Reality television provides us all with plenty of seemingly real-life drama for our binge-watching consumption. From the "Real Housewives" franchises to reality competition series like "Big Brother," viewers know that they're bound to be entertained by tuning in. But what happens when scandals erupt off-camera? In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the debut of "Toddlers & Tiaras" on Jan. 27, 2019, Wonderwall.com is rounding up the all-time biggest scandals from reality TV, starting with this family drama. "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" — the first spin-off of TLC's "Toddlers & Tiaras" — centered around hilarious 6-year-old pageant contestant Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson and followed her family's ups and downs. But when it was revealed that Alana's mother, "Mama June" Shannon, had a new boyfriend who'd been accused of molesting Alana's sister Anna, TLC canceled the show. Keep reading for more of reality TV's biggest scandals…
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A prison "Situation"
On Jan. 15, 2019, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino began serving an eight-month prison sentence for tax evasion. The "Jersey Shore" star's brother, Marc Sorrentino, is also serving two years for related tax crimes. In 2014, Mike and Marc were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud after the government claimed they did not pay all of the federal income tax owed on The Situation's $8.9 million income from 2010 to 2012. In January 2018, Mike agreed to a plea deal and copped to one count of tax evasion. In addition to his prison sentence, Mike must also complete 500 hours of community service, serve two years of supervised release and pay $123,913 in restitution plus a $10,000 fine.
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A "The Bachelor" star's shocking arrest and trial
Season 19 "The Bachelor" star Chris Soules was arrested on April 24, 2017, and charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing a death. The shocking incident happened when the reality star's vehicle hit a tractor driving on the road, sending it into a ditch — and killing the driver, farmer Kenneth Mosher. Meanwhile, Chris left the scene before cops arrived, though he did call 911 and tell them what happened first. Reports later claimed Chris had alcohol in and around his vehicle, though he wasn't charged with DUI. In November 2018, Chris pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, which is an aggravated misdemeanor. He faces up to two years in prison and a fine; he'll be sentenced in May 2019.
A Kardashian cheating scandal
Just days before Khloe Kardashian was set to welcome their first child into the world in April 2018, footage emerged showing her boyfriend, NBA star Tristan Thompson, involved with multiple other women — all while Khloe was pregnant. Despite outcry from her family and fans, the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star chose to stand by her man, even allowing him to be with her during True's birth. Unfortunately, this news shouldn't have been too shocking: Tristan started dating Khloe in 2016 while his ex-girlfriend, Jordan Craig, was pregnant with their son, though Khloe has insisted she wasn't the other woman in that relationship.
Oh "Big Brother," where art thou?! The ladies and gents of Season 20 of the binge-worthy reality show put a stranglehold on the "most controversial cast" title, Season 15 — with one member in particular nearly providing enough scandal for an entire season! JC Mounduix (second from bottom right) made headlines when sexual harassment accusations flew after he touched fellow houseguests inappropriately with an ice cream scooper and made inappropriate comments, including using a racist word and asking female houseguest Rachel Swindler (center, in blue) if she was transgender. Contestant Kaitlyn Herman (third from top right) also made waves when she flirted with numerous male houseguests while openly having a boyfriend back home. And to round out the group, the aforementioned Rachel and her pal Angela Rummans (far right) infuriated fans when they made racist comments about their skin tones, comparing their tans to the skin tone of African-American contestant Bayleigh Dayton (far left), with Rachel noting her stomach was "as dark as Bay" and Angela adding, "I'm looking ghetto here with the skin coloration."
Sexual misconduct allegations
One week into filming "Bachelor in Paradise" in June 2017, the show was suspended due to allegations of sexual misconduct — and all cast members were sent home from Mexico. Reports quickly surfaced revealing that the two involved were Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson. Multiple reports claimed that DeMario and Corinne were inebriated and fooling around in a swimming pool, and attorneys are now investigating whether Corinne could have been too drunk to consent. She quickly lawyered up. DeMario, meanwhile, told a friend on June 13 that video of the incident will vindicate him. On June 20, DeMario was vindicated, as it was determined that no wrongdoing occurred and Corinne was reportedly engaging and "lucid" during the encounter.
Brooks Ayers fakes cancer
"The Real Housewives of Orange County" introduced us to a level of awful we didn't know existed during the show's 10th season — in the form of a man named Brooks Ayers. Vicki Gunvalson's controversial boyfriend — who had already made waves by telling Vicki's daughter's husband that he should use force to discipline his wife — stooped to a new low as it was revealed he'd allegedly faked having cancer. After Vicki's fellow housewives raised concerns about his illness, in November 2015 the hospital where Brooks claimed he'd been treated denied he'd been a patient. That same month, Brooks himself admitted to "fabricating" medical documents. In a statement to E! News, Brooks admitted to falsifying the records but maintained that he still had cancer. He also refused to take a lie detector test, and insisted he would no longer be discussing his health issues publicly.
Really, truly the "most dramatic season ever"
It truly was the most dramatic season in "The Bachelor" history! Season 22 featured franchise vet Arie Luyendyk Jr. looking for love. His casting was already scandalous enough (he hadn't appeared on the franchise since 2012 during Emily Maynard's season of "The Bachelorette"), but he managed to outdo that outcry with his final pick. Despite originally proposing to Becca Kufrin on the finale, Arie ended up dumping her a few weeks later after deciding he actually wanted to be with runner-up Lauren Burnham. Though this wasn't the first time a "Bachelor" star ended up going back to his No. 2 pick (ahem, Jason Mesnick), this certainly was the most savage. A camera crew filmed the incredibly awkward, premeditated breakup, then Becca had to face Arie once more on "The Bachelor: After the Final Rose," where he also proposed to Lauren on live television. (He and Lauren — who's expecting their first child in 2019 — married in January 2019.)
A "RHOA" reunion gets physical
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" can always be counted on to serve up some serious drama, but they served up a little too much during part one of the Season 6 reunion special. After tensions arose while Kenya Moore repeatedly antagonized Porsha Williams, Porsha lost it and slapped Kenya. A real fight ensued involving a scepter, a megaphone and poor Andy Cohen as he attempted to intervene. Porsha eventually grabbed Kenya's hair, pulled her to the ground and dragged her across the floor of the reunion set — resulting in Porsha being charged with battery after the show wrapped.
A "Teen Mom" sex tape
Farrah Abraham got her start on a one-off episode of "16 and Pregnant" then starred on the first installment of "Teen Mom." Since viewers had watched her grow up before their eyes, her transition into the adult entertainment world in 2013 was quite a shock. The star originally claimed that her sex tape, "Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom," was a filmed private romp that just happened to feature professional porn star James Deen as her partner — but its release made it pretty clear that the move was more strategic than Farrah initially let on and that she'd profited big-time. In January 2014, she told In Touch magazine that the sex tape encounter ruined her life, but the sequel to her first adult film was released a month later.
Prison for "RHONJ" stars
Viewers were shocked to learn that Teresa Giudice and Joe Giudice, who'd starred on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" since the show's inception, were facing prison sentences. In July 2013, Teresa and Joe were charged with hiding assets and income in a bankruptcy case, conspiring to defraud lenders and illegally obtaining mortgages and loans. The couple entered a guilty plea in March 2014, and Teresa began a nearly year-long federal prison sentence in January 2015. The reality star was released in December 2015, just a few months before Joe started his 41-month sentence in March 2016. He was released in March 2019 but headed straight to Immigration and Customs Enforcement lockup to await the results of his deportation appeal, which was denied in April 2019. (In October 2018, a judge ruled that Joe would be deported to his native Italy.) Their legal battles were documented in the spin-off "Teresa Checks In" on Bravo in the fall of 2015.
Abuse and suicide on "RHOBH"
Viewers watched the unhappy marriage of Taylor Armstrong and Russell Armstrong unfold during the first season of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." It was later revealed that the venture capitalist was abusive to Taylor during the show's run, and their money troubles were also brought to light. Taylor filed for divorce in July 2011, and just one month later, Russell committed suicide in his home.
Sexual assault allegations
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, Thomas Ravenel's alleged past actions returned to haunt him in 2018. The "Southern Charm" star was accused of sexually assaulting a woman he met on Tinder in 2015 as well as his children's nanny, known on the show as Nanny Dawn, whose claims resulted in Thomas being investigated for "first-degree forcible rape." But the charges don't end there. In 2014, the hairdresser to the mother of Thomas' children (his "Southern Charm" co-star Kathryn Dennis) claimed he shoved a door so hard it hit her and caused her to fall backwards down three stairs. Depending on who you believe, he either quit "Southern Charm" or was fired in the wake of the sexual assault allegations.
Jon and Kate's affairs
Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin were one of the original reality TV couples, documenting their life with sextuplets and twins on "Jon & Kate Plus 8." In 2009, the married couple went through a messy split, which was chronicled on their show. They started their divorce process in June of that year as rumors swirled that both sides had been unfaithful. Jon was accused of carrying on affairs with much younger women, including a schoolteacher named Deanna Hummel. After the couple split, Jon was tied to multiple women while Kate allegedly carried on an affair of her own (which she's denied). This time, Kate was named as "the other woman" after she reportedly got involved with her married bodyguard, Steve Neild.
Cheating scandal taints marriage
Reality TV star Kendra Wilkinson and hubby Hank Baskett officially called it quits in 2018. Kendra took to social media to make the announcement that April, sharing that their nearly nine-year marriage had ended. Their show, "Kendra On Top," chronicled their struggles — namely, a cheating scandal in 2014. Hank allegedly stepped out on Kendra with a transgender model while Kendra was eight months pregnant with their second child, daughter Alijah — and it nearly torpedoed their marriage at the time. They tried to make things work and even appeared on "Marriage Boot Camp: Family Edition" in 2015. Their split this year doesn't seem to have been sparked by infidelity, but the drama has certainly continued to haunt them.
An "America's Next Top Model" murder
A former "America's Next Top Model" contestant was murdered in a triple homicide in February 2015. Mirjana Puhar competed on the 21st cycle of the show and did well in the modeling competition. The 19-year-old beauty hung in until the 10th round of eliminations, but was tragically killed a year later when she and her boyfriend were gunned down in a drug-related murder.
A "Sister Wives" divorce and catfishing affair
TLC's "Sister Wives" came with its own controversy, as the show chronicled the polygamist marriages of Kody Brown. The Brown family moved from a state that disapproved of their plural marriage arrangement, Utah, to Nevada to settle and live in multiple homes on the same cul-de-sac. They made headlines when it was announced in early 2015 that Kody would be divorcing one of his four wives — first wife Meri (second from right) — so he could legally marry fourth "spiritual" wife Robyn (far left), to make it easier for Kody to adopt her kids from her first marriage and give her access to perks like his health insurance. In the fall of 2015, more scandal struck the Brown family as it was revealed that Meri had been catfished into a six-month emotional online and telephone phone affair with a middle-aged woman who was posing as a hunky businessman.
Sexual assault allegations on "RHOP"
"The Real Housewives of Potomac" husband Michael Darby found himself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons when he was charged with sexual assault of a male crew member in September 2018. Michael, who's married to Ashley Darby, allegedly grabbed the butt of cameraman Orville Palmer while filming the show and gave the staffer a "flirtatious look." Orville said he told Michael to stop and told his supervisor about what happened before going to authorities. The claim resulted in Michael being criminally charged with felony assault and misdemeanor improper sexual contact — which did nothing to assuage the barrage of gay rumors that have been discussed heavily on the show. In October 2018, the Montgomery County State Attorney's Office opted to not prosecute Michael over the incident and he was able to resume filming the Bravo franchise.
A "Bachelor in Paradise" star's arrest
Bachelor Nation was shocked in September 2018 when "Bachelor in Paradise" sweetheart and single mother of two Amanda Stanton was arrested for domestic battery in Las Vegas. It all went down after a bachelorette party where security was called due to a noise complaint. The original story spun was that while security guards talked to Amanda's boyfriend, Bobby Jacobs, Amanda intervened and allegedly shoved Bobby. The violent act led security to call the cops, who arrested Amanda for misdemeanor domestic violence. Authorities responding to the incident later explained that things were much more physical than just a shove and included Amanda hitting Bobby while he was in bed and swinging a hotel room telephone at him. Bobby also told police she punched him and kicked him after he didn't answer her calls that night. Despite all that, the couple remained together. Amanda pleaded not guilty to a count of misdemeanor domestic battery in October 2018.
A "Survivor" contestant tells a devastating lie
On the tenth season of "Survivor" in 2003, one cast member became an instant villain after a cruel lie was revealed. Jonny Fairplay (real name: Jon Dalton), lied about his grandmother dying. He had planned to have a friend tell the untruth about his grandmother passing away during the show's visit-from-a-loved-one segment, in order to get a 24-hour visit with a friend from home. The reprehensible behavior led to the show's host Jeff Probst banning Jonny from all subsequent "Survivor" events, and made enemies of almost all of his "Survivor: Pearl Island" castmates.
A "Duck Dynasty" hunter gets suspended
Phil Robertson (left) found instant fame on the wildly successful A&E reality show "Duck Dynasty." But just as quickly, the duck-hunting family patriarch's popularity plunged after he made homophobic comments in a January 2013 GQ magazine interview. The commentary got him temporarily suspended from his hit show, and he wasn't reinstated until December 2013.
A "Flip or Flop" star's gun incident
HGTV stars Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa were permanent fixtures in the news a few years ago thanks to the crazy unraveling of their marriage. In January 2017, Tarek filed for divorce from his wife of seven years nearly eight months after they had a massive fight that resulted in Tarek fleeing their home with a gun. Christina feared he was suicidal and police were called, but Tarek claimed he was just going on a hike and needed the gun for protection from wild animals. What followed was a series of alerts on the couple's old dramas and numerous new relationships — including a report about Tarek taking up with their children's former nanny and entering outpatient rehab, as well as Christina dating a hockey player and an ex-lover with a record of felony arrests. Despite their split, the reality stars continued to shoot their show together and in August 2017, Christina finally responded to Tarek's divorce petition — asking the court to cancel his request for spousal support while requesting it for herself. Christina married "Wheeler Dealers" host Ant Anstead in December 2018 and changed her name to Christina Anstead.
Tommie Lee arrested twice in 24 hours
"Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" star Tommie Lee might have set a record in October 2018 when she was arrested two times in 24 hours. Yep, her first offense came after she allegedly slammed her daughter into a locker at the child's middle school, where she was then arrested for battery, aggravated assault and child cruelty. The VH1 star posted her $27,000 bond and then violated a court order requiring her to stay away from her daughter — within three hours of leaving jail — which meant she headed right back that night. It's certainly not her first time in the slammer. In September, 2018, she pleaded guilty to one count of DUI and one count of driving without headlights, which amounted to 48 hours in jail thanks to a plea deal following a 2016 arrest. She was also arrested in July 2018 and booked for disorderly conduct while under the influence after an incident outside of the Royal Peacock Club in Atlanta in which she refused to move out of a road where a cop was directing traffic.
A "Bachelor" behind-the-scenes affair
Fraternizing with the crew? Apparently that's one type of hookup that "The Bachelor" producers aren't cool with, as evidenced by the dramatic dismissal of contestant Rozlyn Papa that aired in January 2010 during Jake Pavelka's season. After the beautiful contestant was accused of entering into a physical relationship with a producer, both were dismissed from the show. The confrontation happened on-camera, and although Rozlyn insisted the show concocted the story for plot purposes, host Chris Harrison maintained it was a real relationship.
A "Teen Mom" star does prison time
MTV's "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood shocked fans by getting physical and punching on-again, off-again boyfriend Gary Shirley on-camera. The altercation resulted in Amber being arrested on domestic violence charges, which snowballed into more charges for being in possession of prescription drugs that weren't in her name. After violating her probation, Amber was arrested and sentenced to five years in prison in February 2012, something she could have avoided by going to rehab. Instead, she asked a judge to send her to the slammer — she was afraid rehab wouldn't work and she'd die from an overdose — where she faced her demons, got clean and got out after spending less than two years behind bars.
Dog the Bounty Hunter finds himself in hot water
Duane "Dog" Chapman, better known as "Dog the Bounty Hunter," found himself in the midst of a major scandal when a recorded phone call was released. The taped conversation revealed some racist commentary from Dog and led to the reality star and fugitive hunter being suspended from his show. He appeared on "Larry King Live" shortly afterward to issue an apology, then resumed production of his successful A&E series.
An "American Idol" scandal
One of the OG reality TV dramas was delivered to us by the original reality singing competition, "American Idol," way back in 2005. Paula Abdul was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with Season 2 contestant Corey Clark. Two years after Corey was dismissed from the show for failing to reveal an arrest on his record, the wannabe professional singer claimed he and Paula had had a three-month sexual relationship. Paula denied it and FOX launched an internal investigation led by an independent counsel, but ultimately found Corey's claims were unsubstantiated.
The most controversial "Big Brother" cast ever
"Big Brother" allows fans to watch the lives of house guests 24 hours a day, but no cast accrued more controversy than during Season 15. On the show's live feed, four different contestants got themselves in hot water for making wildly offensive comments ranging from racist to anti-Semitic to homophobic remarks. Model Aaryn Gries made headlines for her myriad of offenses, which got her dropped by her modeling agency back home, while Spencer Clawson's talk about child porn got him publicly chastised by his employer. House guest GinaMarie Zimmerman (right) provided so much casual racist commentary that it got her fired from her job back home. Even the winner of the show that season, Andy Herren (left), was fired from his job as a college professor after referring to eliminated house guests as "robotic biracials" and talking about wanting to punch a female contestant in the throat.
False "RHOA" rape allegations
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" fired one of its longtime cast members in May 2017 after she did the unthinkable. Phaedra Parks, who joined the show during Season 3 and stayed on until Season 9, was dismissed after she confessed to being the source of a date rape rumor involving co-stars Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker. The false information spread by Phaedra indicated that Kandi and her husband wanted to drug and sexually take advantage of co-star Porsha Williams. Phaedra apologized for repeating the information and specifically attempted to make amends with Porsha at the reunion show, but it was too late. The damage was done.
The Biggest… Cheater?
Jillian Michaels was known for being a tough and productive team leader on "The Biggest Loser," so fans of the show were shocked when it was revealed that she was cheating behind the scenes. The fitness guru reportedly gave her team members caffeine supplements in 2013. Since they were given without a doctor's permission in an attempt to help with weight loss, her team was penalized 4 pounds. That result was considered controversial, since Jillian didn't suffer a punishment despite it being her decision.
A criminal contestant
VH1 had a major scandal on their hands in 2009. The network launched its reality show "Megan Wants a Millionaire" without incident — then one of the contestants was accused of murder. Ryan Jenkins, who vied for Megan's love, was suspected of violently killing his wife, model Jasmine Fiore, mutilating her body and stuffing it in a suitcase. Days after Jasmine's body was discovered, Ryan — who'd gone on the run — committed suicide and VH1 canceled the show.