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Ten Celebrities Who Straight-Up Lied on Home Tours

by Selme Angulo
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

You might imagine celebrities living it up with nearly endless resources and all the best and coolest homes and cars. But for many stars, it’s just not true! Except for the ones truly at the top, making millions upon millions every year, other celebs live quite normally. But that doesn’t mean they don’t lie about how their lives look, either. In the last couple of decades, the public has seen more of celebrity culture than we ever thought possible between MTV’s Cribs and Architectural Digest’s push to get inside stars’ homes and see how their daily life looks.

The only problem is that much of it turns out to be fake! In this list, we’ll take a hilarious and amazing look at ten celebrities who completely and boldly lied on their house tours. Whether totally fooling MTV over where they lived and how they lived or pushing out a phony persona to the folks at Architectural Digest, these celebs were shameless in lying! And they were shameless later on in admitting to those lies, too!

Related: Ten Kooky Celebrity Conspiracy Theories People Actually Believe

10 Ja Rule

MTV Cribs Ja Rule

When Ja Rule first appeared on MTV Cribs back in the day, he gave fans a tour of a massive Miami mansion filled to the brim with everything you would think a rapper would want to have around. Cars, clothes, money, girls, alcohol, boats, and all the flat-screen televisions you could handle!

The Cribs shoot was so out of control, in fact, that Ja Rule literally had a party at the place while MTV was filming! It was plenty of fun to watch at home. But there was just one problem: That wasn’t Ja Rule’s house to party in! And the party was so destructive that he ended up getting sued for it!

The owner of the massive five-bedroom mansion had previously rented it out to Ja Rule, thinking he would make a hefty monthly sum on rent payments. But when the home came up in the MTV episode, the owner was enraged. Parties weren’t allowed, based on the lease.

Even worse, Ja Rule’s party pals had severely damaged the house. They allegedly broke a ton of expensive stuff and even caused structural damage to the home itself! Frustrated at Ja Rule for both lying about “owning” the crib and wrecking it, the homeowner sued the rapper for $1 million to recoup the losses.[1]

9 50 Cent

50 Cent’s Massive Mansion ft. Lloyd Banks & Tony Yayo | MTV Cribs

When it was 50 Cent’s turn to appear on MTV Cribs, he showed off a pretty standard set of things that by then were typical for celebrities, especially rappers. There was a mansion with incredible rooms and tons of tech equipment. There was also so much jewelry. And, of course, there were cars, all the luxury models and impressive sports cars you could ever want to have.

However, years later, 50 Cent admitted in court that the whole thing was fake! None of it had been his. Instead, he’d either borrowed or rented all the stuff to make good television when the folks from MTV showed up.

The rapper had been in court fighting separate allegations involving a sex tape when he took to the stand and was asked about his lifestyle. Speaking specifically about the Cribs episode, he testified under oath that all the jewelry was borrowed from jeweler pals and all the cars had been rented from dealerships. “It’s entertainment,” 50 Cent said of the episode. “Those cars were rented.”[2]

8 Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey — MTV CRIBS: Bonus Features Blow-Out (2005)

Mariah Carey’s MTV Cribs episode was perhaps the most iconic of the entire bunch. During the exploration into her Manhattan penthouse, Carey very infamously got up on her treadmill and elliptical machines in heels. She claimed to fans that she always worked out in heels like that, just because she’s so glamorous.

Since it was Mariah Carey, the diva of all divas, the whole world pretty much took it as gospel. If anybody is going to work out in massive stiletto heels, it’d certainly be Mariah, right? Wrong! Over the years since that episode aired, Carey has posted several times to her social media accounts poking fun at the heels clip in her Cribs turn. The whole thing was faked, meant only to be a memorable moment for viewers—and it certainly was that!

In reality, she doesn’t work out in heels at all. After one playful spoof where she posted an Instagram picture of her supposedly exercising in platform shoes, Entertainment Tonight asked her about the original. Through laughter, Carey explained it had all been a lie: “I remember the first time I did this on Cribs, and everyone was like, ‘Oh my God, she’s working out in heels! What is she doing?’ I’m like, ‘yeah, like I’m being serious.’ And then I was just like, ‘Let me do this for laughs.’”[3]

7 JoJo

Tony Hawk, JoJo & Ryan Nyquist | MTV Cribs

When the singer JoJo was still a teenager and totally fresh in the music industry, she hosted a segment on MTV Cribs. During the show, she gave fans a chance to look at her family’s vacation home. There was just one problem: She had never lived in the home at any point in her life.

In fact, her immediate family didn’t even own it! In actuality, the house belonged to her uncle and his family. She just played it up like it was her home and made it seem like she was there regularly, even though she’d barely visited before doing the episode.

Years later, JoJo reflected on that lie in an interview. “It was so ridiculous,” she told HuffPost. “The thing is, we didn’t have a home at that point. My mom and I were living out of suitcases, and we were mostly in hotels. So that was actually my uncle’s house on the Cape. That wasn’t my house. That wasn’t my stuff. … I should’ve balled hard and been like, ‘Welcome to my crib, look at how luxurious it is,’ and I should have rented out a place. But no. I just used my uncle’s crib. So that was me lying on Cribs.”[4]

6 Bow Wow

Bow Wow’s Atlanta Mansion | MTV Cribs

Back in 2008, Bow Wow hosted his own episode of MTV Cribs. During the show, he brashly showed off his long line of luxury vehicles. He claimed that the cars were his own, acted like he had deep pockets and big money, and portrayed the life of a 2000s rapper that everybody expected.

Of course, it was noteworthy because Bow Wow was so young at the time—he’d just turned 21 years old! But very quickly, fans became highly suspicious that he was actually the owner of the cars that appeared in the episode. What tipped viewers off was that many of the cars were branded with the word “prestige” in various places. People started to do some digging, and sure enough, they discovered the truth.

There was a company called Prestige Luxury Auto Rentals down in Miami with the very same branding. They even offered many of the exact makes and models that had appeared in Bow Wow’s Cribs episode. From then on, even though Bow Wow himself never admitted to it, everybody just kind of assumed that he was lying. Knowing how boldly all these other celebrities on this list have lied, maybe it’s not a bad assumption to make![5]

5 Vanessa Hudgens

Inside Vanessa Hudgens’s Enchanting L.A. Home | Open Door | Architectural Digest

Vanessa Hudgens took the time to give Architectural Digest a long look at the amazing interior of her Los Angeles home. She showed off all kinds of incredible things in her kitchen, her bedrooms, and the enclosed green space around her house. But one thing that appeared very prominently in the video, which was a total lie, was the piano!

During the video, she sat down at the piano and played a little bit for the camera. She also suggested that playing the piano and unwinding at home by making music is a regular thing for her. But that’s simply not the reality!

After the home tour video came out, Hudgens spoke to AD for a follow-up article shedding more light on the experience. During the article, she admitted that, in reality, the piano “doesn’t get used much.” And that’s because she doesn’t know how to read music or play at all! “The piano came from my previous house, but I don’t play,” she admitted in the interview. “I don’t read music, really. I’m great at faking it.”[6]

4 Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams ribs on cribs

In his early 20s, Robbie Williams was on top of the world. The British star had all the money he could ever dream of and the matching manor house to go along with it. At least, that’s what he wanted everyone to think when he appeared on MTV Cribs for the first time.

During that now-iconic episode, Williams showed off a massive manor house and accompanying countryside property in England. The house was stocked full of butlers and other assistants who were at Williams’s beck and call and would get him absolutely whatever he wanted at a moment’s notice. But that wasn’t his house, and they weren’t his staff!

In reality, he was actually only renting the house temporarily from Jane Seymour. He lived in it then, but the rental was only for a few months. And as for the butlers? Fake! Williams hired the butlers to make the Cribs episode sizzle. In truth, he didn’t have any butlers working on his payroll, and there was no service like that for the money he was making.

Thankfully, years later, he at least felt bad about faking it so boldly. His biggest regret? Not letting Jane Seymour in on what he was doing to her manor house. “We didn’t let [Jane] know that I was going to pretend it was my house,” Williams said on a radio station appearance years after the Cribs episode aired. “And because I was, like, 23 and full of spunk, I didn’t even consider other people’s thoughts or feelings, so I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Jane Seymour.” Well, isn’t that nice?[7]

3 Dakota Johnson

Inside Dakota Johnson’s Serene Hollywood Home | Open Door | Architectural Digest

In 2020, Dakota Johnson gave Architectural Digest a tour of her Los Angeles house, and immediately, fans fell in love. She had an incredible eye for interior design. The home was an oasis from the big city. And Johnson herself was captivating, genuine, and charismatic. But the tour was phony in many ways, too!

It’s just that fans didn’t learn about all that until more than a year later when Dakota finally decided to open up about it! Specifically, there was a moment during the tour where Johnson pointed out a bowl full of limes in the kitchen and how much she loved to both display them and use them in her food. There was just one problem with that: She’s terribly allergic to limes!

Speaking to late-night television host Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show more than a year after her AD tour was revealed to the world, Dakota explained, “I actually didn’t even know they were in there. I was giving the tour and went into the kitchen, and it was set dressing. I’m actually allergic to limes… Limes make my tongue itch. It was hard to ignore them, so I just lied. I went the full opposite direction.” Well, guess we’ve got to give her credit for thinking on her feet, then![8]

2 3LW

Mtv Cribs 3LW 2002

Former girl group 3LW unexpectedly got their turn on MTV Cribs back in the early 2000s after they blew up big. MTV was scrambling to get up-and-coming acts and celebrities on the show, and the women fit the bill perfectly after a few of their hits began to chart. So they hosted an episode.

During it, the girls claimed they’d bought a house together while working on their second album and were all living together in perfect peace and harmony in Los Angeles during production. Except that was all a lie! Not only was the house shown on the Cribs tour not their home, but they also didn’t live together at all! In fact, some of the girls didn’t even have any home, in LA or otherwise!

In 2021, former member Naturi Naughton recalled how phony the Cribs episode really was. “MTV did the Cribs back when 3LW was hot,” she explained during an appearance on the popular drivetime radio show “The Breakfast Club.” “We had to pretend. But I didn’t have a car, I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have any of those things… but we did MTV Cribs. I had to clean the house by 7 o’clock to give it back to the owner. We had to clean up all of our stuff, we had to get a cleaning person.” Ouch! The brutal realities of show business.[9]

1 Ashley Tisdale

Inside Ashley Tisdale’s Self-Designed Family Home | Open Door | Architectural Digest

Ashley Tisdale is the proud owner of perhaps the most candid lie in celebrity home tour history. Architectural Digest came by her house to do a video of how the former Disney Channel star now lives with her husband and children.

In vintage AD fashion, Ashley showed them around a series of magnificently appointed rooms with impeccable design touches. The living room had a wonderfully large bookcase filled top to bottom with books. But the books weren’t hers at all! She’d never read a single one. She didn’t even know what they were!

Tisdale admitted that just a few days before that, her husband had gone out to a used bookstore to buy a ton of books to make it seem like the couple was well-read. And Ashley just openly admitted to it right while the AD video tour was taking place! “These bookshelves, I have to be honest, did not actually have books in them a couple of days ago,” she shared on camera. “I had my husband go to a bookstore, and I was like, ‘You need to get 400 books.’ Obviously, my husband’s like, ‘We should be collecting books over time and putting them on the shelves.’ And I was like, ‘No, no, no, no. Not when AD comes.’” Hey, at least she was honest, right?[10]

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen