The most controversial celebs of 2011!
These famous personalities have all managed to stir up a hornet's nest this past year!
It's been quite an eventful 2011, what with India winning the ICC World Cup, the Royal Wedding, NASA launching an unmanned rocket to Mars...
Unfortunately, it's also been a year of match-fixing allegations, a 72-day marriage and the launch of crazy tirades on reality television!
Some famous faces have been dominating the headlines these past few months courtesy their private and public scandals. To find out who and why, just move to the following pages...
Image: The most controversial celebs of 2011
Post her stint on reality show Bigg Boss last year and rumoured liaison with Ashmit Patel, the Pakistani actress has found several ways and means of keeping herself in the news -- and in India.
From rumours of her being paid Rs 3.5 crore to choose a husband in a televised 'Swayamvar', to allegations that she is in the country on a business visa and cannot be earning a living here, Veena seems to rake up trouble wherever she goes.
In fact, her latest tantrum has made international headlines -- post the release of a provocative nude cover for magazine FHM India (with the initials of Pakistan's intelligence agency scrawled on her arm, no less!), Veena has accused the publication of doctoring the images.
FHM, who stand by their pictorial and have publicly stated that they have not tampered with the photographs in any way, are being sued for $2 million by the furious beauty, who has also gone to court demanding all copies of the magazine be removed from newsstands.
While we await more on this latest saga, you can be sure that once it's simmered down, another involving Veena will crop up almost immediately!
Image: Veena Malik
Hollywood's wildchild seems to have sobered down a little recently, but the first half of the year saw him up to some crazy antics that had him splashed all over the news.
Sheen has fought addiction and domestic abuse issues for years and January saw him undergo a substance rehabilitation programme for the third time in 12 months. Then in February, TV giant CBS axed him from hit sitcom Two and a Half Men (which saw him become the highest-paid man on television), after he made derogatory comments about the show's creator.
The actor responded with a series of rants against the show, became a craze on Twitter for his unpredictable tweets, posted rambling videos of himself online, shacked up with a former nanny and porn star in a bizarre threesome relationship and went on a tour called 'My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option' in which he railed on stage about his life, his ex-wives and drugs. Sigh.
Just when it looked like his meltdown was out of control, however, Sheen managed to hit the brakes. He cleaned up his act, apologised for his offending comments and tirades and started pitching for a brand new TV show, along with focusing on fatherly responsibilities towards his four children. He has also played night in shining armour to troubled ex-wife Brooke Mueller, who is struggling with addiction problems herself.
Let's just hope it lasts!
Image: Charlie Sheen
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
They can pat themselves on the back for this one! Reality show Bigg Boss has always been looking to rake up controversy, but it looks like they may have outdone themselves this year.
In a country where the publication or production of pornographic material is illegal and a steamy clinch in a movie can earn the wrath of the censor board, they've shaken society down to its very roots by introducing an adult entertainment star to Indian audiences. And to add fuel to the fire, Sunny is of Indian origin, born in Canada to Sikh Punjabi parents!
Of course, TRPs are soaring but while we try to get over what the beautiful brunette does for a living, broadcasters Colors TV should get ready to face the music -- complaints have been filed against them for promoting pornography by having Sunny appear on the show. Uptight, orthodox citizens have their chaddis in a twist over the promotion of this 'immoral' celebrity and it doesn't look like they'll come undone anytime soon!
Image: Sunny Leone
Photographs: courtesy Sunny Leone's Representative Daniel Weber of SunLust Pictures
You've heard of 'bunga-bunga' parties? No?
It's the term the press has given the colourful former Italian PM's lavish gatherings, where it is alleged that after-dinner sex sessions regularly took place between male and female guests.
Berlusconi is truly one of a kind -- he's weathered all kinds of accusations and problems ranging from mafia connections to tax fraud, corruption and bribery. He's come under fire for lewd gestures in official photographs, inappropriate Hitler jokes and soliciting young, beautiful women, getting them to attend wild parties in exchange for fabulous gifts.
And the straw that broke the camel's back came in January this year, when he was placed under criminal investigation for allegedly indulging in sex with an underage prostitute. But he was still in power up until last month!
After three terms in office, Berlusconi finally resigned in November after losing his majority in parliament due to growing problems surrounding the European debt crisis. He's still on trial for the sex scandal and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Now we know who could outdo Sunny Leone on Bigg Boss next season -- Colors, are you listening?
Image: Silvio Berlusconi
Photographs: Tony Gentile/Reuters
Speaking of the reality show, one of the biggest crackpots this season has got to be the former veejay and model.
Of all the contestants who've come and gone, nobody has been quite like Pooja -- unpredictable, seemingly unstable and with a nasty temper, she managed to keep viewers tuned in week after week as she broke kitchenware, called fellow housemates names and got into fights every other day.
The hot-headed starlet nearly came to blows with other contestants on two occasions and was subsequently evicted from Bigg Boss for her violent outbursts.
The icing on the cake is that she thinks she's the victim in all of it, describing herself as a 'sweet, calm, person' who was pushed to the wall and 'forced' to behave the way she did (!).
Note to Pooja: Watch your footage on the show!
Image: Pooja Misrra
Photographs: Rediff Archives
The son (formerly daughter) of legendary singing diva Cher and her late entertainer husband Sonny had tongues wagging all over the planet when he took part in the US version of Dancing with the Stars, the first transgender contestant to participate in the show.
Chaz was born a girl, Chastity Sun Bono and initially came out in 1995 as a lesbian. However, between 2008 and 2010, he underwent female-to-male gender transition, legally changing his name and her sex. Mother Cher, a gay rights activist, has admitted that she found it difficult to accept her child's decisions but has supported him all the way through.
Nothing, however, could have prepared them for the strong reaction his inclusion in Dancing with the Stars elicited. Viewers criticised network ABC for allowing him to participate, claiming that they were glorifying the 'wrong' lifestyle choices and setting a bad example to young, impressionable audiences. DWTS fans were divided by opinions for and against him all the way through, until his elimination in the sixth week.
Image: Chaz Bono (right), formerly Chastity Sun Bono (left)
Photographs: Brenda Chase and (right) Neilson Barnard, both Getty Images
Dr Vijay Mallya
Living life king size has its downside, as the good doctor is finding out!
India's flamboyant liquor baron has had his wings clipped, quite literally, by the controversies plaguing his ailing airline Kingfisher.
Troubles have been dogging the cash-strapped organisation, which has seen route cancellations, financial losses totalling Rs 469 crore in the last quarter, airline schedules go heywire, a mass exodus of pilots over non-payment of salaries and now faces payment of Rs 60 lakh per day to continue operating from Mumbai Airport, till a bill totalling Rs 90 crore is not paid up.
And as Kingfisher struggles to stay afloat, all eyes are on Dr Mallya, with many pointing fingers at his lavish lifestyle as having brought about the ruin of the airline. Not one to take criticism lying down, however, he has hit back at negative opinions, stating that the media is 'unfair' for constantly 'writing the epitaph of Kingfisher Airlines'.
Image: Dr Vijay Mallya
Photographs: Danish Ishmail/Reuters
Scandal rocked the life of the A-list Hollywood star and former Governor of California earlier this year when his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, moved out of the marital home.
It emerged in May that Schwarzenegger had fathered a son 14 years ago with a household employee, whom he carried on an affair with behind his wife's back.
Up until 2011, the boy didn't even know who his real father was, till the media broke the story and a tale of cover-ups, secret liaisons and adultery was unravelled, leading to humiliated Shriver leaving the actor-turned-politician and filing for divorce.
While the couple are on amicable terms (despite the fact that their separation could cost the Terminator upward of $200 million), it suffices to say that Schwarzenegger is certainly one of the most controversial celebs of the year!
Image: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Photographs: Kevin Bartram/Reuters
The 74-year-old activist has turned the country upside down this year with his vociferous anti-corruption protests, fasting and calling out the Government in delaying the passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill!
Nobody needs an introduction to Hazare or the extreme measures he has taken in calling upon the Government to take action against corruption -- from the hunger strike in Delhi to his arrest in August for planning yet another when he was dissatisfied with the draft bill, he's been hogging headlines all through and there seems no end in sight.
Of course, not everyone is an Anna fan and a lot of voices have also been raised in opposition -- he has been accused of trying to hold the Government to ransom with strong-arm tactics, of consuming glucose and electrolyte solutions while on his fast and of financial irregularity when it was discovered that the Hind Swaraj Trust which he heads spent Rs 2.18 lakh on his birthday celebrations. It has also been alleged that the system he established in his model village Ralegan Siddhi is anti-Dalit and non-secular.
But love him or hate him, you can't ignore Anna Hazare!
Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Rediff Archives
Close on Hazare's heels we have one of his closest supporters, retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi. Along with him, she is one of the frontrunners of the India Against Corruption movement.
Bedi first came under fire in May, for mocking parliamentarians during the Jan Lokpal protest at the Ramlila grounds in Delhi -- wearing a shawl over her head like a ghoonghat, she accused politicians of hiding behind a mask of corruption. Members of Parliament, unamused, proposed bringing a breach of privilege motion against her and a few other activists, but withdrew the notice later.
What won't go away quite so easily is the court-ordered FIR against Bedi for alleged misappropriation of funds -- it has emerged that she inflated travel expenses incurred while travelling to NGOs and institutions for seminars and meetings, charging them more by way of reimbursement than she paid for air tickets. It has also been claimed that she claimed business class fare while flying economy.
While Bedi has claimed that the extra money thus earned was given to her own NGO, her critics aren't quite buying the explanation!
Image: Kiran Bedi
Photographs: Cindy Ord/Getty Images
This androgynous Aussie male model has shaken up the fashion world by blurring the lines of gender distinction.
The 20-year-old Pejic, who was born in Bosnia, has been modelling since he was a teenager, but burst into the limelight in January, when he catwalked for both the men's and women's shows for designer Jean-Paul Gaultier.
With his effeminate looks, he has become hot property and while there are critics out there questioning his controversial androgynous appeal, it looks like the blonde hottie couldn't care less!
Pejic ruffled a few feathers in May, when a cover he shot for New York-based magazine Dossier Journal was ruled too risque to display on bookshelves. The reason? There was concern he would be mistaken for a topless woman!
To add to it all, FHM Magazine ranked him the 98th sexiest woman in the world for 2011 -- along with some less than flattering subtext that was deemed offensive, which was later removed from their website.
Image: Andrej Pejic
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
The reality star lives out her life in front of the cameras, but she's had something of an overdose in 2011, mainly thanks to her high-profile wedding -- and filing for divorce within 72 days!
Kim married professional basketball player Kris Humphries amid much fanfare in August, in an opulent ceremony that cost $10 million. All the details, from her exquisite Vera Wang gown to the $2 million, 20.5 carat engagement ring had the world ooh-ing and ahh-ing.
But as several sections of the media predicted, the union was shortlived, even by Hollywood standards. She and Humphries separated last month and legal proceedings are underway. In the meantime, the sexy Kardashian has had to cope with accusations that the wedding was nothing more than a publicity stunt and was mainly intended to generate more wealth for her.
Image: Kim Kardashian
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
Break-ups, make-ups, link-ups -- Ranbir certainly has had a tough year, with his Casanova image taking on larger-than-life proportions.
First, there was the rumour that he and ladylove Katrina were kaput.
Then there was the tongue-lashing he received from ex-girlfriends Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone on Karan Johar's couch. This led to father Rishi Kapoor angrily lashing out in an interview at the two young ladies for using a public platform to air their grievances and bash his son.
Dippy and Ranbir went on to bury the hatchet and when she attended his birthday party in September, the buzz of a reconciliation started doing the rounds once again. Now they've signed a movie together and it's only getting louder.
Meanwhile, he and Sonam are still feuding and trade the occasional barb in an interview.
In between all of this, there were rumours about him and Rockstar co-star Nargis Fakhri being an item -- and it certainly didn't help matters when Kingfisher bikini model Angela Jonsson admitted in the press that she and Ranbir had 'dated'.
Whew! No wonder Ranbir is now said to avoid beautiful women like the plague -- he doesn't want to make this list again next year!
Image: Ranbir Kapoor
Wonder if Two and a Half Men is a jinx?
After Charlie Sheen was axed from the sitcom this year, his replacement, Ashton Kutcher, hit the headlines for the wrong reasons too -- cheating on his wife of six years, Demi Moore.
Sordid details emerged in September of the toyboy cavorting in a hotel hot tub with naked young women and it was alleged that he went on to sleep with one of them in his suite. As if things could possibly get worse, it was also reported that all this happened on the eve of the couple's sixth wedding anniversary.
Ashton faced cheating allegations in September last year too, but at the time, Demi stood by him. These recent transgressions, however, have compelled the humiliated actress, who has lost a shocking amount of weight since the news broke, to file for divorce.
To add to it all, a lot of so-called marital 'experts' are speculating on the marriage breakdown and pointing out that the age difference between husband and wife (Ashton is 16 years younger than Demi) was bound to lead to this sorry state of affairs (no pun intended).
Image: Ashton Kutcher
Photographs: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
The quickest way to become famous is to get bikini pics of yourself circulating and making an outrageous statement in the press.
And that's just what (supposed) avid cricket fan-turned-model Poonam Pandey did when the ICC World Cup was underway earlier this year -- she promised to strip naked in front of the stadium crowds if India won.
Of course we all knew she never would go through with it, but the chief judicial magistrate of Balrampur and BJP's Women's Wing weren't quite as bright and promptly filed obscenity complaints against her with the police.
Still, the ruse worked like a charm -- Poonam is now a celebrity and Kingfisher Calendar Girl of the Year for 2011. As long as she keeps tweeting the occasional bikini pic and making headline-grabbing comments, it's all good!
Image: Poonam Pandey
RiRi has had quite a year. The hugely popular singer has been performing offstage as well, with ploy after ploy to keep the press in overdrive.
Let's see now -- there was her X Factor performance last month, where she wore a pair of boots embellished with profanities. Then there was the incident where an Irish farmer kicked her off his property for cavorting topless through his fields during a music video shoot. Then there was the S&M music video, which saw her wearing latex, eating a banana suggestively and ending up banned in 11 countries. Then there the pendant she wore while out and about, which spelled a word that is used as slang for a part of the female anatomy and makes us blush. Then there was...need we go on?
Didn't think so!
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters
The Gandhi scion has been having quite a year.
His ongoing spat with UP Chief Minister Mayawati has been dominating the headlines in recent months and led to his being arrested by her administration back in May, when he joined agitating farmers from the village of Bhatta Parsaul demanding more money for their land being acquired for a highway project.
Then in July, a day after the serial bombing in Mumbai, he went on record to say that "it was very difficult to stop every single terror attack", a comment which drew a lot of flak from detractors.
And in October, he was in the news for doing what he does best -- establishing a connect with the common man. He used public transport to get to a rally, hopping onto Delhi's metro and then into a cab to get to his destination.
We're sure Rahul won't mind being included for all the above reasons -- after all, a successful politician manages to keep himself in the spotlight at all times!
Image: Rahul Gandhi
Photographs: Rediff Archives
She certainly deserves an award for being as controversial as they come and seeing her popularity soar at the same time!
Lady G hits the front page every week -- if it's not for an outrageous outfit or wardrobe malfunction (both of which we're used to by now), it's for an outrageous statement about how her great skin is due to 'plenty of orgasms' or something equally ridiculous.
But undoubtedly, her biggest trump card in 2011 was the release of her song Judas. She sings about being in love with the apostle who betrayed Jesus Christ and in a video that is sure to give the Pope chest pains, she portrays a modern-day Mary Magdalene alongside actor Norman Reedus, who plays Judas. Together, the two visit Jerusalem and the video follows the Biblical storyline, with Judas betraying Jesus and Mary Magdalene (Gaga) being stoned to death.
Not surprisingly, the Catholic League criticised Gaga for the religious significances mixed into the song and its imagery. Even less surprisingly, that seemed to make little difference to her!
Image: Lady Gaga
Photographs: Eric Gaillard/Reuters
The Rajya Sabha MP has spent the better part of 2011 behind bars for her alleged role in the 2G spectrum scandal -- Kanimozhi was incarcerated in Tihar Jail for seven months, between May and November this year.
For those who live in a hole in the wall, the 2G spectrum scandal involved government representatives illegally undercharging mobile service companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they would use to create 2G subscriptions for cell phones.
Former TN CM Karunanidhi's daughter has been accused in connection with a payment of Rs 200 crore made by the DB Group to DMK-run Kalaignar TV, where she serves on the board of directors and owns a 20 percent stake.
While the road ahead is likely to be a rocky one for the poetess-turned-politician, 2011 is undoubtedly the year that has seen her name rake up more controversy than ever before.
Image: Kanimozhi Karunanidhi
Photographs: Parivarthan Sharma/Reuters
Hugh Grant is back in the limelight suddenly and with a bang -- he became a father this year after a brief affair (that's certainly good news, as compared to the time he got arrested with a prostitute back in 1995!).
To come back to our story, the 44-year-old British actor and former girlfriend, Chinese actress Tinglan Hong, became proud parents of a baby girl in September, but confirmed the same only on November 2.
And get this -- according to reports, the baby has been given a traditional Chinese name that translates as 'happy accident'!
Despite the fact that he's not with Tinglan anymore Hugh, who is rumoured to be something of a commitmentphobe, is said to be 'delighted' at the arrival of his little girl.
Image: Hugh Grant
Photographs: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
The Kannada movie industry was reeling with shock in September when megastar Darshan was arrested for assaulting his wife, Vijayalakshmi.
The actor was accused of threatening her and his three-year-old son with a gun at a friend's residence in Bangalore. Vijayalakshmi was admitted to hospital for injuries and Darshan was booked for assault, attempt to murder, dowry and domestic violence.
What made things worse was that the incident allegedly stemmed from Darshan's supposed affair with co-star Nikhita. As a result, the actress was briefly banned from working in the industry by the producers' association and Darshan ended up spending a month in jail -- this despite making amends with his wife and her withdrawing charges.
Once he was released on bail, the actor offered fans a heartfelt apology for setting a bad example. But whether this incident will have a lasting impact on his career remains to be seen.
When a celebrity is caught spewing venom in a drunken rant, it's potentially career-destroying.
But things could have been far worse for British designer John Galliano, former head of Dior. Arrested by police for making rascist, anti-Semitic remarks after a late-night drinking session in Paris, which saw him attack fellow customers in a cafe, he was suspended and later dismissed by the high-end French fashion house.
Shortly after, a video emerged online that showed him saying 'I love Hitler' and glorifying the Holocaust.
Galliano faced trial in Paris despite apologising 'unreservedly' for his behaviour and in September, was found guilty of the charges. Sentenced to paying a fine of 6,000 euros, however, he got off lucky -- the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment and/or a fine of 19,000 pounds.
Image: John Galliano
Photographs: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Past his cricketing prime, it could be that Vinod Kambli is hankering for attention.
But we wonder if he was bargaining for quite so much criticism or backlash when he not-so-subtly hinted that the 1996 World Cup semi-final between India and Sri Lanka had been rigged.
Kambli claims that his suspicion arose due to then-captain Mohammed Azharuddin's decision to field first, even though it had been previously decided upon that the team would bat if they won the toss.
Of course, he has had to face up to the music for his claim -- Azharuddin branded his statement 'rubbish', 'insulting' and labelled him 'frustrated'. Former skipper Ganguly also criticised his 'big allegation', claiming that if he has proof he should come up with it.
Over to you, Kambli -- or have you had your fill of controversy for the year?
Image: Vinod Kambli
And finally, we come to the comedian who got the controversies rolling this year with his stint as the host of the Emmy Golden Globes in January.
Ricky Gervais rubbed a host of A-listers the wrong way with his tart comments and insisted that they should be taken in the right spirit (well, he was funny!). And after all the brou-ha-ha, he's been invited back to host the Globes again next month!
What wasn't quite as funny was a Twitter joke he posted ridiculing Down's Syndrome, which he insisted was taken out of context. Still, better not to go there, right, Ricky?
Image: Ricky Gervais
Photographs: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research