Back in the early ’90s, Richard was allegedly admitted to a Los Angeles area hospital with a foreign object lodged in his rectum. Only he and the X-ray machine know for sure, but the object was reported to be a gerbil, either alive or dead (we’ll let you make the educated guess). According to the rumor, Richard had been participating in a sexual activity called “gerbilling,” wherein a gerbil is used in an attempt to attain auto-erotic stimulation. The incident, if true, would have taken place while Gere was riding high from his Pretty Woman success, and while married to uber-fox Cindy Crawford.
Though Richard has never directly addressed the rumors, they’ve persisted, making their way into the cultural consciousness — with everything from a South Park episode to the gerbil-in-question’s very own MySpace page.