Celebrity Mooning

2006 was jam-packed with celebrity gossip — a full 12 months of it, in fact. Let’s look back at some of the highlights.

Celebrity divorces were huge. It occurred to Kate Hudson that she is attractive and her husband, Chris Robinson, is not. Golden couple Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe split, and the world learned of Phillippe’s infidelities with an Australian co-star. Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro called it quits, as did Shanna Moakler and Travis Barker, proving conclusively that the quickest way to end a marriage is to do a reality show for MTV. Whitney Houston sobered up and noticed that the only thing more wack than crack is Bobby Brown. Denise Richards filed for divorce from Charlie Sheen and jumped into the pants of next-door neighbor Richie Sambora, who earlier in the year divorced Richards’s (ex-)best friend, Heather Locklear. Britney Spears sang us out by filing for divorce from America’s Sweetheart, “rapper” Kevin Federline. In just three weeks she blew through all resultant goodwill, getting plastered each night and treating the paparazzi, on three separate occasions, to shots of her bare lady flower. The lips that launched a thousand server replacements created a week-long mad dash on the Internet as rubber-neckers searched for the pics.

Celebrity weddings were comparatively scarce. Pam Anderson married Kid Rock, then filed to divorce him four months later. Avril Lavigne tied the knot with singer Deryck Whibley. Two weeks after the sudden death of her 20-year-old son, Anna Nicole Smith “married” longtime lawyer Howard K. Stern in the Bahamas (it was later revealed that the wedding was not legally binding). Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn denied rumors of an engagement and eventually admitted to their real-life Break-Up. Nicole Kidman wed country crooner Keith Urban, who promptly checked into rehab for alcoholism. It looked to be a dismal year for nuptials, but Tom Cruise came to the rescue in late November, convincing Katie Holmes to discard the last remnants of her soul at a Scientology wedding/media field day outside Rome.

If there’s anything celebs do better than divorcing each other, it’s making babies and awarding them strange names. In 2006, Brooke Shields birthed the adorable Grier, Gwyneth Paltrow gave little Apple a brother named Moses; Heidi Klum and Seal sent Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel down life’s runway; Britney Spears did it again with Jayden James; and Tobey Maguire’s fiancee created a Spider-Girl named Ruby Sweetheart. Gwen Stefani welcomed Kingston; and Melissa Etheridge’s wife gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, named Miller and Johnnie. I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which is which. Anna Nicole Smith had Dannielynne Hope just days before the death of her son. Madonna brought home David Banda from Malawi, stirring up controversy among local human-rights activists who claim she violated a mandatory probation period. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s child, Suri, allegedly arrived in April, but she wasn’t seen in public until September, leaving tabloids and bloggers to question her existence. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s biological spawn, Shiloh, graced the world in late May.

The celebrity DUI club had a banner year, at long last adding Paris Hilton to its elite guest list. George Michael and Tracey Morgan made repeat appearances, and former child star Haley Joel Osment wasn’t seeing much of anything, dead people or otherwise, when he flipped his car and scored a DUI arrest. Osment was crucified by the press — mostly because the car was a ‘95 Saturn. Speaking of crucifixions, Mel Gibson won the DUI of the Year award when his July traffic stop prompted an anti-Semitic tirade and an in-earnest use of the term “sugar tits.” Nicole Richie’s Christmas gift to gossipers was a Vicodin-inspired journey east — on the westbound 134. This is Nicole’s second California DUI, so look for her to be living The Simple Life in jail sometime in 2007.

2006 welcomed the releases of a Paris Hilton album and a scatological sex tape starring Screech from Saved by the Bell; scholars are still debating which was more nauseating. Hilary Duff had a stalker arrested; Seinfeld’s Michael Richards was videotaped on a racist rant during a stand-up comedy routine;; Wesley Snipes was indicted on tax fraud, Britney Spears took heat for driving with her baby on her lap; and Lance Bass and Neil Patrick Harris handed People magazine two more “Yes, I’m Gay” headlines.

Stay tuned for all the fun in 2007, as the dramatic lives of celebrities continue to make us feel better about our own.

Sasha Pasulka is the editor of The Evil Beet (Evilbeetgossip.com), bringing you your daily dose of celebrity gossip with an evil twist.