The past 365 (or so) days have been crazy for everyone, but particularly for people who are in the limelight. Dylan O’Brien got run over by a freakin’ car while filming The Death Cure. Selena Gomez checked herself into rehab for the second time. Liam Payne most likely got a girl 10 years his senior pregnant. Need any further proof 2016 was majorly effed up for celebrities? No WAY. But the past year wasn’t just cray for ~mainstream~ stars — YouTubers had it rough, too.
Jesse Wellens Has a Daughter
Jesse's split from longtime girlfriend Jeana Smith made our list of most shocking YouTube couple breakups of 2016, and he finds himself on another 'Best Of' list thanks to his long-lost child.
Days after announcing the breakup, the 34-year-old made a shocking reveal — he has a daughter. "Ok yes I may have a daughter," he tweeted. "We never met and its killing me. It's a long and crazy story. I need to get off my chest and find her. I feel like if I send this energy out onto the Internet about my daughter I might actually be able to find her .She was adopted. Family in NYC."Photo: Instagram
Fans Think Marina Joyce Was Kidnapped
This one was probably the most WTF-inducing YouTube moment of the year, for sure. To sum it up — people thought this YouTuber was a victim of a kidnapping. That theory lasted for about a week before Marina (and her friends AND her family AND the police) confirmed she was not being held hostage and her strange behavior was nothing more than just that.
Christina Grimmie is Murdered After a Concert
Although it's been more than six months since Christina was shot and killed by an obsessed fan, her death is still fresh in our hearts. We will never forget the moment we heard that this YouTube-star-turned-Voice-finalist was in critical condition after a shooting, and later that she sadly passed away from her injuries.
Gigi Gorgeous Detained in Airport for Being Transgender
Gigi was SUPER excited about travelling to Dubai over the summer, but unfortunately her trip stopped before it even started. The YouTube star arrived in the country only to be detained by an immigration officer who wouldn't let her in because the "imitation of women by men" is illegal in Dubai, and even though she's legally a woman, the fact that she is transgender was a problem.
"After being detained and held at the Dubai airport for over 5 hours, this was the moment my baby came to rescue me," she wrote on social media. "Yesterday was one of the scariest moments of my entire life and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. How you can be denied entry somewhere just because of who you are is seriously disgusting and also very scary. This further proves the need for CHANGE. I am now on my way to somewhere much more accepting. Safe and sound and happy. I love you guys."
Jacob Sartorius Reveals He Was Adopted
When Kaylor Keeling claimed that Internet sensation Jacob Sartorius was his long-lost brother who was actually adopted when he was younger, no one knew what to believe. Sure, the teen made some convincing points, but the jury was definitely still out — could the 13-year-old Muser really have a secret life he never told anyone about? Turns out, the answer was yes!
"I have something to tell you guys that I think will make us all closer and allow you to get to know me better," he said in a video to fans. "Although I grew up in Virginia like most of you know, I was actually born in Oklahoma. At the time, my birth parents weren't able to take care of me, so they made a plan for be to be adopted. Luckily for me, I was blessed to be adopted by two of the most amazing parents in the world, my mom and my dad."
Trisha Paytas 'Outs' Sean van der Wilt as Gay
Not only did Sean van der Wilt allegedly cheat on his girlfriend Trisha Paytas, but he apparently cheated on her with a guy. When the blonde made the first of many videos addressing this topic, people SLAMMED her for outing the dancer, who always said he was straight. Trisha, however, said her anger and hurt was never about Sean's sexuality — it was because he lied to her and apparently was unfaithful.
"This is not about being gay,” she proclaimed in her 'sean is suing me' video. "I'm not gay-shaming. Like, if he wants to be gay, be gay. If he's not gay, just having fun with guys, like, go have fun with guys, I don't care. I'm literally commenting on something that humiliated me."
Naked Picture of Troye Sivan Leaks
Troye is probably the last celebrity who we'd expect to fall victim to a nude-photo leak, and while the shot that hit the Internet in September wasn't that bad (you could really only see his torso), it still sucks to have your privacy invaded. "Oi jokes aside, this sucks. Nothin I can do now but please don't share anything you think I wouldn't want the world to see," he tweeted after being hacked.
Shay Carl Announces That the Shaytards Are Leaving YouTube
Say it ain't so!! On September 28, 2016, Shay and Colette Butler made a video announcing that the Shaytards would be leaving YouTube in Spring 2017."We started the #SHAYTARDS YouTube channel on October 2, 2008! This coming October 2 will be the 8 year anniversary of its creation. WHO KNEW IT WOULD TURN INTO THIS! We are going to commit to doing 5 more months of EVERY SINGLE DAY vlogging and then on March 5, 2017 on Shay's 37th birthday we will shut the SHAYTARDS channel down for 1 year.. NO VIDEOS! In an effort to try to maintain a 'normal' life in which time Shay will take a year off the internet to recalibrate and internalize all that he has learned in this whirlwind of a journey before deciding on the next amazing adventure to embark on. I CAN'T WAIT!"
Adam Saleh Gets Kicked off Plane for Speaking Arabic
You know 2016 couldn't end on a high note. Adam Saleh was trying to fly from London to NYC on a Delta flight just before the holidays, but his travel plans were unfortunately interrupted by racist passengers who felt "uncomfortable" when he spoke to his mom in Arabic over the phone.
"We got kicked out of a @Delta airplane because I spoke Arabic to my mom on the phone and with my friend Slim… WTFFFFFFFF please spread," the YouTuber wrote on Twitter along with a video of him being escorted off the aircraft.
Pictures of JC Caylen & Kian Lawley Hooking Up with Fans Leak
Kian and JC have never been shy about talking about their sex lives, dating histories, etc., but that still didn't stop the shock that came when a series of extremely NSFW Polaroid pictures of the boys hooking up with fans while on tour hit the Internet at the end of July.
Bri, a Minneapolis-based fan, decided it would be a good idea to post the "drunken Polaroids" on Instagram and tag both JC and Kian. Shortly after they were uploaded, all parties involved began receiving TONS of hate, and the 23-year-old web star asked her to delete them, which she did. The brunette eventually apologized for upsetting people and said she "never meant for this to happen," but ultimately decided that she can post whatever she wants on her page and re-uploaded one of the snaps.
Calum McSwiggan Gets Assaulted for Being Gay...or Does He?
After going out to a gay club with his friends to celebrate a successful VidCon 2016, this LGBTQ+ advocate claimed he was assaulted ("three broken teeth and six stitches") by someone who hated him due to his sexuality. But according to authorities who the 26-year-old said "treated [him] like a second class citizen," he was making the whole thing up.
A LA sheriff explained: "Responding deputies were unable to substantiate the assault. Mr. McSwiggan, who had no visible injuries, was subsequently arrested after deputies observed him vandalizing a car in the 8900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard. After being booked and photographed, Mr. McSwiggan was placed into a cell by himself at West Hollywood Station. Mr. McSwiggan was then observed injuring himself with the handle and receiver to a payphone inside the cell. Medical personnel were summoned and Mr. McSwiggan was transported to a local hospital for treatment."
Calum was eventually charged with faking an assault and vandalism.
Jaclyn Hill Gets Sued by Her Former Friend
As one of YouTube's biggest successes, Jaclyn is used to getting hate from strangers around the world. However when she found out that one of her former friends was trying to take her down, she was obviously shocked.
Back in June, the 26-year-old was sued by Mathew Chase Gilbert for copyright infringement and fraud, among other things. The man basically said that he owns the rights to JH's company logo and he has not been properly compensated as her success skyrocketed.
Jasmeet Singh is Forced to Remove His Turban
While JusReign was obviously upset that he had to take his turban off for "extra screening" before boarding a flight in San Francisco, he was more upset that TSA officers made him leave a private screening room without it on.
He explained: "So the @tsa made me take off my turban in extra screening or they said I wouldn't be able to be let through to catch my flight. And naturally I'm like nah I really don't wanna do that since I got a flight to catch, but the manager intervenes and says I have to. So I get into the private screening and take it off and they body search me and put my turban through another X-ray machine because 'safety.' After finding absolutely nothing wrong because a turban is just cloth and the whole thing is stupid I ask for a mirror to tie it back again. The agent tells me there are no mirrors and that I can just walk down the terminal to the nearest restroom without my turban on. FAM WHAT WAS THE POINT IN TAKING ME TO THE PRIVATE ROOM IF U JUST TELL ME TO WALK OUT TO THE NEAREST RESTROOM TO PUT IT BACK ON AGAIN. It's just super annoying having to deal with this and also @tsa put mirrors in your room if you tell me to take it off it's not that hard. The issue is that after they made me remove it in a private room. I asked for a mirror to retie it again. which isn't a complicated request. instead they told me to walk out to find a bathroom to retie. what was the point in putting me in a private room. THAT'S the insensitive part."
Jeffree Star Gets Into Major Feud with Kat Von D
Feud? More like saga. First, the tattoo artist announced that she'd be cutting all ties with her former pal for his "inappropriate behavior including, promoting drug use, racism, and bullying." But it didn't end there.
Kat eventually told her fans why she was so upset with the YouTuber — basically, the 34-year-old claimed that her good friend, artist BJ Betts, designed Jeffree's logo years ago and he never received payment for his work. But according to Jeffree, that's all a lie.
"This witch hunt mentality is so disturbing. @bjbetts and I are 100% fine. People here one little story and act like its a fact. There is no beef with BJ. We worked together in 2014 on an idea and someone else took over. Everyone's been paid. #chillout," he wrote on Twitter in response to her allegations.
Nicole Arbour Accused of Abusing Her Ex
If you recognize the name Nicole Arbour, it's probably because her controversial "Dear Fat People" went viral in 2015. The YouTube 'comedienne' made headlines again in 2016, but this time for an even worse reason.
About two weeks into the new year, Nicole's ex-boyfriend, fellow YT star Matthew Santoro, made a video saying that the funny woman abused him throughout their relationship.
"I left an event I was at and ended it with this person. The person prevented me from leaving their home and said, 'You're not going anywhere,' at which point I was hit in the face. I was hit in the face for the first time in my life and when someone you care about strikes you, there's so many emotions that go through you, it's almost indescribable. You feel sadness. You feel shame. You feel embarrassment. You think, 'Was it my fault?'"
Nicole, however, said his allegations were completely false and "his hurt over the breakup turned to anger…turned to a whole bunch of lies."
Austin Null Admits to Having an Online Affair
The NiveNulls are hardcore #RelationshipGoals, so when we found out that Austin was actually having a secret affair for months, we were beyond shocked.
"It was actually nearly a year ago, someone reached out to me — sent me some pictures and stuff — a girl — and I, instead of blocking her and moving on, decided to flirt with the idea of responding, and basically had an online affair for like 5 months…," the YouTuber explained with his wife by his side. "This went on in the beginning of May and I told Brittany, I felt terrible. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I wasn't even looking for this, something just fell into my lap and instead of ignoring it, I fell into it and it just spiraled out of control. I felt terrible, I said I have an amazing family, I have an amazing wife and I ended it with this girl, and ever since then we've been in counseling."
Brittany was obviously extremely upset, but has since been able to forgive her husband and the couple is happy raising their three kids together.Photo: Instagram