Children who become stars at an early age are the bread and butter of Disney, Hollywood, and the whole entertainment industry for that matter. If you are reading this article, the odds are very high that at some point in your childhood, you watched Disney shows on a regular basis. We all did it. Wake up on a Sunday morning, and the first thing you do is look at the TV and watch whatever the Disney Channel is throwing at you at the time. It sort of became a routine for kids in the ‘90s and even in the early 2000’s.
But, do you know what the most tragic fact about child actors is? The fact that they grow up. Everybody grows up, that is a given, and it’s something that we all need to accept. But there seems to be a disturbing trend among the kids who become Disney famous when they are young, and that trend is a sad one because the gist of it is that a lot of these kids turn out to be train wrecks at some point. They might recover later on, but for a brief or long period of time, they go from being the child stars your parents feel happy that you watch on Sunday morning, to the nightmare they hope you don’t become while you plow through puberty.
By no means is this something that happens to all of them, but there are the sad examples that we are about to show you. So, get ready because we have separated 15 photos of Disney stars that will ruin your childhood.
15 Debby Ryan
Consider yourself lucky because we decided to ease you into this list. We will start with a simple drunk-driving incident, which turns out as pretty standard when it comes to former Disney stars who moved over to the “dark side.”
Debby Ryan became a Disney star after she landed a main role on the show The Suite Life on Deck, in which she performed so well that Disney decided to give Ryan her own show, Jessie, in which she played the lead role, Jessie Prescott. She was successful enough that the show ran for an impressive 98 episodes.
Nevertheless, in 2016, she found herself in quite the pickle, as Ryan was arrested for drunk-driving after slamming into another car in Los Angeles. Apparently feeling sorry for what she had done, Ryan went on Twitter to apologize to her fans. “Over the last few days I have had the chance to think about my actions, and I wish I had used better judgment. I recognize that I am a role model and have always worked hard to set a good example for my millions of fans... I am so sorry to disappoint everyone,” she wrote.
14 Shia LaBeouf
From a simple drunk-driving incident to the very definition of a train wreck. The life of Shia LaBeouf has to be one of the most fascinating sagas to follow in the entertainment industry. This guy is like a roller coaster. In one second, he is the most liked person in the world, fighting for Earth with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, and on the next, he is wreaking havoc on the streets of New York.
His acting career began with Disney in the weekly show Even Stevens. After that, LaBeouf started picking up steam and starring in movies and shows left and right until he finally peaked with Transformers. Unfortunately, as the acting roles started slowing down, LaBeouf’s offscreen antics began to take center stage. The latest of which might be one of the most impressive ones as, in July 2017, he was arrested and proceeded to threaten to kill the cop who arrested him while ranting that he shouldn’t have been in handcuffs. All of this happened inside the police car.
13 Joe Jonas
For a long time, the Jonas Brothers were the big thing in town. These guys drew such crowds to their shows that it made some successful established bands look like they were just starting out. They became one of the biggest bands, if not the biggest, when it comes to drawing teen crowds to pack concert halls. With Disney, the Jonas Brothers had several gigs. From their own television documentary to appearances in Disney movies and Disney TV series, these guys were everywhere. So, it is not all that surprising that at some point, these successful young men would have their first encounter with drugs.
In the case of Joe Jonas, the story that came out was that he was found smoking with both Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus. And there was a very soft side to Jonas’ reaction when the story made headlines. Instead of doing what most celebrities would do and either deny it or admit to it, this softie blamed the girls and said they peer-pressured him to do it.
12 Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgens took the world by storm when she starred in High School Musical. This young lady literally went from being unknown to becoming one of the most beloved and recognizable faces in television. Her performance in High School Musical was so good that many people thought the sky would be the limit for Vanessa. The only problem was that a little incident derailed her career.
It was in September of 2007 when a few “naughty” pictures of Vanessa appeared online. Of course, the photos were taken privately, and it seems like she never wanted them to be leaked. But, as things are on the Internet, once it is out there, it is out there...forever. If this had happened to you once, would you think twice about taking more pictures like those? Well, it seems like Vanessa didn’t think that way because more photos of her suddenly appeared online again in 2009, and then, even more surfaced in 2011.
Remember how we said that Shia LaBeouf was a train wreck? Well, this young lady took the idea of being a train wreck and doing drugs a step further than we believe LaBeouf would dare to take. Lalaine, who played Miranda Sanchez from the classic Disney show Lizzie Maguire, was arrested on charges of possession of crystal meth in 2007.
According to TMZ, the former Disney star pled guilty to the charge but managed to keep the whole incident from becoming a public scandal. Given what we have seen from celebrities throughout the years, it is not hard to believe that a lot of them have their problems with drugs like cocaine and sometimes even harder stuff. But to believe that someone who apparently was paid around $80,000 an episode for a Disney show, would end up messing with crystal meth? That is just ludicrous. Either way, after settling her case, Lalaine has not appeared so much in movies and TV shows, with most of her credits coming from web series.
As we said in the introduction, children stars grow up, and that is something that we have to get used to whether we like it or not. And Zendaya is one of those Disney stars who have grown up. This 20-year-old actress, singer, and dancer from Oakland, quickly became famous when she scored a lead role in the Disney sitcom Shake It Up.
We have to admit that this entry is a breath of fresh air in comparison to the train wrecks we have been telling you about. The only reason Zendaya made it to this list is that one of her recent magazine covers is about as provocative as magazine covers get.
No, she did not pose for Playboy, nor did she pose for a nude photo shoot that would prompt parents to keep their kids from watching her Disney shows immediately. It was just a regular magazine cover, but one look at it will be enough for us to realize that she is not just a Disney star anymore.
9 Adrienne Bailon
Going all the way back to 2003, most of you might remember the Disney Channel Original Movie The Cheetah Girls. It was a very successful motion picture at the time, as it even got a sequel in 2006. But why are we telling you about The Cheetah Girls?
Well, we are telling you about The Cheetah Girls because one of those young ladies purposely did something that other Disney stars were outraged when it happened to them. Adrienne Bailon, who played Chanel Simmons in the Disney original movie, did not have nude pictures of her leaked by a third party. Apparently, she leaked nude pictures of herself on purpose as a publicity stunt. At least, that is what her former publicist claimed.
We get it. Sometimes, celebrities need a little extra attention from the media and fans when they feel they are being left behind. But despite not having any big time paydays, Bailon was still scoring a decent amount of gigs even before that publicity stunt.
8 Demi Lovato
We have already touched on the subject of substance addiction before. But when it comes to young stars, few stories are as scary and sad as Demi Lovato’s. The young actress and singer reached her low point at a very early age. According to a few interviews she gave, it was while she was just 23 years old that her drug addiction problem became nearly unbearable. Lovato said that she couldn’t go more than an hour without taking a hit of cocaine. That is as low a point as you can get.
Actually, this might be the rare occasion where you would be able to argue that the fact her addiction was to cocaine might have actually not been such a bad thing. Seriously, consider if she had a problem similar to one of our previous entries and instead of cocaine she was doing crystal meth? The odds are very high that we would not have the successful singer we have today.
7 Britney Spears
Does anyone really need an explanation for why Britney Spears is on this list? Perhaps the only real background we need is a reminder of how Britney was first connected to Disney. And that was because, in the early ‘90s, Britney was a regular face in the classic revival of The Mickey Mouse Club. Yes, Britney was a very good friend of Mickey before she decided to shave her head and go crazy.
She did everything from kissing Madonna to filling whatever void she had inside of her with drugs, and God knows what else she was taking. The story of Britney and drugs is almost ridiculous when you take everything into account. The weirdest part of it being what her former manager, Sam Lufti, said a few years ago when he claimed that Britney liked to do amphetamines and that she used to shave her hair in order to beat drug tests. Hopefully, Olympic athletes won’t take this page out of Britney’s book.
6 Mitchel Musso
One of the most popular Disney shows of the last decade was Hannah Montana. It not only gathered a ridiculous amount of followers who watched the show almost on a daily basis, but it also launched Miley Cyrus’ singing career. And that is a point that we’ll get back to later because you all knew very well that this was coming. But here, we have to talk about Mitchel Musso.
If you don’t remember him, that is because you knew him as Oliver. He was Hannah’s friend who was often getting bullied by other people but was an essential part of the main cast as he was always in the thick of it whenever an adventure came up.
But not even the actor who portrayed this side character was able to steer away from a little controversy somewhere down the line. In 2011, Musso was arrested and charged with two counts of drunk-driving.
That’s So Raven was arguably one of the most successful shows ever to be aired on the Disney Channel. Just for her lead role in it, Raven-Symone was nominated for a ton of awards. A few of those include the BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, the Kid’s Choice Award for Favorite Television Actress, the Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actress: Comedy, and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children’s Program.
With those accolades, Raven was pretty much set for life. But as you have seen if you watched the video above, her personality has been the reason as to why Raven has hit a series of bumps in the road. Seriously, if you have been an example for children, and you want to be an empowering figure that African-American women can look up to, this is the kind of stunt that you cannot be pulling.
4 Brian Bonsall
Brian Bonsall had a very brief acting career. He started out as a child actor making a huge hit with the show Family Ties from 1986 until 1989. During his stint on the show, Ryan won two awards. First, he won the Best Young Actor under 10 Years of Age in Television or Motion Pictures award in 1988, and he won the Best Young Actor under Nine Years of Age a year later. With that, everyone thought Brian would be a sure success in the future. Well, it turns out puberty had other plans for Brian.
In 2007, instead of collecting his first Oscar as many people thought he would, Brian ended up collecting his first arrest. During that first hurdle with the law, he was charged with assaulting his girlfriend. Two years later, he was arrested for third-degree assault. And then, just one year after that, he was arrested again. This time, he was charged with using marijuana, which turns out to be a violation of the terms of one of his previous releases.
3 Mischa Barton
While a lot of the Disney stars on this list had quick breakdowns in which they got arrested for assault, drug charges, or a DUI, Mischa Barton’s breakdown was a slow and apparently painful one. She was more of a Nickelodeon star, but because of the show KaBlam!, she had Disney ties. Nevertheless, it was her main role playing Marissa Cooper in The O.C. that took her to stardom, or at least was supposed to launch her to fame.
Her downfall started in December of 2007, when she was arrested for driving under the influence in West Hollywood. She apologized and went on with her life getting 36 months of probation as a punishment. And then, with some attention from the media, she started making unflattering remarks and mistreating staffers at parties and events. But in July of 2009, she was hospitalized in a psych ward, which led to a whole lot of media coverage and pressure. In the past few years, she has done stuff like sue her mother and was even hospitalized again in January of this year.
2 Miley Cyrus
No one can really say that the “Miley Cyrus turn bad saga” was because of drugs or anything like that. In her defense, it was most likely just Miley trying to break away from her Hannah Montana shell and find out who she was. The only problem was that who she really was could not be farther from what society had gotten used to seeing her like.
It all started with her Can’t Be Tamed album, in which she began to distance herself from the teen idol image that was Hannah Montana. After that, depending on how you look at it, everything went either downhill or uphill. Everything that was innocent about Hannah Montana was turned upside down now that Miley was in the picture. It was almost like if there were two people trapped inside that body, the innocent part had control until 2010 but was eventually devoured by the dark side. One way or the other, we got some great music along the way.
1 Lindsay Lohan
Over the years, Lindsay Lohan has been characterized as the very definition of a person who became a train wreck. That amazing young actress we saw in flicks that became cult classics, like Mean Girls, did not live for too long.
It all started in 2006 when she was hospitalized for what was described as exhaustion and dehydration. Then, complaints about her actions on set and how she was always partying and late for filming started to surface. But things began to look ugly a year later when she first checked into rehab.
The first encounter with the law happened during a holiday in 2007, in which Lohan was arrested for drunk-driving. After that, the scandals came one after the other. She had fights with her mother. She was charged with third-degree battery after allegedly getting into a fight while out clubbing in New York, and that is all not counting her traffic violations. Lindsay is indeed the very definition of a Disney star gone bad.
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