The beautiful people always gracing the covers of magazines and starring in
exciting movies are subject to the same trials and personal issues that the
general public faces. However, because celebrities have so much money, they
often get to make much bigger mistakes than we can afford to make. This often
results in serious and highly publicized meltdowns from famous people. The
antics are usually as large as the names involved, and we as people can have a
hard time looking away when they occur. It is like watching a bad car accident,
where the ability to turn our heads suddenly escapes us. Instead about worrying
what could be wrong with us for enjoying celebrity disgrace, it is much more fun
to read about the most famous instances of celebrity meltdowns in the last few
decades. A great example is actress Lindsay Lohan who seems to keep getting into
trouble repeatedly. Pictured to the left here is Lohan's mugshot from 2007.
Meltdown: Britney Spears
Anyone who went out in public in 2007 remembers Britney
Spears' high-profile meltdown. According to NBC, it began with a fly-by-night
marriage to her close friend in Las Vegas, which piqued the public's interest.
Then along came Kevin Federline, still fresh from a relationship with another
woman carrying his baby. An unprofessional-looking man who aspired to be a
successful white rapper, Federline was someone that fans loved to hate. Spears gave
birth to his child, and photos surfaced of her driving with her son, Sean, in
her lap instead of safely secured in the back of the car.
Britney Spears and Her New "Look":
Spears then abandoned Kabbalah, gave birth to her second child, and divorced
her husband a few months later, according to People Magazine. Her beloved aunt
died of ovarian cancer in 2007, and Spears soon after checked in to a
rehabilitation facility, which she then departed from in less than 24 hours. She
then turned up at a hair salon in Los Angeles, where she boldly shaved her
entire head. Spears was in a clearly unstable state as she angrily harassed
nearby paparazzi in the parking lot with an umbrella and then disappeared into
the night. Spears managed to make a comeback even after such a public meltdown.
14) Celebrity Lindsay Lohan's
None of us knew when we watched "Parent Trap" and "Life
Size" years ago that the sweet little redhead girl smiling at us on screen would
turn into the vacant-eyed, washed up disaster that regularly lets her meltdowns
drip onto tabloids and headlines. Lindsay Lohan has been steadily falling apart
for the past few years, always ready to amuse us with new sordid misdemeanors
and drug induced public outings. Her fallout began with a huge career boost in
2004 from the popular movie, "Mean Girls." After that, things began to take a
turn for the worse. The people who worked with Lindsay in her next several
movies all referred her as an unreliable actor who partied too much. The public
gave her some leeway, because she has just turned 18 years old, and most of us
can relate to making a few bad decisions at that age. However, People states
that in 2006, during the filming of "Georgia Rules," she had to be hospitalized
due to what her publicists were calling exhaustion, but her director publicly
asserted his opinion that she was partying too much to keep up with work.
Since then, Lohan has had run-ins with the law no less than 20 times,
according to E! Online. She has reportedly been to rehab four times, and
frankly, it seems she may have more of these visits in her future. Along with
shoplifting jewelry and suing companies for not making money off of her scanty
leggings, Lohan spends her time these days hiding her alleged cocaine habit and
conspicuously donating to charities. Giving money away is great, but we hope she
doesn't think she is fooling anybody.
Meltdown: Charlie Sheen
Winning! Charlie Sheen's 2011 video meltdown is the stuff of
nightmares. His videos, which went instantly viral, depict him ranting insanely
about drinking tiger blood, being a warlock, and having superior DNA, according
to AOL News.
As though one embarrassing video wasn't enough for him, he quickly
posted others with bizarre antics, such as publicly cursing people he used to
work for and smoking cigarettes from his nostrils. His TV interviews around the
same time were no better, containing long reels of his delusional superiority
complex. Sheen later blamed the outbursts on testosterone cream, according to Huffington Post. Whatever caused the breakdown, Sheen lost his exorbitantly
high-paying gig with "Two and a Half Men" over it.
Sheen's drug problem has been in the public eye since the 1990s. His
on-screen deterioration seemed to lead him to a better path, but Sheen will
likely always be a man who enjoys his escorts and of course, the occasional
glass of tiger blood. We were joking about the tiger blood.
12) Celebrity Lance Armstrong's
Armstrong's meltdown was much more of a public face plant.
For almost a decade, he had been defying physics by completely dominating the
Tour de France. No matter how strong the competition trained, no matter if
Armstrong faced personal struggles (like his testicular cancer in 1996), he
would overcome the obstacles and crush his opponents. For years, Americans
watched Armstrong's cycling in complete awe, though the French probably watched
with disgust at this American completely stealing the show.
It then came as a huge disappointment when Armstrong was accused of using
performance-enhancing drugs in 2011. The USADA confirmed the accusations in
2012, and Armstrong made no attempt to fight the allegations. He went from
holding unbelievable cycling records to being banned from every competitive
sport on the face of the planet that drug tests. Armstrong finally came clean
about his doping on Oprah in 2013, according to the New York Times. He currently
holds no awards, no titles, and no glory.
Meltdown: Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson's decline into meltdown territory came to the public
as a bit of a surprise. He had always been passionate, sometimes over
enthusiastic, and everyone knew he had an ego (that was quite clear after his
performance in "Braveheart"), but no one expected him to come out of the works
as abusive and anti-Semitic. The "Passion of the Christ" director had always
managed to keep his private life to himself until his wife Robyn separated from
him in 2006 after Gibson's drunk-driving charge. According to The Daily
Telegraph, before Gibson's divorced was finalized, pictures leaked of him being
romantically involved with a Russian pianist named Oksana Grigorieva.
Gibson paid dearly for his divorce settlement. ABC News reports an estimated
$450 million settlement, making it the most expensive divorce in history to
date. After giving birth to his child, Grigorieva turned on Gibson, obtained a
restraining order against him, and likely posted the career-destroying audio
clips that leaked on the Internet shortly after. The recordings are of Gibson
ranting almost incoherently about hateful and some anti-Semitic comments, making
him look terrible. The Los Angeles Times says Gibson's agent dropped him the day
after the recordings leaked. Fans are still unsure if he was truly the victim of
a bad ex, or if the clips actually revealed his deeper thoughts on humanity.
Either way, like the Hulk, we don't like Mel Gibson when he's angry.
10) Celebrity Christian Bale's
Christian Bale has starred in some phenomenal movies, and
has been known to gain and lose a hundred pounds of muscle weight in between
films for various roles. Perhaps his extreme dedication led to some mental upset
for the "American Psycho" hunk. In 2008, after resuming his muscles to star in
"Terminator: Salvation," Bale had a bit of a rationality lapse on set. Shane Hurlbut, the films photography director, had the misfortune of waling past
Christian Bale that day. Apparently, he stepped into Bale's sight line
mid-scene, causing a violent uproar from Bale, according to TMZ. An audiotape of
the verbal insults made it onto the Internet shortly after, and the world began
to make fun of the incident. People also questioned if Bale was really holding
things together in his life.
Christian Bale at the 83rd Academy Awards:
Bale later blamed the incident on getting too into character for the movie he
was working on, and that he had been acting more like the main character of the
film than his actual self, according to Los Angeles Times. He called into a
radio station and apologized publicly and thoroughly. The director claims that
the incident did not affect the film, and Bale's career went on to rise again
with "The Dark Knight."
Meltdown: Whitney Houston
No one will ever know if it was Bobby Brown or just the
crack, but Whitney Houston and her angelic voice spent the better part of the
nineties spiraling downward. She had a powerhouse for a voice and was one of the
few people who could take someone else's song and top it (see "I Will Always
Love You" by Dolly Parton). However, after marrying Bobby Brown in 1992,
International Business Times reveals that the drug problems were soon to follow.
Throughout the nineties, no one was able to prove the many rumors about
Houston's substance issues, but in 2000 she was finally caught smuggling
marijuana from Hawaii to the continental U.S.
Houston Performing on Good Morning America in 2009:
One baggie of pot does not necessarily make one an addict, but Houston's rail
thin appearance in years to come inspired many more rumors. Finally on Diane
Sawyer's show, Whitney admitted to experimenting with many dangerous drugs. She
did not seem phased by it, since she herself admitted she had no experience with
heroin. When asked if addicted, she seemed to think the drugs were more of a
habit and a result of working too diligently in her twenties. Whatever she
called it, she spent the next few years getting a divorce, checking in and out
of rehab, and finally dying at the young age of 48 from complications of cocaine
use. Before the public realized how serious her condition was, she was the
subject of many jokes for her bad taste in men and penchant for drug use.
Whatever she was going through at the time, we will always love Whitney Houston.
8) Celebrity Michael Jackson's
Michael Jackson had always been an eccentric person. He
turned many heads when he suddenly showed up with white skin and straightened
hair and a few more when he mysteriously had children and nicknamed the last one
Blanket. From catching fire at a Pepsi commercial filming to building a childish
amusement park of a house, Jackson proved himself to be a highly unique
individual. Even compared with his multiple court appearances over child abuse
allegations, one particular incident really seemed to put him into meltdown
Presumably overwhelmed by media coverage and paparazzi harassment, Jackson had enough in 2002. His third child, Blanket had been born earlier that year
to a mysterious surrogate mother, and Jackson was staying at a hotel a few
months later in Berlin with his son. Michael emerged from his room onto his
balcony, and hung his son out over it for several seconds before returning
inside with him, according to MTV and numerous film clips. Even stranger than
dangling his baby dangerously high up from the ground was his placement of a
towel on Blanket's head to cover his face. It was perhaps the most insanely
public plea for privacy in celebrity history. Before his death in 2009, Jackson
was spotted doing many unstable things. YouTube videos depict him dancing on
cars with an umbrella at court proceedings. He earned the nickname Wacko Jacko
long before his death, and we can only hope he his finally at peace now. He did
some completely crazy stuff in his later life.
Meltdown: Pee-Wee Herman
Certainly amusing but even more creepy, Paul Reubens (or
Pee-Wee Herman, his fictional alter ago) completely traumatized the adults who
had grown up watching his imaginative "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" series with his
strange antics. His behavior certainly made the public wonder many times why
Reubens was able to act so childlike and if it meant something was slightly off
with his mental stability. Reubens' acting choices never said much for his
normalcy. The same character that talked to cheerful puppets in his
award-winning kids' television series also appeared in Cheech and Chong movies
with a recurring role as a raging cocaine addict. In 1991, Reubens was arrested
for, to put it lightly, acting inappropriately in a public theater, according to
To be fair, he was viewing an adult film, and he was doing something adults
often do while watching adult films. However, public masturbation is not well
looked up by society, and officers who regularly examine adult theaters for such
behavior arrested Reubens. More disturbing than the illegality of the situation
is the plain creepiness of it. Fans wondered what kind of beloved children's
actor would even go to such a venue, let alone act inappropriately in it.
Reubens career suffered for over a decade. His shows were immediately pulled off
the air. Ever since his arrest, it has always been difficult to look at him the
6) Celebrity Heidi Montag's
Barely a celebrity by even the loosest definition, Heidi
Montag still managed to catch the attention of the public in 2011 with her
obvious mental turmoil. Instead of posting an angry video or falling into a
cycle of drug abuse, Montag's breakdown was that of a surgical variety. A
naturally attractive blonde who had co-starred in the hit rich-kid reality
series "The Hills," Montag had no reason to change the way she looked. She ended
up doing more than that; she turned herself into a walking Barbie doll.
Heidi Montag Before and After Surgery:
Huffington Post says that she had a whopping 10 cosmetic surgeries performed
on her in one day in 2010. Among them were a nose job, a drastic breast
augmentation, and a chin reduction. USA Today even reveals that one of the
procedures was a butt augmentation. The actress, though still attractive, has
lost all of her natural glow, and resembles a permanently airbrushed human
being. Her husband, Spencer Pratt, was reportedly very against the surgeries,
but Montag proceeded anyway. She has since revealed regretting the procedures.
She seems to like the way she turned out, so we hope she stays content and
leaves her face and body alone from now on.
Meltdown: Kanye West
Instead of melting down on his own time, Kanye West decided to
take things a step farther and ruin the moment for a teenage girl winning a her
first major music award as well. During the 2009 MTV Music Awards, West
surprised everyone watching by rudely interrupting another musician's acceptance
speech. Taylor Swift, then 19 years old, had won Female Video of the Year for
her first time, and she was clearly very proud. However, before she could get
her acceptance speech going, West jumped up on stage and took the microphone
away from her. He promised to let Swift finish but first ranted to the audience
about Beyoncé's more deserving video. Swift appeared to be in shock, and Beyoncé
looked mortified. When Beyoncé did win a big award for her video later on in the
evening, she gave Taylor Swift time to finish the acceptance speech that West
Kanye West Performing at South by Southwest Austin, TX in
West was not allowed to continue participating in the audience after his
outburst. Kanye West has always been over-the-top, but this public lapse of
judgment was in the poorest of taste. His career has remained highly successful,
but not without losing the respect of many. West is now the butt of countless
Internet jokes about letting others finish. People often refer to the incident
for a good laugh, and fortunately, Taylor Swift has gone on to win many more
awards for her music, so she has hopefully had enough time now to thank everyone
on her list.
4) Celebrity Amy Winehouse's
Though her death in 2011 was a somber event, most people
were not shocked by the news. Amy Winehouse's drug-fueled antics began as highly
entertaining and then spiraled to the point of being entirely pitiful. Winehouse
seemed to defy the laws of existence in her daily lifestyle. She emerged onto
the public scene in 2003 a uniquely beautiful, curvy songstress with a serious
attitude. The following years, however, contained nothing but drugs, bad
relationships, and public turmoil for Winehouse.
Amy Winehouse Before and After:
Her husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, admits introducing Winehouse to harder
drugs, according to People Magazine. Amy then took off with her addiction,
losing massive amounts of weight and behaving erratically in public. She
admitted to CNN to becoming violent with her husband when under the influence of
alcohol, and fans quickly began to lose respect for her. After shocking on-stage
sightings of Winehouse snorting cocaine that she had hidden in her enormous
beehive hairdo, the public began to expect the worse. Winehouse did indeed die
in 2011 due to alcohol-related causes. She should have gone to rehab.
Meltdown: Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. is usually just the right amount of
crazy for fans. His antics on camera are both hilarious and intriguing, and his
personal life has always been filled with hedonism and wild adventures. However,
he has also been notorious for taking things a step too far in his partying. In
1996, according to EW, he got a little too wild and passed out in a neighbor's
bed. We should also mention that the neighbor did not approve of this sleepover,
and that Downey fell asleep in a child's bed, according to MSN. This crazy
incident followed an arrest on cocaine and heroin charges for Downey.
California Department of Corrections Photo of Downey Jr. in
Mugshot Also Courtesy of California Department of
These days, Downey's career has made a comeback, and after several more
run-ins with the law due to drugs, Downey appears to be sober and happy. Like
many, he seems to become a different person when under the influence. Even so,
no amount of drugs excuses a person for walking into the wrong house and
unknowingly sleeping in a child's bed.
2) Celebrity Tom Cruise's
Tom Cruise's meltdown was, at least, a happy one. In the early
2000s, Cruise began to show signs of a much more eccentric personality than most
people realized. He went through a highly publicized divorce with Nicole Kidman,
despite having adopted children with her. Of all the religions out there to turn
to, Cruise sought guidance with the Church of Scientology. Shortly after, he
found his new love, actress Katie Holmes. Cruise appeared on "Oprah" to discuss
his career, but instead completely shocked the audience with his personal
gushing over Katie Holmes. He barely mentioned the movie he was releasing, and
instead focused on sharing his excitement over his newfound love, according to Gawker.
Cruise jumped up and down on the couch, remained unable to sit down, and
repeatedly ran over to Oprah and grabbing her hands, shaking her whole body
heartily. His jumps and leaps were quite nimble, but certainly no guest has ever
misbehaved so badly on "Oprah." Hollywood.com ran a poll, and Cruise won the
award for the celebrity with the craziest meltdown. Check out the Oprah
video if you like:
Meltdown: David Hasselhoff
That must have been one good cheeseburger. Luckily for
David Hasselhoff, his serious acting career was quite over already, and his
embarrassing antics were so amusing that fans still loved him. A string of
hospital visits beginning in 2006 all pointed to a severe alcohol problem. The public was still relatively unaware of how addicted Hasselhoff was to drinking until May 3, 2007, when a video filmed by Hasselhoff's
own daughter turned up online. In said video, Hasselhoff was on the floor with
no shirt on, trying very hard to eat a cheeseburger.
Though the clip depicts a
man at what was hopefully rock bottom, it is quite hard not to laugh at the
ridiculous things he does and says while completely hammered. It seemed to do Hasselhoff some good anyways, because he lost custody of his daughters after its
release and was forced to make some changes in his life.
Here is a portion of the drunken cheesburger eating video made into a goofy
When fans watched Hasselhoff seductively running up and down the beach for
years on "Baywatch," they likely had no idea that he would end up in a drunken
puddle of cheeseburger and shame decades later. The same man who starred in
"Night Rider "needed his daughter to film him drunk, so he could see how bad his
problem truly was. We are just glad that he survived his drinking-related
injuries and did not hurt anyone else in the process. Hasselhoff took the noble
route of Charlie Sheen and allowed Comedy Central to roast him, so at least he
knows how to take a good joke these days.
Whether the meltdowns are entirely self-inflicted or the result of major,
upsetting life events, we as humans love to watch celebrities fall from grace.
We especially like it when there is picture or video evidence of the publicized
outbursts. For whatever reason, there is something amusing about seeing these
larger-than-life personas brought back down to earth a bit by their own
foolishness. Perhaps it reminds us that no one, not even these inhumanly
attractive celebrities, is anywhere close to perfect. It also shows us that even
in the darkest of times, we can still recover if we try. Either way, because of
the amount of money involved, and the scrutiny that every detail of their lives
receives, celebrity breakdowns will generally be more over-the-top than the
average person's rock bottom. It makes them far more entertaining to watch, and
certainly distracts from our own troubles for a while.