SPLASH SECRETS OF THE DIVING STARS
Despite your ENQUIRING minds these SPLASH competitors are taking the high dive to SILENCE. Not for long as special ENQUIRER report breaks the waves!
What do you get when you mix a rag-tag group of celebrities, a deep-water pool and a trio of Olympic divers and coaches? ABC’s new reality series “Splash”! The ENQUIRER dives into the secrets and scandals of the show’s cast – and we’ve uncovered some belly-floppin’ whoppers!
★ NICOLE EGGERT
The Former “Baywatch” babe, 41, has battled weight issues for years. In 2009, she ballooned up to 150 pounds, 45 more than she weighed when she played lifeguard Summer Quinn in the early ’90s. Nicole did pare off some pounds during her stint on the TV reality show “Celebrity Fit Club” and, today, she’s far shapelier. To her credit, the actress has maintained a positive attitude about her weight struggles – and has even poked fun of herself in a hilarious “Baywatch” parody on the comedy website “Funny or Die.”
★ KAREEM ABDUL-JABAR
NBA legend Kareem, 65, is diving back into the swim of things on “Splash” after seeing numerous highs and lows in his storied career. The former Los Angeles Lakers great still holds the NBA scoring record of 38,387 points. But at one point, Kareem – who was one the highest-paid players in the game – was broke thanks to a tragic house fire, a messy divorce and a tangled web of bad investments. In July 2000, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana – the second time in two years he got his hand slapped for using pot. In 2008, he was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia. Fortunately, he is now cancer-free.
★ DRAKE BELL
The former Nickelodeon star and teen heartthrob nearly died in a terrible Dec. 29, 2005, car accident when his classic 1966 Mustang was struck head-on by a truck on Los Angeles’ Pacific Coast Highway. He was immediately rushed to a Santa Monica hospital and then transferred to UCLA Medical Center, where he was treated for a host of injuries, including a fractured neck, a jaw broken in three places, six missing teeth and several facial lacerations. Production of “Drake & Josh,” which chronicled the adventures of two teens who become stepbrothers, was put on hold while Drake, then 19, recovered. Now 26, Drake has a flourishing music career.
★ KENDRA WILKINSON
In 2004, at age 19, Kendra made waves when she moved into the Playboy Mansion as one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends. Now married (to former NFL player Hank Baskett) with a young son, Kendra is stirring up controversy on “Splash” with her foul-mouthed tirades! The former “Playboy” model was livid when coach Greg Louganis – a four-time Olympic gold medalist – questioned whether she really had a fear of heights, as she’d claimed. “I don’t like him,” the 27-year-old hissed. After tossing out a few F-bombs, she continued: “I’m sick of you picking on me, Greg...I’m working on me, not you.”
Heavyweight comic Louie likes to leave ’em laughing – but his real life has been anything but funny. Louie, 60, grew up in what he’s called a “dysfunctional family” of 11 kids in St. Paul, Minn., with an “abusive, alcoholic father.” One brother was a safecracker, another was homeless, a third a gambler, and a sister who had serious psychological problems. Because of that, he gave them money whenever they asked. The former “Family Feud” host wrote a book about his travails called “The F Word: How to Survive Your Family.” He is currenly on the DL-List.
★ KEISHA KNIGHT PULLIAM
Keisha, who played cute little Rudy Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” has spent the past decade getting her TV and movie career back on track. Now 33, she graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta with a degree in sociology, but is perhaps best known these days for winning celebrity editions of “The Weakest Link” and “Fear Factor.” In 2009, she played a heroin-addicted prostitute in Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail,” and says she continues to seek “new challenges.” Unfortunately, Keisha didn’t make a “Splash” with judges – she was eliminated during the show’s March 19 premiere.