Stars with Shiners: Lady Gaga, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Madonna & Others

Lady Gaga tweeted a photo of herself with two black eyes, after she was hit by a pole mid-song during a concert on Sunday. See Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Madonna, and others who’ve sported shiners.

John Shearer, WireImage / Getty Images (top right); Fame Pictures (bottom right))

John Shearer, WireImage / Getty Images (top right); Fame Pictures (bottom right))

Lady Gaga tweeted a photo of herself with two black eyes, after she was hit by a pole mid-song during a concert on Sunday. See Reese Witherspoon, Robert Downey Jr., Madonna, and others who’ve sported shiners.

Lady Gaga

After being knocked on the head with a pole during a concert in New Zealand this weekend, Lady Gaga showed she was a trouper and kept performing. But on Monday, Mother Monster tweeted a photo of herself that was on the edge of gory—she appeared to have two black eyes and a bruise on her cheek. “Emerging from hours of sleep," she wrote to her millions of followers. "Still remiss if I should go outside, with this clonker I may be of questionable styling." But Gaga was also appreciative of her fans’ support: “Thank you so much for all the thoughtful messages. I feel a bit woozy but a little better everyday. Very happy to be in beautiful Australia.”

Fame Pictures

Reese Witherspoon

Considering she was hit by a car back in September 2011, Reese Witherspoon was very lucky to have only a black eye and a few bruises. But less than a week after being knocked down by an 84-year-old driver while jogging, Witherspoon emerged to attend a children’s birthday party, despite the shiner and a bandage on her forehead. “The odd thing about all of this,” a friend told Us Weekly, “is that Reese has always been very afraid of being hit by a car. It's been an ongoing fear of hers. She is always the first person to pull people away from the edge of the curb.”

Haraz N. Ghanbari / AP Photo

John Kerry

Getting roughed up by those Swift Boat ads may have helped sink John Kerry’s presidential campaign, but at least it didn’t require stitches. The same can’t be said of the Massachusetts senator’s January appearance at the White House to welcome the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins: Kerry greeted the team with two black eyes and broken nose. But it least it was an appropriate injury—he sustained the bruises during a pick-up hockey game with friends.

Bauer Griffin

Kelly Osbourne

Her father may be legendary for his head-banging music, but in 2008 Kelly Osbourne did some head banging of her own—on a cupboard. “I wish it was something that was more, like, Oh she was drunk like a rock star—which I wasn’t—or saved someone’s life,” Osbourne said in an interview. “But no, I hit my head on a cupboard.” Three years later, Osbourne had another accident that resulted in a black eye, and again it came from an unlikely source. During a New York performance of Sleep No More—a theater production in which the performers wear masks—Osbourne was run over by an actor and got a shiner. “She rushed to the bar area, where show staffers consoled her,” a friend told the New York Post’s Page Six. “She was visibly upset and said her face was black and blue, and she was in a lot of pain.”

John Shearer, WireImage / Getty Images

Robert Downey Jr.

Perhaps Robert Downey Jr. should wear that Iron Man mask more often. In 2005, while presenting an award to Sting’s wife, Trudie Styler, Downey appeared onstage in sunglasses and then removed them to reveal a black eye. “A little-known fact about Sting,”  he quipped after the big reveal, “in addition to being one of the world's most philanthropic rock stars, he's also got a hell of a left jab.” But the next day, Downey’s publicist gave the real story behind the shiner: it was “the natural by-product of his kung fu training."



Here’s another trend that Madonna can claim Lady Gaga co-opted: black eyes. In 2007, the singer was spotted leaving a medical building in New York with bruising peeking out from under her sunglasses, causing most to assume she had had a facelift or some other cosmetic surgery just before her 50th birthday. Madonna, however, never admitted to the knifestyle change.

Charlie Rose

Is the debonair co-host of the CBS Early Show secretly a badass? Why else would he have appeared on his eponymous PBS talk show in 2008 with a black eye and bandage on his face? It turns out the answer is more Silicon Valley than Muhammad Ali.  According to Rose’s producers, he was walking in New York with his new MacBook Air when he tripped in a pothole. Rather than sacrifice the laptop, Rose chose to faceplant on the street. “In doing so, he pretty much hit the pavement face first, unfortunately,” his producers told TechCrunch. “The Macbook Air is fine, he showed us the blood stains on it this morning.”

Ken McKay, ITV / Rex USA

John Cleese

As Basil Fawlty, John Cleese was known to be conked by the occasional moose head. But in 2008, when the comedian hosted a gala for Prince Charles’ 60th birthday, he appeared to have had a similar accident—or a series of them. One of the running jokes of the event was that Cleese kept getting injured, resulting in a sling, a wheelchair, and a black eye. At the end of the night, however, the bandages disappeared, but the shiner remained. Several sources told the Daily Mail that Cleese had actually arrived at the theater with the black eye and decided to make it part of his shtick. The audience was evidently in stitches.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Perez Hilton

In October 2007, Perez Hilton walked the red carpet at Fox Reality Channel’s Really Awards with bright pink hair and a nasty black eye. But in true Hilton fashion, the bruise was just a publicity stunt—the product of artfully applied makeup. Two years later, however, Hilton earned the shiner for real when he got into a fight with Polo Molina—manager of, yes, the Black Eyed Peas—after the online gossip columnist insulted Peas’ lead singer with a gay slur. Hilton sued Molina for more than $25,000 in damages after the boom-boom-pow, but wound up issuing an apology himself for using the hateful term. As Hilton wrote in his online statement, “Words can hurt.”