We all know people can be strange or rude at times, but it's always more shocking when it comes from a celebrity. These people share the times they met a celebrity that left them speechless. And not in a good way.
All posts have been edited for clarity.
"I have met quite a few authors chasing book-signings around (including Stephen King, about six times when he was in the UK). I once went to a J.K. Rowling event in Bath (near Bristol, in England) when she was promoting A Casual Vacancy (her first non-Potter title).
I was with my two sisters (one of whom has severe cerebral palsy, and is wheelchair-bound) and my mum. So, one sister (N) and my mum were in the general stalls of the auditorium, I and my sister (C) were placed with several other disabled people on the left-hand-side near the stage (optimal for the view and the subsequent planned signing).
So, JKR was being interviewed on stage when my sister C started to cough. As she got older, her swallow and gag had become a lot worse (especially when eating, to the point where she’s quite embarrassed to eat in public now), and was getting louder and more frequent, to the point where an usher came up and asked if she wanted some water. She went to get some, but while she was gone, the coughing got louder, and she couldn't stop.
Suddenly, JKR stood up and walked to the edge of the stage, and shouted, 'Is somebody dying over there???'
She looked right at my sister as she said this (she was only about twenty feet away), she could plainly see it was a disabled person in difficulty, but she made no apology (her question seemed more annoyance than a genuine concern for the welfare of another human being) and the whole auditorium was now looking at my sister who was now feeling pretty embarrassed.
As I remember it, I recalled her shouting the question rather than simply just asking it, but maybe I was being over-sensitive, but when it came to the signing, there was no 'Are you ok now, can I do anything for you?'
I handed JKR the book my sister wanted to be signed (Beedle the Bard), and she said, 'Sorry, not signing any Potter books, just 'A Casual Vacancy.'
So my sister, already feeling pretty humiliated in front of a 4,000 person crowd, didn’t even get her book signed. There were people there in that room who were weeping openly, for being in the same room as JKR - all I saw was a woman who was completely devoid of a sense of basic compassion. This was several years ago, but it affected my sister to this day."
"Chelsea Handler. I worked for a bookstore several years ago. Chelsea had written her first book and was in Cleveland to perform stand-up. This was back when she was still kind of new to the scene and was trying to make a name for herself. It’s not like she was super famous yet. Her show wasn’t out yet.
Our store partnered up with her to sell her books at the event. This was in the evening after I had already worked a full day. I went with one of my managers and also invited my husband along to help. I thought it’d be cool to watch Chelsea perform after we finished selling her books.
We got there and set up. I had never seen her in anything so other than reading her book I knew nothing about her. She showed up holding a drink and seemed like she might be a little loosened up already. She was instantly unlikeable. She gave off a very entitled vibe and had an air about her that just screamed 'You’re beneath me.' She was very 'rough' and kind of like a hot mess.
She talked to her handler the whole time. Even after we were introduced she didn’t acknowledge us even though we were right next to her. She drank and talked trashy and dirty the whole time.
We only wanted her to sign a few books, because after she signed them the publisher wouldn’t take them back if we had a bunch leftover. She started signing the books, and when my manager felt she had signed enough, he told her it wasn’t necessary to sign anymore. She got huffy at that and out of spite proceeded to sign a whole bunch more. My manager finally stood up and very firmly told her to stop. She just rolled her eyes and walked off. She didn’t thank us for coming out to help her. She just walked away.
We were so disgusted that we didn’t even stay to watch her perform. We didn’t sell any books of course, and so we had to haul them all back to our cars. We were stuck with a whole bunch of her books that the store had to take a loss on since she signed so many.
It was so disappointing, because I had read her first book and thought it was absolutely hilarious. Needless to say, my husband and I would not watch anything she was in after that evening. I also couldn’t read any of her other books afterward even though I had wanted to before the event.
I don’t think this was a one-off thing for her either. Anytime I read about her (in magazines I subscribed to) or saw her on something (flipping through channels) she always came across as strident, sarcastic, hard, and just plain mean. Knowing what I know now, I don’t understand why she was ever a thing."
"One of the biggest, most disrespectful, losers I met was 'Warren Beatty.'
I was on the movie set of Bugsy and a production assistant approached me and said that someone wanted to meet me and would I follow him. I knew exactly who wanted to meet me, and why. It was the notoriously over-sexed Warren Beatty!
Besides him having a girlfriend at the time (Madonna), no one summons me to come to them!
Everyone, cast, and crew had seen him checking me out. He would constantly walk by me and try to make eye contact to get my attention. But, I just ignored him.
I was impervious to famous people (unless it was someone worthy like Carl Sagan, Pavarotti, Stephen Hawking, etc.). I never had posters of idols like other girls did. Well, I did have a crush on Luke Skywalker. But, it was because he was in Star Wars.
I sent the production assistant off to tell the 'person' that if they wanted to meet me they were welcome to come to me. I felt bad for the production assistant because people like Warren Beatty would not take the response well and probably berate him. A few of the crew members that I was hanging out with at the time started laughing and joking about how Warren Beatty was probably having a fit.
A few minutes later the same production assistant returned. His face was flushed red and he was out of breath. He leaned down and whispered in my ear this time and said it was Warren Beatty who wanted me to join him in his trailer. The poor guy had desperation in his voice, but there was no way I was going.
I apologized to the production assistant and told him to tell Warren Beatty to 'take a hike bozo' and to leave me alone. The guy was mortified at the prospect of having to tell Warren Beatty what I said. I, and several other crew members, also told the production assistant that it was not cool to try to procure girls for movie stars. He slowly walked away without another word to report back to his arrogant boss.
About 15 minutes later I was approached by an associate producer, who I knew, and he told me he was so sorry, but I had to leave the movie set. I would be paid double for my full contract. In confidence, they said that Warren Beatty was so furious that I rejected him that he actually refused to continue filming if I was there.
Once again, everyone knew what happened, and they were cracking up about it…Plus those who did not know me that well were impressed by my convictions. Warren Beatty is such a wanker!"
"Back in the late 1980s, I managed a chain of Video and Electronic stores in Manhattan. It started as a part-time college job at one of the stores and I worked up from there.
The store I started at was on the Upper East Side (86th street and Third Avenue). So, we had a lot of wealthy knuckleheads who were prone to feel entitled to special treatment and prone to meltdowns if they didn’t get it, celebrity or not.
One night John F Kennedy Jr. came in near closing with his blonde of the moment. At the time, he had just come back to New York City and was staying with his mom nearby. He said she only had a Betamax, a format that we only had a limited selection of. After picking multiple movies that we only had on VHS, I left them behind the counter to pick from the movies on the shelf. They chose Broadway Danny Rose and then asked if we had adult films. I showed him the limited selection and he told her to pick. She closed her eyes and spun around and pointed. They ended up with Bodacious Ta-Tas, a spoof of Tom Hanks’ Bachelor Party
I set him and her up with accounts, Name, address, Phone, Credit Card. He rented Broadway Danny Rose and she rented the adult film. They signed the rental agreements and left. A week later, he has not returned the films. I called the number, turns out to be the doorman. I explained that Mr. Kennedy had rented some movies and not returned them and I needed him to return them and pay the rental fee or I would have to charge him the rental and retail price for the films. Four calls and one visit to the building after work and each time the doorman assured me he had passed on the message. On a second visit to the building, I happened to get there as he was coming in. So I approached him and reminded him of the movies and volunteered to go up with him and wait outside the apartment while he got the films. He went NUCLEAR, yelling, screaming, cursing, and told me his time was too valuable to dig for the films and that I would get the films when he had had time to dig them out or I could just charge them for the films.
So. Time to be a knucklehead again. The next day I charged him for both rentals and 75 bucks per film purchase cost and then called Page Six, the gossip section of the New York Post. and told them the story. They printed 'Fickle Finger of Fate chooses JFK Jr.s Entertainment for the Evening' and gave the name and synopsis for the movie. He called them and said he never rented the movie and could prove it (Of course he didn’t, the young lady did-lol). They printed a retraction the next day.
He came back in on a Sunday (my day off). I got a call from my Assistant Manager telling me that he came in, threw both movies at her, and demanded to see the manager. I was told he stomped up and down the aisles, yelling, screaming, cursing, and throwing records and tapes going on about how this could hurt his political career and how someday when he was President he was going to destroy the lives of everyone who worked there."
"The original prick, Steve Martin! To this day, I hope he was just having a bad night because I really adore him as an actor and musician!
I was at The Magic Castle, an exclusive, private club in the Hollywood Hills. Many celebrities can be seen here and I’ve always seen nothing but respect from patrons when it comes to ‘star gazing ‘. It doesn’t happen in this club! They are just people like you and me, right?
Well, wrong when Steve Martin was there the same night I was.
Usually, a magic show is performed three times a night in various rooms at The Castle. I had heard wonderful things about a magician who used drama, comedy, and pickpocketing as part of his act. I was very excited to see this show! As a frequent visitor to The Castle, I got to know many of the employees there. The owner deserved a lot of credit for the amazing people he had working there.
One of my favorite employees came up to me and my date and immediately put his job on hold and led us to the room where the show was to be held. This resulted in us surpassing the long line and getting the prized front row center seats. I noticed that Steve Martin was in line for the show as we got the VIP treatment and allowed in.
Steve Martin ended up sitting in the row behind us and a few seats over. I don’t remember the exact comment but it had to do with an employee, allowing ‘trash' in. Mind you, my date and significant other was a well-known retired LAPD and Los Angeles Councilman at the time. I was, well, a nobody unless you were in the legal business. I thought he might have not been talking about my date. I glanced behind and it was very clear he was referring to us.
I’m just not the type that sits quietly when insults are being thrown but I sincerely wanted to be respectful in this magnificent club that I loved dearly. So, I kept quiet until the next insult came. It was directed at my boyfriend and his status as Councilman. I vaguely remember saying something loud enough that if ‘someone' had shown an appropriate amount of cleavage, he too, could be sitting in the front row.
No more insults, comments, or huffing and puffing. We absolutely loved the show! Again, in my heart, I want to believe that Steve Martin just had a bad day."
"I was waiting tables in San Diego. This was the very early 90’s and one of the main cast members on a popular HBO tv show came into the high-end Bar & Grill I was working at. This was before the show.
Long story short, she (and no it was not Kim Cattrall nor was it Sarah Jessica Parker) wanted something with ice cream. The grill did not have or serve ice cream-related items. No shakes, no pie with a scoop. No ice cream. I was calm, nice, and professional and although I did recognize her, I did not 'fan out' but treated them (she was with a gentleman) like any other customer.
I would give her this, she was very pretty in person, however, she was adamant and upset about wanting something with ice cream. After the third or fourth request (I believe she asked for three things in a row, all mentioning ice cream after I’d already said the grill doesn’t serve ice cream) I started to wonder if she was under the influence or if this was some sort of acting exercise.
Long story short, she asked to speak to a manager. I went and got him. He went over to the table then came back to me and I was then removed from the table and sent home.
I did ask the next time I worked, 'What happened?' I was told they had someone run to the Ralphs and they bought ice cream to serve her.
In retrospect, she had not been good after all, therefore ended up being the essential strange experience I’ve had waiting on a high profile and I’d waited on some back then. I’ve handled rude customers, but she actually was number one for worst and rudest. Possibly she was having an off day but I’ve never forgotten that exchange and I did watch and like the show.
Just a life lesson, don’t confuse a character with the person. They are people too. Good, bad, and some are relentless about wanting something... anything with ice cream."
"Bruce Willis. I was a waitress at a popular restaurant in Waikiki. Jimmy Buffet came and played a free solo concert there (he was amazing and so sweet!). Bruce Willis came in to watch the concert with his entourage. There were maybe four bodyguards with him. All of the other waitresses were so excited to meet him, including me.
When I built up the courage, I walked over to him and said, 'I just wanted to let you know that I am one of your biggest fans!'
Then Bruce Willis said, 'Oh yeah, well what are you going to do about it?' with a look on his face like he had just smelled dog poop.
'Obviously nothing,' I retorted and walked away.
Then he said to his entourage, 'You're fired, you’re fired,' pointing to his bodyguards.
He even tipped one of the bartenders a quarter! Absolute loser."
"I was 19 and Darryl Strawberry was a superstar baseball player on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the early 90's he was considered a potential Hall of Fame player. He was part of the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets and had won the National League home run title in 1988.
In early 1993 my friend and I went to a Dodgers game. After the game, we were trying to leave the stadium and took a set of stairs that we had thought would take us to the parking lots outside the stadium. Instead, we ended up in a waiting area outside the players' locker room!
I used to carry an envelope with baseball cards of my favorite players just in case I ever met any, so I could get autographs.
There he was standing in this waiting area, talking to another star player, Eric Davis! I pointed them out to my friend, and I was really excited because the only time I'd ever seen Darryl before was on tv or a long way off down on a baseball field.
So I noticed he was signing autographs for younger kids, probably ages seven to twelve. I approached and took out my card of him and politely asked him to sign my card.
He wouldn't look at me, instead, he was staring off somewhere in the room, then he said to me,
'I don't sign autographs for teenagers.'
I was instantly disappointed because I knew I'd likely never meet him again. I asked him why he wouldn't sign for me?
'You're just going to go and sell it.'
I tried to tell him that would never happen, but he turned his back to me. Conversation over. I knew that he was constantly asked for autographs every waking moment since he was 20 and he didn't owe me anything, so I left him alone, but I was extremely disappointed. This guy had been one of my childhood heroes.
A month later his career was derailed when he publicly admitted he was a coke addict and was going into rehab. He attempted a comeback a few years later, but he wasn't the same.
His problems got pretty bad after that, but I'll never forget trying to get his autograph."
"I saw Liv Tyler walk into an art exhibit at the MOMA that was one person at a time. The wait was literally four to five hours to get in and people would show up hours before the gallery opened to see it. When Liv Tyler walked in she cut in front of everyone and told the guard that she was next. He told her she was not, that accommodations could be made ahead of time for busy people or VIPs, but that she couldn't just cut in front of everyone with no warning.
She threw a fit and argued with him about who she was, he just shrugged and she stormed off."
Jason Momoa is my favorite prick and I’m saying it in a friendly way. He is the kind of guy who will be a prick, sometimes completely on purpose but he is still so down to Earth and just generally nice, filled with good intentions, you just can’t hate him.
But to get into the story, this happened in the summer of 2019. I was attending an event where Jason was also invited and was there to discuss Aquaman.
He had just arrived, looked like his body just left the plane but his mind not so much. We could agree he was jet-lagged, but still had a pint of Guinness. To add to the cherry on the cake if I may say, he had barely arrived and now had to deal with a huge queue of fans, asking for a series of pictures, autographs, and so on. It was insane. I thought to myself, 'Give this a rest.'
After a while, I finally got to speak with him and it was about a girl we both loved and missed, but for different reasons and in different ways. And that was the moment I realized he was a prick.
I then saw a special gleam of trickery in his eyes. Eyes that you just knew he was up to trouble.
And he started to just provoke me playfully.
And he started talking about the girl I mentioned earlier and said, 'Oh with what she told me, I expected you to look more handsome.'
And I said, 'Oh really? And from what she told me I pictured you taller.' Even though this man was a Hawaiian mountain who decided to take his feet out from the Earth to walk among men and built like a Dothraki tank.
And we kept on like that for a while. He was still playful but gosh he knew where to hit me with his words.
He started to tell me, 'Oh guess what?! One time when you were busy and you couldn’t be with her, I was actually with her. While you were somewhere else, we had a party!'
For reasons, I can't explain how daunting this felt. I wish I was there that day too instead of blowing her off. I hated myself for not being able to be there and he knew it.
The man was a real punchline killer, which made him a big freakin loser but I love him for that.
I’ll finish with this: Why is he such a real prick? Because he gets right in your mind. He loves to find out what makes you go bananas and then he uses it as his own pleasure."