The 12 Most Famous Celebrity Meltdowns
For Hollywood A-listers, receiving copious amounts of public attention often means that you’re at the pinnacle of your career. You have created something that people really enjoy and are willing to pay for. However, for some stars, public attention only comes when they begin to break down.
Here are some of the most famous celebrity meltdowns in Hollywood history.
1. Britney Spears
Many people have analyzed Britney Spears’ 2007 breakdown. It began with the 25-year-old singer filing for divorce from then-husband Kevin Federline. Then, she shaved her head only a day after leaving a rehab facility.
For many people, the head-shaving incident, which happened in a small salon in Sherman Oaks, California, was the most frightening moment of Spears’ personal crisis. The moment was captured by dozens of paparazzi that followed her to the salon. In their footage, Spears looks absolutely dead-eyed. Two days later, she attacked a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella.
Since the breakdown, Spears went to rehab, regained custody of her children, and speaks openly about her struggles with mental illness.
2. Charlie Sheen
In 2010, Charlie Sheen was the star of the hit sitcom Two and a Half Men. However, unbeknownst to most people, he was also in the middle of a personal crisis.
After trashing a hotel room following a court-ordered stint in rehab, the show’s production company decided to put the show on hiatus so Sheen could go back into treatment. While all this was playing out, Sheen was gleefully documenting his every insane thought on Twitter. Also, he spent a lot of the time that he was supposedly in treatment calling into radio shows to give meandering, unscripted interviews. This includes one where Sheen trashed showrunner Chuck Lorre, calling him “un-evolved”.
3. Kanye West
Kanye West’s public meltdown has been happening slowly over the last few years. His actions have slowly moved from quirky to just plain bizarre.
Perhaps the pinnacle of this slow-simmering meltdown was his 2016 mid-concert rant about how Jay-Z was threatening to kill him. After playing three songs, he spent the rest of his onstage time talking about how much he loved Donald Trump, complaining that award shows continually overlooked him, and name-dropping people from Taylor Swift to Barack Obama. West then ended the concert and quickly canceled the rest of his Saint Pablo tour.
Soon after, West was admitted to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Although he took an 11-month break from public life, West was soon back on Twitter spewing the same sort of nonsense as before.
4. Alec Baldwin
Although Alec Baldwin is beloved for his contributions to shows like 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, he’s been dogged by controversy stemming from his temper ever since he became famous.
The first incident was when Baldwin assaulted a photographer. The photographer got too close to his wife and three-day-old daughter when they were on their way home from the hospital. Since then, Baldwin’s been thrown off an airplane for refusing to turn off his phone and was arrested for punching someone in a parking dispute.
The most famous instance of Baldwin losing his temper came in the form of a leaked voicemail message to his daughter Ireland, who was 11 years old at the time. The message, which was sold to TMZ in 2007, featured an intense rant which culminated in him calling Ireland a “rude, thoughtless little pig”.
5. Chris Brown
In 2009, Chris Brown’s violent assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry. Brown pled guilty to felony assault but was only given probation and community service.
Two years later, while Brown was still on probation, he appeared on Good Morning America to promote his latest album and was asked about the incident. This led to a public meltdown where Brown stormed offstage, took off his shirt, trashed his dressing room, and threw a chair out a window.
While Brown has since finished his probation in relation to that case, he has been in and out of jail on other offenses.
6. Amanda Bynes
Former child star Amanda Bynes has become the epitome of why fame at a young age is best avoided.
Bynes’ drama started in 2010 when she was let go from the movie Hall Pass after behaving bizarrely on set. After getting two DUIs between 2010 and 2012, Bynes moved from LA to New York City, where she was spotted applying makeup in the middle of a spin class. She then fired her publicist, agent, and lawyer in one fell swoop.
Soon after getting into trouble with the law in NYC — she threw a bong out of her window in an effort to avoid drug charges — Bynes moved back to California. In 2013, she set fire to a stranger’s driveway. As a result, Bynes was sent to hospital, so her mental health could be evaluated. She’s now under a court-ordered conservatorship.
7. Tom Cruise
In 2005, Tom Cruise was one of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood. He was booked on The Oprah Winfrey Show to talk about his newest film, War of the Worlds. Instead of talking about the film, Cruise spent most of the segment gushing about his new girlfriend Katie Holmes. The interview culminated in Cruise expressing his excitement by jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch.
The clip quickly went viral and was immediately parodied on TV shows like Family Guy and even Sesame Street. Although the incident itself was quickly glossed over, it has retained a life of its own thanks to YouTube.
8. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey is undoubtedly one of the greatest divas of our generation. In fact, Carey has gained a reputation not only for her incredible voice but also for her exacting standards and incandescent fury when crossed.
Although most people like to joke about Carey’s train wreck of a performance on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in 2016, her most memorable meltdown came in 2001. This meltdown happened when Carey showed up unannounced on Total Request Live. She was apparently there to promote her newest movie Glitter. However, Carey appeared confused throughout the entire show. She took off her clothes — revealing a skimpy top and short-shorts — and proceeded to tell host Carson Daly that “You’re my therapy session right now.”
9. David Hasselhoff
David Hasselhoff’s battles with alcohol came to a head in May 2007. It happened when he was videotaped by his teenage daughter crawling around on the floor of their home trying to eat a hamburger.
Although the video was originally intended as proof of Hasselhoff’s bad behavior, it leaked to online gossip outlets, who spread it all over the world. It eventually got back to the judge in Hasselhoff’s custody case, who temporarily barred him from seeing his two daughters.
Since then, Hasselhoff has spoken more openly about his ongoing struggles with alcoholism. In fact, he insists that the behavior in the video was simply “a brief relapse”.
10. Lars von Trier
Danish director Lars von Trier has always been a controversial figure — a reputation that he appears to embrace.
While at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival promoting his movie Melancholia, a press conference with reporters quickly turned sour. Trier claimed that he was a Nazi and said that he thought Israel was a pain in the ass.
Trier would later apologize by claiming that he was just joking. Due to the avalanche of bad press that followed, Trier ended up skipping the premiere of Melancholia. His no-show at his own premiere led to Cannes barring Trier from the festival.
11. Lindsay Lohan
Another troubled child star that has lived the majority of her life in the public eye is Lindsay Lohan. Most of her troubles stem from her continued alcohol and drug abuse. In fact, this abuse led to a series of arrests for impaired car accidents between 2004 and 2006. Since then, Lohan has been in and out of rehab and jail. Plus, she did 35 days of house arrest.
Lohan’s latest controversy involved her attempting to kidnap two refugee children because she believed that they were being trafficked. All of this was captured live on her Instagram feed.
12. Mel Gibson
There are many people who deserve a second chance. Unfortunately, Mel Gibson isn’t one of them.
Too many people remember the racist, expletive-laden outbursts that sunk his career in the first place. His first occurred in 2006 during a traffic stop. Gibson asked the arresting office if she was Jewish, then claimed that “the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”