Britney Spears, Megxit and more
Pull up a chair and place your bets: Page Six is taking a closer look at the biggest celebrity fights and feuds of 2021.
Britney Spears vs. her family
For nearly half of her decades-long career, Spears was under a conservatorship controlled by her dad, Jamie Spears, following the “Womanizer” singer’s 2008 breakdown and rehab stay. Initially put in place as a temporary measure, the arrangement granted Jamie the legal right to oversee and make decisions regarding Britney’s finances, health, business deals and personal life.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny ruled to have her father suspended in September 2021, following a period of increased public interest in Spears’ case after a pair of documentaries on her situation. The conservatorship was eventually terminated in November 2021.
Britney’s victory came months after she addressed the court over the summer, alleging that, under Jamie’s iron fist, she was forced into a mental health facility, prescribed lithium and forced to have an IUD contraceptive inserted, all against her will. She also expressed anger that her family never intervened, saying they did “not do a goddamn thing,” and told Judge Penny that she would like to sue them and have Jamie charged with “conservatorship abuse.”
Amid the support of the #FreeBritney movement, Spears has become bolder about assigning blame to her family, saying in October that they “hurt me deeper than you’ll ever know.” She went on to say that her mother Lynne gave her father the idea for the conservatorship, calling Jamie “not smart enough” to come up with the arrangement on his own.
“I will never get those years back,” Britney said in November. “She secretly ruined my life.”
Yolanda Hadid vs. Zayn Malik
Former One Directioner Zayn Malik and model Gigi Hadid were one of the A-list’s most photogenic on-again, off-again couples. They initially called it quits in 2018 only to briefly reunite a year later. Fast forward to September 2020, and ZiGi was back on as PageSix broke the news that they’d welcomed their first child together, Khai Malik.
Trouble in paradise ensued a year later when TMZ reported that Malik was charged with four criminal offenses of harassment after a fight he had with Gigi’s mom Yolanda. According to documents obtained by the outlet, Malik called Yolanda a “f–king Dutch slut” and told her to “stay away from [my] f–king daughter” during a September 2021 confrontation at Zayn and Gigi’s house in Pennsylvania.
The documents reportedly also claim he “shoved [Yolanda] into a dresser causing mental anguish and physical pain.” Malik was also charged with harassing Gigi after apparently telling her over the phone to “strap on some f–king balls and defend your partner against your f–king mother in my house.” (Hadid was reportedly in Paris at the time.) Lastly, Malik caught a charge for harassing a security guard who was present during the confrontation, allegedly yelling at him, “Get the f–k out of my f–king house, copper.”
The crooner issued a statement to his Twitter page that he would “not contest claims” that arose from the confrontation, additionally wishing the incident were a “private matter.”
After pleading no contest to at least one of the charges, Malik was fined and put on a 360-day probation period and assigned an anger management class and a domestic violence program. He’s also forbidden from contacting Yolanda or the security guard.
Meanwhile, the Post was told by a top attorney (not involved in the case) that the incident may impact future custody situations with Khai, though sources added that Gigi is determined to co-parent with Malik.
Tristan Thompson vs. Lamar Odom
NBA vets Tristan Thompson and Lamar Odom have two things in common: Basketball and stressing Khloé Kardashian out. Odom’s rocky relationship with Kardashian included her called-off attempt to divorce him and his near-death in a Nevada brothel after years of battling drug and alcohol abuse.
After their divorce went through, Kardashian eventually settled down with another baller, Tristan Thompson, welcoming daughter True just days after Thompson reportedly stepped out on her with a New York bartender. Tristan’s streak of infidelity would become a hallmark of their relationship, with women like Sydney Chase and Jordyn Woods coming along for the ride.
The beef between Thompson and Odom centers around some feisty Instagram comments on a couple of Kardashian’s posts. In July 2021, Thompson left three heart-eyed emoji Tuesday beneath a photo of the Good American co-founder, causing Kardashian stans to immediately descend on him, begging him to leave her alone.
Lamar would shoot his shot in the comments of a different bikini pic of Kardashian, posting “Hottie 🔥🔥😍😍❤️🥰🥰,” which didn’t go unnoticed by the Instagram account Comments by Celebs. The lust-fueled battle raged on as Thompson got personal with a direct shot at Odom that referenced his near-death experience: “God brought you back the first time. Play if you want, different results.” He followed it up with a more restrained “❤️❤️🤤🤤” — seemingly directed at Kardashian again — in a separate comment.
Jesy Nelson vs. Little Mix
It’s safe to say Jesy Nelson won’t be mixin’ it up with Little Mix anytime soon. Nelson announced she would be leaving the UK “X-Factor” group after nine years via an Instagram statement in December 2020, claiming her presence in the group was draining her mental health.
After releasing a video for her single as a solo artist, “Boyz,” featuring Nicki Minaj, in October 2021, Nelson was accused of “blackfishing.” In response to the criticism, Nelson told Vulture she loves both “black culture” and “black music,” advising “haters” to not “be a part of [her] journey.” After the Vulture interview was published, Little Mix fans noticed that the group’s other members — Jade Thirlwall, Perrie Edwards, and Leigh-Anne Pinnock, along with Edwards’ dog Hatchi — had unfollowed Nelson on Instagram.
Minaj came to Nelson’s defense, accusing the British singer’s former bandmates, who she did not address by name, of being jealous.
“Stop. If you want a solo career, baby girl, just say that,” Minaj said during an Instagram Live she cohosted with Nelson in October 2021. “You can go out and put [out] your own music. We’re gonna support you and love you. That’s it. You don’t have to attack someone else.”
Days after Minaj’s comments, Pinnock appeared to address the “Super Bass” rapper’s take at her 30th birthday party, saying, “I know my character, you know my character, anyone that meets me knows my f–king character.”
The trio publicly addressed their feud with Nelson in an October 2021 interview with The Telegraph in which Thirlwall explained the group dealt with their former bandmate “the best way that we know how and got each other through it.”
She added, “We don’t want to talk about the video, or be critical, but one thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner.”
Kelly Dodd vs. Heather Dubrow
The casting drama on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” took a turn for the Shakespearean this year, when — after rumors swirled that Heather Dubrow only would only return to the show if nemesis Kelly Dodd was axed — Dodd was axed and Dubrow did return. (Elizabeth Lyn Vargas and Braunwyn Windham-Burke also confirmed they were exiting the show.)
Dodd and Dubrow only appeared on the reality series for one season together before the latter’s exit. During Season 11, they argued after Dodd used the C-word during a heated cast dinner, hardly the first of her gaffes while in the spotlight, which included wearing a “Drunk Wives Matter” hat and calling the COVID-19 pandemic “God’s way of thinning the herd.”
Dubrow didn’t refrain from commenting on Dodd’s mishaps.
“Cancel culture is such a tricky thing … [it] can ruin people’s lives and careers and whatnot. Having said that, and having not seen exactly what was said, I’ll tell you this: a leopard doesn’t change its spots, right?” Dubrow told Us Weekly in January. “People show you who they are. And at some point, you have to listen.”
Mid-2021, Dubrow’s family threatened to take legal action against Kelly, who alleged that she caught COVID-19 from her former co-star and her husband Terry Dubrow’s 17-year-old son, Nicholas.
“I got this letter from an attorney for the Dubrow family reminding me I made a statement that may sound like truth, when in fact it was a joke and for that, I am offering my sincere apology,” Dodd said on July 6 via Instagram Stories. “I’m going on the record right now to be very clear: [my husband] Rick [Leventhal] and I don’t know how we caught the virus, and we’re both very very sorry for any trouble we caused the Dubrow family.”
Dodd and Dubrow’s feud has continued throughout the show’s 2021 season. They’ve sparred back and forth on social media — and on Page Six — and Dodd filmed Dubrow and her husband at a restaurant in November, calling them “f–k faces” as she broadcast them on Instagram. Most recently, early in December, Dubrow told Andy Cohen that she didn’t regret calling Dodd “trash” at an airport.
“Kelly seems to talk about me a lot,” Dubrow told us in December, “so at this point I don’t know whether to be really flattered that she’s so obsessed with me or sad for her that she has no other content.”
Lisa Vanderpump vs. Kyle Richards
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” stars Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards have the most classic of Bravo arcs: Friends to enemies. Their relationship went sour after animal lover Vanderpump confronted fellow “RHBH” Dorit Kemsley for placing her dog in a “kill shelter.” Vanderpump went on to leave the show in 2019 over the incident — now known as “Puppygate” — and severed all ties with her castmates, including Richards.
Things turned even testier when Vandrepump reportedly sent a $132 dinner tab to Richards when running into each other at LA sushi spot SHU in May 2021. In a September 2021 interview with DailyMailTV, Vanderpump continued to stir the pot, claiming Richards spread rumors about fellow cast member Erika Jayne’s financial woes at Andy Cohen’s baby shower in 2019.
“It could be the person that [my husband] Ken [Todd] kicked out of my house,” Vanderpump said with a laugh, referring to the infamous end of her friendship with Richards that played out on Season 9 of “RHOBH.”
“It didn’t surprise me when Camille [Grammer] told me that it was Kyle that had told her the gossip about her supposed friend Erika Jayne,” the restauranteur added. “That’s how Kyle works.”
Richards’ response, a series of crying-laughing face emojis, came after Bravo fan and podcast host Christian Gray Snow shared a screenshot of Page Six’s story about Vanderpump’s comments.
Snow threw shade at Vanderpump in his caption, implying that her allegations were a ploy to promote the new season of her long-running spin-off, “Vanderpump Rules.”
Courtney Stodden vs. Chrissy Teigen
Courtney Stodden and Chrissy Teigen may have 2021’s longest-simmering feud. Stodden first became famous in 2011, when at the age of 16 they married 50-year-old acting coach Doug Hutchison. Stodden and Hutchinson are now divorced, but the media circus around their coupling was fodder for all manner of commentary, including from Teigen.
Namely, Stodden, who uses they/them pronouns, explained in a May 2021 Daily Beast interview that Teigen cyberbullied them repeatedly when they first became famous, telling them, among other things, to kill themselves.
“She wouldn’t just publicly tweet about wanting me to take ‘a dirt nap’ but would privately DM me and tell me to kill myself,” Stodden alleged. “Things like, ‘I can’t wait for you to die.’”
Teigen publicly made overtures to amends, apologizing via Twitter and saying, “not a lot of people are lucky enough to be held accountable for all their past bulls–t in front of the entire world. I’m mortified and sad at who I used to be.”
She went on to add that she was “mortified” by her past comments.
But that didn’t stop the fallout: Teigen’s cookware line was pulled from Macy’s and she and Target also parted ways, though her rep claimed the latter predated the Stodden flap and was a mutual decision.
The “Cravings” cookbook author would go on to claim that she tried to contact Stodden to apologize privately, though Stodden claimed she never reached out — and neither did her team.
“I accept her apology and forgive her, but the truth remains the same, I have never heard from her or her camp in private. In fact, she blocked me on Twitter,” Stodden said via an Instagram post.
Meghan & Harry vs. The Royals
The bust-up between the British royal family and the former Duke and Duchess of Sussex also has deep roots. Meghan Markle, was, at least publicly, welcomed into the royal family with open arms when she and Prince Harry started to date in 2016. But cracks began to appear as time went on, with Harry’s brother Prince William having reportedly expressed “doubts” about Markle.
In 2017, prior to her engagement to Harry, eyebrows were raised when Markle was nowhere to be seen at the wedding of William’s wife Kate Middleton’s sister, Pippa. Reports then surfaced that Meghan had made Kate cry days before her wedding to Harry over what Princess Charlotte could wear as a flower girl. Meghan and Harry went on to welcome their firstborn, son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in 2019, with the child unwittingly becoming a lightning rod when Harry’s father, Prince Charles, reportedly asked about the child’s complexion, owing to Markle being biracial.
Then came Megxit: Harry and Meghan made the bombshell announcement they would be leaving their duties as royals at the top of 2020, which obviously placed an enormous strain on his relationship with William and the rest of the family.
Meghan and Harry officially left their jobs as senior royals in February 2021, and Markle has since claimed she never planned on resigning from her role but had to for mental health reasons and that that atmosphere at Buckingham Palace had left her contemplating suicide.
After their royal exit became official, Meghan and Harry sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. Meghan would claim, among other things, that the media inaccurately reported her rift with Kate over the wedding, saying that it was actually Kate who made her cry.
“Everyone in the institution knew it wasn’t true,” Markle told Oprah, adding she wasn’t sure why no one from the royal family had denied the reports, but clarifying that the situation had been blown out of proportion and that matter, at least, settled.
By November, it was reported in Christopher Andersen’s book “Brothers And Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan” that it was Queen Elizabeth’s decision to move a portrait of Harry, Meghan and Archie off-camera before an interview that crystallized the couple’s decision to leave.
By December, Page Six had reported that Harry and Charles were at least talking again, but that things were “not all roses.”
Tarek El Moussa vs. Christina Haack
Talk about “Flip or Flop.” TMZ initially reported that house-flipping TV stars Tarek El Moussa and Christina Haack split in 2016 following a possible suicide attempt in which El Moussa fled into the woods with a gun to “blow off some steam,” leaving Haack at home — with five other guns.
The HGTV personalities soon told a local Fox affiliate that they were seeking counseling and had decided to separate while evaluating the future of their marriage.
“Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage,” they said. “During this process, we are committed to our kids and being the best parents we can be.”
Though the pair filed for divorce in 2017, the dissolution of their marriage became official in 2018, reportedly due to Haack dragging her feet on the process. The postmortem on their marriage ultimately cited a cancer battle and fertility struggles.
Drama reignited while on the set of the HGTV show, with Tarek allegedly freaking out at Christina over a signal that it was time to resume filming, while TMZ reported a production assistant claimed Tarek had called Christina a “washed-up loser,” resulting in the pair filming separately for the rest of the shoot.
“Look at me, look at me, look at me. It’s called winning,” he reportedly screamed at her, adding, “The world knows you’re crazy!” The blowup also saw El Moussa compare Haack to his now-wife, Heather Rae Young, whom he allegedly called “hotter” and “wealthier.”