Celebs in 2014: Stars were out of this world ... and brought down to earth

The rich and famous hit the headlines as per usual in 2014 with their crazy and funny antics, but, as Kelly O'Brien finds out, they’re only human too.


Justin Bieber’s mission to annoy everyone on earth got off to a quick start when the troubled teenage pop star was arrested in Miami Beach. He appeared in court on charges of drag racing, driving under the influence and resisting arrest.

The scandal didn’t go down well with the American public. A petition calling for the 19-year-old Canadian to be deported received more than 150,000 names — surpassing the threshold of 10,000 needed for presidential consideration. Poor Biebs.

Another Canadian, Colonel Chris Hadfield, also made headlines earlier this year when he became an ambassador for Tourism Ireland.

The astronaut put Ireland on the map with the first ever as Gaeilge tweet from space in 2013 decided he liked Ireland so much he would help promote it as a tourist destination.

The former International Space Station commander advised Irish youngsters at the Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, played hurling with ministers and even had a bit of a heart-to-heart with Tubs on The Late Late Show.

After the incredible success of The Wolf of Wall Street, nine-time nominee Leonardo DiCaprio bagged his second Golden Globe award.

American Hustle was one of the biggest winners of the night, however, taking three awards — two for stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence and one for Best Film, Comedy.

The hard-hitting historical drama 12 Years a Slave won the most coveted prize — Best Film, Drama.


After RTÉ decided to pay out €85,000 to people ostensibly libelled when called homophobic on The Saturday Night Show, Rory O’Neill, a.k.a. drag artist Panti Bliss, right, took to the stage of the Abbey Theatre to deliver a moving speech. Panti’s noble call went viral almost as soon as it was uploaded to Youtube.

Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an accidental drug overdose at the start of February. The 46-year-old was found with a needle in his arm and tests found heroin in samples from at least 50 packets in his Manhattan apartment.

Hoffman’s career was star-studded. He was nominated for four Academy awards. He was candid about his struggles with addiction.

Blockbuster Gravity, which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, won six awards at the Baftas.

Slavery drama 12 Years a Slave won Best Film and star Chiwetel Ejiofor took home the top accolade for Best Actor.


Wrapping up awards season in tinsel town, the 2014 Oscars were the biggest they’ve ever been.

Host Ellen DeGeneres brought the selfie to Hollywood, taking a celeb-laden photo that pretty much broke Twitter.

Featuring a star line-up better than any of the movies up for gongs — Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Kevin Spacey to name a few — the tweet went viral straight away and was shared more than 2m times.

It fast became the most retweeted tweet in history, smashing a record set by Barrack Obama when he tweeted a pic of a hug he shared with First Lady Michelle Obama after his re-election in 2012.

As far as the awards are concerned, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave were the big winners, with Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto winning acting awards for Dallas Buyers’ Club.

And who could forget the month the 50 Shades of Grey trailer was finally released? The hotly anticipated clip was viewed by almost 40m people.

The big-screen adaptation of EL James’s hit erotic novel stars Irish hunk Jamie Dornan as sexy billionaire Christian Grey and Melanie Griffith’s daughter Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele — the student he seduces and introduces to the world of sadomasochism.


Peaches Geldof was found dead at her home. The 25-year-old was mother to two children. The daughter of Bob Geldof, it was the second tragedy for the family as her mother, Paula Yates, died of a heroin overdose in 2000 when Peaches was 11. It later emerged that Peaches also died of a heroin overdose.

Brooklyn Beckham’s modelling debut took place this month, and it was nothing short of epic. The 15-year-old appeared on the cover of Man About Town wearing Ralph Lauren and Saint Lauren and pouting like it was nobody’s business.

The oldest child of David and Victoria Beckham, Brooklyn is no stranger to the limelight and shows he certainly picked up more than a hefty inheritance from his famous parents.

Hollywood stars shone brightly at this year’s Irish Film and Television Awards, with A-listers such as Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender presenting and receiving awards.

A noisy crowd cast a shadow on the ceremony, however, with co-hosts Laura Whitmore and Simon Delaney visibly put off.

Jeremy Irons had to shout for attention when presenting Jamie Dornan with his Rising Star award, while Colm Meaney sarcastically told the crowd they were very settled.


Nobody could quite believe their eyes when video footage emerged showing what looked to be Solange Knowles viciously attacking rapper Jay Z in a lift as sister Beyonce looked on passively.

Entertainment website TMZ broke the news and video of Solange who was wildly kicking and swinging at her brother-in-law.

The trio were leaving the annual Met Ball in New York and later said “families have problems and we’re no different” but wouldn’t reveal anything more about the spat.

Kimye fever took hold this summer, as Kim Kardashian and hubbie Kanye West jetted into Ireland for their honeymoon.

The world’s most talked about newlyweds married on the turrets of an historic Italian fort in Florence and flew to Cork on a private jet shortly after.

A waiting limo whisked them off to the plush Castlemartyr estate in east Cork After a few days, the pair continued up to Castle Oliver in Limerick before leaving Ireland bound for Prague.

In a surprising move, golfer Rory McIlroy called off his marriage to fiancée Caroline Wozniacki.

The former world number one broke off his five-month engagement just days after wedding invitations were sent out.

The pair enjoyed a short-lived betrothal after posting pictures of their matching rings on Twitter on New Year’s Eve.

Since the split, Caroline was heard joking that at least now she can go out in high heels again — ouch.

Loyal One Direction fans rushed to the boyband’s defence at the end of May after footage was published apparently showing two of them smoking cannabis.

The video looks to have been filmed by Louis Tomlinson during their tour in Peru and seems to show him sharing a joint with bandmate Zayn Malik.

Thousands of fans took to Twitter over the incidents, the vast majority sticking up for the bad boys. One hardcore 1D-er said: “Zayn and Louis are both in their 20s. They are old enough to take care of themselves.”


Harrison Ford broke his ankle on the set of the latest Star Wars film, halting production for a time.

Disney, which owns Lucasfilm, the company behind Star Wars, confirmed that the Hollywood A-lister was airlifted to hospital in Oxford after the incident.

Episode VII, the latest installment in the long running franchise, was filmed at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. The movie is set for release in December 2015.

The World Cup was the biggest event of June, but not everyone was happy.

Host country Brazil hit out against the official song of the tournament, ‘We Are One (Ole Ola)’.

Though Brazilian Claudia Leitte is featured, many couldn’t understand why Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and Bronx-born Puerto Rican singer Jennifer Lopez were chosen for the song.

There were also complaints that the song is mostly in English and Spanish, leaving only seconds at the end for Leitte to sing in her native Portuguese.


Garth Brooks was pretty much all anyone talked about this summer. Originally set for five gigs in Croke Park, two were refused a license by Dublin City Council. Understandably upset, Brooks then issued an ultimatum — five shows or none at all.

But Dublin City Council refused to reverse its decision, so it was none at all, leaving 400,000 people out in the cold.

Star Wars came to Skellig this year, as a Hollywood crew that included actor Mark Hamill and director JJ Abrams landed on the remote island off Kerry.

With three days of filming, fans were hopeful that the island could be a major feature in the movie, although not one scene from Skellig appeared in the official trailer, prompting fears the island may have been left on the cutting room floor.


The world was shocked to learn of Robin Williams’s death by suicide. It was no secret that the comedian and actor had suffered for years from periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression, but after his death his wife Susan Schneider revealed the Oscar winner had been in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease and was sober when he made the decision to end his own life.

He was best known for his roles in Mrs Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, and Dead Poets Society.

Miley Cyrus got a homeless man, Jesse Helt, to collect her MTV Award for best video on her behalf.

It later came to light the 22-year-old aspiring model had a warrant out for his arrest in Oregon. He has been arrested on charges of criminal mischief, criminal trespass, and burglary in 2010.

It was a long time coming, but Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally got married, nine years after they met on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith.

The couple got hitched at a secret wedding in the chapel of their French estate Château Miraval.

It was the second marriage for Pitt, who had previously tied the knot with Jennifer Aniston, while Jolie has previously been married to both Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton. This time around, her dress was designed by Luigi Massi of Atelier Versace, and her veil was covered in artwork by her and Brad’s children — Maddox, 13, Pax, 10, Zahara, 9, Shiloh, 8, and six-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.


More celebrity marriages were on the cards this year as George Clooney broke hearts all over the globe with his wedding to human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin.

The couple were hitched in a private ceremony at the luxury Aman Canal Grande Hotel in Venice.

The bride wore a custom-made, French lace Oscar de la Renta dress with off-the-shoulder sleeves while Clooney dressed in a black Giorgio Armani tuxedo.

In the biggest celebrity hacking scandal ever, the online accounts of more than 100 celebrities were compromised in an event that became known as The Fappening.

Victims included Rihanna, Cara Delevigne, Kelly Brook, and Kim Kardashian, though actress Jennifer Lawrence was the hardest hit — nude photos of her were leaked on forum site 4chan and viewed by millions of people worldwide.

Days later, Harry Potter star Emma Watson was the subject of another cyber threat. After the first set of hacked images appeared online, Watson spoke out, tweeting: “Even worse than seeing women’s privacy violated on social media is reading the accompanying comments that show such a lack of empathy.”

She then delivered a UN speech appealing for men to speak out for equality. In response, a web page was created called Emma You Are Next. The threat turned out to be a fake.


U2 lead singer Bono revealed he has suffered from glaucoma for the last 20 years, prompting his continual use of dark sunglasses. Many assumed the glasses, which he wears indoors as well as outdoors, were purely for show, but Bono used a guest spot on The Graham Norton Show to explain they are actually to help with his vision.

The condition is a build-up of pressure in the eyeball which can damage the optic nerve and lead to blindness if not treated.

Mullingar, Co Westmeath, man and One Direction boyband member Niall Horan hit the 20m mark on Twitter to become the 25th most followed person in the world, ahead of Beyonce and Eminem.

Since he shot to fame four years ago after competing on The X-Factor, Horan has posted almost 10,000 tweets to his fans and is way ahead of other Irish stars on Twitter. Rory McIlroy is the nearest with a mere 2.2m followers, while fellow boyband The Script has just over 2m.

Early leaks of Roy Keane’s book in October did nothing but whet the appetite for the book, as the tome began to fly off shelves in the run up to Christmas.

Details from Keane’s autobiography The Second Half were published by national newspapers before the book was officially released, after a Tesco store in Manchester started to sell the book three days early.

The book revealed that a bust-up with Alex Ferguson and Carlos Queiroz led to his departure from Man Utd. There is also criticism for Eamon Dunphy, who ghost-wrote Keane, his first autobiography, in 2002.


More than 22,000 attendees and 614 speakers made this year’s Web Summit one of the most talked about Irish events this year. Not to mention Eva Longoria, the most talked about speaker who featured in more than 3,000 tweets during the event.

The Desperate Housewives actress took to Twitter before and during her Irish trip to ask the natives what she should do with her time. Suggestions included eating Taytos, drinking Jameson, and visiting the Book of Kells.

Poor Bono. First he reveals his struggle with glaucoma, then the door falls off his private jet. To top it all off, he goes and breaks himself in New York City. Taking the iTunes debacle into account earlier this year, and Bono would be within his rights to announce an annus horribilis.

Bono and four friends were on route to Germany when the plane’s tailgate became detached half way through the flight, dumping the luggage somewhere between Dublin and Berlin. It was only discovered upon arrival.

A few days later, Bono was involved in a bicycle accident in New York’s Central Park. He broke bones in his arm and face and had to undergo reconstructive surgery.

More high-flying antics as Cranberries lead singer Dolores O’Riordan was arrested following an alleged air rage incident.

The singer was on an Aer Lingus flight from New York to Shannon when she was involved in a disturbance and was said to have stomped on the foot of an air hostess. The pilot radioed ahead and, upon arrival, O’Riordan was taken to Shannon Garda Station.

Her mother Eileen spoke about how “vulnerable” her daughter was after breaking up with her husband in September.


The new James Bond film will be called Spectre, and will feature Daniel Craig in his fourth performance as the special agent. Christoph Waltz has been announced as the film’s villain.

But word has it Craig is teaming up with director Sam Mendes to demand the flick be their last foray into the world of MI6.

The Sony hacks, allegedly perpetrated by North Korea, released emails from the studio revealing they may be happy to let Craig go, and replace him with Idris Elba, who would be the first black Bond in history.

After winning the hearts of the nation on this year’s Late Late Toy Show, Ed Sheeran finished off 2014 in style, by becoming the most-played artist on global music streaming site Spotify.

The singer/songwriter was played more than 860m times within the last 12 months.

As the year came to a close, it was revealed that Ryan Tubridy and academic and TV presenter Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin called time on their five-year relationship.