The shady side of Kaley Cuoco
She may come off as America's bubbly sweetheart on The Big Bang Theory, but Kaley Cuoco's real life is rife with turmoil and shady decisions. From rocky relationships to misguided publicity stunts, this talented leading lady has a knack for stirring up trouble.
She erased her ex-husband instantaneously
If you take a gander at Cuoco's Instagram account, you won't find any photos of her ex-husband, tennis player Ryan Sweeting on there. Okay, we get it. Who wants a lasting reminder of love lost on the internet. The harsh part of this move was its scope and efficiency. Cuoco deleted any and all traces of Sweeting the day before they announced their divorce in September 2015, according to Us Weekly. She also unfollowed him and removed any mention of him from her Instagram bio.
For his part, Sweeting eventually followed suit. As their nearly 21-month-marriage fell apart, the former tennis player deactivated his Facebook profile and deleted all the photos on his Instagram account. Ghosting from the internet itself? No matter whose team you're on, that's a little extreme.
Cuoco has since resumed social media PDA, plastering her platforms with lovey dovey photos of new beau, professional equestrian Karl Cook
The destruction of her marriage was sketchy
As news of their divorce hit the tabloids, word got out that it was supposedly triggered by Sweeting's alleged addiction to painkillers. According to the Daily Mail, Sweeting—who has a history with drugs, including a 2006 arrest on charges of DUI and possession of a drug with the intent to sell—became addicted to painkillers after back surgery. "She supported him but she said he couldn't make the commitment to get sober," a source told Us Weekly. "He'd tell her he was working on it and instead go get wasted."
Um, define "support," because In Touch claimed it was actually Cuoco's partying that undermined their marriage. "Kaley would go out with her friends, without her wedding ring, and get wasted," the tab reported. "She'd drink two bottles of wine by herself."
It's no wonder sources for People magazine claimed the couple "seemed miserable" right before their divorce. Speculation aside, the fact is: Cuoco married a man she'd been dating for only six months, then cast that union aside after only 21 months. That's her prerogative, but those impulsive decisions certainly counter her sweet and sunny public image.
She moved on really quickly
For all the tabloid attention her divorce received, and the sadness she was reported to have suffered, Cuoco appeared to move on from the scandal very quickly. Just months after filing for divorce, the actress was linked to Arrow star Paul Blackthorne, then country singer Sam Hunt, followed by The Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki. Cuoco denied the rumors.
At the time of this writing, she was most definitely dating equestrian Cook, who is lesser known as a horseman and better known as the son of billionaire software entrepreneur Scott Cook. Here's hoping Cuoco takes her time with this courtship.
She's been accused of dating for publicity
Rebounding at a rapid pace is nothing new for Cuoco. It seems to be her modus operandi. Just weeks after her brief engagement to addiction specialist Josh "Lazie" Resni was called off, the actress was spotted partying it up with a mystery man at a nightclub in Hollywood. "Kaley and the guy were giggling all night in the V.I.P. section, where they were kissing, dancing and even did an impromptu photo shoot," sources told People.
Then, in a truly bizarre twist of events, she had a highly-publicized and unexpected fling with Man of Steel star Henry Cavill. That courtship lasted a measly two weeks, causing some to wonder if the hookup was merely a publicity stunt—both parties were represented by the same PR company at the time. "I had no one following me until I met Superman," Cuoco told Cosmopolitan in 2014. "I've been in this business for 20 years, and my whole life, I could go anywhere, do anything. There had not been one paparazzi photo of me until like several months ago. The recognition was crazy."
She secretly dated Johnny Galecki for years
Cuoco's longest relationship has been the one she kept secret. In 2010, Cuoco dropped a bombshell when she revealed to CBS Watch that she dated co-star Galecki for nearly two years. "It was a wonderful relationship but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together. We were so protective of ourselves and the show and didn't want anything to ruin that," she said.
Cuoco claimed their incognito lifestyle eventually tore them apart. "We couldn't do anything. It wasn't as fun as we wanted it to be," she said. "Everyone was always asking, and we deny-deny-denied. And I'm like, 'Why am I denying this person that I love?' It took a little bit of a toll on me and I think it did for him, too."
We get being worried about impacting America's top comedy, but worrying about it for two whole years? That level of restraint seems wildly out of character when compared to the openness of her most recent relationships. Not to mention, Cuoco clearly wasn't thinking about the show when she got very touchy-feely very publicly with her ex soon after her divorce. At the 2016 People's Choice Awards, the inseparable duo shared plenty of pictures on social media. Though Cuoco added a "#notdating" hashtag to her photo collage, the pals' public displays of affection certainly blurred the lines between reality and TV.
Her views on feminism sparked controversy
Cuoco came under fire in December 2014 for a disastrous interview with Redbook, in which she admitted that feminism isn't something she thinks about. "Things are different now, and I know a lot of the work that paved the way for women happened before I was around," she said. "I was never that feminist girl demanding equality, but maybe that's because I've never really faced inequality." Apparently, that answer didn't sit well with feminists around the world.
Cuoco quickly pulled the "words can be taken out of context" defense on Instagram and has been trying to clean up that interview ever since. "Of course I'm a f***** feminist," she told Cosmopolitan in 2016. "Look at me. I bleed feminism. I get equal pay to my male costars on a big show, I have my own home, I'm as independent as you could possibly be." Gee, Gloria Steinem would be so proud.
She disrespected the American flag
Cuoco stepped in a steaming pile of controversy on July 4, 2016 when she posted a photo on Instagram of her dogs sitting on an American flag placed on the ground. She intended for the photo to be a fun Independence Day message, but the U.S. Flag Code dictates that Old Glory should not touch the ground or be utilized as bedding.
According to the Page Six, Cuoco's photo was immediately ripped to shreds in the comments section. "Shame on you, Kaley," wrote one Instagram user. "You lost a fan."
As the barrage intensified, Cuoco deleted the photo and issued an apology on Instagram. "…I have the utmost respect for my country. I am a proud American in every sense of the word. I understand the American flag stands for our freedom and represents American heroes, past and present."
"I made a mistake," she said. "I sincerely apologize to anyone that has been offended by my previous post. This is no way reflects my feelings toward what the American flag represents. Living in the public eye can be extremely difficult at times. Every mistake and every imperfection is amplified. I am not perfect. I am a proud American, today, tomorrow, always." The apology was accompanied by a photo of the American flag in the shape of a heart.
Knowing how obsessed she is with online chatter, did this unfortunate error leave Cuoco feeling red, white, and bruised? Nope, at least not if you judge by her other Independence Day posts, which featured beer drinking and goofy 'Merica clothing.
She's obsessed with herself (or at least what people say about her)
Speaking to Cosmopolitan in 2014, Cuoco openly admitted to being "obsessed" with what people say about her online. "I'll read something from someone in Indiana who's like, 'She looked disgusting in that dress,' and it's going to ruin my night," she said.
Cuoco even found herself doing the unthinkable—acting on the advice of cyber bullies. "I started reading and thought, 'Maybe I need to make more of an effort and not go out in my UGGs and be disgusting.' So I started putting on makeup. And they started writing, 'Wow, someone really likes being in front of the camera' and 'Her hair's done now for coffee.' I couldn't do anything right," she said. "But I'm obsessed. I openly admit to being totally insane about that."
On the one hand, it's vaguely charming to read about a celebrity who acts like we do on occasion. On the other, Cuoco's open obsession with what people think about her suggests a troubling degree of narcissism and fragility. In which case, we hope she never finds this article.