Biggest Reality TV Scandals Of 2018Published on November 16, 2018. Updated April 17, 2019
As 2018 comes to an end, it is hard to believe just how quickly the year flew by and even harder to remember all of the drama it entailed. As always, reality television and its stars provided quite a bit of scandal over the course of the year, and fans continued to be shocked by all of the arrests, fights, cheating scandals, accusations and more. Take a look back at 2018 through all of the biggest reality TV scandals of the year:
15. Paulie Calafiore and Cara Maria – The Challenge
As always, there were quite a few reality stars wrapped up in the scandals of the year and one scandal in particular incorporated not one, but three different reality shows! Before season 32 of MTV’s The Challenge began to air, rumors began to swirl that Big Brother alum Paulie Calafiore who was participating in the season had cheated on his girlfriend, Bachelor in Paradise alum Danielle Maltby, with longtime The Challenge veteran Cara Maria Sorbello. As the rumors began, Paulie addressed the situation head on, admitting, “I am not proud of my actions these past weeks. I know they speak louder than these words. I have destroyed the one person that has believed in and brought out the best in me. I have many things I need to work on and repair internally. I want to be better. I know I haven’t earned it, but I ask for patience and privacy while I work on repairing myself.” Anyone who has watched The Challenge: Final Reckoning knows that Paulie often addressed the fact that Danielle “trusted” him to go on the show, and insisted he and Cara Maria are only “close friends,” but now it is known he really was cheating. Regardless of feeling guilty about what he did to Danielle, it seems Paulie and Cara Maria are still going strong!
14. Farrah Abraham Arrest – Teen Mom
Farrah Abraham may not be on Teen Mom OG anymore, but that hasn’t stopped her from dishing out the drama. In early June Abraham was arrested after an altercation with a hotel employee at the Beverly Hills Hotel. According to reports, Abraham was seemingly intoxicated when she got in a verbal argument with guests at the hotel and when an employee stepped in, she hit him. She was arrested and booked for battery and trespassing but maintained it was all a “misunderstanding” and in the end she pleaded to one misdemeanor count of resisting, delaying or obstructing a peace officer. She was immediately sentenced to two years of summary probation and five days of community service or labor and was also ordered to complete 12 hours of anger management and to stay away from the Polo Lounge in the hotel. Farrah found herself in yet another scandal later in the year when she spent months preparing and promoting for a celebrity boxing match for “anti-bullying.” Shortly before the event however Abraham backed out and accused the event’s management of being “in breach” of contract. In response they threatened Abraham with a multi-million lawsuit for bailing on the match, but they quickly replaced her with another reality star and her opponent, Flavor of Love’s Nicole “Hoopz” Alexander claimed that Abraham was just scared so she backed out.
13. Jenna Cooper Cheating – Bachelor in Paradise
Season five of Bachelor in Paradise was dramatic, but nothing was more shocking than the fallout after the final episode aired in September. Contestants Jordan Kimball and Jenna Cooper ended the season by getting engaged and were in the midst of planning their wedding when texts were released that seemed to prove that Cooper was cheating on Kimball. The text messages in question seemed to show Cooper talking to an unidentified man and writing, “Me and Jordan aren’t together for real. I don’t even like him let alone love him. I’m better than him and once I’m able to I’ll break it off for good and make up some story to make him look bad if it’ll make you feel better. He means nothing to me and never has.” While she instantly denied that the texts were from her and denied the affair allegations, Jordan Kimball was quick to speak out that he wasn’t sure he believed her. “I know my Jenna, and I read those texts and in my heart, I know it’s her,” he said. “She was saying she didn’t do it, but hinting towards the fact that there’s a possibility that it happened. In all reality, I don’t expect her to own it.”Cooper launched her own investigation which proved none of the texts came from her phone, but the damage was already done and Kimball was long gone.
12. Michael Darby Sexual Assault – RHOP
Overall, the Real Housewives franchises had a relatively low-key year when it came to scandals, but one did explode late in the year. In September, Real Housewives of Potomac star Michael Darby was charged with sexual assault. Darby, who is married to RHOP star Ashley Darby, had allegedly grabbed and groped a cameraman during filming of the show and the cameraman alleged that Darby gave him a “flirtatious look” before the assault. The charges carried the potential of 11 years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines, but were dismissed on Oct. 4 in a Montgomery County court due to insufficient evidence. Michael Darby insists the event never happened and claimed the whole scandal was brought about as a ploy by the cameraman to get money. “He saw a way to make money, he went out to tell people,” and claimed that “he quit the day after he filed charges,” Darby said.
11. Ryan Edwards Arrest/Rehab – Teen Mom
Over the years, Ryan Edwards has been drawn into the spotlight because of his role on Teen Mom OG, but also because of his arrests. After it was revealed last year that Edwards had a serious heroin addiction he entered rehab, but many didn’t believe he was really on the road to recovery. Edwards, who shares son Bentley with Teen Mom star Maci Bookout, then drew attention again in July 2018 when he was arrested for something in relation to “previous charges” which made many believe he was using again. As it turns out Edwards was arrested for violating his probation and maintained he was sober, but then only a few months later it was reported that Edwards had in fact relapsed and returned to rehab. Edwards placed himself in an “intensive” in-patient 90 day rehab program which caused him to miss the birth of his son with wife Mackenzie Standifer.
10. Bekah M’s Accusations – Bachelor In Paradise
Bekah Martinez made a name for herself as one of the most memorable contestants from Arie Luyendyk Jr.’s season of The Bachelor, and the drama kept on coming long after she left the show. Following the finale of Arie’s season, Bekah called Arie out for continuing to message her on social media alleging that he wasn’t committed to his now fiance Lauren Burnham. Bekah wasn’t done with the scandals however as a few months later she took to her Instagram account to share a series of anonymous claims from women about Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise star Leo Dottavio. The women reached out to Bekah claiming that Leo Dottavio had harassed them or made unwanted sexual advances in the past, but Dottavio immediately denied the claims but admitted, “I am not a perfect person nor have I ever claimed to be.” The claims, along with Leo’s disturbing and aggressive behavior both on the show and online caused many fans to call for ABC to have a much harder screening process when looking for contestants.
9. Lincoln Adim Arrest – Bachelorette
Another contestant from Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette had many fans saying that ABC should do better screening when casting because of Lincoln Adim’s alarming past. After Adim was eliminated from the show it was revealed that he had been convicted of indecent assault and battery for groping and assaulting a female aboard a cruise ship in 2016, and he was convicted in May 2018. The case turned many heads because Adim was supposed to register as a sex offender, but producers for Warner Bros. TV said that no one on the show was aware of the incident or the charges when going through the casting process. “We employ a well-respected and highly experienced third party who has done thousands of background checks consistent with industry standards to do a nationwide background check in this case,” read the statement in part. “The report we received did not reference any incident or charge relating to the recent conviction — or any other charges relating to sexual misconduct. We are currently investigating why the report did not contain this information, which we will share when we have it.” Creator Mike Fleiss took to Twitter to say, “For the record, I am horrified that any of these abusive a–holes are on our shows. We are working very hard to find ways to do better.”
8. Ronnie and Jen Drama – Jersey Shore
When Jersey Shore returned with Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, all of the drama returned with it and for Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, the scandal between himself and his on-off girlfriend Jen Harley has been endless. It all began when Ronnie was seen getting a little too close to another woman during an episode in April and he was accused of cheating on Jen with whom he welcomed his daughter Ariana Sky in April. The two began to slam each other on social media before an Instagram Live video seemed to show the pair getting into a physical altercation. While the pair continued to work on their relationship, the drama only escalated as they got into another physical altercation when Harley showed up unannounced in Las Vegas where Ronnie was filming season two of Family Vacation. Things came to a head when the pair got into a fight while driving and when Jen stopped the car so Ronnie could exit he got caught on his seatbelt but Jen dragged him down the road while their daughter was in the backseat. Despite the severity of the situation, the two continued their on-again, off-again relationship and then in late October Ronnie shared a photo of a bruise on his face and around his eye, alleging that Jen had hit him again. Despite their constant and continuous altercations, and drama playing out on social media, the two can’t seem to quit each other.
7. Joe Giudice Deportation – RHONJ
One of the biggest Real Housewives scandals came in 2014 when Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice plead guilty to 41 counts of fraud, but this year the case took an even worse turn. With Teresa done her sentence, Joe Giudice is currently serving his 41-month sentence, but as his time comes to an end he was hit with the bombshell that he was being ordered to be deported back to Italy upon his release! “Based upon the law, I find you deportable and ineligible for any kind of relief,” Judge John Ellington reportedly announced during Giudice’s hearing. The news was completely shocking to RHONJ fans, but of course more so for Joe’s family including his wife Teresa and their four daughters Gia, Gabriella, Milania and Audriana. In response, Joe filed an appeal on Friday, November 9, and it remains to be seen whether the deportation order will hold up.
6. Garrett Yrigoyen’s Social Media – Bachelorette
Along with all of the contestants from Becca Kufrin’s season of The Bachelorette that have landed on this list so far, so does her winner, Garrett Yrigoyen. After the season premiered, it was soon brought to light that Garrett had previously engaged with and liked Instagram posts that mocked undocumented immigrants, the trans community, feminists and Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg. The online behavior caused so much outrage that both Becca and Garrett were forced to address the situation which was unprecedented because at the time Garrett was still competing on the season. Of course, the outrage continued when it was revealed that Garrett was Becca’s winner and new fiance, and although both addressed the situation and Garrett apologized, the scandal still marred Becca’s season and Garrett’s win. Following the end of the season, the pair have remained uncharacteristically quiet as usually the new couple go on a publicity round, but that wasn’t the case for Becca and Garrett.
5. David Eason Fired – Teen Mom 2
The stars of Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2 are skilled at drumming up drama both on and off-screen, but since getting involved with Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans, David Eason has often been embroiled in scandal. In early 2018, Eason outraged many when he went on a homophobic rant while responding to followers on Twitter. The whole thing started when followers criticized Eason for sharing a Valentine’s Day post which consisted of Jenelle holding an assault rifle only one day after the horrific school shooting in Florida. After an argument about whether guns should be allowed in school or not, which Eason was in favor of, he went on to offend the LGBTQ community stating, “And just what makes you think you have the right to tell me how to be a parent. Because you think you know me? LMAO, why don’t you tell the homo and transgender parents to start teaching their kids better morals. Oh, I forgot, that’s supposed to be normal.” When someone asked if he was going to teach his children to hate gay and transgender people, Eason responded, “No. I’m going to teach them not to associate with them, or be that way…If you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.” Naturally, fans called for the immediate removal of Eason from Teen Mom 2, and MTV quickly complied, sharing in a statement: “David Eason’s personal comments do not reflect the views of MTV. With six weeks left of production on ‘Teen Mom 2,’ effective immediately, we are ending our relationship with him.”
4. Racist Remarks – Big Brother
Like any other reality show, Big Brother thrives off of drama, but season 20 erupted into a much bigger problem which even required CBS to make a statement after several of the season’s house members made offensive and racist comments and took part in controversial incidents. One of the issues occurred when houseguest JC Mounduiz “jokingly” attempted to touch his housemates inappropriately with an ice cream scooper without consent. The show then faced more backlash when two other houseguests Rachel and Angela were heard making racist comments while discussing their skin color when tanning. As a result, CBS released a statement: “BIG BROTHER is a reality show about watching a group of people who have no privacy 24/7 — and capturing every unfiltered moment and conversation in their lives. At times, the houseguests reveal prejudices and exhibit behavior that we do not condone. The producers have addressed two such incidents that were seen recently on the 24/7 online feed. In both cases, those involved have been warned about their inappropriate behavior and offensive comments, as well as future consequences. These events will not be part of any future BIG BROTHER broadcast on CBS.”
3. Mike “The Situation” Jail – Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino found himself in hot water back in 2014 when he and his brother Marc were indicted for tax offenses and conspiring to defraud the United States, but it all came to a head in 2018. After the case moved ahead with both men being indicted on additional charges of tax evasion, and structuring and falsifying records, they were both sentenced in October. After Mike pled not guilty he was sentenced to eight months behind bars while his brother pled guilty to one count of aiding in the preparation of a false and fraudulent tax return and was sentenced to two years. The Situation has handled the news well however and married his fiancee Lauren Pesce in early November before he is expected to begin his jail sentence in early 2019.
2. Tristan Thompson Cheating – KUWTK
While Kylie Jenner’s secret pregnancy definitely garnered a lot of the attention, it was her sister Khloe Kardashian who stole the spotlight as she was embroiled in a scandal thanks to her boyfriend and father of her baby, True, NBA player Tristan Thompson. Only days before Khloe was expected to give birth to her daughter with Thompson, he made headlines after a video of him allegedly cheating on Khloe went viral. Not long after the video went viral, Khloe went in to labor in Cleveland (the home of Thompson’s basketball team) and before long more accusations of Tristan Thompson cheating surfaced. The backlash from the scandal became so bad that Thompson began getting yelled at by Khloe’s fans during his games and even had to sit on the bench because the scandal had spilled over into his games. Although things remained rocky between the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star and the basketball player, they seemed to be working on things, but everything turned sour again when the episode of the cheating going viral and Khloe’s labor aired later in the year. “I know now, looking back that I was in shock because I couldn’t believe that this would ever happen to me but I’m still very proud of myself for how I handled everything,” Khloe tweeted as the episode aired. “True gave me the peace and strength I needed.” It still seems that Khloe is working on things with Tristan even though more accusations of his cheating have persisted throughout the year.
1. Thomas Ravenel Sexual Assault – Southern Charm
Southern Charm star Thomas Ravenel came under fire in 2018 after two women accused him of sexual assault. In April, a Florida-based real estate agent claimed that her mother was sexually battered by Ravenel after she met him on Tinder, and alleged that her mother is still not able to talk publicly about what happened. One month later, the former nanny of Ravenel’s children came forward and also accused him of sexual battery. In her claims, Dawn alleged that Ravenel raped her after a night out with his friends. Ravenel has denied both accusations, but since the women came forward, more people including Ravenel’s castmates opened up about his disturbing behavior in general. As a result Ravenel is no longer a part of the reality series, and his castmates have cut ties.