Trigger warning: this article mentions explicit accounts of sexual assault

The entertainment industry has long been a bastion of fame, glamor, and adoration, where charismatic actors and other public figures bask in the limelight.

However, beneath the allure of stardom, there has been a troubling undercurrent of sexual abuse allegations against famous men, including actors, that has persisted for decades, eventually leading to the #MeToo social movement.

Today, Bored Panda dives into five cases involving different actors and celebrities who have been recently accused of sex crimes.

Russell Brand, the enigmatic British comedian, actor, and author, was the subject of horrific revelations about him erupting over the weekend.

Last Saturday (September 16), a collaborative investigation conducted by British newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times, with British broadcaster Channel 4 Dispatches, was released, revealing a series of sexual assault allegations leveled against the 48-year-old.

Russell Brand was the subject of a damning investigation this weekend, where he was accused of rape

Image credits: russellbrand

As Russell is now currently facing accusations of rape, sexual assault, and emotional abuse spanning a seven-year period during the peak of his celebrity status, Channel 4’s documentary revealed four alleged victims who have come forward, recalling incidents of sexual assault that occurred between 2006 and 2013.

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The actor’s appalling conduct towards women has reportedly been an “open secret”  among TV and radio executives, with bosses at the BBC and Channel 4 accused of turning a blind eye.

Russell reportedly got away with his crimes for many years

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In response to the separate allegations of predatory behavior towards staff and audience members, Channel 4 and the BBC have initiated investigations.

According to The Independent, the Metropolitan Police have said they are aware of “media reporting of a series of allegations of sexual assault” but had not received any reports in relation to this.

Russell Brand is far from being the only male celebrity accused of getting away with sexual misconduct.

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In the past year, four other prominent cases of abuse have been highly publicized, with some becoming high-profile criminal cases.

Starting with Superbad actor Jonah Hill, who found himself facing allegations of emotional abuse and being labeled a “misogynist narcissist” by his former girlfriend, Sarah Brady, back in July.

Sarah, who works as a surfing instructor and is pursuing a law degree, publicly disclosed a series of text message exchanges between them.

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In these messages, the 39-year-old actor expressed his apprehension about their relationship continuing if she persisted in surfing with other men, sharing photos of herself in swimwear, and spending time with friends whom he did not approve of.

In that very month, former child actress Alexa Nikolas came forward with her own accusation against Jonah Hill.

The Zoey 101 actress alleged that when she was just 16 years old and he was 24, Jonah forcibly pushed her against a door and kissed her without her consent during a gathering at Accepted actor Justin Long’s residence.

Jonah Hill was under fire this summer for sending abusive texts to his ex-girlfriend

Image credits: wikipedia

Alexa revealed to Business Insider that both Jonah and Justin had been continuously supplying her with alcohol throughout the evening and emphasized that what Jonah subjected her to “was a crime”.

According to Deadline, a litigation attorney working for Jonah called Alexa’s accusations “a complete fabrication”, stating that the event “never happened” and that the actress was “demonstrably unreliable” and a “serial accuser”.

In February of 2022, a woman filed a $10 million lawsuit against rapper Snoop Dogg, claiming that he had sexually assaulted her in May 2013, shortly after a concert in Anaheim, California.

Snoop Dogg was also accused of sexual assault in the past year

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A representative on behalf of Snoop Dogg refuted these allegations. As reported by the BBC, Snoop Dogg’s spokesperson said the claims were “meritless” and he had not had “any sexual encounter” with her.

Despite the claim being pulled nearly two months after it was filed in the Central District of California, it is also worth noting that Snoop Dogg was previously involved in a sexual assault lawsuit back in 2005.

UFC champion Conor McGregor was accused of sexually assaulting a woman over this summer.

On 11 June, the Miami police were notified of an incident involving the MMA fighter, where it was reported that he had abused a woman the night before in a restroom at an arena, following Game Four of the NBA Finals.

As of this summer, authorities have been reportedly conducting an investigation into the matter. McGregor responded to these allegations by issuing a statement through the Kessler PR Group, a firm specializing in public relations and crisis management, in which he firmly denied the accusation.

MMA fighter, Connor McGregor is currently under investigation after being accused of sexual assault

Image credits: thenotoriousmma

Moreover, lawyer Barbara R Llanes told RTÉ: “Mr McGregor will not be intimidated. The allegations are false.”

But perhaps two actors who have notably stood out in the past year due to their high-profile cases being brought to court are Johnny Depp and Danny Masterson.

Pirates of the Caribbean actor Johnny Depp and Aquaman actress Amber Heard were involved in a highly publicized legal battle and divorce that centered on allegations of domestic abuse which unfolded from 2018 up until this year.

Both actors accused each other of physical and verbal abuse during their tumultuous marriage, with Johnny suing a British newspaper for libel for referring to him as a “wife-beater.” In 2020, a high-profile trial took place in London, where Depp lost the libel case.

Subsequently, in a separate legal battle in the United States, Depp sued Heard for defamation, and the case was settled in 2021.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard underwent a highly publicized legal battle between 2018 and 2023

Image credits: Law&Crime Network

Not only was the actor’s US trial broadcasted, becoming the “most viewed trial” with a daily average of 5.5 million Americans tuning in, but last month, Netflix also released the Depp v Heard docuseries, which followed the drawn-out battle between the former couple.

Image credits: Law&Crime Network

Distressing incidents were unveiled during the trial, such as Amber’s legal team presenting a collection of highly disturbing text messages that the 60-year-old actor had sent to fellow actor Paul Bettany almost a decade ago.

In these gut-churning messages, Depp allegedly expressed a desire to “drown” Heard and then “burn her.”

Amber’s legal team showed disturbing messages sent by Johnny

Image credits: Law&Crime Network

Whilst the most serious allegations brought on by the 37-year-old actress’ team evoked Johnny sexually assaulting Amber with a liquor bottle, the Oscar-winning actor in turn framed his former wife as the aggressor responsible for severing his finger back in 2016.

As Johnny gained sympathy from millions of fans on the internet, as well as admirers who made the journey to physically support the actor outside the court, Amber ended up at the receiving end of online harassment and violent threats.

But public opinion seemed to sway once more in favor of Amber when, two months after the trial’s conclusion, a significant number of Johnny’s supporters crowdfunded $3,300 to make public over 6,600 pages of previously sealed trial documents.

Among the extensive records, which portrayed Depp unfavorably in many aspects, were revelations about his legal team’s efforts to introduce nude photos of the actress as evidence.

Amber accused Johnny of sexually assaulting her with a liquor bottle

Image credits: johnnydepp_mexico

More recently, That ‘70s Show actor Danny Masterson was sentenced to a term of 30 years to life in prison for raping two women.

The 47-year-old actor received his prison sentence following a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month.

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“When you raped me, you stole from me,” one of the accusers, identified as N. Trout, said in a statement that was read aloud in the courtroom, while Danny, who has been in custody since May, sat in his suit without showing any visible reaction. “That’s what rape is, a theft of the spirit.”

Danny Masterson was recently sentenced to a term of 30 years to life in prison for rape

Image credits: Red Carpet Report

In May, the father-of-one was convicted of sexually assaulting two women at his residence in the Hollywood Hills during the early 2000s. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a charge that accused the actor of raping a third woman.

Following the sentencing, letters addressed to the judge from castmates Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and numerous other celebrities were disclosed to the public, in support of Danny and asking for leniency despite the gruesome crimes and convictions.

With the overwhelming criticism growing against the actors, Ashton resigned as chairman of the board of an anti-child sex abuse organization that he co-founded.

An expert told Bored Panda said the issue was “deep-rooted”

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Johanna Stiebert, a professor at the University of Leeds who specializes in gender-based violence amongst other areas, explained that “there continues to be revelations of yet more powerful men (in most cases) who have, and are alleged to have, abused their privilege, power and wealth to sexually abuse and exploit victims with less privilege, power and wealth”, and that it showed “how deep-rooted and tenacious the problem is”.

She told Bored Panda: “There is still a very long way to go.

“It was never going to be a case of a quick fix.

The #MeToo movement is not a “quick fix”, the professor said

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“Such structures are entrenched and connected up with all kinds of networks and safeguards, making them hard to dismantle.

“That’s how rape cultures work – they normalize sexual violence (especially at the level of microaggressions).

“Mix into that the adoration of celebrities – and the reason why men like Johnny Depp are equated with endearing characters they have played becomes clear.

“Moreover, there was a swift and sharp backlash to MeToo, which saw powerful forces hijacking the conversation and making it out to be a hysterical witch-hunt.”

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Accused actors were often backed by their fans, despite the horrific allegations