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Celebrity memoirs have become all the rage over the years, as they give the biggest names in Hollywood a rare chance to tell their stories in their own words. This year was no exception.

In 2020, stars including Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer, Alex Trebek, Mariah Carey and Matthew McConaughey released tell-alls, spilling secrets about their personal and professional lives and everything in between.

Open Book allowed Simpson to show a side of herself that fans had never seen before — not even on Newlyweds, her ‘00s-era MTV reality show with then-husband Nick Lachey. In the book, she candidly wrote about her marriages to Lachey and current husband Eric Johnson as well as her high-profile relationships with John Mayer and Tony Romo. She also opened up about being sexually abused as a child and abusing alcohol later in life, among other little-known struggles.

“I believe in being completely open and honest,” the fashion designer exclusively told Us Weekly in February. “I hope [my children, Maxwell, Ace and Birdie] can learn from some of my mistakes – but more importantly, learn that no life is perfect, challenges give us tools and it’s learning from our mistakes that makes us stronger. There are some topics in the book I don’t think they are mature enough to digest yet, but in due time I will share everything with them.”

Carey, for her part, was also as frank as could be in her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, in which she detailed her failed marriages to Tommy Mottola and Nick Cannon in addition to her rise to becoming one of the bestselling music artists of all time. She did, however, opt to skip over several memories, including her rumored romance with Eminem and her brief engagement to businessman James Packer.

“If it was a relationship that mattered, it’s in the book. If not, it didn’t occur,” the pop diva told The Guardian in October.

As 2020 (finally) comes to an end, scroll through the gallery below to read 10 of the biggest bombshells from celebrity memoirs released this year.

Jessica Simpson Slept With Nick Lachey After Split

After filing for divorce in December 2005, the “With You” singer had one last rendezvous with her husband of three years. “I slept with him,” she wrote in Open Book, which was published in February. “I could feel his hate. The whole situation was very dark. I didn’t want the energy in my home. When he walked out the door, I knew I would never see him again.” (Simpson also revealed in the book that she had “an emotional affair” with her Dukes of Hazzard costar Johnny Knoxville.)

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Colton Underwood Once Questioned His Sexuality

The former Bachelor wrote in The First Time, which hit bookstores in March, that years before he found fame, his Google search history “included gay porn sites and a variety of questions: Am I gay? How do you know if you’re gay? Why don’t I like having sex with my girlfriend?” After Underwood finished conducting “research,” he realized that he “was definitely attracted to girls.”


Val Kilmer Had Feelings for ‘Alexander’ Costar Angelina Jolie

The Top Gun actor admitted in I’m Your Huckleberry, which came out in April, that he was attracted to Jolie before they even started filming their 2004 movie. “I couldn’t wait to kiss Angie, buy her [a] Gulfstream jet and have V+J painted in rainbow glory on the tail,” he wrote, calling the Oscar-winning actress “gorgeous” and “wise.”

Richard Young/Shutterstock

Nikki Bella Was Raped Twice as a Teen

The former WWE pro revealed in Incomparable, the joint memoir that she and twin sister Brie Bella released in May, “My virginity was stolen from me, without my consent. I was raped, by a guy I thought was a friend, while I was passed out at a party.” A few months later, a college-age man “roofied” and raped Nikki after a modeling competition.


Colin Jost Has Thought About Leaving ‘Saturday Night Live’

The comedian acknowledged in A Very Punchable Face, which hit shelves in July, that he is “preparing mentally to leave SNL in the near future,” calling it “a choice I need to make.”

Matt Baron/Shutterstock

Alex Trebek Once Accidentally Ate ‘Four or Five’ Pot Brownies

The Jeopardy! host shared a funny anecdote in his July memoir, The Answer Is, which was published just months before his death from stage IV pancreatic cancer. Recalling a house party he attended growing up, Trebek wrote, “There were chocolate brownies on a plate. The hosts said, ‘Go ahead, help yourself.’ I had four or five of them. I did not realize they were hash brownies. The drugs knocked me out so much I spent the weekend laid out in their guest bedroom and didn’t leave their home until Monday morning.”

Picture Perfect/Shutterstock

Lauren Akins and Thomas Rhett ‘Hit Rock Bottom’ After Becoming Parents

The Live in Love author wrote in her August book that she and her country singer husband have seen “a marriage counselor on a regular basis” since 2015. After adopting daughter Willa in 2017 and giving birth to Ada only three months later, the couple “hit rock bottom” as Rhett became distracted by his busy career. “This was on me. I had to step up, or I was gonna lose her,” he remembered in his wife’s memoir.


Mariah Carey Had an Extramarital Affair With Derek Jeter

Toward the end of her tumultuous marriage to Mottola, the “Hero” singer began sneaking around New York City with Jeter. “Derek was only the second person I had slept with ever (coincidentally, his number was 2 on the Yankees),” she wrote in The Meaning of Mariah Carey, which dropped in September. While their affair was short-lived, Carey thanked the retired MLB star for being “the catalyst [she] needed to get out from under Tommy’s crippling control.”

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; KCR/Shutterstock

Ally Brooke Was Reluctant to Join ‘Dancing With the Stars’

The former Fifth Harmony member revealed in her October autobiography, Finding Your Harmony, that she turned down an offer to compete on season 27 of the ABC competition in 2018 because her “solo music career was still in its infancy.” The following year, producers approached her again — and she said yes. “It was hard to believe that I was really going to be a contestant on a show that I had watched and loved for years,” she wrote.


Matthew McConaughey Was ‘Blackmailed’ Into Losing His Virginity

The Dazed and Confused star wasted no time in Greenlights, diving into his sex life within the first few pages of the October book. “I was blackmailed into having sex for the first time when I was 15,” he wrote. “I was certain I was going to hell for the premarital sex. Today, I am merely certain that I hope that’s not the case.”


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