Hollywood Horror Story: Bad Assistants

It really is hard to find good help these days.
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There’s simply no way around it: employer/employee drama can sometimes get pretty ugly. Particularly in the world of assistants and help, a muddled mixture of professionalism and personal duties are often the perfect ingredients for a nasty cocktail that if not carefully watched, might just explode. From occasionally showing up to work late to stealing thousands upon thousands of dollars, celebrities have long faced the vexing dilemma that is troublesome assistants. Check out some of the most infamous assistant horror stories throughout modern celebrity history, and be glad you’re not in their shoes ("borrowed" Louboutins from the boss, perhaps?).

J. K. Rowling 

The most recent celebrity/assistant conflict stems from the legendary British author. After her former assistant, Amanda Donaldson, made $31,000 worth of unauthorized charges (including luxury candles, Starbucks orders, and two cats), Rowling has decided to take the case to court. First stop, Diptyque, and how about Azkaban next? 

Grace Coddington 

Earlier this year, one of the most powerful forces in fashion made headlines after she had no choice but to press charges against a former assistant for stealing over $50,000. Yvonne Bannigan, the ex-staffer, charged purchases to Coddington’s credit card, along with selling the editor’s property on online consignment shop, TheRealReal. She now faces second- and third-degree charges of grand larceny.


Infamously commemorated by none other than 2015 hit “Bitch Better Have My Money”, Rihanna’s heated legal tussle against her financial advisor stands as one of Hollywood’s shadiest ordeals. After losing over $9 million in one year “effectively making her bankrupt”, Rihanna took the issue to court and pop radio. While she originally sued accountant Peter Gounis for $35 million, the firm and the pop star have settled out of court to the tune of $10 million.

Lady Gaga

In a messy, multi-year legal battle between the pop songstress and her ex-assistant Jennifer O’Neill over allegedly being underpaid, the blowout resulted in Lady Gaga having to testify in court. Allegedly calling O’Neill a “fucking hood rat”, the singer maintains that O’Neill’s claims were untrue. Settling over two years after the lawsuit was originally filed, it’s difficult to discern who’s in the right. A star (witness) is born.

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