Celebrities Who've Been Violently Attacked By People

One of the massively depressing facts of life is that even in the civilized world we live in today, anyone can become a victim of random or premeditated acts of violence. Celebrities may be able to afford more protection from these frightening crimes everyone is exposed to, however, the nature of their careers, which constantly thrust them into the spotlight, makes them a huge target for criminals of all types.

Fortunately, many public figures have not only survived violent attacks but have left the encounters relatively unscathed. Tragically, others have not been so lucky and just barely managed to live through the horrific ordeals. Regardless of the intensity of the incidents, all were the polar opposite of a pleasant experience and have certainly impacted the lives of every one of them that went through it. Below are some prime examples of why being a star is not always so great.

Chris Redd

In late October 2022, all comedian Chris Redd wanted to do was put on a good show for his fans at the Comedy Cellar in New York City. However, that plan would not work out because the "SNL" alum was immediately assaulted once he arrived outside the place, as reported by TMZ. The blow to his face was powerful enough to knock him off his feet, and after standing back up, Redd realized that he had been cut too deep to chase after his attacker.

In a preview for his appearance on the podcast, "The Last Laugh," the comedian explained why he thought the strike did so much damage and said, "I've been boxing for, like, years ... I've taken a punch to the face before, so it wasn't terrifying, but what was worrisome is how much blood was coming out of my face." He then added, "I mean, look, I got two fractures in my nose and a fracture in my cheek. A fist don't normally do all of that at one time, so it was safe to assume I was hit with something [else]."

Once Redd gave in to the fact that the bleeding prevented him from performing, he was quickly taken to the hospital where his wounds were stitched up and he was able to recover. No one was able to catch the assailant before he bolted, so he remained unknown.

Simon Yam

In July 2019, actor and producer Simon Yam was just onstage at a promotional event in the southern Chinese city of Zhongshan, when all a sudden, he experienced true horror without any warning. Video footage from CGTN shows a man from the audience rushing up the steps and approaching the Hong Kong star right before taking out a knife to stab him more than once.

Fortunately, the assailant was taken down and detained before he could cause any fatal injuries, but Yam did suffer slashes to his hands and a gash to his stomach. According to The China Youth Daily, while the actor was taken to the hospital to treat the wounds, his attacker was taken into police custody, in which it was determined that the cause of the assault was a case of mistaken identity (via Reuters). Later, it was revealed that the troubled man had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Megan Thee Stallion

As rapper Megan Thee Stallion was trying to leave a party with friends at Kylie Jenner's house in July 2020, probably one of the last things she ever expected to happen was to get shot in the foot by someone she was with. But that nightmare became a reality when another rapper with her group, Tory Lanez, fired at her from a nearby vehicle.

Megan recalled the harrowing experience in an interview on "CBS Mornings" as she said, "I get out the car and it's like everything happens so fast. And all I hear is this man screaming, and he said, 'Dance, b****,' and he started shooting. And I'm just like, 'Oh my God.' Like, he shot a couple of times." With tears in her eyes, she added, "I was really scared because I had never been shot at before" (via "Inside Edition").

Despite video footage, a medical report of the bullet wound to her foot, and a police report for the incident, Lanez still pleaded not guilty to the charges and has denied doing anything wrong. Tragically, Megan also continued to face harassment on the internet, along with accusations that she lied about the incident, even though she was definitely the victim (per "Entertainment Tonight").

Benedict Cumberbatch

Nearly two decades ago, in 2004, actor Benedict Cumberbatch lived through a life-altering experience that, at the time, he was certain he would not survive. While filming the BBC mini-series "To the Ends of the Earth" in South Africa, he was kidnapped at gunpoint on the side of the road one night after the vehicle he and his co-stars were in had a flat tire.

Not only was Cumberbatch forced into the trunk of his abductors' car, but the three actors were then taken underneath a bridge, tied up, and told to crouch on the ground. At that moment, the actor thought they were going to execute him, but instead, the six kidnappers fled the scene.

Incredibly grateful that he survived the traumatic ordeal, Cumberbatch told Vanity Fair how it changed his perspective and said, "I was definitely more impatient to live a life less ordinary. I wanted to swim in the sea that I saw the next morning. If you feel you're going to die, you don't think you're going to have all those sensations again — a cold beer, a cigarette, the feel of sun on your skin. All those hit you as firsts again. It is, in a way, a new beginning."

Rick Moranis

After an impressive career in the 1980s and 90s, actor Rick Moranis has long since left the limelight, which left him just as vulnerable to a random attack as any other New Yorker. When walking on the sidewalk, the elderly thespian was viciously punched in the head, as seen in the security footage released by the NYPD in October 2020 (per NBC News). Once Moranis went down, the assailant simply kept strolling down the street like nothing had happened.

Not long after, the suspect was found and charged with the assault, along with crimes against four other victims. According to local outlet PIX11, Marquis Ventura pled guilty and was sentenced to two years behind bars, followed by three years of court-mandated supervision. The conviction was far from his first since he had already been arrested on 13 occasions, which included five felonies as well. Luckily, Moranis did not suffer any serious injuries due to the attack, just some pain in his head, hip, and back. The actor released a short statement to Deadline that said he was "fine but grateful for everyone's thoughts and well wishes."

50 Cent

Over the years, rapper 50 Cent garnered enough fame to become a household name, but none of that would have happened if he had not miraculously survived a horrific attack back at the beginning of his career in May 2000. When he was in a parked car, the artist was fired upon multiple times, with several of the projectiles reaching their target, including wounds to his legs and even his face, according to MTV News.

Somehow 50 Cent managed to survive the traumatic ordeal after being rushed to the hospital. Years later, the rapper explained on "The Howard Stern Show" that the shooting occurred because of a misunderstanding. After a man was robbed, he assumed 50 Cent was involved and hired someone to take him out, even though that was not true.

When Stern tried to praise the musician for being such a badass by surviving nine bullet wounds, 50 Cent humbly responded, "Well, I don't know what the criterias [sic] are for street credibility, or if there's something that creates more merit for you. I looked at that experience as something that was unfortunate that I had to experience." But he was able to joke about the incident after so much time had passed, and when co-host Robin Quivers said he must not have been hit anywhere important, the rapper emphasized with a smile, "Everything's important, Robin. Everything's important."

Salman Rushdie

In one of the most tragic and brutal attacks on a celebrity in recent times, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed onstage in New York City when he was about to give a lecture in August 2022. The assailant, Hadi Matar, was eventually held back by several bystanders who rushed in to help, but the attacker had already caused considerable damage and tried to continue his assault even while being restrained, as reported by The New York Times.

Rushdie managed to survive the grievous injuries he received, but at great cost. When talking with the Spanish newspaper El País, the writer's agent, Andrew Wylie, described the horrific results of the attack and said, "[His wounds] were profound, but he's [also] lost the sight of one eye ... He had three serious wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso."

Rushdie had hoped to re-emerge back into society after years of hiding due to threats to his life brought on by declarations from the Iranian government. The author's controversial novel, "The Satanic Verses," has been considered highly offensive to the Islamic regime, which also motivated Matar to make his vicious assault. In an interview with the New York Post, the assailant said, "I don't like the person. I don't think he's a very good person. I don't like him. I don't like him very much. He's someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems."

Isaiah Washington

The terrifying attack on Isaiah Washington happened long before he became famous when he was still a teen. After he had purposefully angered someone who turned out to be the wrong person to mess with, his mistake resulted in severe consequences for the actor. For years, he did not share many details about the traumatic experience, but then revealed to TV Guide, "I was young and dumb and one day I popped my mouth to the wrong person and got shot" (via TV Fanatic).

Washington continued to open up about the incident to help those younger than him not make the same grievous error. When he appeared on an episode of "Judge Hatchett" to give guidance to a troubled teen, the actor said, "There was a time when I never thought I would see 25. I have a bullet hole in my right hip from being shot because I thought I was smarter, faster, and quicker than the person I was working for at the age of 19. And I realized I had to do something different because somebody tried to take my life."

Kim Kardashian

In October 2016, media personality Kim Kardashian was forcefully bound and robbed by armed intruders in her Paris hotel room. After she was restrained in the bathroom, the robbers proceeded to seize valuables worth millions of dollars before making their escape, according to the police report obtained by the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche

Although Kardashian was unharmed, she did not know that would be the case at the time and feared for her life. On an episode of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman," Kardashian described her experience during the traumatic ordeal and said, "So much goes through your head. And I've watched every single 'CSI' show on the planet. And so, for one split second, I'm like, 'Look into his eyes. What color eyes and hair do you have?' Like, you're trying to do what you're supposed to do, and it all goes out the door."

One of the robbers, Yunis Abbas, was later caught because he left trace amounts of DNA evidence after restraining the concierge of the hotel, and afterward, showed absolutely no remorse over his actions. Abbas watched Kardashian flaunt her excessive wealth on social media, and especially after seeing her throw her diamond in a pool in an episode of "Keeping up with the Kardashians," he figured that she did not really need all that cash anyways. The robber told Vice, "Since she was throwing money away, I was there to collect it, and that was that. Guilty? No, I don't care."

Karen Fukuhara

Racism is a cancer on society that has taken its toll on countless individuals, and celebrities are not immune to its evil. In March 2022, actress Karen Fukuhara revealed on Instagram that she was struck in the head by a stranger on the street as she walked to a café who then proceeded to scream at her before walking away. She was fortunate that the attack did not cause any serious harm, but it was completely uncalled for, like so many other similar assault cases.

Although the incident was shocking in the moment, the star of the hit series, "The Boys," admitted that she has faced harassment because of her ethnic background way too often in her life. She said, "This is the first time I've been harmed physically, although racial slurs and hurtful actions have been directed at me in the past. I write this, because I've had conversations with multi-racial friends of mine that had no idea these hate crimes happen to everyday, regular people—people that they share meals with. I felt it was important to raise awareness."

Dorit Kemsley

In October 2021, reality TV star Dorit Kemsley's worst nightmare began to play out when three robbers broke into her home in Encino, California, late at night while her two children were sleeping. According to the Los Angeles Times, the suspects forced Kemsley to hand over valuables like handbags and jewelry altogether worth a considerable amount of money.

When talking with "ExtraTV," Kemsley described how truly terrifying the experience was as she encountered the armed men with her children in a room just down the hall. She said, "They were very surprised to see me at home. Very. And so, when they did ... they pushed me to the ground and said, 'Who else is in the house?' I'm not gonna use the curse words they used, but there is someone else that said, 'Just kill her, just kill her already.' And all I could think was, I have to save these babies. I begged them, and I begged for my life and I begged for their life. And I said, 'I don't care about any of it. Take it all.'"

Kemsley is incredibly grateful that the intruders were only interested in taking her property, and not harming her or the children, because they fled the scene after about 20 minutes. The family was just some of the many wealthy victims targeted in the Los Angeles area in a criminal trend known as follow-home robberies (per the Los Angeles Times).

Dave Chappelle

Because of his high profile, there was a huge amount of publicity surrounding Will Smith's slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony, but he is certainly not the only one to lash out physically for insulting words. In May 2022, comedian Dave Chappelle was the victim of a similar, yet more threatening attack at the end of one of his shows at the Hollywood Bowl, according to the official report released by the LAPD.

As Chappelle walked offstage, a man in the crowd named Isaiah Lee rushed at the controversial comedian to tackle him while carrying a replica firearm. Security quickly stepped in to detain the assailant before he was able to cause any serious harm, but after Lee was taken into custody, a blade was found attached to the fake pistol.

Lee felt justified in his actions because of Chappelle's discriminatory remarks, as he explained to the New York Post, "I identify as bisexual ... and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering. I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect." Not only did Lee feel insulted due to his sexual orientation, but possibly even worse were comments about homelessness, a traumatic experience that he has suffered through. He continued, "I'm also a single dad and my son is 5. It's a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it's not a joke."

Brad Pitt

Random acts of violence are not really ever considered funny to most people, but even so, not all attacks on celebrities are carried out with malicious intent. Case in point was when Brad Pitt was punched in the face at the premiere of "Maleficent" in May 2014. As reported by Reuters, celebrity prankster Vitalii Sediuk carried out the stunt, which was just one of many he has carried out over the years. Although the incident was rare in that the Ukrainian personality does not usually act violently with his pranks towards celebrities. In fact, the opposite occurred when Sediuk faced Will Smith's slap long before Chris Rock because he kissed the actor at a premiere in Moscow.

Pitt was fine, but Sediuk still rightly faced repercussions and pled no contest to a misdemeanor charge of battery. For punishment, the TV star was not only prohibited from attending all celebrity events, but he was also sentenced to carry out community service, attend counseling, and undergo 36 months of probation (per Reuters).

Steve Buscemi

When Steve Buscemi was the victim of a brutal attack in April 2001, he was definitely not the only one involved in the chaotic bar brawl, but he was, by far, the most scathed from the violent encounter. The actor was in Wilmington, North Carolina, to film "Domestic Disturbance" with co-star Vince Vaughn when the duo went to the local establishment called Firebelly to have a few drinks. 

Later that night, the fight broke out after a local woman began talking with Vaughn, and her boyfriend did not appreciate that, according to The Guardian. The altercation quickly escalated to the point that the police were alerted, but that was not before Buscemi suffered knife wounds on his arms, above one eye, under his jaw, and in his neck. A source who witnessed the attack told Entertainment Weekly that "the situation could have been life-threatening," but the actor received medical attention in time, first at a local hospital, and then he was flown to New York in order to undergo plastic surgery and make a full recovery.

Vaughn was arrested for his part in the brawl, along with two local men, Timothy Fogerty and Kenneth Purgason. While Vaughn and Purgason were only arrested, Fogerty was charged for his assault with a deadly weapon on Buscemi.