There was a time in Hollywood when gay celebrities had to hide their sexuality — with showbiz legends like Rock Hudson, Joan Crawford, Jim Nabors, Whitney Houston and Marilyn Monroe staying in the closet over their homosexual secrets! Today, stars like Jodie Foster, Barry Manilow and Kristin Stewart maintain movie careers while being openly gay or bisexual. Others, however, remain deep in the closet in fear that being outed will affect their showbiz clout. These are the biggest stars who’ve kept speculation and rumors brewing about secret sex lives…
RYAN SEACREST had to endure snarky comments by “American Idol” star Simon Cowell about being in the closet — and former gal pal Julianne Hough didn’t help when the “Dancing With the Stars” celeb said that she originally “thought he was gay.” Ryan’s kept up a steady stream of girlfriends, but also almost had his career wrecked when a woman accused him of sexual harassment!
WILL SMITH was defended by his ex-wife when the late Alexis Arquette accused the “Independence Day” star of getting divorced after being caught in a gay fling. Sheree Fletcher declared, “I didn’t find him in bed with a man” — but both the leading man and wife Jada Pinkett Smith have been dogged by rumors over the years. Jada also had to deny that the couple had an open marriage after once saying: “Will can do whatever he wants.”
PARIS JACKSON isn’t shy, with Michael Jackson’s daughter even once boasting that she came out as bisexual “when I was 14!” But she’s also said “who needs labels?” — and has been curiously coy about her nights out with catwalk queen Cara Delevingne. She’s also been held hands with Caroline D’Amore, but was offended at being romantically linked, saying the DJ is “straight and married, and also the mother of my godchild.” In the end, insists Paris, “I just love people for people!”
KENNY CHESNEY has sparked plenty of gay rumors, including a source claiming that the country star likes to “parade” naked in front of his all-male tour bus crew. Rumors only got worse after he married Renée Zellweger. The marriage ended after just four months, with speculation taking off after the star cited “fraud” as grounds for an annulment. “That is the most unbelievable thing in the world,” complained Kenny. “‘Because Renee cited fraud, Kenny’s got to be gay?’”
DOLLY PARTON has been married to Carl Dean since 1966 — but the union has had to survive gay rumors that have followed her around like a bad penny! Fueling the talk is her closeness to never-married best friend Judy Ogle. Dolly’s dished that she and Judy travel together and have often shared the same bed, saying: “I’m sure many a maid in many a hotel has wondered why Judy and I will leave a double room with only one bed slept in.”
KELLY CLARKSON may seem like an unlikely target for lesbian speculation, but rumors started when the original “American Idol” claimed in 2011 that she’d never been in love. Kelly says the rumors were understandable since “I’m from a small town, so, like, everyone’s married with children or about to have children…that’s why people think I’m gay, because they’re like, ‘Why aren’t you married?’”
VIN DIESEL has three children by his model gal pal Paloma Jimenez, — but the “Fast and Furious” muscleman is still stung by gay rumors. Some were fueled by a 1984 viral video showing Vin demonstrating dance steps. In the fourth “Fast” film, gay admirers also got excited when a woman asked his character if he prefers women or cars, only to be told: “I’m one of those boys who appreciate a fine body regardless of the make.” Vin also didn’t help rumors by once saying he only dated in Europe.
HUGH JACKMAN has been married since 1996, but is still clobbered with gay rumors. The “X-Men” star spent years avoiding the rumors, with plenty of speculation as he and wife Deborra-Lee Furness often vacationed with hunky business partner John Palermo. Hugh finally admitted the gay talk “bugs” his wife,whom he calls “very beautiful” and “unbelievably fun.”
DREW BARRYMORE once said that she’s “always considered myself bisexual,” but the former child star is also a three-time loser at marriage. Those unions have included talk of staying close to showbiz pals like openly gay actress Ellen Page. But while Drew’s public romances have been heterosexual, other sources insist that the star’s next relationship could be with a woman.
TOM CRUISE has a very public life, but three failed marriages still haven’t quashed speculation about his true sexual orientation. In 2003, he won a $10 million judgement against a gay porn actor who claimed to have had an affair with him. Earlier, he sued publisher Michael Davis over claims that he had a videotape of him getting it on with a guy — with Michael saying after the lawsuit that Tom “is not, and never has been, homosexual and has never had a homosexual affair.”
KEITH URBAN has been married to Tom Cruise’s ex Nicole Kidman since 2006, but even the birth of two daughters hasn’t cooled down talk of Keith having a bisexual past. But despite the buzz of alleged old lovers trying to go public, Keith’s biggest scandal was a female porn star saying she had a “sensational” time with Keith just three months before he married Nicole!
WYNONNA JUDD is on her third marriage — but the 53-year-old mother still can’t shake the same-sex rumors triggered by her gigs on gay-themed cruises and a shocking sexual harassment lawsuit by a former woman employee. The gal claimed Wynonna told her she had a “cute butt” and then asked her for a massage! Wynonna hasn’t been shy in her denials, declaring: “I’m no lesbian!”
JOHN TRAVOLTA has been married to actress Kelly Preston since 1991. That hasn’t kept him from facing several accusations of being closeted, including a claim by porn star Paul Barresi that he had a two-year affair with John after they met in 1982. In 2016, Doug Gotterba said he and John carried on an affair for five years beginning in 1981. And in a bombshell story before his death, “Grease” costar Jeff Conaway accused John of sexual assault!
LITTLE RICHARD found fame as a flamboyant ’50s rock star who many consider to be a gay icon. He even once admitted he was “gay all my life,” saying he stayed in the closet because “when I first came into show business, they wanted you to look like everybody but yourself.” But now facing his final days, the Christian rocker blasts gay sex as “unnatural affection,” and says that “you’ve got to live the way God wants you to live!”
GEORGE CLOONEY had a short-lived marriage to actress Talia Balsam in 1989, and then played the field for decades before marrying Amal Alamuddin. He also made new fans in the gay community while addressing rumors that he lived in Italy to hide a homosexual lifestyle. “The last thing you’ll ever see me do is jump up and down, saying, ‘These are lies!’” said George. “That would be unfair and unkind to my good friends in the gay community. I’m not going to let anyone make it seem like being gay is a bad thing.”
RUSH LIMBAUGH may seem incredibly blunt while hosting his conservative radio show, but four childless marriages haven’t helped Rush’s case for claiming straight status.His mentor in the biz was openly gay, and “numerous men” have reported seeing Rush in gay bars through the years. Elliot Sanders has even claimed to have carried on a three-month affair with Limbaugh at Southeast Missouri University in 1971.
KEVIN SPACEY spent decades refusing to address his sexual preference — despite making headlines in 2004 for changing his story after first claiming to have been “brutally mugged” in a London park known for gay sex trysts. Then the Oscar-winner’s career was ruined in Oct. 2017 over multiple claims of sick sexual harassment. Former gay fans weren’t happy when Spacey responded by announcing that he was “living as a gay man,” especially after he’d been seen having a “romantic dinner” with a blonde woman in June!
QUEEN LATIFAH has been often photographed vacationing and strolling arm-in-arm with petite choreographer Eboni Nichols — but insists on being coy about her sexuality. “I do have a problem discussing my personal life,” she said back in 2008. “I don’t care if people think I’m gay or not. Assume whatever you want!”