It’s been said that it only takes seconds to ruin a reputation that took a lifetime to build. For regular people, rebuilding a degraded reputation is not easy. But for celebrities who have their every word and move printed, photographed, and published, the court of public opinion is even more difficult to win over. Nobody is perfect after all, but celebrities are often expected to be. Some celebrities, however, have seen their reputations plummet from sky-high to skid row, with no one to blame but themselves. When a celebrity’s reputation tanks, their careers usually do, too. Many A-listers have gone from selling out stadiums and box offices to virtually nothing overnight.
From drugs and wild antics, to bizarre behavior and offensive rants, the world watched these 10 celebrities self-destruct their reputation and careers. Some have continued to work over the years, but none have ever seen the fame of when they were on top, causing many to wonder where’s a good PR rep when you need one?
10. Chris Brown
Since Chris Brown hit the scene with his hit debut album, it seems the rapper just can’t stay out of trouble. A promising career for Brown turned into a circus of anger issues, assault charges, and courtroom appearances. In 2009, Brown was accused of attacking his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. When questioned about the attack in 2012 on The Today Show, an enraged Brown allegedly threw a chair through a window backstage. More assault charges followed, some involving fellow musician Drake and Frank Ocean. After a hit and run incident, more assault charges, and violating the rules of rehab Brown was finally sent to jail where he currently awaits possible felony charges. It’s too early to tell if Brown’s career will suffer permanent damage, but one thing is for sure: Brown isn’t making any music behind bars.
9. Winona Ryder
Once upon a time, Winona Ryder was the “it” girl of Generation X. She scored leads in hits like Beetlejuice, Reality Bites, and Girl, Interrupted. Her love life was just as hot, with romances linked to Johnny Depp, Dave Pirner, and Matt Damon. In 2000, she received her own star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. But in 2001, Ryder was arrested in Beverly Hills on shoplifting charges, accused of stealing designer clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue. During her trial, she was accused of abusing prescription drugs without a prescription and was convicted of grand theft, shoplifting, and vandalism. Ryder has received roles since her trial, but they have been mostly unmentionable and none that reclaimed her 90’s stardom.
8. Paula Deen
Fourteen cookbooks, various cooking shows on The Food Network, a line of restaurants, and corporate deals: Southern country cooking star Paula Deen had her cake and ate it, too. But it all crumbled in an instant when employees of her restaurant filed a discrimination suit against her and Deen admitted to using racial slurs. The Food Network announced that they would not be renewing Deen’s contract and Walmart and Target both pulled out from their deals with her. Deen tearfully begged for forgiveness on The Today Show, but it appeared as though the damage had been done, proving that’s the way the Hollywood cookie crumbles.
7. Shia Labeouf
Transformers catapulted Shia Labeouf to fame, but his inability to work well with others and bizarre Twitter tantrums sent him right back down. Arrests for assault and trespassing, warrants, and car crashes set off his own decline. After accusations surfaced that Labeouf plagarised his short film, Howard Cantor.com from Ghost World creator Justin M. Damiano, Labeouf looked to Twitter to announce his retirement in a series of frustrated tweets that got so bizarre, they landed him with a cease & desist order from Damiano’s lawyers. Fans continued to scratch their heads when Labeouf showed up on the red carpet for the film Nymphomaniac wearing a paper bag over his head scribbled with “I’m not famous anymore.” Alec Baldwin reportedly had Labeouf fired from their Broadway production, The Orphans, and Michael Bay replaced Labeouf with Mark Wahlberg in Transformers 4, signaling the possible end of the line for the actor.
6. Lindsay Lohan
With hit films like Disney’s, The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday, Mean Girls and two successful studio albums, Lindsay Lohan was a child star whose career seemed to only be headed up. But reports of showing up late or not at all to set, diva-like behavior, multiple rehab stints, arrests for drunk driving and drug use, and house arrest made Lohan more famous than ever. Unfortunately for her, Lohan’s career was never able to catch up with her wild-child shenanigans. Although she continued to find work, none of her roles took off and it was her personal life that the press was more interested in. In 2014, Oprah signed a deal for a reality show documenting Lohan’s life in recovery on the OWN Network.
5. Charlie Sheen
Of all celebrity meltdowns, perhaps none have been as public as Charlie Sheen’s 2011 rampage. Sheen was on top of the TV world with his number one CBS sitcom, Two And A Half Men, but his success was short-lived. Sheen always had a reputation as a bit of a loose cannon, but after publishing his high jinks and wild rants about tiger’s blood and how he was too important to CBS to get fired, he got himself fired. He eventually landed another show on Comedy Central, a fictional representation of his life, Anger Management, but he’s never been able to achieve the fame he saw before he was “#winning!”
4. Britney Spears
Britney Spears cartwheeled her way straight to number one with her smash hit Hit Me Baby One More Time. Magazine covers, endorsements, and a feature film soon followed. She even had a relationship made in bubble gum heaven with the then N*Sync member, Justin Timberlake. But after the couple’s highly publicized break-up, Spears’ image nosedived. Late night partying, commando paparazzi shots, and a 55 hour-long impromptu marriage landed Spears in the tabloids week after week. But it was after her divorce to Kevin Federline that Spears’ behavior went from wild to bizarre. She was recorded shaving her head in public and beating a car with an umbrella. Although Spears was able to get her personal life back on track, her headlines have continued to be overshadowed by her past antics. Her albums since have seen moderate success, but still pale in comparison to her heyday. In 2012, Spears announced that she was taking the route of Celine Dion, headlining a nightly Las Vegas show.
3. Whitney Houston
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Whitney Houston didn’t almost have it all, she had everything. From scoring seven Grammy awards to her hit roll in The Bodyguard, everything Houston touched seemed to turn to
gold platinum. But when her tumultuous relationship with R&B bad boy Bobby Brown began, so did the trouble in paradise. Talk of drug use and domestic abuse haunted the singer and her album sales suffered. Eventually, Houston became better known for her tabloid headlines than she did her music. After a series of public appearances looking dazed and gaunt, Houston claimed to have her life together in a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer in which she famously proclaimed, “Crack is whack!” Houston’s story never found its happy ending, though, as she was found dead in a hotel bathtub in early 2012.
2. Mel Gibson
He was People magazine’s first ever Sexiest Man Alive and played William Wallace in the hit film, Braveheart. So what ever happened to Mel Gibson? After directing the film The Passion Of The Christ, Gibson came under fire for making a slew of anti-semitic remarks to a police officer after being charged with drunk driving in 2006. The crazy train didn’t stop there, though. Gibson was recorded during a domestic argument with his then-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, in which he lashed out on her verbally with a barrage of misogynist insults and racial slurs. Gibson has also been accused of saying that John Lennon deserved to be shot and that he is glad the former Beatle is dead. Since making headlines for his outbursts, Hollywood’s once-leading man has struggled to remain relevant.
1. Michael Jackson
From the age of 10, Michael Jackson was one of the most famous singers whose achievements include creating the best-selling album of all time and being inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall Of Fame twice, among many others. But something happened on the way to Neverland as rumors of odd behavior swirled around the mega-star, like sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber and collecting the Elephant Man’s bones. As multiple plastic surgeries began to drastically change Jackson’s appearance, his skin also became increasingly lighter, which he blamed on using make-up to even out the discoloration of a skin condition. Then came the allegations of misconduct with children whom he often invited over for unsupervised sleepovers. And who could forget that awkward marriage to Lisa-Marie Presley? Michael Jackson continued to make music after his fall from grace, but it never saw the acclamation of any of his previous work. He passed away suddenly in 2009 without seeing another hit.
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