There is little more the world seems to love than a celebrity in the midst of a breakdown. It’s kind of sad, really. I could go on for days about how celebrities are just people like you and I but that would make me a hypocrite. I follow all of the celebrity gossip and get wrapped up in all of the drama just as much as the next person. Little holds my attention more than a good celebrity meltdown and there have definitely been some good ones over the years. From Brittney Spears and her umbrella to Charlie Sheen and his goddesses, there is never a shortage of drama in Hollywood where the next train wreck is always just around the corner. Let’s take a look back at the top ten biggest celebrity meltdowns ever and the impact they had on the careers of the celebrities involved.
10: Miley Cyrus
The Meltdown – I’m not really sure I consider Miley’s questionable behavior as a meltdown yet, but much of the world seems to disagree so I put her on the list. In my honest opinion, she’s a young girl experimenting with life. I did a lot of crazy stuff when I was Miley’s age. With that said, she should really know better. Everyone is watching her every move. Perhaps she should wise up and not hit the bong when someone’s filming her. If anything, I think Miley’s biggest problem is the company she keeps.
Her Image Before the Meltdown – Miley skyrocketed to fame as Hannah Montana and had the sort of wholesome, girl-next-door kind of image Disney loves to sell. She was the squeaky clean actress/pop singer who parents could feel good about their kids liking.
Her Image After the Meltdown – I think that remains to be seen. If Miley can keep herself out of trouble, I think the public will forget about the bong and the rest of the craziness. Will she still have a career? Well, that might be a bit of a different story. Anyone remember Debbie Gibson? Tiffany?
09. Christina Aguilera
The Meltdown – It all started when Christina announced she was separating from her husband and from there it has been a very quick, very steep decline. After messing up the words to the American National Anthem at the Super Bowl, she took the stage at the Grammy’s and completely nailed her song. Those whispering about a potential meltdown were immediately silenced… until she nearly fell while she was leaving the stage. Stories started coming out about her drunken behavior at various Hollywood events, including one report that she attacked her “Burlesque” co-star, Julianne Hough, at an Academy Awards party. The meltdown culminated (hopefully) in her boyfriend’s DUI arrest; an incident that included Christina spending the night in jail because she was ‘extremely drunk’.
Her Image Before the Meltdown – Christina was seen as a mega-talented babe with lots of attitude. While her last few albums were widely considered flops, no one really doubted she would one day make a comeback.
Her Image After the Meltdown - It’s looking less and less likely that this extremely talented girl is going to make that comeback anytime soon. With her judging gig on “The Voice” she has the chance to redeem herself. If she takes it seriously, she should be able to get through this with only minimal damage to her reputation. I would imagine we’ll see a sit down interview with someone like Diane Sawyer or Barbra Walters in the near future to address her recent troubles.
08: Lindsay Lohan
The Meltdown - Pretty much Lindsay’s entire life since 2007 (at least) has been a meltdown.
Her Image Before the Meltdown - Lindsay was seen as one of the most talented actresses of her generation; on the fast track to a long and lasting career in Hollywood.
Her Image After the Meltdown – Lindsay is now seen as a spoiled, entitled brat who gets special treatment at every turn. She is barely even referred to as an actress anymore. I honestly believe Lindsay can turn things around for herself if she accepts responsibility for her mistakes, is willing to talk openly and honestly about them and finds that one killer role that will remind everyone why we even know her name in the first place. Remember, everyone once counted Drew Barrymore out. I’m rooting for Lindsay. I honestly am.
07: Amy Winehouse
The Meltdown - Amy is pretty much walking proof of why drugs are bad. She carved her husband’s name into her arm with a broken bottle at a photo shoot. She cancelled concerts left and right. She got into a bloody fight with the above mentioned husband. She punched photographers and fans alike. If she did show up for concerts, she was too wrecked to perform. She basically threw away her music career to get wasted and wonder the streets looking like she’d been hit by a rather large bus.
Her Image Before The Meltdown - Amy was a girl with the world at her feet. Everyone was singing the praises of the young girl with the big, soulful voice. People practically threw awards at her. She was a legend in the making.
Her Image After The Meltdown - It’s hard to remember Amy is one of the most talented vocalists of her time when we see pictures like the ‘after’ shot above. To most of the world, she’s considered a joke. To me, she’s one of the saddest, most heartbreaking stories in the music world right now. She has so much talent. I want to see her get through this, but I’m not sure there’s any coming back from the mess she’s made. Unless she truly accepts she has a problem and works hard to not only change it, but to change the public’s perception of her, she’ll be considered a has-been by the time she hits 30.
06: Anne Heche
The Meltdown - It is August 19th in the year 2000. You’re sitting at your home watching a little television in Fresno, California, when a scantily clad Anne Heche shows up at your front door. She asks to take a shower. Being polite people, and perhaps a little afraid she’s going to get herself in even more trouble, you let her in. She makes herself at home. You call the police. When the police arrive, she informs you all that she is in fact God and will take you all up to heaven in her spaceship. You’ve just met Celestia, Anne’s alter ego. Yeah. You can argue with me all you want that Lindsay or Amy should be higher than Anne on this list, but she said she was God. She was going to talk those people and the police to heaven. In her spaceship. That, folks, is how you do ‘meltdown’.
Her Image Before The Meltdown - Honestly, Anne’s public image was never really all that great. She was a moderately successful actress, she dated Ellen DeGeneres and became a superstar. She was the butt of many jokes, but no one ever insinuated she was insane.
Her Image After The Meltdown - Anne was still the butt of many jokes and still no one insinuated she was insane – they outright stated it as fact. Maybe it’s true, but bat-crap crazy or not, I’ve always liked Anne and I still do. After the Fresno incident, Anne recovered quite well – she even wrote a book about her life that was released in 2001 called “Call Me Crazy: A Memoir”. Lohan and Winehouse should really take lessons from her. Anne proved that with humor and honesty it’s possible to make it through even an epic meltdown.
05: Tom Cruise
The Meltdown - You could not have a list of celebrity meltdowns without mentioning Tom Cruise. Tom took bananas to a whole new level – and he did it on national television. As if spewing sentiment that sounded like it was written by a lovestruck teenager wasn’t enough, he decided to illustrate his point by jumping on Oprah’s couch like a hyperactive toddler. Poor Oprah looks like she has no idea what the hell he was doing. Neither did we, Oprah. Neither did we.
His Image Before The Meltdown - When you thought of Tom Cruise before ‘the couch’ you thought of a gorgeous, talented actor who had made some of American cinema’s classic movies. He was poised to become an icon of his era. Come on. “Top Gun”? “Cocktail”? Classics!
His Image After The Meltdown - Tom is now the go-to reference when someone is talking about a celebrity going nuts. He hasn’t had a truly successful movie since then. When you think of Tom Cruise now, you think of him jumping up and down on furniture while Oprah looks on in shock. But “Top Gun” was good, right?
04: David Hasselhoff
The Meltdown – The cheeseburger. Peeing himself on airplanes. Generally being the worst drunk I have ever seen in my entire life.
His Image Before The Meltdown - The cheesy, over the top singer/actor that couldn’t really do either all that well. But hey, he’s big in Germany.
His Image After The Meltdown – I honestly don’t think David’s image was impacted that much by his meltdown because no one ever really took him seriously in the first place. I would be shocked if anyone was surprised to learn David was caught on video rolling around shirtless on his bathroom floor too drunk to eat a cheeseburger. I still like him, though. I just can’t really explain why.
03: Mel Gibson
The Meltdown - I suppose there were really two big time meltdowns from Mel. The first was his ridiculously offensive anti-semetic, sexist and racist rant following his DUI arrest and then there were the tapes of pretty much the same language that were recorded during a fight with his girlfriend at the time.
His Image Before The Meltdown - Mel was the man! “Braveheart”. “Mad Max”. “What Women Want”. “The Patriot”.
His Image After The Meltdown - Mel was no longer the man, but in all honesty, the world has pretty much forgiven him. If he lays low for a while, he’ll make a comeback with little trouble. Plus, hey – his new movie “The Beaver” actually looks pretty good.
02: Charlie Sheen
The Meltdown - Charlie publicly fought with his bosses, got fired and went on a massive press tour leading pretty much the entire world to believe he’d completely lost his marbles. It seems the majority of those people forgot Charlie really didn’t have that many marbles to start out with.
His Image Before The Meltdown – Charlie was seen as a Hollywood bad boy with anger management issues who loved his drink, his drugs and his hookers.
His Image After The Meltdown – Charlie is seen as a Hollywood bad boy with anger management issues who loves his drink, his drugs and his porn stars. Yes, not much has changed aside from the fact that “Tigerblood”, “Adonis DNA” and “Winning” are now part of day to day speech for the vast majority. Oh, and he’s selling out live shows all over the United States and Canada. Winning.
01: Britney Spears
The Meltdown – Oh boy! Where to begin? I suppose it started with Federline and just kept going until she wound up on a 5150 hold in a psychiatric hospital and lost control of her life (by court order) to her father. In between she dated a paparazzi guy, stripped to her underwear on the side of the road to take a dip in the ocean, flashed her crotch multiple times, beat on a paparazzi car with her umbrella and randomly decided to shave her head. No one can accuse Britney of doing anything halfway – except of course that disastrous performance at the MTV Video Music Awards in the midst of her meltdown.
Her Image Before The Meltdown - Britney started out as a sugary sweet pop star that appealed to the tween girls everywhere with her music and all the men out there with her safe, but sexy image. When she transitioned into a more mature (read, slutty) image, people were shocked, but she was still considered a force to be reckoned with in pop music.
Her Image After The Meltdown - Britney’s meltdown is the stuff of Hollywood legend, but so to is her comeback. No one expected to hear from her again, but lo and behold, she released a number one album and embarked on a highly successful tour. With her new album being hailed as one of the most highly anticipated of the year, Britney’s back and I don’t think she’s going anywhere any time soon.
Alright, you’ve heard my piece, now it’s your turn. Who do you think had the biggest celebrity meltdown this far and more importantly, who’s next? Sound off in the comments section below. And as always, sharing is caring – share this with your friends on Facebook.