Celeb phobias

LOS ANGELES: Whether it’s cockroaches or heights, spiders or flying - everyone has a fear. And if you think that the phenomenon of phobias do not exist for celebrities, think twice. A survey of more than 1,000 people, including celebrities, has revealed some of celebrities’ deepest fears.

With Scarlett Johansson, it is the fear of cockroaches. “I once knew a girl, who actually had giant African cockroaches as pets, and she would play with them and fuss over them,” The Courier Mail quoted her, as saying. “She often tried to get me to touch one, but I wouldn’t. I told her I have been afraid of them ever since I once woke up with one crawling over my face, and another was in my shoe.”

The survey, commissioned by one of Britain’s leading hypnotherapists, Joseph Clough, revealed that Nicole Kidman is a lepidopterphobe - she is terrified of butterflies.

“I am not afraid of snakes or spiders - just butterflies. It all started when I was a child. Sometimes, I would come home from school and the biggest butterfly you have ever seen would be fluttering on our front gate. I’d climb over the fence rather than touch the gate, and crawl around to the side of the house to go in the back door,” she said.

Jennifer Love Hewitt has revealed that she has a number of phobias, the worst of which is a fear of elevators. “The trouble is that many of the Hollywood meetings I have to attend take place at the top of tall buildings — and I simply cannot set foot in a lift if there are too many people in it. If there’s four or five people in it, then I just about manage it,” she said. “I prefer if it’s empty so I can scream if I want to. I am also scared of sharks, which is why you will never find me in the sea, and I am a terrible hypochondriac. I have every illness known to man, and I am pretty sure I have had the bird flu four or five times. I know I drive people mad with my phobias,” she added.

Jennifer Aniston has been terrified of flying ever since she was caught in a bad storm in a small plane years ago. “We became caught up in an electrical storm, and the flight from Toronto to New York took two hours, which was twice the usual time,” she said.

“Every time we flew over a field, I hoped the pilot would decide to land, but he didn’t. What really scares me is the take-off. I’ve heard all about the aerodynamics, the speed, the engine — but I still get nervous,” she added.

Among the male celebrities who admit to having phobias is Johnny Depp, who revealed that he is not only afraid of singing in public, but also of clowns. “I was forced to overcome my singing fear because of the movie Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I warned director Tim Burton that I wasn’t very confident of my singing abilities,” he says. “I also have had an acute fear of clowns — a condition known as coulrophobia — ever since I had nightmares of them as a kid. I used to see their faces leering at me.”

Soccer ace David Beckham suffers from ataxophobia — a fear of disorder or untidiness. He admits that everything has to match — his shirts are arranged in his wardrobe according to colour, and he lines up cans of Coke in the fridge. “I’m very organised and controlled and need to go to bed at night knowing what I’m going to wear the next morning,” he said.