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16 Actors Whose Scandals Were So Disappointing To See

Note: This post contains discussions of abuse.

Recently, Reddit user u/Conjobbed asked the internet, "Which actor/actress had the most depressing fall from grace?" People named a lot of the people you probably expected to hear — and some other ones too. Here's what they said:

1. "I don't think people growing up today realize how much of a father figure Bill Cosby was to a huge number of us. He was nothing but wholesome in his presentation of himself. For him to commit such ugly and awful things feels like a personal betrayal to all of us who grew up regarding him so highly. What an asshole."

—u/edgarpickle

2. "Aaron Carter. I remember the years leading up to his death. His behavior was super erratic, and he fell out of the public's favor. Then he got the weird face tattoo, and it did him 0 favors, as I think people used it as 'proof' that he was 'unwell.' I feel bad for the kid. He didn't deserve to die so young, especially not how he did. No one does."

—u/ShreksGirI

3. "Kevin Spacey. He was considered the elite actor of his generation for years, then his bad behavior (and subsequent meltdown) made him a pariah."

—u/LaximumEffort

"Honestly, he was always a total douchebag, even before his 'scandal.' He is famous for treating servers and subordinates like shit, and paying no attention to rules that apply to everyone."

—u/richardmac999

  Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images
Chris J Ratcliffe / Getty Images

4. "O.J. Simpson. He wasn't primarily an actor, certainly, but he did act (most notably in the Naked Gun movies and Roots). It's genuinely hard to explain to people who weren't alive at the height of his fame what a huge deal O.J. Simpson was, how beloved he was, and how shocking it was when Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered and then he went on the lam in the Bronco. It was wild to live through it. The older I get, the more I realize just how young Nicole and Ron were and how much life they had left to live."

—u/Perfect_Razzmatazz

5. "Louis C.K. really disappointed me. I know other stars have done worse, but the scandal really affected me for some reason."

—u/SquirrelBowl

6. "Allison Mack. From teen star to weird, abusive sex cult."

—u/miffy495

  Jemal Countess / Getty Images
Jemal Countess / Getty Images

7. "Jussie Smollett - He was a rising star. I mean, even people who didn't watch Empire kind of had an idea who he was. I have not watched Empire, but their promos always featured him in flashy clothes and singing his heart out, and I kept thinking, Man, this guy is a treat. Then he faked a hate crime, and it was his downfall. It apparently cost him the show, endorsements backed out, etc. I'm still confused why he did it."

—u/unintellectual8

8. "Michael Richards. Kramer from Seinfeld. It was just unfortunate."

—u/mrxexon

9. "Ellen DeGeneres. The infamous Queen of Nice. And a really great observational, relatable comedian turned out to be not so nice, but rather cruel, manipulative, and just downright mean. Such a huge disappointment."

—u/IvoryMelodies

  Steve Granitz / WireImage,
Steve Granitz / WireImage,

10. "Paul Reubens. Many of his fans still stuck with him after his indecent exposure arrest, but his roles seemed to have dried up for years after that happened."

—u/uncultured_swine2099

11. "Stephen Collins. Pretty spectacular downfall. I feel bad for his victims first and his castmates second. That show was the high point for almost all of their careers, and a child molester tarnished it."

—u/QualifiedApathetic

12. "Mel Gibson, for spouting anti-semitic bile when he was arrested for a DUI."

—u/NotOneBlarggedThing

"I can't watch anything he has done anymore."

—u/rgahewitt

  Steve Granitz / FilmMagic
Steve Granitz / FilmMagic

13. "Jimmy Savile - He was beloved by kids and grans all over the greater UK. He genuinely seemed like a great guy who took care of sick people (like a caring uncle or something like that). And then he turned out to be a total monster who preyed on the sick children and teens who were in the hospitals he worked in. What's even more horrible is that this was kept from the public til he died."

—u/unintellectual8

14. "Ezra Miller."

—u/Geezell

In recent years, The Flash star has faced several arrests and accusations of grooming and abuse. They apologized in a statement and said they were seeking treatment for "complex health issues."

15. "Shia LaBeouf."

—u/Regnaruk123

Shia has also had his fair share of legal woes, including arrests and claims of abuse by his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs. Shia said on the Real Ones podcast, "I hurt that woman. And in the process of doing that, I hurt many other people, and many other people before that woman."

16. "Will Smith."

—u/_RaphaelAdams

Will experienced a huge fallout after slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars following a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. His movies Fast and Loose and Bad Boys 4 were reportedly paused. He resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was banned from attending the Oscars for the next decade.

  Neilson Barnard / Getty Images
Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Are there any others you'd like to add? Share them in the comments below.

Note: Some of these entries have been edited for length and/or clarity.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) and find more resources here.

If you are concerned that a child is experiencing or may be in danger of abuse, you can call or text the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-44531-800-422-2253 (4.A.CHILD); service can be provided in over 140 languages.