The downside of fame is you basically give up any notions of privacy that you hope to keep. The fans make it their business to know anything and everything about the celebrities they idolize, to the point of turning into stalkers. And unfortunately for celebrities, they have to mind how they behave every single moment of their lives, lest their behavior ruin their careers.
In these days of technology and social media, good behavior isn’t just limited to how one acts in public. Even in the privacy of their own homes should they be vigilant in ensuring they don’t do anything tabloid-worthy. Because who knows if someone in the home has a camera phone who “accidentally” leaks the footage to TMZ? That could be the beginning of the end of the star’s good image.
Some stars’ careers are able to make a dignified recovery, despite the bad publicity. Alec Baldwin, who was publicly humiliated when an answering machine message with him ranting at his daughter was leaked to the media, was able to bounce back. He should thank his lucky stars for 30 Rock or his career may have ended up in tatters. But not all celebrities are as fortunate as he was and have fallen from grace and eventually, into near-oblivion.
Comedian Michael Richards has Seinfeld to thank for his three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. After the show ended, he switched to stand-up comedy. But the challenge of live performances is how to handle the occasional heckler. And in 2006, Richards encountered one such heckler. The comedian lost his cool towards the audience member, who happened to be African-American, and repeatedly called him “n**ger.” He apologized a few days later, but the damage had been done. Richards retired from stand-up comedy soon after the incident.
Making discriminatory statements is almost always impossible to recover from and Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington is the perfect example of this. His career was flourishing, as his character was fast becoming a central figure on the hit show, but in 2006, rumors of his supposed bigotry surfaced. He allegedly insulted co-star T.R. Knight with a homophobic slur. Though he apologized, Washington used the word “fagg*t” again at the Golden Globes, in reference to Knight. Producers of Grey’s Anatomy promptly decided not to renew Washington’s contract and he was eased off the show.
Whatever happened to Christian Slater? Sure, he has a few bit roles here and there, but nothing as memorable as his roles in Young Guns II or Interview with the Vampire. Maybe it’s his bad boy reputation that slowly eased him out of the spotlight. Heavily intoxicated with drugs and alcohol, he was said to have made a scene at a party in 1997, when he attacked a woman, bit the man who tried to intervene, beat up a janitor, and attempted to steal the gun of a cop. Needless to say, he landed in jail and eventually checked into rehab.
Joining the ever-growing list of fallen former child stars is Amanda Bynes. She’s had several run-ins with the law, including arrests for DUI and side-swiping a police car, two hit and run incidents, and criminal possession of drugs. But perhaps the most bizarre aspect of her behavior was her bevvy of tirades on Twitter. Over tweet, she called singer Drake “ugly” but that she wanted him to “murd*r her vag**a.” She also tweeted to her followers that she was going to post a video of herself getting a nose job. Someone should have warned her that outbursts on social media are just as or even more damning than losing it in person!
Aside from his comedic prowess, Martin Lawrence is also known to have a bad temper. Throw in his gun-loving ways and trouble will almost always ensue. In 1996, he flew into a rage at a busy Sherman Oaks intersection, touting a loaded gun in his pocket. He further proved his worthiness of being in Bad Boys when two months later, he was caught with a small pistol in his suitcase when he was attempting to fly from Burbank to Phoenix. As a result, he was sentenced to two years of probation.
David Hasselhoff is most known for classic TV shows, Knight Rider and Baywatch, both of which he starred in with much aplomb. But these shows have long since ended so he’s not been in the spotlight much since then. In 2007, a video leaked of Hasselhoff sprawled on the floor shirtless, eating a Wendy’s hamburger, and rambling incoherently. It was obvious that he had fallen “Hoff the wagon,” as many had jokingly put it, but he quickly took responsibility for his actions and apologized.
Apparently, Anne Heche isn’t good with break-ups. After her much publicized split with partner Ellen DeGeneres in 2000, Heche displayed extremely odd behavior. She randomly knocked on a stranger’s door, then when the cops came to take her away, she declared that she was God and she’d carry everyone up to Heaven on her spaceship. She later admitted that she was high on Ecstasy at the time the incident occurred. Her TV show Men In Trees, where she played the lead role, was cancelled only after two seasons.
With his nice-guy image and stellar career, Mel Gibson was always regarded as one of Hollywood’s poster boys for success. But his life took a downturn when he was arrested for drunk driving and his wife of 26 years separated from him as a result. He later ran into trouble once more when a series of taped conversations made it to the media, allegedly of Gibson’s angry rants towards his girlfriend, who accused him of domestic violence. Though it was never proven if the tapes were authentic, the incident still put a permanent dent on Gibson’s career.
The ultimate bad boy of public outbursts is no other than Charlie Sheen. Once the highest paid actor on television when he was still part of the hit TV show, Two and a Half Men, Sheen blew it by getting into trouble with the boss. He guested on a radio program and lambasted his show’s executive producer, Chuck Lorre, calling him a “clown” and a bunch of other derogatory things. He continued on with his rants, claiming that he was “winning” even after he was fired from the show. He hasn’t done anything noteworthy since.
Australian actor Russell Crowe must have been in dire need to reach someone in his home country back in 2005 while he was in New York because he lost his temper when he was unable to do so. While staying at the luxurious Mercer Hotel in Manhattan, Crowe attempted to make a long-distance phone call to Australia at 4:00AM and when he failed, he stormed down to the concierge desk and picked a fight. Witnesses said he threw a phone at the hotel employee, hitting him on the face and causing a minor cut. Crowe was charged with assault and later apologized for his unruly behavior. But he has since earned himself the reputation of having a bad temper.