Biggest Celebrity Scandals of 2013: Miley Twerks, Beyonce Lip-Syncs and More

Bieber was caught in a brothel. Beyoncé lip-synced the national anthem. Paula Deen and Julianne Hough didn’t do much for race relations. And Miley twerked, too. See more scandals.

Bieber was caught in a brothel. Beyoncé lip-synced the national anthem. Paula Deen and Julianne Hough didn’t do much for race relations. America's sweetheart Reese Witherspoon was arrested. And Miley twerked, too. See more scandals from 2013.

Donna Svennevik

Paula Deen Admitted to Saying the N-Word

In a shocking deposition, the butter-pushing celebrity chef admitted to using the N-word at her Savannah restaurant. While Paula Deen said that she “does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable,” and did not specifically address the waiters at her restaurant with the N-word, she admitted to using the term in her everyday life. (Crickets…) Shortly after canceling a sit-down with Matt Lauer on the Today show, Food Network announced it wouldn’t be renewing its contract with Deen and QVC said it would be “reviewing its business relationship.” Eventually, a teary-eyed Deen did show up on Today, but the damage had been done.

City of Atlanta Department of Corrections/AP

Reese Witherspoon’s Epic DUI Arrest

That’s right: America’s sweetheart was arrested. When Reese Witherspoon’s husband was pulled over for driving under the influence, the star reacted to the situation in a surprisingly bratty way. Witherspoon reportedly shouted to the cops, “Do you know my name?” When the officer replied that he did not, Witherspoon responded, “You’re about to find out who I am...You are going to be on national news.” She and her husband were taken to jail, her husband for DUI and Witherspoon for physical obstruction of a police officer during a traffic stop, and released on $300 bond. Witherspoon issued an apology through her publicist.

Michael Tran

Miley Cyrus Made Twerking a Thing

From making twerking a top Google search, to her pen-pal feud with Sinead O’Connor and split from Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus has remained tabloid fodder. Cyrus, who in an attempt to break free from her Disney alter-ego, Hannah Montana, took it to extreme levels during the VMAs, where the star twerked all over the stage in essentially underwear, leaving the celebrity audience in shock. When Grammy-winner O’Connor wrote an open letter to Cyrus about how the music industry prostitutes young artists, Miley curtly responded that she doesn’t have time to write back “cause Im hosting & performing on SNL this week.”


Lance Armstrong Confessed to Doping

The cycling hero hit rock bottom this year when he confessed to partial doping throughout much of his career, which may have impacted his seven Tour de France victories, during an interview with Oprah. Armstrong had been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs since 2003, but up until 2013, he had been aggressively fighting the charges. In the Oprah interview, he revealed the last time he used banned drugs was in 2005. Along with his titles, Armstrong was forced to return prize money.

Neilson Barnard/Getty

Amanda Bynes Went to Rehab

2013 was the revival of The Amanda Show, only less cute and more...scary. The former Nickelodeon star attempted to shed her good-girl image by dying her hair platinum blonde, wearing wigs (sometimes blue), and piecing her face. Bynes raised eyebrows when she went on a Twitter rampage, calling tons of stars “ugly,” including Drake, taking selfies expressing her plans to lose a significant amount of weight, and throwing her bong out of a window from the 36th floor. She was recently released from a rehab center for schizophrenia and will continue to get outpatient treatments. Oh yeah, she also tweeted that she wanted [email protected] to murder my vagina.” So there’s that.

ChinaFotoPress, via Getty

Justin Bieber Left a Whorehouse, Etc.

Bieber started his scandalous year apologizing for photos that leaked of him making out with blunts. As in marijuana. He was then involved in several reckless driving incidents, faced backlash over comments that “Anne Frank would have been a belieber,” and cursed off Bill Clinton. To top it off, Bieber was allegedly spotted leaving a whorehouse in Rio de Janeiro covered in white sheets. On the same trip, a model who claimed to have slept with him, released footage of Bieber sleeping like a baby in her bed.


Julianne Hough Thought Blackface Was OK

Hough donned blackface in what may just be the most outrageous celebrity Halloween costume to date. The former Dancing With the Stars pro dressed as Crazy Eyes from Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black and darkened her face and neck. Hough eventually apologized after facing severe backlash, tweeting that “It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful...I truly apologize.” Hough wasn’t so easily forgiven by her fans and peers, with some calling her “racist” and “stupid.”

Mario Magnani/Bauer-Griffin

Alec Baldwin Was Fired From MSNBC

After a little over a month of being on air, Baldwin’s MSNBC gig hosting Up Late was canceled when the 30 Rock star was caught by paparazzi shouting a homophobic slur. At first, the show was suspended for two weeks, but the network officially pulled the plug. "I did not intend to hurt or offend anyone with my choice of words, but clearly I have,” Baldwin said in a statement. It wasn’t the first time Baldwin acted out this year. Earlier, he shouted at a Fox reporter after hearing that she hit his wife in the face with a mic and shoved a Post reporter who asked Baldwin to comment on his stalker.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

Prince Harry’s Girlfriend Cressida Bonas Was the Anti-Kate

Prince Harry is known for bringing drama to the Royal family, and that remained with girlfriend Cressida Bonas. Already deemed the “anti-Kate” by some, it was revealed Bonas made an appearance in a raunchy TV show centered around an election where college-age girls offered up sexual favors in exchange for votes. It’s been rumored that Prince Harry may pop the question at any moment. What would the Queen say?

Charles Dharapak/AP

Sunny Obama Knocked Down a Child

The Obamas’ newest one-year-old puppy knocked over a two-year-old girl who was visiting the White House. While the girl’s dad said she was fine, the incident sparked a media frenzy. Was it an accident? Is Sunny evil? It’s hard to know for sure, but Sunny did apologize with lots of licks immediately after. If anything, the adopted Portuguese water dog added some scandal to holidays on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Jennifer Graylock/Getty; Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Chris Brown vs. Frank Ocean, Vol. 1-3

It all started with a Tweet. Sort of. Frank Ocean claimed that he was attacked by Chris Brown, and called a “f*got,” in a recording studio lot in Los Angeles over a parking space. When Ocean, who revealed a romantic relationship with a man roughly a year ago, tried to make amends, he alleged that Brown punched him in the face. Shortly after the brawl, Brown took heat for remaining seated at the Grammys while the audience gave Ocean a standing ovation for winning Best Urban Contemporary Album. While Ocean said he wouldn’t press charges, his cousin sued the singer for $3 million for pain and suffering during the fight.


Rihanna Was Kicked Out of an Abu Dhabi Mosque

Although she was covered in the most clothes possible, Rihanna was still kicked out of an Abu Dhabi mosque. The singer wore a black jumpsuit, which covered her arms, legs, and head, and flashy gold jewelry. The overseers at the Mosque told the Associated Press that it wasn’t the outfit that caused concern, but rather the nature of her “modeling” photoshoot, which took place in front of the site, that was offensive and disrespectful.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Shia LaBeouf Left Broadway, Plagiarized

LaBeouf disappointed fans and colleagues when he quit the Broadway play, Orphans, “due to creative differences,” according to the play’s press representatives. The play’s director noted LaBeouf and castmate Alec Baldwin’s incompatible differences when referencing LaBeouf’s departure. LaBeouf also raised eyebrows when he failed to credit comic author Daniel Clowes as inspiration for his short film, LaBeouf apologized for not acknowledging Clowes, but it was then revealed that he may have even plagiarized the apology. “I fucked up,” the star tweeted.

Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Simon Cowell Knocked Up His Friend's Wife

The harsh X Factor judge who once said "God, no. I couldn't have children. If I had them here drawing on the walls I'd go nuts," is going to be a dad! And his friend’s wife is the mother! Awkward. Cowell and Lauren Silverman, who is still technically married to Cowell’s close friend, Andrew Silverman, are expecting a baby in February 2014. The Daily News reported that the pregnancy came as a surprise to Cowell, who assumed that not only were they in a casual relationship, but that she was using birth control, according to a source.

Eric Charbonneau/Invision for FilmDistrict/AP

Zac Efron Went to Rehab

After being suspiciously MIA, it was reported that the High School Musical heartthrob was in rehab for a cocaine addiction. TMZ also reported that Efron may have dabbled with Molly, the ecstasy drug, as well, and that his alleged addition “spiraled out of control” while filming Neighbors. The 25-year-old actor broke his silence following the allegations, neither confirming nor denying his rehab stint, but rather saying, “thank you all for your support these past few weeks...means the world to me. Love you guys! - Z.”

Jim Bourg/Reuters

Beyoncé Lip-Synced at Obama Inauguration

Queen Bey disappointed fans when she sang along to her own voice on a “prerecorded track” to “The Star-Spangled Banner” at President Obama’s inauguration. Beyoncé defended her choice to lip-sync, saying that “I did not have time to rehearse with the orchestra. Due to the weather, due to the delay, due to no proper sound check...I did not feel comfortable singing live.” She later made up for it at the Super Bowl halftime show. And, let’s be honest, ever since.

Brandon Wade/AP

Lamar Odom May Have Had a Drug Problem, Then Got Divorced

Rumors had been swirling for months that Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian were on the outs, but at first the report was that he had been cheating. TMZ later alleged that it was Odom’s drug use, specifically crack and prescription drugs, that caused a rift between the pair. Odom, who has a history of drug use, was then arrested for a DUI in August and not long after checked into an inpatient treatment center for drug and alcohol abuse. In December, Khloe officially filed for divorce from Lamar.