On January 7, 2005, Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston formally announced their separation after almost five years of marriage. In the press release, they stated "This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration. We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another." It was the first marriage for both.
In February 2005, celebrity socialite Paris Hilton had to issue an apology to all of her famous friends after her T-Mobile Sidekick II was hacked and their phone numbers and e-mail addresses were posted on the Internet. Celebrities whose private information was compromised included Eminem, Lindsay Lohan, Christina Aguilera, Andy Roddick, Vin Diesel, and Anna Kournikova.
In December of 2001, Hollywood starlet Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting from the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. Detained by security guards, she was purportedly found to have several articles of clothing and hair accessories totaling more than $5,000 of unpaid merchandise including a Marc Jacobs-designed floral print thermal top and a Gucci dress. Ryder was booked on charges of felony grand theft and possession of pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription. She was later sentenced to three years probation and 480 hours of community service.
Rock Hudson was the first major American celebrity whose AIDS diagnosis became public knowledge. The revelation that Hudson was gay was almost as surprising as the announcement of his terminal illness because he had been a Hollywood leading man for three decades. He died on October 2, 1985, of complications resulting from the disease.
Celebrity pop-singer Madonna had an affair with professional basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman in the mid 1990s. Rodman later said that the affair began when Madonna looked at him all sexy and said, "You're staying with me, in my room." According to Billboard, Madonna has had more number-one singles than any other female artist. Rodman was the first NBA player in history to win five championships with two different teams: the Detroit Pistons (1989, 1990), and the Chicago Bulls (1996, 1997, 1998).
Tom Hanks lost 45 lbs. to play Andrew Beckett, an AIDS victim fighting wrongful termination, in Philadelphia (1993). He won his first "Best Actor" Oscar for this inspired performance. Before turning to Hanks, the producers had offered the role of Andrew Beckett to Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Keaton, and Andy Garcia.
In a bizarre bit of celebrity behavior, pop singer Michael Jackson dangled his baby from the third-floor balcony of a German hotel on November 20, 2002. The horrified fans gathered below thought Jackson was going to drop his child. The singer later admitted that he had made a "terrible mistake" and had only been "caught up in the excitement of the moment". He said he "would never intentionally endanger" the lives of his children. A spokesman later identified the child as Prince Michael II, Jackson's youngest son.
In 1980, suffering from cocaine-induced hallucinations, comedian Richard Pryor doused himself with cognac and set himself on fire at his home in Northridge, California. Although he survived, Pryor received third degree burns and spent six weeks in the hospital recovering. He was later quoted as saying, "the scars I now have on the outside only mirrored the ones I'd had on the inside my entire life."
At the 2004 Super Bowl, while performing "Rock Your Body" with Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson suffered a purported "wardrobe malfunction." When Timberlake reached up to rip off the breastplate of Janet's costume, he exposed her breast on national TV. Janet later apologized, claiming that the incident was unintentional and that she had simply had problems with her costume. The FCC was not amused and fined CBS $550,000.