10 Attention-Grabbing Stunts Pulled Off by Celebrities

By Krystal Brown

Some celebrities will do anything in order to remain in the limelight, and this includes doing things for attention. We have compiled a list of celebrities that have done the craziest things for attention. 

Jussie Smollett

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On January 29th 2019, Jussie Smollett, actor from “Empire” stated that he was attacked by two men who yelled homophobic and racial slurs at him, placed a noose around his neck and also threw bleach on him. He went to the police and fans gave him lots of support. However, it was then rumored that the attack was all staged, and a police investigation that took place a few weeks later confirmed that the attackers were former “Empire” extras. There was evidence to show that Smollett had hired these men and he was then charged for filing a false police report. 

Joaquin Phoenix 

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When it was announced in 2008 that Joaquin Pheonix was leaving Hollywood to become a rapper, everyone was shocked. During an interview a few months later on Letterman’s show, his wild beard and unusual behavior had fans concerned that he had gone a bit crazy. However, the appearance he had chosen was an act to promote his mockumentary, “I’m Still Here”. Phoenix later apologized, but in 2014 had lied to Letterman again by stating that he was getting engaged to his yoga teacher. The pranks received backlash, but his career that is currently thriving, proves that he got the final laugh. 

Stephen Rannazzisi 

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As we’re all aware, the 9/11 attacks change a lot of people’s lives, those that were involved and families and friends of those who lost their lives. However, Steve took to comedy with this tragedy and for 14 years stated that he was working for Merrill Lynch on the same day of the attack. He claimed that he had only just escaped, and that’s why he was inspired to chase his dreams of comedy in LA. Despite his claims, in 2015, NY Times released an article that revealed he never worked for Merrill Lynch and was most definitely not working in the towers during the attack. Steve went on to apologize for his lie on Twitter, and he was subsequently pulled from commercials. 

Shia LaBeouf

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There have been many times where Shia LaBeouf’s behavior has produced a few concerns. He has watched all of his movies with fans in a non-stop marathon, volunteered to become a meme and praised a song where he was painted as a vicious cannibal. However, his most famous stunt was on the red carpet during the Berlin premiere of “Nymphomaniac”. Shia came on the carpet wearing a paper bag with eye holes over his head that read, “I’m not famous anymore.” This fashion choice was strange to say the least, but it could have been his way of distracting people from his plagiarism scandal. 

Brian Williams 

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Brian Williams traveled abroad shortly after the Iraq War began in order to cover the conflict for NBC news. During his time there, a friendly helicopter was struck with an RPG. Even though he was informed of the version of events, he decided to exaggerate the story by stating that he was actually in the helicopter when it was hit. When his lie was exposed, his reputation was under fire and he was then suspended from NBC. He later apologized and took a step back from the spotlight but continued his career on MSNBC. 

DJ Khaled 

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When DJ Khaled decided to propose to Nicki Minaj on MTV in 2013, he knew it would get people talking. It was a great confession of love and the ten carat ring made it all seem legit. It wasn’t long before the truth came out about the publicity stunt and how it was all a lie to promote an upcoming album. Even though Nicki said that she was unaware about the stunt, she has been accused of telling a lie about her personal life due to fans being led to believe that she was bisexual. It was revealed within an interview that she has had no physical or romantic desires towards women. 


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“The Way That I Love You” was released in 2008 and it came with a murder-themed music video. However, in order to promote the video, the label created a Gotcha-gram website which would send an email to any user that submitted their personal information. The email would state that the user was in imminent danger and the link would take them to a news report where their name was written in blood. Of course, the stunt had backlash for the gory content and the label finally ended the campaign when people protested Ashanti. 

Farrah Abraham 

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When Farrah was first questioned about a rumored adult tape, she stated that it didn’t exist. However, when the adult film performer James Deen confirmed the tape due to shooting the scene with her, Farrah changed her story. The tape was only supposed to be for “personal use” but she then went on to sell it to an adult film company Vivid Entertainment for approximately one million dollars. There was a lot of criticism for misleading people about the release of the tape. 

Garth Brooks 

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When musicians create alter egos, fans are usually okay with it. Eminem has Slim Shady, Beyonce has Sasha Fierce, but Garth Brooks had Chris Gaines and fans just weren’t that stoked about it. In fact, the anum didn’t generate many sales or interest and as a result, there was a movie that was centered around Gaines that was cancelled and Garth ended up having to go back to being the successful country star he’s always known for. 

Meg and Jack 

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Meg and Jack White spent over a decade claiming that they were siblings and that the band was formed after Jack had heard his “sister” Meg playing the drums. However, this was all a lie, and “The White Stripes” was created all on lies. The two were not related and they actually got married and divorced whilst being in the band together. When their marriage license was made public, the two of them continued to lie until the band split. Jack made a claim that the reason they lied was because it made them more interesting.

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