke Quan. He is not a zombie.
64. Cash Money is a gay cabal
Death Row Records was known as being dangerous, but Cash Money Records has an entirely different reputation: as a group of closeted homosexuals who like to get their freak on. Nicki Minaj is always rapping about getting it on with the ladies. There's a famous picture Lil Wayne kissing Cash Money co-founder Bryan "Birdman" Williams. Young Thug could be in a gay illuminati. And Drake is supposedly into butt stuff -- with girls. Wayne isn't ashamed of the picture and actually raps about it in a song. But Drake? Come on.
63. Bruce Lee was murdered by gangs
The kung-fu star died at the age of 32 from a cerebral edema caused by a medication allergy. Some say this is fake, and that Lee was killed by Chinese gangs (known as triads) that didn't want him exposing the secrets of karate to the western world. Others say that a few days prior to his death, a fighter gave him a mystic "death blow" that felled him days later. Or, you know, maybe he just took a bad pill.
62. Freddie Mercury snuck Princess Diana into a gay bar
Bored of public life and wanting a night out on the town, the Queen singer reportedly dressed the people's princess up as a man and snuck her into a gay bar in South London. Cleo Rocos, a comedian who says he accompanied the two on that fateful night, wrote about it in his memoir. Tragically, neither Mercury nor Diana are around to comment.
61. Barbra Streisand made a porn film
Blue movies had a bit of a moment in the mainstream in the '60s and '70s and thanks to one woman with a nose similar to the singer's, this rumor was born. It is entirely false and they don't really look that similar. Now that porn is everywhere, a quick NSFW Google is all you need to see for yourself.
60. Anna Wintour had an affair with Bob Marley
Throughout the '70s, when the notoriously chilly Vogue editor was a junior fashion assistant, she was obsessed with the reggae star. According to the biography Front Row, when he played in Manhattan she scored backstage passes to the show and the pair disappeared together for a week. Naturally, Wintour says it didn't happen, but would she tell anyone if she shot this particular deputy?
59. Frank Sinatra is Ronan Farrow's real father
In the years since breaking up with Woody Allen, Mia Farrow has hinted that her crooning first husband is the real father of her son. She reportedly cheated on Allen with Sinatra in an appropriate window, though a biography of the musician insists insists he was recovering from stomach surgery at the time. The rumor persists thanks to a rather striking resemblance.
58. David Beckham purchased Victoria Beckham a $1.8 million sex toy
When the artist formerly known as Posh Spice was pregnant with the soccer star's third child, he supposedly bought her a platinum dildo with a diamond encrusted base. The Beckhams have never commented on the purchase, and Victoria is usually, um, tight lipped about such things.
57. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were each one another's beards
According to gay activist Larry Kramer, the famous Hollywood couple was paired together by the studio because they were both closeted and needed covers. Of course their off-screen pairing only helped to boost the onscreen one. There is nothing to verify whether or not this is true, except for Kramer, who also wants history books to include that Abraham Lincoln was gay.
56. Cary Grant and Randolph Scott were lovers
During the height of Grant's fame the two single actors lived together in a Santa Monica mansion known as Bachelor Hall. The gay rumors got so bad the studio made Grant marry actress Virginia Cherrill. A year later, they divorced and Grant moved back in with Scott. Together they spent a combined 11 years living together. Grant's daughter Jennifer wrote in her 2011 memoir that her father liked when people said he was gay because then women would want to prove it was false.
55. Paul McCartney died in 1966
In 1969, those who weren't engaged in the "Summer of Love" were coming up with theories that the Beatles member was a fraud, replacing the real Paul McCartney who died three years earlier. This seemed to be explained by the lyrics and symbolism on the Abbey Road record art. There was even a snippet of the Song "Revolution 9" that said "Paul is dead" when played backwards. Well, if Paul is a look-alike, that is one rich imposter.
54. Walt Disney's body is frozen beneath Disneyland
Some think that the famous media mogul wanted his body cryogenically frozen after his death in 1966 and buried beneath Cinderella's castle in the Magic Kingdom. While Walt is everywhere in Disney, his body is not physically present. After suffering from cardiac arrest, the animation genius was cremated. There's proof.
53. Michael J. Fox's middle name Is "Jell-O"
The joke is that Fox's parents let him choose his middle name as a kid. The 6-year-old chose his favorite dessert. This story isn't far off -- the actor plucked the J out of nowhere. Fox was born with the name Michael Andrew Fox, but when he went to register with SAG, there was already a Michael Fox and he thought Michael A. Fox was setting himself up for ridicule. He chose the J after actor Michael J. Pollard, whom he admired. Fox wrote in his autobiography, "I tell people it stands for Jenuine or Jenuis." Since those are lame, he should stick with Jell-O.
52. James Dean was a human ashtray
Kenneth Anger's notorious book Hollywood Babylon spilled all the tea on stars back in the day, including one that Dean was into gay BDSM and would go visit clubs that catered to that fetish. He would reportedly ask men to put their cigarettes out on his chest. These days a Google search of "James Dean Bondage" only brings up videos of the porn star James Deen, so beware.
51. The CIA killed John Lennon
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is, of course, an anagram for LSD. But some think that Lennon was about to tell the public that the CIA was using the trippy drug to control the population, so they killed him for it. Or maybe it was just The Catcher in the Rye and Mark Chapman.
50. Simon Cowell is gay
Maybe it's because he started his career as a record executive hawking records by the artist Sinitta at gay clubs (and has said he wore tight shirts to get more attention). But the rumors about the American Idol host have never subsided. Cowell has addressed them multiple times, saying that he doesn't care about them, because being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. Then, naturally, he says he's not gay.
49. Nancy Reagan was great at oral sex
When notorious biographer Kitty Kelly turned her dirt-slinging eye to the first lady, she unearthed all sorts of great gossip. The best was that before she met The Gipper, Nancy was known as "Hollywood's blow job queen." Who can just say no to that?
48. Clara Bow slept with the entire USC football team
The silent film star was the Kim Kardashian of her day, and tabloids often spread rumors of her alleged nymphomaniacal tendencies, including lesbian affairs, bestiality, and carrying on three-ways with prostitutes. When Bow became an ardent football fan and started inviting the USC team and their opponents to parties at her house after home games, the two legends merged and this very colorful rumor was born. You have to appreciate her dedication to school spirit.
47. Cal Ripken almost missed a record-setting game because he was busy beating up Kevin Costner
At 2,632, Cal Ripken holds the record for most consecutive pro baseball games played in a row, though the shortstop nearly flubbed the run during a 1997 Orioles-Mariners face-off. Ripken was scheduled to miss the game, but a lighting malfunction at Camden Yards caused a cancellation. Rumor has it the "malfunction" was an intentional, shady move to keep the streak alive, and that Ripken didn't make it to the game that night because he caught Bull Durham star Kevin Costner in bed with his Ripken's wife. The two are close friends, but since the infamous night, rumor-busters proved that Ripken was actually elsewhere at the park that night.
46. Richard Simmons is transitioning
When the exercise guru dropped out of public life for several years, his fans worried about his health and well-being. Then the rumor became that he was transitioning into a woman. Despite a National Enquirer photo-spread of his new persona, "Fiona," Simmons responded to the claim on Facebook and said it wasn't true.
45. Suri Cruise is really Chris Klein's daughter
Blame the shroud of Scientology, but gossip detectives raised an eyebrow when Tom Cruise announced he was going to be a father. The Mission: Impossible star didn't have a child with his first wife, Mimi Rogers, and stuck to adopting children when he was married to Nicole Kidman. When Katie Holmes announced her pregnancy, a rumor that the famous Scientologist was sterile evolved into a theory that actor Chris Klein, her ex, was actually the father. An easy way to debunk this one: looking at a photo of Suri Cruise, a splitting image of her on-paper father.
44. Mogul David Geffen married a 29-year-old Keanu Reeves
The Matrix star has always been known better for his meme-creating sadness than his acting ability, which is why this rumor about a gay billionaire kickstarting the career of a boy toy seemed plausible. Reeves humorously addressed the rumor, saying it "blew me away. Not because they thought I was gay, but that they thought I could land a guy that hot."
43. Elvis is alive
Thanks to the supermarket tabloids, this rumor has been around longer than all of Lisa Marie Presley's husbands combined. If he were still alive he would be 81, or, you know, old enough to die a second time.
42. Tupac is alive
The story goes that the famed rapper faked his 1996 death and has been living on the sly in Cuba for all of these years. All that posthumous material? They're actually new records. Thanks to some faked photographs and fan theories, ever year is the year he's going to come out of hiding -- until he doesn't.
41. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie really had sex in Don't Look Now
The sex scene between the two in the film looked so real everyone assumed it couldn't have been fake. While Christie has been coy about it even after 40 years, Sutherland denies that there was actual penetration.
40. Courtney Love killed Kurt Cobain
Those that believe in a conspiracy theory that the Nirvana frontman's death was foul play say that Love had Cobain killed because he was going to divorce her and she wanted his money. There have been several books and a documentary espousing this theory, but no one can get enough evidence together to have the case reopened. In 2014, the Seattle Police Department found four undeveloped rolls of film from the crime scene and said they prove conclusively that suicide was the cause of death.
39. Marlon Brando and Underdog voice actor Wally Cox were lovers
There are supposedly pictures to prove it, or at least one convincing photo that was unearthed in Brando's private collection after his death. Brando was unashamed to talk about his homosexual experiences, but whether they were with lifelong friend Cox, and if that's Wally's Cox in the photo, is still a matter of speculation.
38. Andy Kaufman faked his own death
Best known for his role on Taxi, Kaufman was famous for elaborate pranks, like "quitting" show business to become a professional wrestler. Some think his ultimate prank was faking his own death of cancer at age 35 and living off the grid, possibly as his character Tony Clifton, ever since. Kaufman's regular collaborator Bob Zmuda fanned the rumor fire in a 2014 book, The Truth, Finally, but as of today, there's no hard evidence to suggest what happened didn't happen.
37. Cher had ribs removed to slim down
The word on the street is that the star tried to turn back time by having bones taken out so that she would appear thinner. Sorry to tell you, but it's just diet and exercise.
36. Marilyn Manson had ribs removed so he could... pleasure himself
Apparently the goth superstar wanted to be a bit more flexible so he could fit a certain part of his anatomy into his mouth. No, it wasn't his big toe.
35. Gene Simmons surgically enhanced his tongue
Many suspect that the KISS frontman had a cow's tongue grafted onto his own so that his persona as "The Demon" would be more believable. Nope. Turns out that Simmons is just hung in the tongue.
34. Lady Gaga has a penis
All it takes is one blurry photo at one performance to ignite a rumor worthy of internet attention. Considering how often Lady Gaga rummages around on stage in skimpy outfits, you would think the existence of her penis could be confirmed by more than a single grainy photo. Even if she does have such an appendage, she's on the right track, baby, she was born that way.
33. Denise Richards worked for "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss
Richards and Charlie Sheen were married for 15 years until their divorce in 2006. Charlie Sheen used the "Hollywood Madam" to hire his sex workers. By the celeb rumor transitive property, this means Denise Richards must have been a prostitute. She's stated in interviews that it's a complete fabrication.
32. Clark Gable committed a hit-and-run murder
While Gable was undoubtedly involved in a car accident or two during his career, this unproven story says that he killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence and MGM covered it up, sending another man to jail in his stead. According to legend, he had to do his famous movie It Happened One Night as a payback.
31. The NBA suspended Michael Jordan for gambling
In 1993, after the Chicago Bulls won three championships in a row, the NBA allegedly launched an investigation into whether the Chicago Bulls guard bet on games in which he also played. Jordan would later talk about his gambling, but insisted the habit never affected his livelihood. Shortly after he stunned the nation by quitting basketball to play baseball, the investigation was dropped. It's a popular theory that NBA chief David Stern and Jordan colluded to have him quit for a time so that he could come back to the league and avoid the mess.
30. Angie Bowie caught David Bowie and Mick Jagger having sex
Angie Bowie is not afraid to admit that she caught her then-husband David and his friend Mick Jagger in bed together naked. The sex part of the story has been elaborated over time, and only two men (plus Jesus) know if it's really true. Considering that Angie claims she and David were late to their own wedding because they were having a threesome, this rockstar rumor isn't totally unthinkable.
29. Khloe Kardashian is OJ Simpson's daughter
There is a striking resemblance between Kardashian sisters Kim and Kourtney, but the taller, tanner sister Khloe is the black sheep of the family. That's because many believe her mother, Kris, had an affair with family friend OJ Simpson, and that the incarcerated celebrity might be her real father. Not one to miss an opportunity for content, Kris had Khloe take a paternity test on an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians that proved it was false.
28. Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King are lesbian lovers
Gayle has no idea where this comes from. "I've given up trying to figure that out. At this stage, if you still think that, it's on you," she said in an interview. Seriously, people. They're just friends. Or are they? No. They are.
27. Mikey from the Life commercial's stomach exploded
The urban legend is that commercial icon "Mikey," the kid who hated everything except Life cereal, had ingested Coke and Pop Rocks and it made his stomach explode and he died. Sorry, but the actor, John Gilchrist, is still alive and Pop Rocks and Coke won't kill you. But it probably tastes really gross?
26. Mama Cass choked to death on a ham sandwich
While there was a sandwich found on a table nearby the The Mamas & the Papas singer's body, Cass actually died of a heart attack. In an eerie (and factual) turn, The Who drummer Keith Moon died in the same location, Flat 12 at 9 Curzon Pl in London, four years later.
25. Magic Johnson got HIV at an orgy thrown by Eddie Murphy
In 1991, Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced that he had HIV, the result of a number of sexual encounters with women over the course of his basketball career. However, after a 2012 PBS documentary about black Americans affected by AIDS, some posited that Johnson got it from an orgy Eddie Murphy threw that was attended by transgender prostitutes. Further speculation ties Jermaine Stewart, the "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" singer who died of complications from AIDS, to Johnson. Today, Magic sticks to his original answer.
24. Lorde is secretly old
Around the same time that Donald Trump was demanding Barack Obama's birth certificate, some pop music fans were looking for the same thing from "Royals" singer Lorde. Was it the eye shadow? The curly hair? The don't-give-a-fuck classiness? If Lorde's birth certificate is any indication, she was born in 1996, just like she claims. But it's from New Zealand. Who can trust it?
23. One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson's baby is fake
One Direction fans have more crazy conspiracy theories than the people on The X-Files. Not only do they believe that Tomlinson and bandmate Harry Styles have been carrying on a gay relationship for years, they also believe the baby he had with Briana Jungwirth is either a doll or a hired actor meant to cover up his affair with Styles. But, seriously, if all the fans already know Styles and Tomlinson are lovers, why would they hide it with a fake baby?
22. Lauren Conrad and Jason Wahler made a sex tape
One of the most iconic moments in reality-TV history is when Conrad yelled, "YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID" to break off her friendship with BFF/The Hills star Heidi Montag. While viewers were never officially clued into what Heidi "DID," many suspect it's that Montag and her boyfriend Spencer Pratt spread rumors about a sex tape. Both Conrad and then-boyfriend Wahler deny the existence of such a tape, so maybe she was mad about the rude nickname Montag gave her?
21. Who is Toothy Tile?
Veteran Hollywood gossip Ted Casablanca loved to post blind items in his column for E! Online, hiding the dirty deeds of stars behind fake names. No recurring character was as beloved as Toothy Tile, a famous movie actor with a great smile and a big secret: He is gay. According to Casablanca, Toothy had a famous girlfriend that was for show and a boyfriend in private and everyone knew but the media. The creators and diligent readers of the item-inspired blog "Waiting for Toothy" were convinced that Toothy was Brokeback Mountain star Jake Gyllenhaal. Casablanca never confirmed nor denied this and the real identity of Toothy remains a mystery.
20. Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" is about the night he watched his friend die
The lyrics to the minimalist 1981 hit are ambiguous, but one tale says the song adapts an incident in which Collins was up on a mountain and watched his friend drown in a lake below. Apparently there was a man nearby who could have saved him but didn't. Some even claim that Collins then invited the man to a concert and played the song for him. Collins has stated many times in interviews that the whole Face Value album is really about the end of his first marriage. Now, if he could only explain "Sussudio."
19. Paul from The Wonder Years grew up to be Marilyn Manson
Nope, the goth impresario (born Brian Hugh Warner) did not play Kevin Arnold's best friend Paul on the '80s sitcom when he was younger. That was Josh Saviano, who is seven years younger than Manson. They do look a lot alike though (and Saviano has all of his ribs).
18. Michael Jackson slept in an oxygen chamber
At the height of Thriller-mania, a photo showing the King of Pop lying down in a hyperbolic oxygen chamber made the tabloid rounds. The rumor, which Jackson may have spread himself according to one report, suggested that he slept in the device to prevent aging. When the press picked up the photo, Jackson immediately donated the oxygen chamber to a California hospital to help burn victims.
17. Milton Berle had a huge penis
This old Hollywood tale can be more or less colorful based on who is telling it, but some reports suggest that the comedian's member was a foot long. Though Howard Stern peppered him with questions about it during multiple appearances on the show, Berle never confirmed nor denied the rumor. However, he wrote in his autobiography that he was once in a steam room with Jackie Gleason and a man challenged him to compare sizes. Apparently Gleason said, "Go ahead, Milty, just take out enough to win."
16. Jon Hamm has an enormous penis
Tabloids can often be found analyzing bulges in women's clothing for baby bumps. But Jon Hamm found himself in this club, too, because, if you believe the pictures, he's hiding a club of his own. Hamm has never talked about the size of his penis, but did once say, "Would you want people walking up to you and pointing at your dick? I can't believe I'm still talking about this." Sorry, Hamm, you better get used to it.
15. Rachel Roy is "Becky with the Good Hair"
When Beyoncé shocked the world with Lemonade, many wondered who would have dared sleep with Jay Z behind Bey's back. Fashion designer Roy, long rumored to be in a relationship with Hova, made the mistake of posting "good hair don't care" on Instagram shortly after Lemonade's release. The Beyhive immediately inundated her social media accounts with negative messages. Not a pretty joke. And speaking of...
14. Jay Z and Rihanna had an affair
This is a rumor-within-a-rumor -- the Inception of rumors -- that will never die, thanks to Hova playing an instrumental role in Rihanna's early career. Some say the singer herself made up the rumor to get more popular. Some believe that Beyoncé's song "Ring the Alarm" is about Rihanna, even though her father issued a statement denying it. And, of course, there are those that think that Solange Knowles was beating up on Jay in that infamous elevator clip because they had run into Rihanna. It sure is a juicy story.
13. Julianna Margulies and Archie Panjabi hated each other so much, they needed green screen to film their final scene
Margulies and Panjabi played besties on The Good Wife for years, but a few seasons into its run, their respective characters, Alicia and Kalinda, stopped sharing scenes together. Accusations started swirling it was because the actresses couldn't stand each other. When Panjabi filmed her final scene on the series with Margulies, it was revealed the two filmed it separately and had it stitched together in post-production. Margulies said that the feud is just gossip and that Panjabi was filming her other show, The Fall, and couldn't make it back to the set. Panjabi, who won't comment about the rift publicly, did get on Twitter to correct Margulies that The Fall wasn't in production when the finale was filmed. Oh snap!
12. Derek Jeter gives his one-night stands gift baskets
Though he's dated models very publicly, Jeter is shy about tarnishing his all-American image. Still there's a persistent story that he would bring women home to his New York apartment, sleep with them, and lend them his car and driver to take them home in the morning. Waiting in the car would be a gift basket full of Jeter memorabilia, including a signed baseball. What a gentleman!
11. Who is January Jones' baby daddy?
Jones gave birth to a son, Xander, in 2011, and to this day, we don't know the father. That hasn't stopped people from trying to figure out who it is. Some guess it's recent ex Jason Sudeikis; others think it was her X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn, who is married to Claudia Schiffer. However, the most likely suspect is Bobby Flay. Flay's now-ex-wife, Law & Order: SVU actress Stephanie March, told the press the reason they got divorced was because Flay was having an affair with Jones and is the father of her son. Maury Povich was not available for comment.
10. Kim Kardashian has butt implants
No one can believe that her unreal backside is the result of nature alone. Kim has denied the rumors for years, even having an X-ray on camera during a 2011 episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but that hasn't stopped the tabloids from speculating about how she got that famous posterior, capable of holding a Champagne glass.
9. Jamie Lee Curtis was born a hermaphrodite
My high school biology teacher taught me that the Halloween actress was born with three X chromosomes, which is also not true. Even if it is, what Jamie Lee has going on south of the border is none of our business anyway.
8. Delonte West had sex with LeBron James' mother
In the 2010 playoffs, the Cavaliers fell apart after game four and lost big to the Celtics. Many have blamed it on the fact that James found out before that game that his teammate slept with his mother and the revelation threw the whole squad's dynamic off. West denies it, though says he didn't name his son Delonte West Jr. because he didn't want his son being teased about the rumor.
7. Stevie Nicks blew cocaine up her butt
Nicks certainly won't deny her heavy cocaine use during the Fleetwood Mac days -- or that it destroyed her nose. However, in 2001, she finally denied the long-running story that her nasal passages were so screwed up that she needed her assistant to blow cocaine up her butt with a turkey baster (or a straw, depending on who you ask).
6. Jay Z pledged his allegiance to the Illuminati
Apparently there is a secret cabal of very rich and powerful people who control all world events. Jay Z is one of them, and we know this because he pastes Freemason symbols all over his music videos and clothing line. That explains the continued existence of Tidal.
5. The CIA killed Marilyn Monroe
The bombshell's involvement with John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert is in the history books, but did the high-profile affair lead to her death? Some claim that her overdose was faked so that she wouldn't spread state secrets. This is a hoax with legs as famous as Marilyn's; in 2015, the Weekly World News (the original fake-news tabloid) got several legit websites to pick up its report that a retired CIA agent had confessed to the murder on his deathbed.
4. Marisa Tomei didn't win her Oscar
Shortly after her 1994 win for My Cousin Vinny, The Hollywood Reporter wrote about a rumor that Jack Palance, who presented the award, couldn't read the name in the envelope and blurted out Tomei's name. The reporting on the rumor gave it the patina of truth and all of these years (and two more Oscar nominations) later, people still believe it. 2017's La La Land/Moonlight Best Picture fumble isn't going to help settle this one.
3. Beyoncé faked her first pregnancy
The world's most famous singer is a rumor mill all her own. There is a whole conspiracy theory that a surrogate gave birth to her and Jay Z's daughter. There are rumblings about Ms. Knowles Carter securing a whole floor of a hospital so no one could tell that the baby wasn't hers. The smoking gun is a photo of her sitting down on a talk show where it looks like her belly caves in, something that would only happen if it were padding instead of a human baby. Her second pregnancy should put these rumors to rest.
2. Rod Stewart once had a gallon of semen pumped out of his stomach
The urban legend goes that the human body can't digest semen, so Stewart, after performing oral sex on a handful of sailors in a gay bar in San Diego, had to have a gallon of it removed from his stomach. Years later this would be recycled for Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block, who, ironically, was the Knight brother from the band who is not gay. Still this remains a biological impossibility.
1. Richard Gere put a gerbil up his butt
The Citizen Kane of celebrity rumors. In the early '90s, Gere reportedly rolled into an LA hospital emergency room with a posterior problem (girlfriend Cindy Crawford may or may not have tagged along). An X-ray revealed that inside the actor's rectum was a gerbil (living or dead, shaven or stuffed in a bag -- every variation has been told). A few hours later, Gere left the hospital, gerbil-less and dandy. Even crazier: Gere thinks Sylvester Stallone is behind the outlandish story.
Just how Gere would put a gerbil into his anus is unclear. That seems like it would be incredibly difficult. Was there lube involved? Wouldn't the gerbil die? There's one thing that won't die: this rumor.
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