23 Really Awful And Nasty Scandals Hollywood Forgot About, But Many Other People Will Never Forget

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about a really awful scandal that Hollywood just casually forgot about, but they can never forget. Here are the head-shaking results:

Warning: Mentions of child abuse, assault, domestic violence, and murder.

1."The number of men in Hollywood who have been accused of domestic violence and we just keep throwing roles and awards at them...for example, Christian Slater."

Christian Slater's mug shot
Kypros / Getty Images, John Fagerness / Getty Images

According to Complex, "He [Slater] spent 100 days in rehab followed by three months in jail for assaulting his then-girlfriend and a police officer. In the 1980s, he was sentenced to 10 days in jail for drunk driving and assault. He was arrested for possessing a weapon in 1995. In 1998, he again spent 90 days in jail, three months in rehab, and a year in a treatment program for batterers for beating his girlfriend during a 'drug and alcohol bender.' Finally, in 2005, Slater was arrested for sexual harassment."

When asked during a 2017 interview with the Daily Beast if he “regretted his wilder years,” Slater replied, “No, no. I regret nothing.”

2."Rebecca Gayheart struck and killed a 9-year-old boy crossing a street in June 2001. Cars had stopped to allow him to cross, and she impatiently drove into the 2-way turn lane to go around the cars and hit him. She only received probation and a $2,800 fine. It bothers me every time I see her."

Closeup of Rebecca Gayheart
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

According to the LAPD, "[Gayheart] entered a two-way left turn lane with the intent to pass other northbound vehicles that had slowed. Several vehicles had come to a stop to allow 9-year-old Jorge Cruz to cross the street. Jorge Cruz lived in the area and was crossing about 160 feet south of the nearest intersection. As Cruz reached the center of the roadway he was struck by Gayheart’s vehicle which was estimated by witnesses to be traveling in excess of 40 miles per hour. Cruz sustained severe head trauma and was transported to Children’s Hospital by Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics. Cruz remained in critical condition until 9:10 a.m. the next morning when he was pronounced dead due to injuries he sustained in the collision."

According to a 2019 interview with The Only One in the Room podcast, Gayheart paid for the funeral expenses for the boy and settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the boy's family out of court. Gayheart said, "I did not cope very well after. I just didn't want to live after that accident. That's what it came down to. I couldn't handle it at all. So I spent about a year just trying to kill myself, basically, by doing every self-destructive thing a person can do."

3."Kenneth Branagh cheating on Emma Thompson with Helena Bonham Carter. It was in 1995, and I'm still mad about it. HOW COULD SOMEONE CHEAT ON EMMA THOMPSON??"

Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson
Georges De Keerle / Getty Images, Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

According to the Independent, "After two years of dating, Thompson and Branagh married on Aug. 20, 1989. [...] The relationship didn’t last, and the couple ultimately announced their separation in 1995. It was later revealed that Branagh was having an affair with Helena Bonham Carter."

"Thompson would go on to tell the New Yorker that the real reason for the divorce was her discovery that Branagh had started a relationship with Bonham Carter, who was starring in his film Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

"I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set," she told the outlet. "What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.'"

4."Judith Barsi, the little girl who voiced Ducky in the original The Land Before Time (1988) film, was murdered by her father a few months before the film premiered. She was only 10 years old."

Red circle around Judith Barsi
Abc Photo Archives / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Before her death, Judith was a rising star in Hollywood, landing roles in many TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Growing Pains, and films like Jaws: The Revenge (1987), The Land Before Time (1988), and All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989). However, her home life was chaotic and traumatic. Her father, József Barsi, was highly abusive toward Judith and her mother, Maria Virovacz Barsi. He even threatened to kill himself and his family on many occasions.

According to All That's Interesting, "Judith’s abuse at home began to seep into her day-to-day life. She plucked out all her eyelashes and her cat’s whiskers. Judith told her friends she was afraid to go home, saying, 'My daddy is drunk every day, and I know he wants to kill my mother.' And shortly before an audition in May 1988, she became hysterical, alarming her agent."

It was reported that "Virovacz told the authorities she planned to leave her husband and move herself and her daughter out of the family home — but just two months later in July, the unthinkable happened when Barsi murdered his wife and child before setting the family home on fire and taking his own life."

5."Mark Wahlberg’s racist hate crimes. It occasionally gets mentioned in the press, but it feels half-hearted every time. He just keeps getting work in films, and even presenting awards (like to the predominantly Asian cast of Everything Everywhere All at Once, even though he attacked Vietnamese men as a teen). Yet he just keeps booking films, including upcoming ones in 2024."

Marky Mark


Paul Natkin / WireImage

Back in the '80s, while growing up in the Boston area, Wahlberg, then a teenager, was charged for multiple race-related hate crimes.

According to the Independent, "In 1986, a then 15-year-old Wahlberg and three friends were charged for chasing three Black children and pelting them with rocks while yelling: 'Kill the n*****s' until an ambulance driver intervened.

The next day, Wahlberg harassed another group of mostly Black children (around the age of 9 or 10) at the beach, gathering other white men to join in racially abusing and throwing rocks at them.

A seemingly unrelated second incident occurred two years later in 1988, when Wahlberg attacked two Vietnamese men while high on the drug PCP.

He called one man, Thanh Lam, a 'Vietnam f***ing s***' and knocked him unconscious with a five-foot wooden stick, while punching another man, Army veteran Johnny Trinh, in the eye later in the same day. Officers reported that Wahlberg used racist slurs to describe both men."

Wahlberg was eventually charged and sentenced to two years in prison. However, he ultimately served 45 days of the sentence.

In 2014 he sought out a pardon, apologizing for his actions as a youth, but later dropped the request in 2016. He told the Guardian in 2020 that he had allegedly "done the work" to make things right.

6."Jon Hamm and friends brutally hazing a kid in college."

Closeup of Jon Hamm
Robin L Marshall / Getty Images, Halbergman / Getty Images/iStockphoto

In 1990, Jon Hamm participated in a violent hazing at the University of Texas. In fact, it was so violent that the incident led to criminal charges and to the fraternity chapter permanently disbanding. The victim, Mark Allen Sanders, said he was "severely beaten, dragged by a hammer, and had his pants lit on fire." The pledge also said that Hamm participated “till the very end."

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sanders said, "Hamm went on to set his jeans on fire, shove his face in dirt, and strike him with a paddle. [...] Sanders said he needed medical care and withdrew from the school. Court records show the lawsuit was dismissed in 1993."

When asked about the incident during a 2018 interview with Esquire, the interviewer "noted that Hamm’s tone, after the topic was brought up, became 'tinged with anger,' and he said, 'I hope I didn’t sign up for a hit piece.' [...] He downplayed it as 'sensationalized' and called someone being led around 'with the claw of a hammer beneath his genitals' a 'bummer.'"

7."Paul Walker dating 16-year-olds."

Closeup of Paul Walker
Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

According to Jalopnik, "After news of the actor’s death broke, the Daily Mail and In Touch Weekly both ran features of how Walker’s current girlfriend, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, was coping with her loss. Both of them noted that the pair began a relationship while she was 16 and he was 33. And before Pilchard-Gosnell, Walker had dated another woman, Aubrianna Atwell, while she was allegedly 16 as well."

8."Victor Salva. I still see people promoting Jeeper Creepers who clearly have no idea about him."

Side-by-side of a screenshot from "Jeepers Creepers" and director Victor Salva
United Artists, Michael Buckner / Getty Images

Jeepers Creepers writer-director Victor Salva is a convicted pedophile and rapist who was able to continue making films, even for Disney, after his conviction.

According to IndieWire, "The 59-year-old was convicted in 1988 of the sexual molestation of Nathan Forrest, the 12-year-old actor and star of his film Clownhouse. Salva videotaped the sexual act and was also convicted of possessing commercial videotapes and magazines containing child pornography.

Salva only served 15 months of his three-year sentence, and he somehow went on to have a career in Hollywood in the years that followed. Disney hired him to direct their supernatural drama Powder, and Salva found his greatest success with Jeepers Creepers, the 2001 horror film that spawned a franchise."

9."As someone who was a victim of a head-on crash and suffered major injuries (still suffering 10 years later, btw), I can’t get over the Matthew Broderick car crash. He drove irresponsibly and killed two people. He should have received a harsher punishment at the time. I’m sure he’s sorry and all, but he has always rubbed me the wrong way because of that. We don’t get to tell other people how to feel about that situation."

Young Matthew Broderick
Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In 1987, Matthew Broderick killed two women while driving on the wrong side of the road in Northern Ireland with then-girlfriend, and costar, Jennifer Grey. After being charged with "causing death by dangerous driving," Broderick faced up to five years in jail. However, he ultimately was convicted of a lesser charge, "careless driving," and only fined $175. The victims' family was shocked and called the case "a travesty of justice."

According to the New York Post, "The actor — who had not been drinking — spent four weeks in a Belfast hospital with a fractured leg and ribs, collapsed lung, and concussion. Grey escaped with minor injuries. Both women in the other car were killed instantly. Broderick told authorities he had no recollection of the crash and didn’t know why he was in the wrong lane."

10."Olivia Jackson, a stuntperson, was in a horrifying accident on the set of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. She survived, but she was in a coma for over two weeks, lost an arm, and had other very shudder-inducing injuries."

Closeup of Olivia Jackson in the hospital

According to the Hollywood Reporter: "While standing in for Milla Jovovich during the 2015 shoot in Cape Town and riding a motorcycle at high speed, Jackson collided with a crane-mounted camera vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. She would spend 17 days in a coma, with her left arm having to be amputated above the elbow. She was also left with a twisted spine, paralysis of the top left quarter of her body including her neck, a dislocated shoulder, a severed thumb, punctured lungs, and broken ribs, and still suffers lasting nerve damage and facial scarring."

In 2020, after a four-year legal battle, Jackson, who can no longer work in her field and continues to suffer from chronic pain, won a court ruling in South Africa that placed blame on the driver of the camera vehicle. However, the victory was bittersweet as, according to the LA Times, "Under South African law, her only financial recourse now is with the country’s Road Accident Fund," which caps compensation for medical expenses and payouts. According to Jackson's attorney, "That could be less than $15,000 a year."

11."Also, while filming the same movie, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016), a crewmember died when he was crushed by a Humvee. This happened only two months after Olivia Jackson's accident."

A Humvee
Sony Pictures

According to an article in Deadline at the time, "Reports out of South Africa indicate that Cornelius was standing near a Humvee that was parked on a rotating platform when it slid off and crushed him against a wall. Rushed to a hospital, he died a few hours later."

The Resident Evil franchise actually has a history of accidents. During the filming of Resident Evil: Retribution (2012), 16 actors dressed as zombies were injured when they fell from a platform during filming.

According to the Guardian, "The victims' costumes made it difficult at first for crews to assess the severity of the injuries at Cinespace Film Studios in Toronto. Twelve people were taken to hospital with leg, back, and arm injuries."

12."In the 1980s, a stuntwoman named Heidi Von Beltz was working on the movie The Cannonball Run. She was doubling for Farrah Fawcett. Her job was simply to be a passenger in the front seat of a speeding car. But the car had bald tires and numerous mechanical problems. It also had no seatbelts. The car crashed, and Heidi (remember, no seatbelt) was ejected from the car, through the windshield. She was a quadriplegic for the rest of her life."

Screenshot from "The Cannonball Run"

According to Deadline, "When it came time to film the stunt, the car’s driver, Jimmy Nickerson, still didn’t think it was ready. He wanted more repairs but was told that the parts from Los Angeles had not arrived and that he’d have to 'make do.'"

In 2015, Von Beltz went into cardiac arrest following abdominal surgery on October 18, and was put on life support. She died on October 28, 2015.

13."The death of Sarah Jones on the set of Midnight Rider. The director hadn't gotten the proper permission to be on the tracks but filmed anyway. Sarah died trying to pull a mattress off the tracks to prevent the train from derailing. It set off a court case and the Safety for Sarah movement on sets (you see it written on the clappers all over the world), but conditions for crew can still be dangerous simply because directors and producers want to save money and cut corners."

Circle around Sarah Jones


ABC News / Via youtube.com

Sarah Jones, a camera assistant on the film Midnight Rider (which remains unreleased) was struck and killed by a train on set in 2014. According to the Hollywood Reporter: "Jones was struck and killed by a train in Wayne County, Georgia, while the Gregg Allman biopic she was working on was filming a dream sequence on the tracks. While the crew scrambled to get out of the way of an oncoming train, they could not remove a prop bed from the tracks in time, and when the train hit it, a part of the bed pushed Jones into the locomotive’s way, a Georgia police investigation revealed. Jones was hit by the train’s fuel tank and died instantly."

As a result, the film's director Randall Miller, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and served jail time.

14."Johnny Cash being 0% sorry that he single-handedly caused a wildfire that killed off 49 of the 53 endangered condors in California. I must’ve missed that part in Walk the Line."

Closeup of Johnny Cash
Gai Terrell / Redferns

According to LA Weekly, "[In the '60s], his overheated party truck became an igniting torch, scorching hundreds of acres, destroying foliage on three mountains and roasting, into near extinction, 49 of the area's 53 endangered California condors."

The article continued, "When held legally responsible by investigators, Cash endeared himself with statements such as, 'I don't care about your damn yellow buzzards.'"

15."Owen Wilson abandoning his daughter but being close with his sons."

Owen Wilson with his kids
Zak Krill / NHLI via Getty Images

In 2018, Varunie Vongsvirates gave birth to a daughter, Lyla, who was fathered by ex-boyfriend Owen Wilson. Lyla is Wilson's third child (he has two sons from two previous relationships); however, he apparently has never met her and "'checked the no visitation box' during a court hearing despite being named the baby's biological father," according to Us Weekly.

Vongsvirates told Us Weekly that Wilson "has been absent for their daughter Lyla's whole life," while a source said, "he does not want to visit [and does not want custody of her]."

16."How the butter scene in Last Tango in Paris was unscripted and was basically an assault caught on camera. Brando, 48 at the time, told Maria Schneider, who was just 19, what was going to happen right before filming. He didn't ask her if it could happen, he just did it without consulting her at all and said nothing after the take."

Screenshot from "Last Tango in Paris"
Sunset Boulevard / Corbis via Getty Images

Speaking in a resurfaced video from 2013, Bernardo Bertolucci said he and Brando came up with the idea to shoot the scene in which Brando’s character uses a stick of butter to anally rape his lover (played by Schneider). Bertolucci continued to say that he “wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress.”

However, Schneider told the Daily Mail, “I was so angry. I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologize. Thankfully, there was just one take,” she said.

Schneider died from cancer in 2011.

17."The Twilight Zone: The Movie deaths. Mostly just Landis’s attitude about the whole thing afterward. It was so avoidable!!"

Photo of a crashed plane
Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen died on July 23, 1982, while filming a mock Vietnam battle scene for Twilight Zone: The Movie near Santa Clarita, California.

Morrow, Le, and Chen were actors in Segment One of this anthology film, where Morrow's character was supposed to save two Vietnamese children in the middle of war. According to Slate, "When the cameras rolled, pyrotechnic fireballs engulfed Dorcey Wingo’s (an actual Vietnam veteran) helicopter, forcing him down into a river where the actors waded. As a hundred or so people looked on, the right skid of the aircraft crushed 6-year-old Renee, who was a few feet from Morrow (the aging star had dropped her). The helicopter then toppled over, and its main blade sliced through Morrow and 7-year-old Myca."

After this tragic accident, the Vietnam ending was changed to have Morrow's character return to Nazi-occupied France, being sent off to a concentration camp

John Landis, who was the director of Segment One, was tried (alongside the film's unit production manager, special effects coordinator, and the pilot, Wingo) for the deadly accident. All, including Landis, were ultimately acquitted of manslaughter. However, multiple further lawsuits continued.

18."Nev from Catfish repeatedly punching a woman, a student at Sarah Lawrence College, in the head in 2006."

Closeup of Nev Schulman
Patrick Mcmullan / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

In his own book, In Real Life: Love, Lies & Identity in the Digital Age, Nev Schulman talks about an incident where he was "tossed out" of Sarah Lawrence College for "punching a girl in the face." He claims in the book that he was unaware the person he was punching was a woman.

In 2014, Vulture spoke with the woman (who wished to remain anonymous). here's what she said:

"To be quite clear, Schulman’s account of the events of that night is as suspect as all his other endeavors. I attended the dance he mentions and saw that he was taking pictures of queer couples dancing and kissing without their permission. I talked to the Student Affairs liaison at the event, who I knew from my work study job, but nothing was done about it. I confronted him, and asked him to stop taking pictures. I didn’t tackle him, and I certainly didn’t choke him with his camera strap. I tapped his shoulder, and he turned and hit me out of nowhere, I went down and he held me in a head lock and repeatedly punched me while I tried to get free. The impact broke my glasses, and the rest of the night was a blur. I got off the floor, talked to police, then went home to sleep. When I woke up the next day, my face was bruised, I was hurt, and a friend urged me to go to the hospital, which I did.

From the hospital, I was directed to legal services and received legal advice. I was advised not to press charges because it would be a difficult case to win, as I didn’t have any broken bones, and it would be his word against mine. I also felt intimidated because his lawyer had been waiting for me in the parking lot after my legal meeting. I didn’t talk to him, but it was clear that Nev’s family had the means to drag me through a lengthy court case. As an LBGT financial aid student, I didn’t think the chance of getting justice looked good."

19."23-year-old Don Johnson living with his 15-year-old girlfriend, Melanie Griffith."

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson
Frank Edwards / Getty Images

According to InStyle, "In 1972, then-14-year-old Griffith met Johnson, who was 22 at the time, on the set of their movie, The Harrad Experiment — which her mother, Tippi Hedren, also starred in."

The article continued, "Johnson and Griffith moved in together when she was 15 and got engaged on her 18th birthday, tying the knot in 1976. On the evening before the wedding, 'I had been with [ex-Miss World] Marjorie Wallace most of the night,' Johnson later admitted. 'Melanie called at about 4 or 5 in the morning. We professed undying love and flew to Las Vegas and got married.'" The marriage lasted six months.

20."Hulk Hogan’s son, Nick Bollea, got into a car accident that left his best friend permanently and severely brain damaged. Got away with it, too."

Nick Hogan in court
Pool / Getty Images

According to NBC News, "In August 2007, Bollea was involved in a car crash in Clearwater, Florida in which a passenger was critically injured. Investigators said at the time that Bollea was driving his car recklessly when it crashed, injuring passenger John Graziano. Graziano, a veteran, was reportedly on life support with brain injuries after the crash. Bollea ultimately turned himself in and pleaded no contest to reckless driving with serious bodily harm and was sentenced to eight months in jail in 2008."

In November 2023, Bollea was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in the same city. NBC News reported, "The sergeant who pulled him over reported that Bollea showed signs of impairment and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. He also refused to take a breath alcohol content test and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, and his balance was unsteady.

Bollea was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence and refusing to take the BAC test. He was released later that evening with a $500 bond assessment, according to online records."

21."People seem to forget that Alec Baldwin called his 11-year-old daughter a 'thoughtless little pig' in an appalling voicemail he left her."

Ireland and Alec Baldwin
Steve Granitz / WireImage

In 2007, Baldwin lost his visitation rights for his daughter, Ireland, whom he shares with ex-wife Kim Basinger, when Basinger's lawyers shared a "profane" voicemail he left for Ireland.

As E! News reported at the time, "On the tape, Baldwin screamed at Ireland for refusing to take his call, labeling the girl 'a rude, thoughtless pig.' [...] Baldwin immediately issued an apology and began working to rehab his image."

In 2022, Newsweek reported that "father and daughter have since patched up their differences."

22."Jerry Seinfeld, as a 39-year-old, dated a girl who was in HIGH SCHOOL."

Jerry Seinfeld and his girlfriend
Ron Galella / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In 1993, Jerry Seinfeld was in a relationship with 17-year-old high school senior, Shoshanna Lonstein. Seinfeld was 21 years older than her at the time. Though, allegedly, they only went "public" after Shoshanna turned 18 and dated for four years.

In a Playboy interview that year, Seinfeld said, "I met this girl, Shoshanna. She’s a very sweet girl, and she’s very pretty. I didn’t know how old she was — I knew she wasn’t 40. I took her to a basketball game, and that was the whole thing. [...] I don’t meet that many women I like, period. So when I like someone, I don’t care about her race, creed, or national origin. If I like her, I don’t care. I don’t discriminate. If she’s 18, if she’s intelligent, that’s fine.”

Sometime later, Seinfeld, a guest on The Howard Stern Show, then said, "I didn’t realize she was so young. This is the only girl I ever went out with who was that young. I wasn’t dating her. We just went to a restaurant, and that was it.”

23.Finally, "Woody Allen. Everything he did was completely swept under the rug while Mia got dragged for speaking out against him. I refuse to watch any of his movies. He was a major predator, but everybody just turned a blind eye."

"Woody's In Love"
New York Daily News Archive / NY Daily News via Getty Images

Outside of the sexual molestation allegations by adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow, Allen is also well-known for starting a relationship with his then-girlfriend Mia Farrow's daughter Soon-Yi Previn (whom Farrow adopted with ex-husband André Previn). Allen had known Soon-Yi since she was a child.

According to this long and complicated timeline as laid out by Bustle, Soon-Yi (who first met Allen in 1979 when she was 10 and he was 43) and Allen secretly began a sexual relationship in December 1991 — Allen was still with Mia Farrow at the time.

The Bustle article explains, "Allen testified in court during a 1993 custody battle that his sexual relationship with Previn began 'a few days after Christmas' in 1991, when she was home for the holidays from her freshman year at Drew University in New Jersey. He was 56 and Previn was 21. He admitted that 'at the very outset, it didn't occur to me that [the relationship] would be anything but a private thing.'"

In January 1992, Farrow said that she found nude Polaroids of Soon-Yi in Allen's apartment. Later that year, in August, is when Dylan Farrow says Allen sexually assaulted her (though he has repeatedly denied the allegations). That same month, Allen publicly confirmed his relationship with Soon-Yi, and they were later married in 1997.

Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger as a result of domestic violence, call 911. For anonymous, confidential help, you can call the 24/7 National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or chat with an advocate via the website.

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