With the year winding down and the holidays ramping up, it's time for that inevitable retrospection that comes every December. In terms of celebrity news, 2015 has been a year of both scandal and revelation, where each month I found myself ricocheting between pure disgust and unadulterated joy. (Yes, Inside Out had a big effect on me).
Here are some of the most shocking events of 2015 that got everybody talking.
1. Caitlyn Jenner Comes Out As Transgender
Never before has a transgender celebrity been so visible, which is why Caitlyn Jenner's honest coming out story helped push the discussion of trans rights into the mainstream. Caitlyn's high-profile cover of Vanity Fair, her forthright interviews on both 20/20 and I Am Cait, and, of course, her acceptance speech at this year's ESPY's catapulted her to the front of all of our minds.
2. Nicki Minaj Calls Out Miley Cyrus
After Miley aimed some jabs at Nicki Minaj in a printed interview, Nicki directly called out the VMA host live on TV with a now-unforgettable "Miley, what's good?" Though Miley played it off well, the Internet quickly turned those three simple words into a meme, and we just couldn't get enough of it.
3. The Tide Turns Against Bill Cosby
Though the discussion of Bill Cosby's history of sexual assault began in earnest in 2014 with comments from Hannibal Buress, this year saw a group of over 50 women accuse Cosby of rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and/or sexual misconduct. With Cosby continually denying any wrongdoing and civil lawsuits pending, this story is far from over, but this year has seen his previously wholesome image become completely tarnished.
4. Zayn Leaves One Direction
Teenage One Direction fans were sent into a blubbering tailspin in March when Zayn Malik announced his immediate departure from the band. It continues to be a touchy subject, but I can't help but anticipate his solo debut.
5. Leah Remini Reveals Scientology Secrets
After leaving the Church of Scientology, actress Leah Remini penned a tell-all memoir entitled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology that revealed some truly bizarre truths about Tom Cruise (who apparently has temper tantrums over cookie dough) and Scientology as an institution.
6. Miley Cyrus Is More Provocative Than Ever
Pretty much any time Miley Cyrus is in front of a camera, the result is inevitably a whole lot of pearl-clutching. This year was no different, but perhaps her most shocking moment was the Candy Magazine photo shoot that featured huge strap-ons, suckled police batons, and ample nudity.
7. Josh Duggar Admits He Molested Underage Girls
In one of the most upsetting stories of the year, the Duggar family (from TLC's 19 Kids and Counting) revealed that their eldest son Josh had inappropriately touched five young girls in his teen years, including his own sisters. Though the family went on an apology tour to try to maintain the moral high ground, their show was canceled, and even more secrets began spilling out (like Josh's Ashley Madison account).
8. Justin Bieber's Dad Tweets About His Son's Penis
Nude photographs of Justin Bieber leaked online, and this was the way his father responded. Blegh.
8. Subway Guy Jared Fogle Goes to Prison for Being a Child Predator
Formerly the spokesperson for Subway, Jared Fogle turned out to be a total creep after he was investigated for paying for sex with minors and receiving child pornography. He was ultimately sentenced to 15 years, 8 months in federal prison.
9. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner Announce Divorce
Love is dead. No wonder Batman is so angry.
10. Brian Williams Suspended from NBC Nightly News
After a career on Nightly News that spanned decades, newsanchor Brian Williams received a six-month suspension for earlier inaccuracies in his reporting. Specifically, he had lied about being in a helicopter that was shot at while he was reporting in Iraq, and 2015 saw him face the consequences.
11. Charlie Sheen Reveals He's HIV-Positive
Charlie Sheen spoke to Matt Lauer to reveal that he had been living with HIV for almost four years and had paid people to keep the news quiet. His admission came amid calls from English tabloids claiming they would reveal the truth themselves if he didn't admit it.