One of the pitfalls of being a celebrity is that your entire life is spent in the public eye. That includes the good times, the bad, and the utterly abysmal. While some celebs have tried to make the best of this constant coverage, others have sadly seen their lowest points splashed across newspaper headlines. While most people have their down moments and their breakdowns, the rich and famous struggle to hide their meltdowns from the world.
The problem is, it's hard to look away from that kind of chaos when it's playing out in the public eye! As much as we might wish we could resist reading shocking headlines and reports about scandalous celebrity behavior, we just can't help ourselves. Society is addicted to gossip, and anything involving a famous person having a meltdown is the most salacious info of all. We just can't look away from that kind of drama! Some famous faces have recovered well since their darkest days, while others are still struggling with their issues. However, their public image will probably always be blighted by their infamously erratic meltdowns. We've put together a roundup of the most infamous celebrity outbursts of all time – these ones will really stick in our memories for a long time!
15 Amanda Bynes Is Another Young Star Who Struggled With Fame
Sadly, it's all too common that child stars go off the rails in their adult years. Just look at Lindsay Lohan and Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin! Amanda Bynes is another young actress who's been a victim of this curse. The first sign that something was wrong came in 2010 when Bynes announced that she was retiring from acting at the ripe old age of 24. However, she retracted that statement pretty quickly, confusing fans and critics alike.
In 2012, things got far worse: Bynes was arrested for the first time for driving under the influence then refusing a narcotics test. Just four days after this initial incident, the actress was then accused of crashing her car into a stranger's vehicle then fleeing the scene. After a similar incident in August of that year, Bynes appealed to then-President Barack Obama to intervene in her legal issues. Unsurprisingly, he didn't respond. After being dropped by her agent, her lawyer, and her publicist, the actress finally entered rehab and is still working towards a full recovery.
14 Christina Aguilera's Divorce Sent Her Into a Downward Spiral
Christina Aguilera has been one of the biggest names in pop since the 1990s. While she's generally been very well-behaved over the years, her behavior following the breakdown of her first marriage concerned a lot of onlookers. Aguilera filed for divorce from her ex Jordan Bratman in October 2010 and swiftly started dating fellow musician Matthew Rutler. However, things took a turn when the couple was arrested for public intoxication the following year. While they didn't end up facing charges, the incident was a departure from Aguilera's otherwise squeaky-clean image.
Things only worsened over the following months. Aguilera gained a noticeable amount of weight and began to mess up a lot of her public performances. She even forgot some of the words to the American national anthem when she performed at the Super Bowl XLV. The most shocking incident of all came at a pre-Golden Globes party when Aguilera initiated a cat-fight with her Burlesque co-star Julianne Hough. Luckily, the singer's breakdown seemed to be temporary: after a bit more time passed after her divorce, she settled back down again. However, it was a scary few months!
13 Amy Winehouse's Decline Ended In Tragedy
While very few celebrity meltdowns end happily, Amy Winehouse's story has to be the most tragic of all. Winehouse burst onto the music scene in 2003, with her hit album Frank being a critical and commercial success. However, just two years later Winehouse's prolonged battle with substance abuse began. In 2005, she started to drink heavily and use various illegal substances. She lost weight, began to self-harm, and suffered from severe depression.
After a brief period of recovery in 2006 - during which Winehouse wrote her second album Back to Black - the singer spiraled into a full-on addiction following the death of her grandmother. She had to be hospitalized after overdosing - however, this didn't stop her. After numerous other public incidents regarding her substance use, Winehouse finally entered recovery in 2008. However, her issues with drinking persisted, leading to her death from alcohol poisoning in 2011. It's a tragic warning of the effects substance usage can have on promising young people.
12 Tila Tequila Thinks She's One of God's Prophets...
Tila Tequila is pretty infamous for her strange and often offensive behavior. In the past, she's expressed anti-semitic views as well as support for Hitler and the Nazi movement. She's affirmed that she believes the Earth is flat, and last year was heavily criticised for an Islamaphobic rant. She's even posted disturbing paintings online that depicted Hollywood burning.
However, in recent days Tequila has made possibly her most bizarre statement to date. In a public Facebook post, the star claimed that she's a prophet sent to our planet by God. She claimed that she's responsible for a number of celebrity deaths through the power of prayer, and particularly singled out naught film star Olivia Nova's death as her doing. She also warned that more of the naughty film industry's stars would begin to suffer because of their 'sins'. While people are obviously concerned about Tequila's mental wellbeing, they're even more alarmed for the safety of her young daughter. Hopefully, she gets the help she needs to look after both herself and her daughter.
11 We'll Never Forget Britney Spears Shaving Her Head
The whole world was shocked when pop princess Britney Spears had her well-publicized meltdown back in the mid-2000s. Everything had seemed to be going well for Brit! Her career was doing pretty well: in her most recent album, In the Zone, she'd taken a lot more creative control over her music. She'd recently married dancer Kevin Federline and had given birth to her first child, a son. However, behind the scenes, Spears was clearly struggling. The pressures of both fame and new motherhood got the better of her, and her behavior became more and more erratic.
Things came to a head after the death of her beloved aunt, Sandra Bridges Covington, from ovarian cancer in January 2007. Spears checked herself into rehab for addiction before leaving just one day later. She was then infamously spotted shaving her head in an LA salon. Luckily, after several more rehab stays Spears managed to get her life back on track. She regained custody of her children, received treatment for her mental health issues, and is now doing better than ever. Good for her!
10 Scientology May Be The Cause Of Tom Cruise's Meltdown
The Church of Scientology is infamous for luring the rich and famous into its fold. One of its most high-profile members is Hollywood star Tom Cruise, who joined the church back in the 1990s. However, Cruise's behavior has become stranger and stranger the closer he's got to the inner workings of Scientology. He's been spotted trying to pressure European officials into officially recognizing the church as a religion, resulting in him being barred from speaking to the French government. There have even been rumors that lead Scientologists totally control his love life, even going as far as 'auditioning' for potential girlfriends.
Then, of course, there was Cruise's unforgettable appearance on Oprah back in 2005. After dating future wife Katie Holmes for just a month, the actor jumped up and down on Oprah's couch while declaring his love for his new beau. Although the two enjoyed a five-year marriage, Holmes eventually filed for divorce from Cruise in 2012. There are rumors she did so to protect the couple's daughter, Suri, from Scientology. To be honest, we don't blame her for trying.
9 Charlie Sheen's Downward Spiral Proved He Definitely Wasn't 'Winning'
Even before his 2010 breakdown, Charlie Sheen was always a bit of a playboy. His narcotic use was common knowledge, with the actor suffering a stroke in 1998 due to an overdose. He moved from girlfriend to wife and back to a new girlfriend on a practically yearly basis, even ending one engagement after shooting his wife-to-be in the arm. However, this behavior paled in comparison to his later public meltdown.
In 2010 and 2011, Sheen made a number of increasingly strange public appearances that left fans increasingly worried for his health. His third ex-wife Brooke Mueller took out a restraining order against him and also removed their children from Sheen's custody. The actor gave a number of TV interviews where he claimed to have "tiger blood" and be a "total freaking rock star from Mars". He coined his own new catchphrase - "winning" - and was described as "possibly insane" by family members. While Sheen has now mostly retreated from the public eye, he resurfaced in 2015 to reveal that he's HIV positive. He discovered this diagnosis in 2011, leading to his later bizarre behavior.
8 Justin Bieber's Meltdown Let Down All of His Young Fans
While teen pop star Justin Bieber started off with a squeaky-clean image, that all changed when he went through his late-teen rebellious phase. His first brush with the law came in 2012 when he was accused of reckless driving in his home neighborhood. A year later, the singer was accused of vandalism in Brazil. However, things reached a head in 2014. In January of that year, he was arrested along with friend and fellow artist Khalil for driving under the influence. On top of that, he had an expired drivers license and had resisted arrest. Bieber later admitted that he'd been under the influence of alcohol, various narcotics and prescriptions at the time of his arrest.
While the DUI was probably the low point of Bieber's 2014, his worries didn't stop there. He was charged with vandalism later in the year for egging a neighbor's house and then arrested once again for assault and dangerous driving. While the singer now seems to have learned his lesson, his reputation was severely tarnished by these mistakes.
7 Lindsay Lohan Is Still Recovering From Her Troubled Past
Poor Lindsay Lohan quickly went from a clean-cut child star to a narcotic-addicted felon in 2007. Until that point, she had a pretty much untarnished image - her career was going well and she'd transitioned from a teen star into more mature roles. However, that success came crashing down after she received two DUI charges in the space of two months. It became clear that Lohan was addicted to alcohol and other substances, troubles which weren't improving ever after multiple rehab stays. Her face was constantly plastered across tabloid front pages, and her destructive behavior seemed to have no end in sight.
Even after Lohan began to cut down on partying, her legal troubles didn't end. She constantly failed to attend court-mandated rehab sessions and got into trouble yet again after stealing a necklace in 2011. However, a 2012 car accident spurred Lohan into turning her life around. She's now finally put her erratic behavior behind her and is working on trying to rebuild her career.
6 Former Child Star Shia LaBeouf Has Seriously Gone Off the Rails
Back in his Even Stevens days, Shia LaBeouf was nothing more than an adorable child star. However, as he made his transition into adulthood, things began to get weird. They started off normally enough: LaBeouf got starring roles in both the Transformers movies and the most recent installment in the Indiana Jones series, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. It wasn't until 2014 that eyebrows began to raise. It all started when LaBeouf showed up to the Berlin Film Festival in slightly unusual attire. Alongside his suit and tie, the star wore a paper bag on his head that read "I am not famous anymore". Shortly afterward, LaBeouf faced his first run-in with the law, being arrested for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass at a New York theatre.
Things only got worse from there. Although LaBeouf entered a treatment program for alcoholism shortly after his first arrest, it seems to have been unsuccessful. He was arrested again just last year for public drunkenness and disorderly behavior. The actor was fined $1000 and forced to attend anger management classes. He's currently taking time out of the public eye to work on his issues.
5 How Is Mel Gibson Still Allowed In Hollywood?!
Hollywood star Mel Gibson has had so many offensive meltdowns in his time that we're surprised he's still allowed to be part of the film industry. We're all for second chances, but he must be on his fifth or sixth now! Although Hollywood did blacklist Gibson for almost a decade, his numerous misdemeanors seem to have been forgiven now. A lot of Gibson's worst outbursts have been linked to alcohol: for example, his infamous anti-semitic rant in 2006 took place after a police officer pulled him over for driving under the influence. However, he was totally sober when he made racist remarks to an ex-partner in 2010 that led to a domestic violence charge.
As if both racism and anti-semitism weren't enough, Gibson has also suffered criticism for a public homophobic meltdown he had back in 1991. While being interviewed for Spanish newspaper El País, Gibson made numerous anti-gay comments that led to a huge backlash from LGBT organizations. While he initially refused to apologize, Gibson later tried to explain away his comments by claiming he was drunk when he made them. Overall, it's surprising that the actor has remained as popular as he has.
4 Nicolas Cage's New Orleans Meltdown Got Him Arrested
Nicolas Cage has been no stranger to controversy over the years. He's undergone various financial issues, ending up practically broke despite his huge earnings as an actor, and is reportedly in millions of dollars worth of debt. He's been married and divorced no less than three times, including an ill-fated romance with Lisa Marie Presley. In that case, the divorce proceedings lasted longer than the actual marriage!
However, Cage's most notable public incident has to be his 2011 arrest in New Orleans. The police were called to the city's French Quarter after a visibly intoxicated Cage began to grab and push his then-wife Alice Kim. Onlookers were so alarmed that Cage eventually ended up being taken into custody. He was charged with domestic violence and public intoxication. While the charges were eventually dropped, Cage's reputation has never really recovered.
3 Years Before Bagging the Lead In Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. Was A Total Mess
While Robert Downey Jr. is now a highly successful Hollywood star, his career nearly ended back in the 1990s. The Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes actor went through a very public narcotics-related meltdown that ended in him serving jail time. Shockingly, the actor had been addicted to illegal substances since the age of eight after his addict father shared some of his stashes with his son. Throughout the late 1990s, Downey was arrested numerous times for offenses connected to many different narcotics. Despite attending rehab numerous times, the actor found it nearly impossible to kick his habit.
Eventually, Downey's troubles caught up with him. He had to spend six months in jail in 1997 after missing a court-mandated narcotics test, with his mugshot quickly circulating in the media. After another stint in a rehab facility and jail in 1999, Downey finally decided it was time to turn his life around. He began his recovery in 2001 after his final arrest on various charges. He's been clean ever since and is now one of Hollywood's hottest stars.
2 Kanye West Is Infamous For His Strange Behavior
Kanye West has had more meltdowns than hit singles, and that's saying something. Possibly his most infamous public incident was his interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs. West stormed the stage to tell Swift - and the audience - that he thought Beyonce should have won that award. His actions led to a prolonged feud between the two artists and were widely condemned at the time. However, that was only the beginning of his relationship with controversy.
In recent times, West has made headlines for all manner of less-than-positive reasons. 2016 was a pretty rough year for the star. In February of that year, he claimed via Tweet that he was in $53 million worth of personal debt, a pretty staggering figure by all accounts. Later in the year, he was admitted to hospital after a public meltdown that saw him exhibiting signs of hallucination, psychosis, and paranoia. West now seems to be recovering well from his mental health issues which some doctors believe were triggered by his wife Kim Kardashian's armed robbery ordeal in Paris.
1 Christian Bale's Angry Tirade Was Caught on Tape
For the first two decades of his long acting career, Christian Bale managed to avoid being embroiled in controversy. The Batman actor instead focused on starring in a number of successful movies, getting married and becoming a father in the process. However, that all changed after an incident on the Terminator Salvation set in 2009. Bale was caught on tape unleashing an expletive-filled and furious tirade on a member of the movie's production staff. The recording was quickly leaked to the press, and Bale's reputation took a severe hit.
On the tape, Bale can be heard cursing out the film's director of photography Shane Hurlbut for walking onto the set and distracting him mid-performance. While this was probably very annoying, Bale may have overreacted a tad. He yelled at Hurlbut for quite some time, dishing out various threats and stating that he would quit the film if he was interrupted again. While this was just one isolated incident, Bale still had to make a public apology for reacting in the way he did.