Some people are afraid of clowns. Others fear holes, small spaces and flying. In fact, it's estimated that almost 9 percent of Americans are plagued by one of hundreds of irrational phobias, many of which can be avoided in daily life. (I mean, unless you travel with the circus, it’s not every day you see a clown, right?) But there is one dread in particular that can be a little bit harder to avoid: germaphobia. Yep, germs, bacteria, microbes, contamination and infection are everywhere. While some people do not like to talk about their fears, these eight celebrities aren’t ashamed to admit they are total germaphobes. Whether skipping the hand shakes, refusing to use restaurant silverware or avoiding (almost all) sexual contact, we have the dirt on their unusual and quirky cleanliness habits.
1. Cameron Diaz
“Charlie’s Angels” star Cameron Diaz might not consider herself a true germ freak, but she is no fan of them, either. “I’m not scared of germs. I’m just aware of them,” Diaz, who self-admittedly washes her hands “many times” a day, said. “I’m not into other people’s fluids unless I know them really well.” (Um, who is?) The star has even confessed in interviews to opening doors with her elbows to avoid touching tainted doorknobs.
2. Lisa Rinna
Actress and reality star Lisa Rinna isn’t ashamed of being a total germaphobe, always making sure she is totally prepared when visiting public places. “Hotel rooms are gross. I’m sorry, but if you think of the who, what and where that TV changer has been, you would wipe that whole f *cking place down just like I do with my alcohol wipes,” she wrote on her blog about her obsessive nature. “By the way, I also wipe my plane seat down and everything around me. You betcha OCD, baby, but if that keeps the bodily fluids/germs off of me, then it’s so well worth it folks!” Indeed.
3. Donald Trump
The president of the United States may not be afraid of sitting in the same room with Kim Jong-un, but bacteria is a whole other story. In his book “The Art of the Comeback” the self-proclaimed “clean hands freak” shared that he feels “much better after I thoroughly wash my hands, which I do as much as possible.” He went on to call “the simple act of shaking hands … one of the curses of American society.” To combat the problem, he has gone as far as distributing little bottles of hand sanitizer to reporters before shaking their hands.
4. Megan Fox
“Transformers” star Megan Fox has admitted she suffers from OCD, especially when it comes to germs. “This is a sickness, I have an illness, she told Allure, revealing she won’t use toilets without seat covers. “I’m never doing that again. Every time someone uses a bathroom and they flush, all the bacteria is shot into the air,” she explained. Even restaurant silverware freaks her out. “Putting my mouth where a million other mouths have been, just knowing all the bacteria that you carry in your mouth? Ucch!,” she continued. No word on whether the actress carries her own silverware with her when she goes out.
5. Howie Mandel
The “Deal or No Deal” host is so in touch with his germaphobia that he wrote a memoir about it. In “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me,” Mandel reveals he will not shake hands with anyone and would rather give a “fist bump” instead.
“I’m always on the verge of death in my head,” he told “20/20.” “In my mind [my hand] is like a petri dish. Otherwise, I would spend the day — as I have in the past in my life — in the men’s room rubbing and scrubbing and scalding.” Fun times, Howie.
6. Jennifer Lawrence
Lawrence may talk a big game when it comes to sex, but she is not having a ton of it because of her fear of germs. “I am all bark and no bite,” the always-honest actress said. “I always talk like I want dick, but the truth is, when I look back at my sexual past, it was always with boyfriends…. I am mostly also a germaphobe.” So the star plays it safe and makes her potential sexual partners get tested. “If I was at a point where I could get an STI, doctors have already been involved. That is how much of a germaphobe I am.” Hey, that’s not a bad thing!
7. Gwyneth Paltrow
Paltrow may be a huge fan of “good” bacteria found in probiotic foods and kombucha, but she admits she is “a little bit borderline” obsessive about the “bad” kind. “There was actually a New York Observer article — they sent a microbiologist out in New York City to swab surfaces, like a clean glass in a five star restaurant, the subway, handles, and it was so disturbing what they found, and since that article I’ve been a hand washer,” she confessed in a 2011 interview. She will even sit in a sauna for 20 minutes after a plane trip to help “sweat out all the germs from the plane.” Whatever makes you feel good, Gwyn!
Read more: The Flu May Be Spread Just By Breathing?!
8. Robbie Williams
Williams got major flack when he was pictured squirting sanitizer on his hands during a New Year’s gig after high-fiving a fan. The moment went viral, prompting hundreds of memes (and even a mock response video from the singer himself) before he came clean about his fear. The Brit suggests he “caught” germaphobia while living in Los Angeles. “I find it difficult shaking people’s hands now,” he told The Sun. He even found another use for hand sanitizer: a way to hide his smoking habit from his wife. “Instead of using mouthwash, I gargled hand sanitizer,” he told the news outlet. “I was desperate.” Do not try that at home, folks!
What Do YOU Think?
Are you surprised that so many celebrities are afraid of germs? How do you feel about germaphobia? Do you find it to be a healthy fear? Tell us what you think in the comments section!