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5 Shocking Secrets That Celebrities Revealed in Autobiographies

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Tuesday marks the release of the One Direction’s autobiography Who We Are — that’s one memoir for all five of them, which we guess means they’re officially a single entity — which promises to provide, per the publisher’s description, “intimate insights” into their lives. But, considering the band’s need to appeal to young fans, it’s hard to believe that the revelations will be all too shocking.

Not that it never happens: celebrities have been known to disclose jaw-dropping tidbits of what happened behind the scenes.

Here are five controversial moments revealed in the highest-brow genre of all genres: The celebrity autobiography.

Christina Crawford, Mommie Dearest
Crawford’s hard-hitting 1978 memoir was one of Hollywood’s first and darkest celebrity tell-alls. Predating the film, Mommie Dearest outline’s Joan Crawford’s abusive parenting — including beating her daughter after discovering she had hung her clothes on wire hangers in the closet. While the “no more wire hangers!” line has become kitsch since the release of the film, its revelation in the autobiography was chilling.

Melissa Joan Hart, Melissa Explains It All:
The fact that Hart didn’t like her animatronic cat co-star Salem on Sabrina The Teenage Witch only scrapes the surface of the shocking revelations of Hart’s tell-all. The former child star claims to have taken Britney Spears to her first club, hooked up with Ryan Reynolds and done her fair share of making out with girls while on hard drugs on the way home from a Playboy Mansion party.

Andre Agassi, Open
The tennis star admits to lying about using crystal meth in 1997. He writes: “I snort some. I ease back on the couch and consider the Rubicon I’ve just crossed. There is a moment of regret, followed by vast sadness. Then comes a tidal wave of euphoria that sweeps away every negative thought in my head. I’ve never felt so alive, so hopeful — and I’ve never felt such energy. I’m seized by a desperate desire to clean. I go tearing around my house, cleaning it from top to bottom. I dust the furniture. I scour the tub. I make the beds.”

Rosie O’Donnell, Celebrity Detox
The 2007 memoir tackled everything from O’Donnell’s difficult relationship with Barbara Walters on The View — and with Donald Trump in essentially every medium — to dark times in her childhood. O’Donnell reveals that she used to break her own limbs using a baseball bat and wooden hanger, “My hands and fingers usually. No one knew. It was a secret…[as] proof I had some value, enough to be fixed.” O’Donnell hints but doesn’t expand on another potential motivation: “There were many benefits to having a cast. In the middle of the night, it was a weapon.”

Morrissey, Autobiography
Sure, Morrissey writes about his first relationship with a man (at 35), falling victim to an attempted kidnapping and his near death during childbirth. But the real stunner is the fact that he could have had a role on Friends and said no. He writes, “I am asked if I’d jump in on a newly jumbled plot-line with the character Phoebe in the Central Perk diner, where I am requested to sing ‘in a really depressing voice.’ Within seconds of the proposal, I wind down the fire-escape like a serpent, and it’s goodbye to Hollywood yet again.”

Read TIME’s original review of Mommie Dearest here, in the archives: Joan Crawford’s Other Life

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