When stars explode: Top Ten celebrity meltdowns

Shia LaBeouf’s wearing a paper bag on his head, Justin Bieber’s still urinating willy-nilly, and Reality TV stars can’t get a handle on things. But these latest cases of celebrity hi-jinx are in line with a history of star meltdowns over the decades. We bring you a few of the most notable.


1. Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson once dangled his baby son from the balcony of his hotel room. Michael Jackson epitomized the rollercoaster that is fame, which saw his travel from a musical boy wonder to global pop superstar and eventually to a sad figure haunted by lawsuits, paparazzi and failed plastic surgery.

2. Britney Spears

Britney Spears was supposed to be the next Madonna, until it all went pear-shaped. She shaved her head, flipped out and struggled for custody of her children. So far there’s been no renaissance.

3. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen had a very public meltdown after his dismissal from Two and a Half Men. His high-profile bouts with drug addiction, penchant for expensive escorts, and increasingly erratic behaviour meant his career suffered a series of blips. But that’s all they are, blips. Why? Because he’s got Tiger blood in his veins and that’s just how he rolls.

4. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise was Mr Perfect for decades: dazzling smile, family man, etc. Then, one day his marriage to Nicole Kidman fell apart. He copped serious flak from the media for his obsession with scientology. And then came his appearance on Oprah, where he announced that he was in love with Katie Holmes. Tom’s declaration is a sight to behold. Bring out the straitjackets.

5. Mel Gibson

Becoming more like his character Mad Max, every day, Mel Gibson is now better known for the foul-mouthed and racist rants against his girlfriend, the police, and pretty much anyone who crosses his path.

6. Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin assaulted reporters, hurled abuse at reporters and also went on the offensive, literally, with tweets. It’s difficult to identify this grumpy Alec Baldwin and the hilarious character he played in 30 Rock…or is it?

7. Margot Kidder

The Superman star was found disheveled, with teeth missing, and in dirty clothes, huddled inside a cardboard box in the backyard of a  house in Los Angeles. Apparently she was suffering from manic depression. The breakdown was probably caused by a number of factors: She hadn’t had a hit film in ages; she had a terrible automobile accident, which left her spine damaged; then her insurance company didn’t pay for her treatment, she went bankrupt to such extent that she once had to peddle her jewelry.

8.     Martin Lawrence

The Bad Boys star and the stand up comic Martin Lawrence once suffered a nervous breakdown and ran into traffic on busy Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, cursing and screaming at oncoming cars until he was taken away by police. He was under a lot of pressure because his bawdy humor was loaded with expletives. He had been banned from the Saturday Night Live.

9.     Mariah Carey

The pop diva experienced an emotional breakdown after a two-week whirlwind tour to promote her first movie, Glitter. Probably the fact that the movie bombed at the box office and her music career was in the toilet didn’t help either. She was also under a lost of stress on account of her divorce from Sony Music head Tommy Mottola.

10. Michael Richards

Kramer from Seinfeld had a meltdown in the full glare of  the public. While performing a show at a nightclub he repeatedly shouted the N word at a heckler. He later apologized on The David Letterman Show via satellite.

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