You'd think after years of watching reality TV, it would be impossible to still be shocked by all the drama (after all, one of the reasons people watch this sort of stuff is because the controversies make for great entertainment). But sometimes things reach a whole new level, and it's amazing to learn of just how many scandals reality shows, and their stars, have been involved in.
From physical fights, "adult" tapes, and cheating, to the more serious scandals involving drug operations and faking the death of a loved one, just when you think you've seen it all, even more terrible secrets emerge. Secrets so bad, that they have resulted in some of the reality shows being canceled.
Don't believe us? Below are 15 of the worst (and dirtiest) scandals to hit reality TV — and buckle up, because they're awful!
15 Abby Lee Miller's trouble with the law
Abby Lee Miller, dance coach and star of the hit Lifetime series Dance Moms, has a larger-than-life personality, but she also has a pretty big debt. Miller was convicted of bankruptcy fraud after she reportedly hid $775,000 of her income (which she made from the show and other spinoff projects) from the United States government -- a pretty big chunk of change.
The future of the show remains uncertain, because not only does Miller have to pay restitution, but she also has to spend time behind bars. While her sentencing was initially delayed, in May of 2017, Miller was sentenced to one year and one day in jail.
If you're wondering, she does regret her decisions. As her statement in court noted, she feels "ashamed."
14 Jenelle Evans' many, many arrests
Teen Mom 2 star Jenelle Evans has been in trouble with the law more times than we care to remember, and most of her drama has played out on the MTV reality series.
Some of Evans' more memorable moments include the time in January of 2012 when she was arrested for allegedly making threats to her roommate and former best friend, Hannah Inman. The pair had reportedly gotten in a major fight over rent.
In addition to multiple drug-related arrests, Ervans was arrested in March of 2011 for assaulting her friend Brittany Truett -- Truett reportedly flirted with Evans' then-boyfriend, Kieffer Delp, and again in October 2015 for breaking and entering.
However, in recent years Evans seems to have calmed down a bit and is more focused on getting her life back on track: She got engaged to David Eason in February, and the pair also had their first child together (Evans' third) in January.
13 Sister Wives' Meri Brown's catfish scandal
Meri Brown, one of the stars of TLC's Sister Wives, was involved in a catfish scandal in 2015 -- between March and August of that year. She fell in love with a stranger online named Sam Cooper, only to later find out she'd been duped.
The person she was in love with was actually a woman.
Viewers couldn't help but feel sorry for Meri, because her husband, Kody Brown (who is spiritually married to four women), had only recently legally divorced her. Here's where it gets complicated: although Kody is married to four women, he can only legally marry one, and he ditched Meri for his new wife, Robyn.
However, what Meri did, in the eyes of her religion, was wrong. The drama unfolded on the show in 2016 with the focus being on Meri's "affair" (as she was still spiritually married to Kody), and her relationship with her family.
12 Jillian Michaels' played dirty -- or did she?
The Biggest Loser's Jillian Michaels' role is to help contestants on the show shed the pounds and create a new healthier way of living, but during Season 15, it emerged that she had been bending the rules.
Michaels reportedly gave her White Team caffeine supplements without permission. While the producers may not have agreed with Michaels' decision, she stood by her actions, and according to E! News she is quoted as saying: "I stand by my opinion. A caffeine supplement is significantly healthier than unlimited amounts of coffee."
Interestingly, the accusations came about at a strange time, and viewers and media outlets speculate that it could have been an attempt to bring back the recently eliminated American Idol contestant, Ruben Studdard -- who was brought back after the scandal came to the attention of the public.
11 Vicki Gunvalson's boyfriend's "fake" cancer
Vicki Gunvalson and her boyfriend, Brook Ayers, caused an incredible amount of drama on Season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County.
Ayers was accused of lying about having cancer, and Gunvalson defended him, causing a massive rift between herself and her costars -- including Tamra Judge, Shannon Beador and Heather Dubrow -- who disagreed with the diagnosis.
It emerged later that Ayers had reportedly fabricated his medical documents relating to his cancer. According to People magazine, he altered the documents to make it appear as though he had been a patient at the cancer hospital, City of Hope -- he claimed he created the documents because he did not want to reveal his real medical records. But Ayers' confession reportedly resulted in Gunvalson breaking up with him.
10 Teresa and Joe Giudice slapped with prison sentences
Teresa and Joe Giudice found themselves in trouble with the law for bank and bankruptcy fraud, resulting in the The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars being jailed. Season 6 of the show focused heavily on the couple's legal drama, the outcome of which was Joe being sentenced to 41 months in prison and being ordered to pay restitution of $414,588, while his wife, Teresa, was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
Teresa entered prison first, serving time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, starting in January of 2015, and it turns out sometimes crime does pay. Not only did Teresa return to the Bravo series, she also wrote a book, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again, about her time behind bars and how it affected her life.
9 Project Runway contestant found with pattern-making books
If you've ever watched Bravo's Project Runway (hosted by Tim Gunn) you'd know that the show gives 16 up-and-coming fashion designers a platform to showcase their skills, and battle it out to determine who is the most talented. But there are clear rules, and apparently one contestant broke them.
On Season 3, designer Keith Michaels created a controversy when he was found with pattern-making books in his room (a violation of the show's rules). He was also missing from the set for an unexplained reason, and this absence, together with the books, led him to be disqualified.
But during a 2006 interview with Andy Cohen, Michaels claimed he had been treated unfairly because the books had nothing do with the show. He said, "These pattern books were not the kind that you would be able to use for practical purposes on the show." Michaels also claimed that one was a detailed book on menswear, which he brought with because he was working on his menswear line at the time, and that the other was a dictionary of production terms.
8 Jon "Jonny Fairplay" Dalton faked the death of a loved one
Jon "Jonny Fairplay" Dalton is perhaps one of the most hated people in reality TV history, and for good reason: he has no moral compass.
During Survivor: Pearl Islands, Dalton decided to manipulate his teammates by claiming that his grandmother had died -- turns out, she was alive and well.
Dalton chose his grandmother for the visit from a loved one segment, and he had spent so much time thinking out his elaborate scheme that he even enlisted the help of a friend to tell him that his grandmother had died when she didn't show up. This resulted in him winning a 24-hour visit with a friend (because everyone else felt sorry for him).
His actions are not only shameful and downright disgusting, but they are also incredibly insensitive to those who have been affected by the death of a loved one.
7 Big Brother contestant's drug ring
What would you use your $500,000 prize winnings on? A new car? Perhaps a nice holiday, or even a down payment on a house? Well, Adam Jasinski, the Season 9 winner of Big Brother -- a reality show that focuses on several contestants living in a house filled with hidden cameras -- decided to use his earnings on something completely unexpected: funding a drug ring.
With his winnings, Jasinski reportedly started funding a drug operation, and a year later (in 2009) he was arrested after attempting to sell 2,000 oxycodone pills to a Drug Enforcement Administration witness. He was sentenced to four years in federal prison for drug and tax charges -- yeah, he reportedly also failed to file a tax return for his Big Brother winnings in 2008.
6 Farrah Abraham's sex tape
Over the years MTV's Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham has been embroiled in many controversies (some of which have played out on the show), but by far the most shocking was her porn debut in 2013.
Abraham and professional porn star James Deen created a sex tape called Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom *gross* and while the reality TV star claimed the footage was leaked to Vivid Entertainment, this has been disputed. According to The Mirror, Vivid Entertainment followed up with Farrah 2: Backdoor and More, in which they claimed viewers would see the real Farrah and have proof that it was definitely not a "fake" leak.
Abraham claimed that she regretted making the tape, but since its release she's been quite involved in the sex industry and has a line of adult toys as well as a webcam business.
5 Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag's bitter feud
There was a time when The Hills stars Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag were good friends, but that all changed (and played out on the show) when a report emerged claiming that there was a sex tape of Conrad and fellow reality star, Jason Wahler, making its rounds.
Conrad was upset that Montag did not reach out to see how she was after the news broke, but it was later revealed that Montag didn't reach out because, according to E! News, her now-husband, Spencer Pratt, was the person who started the rumors (he finally admitted to it two years later).
During Season 3 of The Hills, Conrad shouted at Montag, telling her, "You know what you did!" And from this point onwards, everyone believed that Montag and Pratt had something to do with the sex tape debacle. It was also the end of a once good friendship.
4 Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams' catfight
The Real Housewives of Atlanta stars Kenya Moore and Porsha Williams got into a physical altercation during the taping of a reunion show in 2014. The fight is believed to have been about Williams former husband, Kordell Stewart, who Moore reportedly accused Williams of cheating on.
Things got ugly between the two women, with Williams allegedly beating Moore, as well as pulling her hair. And the unedited footage was clearly enough to warrant an investigation:Williams was reportedly charged with misdemeanor battery following a police investigation into the assault, after Moore filed charges against her.
While the fight is shocking, we can't really be too surprised because there was tension building between these two women for quite some time. We just didn't expect the end result to be quite as explosive.
3 Todd Chrisley's tax scandal
While not as dramatic as some of the other reality TV scandals, Todd Chrisley, of Chrisley Knows Best, has been making headlines for reportedly dodging his taxes. He reportedly declared himself as a Georgia resident on multiple court filings, but has not been paying income tax in the state for years, WSB-TV reports.
And now, he's under state investigation.
Dramatic, right? But the most interesting part of the scandal is not that Chrisley is under investigation, but rather that his own son, Kyle, would like to see him be held accountable. Chrisley's son (who he is estranged from) was subpoenaed to answer questions about his father's alleged failure to pay income taxes, and he told Channel 2 reporter Jodie Fleischer that his father has "always been that way," adding that "he stretches the truth."
2 Chris Soules reportedly left the scene of a crime
Chris Soules, one of the former stars on ABC's The Bachelor, didn't do anything shady while on the show, but in 2017 he found himself in hot water. He was charged with felony hit and run in connection with an accident in rural Iowa (near his home) that left a tractor driver dead.
According to Deadline, Soules was previously jailed for leaving the scene of a crime: The truck that he was driving reportedly ran into the back of a tractor, causing it to go into a ditch, fatally injuring the driver. Local news reporters claimed that alcoholic beverages had been found at the crash site. It was also reportedly that Soules fled on foot after he made a phone call to the police, but was later arrested by local authorities.
1 LuAnn de Lesseps' cheating fiancé
Bravo's The Real Housewives franchise is not short of drama (in fact, there's so much that the stars of different versions have made it onto our list four times) but another one of the show's memorable moments came about thanks to LuAnn de Lesseps' relationship with Tom D'Agostino.
The The Real Housewives of New York City star is now married to D'Agostino -- they got married in Palm Beach, Florida, on New Years Eve in 2016 -- but her castmates were not exactly approving of the relationship for one big reason: Tom D'Agostino allegedly cheated on Lesseps.
Fellow housewife Bethenny Frankel tried to intervene and told Lesseps that her fiancé had kissed another woman, however, Lesseps didn't seem to care. D'Agostino did address the controversy, and seemingly admitted to his indiscretions. According to Bravo's The Daily Dish, he claimed he "made a mistake" and that he felt awful about it.