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In a year filled with scandal and stuff you wouldn’t believe unless you’d seen it with your own eyes — and in many cases, thanks to the magic of the Web, could — five stories (and/or trends) stood out from the pack this year. From a death we all saw coming but couldn’t seem to stop to a sickening trend of celebs driving under the influence, 2007 marked a year when celebrity scandal seemed to hit an all-time high.

And to think, in the eleventh hour, a popstar’s 16-year-old, knocked-up sister managed to give us a whole new trend to avoid in 2008.

Number 5: Jodie Foster ‘Comes Out?’

She had dropping what the media considers to be “hints” for months — talking about Uma’s gorgeous, smooth, Aryan-like features; showing up to charity events like the Trevor Project — but the long-thought to be lesbian actress appeared to take her biggest steps toward the closet door this year when she publicly thanked her partner Cydney at a Hollywood awards banquet.

Though she didn’t specifically refer to her as her partner, there’s no mistaking what Jodie Foster did have to say: “[I’d like to thank] my beautiful Cydney who sticks with me through all the rotten and the bliss.”

Yes, the same Cydney the press have been linking her to for damn near 20 years —the one with whom she has children and lives and shares her life. That Cydney. And considering she said it two days after giving her time and money to a suicide hotline that helps at risk gay teens, something tells me Jodie is less concerned that she used to be about being “outed.”

Some in the industry will say it’s all well and good, but it’s not the same as actually saying the words ‘I’m gay.’ I say it doesn’t matter. If Jodie wants to keep a part of her private life private, I think she’s earned that right. And as far as I’m concerned, as long as she keeps turning out to support gay causes, that’s more than enough for me.

Number 4: Britney and Her Umbrella

Sure, losing custody, going to rehab, popping up cracked out of her mind at all sorts of places … all are ripe for this prestigious fourth place honor. Yet somehow, her explanation for the “umbrella incident” manages to take the cake.

In one of the more embarrassing apologies of her career — and lord knows there have been many — Britney Spears issued a shout-out to paparazzi, claiming her umbrella tirade wasn’t a nervous meltdown at all, but preparation for a movie role.

Yes, you read that correctly. Britney Spears wants everyone to believe that the night she took an umbrella and beat the shit out of an SUV in front of her (then) soon to be ex-hubby Kevin Federline’s house — the same night she checked herself back into rehab on the threat of losing her kids in a custody battle — she didn’t actually have a melt down. She was rehearsing.

For those of you who find that tough to swallow, take a number. Dressed in a hoodie, pearls and, of course, a newly-shorn bald head, Britney’s tirade made for the most creative use of an umbrella since Mary Poppins (quickly to be eclipsed by Rihanna’s smash summer anthem, but hell, we all know Britney can’t own the spotlight for long these days.)

Needless to say, Britney didn’t get the role. Maybe that’s because it’s the same mythical movie project Janet Jackson gained 60 pounds for. Oops, did I say that?

This is what happens when you don’t have a publicist.

Number 3: "Hey ya’ll, I’m pregnant."

One Spears sister is trashier than the next.

Just when things looked like they couldn’t get much worse for Britney Spears —postponed trial to determine custody, rumors she’s pregnant with a third kid, rumors the courts plan to order drug testing on her kids — along came little 16-year-old Jaime Lynn to steal some focus for herself. She’s pregnant.

And the father is 19.

How did this happen? I mean, as Mama Spears herself said, Jaime Lynn was such a good girl — she had solid morals and never broke curfew. I mean, Jaime Lynn is a good Christian girl. She met this boy in church. Where did it all go wrong?

Did I by chance fail to mention Jaime Lynn was living with this boy, with her mom’s consent? It doesn’t take a Nickelodeon show to figure out 1 + 1 = 2. And teens who happen to be dating living alone together does not a “saving myself for marriage” scenario make.

And to think Lynne Spears was honestly shocked. Really? Something tells me no one in the Spears household is having that sage birds and the bees talk.

Condoms, anyone?

Number 2: The Death of Anna Nicole

What struck me most about the death of Anna Nicole Smith is what a mockery her life had become. We all know the gory details. But to put how it all came crashing down into perspective, consider a few of the more lurid rumors that flew in the days following her death.

For starters, how about the man who supplied the supermodel (and her son) with a drug that’s medically used to combat heroin addiction. His name, according to TMZ.com, is Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, and according to a documentation they obtained, he wrote a prescription for methadone for Anna on August 25, 13 days before the former Playboy Playmate gave birth to her daughter Dannielyn Hope. The prescription was filled under an alias and sent to Anna in the Bahamas.

Now, while several theories have surfaced as to why Anna was using the drug (an attempt to kick a prescription pill habit by filling another prescription or perhaps as a severe pain killer), the big question is who the hell would prescribe a drug as strong as methadone to a pregnant woman?

A doc who’s specialty is “Entertainment Medicine”, that’s who… and the same one who rode with Anna during 2005’s West Hollywood Gay Pride parade. Oh, that’s just great. Prescribing pills for love from the gays. What a social climber.

Even more insulting than the fact that some doc spoon fed these pills to Anna (and in turn to her son, don’t forget) is the fact that Bobby Trendy managed to get publicity out of all this. CNN’s talked with him, TMZ got an exclusive, and while I know Bobby’s not exactly known for his tact or his ability to form a thoughtful, coherent sentence, I expected a tad more class than this mess.

Following her death, Bobby thanked "… Anna for making me famous. When you think of Anna, think of red, white and pink hearts. She was love as she taught love. She was the breadwinner and supported four people by baring her breasts and genitals for men and women. She was an entertainer who will be missed."

Can you say tacky as shit? I don’t care if the woman hooked for a living, she’s dead and he’s going around talking about her genitalia like it was all she amounted to. Tacky, tacky, tacky, and yet still not as bad as those fuchsia fucking feathered couches he designs.

And finally, in what I believe might just be the lowest of the low, someone’s tossed a sixth name into the paternity hat: Anna’s son, Daniel. Yeah, some gossip columnist out there suggested that she’d actually fucked her son and got pregnant.

Even after Anna's death, people seemed desperate to make a mockery out of her life.

Number 1: Nothing Like an Old-Fashioned DUI

The photo that got me on this tirade was, of course, of Lindsay Lohan. Mere hours after a drinking binge that had reporters screaming rehab and produced one of the most memorable photos ever snapped of La Lohan, Lindsay’s all a-smile like she’s driving her Jag coupe down the mother of all red carpets, her eyes a-glow, her teeth pearly white.

How many wrecks has Lindsay caused? Five? Ten? A dozen or so that never got reported? I mean, I know she’s a bad driver (how could she not be?) and I know the editors of certain supermarket rags should probably be ponying up to split the deductible. But I frankly don’t get why a girl who’s paid $10 million bucks a picture needs to be getting behind the wheel of a car after a night of boozing when there’s flashbulbs going off in her face. How much could a full-time driver possibly charge, $50-$75K a year? Skip out on a couple of Birkin bags, pack up some Kraft services instead of dining at The Ivy twice a week and look what you have there — enough money for a year’s salary.

Paris Hilton had the cash (and the rap sheet to warrant an addition to her staff). Nicole Richie should probably look into one now that she’s expecting. My favorite video of the year (one of Jessica Simpson claiming to be designated driver as she makes whacked out faces at the camera and slurs her speech) scores her a much-needed taxi on demand. Kiefer’s up the river. Even D-listers like Rebecca DeMornay and Vivica Fox got popped. And Britney — oh, Britney. Attempting to start your Porsche after stumbling out of an Italian restaurant still drinking your glass of wine? I know you lost the kids, but really, do you need to lose yourself, too?

Message to Hollywood stars in 2008: Take a fucking taxi.

And that, my friends, brings yet another year to a close. Until 2008 remember, take the time to stop and smell the gossip.

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