Justin Timberlake is bringing sex scandals back. After being photographed with actress Alisha Wainwright at a New Orleans bar in November, Timberlake has issued an apology on Instagram. The pair are currently working together in a film called Palmer. Photographs emerged of the two holding hands and with Wainwright’s hand on Timberlake’s knee. But Timberlake denied that he cheated on his wife of seven years, actress Jessica Biel.
“A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgment — but let me be clear — nothing happened between me and my costar. I drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior,” he wrote on Instagram. “I apologize to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation.” So far Biel has not publicly commented on the matter.
Timberlake is merely the latest to be embroiled in a celebrity cheating scandal. But it could have been far worse. Here are the 10 biggest and most controversial celebrity cheating scandals in recent history.
Kevin Hart cheats… on his pregnant wife
In August 2017, TMZ revealed that someone was shopping around video evidence of comedian Kevin Hart cheating on his pregnant wife Enoki Parrish in an alleged extortion attempt. At first Hart denied the affair, but in September he publicly apologized to his family promised to “do better” in an emotional video on Instagram. Parrish stuck by Hart, and they welcomed the birth of their son Kenzo in November that year. By December, he admitted to the affair in a radio interview. As to the alleged extortion, a district attorney dropped charges against Hart’s former friend, actor J.T. Jackson, in September 2019, although he still faces other felony charges.
Kristen Stewart cheats on Robert Pattinson… with her director
For a while, it seemed like Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s romance was second only to the characters they played in the Twilight movie series. Twilight fandom went wild over the real-life parallels with their fictional favorites. But once the series was finished, Stewart moved on to another project. In July 2012, photos leaked of her and her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders canoodling in a car. The fairy tale was over. Stewart and Pattinson broke up not long thereafter after an attempt at fixing the relationship. Some fairy tales are best left up on the big screen.
Hugh Grant cheats on Elizabeth Hurley… and is arrested
In 1995, when Hugh Grant was arrested for lewd behavior, caught in a car with a prostitute, he was one of the box office’s biggest draws. His star crashed and burned pretty rapidly after that, and he tried to use his boyish charm and good looks to repair the damage to his reputation. This culminated in the famous Tonight Show interview where Jay Leno asked the question that was on everyone’s mind: “What the hell were you thinking?” Remarkably, his relationship with Elizabeth Hurley continued for five years; they separated in 2000.
Tiger Woods cheats… but not at golf
Tiger Woods was the young golf ace whose precision shooting captivated the world. He married Swedish model Elin Nordegren in 2004 and seemed to be at the top of the heap. But reports of his infidelity with television personality Rachel Uchitel flooded the news over Thanksgiving week in 2009. One spectacular car wreck later, everything was out in the open. He admitted to being unfaithful eventually, and the couple divorced in 2010. The $750 million divorce settlement also awarded Ms. Nordegren custody of their two children.
Arnold Schwarzenegger cheats on Maria Shriver… with the housekeeper
Action-star-turned-California-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had been married to Kennedy scion Maria Shriver for a quarter of a century when they divorced in 2011. The reason was a massive shock: 14 years earlier, he had had an affair with their former housekeeper, Mildred Baena, and fathered a child with her. Their son Joseph Baena was born only days after his fourth child with Maria Shriver was born. Now 22, Joseph bears an uncanny resemblance to Schwarzenegger, and the two have established a relationship. But the cheating scandal effectively ended Schwarzenegger’s political career. Since leaving office, the 72-year-old Schwarzenegger has gone back to acting, though he is no longer the massive draw he used to be, with Terminator: Dark Fate flopping.
Jay-Z cheats on Beyoncé… and the couple turned it into art
Beyoncé’s 2016 hit album Lemonade brought us the phrase “Becky with the good hair” and a lot of speculation that the album was more fact than fiction in regards to her marriage to rapper Jay-Z. Rumors of Jay-Z’s infidelity had been fueled when Beyoncé sister Solange was recorded fighting with Jay-Z in an elevator at the 2014 Met Gala, reportedly because he had been flirting with designer Rachel Roy. The truth finally came out in 2017 when Jay-Z released the album 4:44, which was full of apologies to his wife and daughter for his behavior. He confirmed his infidelity in an interview with The New York Times’ T Magazine that year. Since the revelations, Beyoncé and Jay-Z appear to be stronger than ever. In 2018, they released a joint album Everything Is Love and embarked on a co-headlining tour. They’re a rare example of not only making it past a cheating scandal, but literally profiting from it.
David Letterman cheats… and admits it on live television
Former Late Night host David Letterman and his wife Regina Lasko had been married barely six months when a major scandal rocked the talk show world. After 23 years together, the couple had finally tied the knot in March 2009. Then, in September, it came out that Letterman had had affairs with women, including with his long-time assistant, Stephanie Birkitt. Birkitt’s boyfriend tried to squeeze Letterman for $2 million to keep the affair secret. Instead, Letterman admitted to the affair live on the air. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013, he took responsibility for his actions and said, “I have no one to blame but myself.” Letterman and Lasko are still married and raising their son Harry, born in 2003.
Leann Rimes and Eddie Cibrian cheat… with each other
One of the biggest celebrity cheating scandals of 2009 was the revelation that country star Leann Rimes and actor Eddie Cibrian were having an affair. At the time, Rimes was married to her manager, and Cibrian was married to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville. The affair caused both of their marriages to fail. But what is so remarkable about this scandal was that it was just so huge in the media. Nothing brings the drama quite like reality television personalities, and nothing is worse in country music than being perceived as a homewrecker. Rimes and Cibrian married not long after their respective divorces were finalized in 2011 and they are still together to this day.
Jesse James cheats on Sandra Bullock… and has no regrets
In March 2010, Sandra Bullock won her first Oscar for the movie The Blind Side. Long considered “America’s Sweetheart,” her life seemed to be at an all-time high. But that same month, rumors erupted that her husband of five years, Monster Garage reality star Jesse James, had cheated on her with several women. James issued a publicly apology and claimed that most of the allegations were untrue. He went to rehab for sex addiction in an effort to salvage the marriage. But Bullock filed for divorce in April and it was finalized in June. James has since remarried and claimed he has “no regrets” over the affairs. Meanwhile, Bullock, who had started the adoption process with James before the scandal, went on to adopt two children on her own.
Woody Allen cheats on Mia Farrow… with her adopted daughter
The biggest celebrity cheating scandal of 1992 (and perhaps all-time) is full of technicalities. Technically, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow were not married, but in a long-term relationship since 1980. Technically, Soon-Yi Previn was the adopted daughter of Farrow and Andre Previn. Technically, Soon-Yi was a 21-year-old adult when the affair began. But there is very little about this entry that doesn’t skeeve out most people. Despite the scandal of the affair, Previn and Allen have remained together since, marrying in 1997 and even adopting two children of their own.