Back in my art school days, I enjoyed a brief but tragic flirtation with life as a Playboy bunny — yup, I was once a dedicated fan of The Girls Next Door. As as lifelong feminist (and a brunette... for what that's worth), I was conflicted about my viewing habits, to say the least. Although I spent countless hours trying to pin down the conceptual and aesthetic value of the experience (give me a break, I was in art school), I think what I really enjoyed about the show was how well all the girls seemed to get along. On the surface, life at the Playboy mansion was like a cross between Disneyland, boarding school, and soft core porn — comforting, magical, and delicately enticing.
So, imagine my shock when the one and only Ms. Holly Madison released a memoir alluding to dirty tricks, dirty old men, and dirty lies during her time on the show and in the mansion? The salacious details dished out by the former bunny in her memoir Down the Rabbit Hole. With each revelation leaked to the press, I began to wonder what other secrets abound in the realm of the celebrity memoir? In the spirit of a steaming hot cup of OMG and a worthwhile guilty pleasure, I decided to read up on the topic and collect the most salacious stories out there for your reading pleasure. So, throw on your robe, toss your hair back, and prepare to be titillated — gossip just doesn't get any better than this.
Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison
If you're going to go scandalous, start with the memoir that has set the Internet on fire these past few weeks with allegations of rampant drug abuse, catfights, and calculated press appeals at the Playboy mansion. Although it's not exactly The Brady Bunch turning on one another, Madison's memoir still has the power to turn the known world upside down, and that's rabbit hole enough for any true gossip hound.
No Lifeguard on Duty: The Accidental Life of the World's First Supermodel by Janice Dickinson
Although she's recently become a star witness in the case against Cosby — a genuinely horrifying and truly barbaric horror story worthy of general popular awareness — Dickinson was baring her sole long before the world started paying attention. So, if you're interested in peeling back the curtain and shining the light of truth on the worlds of fashion and beauty, you absolutely can't do better than Dickinson's passionate, no-hold's barred account of a misspent modeling youth.
Audition: A Memoir by Barbara Walters
A tawdry love affair with a married senator isn't exactly what you'd expect from the memoirs of a respected television journalist. And yet, with the publication of Audition, Barbara Walters was wise enough to let it all hang out, reminding us that just because you're conducting the interview, that doesn't necessarily mean you have all the answers.
I Make My Own Rules by LL Cool J
Over the years, LL Cool J has transformed himself from an early hip-hop icon to a pedagogical paragon of musical virtue, however life hasn't always been so sweet to the courageous crooner. With I Make My Own Rules, LL Cool J lays bare the true story of early childhood trauma and relentless rejection with honesty, rigor, and soul-shaking stoicism.
I, Tina by Tina Turner with Kurt Loder
There's nothing like a comeback story with its own soundtrack and all the death defying details laid out in black and white. Turner's extraordinary bravery and relentless pursuit of her own dreams in the face of an abusive husband and outsized odds make for a comeback story that just won't quit. Whether it's in the studio or at the villa, when it comes to underdog victories, I, Tina is as good as it gets.
Keep The Faith by Faith Evans
You haven't quite lived until you've read an account of Faith Evans walking in on Lil' Kim curled up with Biggie. Even years after the fact, Evans manages to bring the raw pain and pure passion of a life well and truly lived to a stinging climax with every passing chapter.
Whatever... Love is Love by Maria Bello
Maria Bello's unexpected love affair with her very best friend caught everyone — including the two lovebirds — truly off guard. Only the boundless insight of an introvert and the willing exploration of an open and unbounded soul could bring a memoir of love across boarders both implicit and imposed to life with such astonishing fragility and enormous power. For a breathtaking account of love in the modern era, Whatever... Love is Love has you covered.
My Story by Marilyn Monroe
If there ever were a star more enigmatic and alluring than Marilyn Monroe, I certainly can't think of her. From the pout to the sway, from the sparkles to the singing, there's nothing about the elusive seductress that doesn't capture the imagination, even decades after an untimely death. So imagine the true-life tale of Ms. Marilyn Monroe — a no-holds barred account of her life and times straight from the lips of the ingenue and ask yourself — how have you not read this yet?
I am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne
When a man bites the head off a living creature, people are prone to ask... why? For the answer to this and so many other questions, there is only I am Ozzy. Like the Nietzsche of a new generation, Ozzy answers questions of life, death, and heavy metal that challenge the very questions themselves and utterly transform the way you think about men in makeup.
Tab Hunter Confidential by Tab Hunter
We don't often think about men in the studio system as Hollywood commodities, but with Tab Hunter's revealing memoir a whole new world of corporate greed, sexual manipulation, and cultural control opens up. For an old Hollywood taste of an oh-so familiar story, dig into Tab Hunter's memoir and you're sure to walk away satisfied.
Open by Andre Agassi
With attendance at Wimbeldon marked by the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge and my most recent Instagram obsession, the one and only Chrissy Tiegen, tennis is experiencing something of a resurgence. But, before there was Roger Federer and the tireless Williams sisters, there was Andre Agassi and a legacy of drug abuse and personal failure that would spawn a transformation. If you like your gossip with a healthy dose of testosterone and just a dash of humility, Open should be right up your alley.
Elvis & Me by Priscilla Presley
There are rock and roll legends and then there is the King. If you're looking to wine, dine, and wind down with rock music's original bad boy, Priscilla Prseley's memoir is the only place you'll find the true life details of the King's own private life... so what are you waiting for?'
The Way I Am by Eminem
Sure, you've seen 8 Mile, and you've taken your time with the classics on karaoke night (haven't we all), but if you really want to get close to the boy genius you've got to go literary. The lyrics may be explicit, but the autobiography is downright dirty... and don't you deserve a little dirt after the day you've had?