From the real-life Twilight Saga love triangle to not one but two racy royal photo scandals, we look back at some of the juciest gossip from 2012.
Kristen Stewart – the "Trampire"
In pretty much one of the most jaw-dropping celebrity stories of the year, Kristen Stewart was photographed pretty much wrapped around her (married with two kids) Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. This, of course, despite her long-standing romance with her Twilight Saga co-star Robert Pattinson. Once the photographs were splashed across the globe, Stewart released a statement that described her relationship with Sanders as a "momentary indiscretion", apologised for hurting Pattinson and publicly declared her love for him. Pattinson packed up and left his house – which he shared with Stewart – and went off the radar. But no matter: Stewart and Pattinson mended their relationship just in time for a mammoth press tour of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part Two.
Prince Harry – The Royal Nude, Part One
Everybody's favourite party-loving royal made headlines on a wild boys' trip to Las Vegas earlier this year. He was spotted at a number of nightclubs and hotspots – but it was photographs of him naked in a hotel suite that set the tabloids on fire. Prince Harry was immortalised online forever during a game of "strip billiards" in a series of photographs that showed him bear-hugging an equally naked woman, and clutching his crown jewels while protecting a woman's modesty. St James' Palace confirmed the pics were of Harry and he quickly cut his holiday short. We're guessing Granny wasn't pleased.
Catherine's breasts – The Royal Nude, Part Two
Two racy royal photo scandals in one year? The second belongs to Prince William's lovely wife Catherine – formerly Kate Middleton – who was photographed sun-tanning topless while on holiday with William in France. The photographs – which were taken by a telescopic lens, reportedly a great distance away from the royals' chateau – were published by the French edition of Closer, and the royals went in to overdrive to secure an injunction against others who would seek to publish the photographs.
The royal hoax tragedy
While the newly-pregnant Catherine was in hospital being treated for her extreme morning sickness, two Australian radio DJs managed to fake their way into obtaining information from a nurse treating the duchess - by pretending they were the Queen and Prince Charles. Their idea of a joke quickly turned to tragedy when Jacintha Saldanha - the nurse that transferred the call initially - was found hanged in her rooms. The radio station has since come under fire for allowing the prank to be broadcast, and the DJs have faced death threats and a barrage of hate online.
The Nicki Minaj/Mariah Carey feud
With two such... erm... "strong personalities" at one table, it wasn't going to be very long before sparks flew. And fly they did – in the very early days of their new American Idol judging roles. While Nicki Minaj claims she was provoked by Mariah Carey's "passive aggressive s**t" for 20 minutes and had already walked out once, the fiery rapper was caught on tape at the reality show's North Carolina auditions calling Carey "your f***ing highness" and threatening to "knock out" the megastar and repeatedly yelling "off with your head". Carey later told talk-show host Barbara Walters that Minaj had threatened her with a gun and that she had been forced to hire extra security. Minaj, obviously, denied the claims. And what about American Idol? Grinning broadly over the increased publicity, we imagine.
Lindsay Lohan – in general
Oh, where do we start? To be fair, at the beginning of 2012 it looked like Lindsay Lohan may actually be able to swing her life around. She landed a $1-million cover deal for Playboy, hosted Saturday Night Live (for which she was panned) and had a cameo role on Glee. She even won the role of Elizabeth Taylor in a now-famously-awful television movie. But her "career comeback" quickly went pear-shaped. She got into a car accident – and lied to cops about being behind the wheel, something that has since caused her to have her probation revoked and could see her spending 245 days in jail. Other 2012 highlights include having paramedics rushed to her hotel room while working on Liz & Dick after she was found "unresponsive", allegedly punching a psychic at a nightclub, getting into screaming matches with her mother and being banned from her favourite hotel over unpaid bills. Oh, she's also had her bank accounts frozen – because she owes the IRS a whopping amount of tax. Whew.
Amanda Bynes – competing with LiLo?
Amanda Bynes had done well to largely stay out of the spotlight as soon as her once-promising career had largely faded. But she's since had a mess of a year, being involved in a number of bizarre traffic-related incidents, including speeding off before being written a ticket for driving while on a cellphone, being involved in two hit-and-runs (one of which involved a cop car, while Bynes was under the influence). Bynes later tweeted President Obama to plead her innocence – he didn't respond, oddly – claiming that she didn't drink. Bynes had her licence suspended for a year – and days later was spotted behind the wheel of her BMW, smoking a pipe. She also locked herself in a boutique dressing room for two hours and attempted to scratch a photographer for "not making her look beautiful".
Fresh John-Travolta-is-gay rumours
It was a busy year for John Travolta. A number of male masseurs crawled out of the woodwork to claim that the Pulp Fiction actor had behaved inappropriately during massage sessions. It was all pretty complicated – involving massive lawsuits, flat-out lies and lawyers suing each other. At one stage, Travolta was sued by the writer of a book about gay spa-house culture for defamation – a case that he won. His former pilot has reportedly started suing Travolta's lawyers over an affair he allegedly had with the star. We can barely keep up.
Halle Berry vs. Gabriel Aubry vs. Olivier Martinez
Halle Berry's exceptionally bitter custody battle with her ex Gabriel Aubry over their four-year-old daughter Nahla has filled significant tabloid space this year – particularly when it was revealed that she wanted to move to France with new fiancé Olivier Martinez and take Nahla with her (a motion later blocked by a judge). But Berry's biggest scandal this year came with the Thanksgiving fisticuffs between Aubry and Martinez over the custody battle – with both parties seeking a visit to the emergency room after. The trio later settled their differences in an out-of-court settlement, but we're still betting that Christmas is going to be awkward.
Chris Brown's still a ...
First up, earlier this year, Chris Brown and Drake and their respective entourages trashed a nightclub in an altercation (allegedly started by Drake, to be fair) – which saw Eva Longoria's ex-husband Tony Parker almost lose an eye. Brown's adherence to his probation stemming from his 2009 assault of Rihanna was questioned (he's due back in court early next year) and he tested positive for marijuana in September. He was also involved in a pretty nasty Twitter spat with Jenny Johnson – in which one of his responses was to tell her to "take them teeth out when you sucking my d**k HOE" – before temporarily deleting his Twitter account. And of course, he and Rihanna released music together and seemed on the verge of rekindling their romance (after he dumped his girlfriend, of course) – before they decide to take a break again because he was still hanging out with his ex. And his tour to SA has also been dogged with controversy – first by fans taking to Twitter to moan about how short his show was, and then by two Metro FM DJs refusing to interview him because of his association with domestic violence.
Hulk Hogan sex tape
File this one under "Things We Never Wanted To See, Ever". Hulk Hogan was at the centre of a sex tape scandal, after footage emerged of him having sexual relations with his we're-pretty-sure-now-ex best friend Bubba the Love Sponge's estranged wife Heather Clem. He told Howard Stern that the video had been recorded six years before release, and said that he was "devastated" and had "never been this hurt". In October, Hogan filed a lawsuit against Bubba and Clem.