In Black Hollywood, it sometimes seems the life of the rich and famous are just as dramatic and surreal as their shows and films. It is no wonder that many want to keep up with the incredible and scandalous accounts of entertainers, celebrities, and socialites.
The spotlight on Buckingham Palace. The fall of icons. Scandal, scandal, and more scandal filled the lives of those in the limelight and entertainment news. Here are the top eight biggest things to happen in black Hollywood gossip in the last five years.
Kardashian-Thompson-Woods Cheating Scandal
If you are not a viewer of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” you were certainly keeping up with the Kardashians in 2018 when Khloe Kardashian’s, at-the-time boyfriend, Tristan Thompson was caught in another cheating scandal. Unfortunately, cheating is nothing new for the NBA star who also cheated on Khloe when she was nine months pregnant with their child.
However, what made this cheating incident even more scandalous was that it happened with her sister, Kylie Jenner’s, best friend, Jordyn Woods. Thompson was seen cozying up to Woods at a party where they supposedly were very close and made out.
The scandal was covered by major outlets. This incident sent shockwaves through the Kardashian-Jenner household where, in the end, Woods was essentially excommunicated by the family.
A$AP Rocky Arrested in Sweden
Sweden would seem the most unlikely place to get into a brawl and certainly arrested, but for the rap star, A$AP Rocky, his trip did not go according to plan. In 2019, the rapper got into a street fight that was claimed to be out of self-defense.
A$AP Rocky was then detained and arrested. Many celebrities and former president Trump came to A$AP’s aid to release him from Swedish detainment. While found guilty, the rapper did not serve any jail time in Sweden.
Markle and Prince Harry Set Down Their Crowns
While the royals are not deeply entrenched in black Hollywood, Meghan Markle’s actress ties and happily ever after caused black Hollywood and black America to be strongly invested in Meghan and Prince Harry’s next chapter following their spring 2018 wedding. However, as the page turned, their new life together as royals wrought various challenges and hardships.
A spotlight was put on the royal family and British media when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat for an interview with Oprah. The interview, while giving a lovely shine to the expecting couple, at the time, exposed some of the turmoil they were experiencing, especially Meghan.
Following conflict with the British media and internal struggles, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they would officially transition out of their roles as senior members of the royal family, which had the full support of the Queen. Soon afterward, the couple denounced their royal titles.
Smollett’s Fake Hate Crime
A case that initially rocked news outlets and later soured. In January 2019, Actor, Jussie Smollett, reported to Chicago police that he had been attacked by two men. These men yelled “This is MAGA country” during the attack where they put a noose around his neck and poured a chemical substance on him. After investigation, the attack seemed to come right out of a drama.
The Chicago police determined that Smollett gave false information. The actor was arrested and charged by the department. In 2020, Smollett was indicted on 22 charges and sentenced to 150 days in jail with a month of probation. Smollett still maintains that he did not lie, despite that in the court of law and court of public opinion the attack is considered a hoax.
R. Kelly Convicted
R.Kelly is well-known for his music, but also just as equally known for countless sex allegations. His music career long hid the shadow of dark rumors about grooming, improper behavior with minor girls, and sex trafficking. While his music flourished, reports did not hold until Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” aired.
Following the Lifetime special, Kelly faced nine charges in a New York federal court, all of which he was found guilty. The charges included bribery, kidnapping, racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, and sex trafficking. Kelly is remanded until sentencing in May 2022. Later, in August of 2022, he must face federal charges in Chicago.
An event that was planned to uplift ended in death and devastation. Travis Scott’s Astroworld event, in 2021, turned into a “mass casualty event,” when the rowdy concert took a fatal turn. The crowd stormed toward the stage. Many were injured and 10 died from the crowd crush.
As a result of the tragic event, numerous lawsuits were filed against performers, promoters, vendors, and Scott’s record label. A federal investigation is underway to determine how the events occurred.
Perhaps one of the most shocking and shattering events to occur in black Hollywood was the conviction of “America’s dad,” Bill Cosby. The icon was accused of numerous sexual allegations. April 2, 2018, Cosby was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to three to ten years in prison.
The latest incident to date: the slap heard around the world. At the 2022 Oscars, Actor Will Smith slapped award announcer and comedian Chris Rock on the live award show after a mild joke about his wife Jada Pickett-Smith. The joke was made in reference to G.I. Jane because of the actress’ hair.
Since the award night, Smith issued an apology to the Academy for tarnishing the evening and to his “King Richard” peers for casting a shadow on their win. Smith won his first Oscar for the film. In the time following, Smith has resigned from the Academy, although the Academy Board of Governors is still conducting disciplinary hearings. Rock has yet to make any statement.
These events are just a few of the many that happened in the fast and illustrious world of celebrity life.