It’s no secret that performers have a higher likelihood than the average human to become addicted to drugs, alcohol or both. If they manage to evade that, there’s the onslaught of emotional issues that can often lead to depression, anxiety and full-fledged insanity. This trend is especially prevalent in child stars, who grow up being showered with attention then become disregarded just as quickly when the industry decides they’re not a hot commodity anymore after hitting puberty. Everyone in the entertainment industry has a shelf life. When the world decides that these singers or actors are no longer of interest, the swap from being adored to ignored can wreak havoc in the affected person’s life. They’ll spend all of their time and energy trying to achieve what they once had and will experience serious emotional trauma when that doesn’t happen.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of ten celebrities who went completely off the rails after finding fame. Whether their issues surfaced earlier or later in life, these stars’ lives have mostly followed the same pattern. They’ve achieved great success then hit a plateau and turned to drugs, alcohol or erratic behavior to cope with the emotional repercussions of being famous then discarded. While many of their antics may stem from mental issues attributed to substance abuse or underlying health problems, a lot of the stunts these stars pull seem like a desperate cry for attention. Whatever the case, their behavior definitely doesn’t help their cause or lend them any help in achieving what they all once had. Read on to find out more.
10. Anne Heche
Anne Heche was at the top of the world in the nineties with several big acting gigs under her belt and Ellen DeGeneres as a girlfriend on her arm. Then on a sunny day in 2000, she decided to wake up, pop some ecstasy and took a walk around Fresno, California in just her bra and shorts for two miles before ending up at a stranger’s house and asking for water, a shower and to watch a movie. The stranger called the cops and Anne told the authorities that she was God, sent to Earth to take everyone back to Heaven in a spaceship. The actress’s later explanation was that she had created an alternate personality and universe to deal with emotional abuse she had suffered on behalf of her father as a child. She calls this personality “Celestia of the Fourth Dimension,” who is apparently the half-sister of Jesus Christ.
9. Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage’s descent into madness has been a slow, gradual fall peppered by several highlights. After being charged for over six million dollars’ worth of unpaid taxes by the IRS in 2007, the actor went on to spend a quarter of a million dollars on a million-year-old dinosaur skull within the same year. From there, he built himself a nine foot tall pyramid in a New Orleans cemetery in 2010. That same year, he told a British newspaper that he only eats animals that he thinks have “dignified sex” – whatever that means. He went on to say that fish and birds’ mating rituals are passable, but pigs’ are not. In recent years, he’s been arrested for domestic violence and has been taken to a psychiatric treatment center for abuse after being refused a menu item by his personal trainer.
8. Dustin Diamond
Dustin Diamond was at the height of his fame in the nineties while starring on Saved By The Bell, until it was cancelled in 2000. After that point, he did all that he could to ride the coattails of his character’s fame. In 2006, he put out a sex tape entitled Screeched – Saved by the Smell (we couldn’t even type that out without laughing) before appearing on a few trashy reality TV shows to make a quick buck. In late 2014, he was arrested in Wisconsin for pulling out a switchblade knife in a bar in an altercation involving a man being stabbed. Somehow, he was only charged for carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct and was recently sentenced to just four months in jail.
7. Gary Busey
Gary Busey was in a motorcycle accident in 1988 and fractured his skull, suffering permanent brain damage due to his lack of a helmet. It’s been said that the accident weakened his mental filters and has caused him to speak and act impulsively as a result. There have been endless stories about the actor’s madness. While filming the movie Quigley, Busey apparently got into a fist fight over the film’s set design depicting Heaven. The actor felt like it wasn’t true enough to the real thing and when his costar disagreed with him, he beat him up. While his bizarre behavior could be chalked up to the accident, there have also been numerous interviews filmed after the fact where he’s acted as sane as can be.
6. Mel Gibson
Oh, Mel Gibson. Where to start? After using the n-word in a hate filled public rant in 2010, the actor was fired by his publicist and then his long-time agent passed away the very next day. His agent had stuck with him following his anti-Semitic rant in 2006 but the agency refused to keep Gibson on board following his death. From that point forward, it seems like things took a turn for the worse. He has gone on several well documented verbally abusive tirades towards his ex-wife, made several homophobic comments in public interviews and has been ostracized by the Hollywood film industry following his behavior.
5. Tom DeLonge
While most of the world knows Tom DeLonge as the co-founder of successful rock band Blink 182, few know about his kooky views on UFOs, government cover-ups and aliens. In his spare time, he runs a website called Strange Times where he discusses the possibility of extraterrestrial life and how there are scientists working around the clock in hidden laboratories around the world to prove it. He claims that NASA and the Vatican are working together to actively hide these findings and have tapped his phone to find out what he is researching. Oh, and he named his son James Rocket.
4. Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf found success early on in his career, starring on the Disney Channel’s Even Stevens before moving on to achieve fame as a movie actor. From 2005 onwards however, he’s acted increasingly erratically – leading those around him to wonder about his emotional stability. It all started with him threatening a neighbor with a knife, then moved on to the actor being arrested for trespassing, drunk driving, punching a bar-goer in the face, plagiarizing other artists’ work in his performance art pieces and head butting a man in public. Needless to say, he’s spent the last ten years acting very strangely indeed.
3. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen is a classic example of the effect that many hard drugs over several years can have on a person. He famously got fired off the show Two and a Half Men for his notorious misbehaviour and hasn’t slowed down since. He’s pulled a knife on his dentist, had a loaded gun go off while his ex-wife was rummaging through his closet, battled a serious cocaine habit, regularly paid adult film stars five figure salaries to party in his home, forced his wife to get an abortion and has been accused of watching sexually explicit movies involving children. He also announced that he’d be willing to write a tell-all memoir for a cool $10 million to tell us all the stuff we don’t know.
2. Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes is a textbook case of a child star that went off the rails later in life. It all started in 2012 when she was charged with a DUI, then rear-ended somebody a few days later and continued on to be charged with two more hit and runs. From there she began sending out strange tweets to President Obama, smoking pot and driving around aimlessly for hours and exhibiting mentally unstable behavior. She was witnessed hanging out in a changing room for two hours, jumping off her spin bike in the middle of a class to show off her bra and reapply her makeup and walking around New York City with a blanket on her head. Her downward spiral continued from there and she has largely been out of the public eye since last year.
1. Lindsay Lohan
Ah, La Lohan. The queen of all hot messes. Where to begin? The actress has been plagued with addiction issues since 2007, when she first entered rehab. Later that year, she was arrested for a DUI and possession of cocaine. From there, she’s been in and out of treatment centres and battling court charges for missing alcohol education classes and community service. She’s tried unsuccessfully to get her career back on track, but manages to miss her call time on set each day and frustrate everyone she’s tried to work with. While filming a mini docu-series about her life for the Oprah network for which she was compensated generously, the crew almost quit because there were days that Lindsay wouldn’t get out of bed or stay sober. It’s sad to say, but the former child star is now known as one of the least desirable people to work with in the acting industry today.