They’re rich. They’re beautiful. They’re famous. They sleep with models and have sick VIP parties, and they luxuriate in private jets, mansions, and insane yachts.
Yep, celebrities sure live storybook lives; but at the end of the day, they are mere humans, capable of the same tantrums and breakdowns as the rest of us. The only difference for them, however, is that there’s always some punk waiting with a camera on his phone to record the whole damn thing and send it out to the world.
And of course, sometimes they seem to just willfully annihilate themselves on TV and radio interviews.
The Celebrity Meltdown is so commonplace that celebrities are even starting to make fun of themselves; like in the recent viral video of Dennis Quaid ranting and raging and dropping f-bombs aplenty at a crew member who seemingly wandered unawares onto the actor’s film set. This particular meltdown was quickly exposed as a hoax engineered by the folks at the comedy video website “Funny Or Die.”
Quaid clearly couldn’t resist the chance at making fun of the celeb meltdown phenomenon. Hell, it’s almost becoming en vogue, and maybe with good reason; after all, lots of post-meltdown celebs seem to bounce back and enjoy a revamped career after the dust has settled.
In the wake of Quaid’s fun-poking, let’s take a look at ten of the biggest real celebrity meltdowns ever caught on tape.
10. Justin Bieber
At his very own recent Comedy Central “Celebrity Roast,” pop superstar Justin Bieber explained his personal meltdown that took place in little more than a year by jokingly asking the question, “what do you get when you give a teenager $2o0 million dollars?”
Well, it seems you get tantrums and misconduct that had Bieber publicly fighting at nightclubs (with the likes of Orlando Bloom), assaulting photographers, getting arrested for driving recklessly, abandoning a pet monkey in Germany, publicly urinating in a restaurant mop bucket, smoking enough pot on a private jet to cause the pilots to wear gas-masks, and generally throwing his weight around – usually shirtless and often pant-dropping in a shameless effort to show off his ever increasing buff-ness.
Phew, that’s a lot of career self-destruction for one year!
At the end of his roast Bieber promised the world, with contrite doe eyes, that he would try to make us all “proud of him” again.
Just weeks later, we’re already witnessing the Biebs’ spoiled brat antics again. You may have heard that Bieber recently tried to get into the artists’ entrance during fellow Canadian rapper Drake‘s show at Coachella. When turned away being told the VIP section was filled to capacity, superstar Biebs just couldn’t take no for an answer.
The star had yet another famous tantrum that resulted in being put in a chokehold by one of the security guards and getting booted out of the music festival altogether. And he promised us such great things. Maybe he’s just trying to build up enough material for another roast?
9. Christian Bale
After all, it was this Oscar winning actor – best known for his Best Supporting Actor win from “The Fighter” (2010) and for playing the “Caped Crusader” himself in 3 of the Batman movies – who exploded at a crew member back in 2009 for wandering unawares onto the set of the new Terminator movie he was working on at the time. In the audio that was leaked to the media, we can hear Bale assailing the crew member with f-bombs and generally screaming and ranting excessively over the incident like a crazed prima donna.
But Bale seems to have recognized the error of his ways; news just leaked of Bale reportedly having defended fellow cast mate Amy Adams from a barrage of verbal abuses and general lunatic behaviour from director David O. Russell that occurred during filming of American Hustle in 2013. Nice going, Batman!
8. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson‘s meltdowns have been so well publicized they should start calling them “Mel-Downs.”
The first of them was a DUI arrest back in 2006 in which he called the female officer “sugar t*ts,” and reportedly went on an alcohol-infused anti-Semitic rant at the Jewish arresting officer saying “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” Pretty career ending so far. It got worse. Much worse.
In the disturbing audio released by ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva in 2010 amid a bitter custody battle over their daughter, we can hear Mel raging like a madman, uttering snorts, guttural growls, and profanities that literally make your hair stand on end. On the recording he threatens to burn her house down and to “put her in a f***ing rose garden.”
And the latest meltdown moment is yet another leaked audio clip— allegedly recorded in 2012 by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas‘ 15-year-old son in Costa Rica– in which we can hear Mel raging like a lunatic about Eszterhas over an incomplete script for Gibson’s film project “The Macabees.” Eszterhas was in fact later dropped by Warner Bros. from the project, and an ensuing “he said, he said” began between Gibson and Eszterhas.
Gibson later issued an open letter to Eszterhas via deadline.com in which he states, “I did react more strongly than I should have” and, “I will acknowledge like most creative people I am passionate and intense.” That’s one way of putting it.
7. Britney Spears
With plenty of recent hit records and a rather steady stream of successful publicity highlighting herself happily raising her two boys – and now in a stable relationship with TV producer Charlie Ebersol – Britney Spears truly seems to be back on top. One might never have guessed she’d bounce back, based on the monumental meltdown the singer had back in 2007.
You may recall that her sometimes past erratic behaviour – that included her 2003 Vegas marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander that lasted just 55 hours — later became much worse once she married former backup dancer and bad boy Kevin Federline.
Following the couple’s predictable breakup, Brit suffered from a major public meltdown in 2007 that included the bizarre decision to shave her head after abruptly checking herself out of a drug rehab facility –and a raging outburst in which Spears, appearing wild eyed before cameras, smashed a paparazzo’s SUV with an umbrella. She was later placed under lockdown in a mental institution after refusing to hand her son over to Federline amid reports of drug use and unstable behaviour.
Brit has since pointed to her divorce from Federline, intense media scrutiny, drug abuse, and a long standing battle with depression as the driving forces behind the public meltdown.
Now recovered and seemingly well back on her feet, the singer may well be the best example of a celebrity bounce-back from meltdown hell – and with nary a “roast” in sight to get her there. Bravo, Brit!
6. Michael Richards
Everyone loved Michael Richards in his brilliant stint as the hysterical, eccentric goofball Kramer in the classic long running television comedy series, Seinfeld. That’s why fans felt so violated and betrayed when a much darker, angry Richards was caught on video delivering a raging rant during a 2006 Laugh Factory comedy stand up act in Hollywood.
During his live performance, Richards started railing against an African American audience member for heckling; his attack quickly descended into meltdown mode with explosive, profane deliveries of racial slurs and ramblings, shocking audience members– and everyone else when the video was released.
Although he tried to apologize on David Letterman for his behaviour the day after the leak, the damage had already been done. People just couldn’t erase the one particularly brutal line from their heads: “Fifty years ago they’d have you hanging upside down with a f***ing fork up your a**!” That’s one meltdown a roast can’t even fix. And we always thought he was such a lovable goofball.
5. Mike Tyson
More of a “close call” meltdown, it looked very possible that former heavy-weight champ Mike Tyson might bounce up at any second and start throwing punches in a 2014 interview at a Toronto news station.
In town to promote his one-man show “The Undisputed Truth,” Tyson was interviewed by CP24 news reporter Nathan Downer, who quizzed Tyson on his photo op the day before with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
When the interviewer suggested that consorting with a former “convicted rapist” could possibly do harm to Ford’s campaign in the mayoralty race–given Ford’s need to recoup his own own tarnished reputation amid highly publicized revelations of drug abuse and lies to the public – Tyson refused to answer the question calling Downer “negative” and became increasingly agitated during the interview, flaring his nostrils, and shifting around uncomfortably.
You can practically feel Downer sweating as he tries to continue the interview in spite of Tyson’s visible struggle to remain focussed, and to control himself from entering full meltdown mode. Tyson finally blows up at the reporter, aggressively calling Downer a piece of sh** and saying “f*** you” to him more than once on live TV.
But well done, Mike; in the old days, he may have walloped the guy right then and there, live TV or not!
4. Lil Wayne
Rapper Lil Wayne had a monumental freakout as recently as last month, in which he reportedly lost it during a gig over his DJ using the wrong track. The rapper responded by exploding, throwing his microphone onto the stage and storming off in the middle of his own show. He has reportedly made amends with his longtime DJ since.
But this isn’t the first time the rapper has lost his cool big time on camera. Back in 2013 while attending DirecTV’s Celebrity Beach Bowl football game, Lil Wayne reportedly went nuts on a spectator who bumped into him.
An apology apparently wasn’t enough, as Wayne proceeded to be caught on tape yelling “look at me, mother f***er, look at me when you apologize!” And all this recorded literally right in front of the trophy presentation– as it was happening– at the end of the game. NFL player Desmond Howard can even be seen on the tape holding Wayne back from the spectator. Word had it Wayne was unhappy that his team had lost. Talk about a sore loser!
3. Billy Bob Thornton
Actor turned singer…turned actor…wait a minute, might have to think about what to call Billy Bob Thornton. Because back in 2009, CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshi seriously ruffled Thornton’s feathers with an improper introduction on his highly popular radio show “Q”.
The Oscar winning actor then turned musician seemingly wanted to be interviewed only as a musician, and wanted no mention of his “former” movie career. In spite of this request, Ghomeshi introduced Thornton as “Oscar winning screenwriter, actor, and director,” explaining his decision as needing to portray context as a journalist.
Thornton seemed to meltdown on the spot, responding by going into “worst radio interviewee of the century” mode– spending the entire painful interview issuing mono-syllabic answers, and generally being deliberately evasive and bizarre. I’m not sure who was more uncomfortable during the cringe session–Ghomeshi, the audience, or Thornton’s poor bandmates who looked as if they wished they had a carpet they could crawl underneath to escape from the madness.
Thornton angered loyal fans of the highly popular radio show so much, that he was forced to cancel the remainder of his Canadian tour as opening act to Willie Nelson after being booed off stage.
Thornton may just be enjoying the last laugh, however, as radio host Ghomeshi, who so angered him at the time, was dismissed by the CBC last year under allegations of sexual assault, and has since been in court facing several charges.
2. David Hasselhoff
Poor Hoff. He went from gaining fame in the popular TV series “Knight Rider” back in the 80’s to bouncing on the beach beside Pamela Anderson in the 90’s on the even more popular TV series “Baywatch.” He then went on to gain insane numbers of loyal fans in Germany, of all places, from a sideline singing career– and finally became best known for a drunken rant in 2007 about cheeseburgers, lying half naked on the floor of his bathroom.
The meltdown of an apparent alcoholic relapse was videotaped by David Hasselhoff‘s concerned teenaged daughter, who leaked the tape to media in an effort to force her Dad to clean up his act. Hasselhoff subsequently lost visitation rights with his 2 teen daughters for a short time.
The Hoff is yet another celebrity who enjoyed a Comedy Central “Celebrity Roast”(2010) in the wake of his misbehaviour. Meeting Seth MacFarlane at the roast even helped Hoffman rebuild his career, with an upcoming self-deprecating cameo in “Ted 2” as well as a reported upcoming role in “Sharknado 3.” Not exactly Oscars material, but at least an improvement from the role of “drooling drunk on the bathroom floor.”
1. Charlie Sheen
Hookers. Cocaine. Machetes. Tiger blood. You might think we’re in a Bangkok back-alley or a scene out of “Apocalypse Now.” But we’re actually just sitting in the middle of Charlie Sheen’s infamous meltdown that took place in 2011.
After Sheen was notoriously fired by CBS and Warner Bros. from the highly popular TV series, “Two and a Half Men,” (that had garnered him the highest paid television acting role at $1.8 million per episode) he responded by engineering a media train…that seemed to expose nothing more than the train wreck Sheen had become.
Who can forget the bizarre radio interviews where Charlie said he had “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA”– or the footage of Sheen seen defiantly drinking a bottle of “tiger blood” on a Beverly Hills rooftop (turned out it was really just something called Xango Juice) while waving a machete around, seemingly to prove his resilience?
Sheen made it all worse with the subsequent interview with Andrea Canning on ABC’s 20/20. Smoking profusely during the interview, a brazen but haggard looking Sheen bragged about his past drug abuses that included smoking 7 gram “rocks,” and said, “I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. I’m tired of pretending I’m not a bitchin’ rock star from Mars.” That might have at least explained it all.
Whatever it was, Charlie’s meltdown was so monumental that it had to take the number one spot!
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