40 controversial Hudson Valley celebrities
Whether they're getting in trouble with their significant others, their coworkers, their fans, the media or the law, these 40 celebrities with a connection to the Hudson Valley have been embroiled in controversial incidents that they may never be able to shake. --Compiled by Chris Serico and Kirthana Ramisetti
Howard Stern: The shock jock, who kicked off his professional DJ career in Briarcliff Manor, is known for his candid and controversial opinions on the air. During his run on terrestrial radio, Stern was often fined by the FCC for off-color jokes, and received negative press for his remarks about sensitive topics such as the Columbine tragedy and the death of pop star Selena. In 2004, Stern moved to satellite radio, a medium that allows him to speak more freely.
Chevy Chase: A Bedford resident, Chase has built a reputation for being difficult to work with, falling out of favor among castmates and Hollywood insiders. After many arguments on the set of NBC's "Community," Chase agreed to leave the show at the end of its fourth season.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi: During the third season of "Jersey Shore," the Marlboro native and self-proclaimed "Princess of Poughkeepsie" was charged with disturbing the peace; she also irked academics when she collected $32,000 for a Rutgers University speaking engagement.
Donald Trump: A graduate of Cornwall's New York Military Academy, Trump has been criticized for demanding that President Barack Obama release his birth certificate, and for his ongoing feud with Nyack's Rosie O'Donnell.
Beyonce: Snagging her marriage license in Scarsdale, Beyonce faced controversy when rumors swirled she’d lip-synched her rendition of the national anthem at President Barack Obama's second inauguration ceremony.
Mark Zuckerberg: A Dobbs Ferry native, Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook (although the Winklevoss twins may argue otherwise) who's faced sharp criticism for the social network’s privacy policies and data-mining strategies.
Rosie O'Donnell: The Nyack resident not only upset some of her fellow panelists when she was on "The View," but also angered many fans when she wondered if the terrorist attacks of 9/11 weren't the reason the Twin Towers collapsed.
Barbara Bush: The Rye native and former first lady caused a stir after Hurricane Katrina, when she said many of the displaced who were living temporarily in Houston's Astrodome were "underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."
Eddie Murphy: The former Poughquag homeowner pushed the envelope as a stand-up comedian, and turned heads in 1997, when police arrested a transsexual in his car on charges related to prostitution; Murphy, who wasn’t charged, said he was being a “good Samaritan” when he offered the ride.
Joan Rivers: The comedian, a Larchmont native, is well known for her brash brand of comedy that often leads to her make controversial jokes about other celebrities. Most recently, Rivers landed in hot water for making a Holocaust joke while discussing what German-born model Heidi Klum wore to the 2013 Oscars.
Bill O'Reilly: A graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, the conservative talk show host has angered liberals and a former Fox producer, who filed a 2006 lawsuit that alleged sexual harassment; the suit was later settled out of court.
Martha Stewart: Part of an insider-trading scandal, the Bedford resident and lifestyle expert was convicted of multiple charges, and served almost five months of her prison sentence.
Mel Gibson: The Peekskill native and Academy Award-winning director has had a tough time rebounding from his scandals, which include a DUI arrest in 2006 and accusations of racism, anti-Semitism and domestic violence.
Paul Reubens, aka Pee Wee Herman: The Peekskill native and star of CBS' Saturday-morning kids' show, "Pee Wee's Playhouse," was arrested at an adult movie theater in 1991 for indecent exposure.
Rachel Uchitel: A 1992 graduate of the Millbrook School in Dutchess County, Uchitel has become a household name for notorious reasons: She's claimed affairs with golf star Tiger Woods and "Bones" actor David Boreanaz.
Russell Crowe: The Academy Award-winning actor, who rented a Nyack house while filming "American Gangster," is known for a quick temper, especially after he was arrested in 2005 for hurling a phone at the head of a hotel employee.
Stephen Baldwin: The Upper Grandview resident's political talking points have annoyed some Democrats (including his older brother, Alec), but Stephen's also earned the ire of the IRS for allegedly failing to pay more than $350,000 in income taxes in Nyack.
Wesley Snipes: The star of the "Blade" trilogy and former Purchase College student was convicted of charges relating to tax evasion, and began serving a three-year jail sentence in 2010.
Steven Tyler: Years after getting into fistfights and getting his mugshot taken by police in Yonkers, the singer would feud with his Aerosmith bandmates and try to stop another one started by "American Idol" judge in Nicki Minaj, who alleged his "Idol" judging was "racist."
Sean “Diddy” Combs: The Mount Vernon-raised founder of Bad Boy Records faced four weapons-related charges following a 1999 shootout at Club New York in Manhattan, but was found not guilty on all charges.
David Bowie: Bowie, who owns a home in Woodstock, couldn't escape controversy while on tour in the '70s, when he was quoted as saying, "Britain could benefit from a fascist leader," and later detained by customs officials for possession of Nazi paraphernalia.
Jay-Z: The rap and fashion mogul, who'd later score his marriage license in Scarsdale, had a "Hard Knock Life" in 2001, when he pleaded guilty to stabbing a record producer in 1999; Jay-Z was sentenced to three years of probation.
DMX: The former Bedford resident's rap sheet isn't limited to his lyrics: since 1998, he's been in and out of courts to face charges ranging from reckless driving and parole violation to drug possession and animal cruelty.
Bjork: In 1996, the former Palisades resident was caught on tape attacking reporter Julie Kaufman, whose only words to the singer prior to the kerfuffle were "Welcome to Bangkok." Bjork later apologized and Kaufman didn't press charges.
Keith Richards: In his 2010 autobiography, the former South Salem resident admitted to snorting some of his father's cremated remains while attempting to scatter them beside an oak tree: "As I took the lid off the box, a fine spray of his ashes blew out onto the table," he wrote. "I couldn't just brush him off, so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue. Ashes to ashes, father to son."
Vanessa Williams: The actor, singer and Chappaqua resident was the winner of the Miss America pageant in 1983, but she resigned her title months later, after nude photos that had been taken prior to the pageant surfaced.
Jane Fonda: A few years after she briefly attended Vassar College, the actress was outspoken in her criticism of the Vietnam War and photographed next to anti-aircraft weapons in North Vietnam, prompting critics to label her "Hanoi Jane."
Jon Voight: The Yonkers native and Academy Award winning actor has frustrated both sides of the political spectrum through years: He protested the Vietnam War in the '70s, but later swung to the right, saying Obama's presidency represented a "slow and steady takeover of our true freedoms."
Angelina Jolie: Spending part of her childhood in Palisades, the Academy Award winning actress has been no stranger to controversy, from the the way she kissed her brother during the 2000 Oscars to the way she lured her husband, Brad Pitt, away from his then-wife Jennifer Aniston, while filming "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."
Richard Gere: The Pound Ridge resident and "Pretty Woman" star caused a stir overseas after he hugged and kissed Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS awareness event in 2007; both faced obscenity charges until another Indian court later dismissed the charges.
David Letterman: To counteract an alleged attempt to extort $2 million from him, the North Salem talk show host shocked his audience when he admitted infidelity on a "Late Show" broadcast by saying, "I have had sex for women who work for me."
Ramona Singer: The Rhinebeck native and star of "The Real Housewives of New York City" doesn't shy away from controversy on the reality-TV hit, and often exchanges barbs with castmate Aviva Drescher, who graduated from Vassar College.
Anthony Bourdain: A graduate of the Hyde Park-based Culinary Institute of America, the "No Reservations" star has never minced words, especially when it comes to critiquing fellow celebrity chefs in Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray.
David Stern: Although the Scarsdale resident and National Basketball Association commissioner is celebrated for growing and marketing the sport worldwide, he's been criticized for enforcing conservative dress codes for players, allowing Seattle's team to move to Oklahoma City, and negating a trade that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Matt Lauer: Raised in Chappaqua, Ardsley and Hartsdale, the "Today" host has been blamed by fans for the departure of co-host Ann Curry (despite NBC execs denying he's at fault); criticized by viewers for the way he and Irvington resident Meredith Vieira narrated the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics; and scolded by Tom Cruise for his "glib" interviewing style.
Melissa Leo: The former Purchase College student turned heads when she bought print ads to campaign hard for an Academy Award for her supporting role in 2011's "The Fighter." It worked, and she dropped the F-bomb during her Oscar acceptance speech.