It’s tough being famous, we guess. Having millions of dollars and the love of people around the world can really depress a person. That’s why celebrities are always losing their mind. 2012 was no exception, as we saw many stars totally go off the rails this year. Whether it was on Twitter or in the middle of the street with no clothes on, these were the most insane celebrity meltdowns of 2012.
The football artist formerly known as Chad Ochocinco was, prior to 2012, considered a pretty entertaining sort of guy with his flamboyant vehicles and appearances on Dancing With The Stars. However, this year he basically pissed away any goodwill the public had for him in August when he was arrested for domestic battery.
Ochocinco’s relationship with Basketball Wives star Evelyn Lozada had been a very public one, so when this came to light Chad was not only filed with divorce papers, but immediately dropped by the Miami Dolphins, who had just signed him.
Country music has long been associated with alcohol – it’s hard to express the essential sadness of the rural American worker without some whiskey in you. But for singing legend Randy Travis, 2012 was the year that the demon in the bottle took over his life. It started in February, when Travis was busted for being drunk in his car in the parking lot of a Baptist church.
Obviously, that was just the opener, because in August police found a totally wasted Travis lying nude in the middle of the road, next to his crashed car. Why he was naked has never been explained. He then got busted again for fighting some random dude outside of a church. Thankfully, he’s entered a treatment program for alcoholism and it’s supposedly working well.
The former Nickelodeon star hasn’t dealt well with no longer being famous, but who does? When she was pulled over for a DUI in Hollywood at three o’clock in the morning after sideswiping a police car, Bynes decided that the best way to deal with it would be to Tweet at Barack Obama and ask him to have the cop fired.
It doesn’t work like that, honey. She continued to get behind the wheel and get into trouble, racking up a pair of hit-and-runs this summer that resulted in her license being suspended. That didn’t stop the starlet from hitting the road, though, and she was subsequently arrested for driving without a license in September. She’s fighting the charges, of course, but smart money’s on Bynes being Lindsay Lohan 2.0.
The fate of NBC’s Community was one of the more hotly-debated topics of 2012, as series creator Dan Harmon was forced out of production and new episodes were delayed for months on end. One thing that prompted all that drama was star Chevy Chase, who became the enemy of nerds worldwide for his diva behavior on the set.
Chase not only stormed off when a scene wasn’t written to his liking, he also left profanity-spiked voicemails for Harmon (which were then gleefully released to the press). Eventually, Chevy couldn’t deal anymore and just quit the show, calling it “the lowest form of television.” So what’s better for his career? Apparently doing Old Navy commercials.
There are more than a few athletes on this list, but none fell quite so hard as Lance Armstrong. The Texan-born cyclist won the Tour de France a record seven times starting in 1999, and in doing so made riding a bicycle seem like an actual sport again. Oh, and he also triumphed over testicular cancer, possibly the manliest of cancers to survive.
Millions of dollars in endorsement deals later, Armstrong finally got busted: he’d been using illegal performance-enhancing drugs for years. He was stripped of his Tour wins, dropped by his sponsors, and was even voted Sports Illustrated’s “Anti-Sportsman Of The Year.”
Comedian Katt Williams has long been famous for his love of weed, but it’s possible that 2012 was the year he went one toke over the line. He started touring in the fall of this year and basically got himself arrested everywhere he went, from hitting a fan with a bottle to tooling around the sidewalks of Sacramento on a motorcycle to slapping an unwitting Target employee.
His performances have been equally loopy, with an Oakland show devolving into an addled monologue that had fans almost rioting. In Seattle, he attacked a bar manager with a pool cue and was ejected from four hotels. Finally, he announced that he’s just going to quit comedy altogether and… who knows? I’m not sure he saved a bunch of money.
Can it really be called a meltdown if you’ve been steadily melting for years? Ask Lindsay Lohan. The former child star had a rough 2012 in many senses. She started the year by posing nude for Playboy, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but from there it was all downhill.
Legal problems this year included an alleged hit and run in New York, a fist fight at a nightclub and the IRS seizing all of her bank accounts (despite Charlie Sheen writing her a bailout check) Her work ethic has also suffered – Lohan’s biggest role was in the Lifetime TV movie Liz & Dick, where her bloated pouting was universally savaged by critics.
We don’t necessarily expect good behavior from Public Enemy hypeman and reality show mainstay Flavor Flav, but 2012 was really a pretty rough year for him. In October, Las Vegas police were called to the house that Flav shared with fiancée of eight years Elizabeth Trujillo.
The pair had argued because Trujillo caught Flav sleeping around, but things quickly escalated as the rapper grabbed her, threw her to the ground and ripped out one of her earrings before going to the kitchen, arming himself with a pair of steak knives and chasing Trujillo’s son Gibran around the house. He was taken in on assault and battery and is waiting for trial.
What can we even say about R&B singer Chris Brown except for “quit while you’re ahead?” The star made headlines in 2009 with his domestic battery of then-girlfriend Rihanna, and spent the next few years acting like he was the victim. 2012 saw more of the same, with Brown unloading hateful vitriol on people left and right.
After a nightclub skirmish with Drake’s entourage saw bottles being thrown, Brown let loose on the Canadian rapper, but his biggest meltdown came on Twitter. When writer and comedian Jenny Johnson made a crack at Brown’s expense, the singer lost his marbles and vented such vile garbage that it eventually led to his entire Twitter account being deleted. Oh, and he’s back together with Rihanna, apparently.
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Billie Joe Armstrong
Punk’s not dead, but it’s probably on life support. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong made the second-biggest mistake of his life (the first was deciding to wear eyeliner all the time) at the iHeartRadio music festival in Las Vegas.
When he saw a warning sign from the production giving him one more minute to wrap up, Armstrong cut “Basket Case” short and had a full-scale rageout on stage, whining about Justin Bieber and saying he’s been “around since 1988” before smashing his guitar and storming off. Two days later, Armstrong checked into rehab.