15 Year Anniversary of These Scandals

It’s Time to Revisit the Celebrity Scandals of 1998

Fifteen years ago, Lindsay Lohan was playing twins, Kim Kardashian was still a high-school senior, and Chris Brown hadn’t yet gone from being unfamous to infamous. So which celebrities were keeping the tabloids in business in 1998? Continuing our obsessive crawl through fame in that pivotal year, Vulture flipped through the headlines of gossip rags to find out. While some of the scandals you’ll see as you click through the slideshow will elicit an insensitive chuckle (e.g., Courtney Love kicks a reporter in the groin), others should strike you as being singularly historic (Bill and Monica) or incredibly sad (the murder of Phil Hartman). America, here were your famous people in crisis mode during the year that also gave us Leo mania, Dawson’s Creek, and “... Baby One More Time.”

Naomi Campbell’s Personal Assistant Files Assault Charges



Naomi Campbell’s aide Georgina Galanis filed a $2 million lawsuit claiming Campbell grabbed her by the throat and hit her over the head with a cell phone. (Remember how big cell phones were back in 1998? Ouch!) The notoriously ferocious supermodel would later plead guilty and pay Galanis an undisclosed sum in damages. She'd also go on to allegedly assault many other people.

Gary Coleman Assaults a Woman at a Mall



The now-deceased diminutive Diff’rent Strokes star was charged with assault after reportedly punching a woman multiple times in the face while shopping for a bullet-proof vest he needed for his part-time job as a mall security guard. The woman had allegedly mocked Coleman’s dwindling career prospects after he refused to give her an autograph. (Earlier in the year, he’d donned a blonde wig for a promotional stunt at a Victoria’s Secret show.)

George Michael Arrested for Lewd Conduct in a Public Restroom in Beverly Hills



If you're going to masturbate and show your butt to someone in a park bathroom, you'd better be damn sure he's not an undercover cop. Shortly after not following that rule — and getting arrested for it — George Michael came out as gay in an interview with CNN. When asked by Jim Moret why he decided to disclose this aspect of his private life, Michael said, "I feel because I've already kind of done that — haven't I? I've done that in a way I didn't really intend to."

Phil Hartman Murdered by His Wife



On May 28, Brynn Hartman shot her husband dead in their California home while he was sleeping. After driving to a friend’s house and confessing to the crime, Brynn returned home and shot herself. The tragedy came as a huge shock to the many who knew and loved Hartman. (Steve Guttenberg told CNN they were "a very happy couple, and they always had the appearance of being well-balanced.") His NewsRadio character was written out as having died of a heart attack and his Simpsons characters were retired. A special episode of SNL commemorating Hartman’s work on the show aired in June.

The Monica Lewinsky Scandal Breaks



We can’t talk 1998 scandals without starting with America’s biggest scandal of the year (decade?). If there was a silver lining to the U.S. president's affair with a White House intern, it was likely the sketch on SNL in which Molly Shannon and guest star John Goodman played Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, respectively, and Darrell Hammond parodying the politician who “did not have sexual relations with that woman.” Otherwise, it was a pretty dark time for Americans. And blue dresses

15 more at the Source

How old were you in 1998 ONTD and do you remember these scandals?