Greater than 20 years since scoring his massive break, John Mayer isn’t any stranger to creating a public apology.
Mayer turned a family title within the early 2000s after releasing hit albums Room for Squares and Heavier Issues. He’s earned important acclaim — and received seven Grammy Awards — all through his profession, however he’s additionally sparked his fair proportion of controversies over time.
From his eyebrow-raising relationships with Jennifer Aniston and Taylor Swift to his previous use of racist language, Mayer’s fame is tinged with scandal. Following a quick hiatus from the highlight, Mayer addressed his public “downfall” in a candid interview with The New York Occasions.
“I began to invent my very own grenade,” he mused in 2017, reflecting on the reverse impact of desirous to keep away from the “clichéd rock star” picture earlier in his profession. “What I did was in all probability semiconsciously simply reboot it — management, alt, delete. … It was cat and mouse. And the mouse misplaced.”
Scroll down for a recap of Mayer’s greatest scandals and controversies by the years:
Jennifer Love Hewitt Stand-up
Mayer made a shock look at The Snicker Manufacturing unit in Los Angeles in 2006 — and took a swipe at his ex, whom he dated in 2002. He quipped that the pair by no means had intercourse on account of a nasty bout of meals poisoning, however the joke didn’t land. “It actually was me making enjoyable of myself,” Mayer later advised Us Weekly, calling himself “a wimp.”
It was lengthy rumored that Hewitt was the inspiration for Mayer’s hit “Your Physique Is a Wonderland,” however each events have dispelled the hypothesis. “I had by no means met a celeb once I wrote that track,” Mayer claimed in a 2022 “Name Her Daddy” interview.
Utilizing the N-Phrase on the Report
Mayer gave two extremely criticized interviews in 2010, one in all which was featured in a difficulty of Playboy. “Somebody requested me the opposite day, ‘What does it really feel like now to have a hood move?’” he advised the outlet. “And by the way in which, it’s type of a contradiction in phrases, as a result of when you actually had a hood move, you could possibly name it a [N-word] move. Why are you pulling a punch and calling it a hood move when you actually have a hood move?”
He added: “However I mentioned, ‘I can’t have a hood move.’ I’ve by no means walked right into a restaurant, requested for a desk and been advised, ‘We’re full.’”
Amid backlash, Mayer took to Twitter to apologize for utilizing the “emotionally charged” slur. He additionally dedicated to being much less “uncooked” in his interviews, saying, “It began as an try to not let the waves of criticism get to me, however it’s gotten out of hand and I’ve created considerably of a monster.”
Calling Jessica Simpson ‘Sexual Napalm’
In the identical Playboy interview, Mayer shared his unfiltered ideas about his romance with Simpson. The pair dated from 2006 to 2007.
“That woman is like crack cocaine to me. Sexually it was loopy. That’s all I’ll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm,” he mentioned. “Have you ever ever been with a lady who made you wish to stop the remainder of your life? Did you ever say, ‘I wish to stop my life and simply f–kin’ snort you? In the event you charged me $10,000 to f–ok you, I’d begin promoting all my s–t simply to maintain f–king you.’”
Simpson addressed the jaw-dropping interview in her 2020 memoir, Open Guide, confessing that she was “floored and embarrassed” by Mayer’s phrases. “He talked about me by title in essentially the most degrading phrases,” she wrote.
Following the tell-all’s launch, Simpson solely advised Us that she “didn’t count on” to listen to from Mayer (or another well-known exes) about what bought revealed. “All of them know these tales, so I don’t assume any of this got here as a shock to any of them,” she defined in February 2020.
Jennifer Aniston Breakup Feedback
Mayer spoke to Rolling Stone for his second now-infamous 2010 interview, name-dropping Aniston and calling their breakup “one of many worst instances of my life.” (The previous couple dated on and off from 2008 to 2009.)
“How might I ever cosmically relate these two folks?” Mayer mentioned, evaluating Aniston to a girl he’d met in Las Vegas. “What would I be saying to Jen, who I feel is f-king improbable, if I mentioned to her, ‘I don’t dislike you. In truth, I such as you extraordinarily nicely. However I’ve to again out of this as a result of it doesn’t arc over the horizon. This isn’t the place I see myself for the remainder of my life, this isn’t my splendid future,’ after which I see myself f-king Dimples? What does that say for my case?”
Mayer as soon as once more referred to Aniston in his 2010 Playboy interview, implying that she couldn’t sustain with know-how. “One of the crucial important variations between us was that I used to be tweeting. There was a rumor that I had been dumped as a result of I used to be tweeting an excessive amount of. That wasn’t it, however that was an enormous distinction. … I feel she’s nonetheless hoping it goes again to 1998,” he mentioned.
Taylor Swift Relationship Fallout
Maybe one in all Mayer’s most-talked-about relationships is his fling with Swift, whom he collaborated with on his track “Half of My Coronary heart.” She was 19 after they briefly dated in 2009, and Mayer was then 32.
Swift went on to jot down a seething breakup track titled “Pricey John,” which appeared on her 2010 report, Communicate Now. “Don’t you assume I used to be too younger to be messed with?” she asks within the tune. (Communicate Now was rereleased in July 2023 amid Swift’s quest to acquire possession of her masters.)
Mayer dropped his personal track seemingly impressed by Swift, “Paper Doll,” however not earlier than calling out her songwriting. “It made me really feel horrible,” he advised Rolling Stone in 2012. “As a result of I didn’t deserve it. I’m fairly good at taking accountability now, and I by no means did something to deserve that. It was a extremely awful factor for her to do. … I’ll say as a songwriter that I feel it’s form of low-cost songwriting.”
Followers of Swift have lengthy held a grudge in opposition to Mayer, however she has hardly ever spoken concerning the relationship. Throughout one in all her June 2023 Eras Tour stops, Swift reminded her followers to be sort to the topics of her songs.
“I’m 33 years outdated. I don’t care about something that occurred to me once I was 19, besides the songs I wrote. … So, what I’m attempting to let you know is that I’m not placing this album out in order that it is best to go and really feel the necessity to defend me on the web in opposition to somebody you assume I may need written the track about 14 million years in the past,” she mentioned on stage.
Cultural Appropriation Accusations
Mayer tried to rework his picture together with his 2017 comeback report, The Seek for The whole lot. Nonetheless, the music video for “Nonetheless Really feel Like Your Man” was launched to combined opinions — and claims of cultural appropriation.
When talking concerning the track, Mayer advised The New York Occasions that he felt an “historic Japanese R&B” vibe from the guitar sound, which impressed him to create a “disco dojo” for the video. He danced with panda mascots and mimicked martial arts strikes.
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“A part of cultural appropriation is blindness,” he advised the newspaper, claiming the manufacturing of the video was as “delicate” as potential. “I’m on the appropriate aspect of the road as a result of it’s an concept for the video that has a really multiethnic casting, and no person who’s white or non-Asian is enjoying an Asian individual.”