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The Most Infamous Celebrity Meltdowns

Britney Spears

Britney Spears

In 2007, shortly after breaking up with former husband Kevin Federline, Spears drove to a hair salon and shaved her head. A few days later, she attacked paparazzi cars with an umbrella. She subsequently was admitted to a psychiatric ward involuntarily and placed under the conservatorship of her father, which continues today though she now has a successful Las Vegas residency.

The images of a bald, wild-eyed Britney Spears that were published by the media became iconic photos that continue to be viewed and meme-ed up to the modern-day. It might not have been a high point in the singer's life, but it quickly overshadowed the fame she had accumulated beforehand as America's pop princess. 

New York Daily News / Contributor / New York Daily News / Getty Images

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom

In 2015, Odom was found unconscious at a Nevada brothel. He was admitted to the hospital and placed on life support after suffering kidney failure, several strokes, and becoming comatose after drug usage in the days prior. He regained consciousness and has since sought rehabilitation for cocaine addiction.

 

It seemed that his rehabilitation stint went well, and, for a while, then-wife Khloe Kardashian stood by his side. However, only a few months after his meltdown, she filed for divorce. Despite the continued bad luck for the NBA pro, he told the media that his recovery had turned him into a "walking miracle." 

(image via Facebook)

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen

At the time of his meltdown, Sheen was the highest paid actor on TV and his sitcom Two and a Half Men was a certified hit. In 2011, however, Sheen was checked into a hospital for drug abuse after a night with porn stars. Later, he trashed an NYC hotel room.

He then went on a series of interviews making bizarre statements and insulting his employers, clearly having a relapse from his sobriety. He was fired from the show's production and subsequently sent to rehab. Since his meltdown, he's basically been Hollywood kryptonite and makes very few TV and movie appearances these days. 

(image via Pinterest)

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

After her starring role in 2004's Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan changed her appearance (from her notable red locks to blonde) and quickly cemented herself within the L.A. party scene. By 2007, she had 2 DUI charges and 3 trips to rehab under her belt. Her career has since struggled to recover.

 

While Lohan is definitely no longer the star she once was, it does appear that her career seems to be recovering, if only a little bit. She's had a few appearances here and there, including The Masked Singer Australia. Surprisingly enough, she also recently made her theater debut in Speed-the-Plow

(image via Pinterest)

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes

Bynes followed in the footsteps of her peer, Lohan, a few years later. She had 7 accidents and a DUI arrest by 2012. She also regularly tweeted odd or eccentric statements on twitter before finally deleting her account. After more incidents in 2013, she was put under involuntary psychiatric hold and a conservatorship by her parents.

 

Following rehabilitation, she graduated from fashion school and has expressed an interest in returning to acting in 2018. However, it doesn't seem she has anything lined up for the near future, and we can't really blame Hollywood of being wary of working with the troubled actress once again. 

(image via Facebook)

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson

In 2006, Gibson was stopped for speeding and subsequently arrested for having an open container of alcohol in the car. During the arrest, Gibson went on an antisemitic tirade. After the behavior and outburst, he was essentially blacklisted from Hollywood for about 10 years until his 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge

 

That film ended up winning two Oscars and was nominated for another four, and this unofficially marked his return to the big screen. He currently has several acting and directing projects that are slated to be released over the next few years...assuming that he doesn't have another meltdown! 

(image via Facebook)

Kanye West

Kanye West

In 2016, Kanye showed up late to a performance, performed only two songs, then went into a rant about the presidential candidates and announced that the concert was over. He was only onstage for 30 minutes. The next day he canceled the rest of his tour dates and checked into a hospital. Two years later, after having seemingly recovered, he ranted again during an interview suggesting that black people chose to be slaves during America's past.

 

But Kanye being Kanye, there's no way he could make it through life with just one meltdown. In the ensuing years, he's had some more awkward appearances and a pretty public and messy divorce with his ex-wife Kim Kardashian. This included a bizarre statement where he said the Kardashian family was trying to "lock him up." 

(image via Pinterest)

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf

In 2017, LaBeouf was arrested for public intoxication and went on an expletive-filled rant, but that was after years of previously strange behavior. In 2014, he declared himself not famous anymore and wore a paper bag over his head saying so during red carpet event. He then stated he was retiring from acting only to backtrack and claim it was a joke.

 

However, those incidents haven't been the only problems for LaBeouf. In fact, he's found himself in legal trouble several times. This includes a 2020 charge of battery and petty theft, as well as another 2020 lawsuit where he was sued by musician FKA Twigs for sexual battery and assault. 

(image via Facebook)

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

In 2005, Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote his film War of the Worlds. When the discussion turned to his recent romance with Katie Holmes, Cruise lept onto the couch to exclaim his love. Instead of being endearing...the incident was odd. Later in the year, he went on to bash Brooke Shields and her use of antidepressants for postpartum depression as well as argue with Matt Lauer about the usefulness of psychiatry.

 

In the ensuing years, Cruise really hasn't done anything to attempt to convince the public that he's not crazy, but it doesn't seem to be hurting his acting prospects any. The Mission: Impossible franchise is bigger and more popular than ever, and he's continued to appear in a steady stream of other movies over the years. 

(image via Facebook)

Robert Downey, Jr.

Robert Downey, Jr.

In the mid-1990s, Downey, Jr. had a downward spiral string of run-ins with the law. He was consistently in and out of prison for either alcohol or drug use and, later, violating probation. His longest stint in jail was a full year, starting in 1999.

 

Since cleaning up his act and a successful rehabilitation program, Downey, Jr. went on to star in 2008's Iron Man and is now the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making him Hollywood's current highest-paid actor. Downey Jr. is proof that you can change your ways and don't have to let your past define you. 

(image via Facebook)

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber

In 2014, Bieber had a high-profile meltdown in which he participated in an illegal street race, egged his neighbor's house, and assaulted both a limo driver and paparazzi photographers. He later apologized with his 2015 hit song "Sorry." However, this is not the only trouble the Canadian singer has found himself in. 

 

Later that year, he was charged with assault and deadly driving, although those charges were eventually dropped. He even got the entire country of Argentina mad at him. He was ordered by the government to come to the country to testify in the case involving an assault on a photographer, although it's unclear what role he allegedly played in the incident. 

(image via Facebook)

Paula Deen

Paula Deen

Paula Deen was on top of the culinary world when she was rocked by racial slur allegations. While the suit was eventually dismissed, Deen badly botched an attempted public apology and was dumped by Food Network. The lesson here is that when you make a mistake, and we all will, be humble and admit when you were wrong.

 

However, since then, the celebrity chef has managed to stage a pretty successful comeback. She hosts her own television shows, Positively Paula and Paula Deen's Sweet Home Savannah, and she appeared as a guest star on the 2021 series MasterChef: Legends

(image via Pinterest)

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin

Baldwin hasn't lost his cool just once. It's happened a series of times. In 2007, was caught yelling at his 11-year-old daughter over the phone that she was a "rude, thoughtless little pig." He was kicked off a plane in 2011 for refusing to abide by electronics rules, and he allegedly assaulted a photographer in 2013.

 

Baldwin has continued to find himself in tight spots over the years, but they pale in comparison to his 2021 incident on the set of Rust. During filming, Baldwin fired a gun that, allegedly unknown to him, contained a live round that struck and killed a crew member. While no arrests have been made and the facts are still murky, this clearly did not endear him to the public any more. 

(image via Facebook)

Sinead O'Connor

Sinead O'Connor

O'Connor has struggled with mental illness, but in November of 2015, she uploaded posts to Facebook that had friends and family worried she may be suicidal. In May of the next year, she went out for a bike ride in Chicago and went missing. She was later found healthy but has since been checked into a hospital for further treatment and support.

 

O'Connor and erratic, strange behavior go hand in hand. She most famously caused a stir in the early 90s when, while appearing as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, she took out a picture of Pope John Paul II and tore it up as a protest against against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. 

(image via Facebook)

Christian Bale

Christian Bale

Bale has been known to be a temperamental actor, but the release of audio from his verbal abuse of a crew member on the set of the Terminator movie shows just how bad things can be. The expletive-ridden affair was the result of crew member Shane Hurlbut...walking into Bale's eyeline. Forgive us for not knowing what that was a disastrous and seriously disturbing offense.

 

Eventually, Bale publicly apologized to Hurlbut and described his actions as "inexcusable" and "way out of order." However, some defended Bale saying he was just an actor too dedicated to his craft. However, the outburst didn't seem to actually help his acting, as the movie got lukewarm reviews at best. 

(image via Pinterest)

Chris Brown

Chris Brown

Chris Brown has rightfully not gotten much positive press, thanks to his domestic assault charges for hitting his then-girlfriend Rihanna. However, things really went downhill for the rapper after a bizarre and angry interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Roberts pressed Brown multiple times about the incident, but Brown wasn't having it.  

Eventually, Brown snapped and stormed off the set in the middle of his interview. He locked himself in his dressing room, only to reemerge shirtless a few moments later. To top it all off, Brown also threw a chair through his dressing room window. Clearly, this guy has anger issues. 

(Image via ABC)

Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix

It's no secret that Joaquin Phoenix is an eccentric guy. He may be a world-class actor but he rarely plays by the rules and conventions of Hollywood. He's such a strange guy that it's hard to even say for sure that Phoenix has had a massive meltdown—it very well may have been all for show. 

Phoenix starred in a 2011 mockumentary called I'm Still Here that charted his alleged journey as he retired from acting to become a hip-hop star. The (admittedly fake) movie followed the actor as he plumbed the deepest depths of human depravity. However, during this time, Phoenix would often make public appearances "in character", leading some to speculate if the actor had truly lost his mind. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes is not an actor to phone in a performance. If anything, he's one to take things too far when it comes to his dedication to his craft. And that's exactly what happened on the set of Blade: Trinity. According to others on set, Snipes spent 24/7 in character and refused to communicate to the director with anything other than Post-It notes. 

Additionally, Snipes unnecessarily stoked racial tensions on set when he saw another black actor wearing a shirt that said "Garbage." Snipes thought the director was trying to be racist by putting the guy in the shirt, but he didn't seem to realize that the guy wore the shirt from home and wouldn't calm down even when that was explained to him. 

(Image via IMDB)

Lars von Trier

Lars von Trier

Celebrities are no stranger to putting their foot in their mouth, but none have done so quite like Lars von Trier did during a press conference for his 2011 film Melancholia. While being interviewed, von Trier went on one of the most bizarre off-topic tangents of all time about thinking he was a Jew only to find out there were actually Nazis in his family tree. 

What made this completely strange public appearance even more cringe-inducing was the fact that he was accompanied to this press conference by many of the movie's stars, including Kirsten Dunst who was seated next to him. As he continues to dig his hole even deeper, Dunst is trying to maintain her composure, but you can tell from her facial expressions that she is screaming on the inside. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice

Vanilla Ice was simultaneously a huge star and a running joke in the 1990s. He might have skyrocketed to fame with his early-90s hit "Ice, Ice Baby," but not everyone thought that his fame was well earned. For some inexplicable reason, he appeared on MTV's show 25 Lame, where the hosts poked fun at the worst music videos. 

As part of his appearance, Vanilla Ice was supposed to smash a VHS copy of "Ice, Ice Baby" with a baseball bat, but it appears that Ice had other plans. Instead of smashing the tape, the musician went nuts and started destroying the show's entire set with the bat. Clearly, he had some feelings about all the "Ice, Ice Baby" naysayers. 

(Image via MTV)

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe

Russell Crowe may have had a very public and very embarrassing meltdown, but really, he should thank his lucky stars that things weren't worse for him. In 2005, Crowe had a public freakout in an American hotel lobby after he was unable to make a phone call to his son in Australia. 

Crowe allegedly threw the telephone (as well as a vase) at the hotel receptionist, who thankfully wasn't seriously injured during the outburst. The actor ended up settling with the employee for a whopping $11 million to avoid a trial. While video of the attack was never made public, those who had seen it said it would be "damning" for the actor if it was played in court. 

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Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon

Is there anything more embarrassing than being arrested? Yes, and you can ask Reese Witherspoon if you need proof. After her husband was pulled over for drunk driving, the actress just got herself in more trouble with a bizarre, drunk rant to the arresting officer. And unfortunately for her, of course, the video of her rant eventually made its way to the internet. 

After the incident, Witherspoon went on the inevitable apology tour and had this to say about that fateful night: "It’s one of those nights, you know, we went out to dinner in Atlanta and we had one too many glasses of wine and we thought we were fine to drive and we absolutely were not." 

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Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly

Bill O'Reilly had a major freakout while working for Inside Edition in the early '90s, but it didn't become public knowledge until a clip of the outburst was leaked online in 2008. From there, the video went viral and took on a life of its own. O'Reilly has acknowledged that the incident happened but mostly talks about it in a joking manner. 

In the clip, we see O'Reilly get angry and flustered when there's an error with his teleprompter while recording the show's closing. He ends his outburst with the now-iconic line, "F*ck it, we'll do it live!" This moment has been parodied by numerous comedians and TV shows over the years. 

(Image via CBS)

Anne Heche

Anne Heche

While some celebrity freakouts are absolutely hilarious, that's not really the case with Anne Heche, who had an incident that's both confusing and a little bit scary for the actress. In 2000, Heche was found in the driveway of complete strangers who lived miles from her own home. What she had to say was completely bizarre. 

The owners of the home called the police, and once they arrived, Heche told them that she was God and was going to take everyone to Heaven in a spaceship. Heche later admitted that she was on ecstasy at the time, but she also claimed that her mental issues stemmed from childhood abuse as well. 

(Image via Wikipedia)

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is no stranger to negative publicity. However, most of the time, the singer's outbursts are just typical diva behavior. But in 2001, Carey had a very unusual meltdown while making an appearance on TRL to promote her upcoming film Glitter—which would go on to be a major flop. 

While on set, Carey was muttering to herself, taking off her clothes, and reading a letter from her mother to TRL host Carson Daly. It's pretty clear that the singer was on some kind of substance, but in true Hollywood fashion, Carey checked herself into rehab for "exhaustion" shortly after the incident. 

(Image via MTV)

David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff

David Hasselhoff's sad meltdown didn't happen in public, but footage of it obviously made its way to the internet. In a video taken by his daughter, we see a very drunk Hasselhoff slurring his words, stumbling around, and being generally incoherent. It's made worse by the fact that Hasselhoff's daughter is very clearly upset by the whole ordeal. 

While it made have been a low, embarrassing moment in the actor's life, some good thankfully came out of this meltdown. Hasselhoff got sober after this incident and seems to be doing much better personally and professionally. Interestingly enough, this whole ordeal sorta went exactly according to plan—Hasselhoff had instructed his kids to film and release footage of him if he ever got really bad with his drinking. 

(Image via Instagram)

Mischa Barton

Mischa Barton

It's hard enough to live next to lousy neighbors, but things are even worse when those lousy neighbors are also super famous. In 2017 a video of OC actress Mischa Barton ranting and raving at her neighbors about who knows what from across her fence. It was definitely a low point in the life of Barton. 

After the incident, Barton was taken into custody for a mental evaluation but was eventually released. While this outburst clearly didn't do any favors for the actress's career, she seems to be rebounding a little bit and even made an appearance on the rebooted version of The Hills

(Image via Wikipedia)

Heather Locklear

Heather Locklear

Heather Locklear didn't just have your typical outburst—she created a situation that could have seriously injured herself or someone else. In 2018, Locklear left a heated argument with her boyfriend and drove away in her sports car. Unfortunately, in her rage, she managed to drive the car off the road and right into a ditch. 

Unfortunately, her meltdown didn't stop there. While at the hospital being treated for her injuries from the crash, she allegedly assaulted a nurse on duty. Locklear eventually got psychiatric help and went to rehab because of the incident, but it's unlikely her reputation in Hollywood will ever be the same again. 

(Image via Instagram)

Snooki

Snooki

Snooki behaving badly in public? Color me VERY surprised. But all joking aside, the show that made Snooki famous (The Jersey Shore) was basically one long public freakout filmed over the course of years. However, Snooki hit one of her lowest points of all time during the filming of season three. 

In 2010, Snooki was arrested for a litany of charges including disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct after making a fool of herself on the beach. She was eventually sentenced to a $500 fine and community service. Hilariously, during her trial, the judge described the infamous reality star as a "Lindsay Lohan wannabe." 

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Serena Williams

Serena Williams

Tennis legend Serena Williams is known for two major things in her career—absolutely demolishing opponents on the court and throwing a fit when a match isn't going her way. Being talented and likable is a tall order, and it's clear that Williams has decided to focus her time and attention on the talent side of that equation. And during the 2018 U.S. Open, she showed just how ridiculous and petty she can get. 

During a match, Williams received a violation from the ref, which really set her off. She proceeded to break her tennis racket, unsurprisingly earning her another violation. When the ref refused her demands for an apology, she ended up with a third violation and lost the game. In a truly galling move, she later said she was "penalized for being a woman" but never seemed to consider that maybe she was penalized for being an allegedly professional athlete acting like a child. 

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