Sunday 30 April 2017

Kim steals limelight in the top celeb stories that broke the mould in 2016

Kardashian robbery tops our reporter's alternative review of the year's most notable thrills, spills and splits in the world of the rich and famous

The robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris was the biggest celeb scandal of 2016
The robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris was the biggest celeb scandal of 2016
Pippa O'Connor at the 2016 IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards in Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers
Brad and Angelina’s split came as a big shock
Bruce Springsteen at Croker
Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

It's been a stellar year for gossip, and while we might not all keep up with every moment of the Kardashians or devote our time to celebrity news, it's fair to say that every year there are some big A-list stories we'll remember. These are the scoops that broke free of the showbiz columns and made the front pages, the titbits that brought us light-hearted comfort when a day was long and tough, and made us gasp, groan and giggle.

Scandal of the year

Kim robbed in Paris

Nobody knew quite what to think when the news broke in early October that Kim Kardashian, one of the most famous and photographed women in the world, had been robbed in Paris. When details started to become clear, it was even more shocking than first reported, with the star being bound, gagged and robbed by a group of armed thieves who reportedly followed her movements on social media and during Paris Fashion Week.

Some outlets claimed Kim set up the robbery for attention, but most sympathised with the mother of two. She's been laying low ever since the trauma, rarely posting to social media or being photographed, something she did practically every day before the theft.

Husband Kanye West's mental health issues seem to have furthered her stay away from the spotlight, with rumours now swirling that their marriage has been in trouble since the heist. Whatever you think of the notorious pair, 2016 has been a tough year - here's hoping 2017 is better.

Runner up: Beyonce's 'Lemonade' revelations

One way to address rumours about your marriage? Make an hour long visual album detailing the infidelities, problems and subsequent reconciliation and premiere it on national US television on a Saturday night. If you're Beyonce, that is. Oh, and as well as being gossip gold, the album is also chock full of incredible songs to boot.

Most shocking split

Brangelina's break-up

There have been many celeb splits in Hollywood this year, from Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson to Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber. But none hit home so hard as that of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. After more than a decade together and six children, the couple split acrimoniously with claims of child abuse, drugs and affairs echoing around the world's tabloids.

Their relationship began in infamy after Pitt left girl-next-door Jennifer Aniston for his 'Mr & Mrs Smith' co-star in 2005, so perhaps it's fitting that it ended similarly. However, with six kiddies involved, let's hope these two can work it all out amicably.

Runner up: Rozzie

The most glamorous couple in Ireland (besides Daniel and Majella O'Donnell, of course) called it quits after four years together and the nation mourned the end of Rozanna Purcell and Bressie. They both seem to have moved on though and model-turned-foodie Roz is happily loved up with music promoter (and MCD heir) Zach Desmond.

Most shocking fall from grace

Johnny Depp

Before 2016, Johnny Depp was a beloved and eccentric actor, known for his many character-driven performances and a penchant for flowing scarves. However, when the news broke that his wife Amber Heard was filing for divorce and for a restraining order amid allegations of domestic abuse, the public quickly turned on 53-year-old Depp - particularly when Amber was spotted with facial bruising.

The couple settled their divorce with Depp agreeing to pay Heard (30) a $7m settlement, which she announced she would donate to charities "with a particular focus to stop violence against women".

Runner Up: Taylor Swift

Far less serious than Depp and Heard's dispute, although just as popular in the gossip world, was pop star Swift's descent from the most popular gal in La La Land to one of the most derided. Her showmance with Tom Hiddleston didn't help (see panel), nor did her cliquey girl-squad antics, but it was Kim Kardashian who contributed to Swift's downfall when she released a video of the singer okay-ing rapper Kanye West's lyrics about her, when Swift had claimed to have no knowledge of the lines and said she was, in fact, upset by them. The hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty trended on Twitter, with millions of users tweeting the snake emoji at the Bad Blood singer.

Breakthrough star

Ashley Graham

She was told she was "too fat" to be a model in the past, but in 2016, Ashley Graham had the last laugh when she graced the covers of countless magazines, including the 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit edition, 'Cosmopolitan' and British 'Vogue'. The plus-size American beauty has spent the year pushing fashion's boundaries, winning awards for her body image positivity and spreading the message that you don't need to be thin to be confident.

Runner Up: Alicia Vikander

Her star has been in the ascent for a while now, but 2016 was the year that Vikander went from a newcomer to a bona fide A-lister. Previously best known as our own Michael Fassbender's girlfriend, she's now an Oscar winner, fashion darling and bankable leading lady.

Best online celebrity

Pippa O'Connor

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It was the year the term 'social influencer' was coined and although some are far more influential than others, it seems to have stuck. Irish bloggers, snapchatters and fashionistas are now making money just from being popular on the internet, but none are as beloved as former model Pippa O'Connor. This year she's grown her website, written a book, launched her own line of high-end denim and... oh yeah, she had another baby too. The mum-of-two is our most beloved digital personality, so much so that we think she'll be spreading her wings even more in 2017.

Runner up: James Kavanagh

This was the year Snapchat celebrities became a thing and James is undoubtedly the most well known of the bunch. He's parlayed his online views on the social media channel into a career in the kitchen with his food start-up Currabinny, using his popularity to spread the word of the catering company. After a stint on RTE's Taste Of Success, he's surely only going to get bigger.

Reality Star of the Year

Dillon St Paul

Fans of reality TV might remember him from RTE's 'The Hills' spin-off 'Fade Street' back in 2011, but magazine art director and Limerick native Dillon St Paul spread his wings and flew to London this year to take part in 'The Apprentice'. He made it seven weeks without being eliminated (and, in fairness, Alan Sugar didn't seem to have good reason for giving him the boot) and is such a telly natural that we're hoping he pops up in other celebrity spin-off shows in 2017.

Runner Up: Honey G

You say Honey, I say, gee isn't it funny how much outrage a reality show contestant can cause? She was the undisputed star of this year's 'X Factor' and will be remembered long after the more talented cast members have faded in to obscurity - particularly now Simon Cowell has signed her.

...and others who made their mark

Gig of the Year: Bruce Springsteen at Croker

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Beyonce’s Formation Tour was a close second, but the Boss’s two-night spectacular surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Surprise of the Year: Cheryl’s (alleged) pregnancy with Liam Payne

Who knows what her surname is these days, but who saw this one coming? They haven’t confirmed it, but er, it’s pretty obvious now…

Most WTF Moment: Kanye meets Trump

It’s not clear why these two had a photo op in Trump Tower, but it happened. They’ve been “friends for years”, apparently.

Best Celebrity Entrepreneur: Kylie Jenner

It all started with an incredibly popular lip kit and is now a hugely successful beauty line. Fair play to the 19-year-old.

Best Showmance: Hiddleswift

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It only lasted a couple of months, but Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift managed to cram a lot of cringey, high-profile antics in to a short space of time.

Irish Independent

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