Pop Culture

Twerking, blackface and sex tapes: Stars made unwelcome headlines in 2013

Famous folks can make headlines for winning Oscars, or for winning the Nobel Peace Prize, or for writing a bestseller. Or they can find themselves in the news for sex tapes, DUI scandals, bitter divorces and tweets gone wrong.

Here's a look at some of the year's many celebrity scandals.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Devone Byrd

    Julianne Hough dresses up as Crazy Eyes from 'Orange is the New Black' as she attends the Casamigos Tequila halloween party in Hollywood

    Celebrity Scandals of 2013

    From Miley's racy twerking to Julianne Hough's racist Halloween costume, the famous made all sorts of unwelcome headlines this year.

  • Julianne Hough dresses up as Crazy Eyes from 'Orange is the New Black' as she attends the Casamigos Tequila halloween party in Hollywood

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    Julianne Hough's Halloween -

    Julianne Hough was criticized for her choice to don blackface in her costume as Crazy Eyes from "Orange is the New Black" for a Halloween party in Hollywood. Hough later apologized, noting she was a "huge fan" of the Netflix show and actress Uzo Aduba.

    PacificCoastNews / PacificCoastNews
  • Image: Paula Deen appears on TODAY

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    Paula Deen's debacle -

    The TV chef's career took a tumble in 2013, after she admitted to having used racial slurs in the past. Despite her apologies over the incident, the scandal cost Deen her show on the Food Network, as well as numerous lucrative business partnerships.

    NBC / NBC
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    Sinead vs. Miley -

    Sinead O'Connor and Miley Cyrus engaged in an online battle this fall, after Cyrus claimed her "Wrecking Ball" video was a "modern version" of O'Connor's iconic "Nothing Compares 2 U." O'Connor responded with a heated open letter, which led Cyrus to fire back with more personal criticism. The two exchanged rounds of angry tweets and more open letters before the feud died down.

    AFP-Getty Images, EPA / AFP-Getty Images, EPA
  • Image: Beyonce sings the U.S. National Anthem as President Barack Obama and Senator Schumer listen during swearing-in ceremonies on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington

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    The lip-synch heard 'round the world -

    Beyonce captivated the country as she sang the National Anthem at President Barack Obama's second inauguration on Jan. 21. But her performance created buzz for another reason -- fans wondered if she'd been lip-synching. She ultimately did confirm she had used "pre-recorded music" because she had not had time to rehearse.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: FILE: "Glee" To End After Season Six

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    Gone too soon -

    "Glee" fans were heartbroken when the show's star Cory Monteith was found dead in July at age 31, and shocked when it was revealed that his death was caused by an overdose of heroin and alcohol. The actor had been open about his struggles with drug addiction, and had gone to rehab in March.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - December 10, 2013

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    Illegally blond -

    Reese Witherspoon and husband Jim Toth were pulled over in Atlanta in April when he was seen to be weaving in traffic, and the pair were arrested and briefly jailed after a tipsy altercation with the police. Witherspoon falsely claimed she was pregnant, demanded to know if the officer knew who she was, and shouted that she was an American citizen. Video of their arrest quickly went viral, and Witherspoon has since said she is "deeply embarrassed" about the incident.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Cyrus and Thicke perform "Blurred Lines" during the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in New York

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    Teaching the world to twerk -

    Miley Cyrus got everyone talking with her raunchy performance at MTV's Video Music Awards in August, as she stripped down to a flesh-colored bra and underwear and danced suggestively against Robin Thicke during his performance of "Blurred Lines." The duo singlehandedly took "twerking" mainstream.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    Crossing the line? -

    Robin Thicke stirred up plenty of his own controversy, as some wondered if the lyrics to his hit "Blurred Lines" promote date rape. The singer defended the song, telling TODAY the lyrics have been "misconstrued."

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    'Fifty Shades' casting -

    Fans of the racy novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" have been closely following news about the film's casting, and were shocked when Charlie Hunnam of "Sons of Anarchy" fame dropped out of the lead role. He was later replaced by lesser-known Irish actor Jamie Dornan.

    Getty Images, Vintage Books / Getty Images, Vintage Books
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    Paul Walker's fatal accident -

    There was a horrible irony in actor Paul Walker's death. He became famous for the "Fast and Furious" street-racing series, and died in a car crash on Nov. 30 along with friend Roger Rodas in Rodas' red Porsche.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Justin Bieber performs in Lisbon

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    Bieber's bathroom scandal -

    The pop star was caught on tape in July using a mop bucket in a New York nightclub as a urinal, and cursing at a photo of former president Bill Clinton on his way out. He later apologized to Clinton.

    EPA / EPA
  • Image: Chris Brown In Court

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    Chris Brown -

    Singer Chris Brown hasn't had a year out of the scandal spotlight since his attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna before the 2009 Grammy Awards. In early 2013, he reportedly fought with singer Frank Ocean over a parking space. In July, his probabion was revoked after a hit-and-run, and in October, he was arrested for a fight with two men who reportedly tried to jump into a photo Brown was taking with two fans. He's pictured here with attorney Mark Geragos in a Los Angeles court on Nov. 20.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Amanda Bynes Departs Manhattan Central Booking

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    Amanda Bynes -

    It was a difficult year for 27-year-old actress Amanda Bynes, but she'll probably be most remembered this year for reportedly throwing a bong out of her 36th floor Manhattan apartment. Bynes is shown here in May, departing Manhattan Central Booking after being arrested for alleged charges of reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and criminal possession of marijuana. Bynes has since completed inpatient treatment. She said the bong was actually a vase.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Lindsay Lohan Trial

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    Lindsay Lohan -

    Let's see, what did Lindsay Lohan do THIS year? In March, she pled no contest to charges resulting from a 2012 car accident. Between May and July, she was in rehab. In August, she starred in "The Canyons," which earned her some critical praise, though the New York Times said she was difficult to work with on the set. Overall, an almost-scandal-free year for the actress -- she could use more like this.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 22

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    Simon Cowell -

    Some friend. Simon Cowell is expecting a baby with Lauren Silverman -- problem being that she was married to a friend of Cowell's, Andrew Silverman, when the child was conceived. The Silvermans divorced in August after baby news broke in July, and the baby is due in 2014.

    Getty Images Contributor / Getty Images Contributor
  • Image: Farrah Abraham Hosts The 2013 Gentlemen's Club EXPO & Tradeshow Kick Off Party At Crazy Horse III

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    Farrah Abraham -

    Former "Teen Mom" star Farrah Abraham just couldn't stay out of the spotlight in 2013. She shot a sex tape with porn star James Deen, cast molds of her private parts to be sold as sex toys, pled guilty in a DUI case and even tried out for "Days of Our Lives." You know, just your average mom.

    Getty Images / Getty Images

Which event was the biggest entertainment story of 2013? Vote in our survey.


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