In mid ‘00s, rapper Mike Jones was known to freely give out his cell phone number, giving fans an astonishing amount of celebrity access. Fast forward 15 years, and celebrities like Kerry Washington and Tony Hawk are freely giving out their “personal” numbers to the public. Mike Jones hit on a gimmick and got lucky, and those numbers celebs aggressively publicize are actually managed by a startup. But for many famous people, phone numbers going public isn’t intentional. Here are 7 times when celebrities had their numbers blasted out, and things didn’t work out so well.
Mike Sorrentino, better known as Jersey Shore’s “The Situation,” accidentally tweeted out his phone number while, appropriately, flirting. Sorrentino took the snafu in stride, even making sure to brag about women texting to hit on him.
How about we chalk this one up to the strain of simultaneously running upwards of 6,000 companies? In 2017, Elon Musk tweeted at legendary game programmer John Carmack asking for a phone call. Note that we said “tweeted at,” not “DM’ed.” With his number circulating the Twittersphere, Musk decided to give callers an Easter egg. Callers would hear a recording taken from a secret phone line revealed in-game to eagle-eyed players of God of War.
In 2015, the pop singer posted a video of her dog on her social media accounts. One detail Perry forgot to notice was that her personal phone number was on the little guy’s tags. Luckily, several fans notified her, but not soon enough for her to avoid having to deactivate the number.
Canine indiscretion also led to a mishap for famed multi-hyphenate Chrissy Teigen. A photo in her cookbook Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat featured her dog Pippa wearing—you guessed it—a tag with her number. And after receiving about 100 calls, Teigen, just like Katy Perry before her, had to change her number.
Earlier this year, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer was tripped up during an ESPN2 broadcast. The interview was conducted over FaceTime, and during the call, his number flashed on screen for a few seconds. Quickly turning the situation into an opportunity for some fun, Bauer put together a fan giveaway. Callers reaching his voicemail got instructions for how to enter to win a pair of signed cleats and an autographed baseball.
Ever get that sinking feeling when you realize you’ve done something foolish? Madelaine Petsch does. The Riverdale actor accidentally gave out her number by showing a food delivery order in a video posted to YouTube. She revealed in an interview that the mistake led to a tear-filled anxiety attack. Though she was able to laugh about it later, it’s clear that for Petsch, a small mistake can have big implications.
Long before social media could spread a slip-up worldwide in minutes, one celebrity made his number known in what would become a very conspicuous place. By that we mean the first movie in a multi-billion dollar franchise: Star Wars. In The Making of Star Wars: The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film, star Mark Hamill reveals an interesting tidbit. The hatch number Luke Skywalker tells C3PO to open in the garbage masher scene was Hamill’s phone number. Since the book didn’t arrive until the film’s 30th anniversary, we can only assume Hamill’s number had changed, sparing him a flood of calls.
Even if an accidental phone number leak isn’t tops on your list of worries, you’ve still got something to protect. To some, your number can be a gateway to all kinds of sensitive information. But we’ve got you covered. Sign up for your own Burner number, and you, too, can protect your real number—just like the rich and the famous.