15 of Our Favorite Celebrities Accused of Sexual Assault

15 of Our Favorite Celebrities Accused of Sexual Assault
Image: Splash News

danny masterson
Splash News

Sometimes, it seems like celebrities -- male celebs, in particular -- just can't keep their hands (and other parts) to themselves. Every year, some celeb or another gets accused of sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and even rape. A lot of the time the allegations seem to mysteriously disappear, but even when they do, it's not uncommon for the story to surface again at some point. Accusations are made, money is paid, charges are dropped, more accusations are made, evidence comes out, story disappears, and the cycle continues again and again. Sometimes, of course, the accusations really throw the public for a loop. Some of our favorite stars have been accused of all sorts of heinous sexual crimes -- and whether we admit it or not, it can be hard to accept.

In June 2020, for example, That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson was charged with raping multiple women nearly 20 years ago. While rumors about his behavior have cropped up over the years, so many of us loved Masterson and felt a loyalty towards him because of the characters he's played on TV -- so it still feels like a shock to see him actually being charged with sex crimes. 

But he's far from the only popular celebrity who has been in a similar situation. 

Celebs have been taking advantage of people and their own status and power for as long as they've been able to get away with it. Of course, there are also the celebrities who've been victims themselves, but that's entirely different story. For better or worse -- whether allegations prove true or not, charges are dropped or not -- these 15 celebrities have all been accused of some form of sexual assault. 

Be prepared, some of them might be seriously surprising.

  • Cuba Gooding Jr.

    Cuba Gooding Jr.
    Splash News

    Beloved actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who has played such endearing characters -- as the title character in the film Radio, and the iconic Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire -- faced charges of unwanted sexual touching from three different women, with nearly two dozen women in total making similar accusations against him. The accusations date all the way back to 2003, but the latest occurred in 2018 and 2019. 

  • Justin Bieber

    Justin Bieber
    Splash News

    In June 2020, a woman took to Twitter using the name Danielle, to accuse singer Justin Bieber of sexually assaulting her in an Austin, Texas, hotel room in March 2014. The tweet and profile can no longer be found on Twitter. Bieber took swift action, stating the claim to be "factually impossible," posting evidence from his time in Austin that March, and announcing that he would be taking legal action.

  • Danny Masterson

    danny masterson
    Splash News

    The allegations against Danny Masterson are quite serious. Back in the early 2000s, he was accused of rape multiple times by three different women and is just now being charged with those crimes -- even though he's been under investigation since 2016, and has since been accused of sexual harassment. Masterson was arrested recently, and though he is currently out on bail, if he is found guilty, he could face up to 45 years in prison.

  • Anthony Anderson

    Anthony Anderson
    Bauer-Griffin/Splash News

    A couple of years ago, funny man and star of the hit show Black-ish Anthony Anderson was accused of sexual assault by a caterer that worked for him. The caterer declined to answer questions for investigators, and the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence -- but it wasn't the first time Anderson had come under fire. He was also accused of rape in 2004, when he was filming the movie Hustle & Flow, but the case was dismissed.

  • Cristiano Ronaldo

    Cristiano Ronaldo
    Splash News

    Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo faced rape charges after an incident in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. But he was never prosecuted and has admitted to paying his accuser $375,000 in a settlement -- in exchange for a confidentiality agreement. But the accuser did end up filing a lawsuit against Ronaldo in 2018, in an attempt to void the earlier settlement. The soccer star maintains that his interactions with the accuser were consensual. 

  • Aziz Ansari

    Aziz Ansari
    Elder Ordonez/Splash News

    Comedian Aziz Ansari was accused of sexual misconduct by a woman he went on a date with in 2017. The woman gave her account to Babe.net under a pseudonym, claiming that Ansari pressured her to perform sexual acts, even though she signaled her discomfort to him repeatedly. Ansari has maintained that he had no idea the woman felt the way she did and that he assumed it was just a bad date -- which he also expressed to his accuser directly in text messages in the days after their date.

  • James Franco

    James Franco
    Bauer-Griffin/Splash News

    Actor, director, and producer James Franco who is perhaps best known for his quirkiness, has been accused of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior multiple times by various women. In 2018, four women who were students at Franco's acting school -- and one additional woman accused him of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior. (A lawsuit was filed in October 2019.) Franco has responded on various occasions by asserting that he did not believe any allegations to be true, and that he always accepts responsibility for his actions. His legal team maintains that there is no legal basis for the lawsuit against him.

  • Melanie Martinez

    Melanie Martinez
    Bauer-Griffin/Splash News

    Singer and former contestant on The Voice was accused of sexual assault by someone claiming that Martinez had been her "best friend." Martinez's accuser claims that she repeatedly told Martinez "no" during the two incidents during which she says the singer performed sexual acts on her without consent. Martinez says the acts were consensual. She has not been charged with any crimes, and her fans have rallied behind her.

  • Ryan Seacrest

    Ryan Seacrest
    Ouzounova/Splash News

    Known as "the hardest working man in Hollywood," Ryan Seacrest was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018 for an incident involving the television personality's former stylist. Seacrest's accuser said that there was ongoing "unwanted sexual aggression" over a period of years. He managed to get ahead of the media when he told The Hollywood Reporter that he had been wrongly accused of sexual harassment and voiced his support of the #MeToo movement, before the stylist's accusations became known to the general public.

  • Ben Affleck

    Ben Affleck
    ENT/Splash News

    A few years ago, Ben Affleck was accused of groping a woman on camera back in 2003. The actor claims he doesn't remember the incident, and that the accusations against him were specifically that he grabbed a woman's breast during a hug. Affleck says he believes the woman and has publicly apologized for the incident, saying that he wants to be "part of the solution."

  • Jeremy Piven

    Jeremy Piven
    Christopher Peterson/Splash News

    Actor and comedian Jeremy Piven has been accused of sexual misconduct several times, though he vehemently denies all allegations. Piven has stated his belief that he himself was victimized by the #MeToo movement and individuals too closely aligned him with his Ari Gold character on the hit show Entourage. Piven has also been vocal about his lack of "white privilege" as a Jewish actor who grew up poor.

  • Ed Westwick

    Ed Westwick
    Splash News

    British actor Ed Westwick who starred on the hit show Gossip Girl, was accused of rape by two different women as well as sexual assault by a third woman in Los Angeles, but was never charged. The prosecutors in the case said there was not enough evidence to charge him. His first accuser originally came forward in a Facebook post describing the incident which prompted the additional accusers to come forward with their own stories. 

  • Asia Argento

    Asia Argento
    Anna Maria Tinghino/Splash News

    Activist, actress, and girlfriend of the late and beloved television personality and author Anthony Bourdain, Asia Argento, was publicly accused of sexual assault by a fellow actor. Argento's accuser said she assaulted him in a California hotel room when he was just 17 years old. The accuser sued Argento after she became a vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement and revealed that she had been assaulted by producer Harvey Weinstein. (She eventually settled with the accuser for $380,000.) Argento continues to deny the allegations despite photographic and text evidence that appears to contradict her denial. 

  • Casey Affleck

    Casey Affleck
    Bauer-Griffin/Splash News

    The Affleck brothers have definitely been plagued by their share of scandal. Casey Affleck, too, has been accused of both sexual harassment and verbal abuse by two women who worked as a cinematographer and a producer on his 2010 film I'm Still Here. The women gave various accounts of inappropriate behavior against them and other crew members while they were filming the movie. The issue was settled out of court, and Affleck has since admitted to being "unprofessional" on set, blaming the problem on "confusion" caused by the type of movie he was attempting to create.

  • Martin Lawrence

    Martin Lawrence

    Though it occurred decades ago and seems to have been an isolated incident, iconic comedian Martin Lawrence was sued for sexual harassment by Tisha Campbell, his co-star in the hit sitcom Martin. The lawsuit claimed that Campbell -- who played Gina -- experienced ongoing "sexual harassment, sexual battery, verbal abuse and related threats" by Lawrence. She quit the show, and eventually, Lawrence walked away from it himself. The matter was settled out of court, and the two appear to be on good terms.

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