Sticks and Stones

Rebecca Black Friday Led to Bullying & More Bullied Celebrity Photos

Viral sensation Rebecca Black is now being home-schooled as a result of teasing. See more stars who were mocked.

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Rebecca Black

When then-13-year-old Rebecca Black’s music video “Friday” hit the web in February 2011, she soon became the most mocked person on YouTube. In her first interview after her amateurish pop song became the nation’s biggest joke, Black—an Orange County, Calif., eighth grader—told The Daily Beast it was hard being a punchline. “Those hurtful comments really shocked me,” Black said. “It feels like I’m being cyberbullied.” But she made an effort to stand up for herself. “I decided not to give the haters the satisfaction that they got me so bad I gave up,” she said. “I want to show people there’s more to me than they think.” And she did. Black came out with a second song, “My Moment,” appeared in a Katy Perry music video, and has been hitting red-carpet events and premieres. But eventually, the taunting proved too much for Black, who recently told Nightline she’ll now be home-schooled by her mom. “When I walk by they’ll start singing ‘Friday’ in a really nasally voice,” the now 14-year-old said. “Or, you know, they'll be like, ‘Oh hey, Rebecca, guess what day it is?’” Black added, “It's hard because everyone wants to say, 'Oh my God, I'm this big star now.’ ” Well, not exactly.

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Emma Watson

An Ivy League education proved to be less than magical for Harry Potter star Emma Watson, who reportedly dropped out of Brown University because she was bullied. Fellow students said that Watson was mercilessly taunted at school, with some classmates making comments like “Three points for Gryffindor!” whenever she answered a question in class. The 21-year-old actress and model announced in March 2011 that she would be taking a break from Brown, but claimed she was just trying to focus on her acting career. “I will still be working towards my degree…it’s just going to take me a semester or two longer than I thought,” Watson wrote on her website. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Watson is worth an estimated $32 million—so she should be laughing all the way to the bank.

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Robert Pattinson

He may have won over millions of teenaged girls globally, but Twilight's resident vampire Robert Pattinson was not exactly on the good side of his classmates growing up in Britain. "I got beaten up by a lot of people when I was younger," the 25-year-old actor told in March 2010. "I was a bit of an idiot, but I always thought the assaults were unprovoked…I liked to behave like an actor, or how I thought an actor was supposed to be, and that apparently provoked a lot of people into hitting me." But Pattinson also experienced what it was like to have the shoe on the other foot—both literally and figuratively. "Someone stole my shoelaces once from my shoes," he told The Daily Express. "I still wear them and never put laces in them."

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Sandra Bullock

Being raised by a German mother caused Oscar-winning actress Sandra Bullock to receive cruel comments from her classmates. As a professional opera singer, Helga Meyer dragged Bullock from their home in Virginia to her performances in Europe, leaving the young girl culturally clueless in her native country. "I'd come back [to school] from Europe and I looked like a clown compared to the cool way the other students looked and dressed. So I got my ass whooped a little bit," Bullock admitted in 2009. "Kids are mean, and the sad thing is that I can still remember the first and last names of every one of those kids who were mean to me!"

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Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise turned to Scientology in part due to childhood taunting. Young Tom struggled with reading, which did not escape his peers or his school, forcing him into remedial classes and on the margin of the social circle. He moved from school to school—15 over 12 years—but the small-for-his-age future actor still had difficulties academically and with his classmates. "Your heart's pounding, you sweat, and you feel like you're going to vomit," Cruise said of being bullied in 2006. "I'm not the biggest guy, I never liked hitting someone, but I know if I don't hit that guy hard he's going to pick on me all year. I go, ‘You better fight.' I just laid it down. I don't like bullies." At age 7, a school psychologist diagnosed him with dyslexia, which led to Cruise rejecting the study of psychiatry and his eventual decision to join the Church of Scientology. But school bullies were not his only problem—the star's father also knocked him down time and time again. "He was a bully and a coward," Cruise told of his dad. "He was the kind of person where, if something goes wrong, they kick you."

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Howard Stern

Howard Stern suffered some serious flak for making fun of Precious star Gabourey Sidibe in 2010, but perhaps the shock jock was just a victim of the cycle of bullying abuse. On his radio show in January 2010, Stern discussed growing up in a largely black neighborhood in Roosevelt, Long Island, and then trying to fit in when he moved to a mostly white area later in his educational career. The mama's boy said his parents claimed to move out of Roosevelt to Rockville Center for him, but Stern did not find his new surroundings particularly comforting. "Thanks to my overprotective mother, I was the target of every bully in the neighborhood," he wrote in his book Private Parts. "A fat neighborhood kid named Johnny, who used to blow his nose into his Italian ices and then eat them with a wooden spoon, used to beat me up so regularly that my parents made me go to judo school to learn to defend myself."

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Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus may have the best of both worlds now, but that was not always the case. In her 2009 autobiography, the now-18-year-old pop star revealed how she survived her unofficial un-fan club in her preteen years growing up in Tennessee. "The girls took it beyond normal bullying. These were big, tough girls [known as] the Anti-Miley Club," Cyrus wrote in Miles to Go. "I was scrawny and short. They were fully capable of doing me bodily harm." And they seemingly tried to—shoving her into a bathroom during class and locking her inside on one occasion. "I spent what felt like an hour in there, waiting for someone to rescue me, wondering how my life had gotten so messed up," Cyrus wrote of the incident. Plus, there were also instances of verbal abuse, often directed at her "Achy Breaky Heart" singing father, Billy Ray. "Your dad's a one-hit wonder," she recalled one classmate saying. "You'll never amount to anything—just like him."

Prince Harry

His father had endured more than his fair share of taunting during his years as a student, and in 2007, Prince Harry admitted that he had been bullied as a redhead and was teased " for being ginger." Harry's on-again-off-again girlfriend Chelsea Davy is said to have nicknamed him "Big Ginger," and during his time in the British Army, Harry's fellow soldiers reportedly referred to him as the Ginger Bullet Magnet, allegedly buying red wigs for themselves to make the Prince less identifiable to insurgents in Iraq.

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Michael Phelps

Before he became a record-breaking Olympian with a collection of gold medals to his name, Michael Phelps was a kid with unwieldy limbs, "sticky-out ears," and a lisp that caused him to be teased by his peers. Phelps has openly discussed his "deep hurt" over bullying early in life. He also dealt with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for which he spent two years on medication. A teacher even told Phelps' mother, "He's not gifted. Your son will never be able to focus on anything." These days though, Phelps' trainer calls him the "motivation machine," explaining, "bad moods, good moods, he channels everything for gain."

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Chris Rock

Apparently, there was a time when everybody really did hate Chris Rock. The comedian has talked openly about his struggles as the only black student in his New York school, saying, "I got beat up just about every day. I got called n----r every single day. I got kicked and whatever. What happened to me then, today kids come to school with guns and shoot everybody—but I couldn't find a gun back then." Clearly still haunted by the painful words of his youth, Rock turned the experience into comedy with his show Everybody Hates Chris, which actually inspired one of his former teachers to write Rock an apology letter for his less-than-pleasant elementary-school days.

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Christina Aguilera

Before joining her showbiz peers like Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake as a cast member on the New Mickey Mouse Club, Christina Aguilera's dreams of stardom rendered her an outsider with her classmates. "I would get a lot of cold shoulders because there was just no way they could relate to what I loved to do," Aguilera has said. "You know, it's not really normal for a child to just want to be in front of the camera and on stage. It's not something that all kids want to do—they want to play in the playground. You know, it was hard for me to relate to other kids because I didn't have the same interests. I was even more the oddball, I felt, because of that." After joining Mickey Mouse Club, Aguilera, who once had her tires slashed by classmates, says, "it was really exciting for me to almost feel I'd found my kind."

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Pierce Brosnan

You might know him as Pierce Brosnan, but in school, he was known as "Irish" for his accent. The former James Bond was teased after moving from Ireland to London at the age of 11 and attended Elliott Comprehensive, where his dialect stood out among his classmates. "I was an outsider and that made it difficult. I was ribbed a lot because of my accent and was nicknamed 'Irish.' I was also very shy, which didn't help. But the important thing is I survived the experience," Brosnan said. According to the Biography Channel, Brosnan would train himself to speak with an English accent, ending up, instead, with a Cockney twang.

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Princess Aiko

The granddaughter of the Japanese emperor, Princess Aiko, was absent from several days of classes because boys had been bullying her. At only 8 years old, the princess "complained of a stomach ache and expressed deep anxiety." After investigating what was really wrong, it was found that the princess, along with several other students, had been the victim of "violent things" from boys in another class. The school's director said the incident may have just been an innocent accident. "I hear it was two boys that approached very suddenly and nearly collided with her, which scared her," the director said. Siding with the victim does not seem to be a universal approach.

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BIll Clinton

Long before Bill Clinton became our 42nd president, he struggled with self-image and body weight. During his fight against childhood obesity, the former president noted that his love for fast food was a likely contributor to his need for his September 2004 quadruple bypass. "I realized that one more time I've been given another chance, and I wanted to make the most of it," said Clinton. "I was the fat band boy" wearing unfashionable jeans. During a YMCA dance, an older boy teased Clinton for donning carpenter's pants. When Clinton jawed back, the boy, who stood a whopping 6-foot-6, punched him in the jaw. Clinton may have come out of it with a sore face, but after taking the hit like a champ, standing his ground, and earning the respect of the older student, the politician also gained a lesson in perseverance.


Tiger Woods

On Tiger Woods' first day of kindergarten in 1981, the future golf stud was tied to a tree and taunted with racial slurs by older schoolboys. While that incident seems to be the only one of such severity, Woods also had to cope with a stuttering problem. "It was very difficult, but I fought through it. I went to a school to try to get over that, and I just would work my tail off. And I would talk to my dog," said Woods on 60 Minutes. Sometimes, we all just need a good listener.