Celebrities misbehaved spectacularly this year: drinking, drugging, sexing, marrying, birthing, divorcing, and twerking their way into gossip history. Time to take stock and tally up the scandals. But lest we are accused of focusing on nothing but the ugly, the sad, and the blotto, we open with . . . the positive!
Judge by their works
Our annual prize for the least unbearable and hateful boldfacer goes to two remarkable women, Jennifer Lawrence and Beyoncé.
Jennifer, 23, was barely 21 when she got her first Oscar nomination, for Winter's Bone. She began the year picking up the statuette for Silver Linings Playbook and ended it amid buzz she'll nab another for American Hustle. How do we know she's possessed of a healthy soul? Fame scares her. "I teeter on seeming ungrateful when I talk about this, but I'm kind of going through a meltdown," she told Vogue in September when speaking of her renown.
As for Beyoncé, she tricked the entire celebrity-industrial complex by releasing her latest LP, Beyoncé, on the sly. She dropped it on iTunes with nary a news release. It sold nearly a million copies in its first 10 days.
B. rules our heart: She's also been named the third most charitable celeb of the year by DoSomething.org, behind Taylor Swift and One Direction.
Fill your heart with love, not hate
Enough nice! The year closes with a nasty taste. A nasty Duck taste.
The shockingly popular A&E reality show Duck Dynasty was making headlines as the biggest hit of the season when patriarch Phil Robertson brought the house down around his ears by telling GQ homosexuality is a sin. Fine. That's what his brand of conservative Protestantism teaches. But Phil, 67, crossed the line: In an earlier sermon in Pottstown, he said homosexuals are "full of murder."
What's more, he told GQ that black folks had happier lives before the civil rights movement. He knows, because when he was a kid, he'd see lots of African Americans singing with joy even though they lived under Jim Crow laws. On Sunday, Phil told parishioners at his Louisiana church, "I am a lover of humanity, not a hater."
Paula Deen faced similar charges of racism over the summer, when she admitted that at times she had used extreme racial epithets.
The Kardashian Kabal plague . . .
. . . rages on unabated. This week, Time readers voted reality TV's most grasping, opportunistic, self-promoting clan the most overrated celebs of 2013.
The Kardashians' media ascendancy continued even after matriarch Kris Jenner divorced former Olympic star Bruce, her hub of 22 years.
Last year, Kim Kardashian poleaxed the media world with her multimillion-dollar wedding to NBA guy Kris Humphries. She topped herself this year by divorcing Kris and launching the Kimye blitzkrieg - her aggressive, public coupling with her latest power accessory, Kanye West. Twelve days after her divorce from Kris was finalized on June 3, Kim gave birth to North, her baby with Kanye. And on Oct. 21, Kanye took Kim and a few friends to AT&T Park in San Francisco, which he had rented for the occasion, natch, and posted a marriage proposal on its giant screen.
Kris wasn't the only basketball player to be exiled from the Kabal. Khloé filed for divorce from Lamar Odom shortly after he underwent a drug-fueled breakdown, detailed in gory detail in the gossip rags.
Even celebrity love can end . . .
And end and end and end . . .
There were plenty of tear-soaked breakups this year, including those of two of Hollywood's most powerful old boys, Clint Eastwood and Michael Douglas.
Clint's wife, Dina Ruiz, filed for divorce in October, after 17 years, seeking custody of their 16-year-old daughter, Morgan. Guess things with The Man With No Name weren't as hunky-dory as Dina pretended on her reality show, Mrs. Eastwood and Company.
For his part, Douglas may or may not be divorcing Catherine Zeta-Jones. The power couple, reportedly jointly worth $185 mil, have been together for 13 years and have two kids, Dylan, 13, and Carys, 10. The couple separated over the summer but stayed in touch. Recent reports suggest they're trying to work things out.
Other breakups include Josh Brolin and wife of 11 years Diane Lane; Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs, after 10 years of marriage; Orlando Bloom and wife of three years Miranda Kerr; British food goddess Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi, after 10 years of marriage; and Rupert and Wendi Murdoch after 14 years. Last, but not least, George Clooney and Stacy Keibler broke up just when rumors were heating up the inveterate bachelor would marry her.
Save them from themselves!
Will Lindsay Lohan ever find happiness? She had far fewer public breakdowns this year, but her attempt to save her career failed miserably with the disastrous Liz Taylor biopic Dick & Liz. She sank into heavy partying again and was sentenced in March to 90 days at a lockdown rehab.
Amanda Bynes, whose talents are equally questionable, also had a disastrous year, lobbing a bong out a window and setting a fire on a driveway. She spent more than six months in a psychiatric unit.
We're most troubled by the fate of Miley Cyrus, who seems to be under the impression she's the first human being to discover the concepts of puberty and adult sexuality. The 21-year-old ingenue tried so desperately to distance herself from her Hannah Montana past she turned every one of her music videos into ham-handed porn productions.
She twerked on TV and licked hammers and rode atop wrecking balls in her videos. She's exploring and expressing her sexuality, some say.
Seems she's just lost.