1.THE DEATH OF Amy Winehouse
When the news of Amy Winehouse's death broke on 23rd July 2011, one could imagine that the obituaries had been half-written for some time. For many years, Winehouse's drug addiction and self-destructive behaviour had led many to believe that she was a tragedy waiting to happen.
At the age of 27 (the same age of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin when they died), Amy Winehouse was with us no longer. Though her presence in the tabloids had dwindled from the time of the release of Back To Black, she had hit the headlines shortly before passing away, when she was barely capable of standing, let alone performing, at a concert in Belgrade. The footage that was released online led many to question whether Amy was receiving the right kind of advice and guidance from her management and record label. The fact that just a few weeks later, she had passed away merely fuelled the fire and left many uncertain of where to point the finger of blame.
Charlie Sheen's behaviour in 2011 has raised many an eyebrow. It has led some to suggest that he may be bi-polar, whilst others have chalked him up as another victim of Hollywood's ability to threaten a star's sanity. It started as his popular show, Two and a Half Men had to be put on hold whilst he received treatment for substance abuse. It continued with custody battles with his wife Brooke Mueller. It got somewhat ridiculous with his unintentionally comical 'My Violent Torpedo of Truth / Defeat Is Not An Option' Tour. And the word 'winning' may never be uttered without Charlie Sheen's maniacal face flitting through the mind of anyone listening, thanks to one of his many on-screen rants. Things have gone a little quiet on the Sheen front of late but it's likely that his antics will continue well into 2012.
It would, perhaps, be more of a scandal if Lindsay Lohan WASN'T in anybody's top celebrity scandal lists this year. Determined to stay at the forefront of the gossip columns, though, Lohan has branched out a little this year. Not content with her usual array of drug-taking and driving under the influence, she's mixed things up by being accused of stealing jewellery, failing an alcohol test whilst under house arrest and thus violating her probation order and serving community service at a morgue. Oh and posing nude for Playboy magazine. One can only imagine what she must be thinking up for us next year.
4.Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore
For years, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher had millions of 'normal' married couples reaching for the sick bag, as they presented an unlikely image of the perfect couple. Moore already had children by her former partner, tough-guy Bruce Willis, when she met the much younger Ashton Kutcher. And for a good long while, they defied cynics the world over, who rubbed their hands with glee and awaited the demise of this most improbable of pairings.
The Moore-Willis-Kutcher triangle responded, however, by being pictured out in public, all together and getting along famously, like well-adjusted human beings. Kutcher let the side down in 2011, though, being caught cheating on Demi Moore (on the couple's anniversary, nonetheless), leading Willis to publicly threaten him. Will 2012 see the couple reconciled or is there more drama to come?
5. THE TRIAL OF CONRAD MURRAY
Sadly, this year's scandal list contains the contentious death of another celebrity. Whilst Michael Jackson passed away two years ago, the trial concerning his death has raged on until the latter part of 2011. Finally, in November 2011, Dr. CONRAD MURRAY was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, for providing the drugs that most probably killed him and for acting in an unprofessional manner. Murray's actions may have been borne of greed, rather than malice, but the end result was the death of a pop icon. This is one scandal that may well be laid to rest next year.
6. Hugh Hefner AND Crystal Harris
There may be little left that Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner could do to shock us. Certainly, the fact that he divorced his wife (and mother of his children) KIMBERLY CONRAD and just a few months later, proposed to the then-24-year-old Crystal Harris ruffled few feathers. However, the fact that Harris called off their engagement just a few days before the planned wedding, in June 2011 got tongues wagging. Her 11th hour actions confounded the editors of Playboy, who had already run the next issue with the 'Happy Bride' on the cover. Eventually, the issue hit the newsstands with a sticker over the cover, reading 'Runaway Bride'.
7. Nicolas Cage
In April 2011, in the French Quarter of New Orleans, a member of the public flagged down a police officer after witnessing Nicolas Cage drunkenly grabbing his wife's arm during a rather public argument. He was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse, disturbing the peace and public intoxication. Cage was retained in custody, until bail was posted, somewhat ironically by his friend Duane Chapman - better known as Dog the Bounty Hunter. The charges against Cage were eventually dropped.
8. Chris Brown
Another domestic abuse-related scandal. Chris Brown is learning the hard way that perpetrating an act of domestic violence is going to haunt him for years to come. He may have thought about 'laying low' for a couple of years after assaulting his former girlfriend, the pop star Rihanna. The public has other ideas and so did Robin Roberts when Chris Brown appeared on Good Morning America. Despite keeping his cool whilst the cameras were rolling, Chris Brown later smashed a window with a chair, in a violent reaction to being asked about his past. Possibly not the best way to convince naysayers that he's a reformed character.
9. ARNOLD SCHWARZENGGER
Celebrity divorces are ten-a-penny these days. However, there's no chance of escaping the bloggers and columnists if there's even a hint of foul play by either party involved. After a respectable 25 years of marriage, Maria Shriver moved out of the couple's Brentwood mansion. A week later, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered a son, 14 years previously, with one of their household's employees. The scandal did not end there, with the actress Brigitte Nielsen publicly admitted that she, too had an intimate relationship with Schwarzenegger whilst he was married to Maria Shriver. Perhaps 2012 will see a few more skeletons tumbling from The Terminator's closet.
10. Christina Aguilera
As if the embarrassment of messing up the lyrics to the national anthem of the USA, 'Star-Spangled Banner' (which she performed at the Super Bowl XLV) wasn't enough, Aguilera hit the headlines again, later in the year, when she was arrested for public intoxication. The incident happened in West Hollywood, when her boyfriend MATT RUTLER was also arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. She was later released on bail and her mug shot was never released to the public. Rutler also got off the charge, due to a lack of evidence. Christina Aguilera managed to redeem herself with the release of the hit 'Moves Like Jagger', recorded with Maroon 5 and ended the year with a Grammy Nomination, rather than more scandal.