The comedian and cast member on The League built a career on the claim that he escaped certain death on September 11. Rannazzisi spun a tale taller than the Twin Towers themselves, saying that he worked for Merrill Lynch in the World Trade Center on the day that the worst terrorist attacks in America’s history were carried out. He obviously claimed to have escaped, but through the years, details about his 9/11 survival story changed. A New York Times piece outed him as a liar, and Rannazzisi took to Twitter to express remorse at letting his lie spiral out of control. It was certainly disrespectful to those who did lose their lives in the tragedy. Rannazzisi later went on Howard Stern to own up, basically chalking the lies up to his way of seeking acceptance when he first moved to Los Angeles. Lame.
The comedienne was exposed for lying about her age and her real name. She was previously believed to be 29. But when she filed papers with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, according toPEOPLE, it was revealed that the funny gal was born in 1980 and is therefore actually 35 at the time of this writing. She also was loosey goosey with the facts regarding her real name—it’s Melanie Elizabeth Bownds, although she claimed her parents legally named her “Rebel”— and she once told Ellen DeGeneres on her namesake TV show that she grew up “in the ghetto.” Records suggest that she was actually raised in quite an upscale area. Tsk tsk.
When the “Ice Ice Baby” rapper rose to mainstream prominence back in the ’90s, his handlers made the effort to position him as hard and from the hood, even if his smash hit was anything but. In an effort to force some cred, stories were circulated, suggesting he went to the same Miami high school as 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell. It was later revealed by multiple outlets that Ice, born Robert Van Winkle, did not attend that school and that his label had taken serious liberties with biographical information it shared with the media. It made him look like even more of a poser.
The cyclist’s “mythic, perfect” story was ever the feel-good tale. He beat cancer and the odds, providing powerful inspiration to millions of people who also battled the disease; his Livestrong culture and ethos and his successes basically let them know that they, too, could defeat the odds. But an investigation revealed that the long-held rumor—that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs to help win seven Tour de France titles—was true. Despite initial denials, he eventually admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey and was subsequently stripped of his titles.
You can’t have a list about stars who told huge lies without the sad saga of Milli Vanilli. The pop twosome stylishly sang and danced their way up the charts in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The won a Grammy. Then a backing track skipped during a live performance, proving that they were lip synching and they did not sing the lead vocals on their songs. They were merely the faces of the voices. They were stripped of their award and their fame and secured a dubious spot in music and pop culture history.
10 STARS WHO GOT CAUGHT TELLING HUGE LIES