When Kristen Stewart issued an apology for cheating on boyfriend Robert Pattinson with her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director, Rupert Sanders, not everyone found the candor of her mea culpa refreshing.
"The only thing more stupid than being famous and cheating in public is admitting it and issuing a public apology," one publicist told The Huffington Post, noting that "Everyone in Hollywood is asking why she confessed to this so fast."
"This was career suicide," one weekly magazine editor told HuffPost. "If Kristen thought the statement would get ahead of the story and suck the oxygen out of the fire, she is wrong. She just poured gas on the fire."
How the events of the past week will affect Stewart's career remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure. She's not the first --and won't be the last -- to make a controversial PR move. Plenty of stars have stumbled when it comes to downplaying a scandal, coping with bad press or simply making a smooth apology.
Stewart surprised both Twihards and industry insiders when she released a public apology after she was caught cheating on boyfriend Robert Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders. "The only thing more stupid than being famous and cheating in public is admitting it and issuing a public apology," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/kristen-stewart-apology_n_1720233.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular" target="_hplink">one publicist told HuffPost.</a>
When James disappointed his hometown team by leaving Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat in 2010, he exacerbated cries of disloyalty by making a spectacle out of the move. His <a href="http://newsroom.mtv.com/2010/07/09/lebron-james-the-decision/" target="_hplink">overwrought hourlong ESPN special</a>, titled "The Decision," was no slam dunk, from a PR perspective.
Shortly after Demi Moore announced she was filing for divorce from Ashton Kutcher, following allegations that he cheated on her with 23-year-old Sara Leal, <a href="http://popwatch.ew.com/2011/11/18/ashton-kutcher-mens-health-cover/" target="_hplink">an ill-timed cover story in<em> Men's Health</em> hit newsstands</a>. In the interview, Kutcher offers readers bits of relationship advice such as "Don't wait for a problem to work on things. The goal is not to get into a relationship; the goal is to be in a relationship," and tells the mag, "I would just like a woman someday, somewhere, at some point in my life to say to me, 'You're a great listener.' Haven't heard it yet, and that's a superior compliment to get from a woman. But I'm going to work on it."
Having pled guilty to felony assault against then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, Chris Brown had already lost the sympathy of many. But storming off the set of "Good Morning America" and<a href="http://music-mix.ew.com/2011/03/22/chris-brown-good-morning-america-freakout/" target="_hplink"> smashing a window</a> two years later certainly didn't help his image. And Brown caused further damage when he took to Twitter <a href="http://www.radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/02/chris-brown-twitter-controversy-mom-livid" target="_hplink">to lash out</a> at those who criticized the Grammys for honoring him earlier this year.
We're not sure which part of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/10/john-mayer-jessica-simpso_n_456566.html" target="_hplink">Mayer's infamous 2010 <em>Playboy</em> interview</a> made us cringe most. Some contenders: "My biggest dream is to write pornography." "My dick is sort of like a white supremacist. I've got a Benetton heart and a fuckin' David Duke c*ck. I'm going to start dating separately from my dick." Or perhaps it was this gem, about ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson: " Yeah, that girl is like crack cocaine to me... Sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm..." In any case, the resulting backlash forced the singer-songwriter to <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/john-mayer-controversial-2010-interviews-were-violent-crash-into-being-an-adult-20120515" target="_hplink">take a break from the spotlight</a>.
Immediately after his infamous 2009 outburst at MTV's Video Music Awards, in which he interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech to proclaim that Swift's fellow nominee Beyonce "had one of the best videos of all time!" Kanye West issued an apology on his blog (in all-caps, naturally). However, in the statement, West reiterated that Beyonce's video was "the best of the decade," and defended his faux pas, claiming, "Everybody wanna boooo me but I'm a fan of real pop cuture!!!"
As if Gibson's anti-Semitic tirade when he arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2006 wasn't bad enough, the actor was caught delivering <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/01/mel-gibsons-new-racist-ra_n_632602.html" target="_hplink">another racially charged rant</a> in 2010. This time, the subject of his rage was ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.
In May 2005, Cruise voiced <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1065137,00.html" target="_hplink">some harsh criticism</a> for Brooke Shields on "Access Hollywood," dismissing her career and calling her "irresponsible" for taking medication to cope with postpartum depression. The staunch Scientologist then furthered his controversial claims during an appearance <a href="http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/8344309/ns/today-entertainment/t/tense-moment-cruise-calls-lauer-glib/" target="_hplink">on the "Today" show</a> several weeks later, calling Matt Lauer "glib" for noting that he knew people who were helped by antidepressants and making bizarro declarations, such as, "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do."