With the exception of bank accounts, social media followers, and line skips at the favorite nightly hotspot, at the end of the day celebrities are just like us. No matter the dollar sign, it’s no free pass from what all of us eventually go though— life, death, love, hate, make-ups, break-ups, meltdowns and comebacks. Paying taxes, paying for NOT paying taxes, pimples, and setbacks. Sadly, some are so bad they’re never recovered from. And from there, comes the inescapable spotlight. By now, it’s no secret that all that glitters is not made of gold. While fame is one that is of a listed desire, that throne proves time and time again to come at a hefty price tag. With every notable high, comes a publicized low— a very, publicized low. Just ask former It Girl and now “What Not To Do If You’re a Child Actor” Lindsay Lohan. Or fellow child starlet and bad girl, the now thankfully currently quiet Amanda Bynes, to name a couple.
Now, not all of these famous figures stumbled down a path of advertised destruction to stay. Some rise back, stronger than ever— with the winning numbers, interview specials, worldly contributions and oh yes, the book deals to prove it. Some simply rise, dust themselves off, clean themselves up and never really speak much on their reported downfalls— almost as if they never happened at all. The others obviously aren’t quite as fortunate. But all are remembered. From triumph to trials, here are a few celebrities who have taken the road of less glamorous and lived to tell about it, for better or for worse.
15. Britney Spears
This case no surprise to most. You can’t really talk about infamous celebrity breakdowns without an honorable mention of the one and only, Miss Britney Jean Spears. The Princess of Pop took an ugly burst for the dark side in 2007 following her split from then husband and father of her two young sons, former back up dancer Kevin Federline. Britney has gone on previous record in saying the break up was one she didn’t handle very well and needed an escape from now having to be responsible of two children. And that’s putting it lightly. From the shave heard around the world, rehab stays, umbrella attacks, psychiatric holds, bad influential friends, a cringe-worthy VMA performance and substance abuse issues it’s safe to say Britney has been THROUGH it. However true to her single, she appears stronger than yesterday, shimmying her way back into the spotlight after taking a much needed back seat to get her life together.
The “Womanizer” singer has gone on to release four successful albums since her return, as well as landing an extended show gig in Las Vegas Palms casino. Sitting down for a documentary with MTV and discussing her issues upon her initial comeback, Britney has long put that past behind her golden clip in extensions. Yet unlike those, everything under the surface may not shine as bright, as the turbulent time period continues to haunt Britney. Now 35 years old, the mother still remains under conservatorship of her father and attorney, unable to make any financial or business decisions without their approval. As a fan since her earlier days, it’s noticeable her performances have changed throughout the years, some reviewing it as “robotic” and heavily reliable on lip syncing her vocals more than ever. Regardless, it’s good to see at least the public Britney in a better place and leading the way for the greater good. If Britney can survive 2007, you can make it though anything.
14. Alec Baldwin
One famous face not falling back into any unwanted controversy soon is that of one Alec Baldwin. The blue-eyed acting veteran has stirred up quite the headlines throughout the years, from paparazzi assaults to his tumultuous marriage and divorce to actress Kim Basinger, which led to his scandalous voice mail left to then 11-year-old daughter, Ireland. After missing her father’s scheduled phone call, Alec proceeded to leave the April 2007 message heard around the globe, calling her a “rude, thoughtless, little pig”. The incident that went public left him humiliated and in 2009 on record in saying he wanted to end his life because of it, eventually decided to seek professional help. Alec kept himself out of the negative press only to come back in full force with 2011 reports of issues on American Airlines. During instructions of turning off electronic devices and an intense game of Words with Friends, Baldwin became aggressive and eventually had to be removed from the flight for disturbing the peace. Guess his word was trouble?
Alec has since stayed on the better side of the news, having made peace with his daughter Ireland and even making fun of the oink left for all to hear. His recent appearances on Saturday Night Live has been received with major applause and laughter, all mostly but from that who he has been parodying as of late, none other than Donald Trump. Whether liked or hated, one can’t argue that Alec Baldwin is back and here to stay for a while, he’ll be moving from guest star to SNL host February 11th.
13. Mel Gibson
There is a lot that comes to mind when one with Pop Culture knowledge hears the name “Mel Gibson“— Lethal Weapon sequels, The Passion of The Christ, mullets, Braveheart, and epic meltdowns. The Hollywood powerhouse first came under fire in 2006 after being pulled over and charged with a DUI he went on a rant spewing that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”, and then asking the officer himself if he was Jewish. Gibson went on to apologize and live a less chaotic life, until 2010 the shenanigans emerged again, this time with ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. The couple, who’d given birth to their daughter a year prior, separated under strained circumstances that ended in a restraining order against Gibson and accusations of domestic violence. Things only got uglier when audio calls surfaced of Mel ranting on about rape and the N-word. Oh, Mel.
Gibson today holds a much better composure, staying under the crazy radar and admitting stories of his behavior is a thing of the past, and something he’d like to move on from. It’s also been noted that throughout span of three decades, Mel has battled alcoholism and has entered an ongoing program of recovery. You can catch him as of late in movie buzz for his newly directed release, Hacksaw Ridge, and released from the maternity ward. Gibson and his girlfriend Rosalind Ross, 26, just welcomed their first son together, and his ninth child.
12. Winona Ryder
Since the late 1980’s, Winona Ryder has been burglarizing our hearts with her classic films like Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Edward Scissorhands, just to name a few. December 2001, on the other hand, Winona decided to steal something else— actually, $5, 500 worth of something else. Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills accused the former It girl of attempting to sneak out with the pricey designer clothes and accessories–an attempt that failed and landed her in jail. Ryder then went on to trial, where it was revealed the actress was using heavy non-prescribed pills, including oxycodine and Vicodin. A year later, she was sentenced to three years’ probation, community service, restitution, and arranged to attend psychological and drug counselling due to clinical depression.
Regardless of her ordeal, the work on the silver screen didn’t completely stop for Winona, landing gigs since like the Star Trek remake and Black Swan. Nowadays, Winona has continued to keep extremely personal low profile and moved on to Stranger Things. The Netflix series leads Ryder as Joyce Byers, a mother who will stop at nothing to get her son back after disappearing to odd events. The show since its 2016 debut has become a mega hit and cult classic, currently shooting season two.
11. Mariah Carey
Oh, Mariah. Another celebrity unable to not mention when it comes to falling face first off into La La Land. And we don’t mean Los Angeles, or the hit new movie about it. Mariah Carey’s first publicized trip came in 2001, when she appeared on then MTV’s hit video countdown show Total Request Live. It was, after all, a hot summer day (and shortly after Mariah’s movie Glitter flopped and was ripped to shreds) when she decided to show up unannounced on set. Dawned in hot shorts and a t-shirt Miss Carey got past security to deliver ice cream to the audience and proceeded to strip tease, announced she needed a day off to look at rainbows and eat dessert. Same, Mariah, same. A week later, she entered rehab for exhaustion. Today’s Mariah has since come back from that incident, and long buried it with headlines of finding love with actor/host Nick Cannon, birthing twins, divorcing Cannon, launching a reality show, and finding love once again. Only this time, not for long. Shortly after their whirlwind romance fiancé James Packer called off their engagement Fall 2016 and ended the relationship, much to Mariah’s dismay.
Which brings us to New Year’s 2017. Following her embarrassing breakup, Mariah seemed to be handling it well and bouncing back with her reality series, a backup dancer romance, and showering us with her holiday classics. Face it, you can’t really do Christmas time without at least one good Mariah Carey tune. It only seemed fitting for the diva to arrive and grace the stage for Dick Clark‘s annual New Year’s Bash, which during her performance, quickly turned into a massacre of vocal proportions. From the glimpse of the first feather it was apparent the singer known for her range was lip synching, and not even appearing to care to keep up. The situation only becomes worse when Mariah begins to prance the stage and talk over the track, telling the audience to sing since they should know the words, and eventually just stands in silence. She then ends the performance by saying “Well, Happy New Year”, and disappearing back into the cloud of feathers. Only time will tell where this takes Carey to next, but for now she seems fairly unbothered by it, taking to her Twitter page to announce “Sh*t happens”.
10. Anne Heche
Before there was “Ellen and Portia“, there was “Ellen and Anne”— and they were actually quite the big deal. Comedian Ellen DeGeneres, and her other half of girlfriend actress Anne Heche, were a twosome that became one of Hollywood’s favorite couples and poster girls for the LGBT community. The fame, admittedly by Ellen, ultimately became too much, and the couple called it quits in 2000 after three and a half years together. Break-ups are never an easy thing to get over, and in Anne’s case is no different, shortly after splitting with Ellen was she found banging on a stranger’s door in Fresno. After wandering about the house and apparently drinking all the water in it, the police were then called, where she shouted to them she was God and she was taking everyone to heaven in her spaceship. Heche didn’t go to her spaceship, but however was taken to a psychiatric hospital. After receiving treatment and later a book deal, Anne went on to disclose her mental illness, and that much had been stemmed from abuse she suffered as a child from the hands of her father.
Anne presently adds a different title to her name outside of author: mother. The actress has two sons, continues to work on various shows and continues to stay away from spaceships and stranger’s homes.
9. Michael Richards
For nine years, Michael Richards graced our television screens as the lovable, but goofball friend Kramer, on Jerry Seinfeld‘s sitcom, Seinfeld. Following the end of its lucrative run in 1998, his comedic career after was a fairly quiet one… until 2006. The actor appeared on stage at West Hollywood’s Laugh Factory for a stand up performance that left no one laughing once he was finished. In the middle of his show, Richards begin to scream racist remarks repeatedly to a group that entered to take their seats and order drinks. Come for the comeback achievements, stay for the insults? Not so much. The episode left Richards in the news and in the doghouse; which he next sat down live with David Letterman to apologize.
Years later, it seems to be one that is forgiven, sort of. Michael has gone on to work on such shows as Curb Your Enthusiasm and Kirstie, although cancelled after just one season. His last broadcast work hasn’t been since 2014.
8. Christian Bale
A credited actor since the late 1980’s, Christian Bale first made his big slice into Hollywood with terrifying portrayal of perfect maniac Patrick Bateman in the film adaptation of 2000’s American Psycho. The movie went on to gross $34 million worldwide and made Bale a silver screen hard hitter, and ultimately a household name with films like Shaft, The Machinist, and of course, as Batman. With his reworking of the caped crusader in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Christian then went on to star in another famous variation, that in one character John Connor. Terminator Salvation tells the story of heroine Sarah Connor’s son in the year 2018 still fighting the good fight against half-human, half-machines— but it was Christian’s acts off set that got more buzz than the movie itself. While filming the fourth instalment of the Terminator series, Bale snapped on set after a photography director accidentally interrupted the shooting. Bale then proceeded to go on a four minute F-bomb spree that included 39 of them, along with threats of firing and physical abuse. He declined to comment following the drop of the set audio incident, but a representative released a statement of Christian’s apology and that he was simply caught in the moment of an emotional scene. Prior to the 2009 outburst and just days before, Bale was arrested in London on accusations of assault against his mother and sister in a hotel room. He was shortly released and charges were never pursued.
Neither altercations kept Christian out of the spotlight, continuing his role in the Batman series and following up with work in Oscar nominated films such as The Fighter and American Hustle. With a couple of projects in progress currently, you can catch Christian Bale in one of his biggest to come in 2018, acting a fool— in the jungle. He’s set to play Bagheera in the live action adaption of The Jungle Book.
7. Martin Lawrence
Notorious B.I.G. said it best: more money, more problems. Martin Lawrence was considerable on the outside looking in, at the top of his game in the mid-90s. He had a successful TV sitcom, was fresh off a Blockbuster hit in the action/comedy Bad Boys, and was following up with his next film A Thin Line Between Love And Hate, which he was starring, writing, executive producing and directing. While filming the comedy/drama, there were stories of violent tempers on set with Lawrence, but it was 1996 when things got worse. Not only hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit from then-costar Tisha Campbell, he was later found running and screaming into the LA streets that someone was trying to kill him and found with a pistol in his pocket. After being restrained by the police, Martin was taken to the hospital and later released. His publicist cited exhausted and dehydration, which maybe was the case less than a year later when Lawrence was arrested in 1997 for punching a man at a nightclub. This is what happens when you don’t take naps or drink enough water. Two years later, Martin found himself back in the headlines, this time for being hospitalized again. He was jogging in 100 degree weather dawned in a plastic suit to prepare for 2000’s Big Mama’s House, and ended up in a coma for three whole days.
6. David Hasselhoff
David Hasselhoff is easily one of the most recognizable faces in American television history. From his role as the lone crime fighter in Knight Rider, to the hunky lifeguard in the 11-year run Baywatch, Hasselhoff has made his splash in Hollywood for years to come. In 2007, however, he made waves of a darker ocean when a video was released of him highly inebriated. Hasselhoff, who was on the floor shirtless and eating a hamburger, to the sounds of young daughter asking him when he was going to stop. She warned the video would be released if he didn’t, and soon enough it was. After briefly losing visitation rights to see his two daughters, Hasselhoff admitted he asked to be videotaped, and that he is a recovering alcoholic. He later that year checked himself back into rehab, with his rep announcing he recognizes the importance of addressing his issues.
5. Shia LeBeouf
Somewhere in the midst of those ears the Disney kids were drawing, was something code for “Allow me to create some drama for you, Mister Mouse”. One can only believe, and not hard to do so with stars like Lohan, Orlando Brown, and Shia LeBeouf leading the Hot Mess Parade. Throughout the years, Hollywood has seen LeBeouf go from the cute little brother in Even Stevens to the nerdy, tough kid in Transformers to well, just plain ol’ trouble. From his multiple drunken arrests to artsy (or just plain odd) public appearances to rehab stints, where there is Shia there is usually a story. One of his most memorable for the wrong reasons was that in June 2014, while attending a Broadway performance for Cabaret. Mid-show, he proceeded to rush on stage only to be stopped, which he then was kicked out and taken to jail for disorderly conduct. Shia pleaded guilty and was ordered by the court to three months of treatment, whom had already voluntarily agreed to seek treatment for alcoholism.
While laying low for the majority in theaters, LeBeouf is making headlines today for starting a live stream to protest the presidency of Donald Trump— for the next four years. And as of January 26th, he was arrested again, this time for his protests efforts outside of an art museum in Queens.
4. Katt Williams
If “the funniest people in life have the saddest stories” is true, then comedian Katt Williams may be one of the strongest candidates to plead the theory. First rising big on the scene in 2002’s Friday After Next, Williams has made the world laugh with his outspoken humor, fabulous locks, bold ensembles, and memorable stand-up performances. His life offstage, however, has been no laughing matter. Since his claim to fame Williams has been the star of bizarre behavior, drug rumors and countless arrests, including multiple assaults on everyone from assistants to Target employees. After a couple quiet years, Katt came back in full swing (no pun intended) when 2016 he surrounded headlines for arrest and altercations with a swimming supply clerk, and for throwing a salt shaker at a restaurant manager. The shenanigans last year didn’t stop there, for his most notorious was with a fight against a seventh-grader in Georgia. It was the altercation mocked around the world, going viral and the subject of endless memes and jokes.
3. Christina Aguilera
More Disney stars, more problems. Since her rise to fame from the Mickey Mouse Club days (with fellow Mouseketeer Britney Spears), many of us have watched the evolution of singer Christina Aguilera. Over the years we’ve seen the tiny girl with the big voice become a genie in a bottle, a “dirrty” unapologetic vixen, a married woman in love, a mother, and a newly again single star in the spotlight. Following her split from then husband Jordan Bratman, it was her actions and not her vocal range that made headlines in 2011 when she was arrested for public intoxication. By then, many weren’t surprised due to prior stories circulating about the pop diva— flubbing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl, nearly falling off stage at the Grammy’s, and several incidents of drunken antics.
No statement or help concerning the controversy was ever addressed, but Aguilera post-arrest lives a much calmer life in the public. The mother of two has since taken her skills to craft other upcoming talents on series like The Voice and Superstar Duets, and is currently working on dropping a new album.
2. Chris Brown
We’ve all come a long, long, way since singer Chris Brown was the cute kid with immense talent dancing for Wrigley’s gum on our television screens. His ill-fated relationships with Rihanna and Karrueche Tran, celebrity feuds, arrests, and court appearances have kept Brown a busy man and far from his innocent golden years. His 2009 assault on then-girlfriend Rihanna left Brown on an extensive public apology tour that came to a nasty halt in 2011. While sitting with Good Morning America and asked about his violent tendencies, Chris apparently became so bothered by it he stormed off set to his dressing room where he screamed and threw a chair at a glass window, sending shards onto the street. He was promptly kicked out of the studio and later tweeted he was tired of being asked about his ex and the altercation.
When he’s not working on new music, Chris is still staying in the news for everything but. His latest?— he’ll be boxing in Dubai in March against rapper Soulja Boy following an escalating social media beef.
1. Robert Downey Jr.
If there is anyone reigning in the business of Hollywood, it is that of one actor Robert Downey Jr.. The 80s heartthrob has become one of the most respected and sought out actor’s to work with, but there was a time when Robert’s life wasn’t so desired. Going on record of battling severe drug addiction, he’s been the topic of multiple arrests from everything including cocaine, crack, and gun possession. His last known arrest was that in 2000 and he’s since been pardoned of all prior drug convictions after of December 2015. In April of the same year, when asked about his rocky past, Robert walked off set— so it’s safe to say he’s ready to put it all behind him. In 2006 he signed a deal to publish a memoir, in which he later returned the advancement and cancelled the deal.
While Robert won’t be releasing a book any time soon, you can catch him in multiple deals on the silver screen, reprising his roles as Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes.