As Charlie Sheen goes slowly mental in public, amassing two million Twitter followers in a week, professing a love of Tiger Blood and wielding a machete in public, we’re taking a look at the top public meltdowns of the last few years.
Sheen really has raised the stakes for any other celebrity wishing to go haywire on the public stage. Over the last fortnight he’s criticised the bosses of his lucrative show Two And A Half Men and got himself sacked, decided he’s a warlock that survives on tiger blood and proclaimed a love of drugs, in particular the Charlie Sheen drug that’s “so dangerous you would die” if you took it.
This is far from his first meltdown. Last year he was arrested for assaulting his third wife, Brooke Mueller. In 2005 he divorced wife Number Two (Denise Richards) after alledged death threats and way back in 1995 he admitted under oath that he’d spent $50,000 in a Hollywood brothel.
From an even more sinister end of the spectrum, Mr Mel Gibson. His drink and drug-fuelled outbursts have ranged from sexist to misogynist, via racist and anti-Semitic over the years. Loathsome tirades were all in a days work for the lunatic thespian for a period of time.
Remember when Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch, declaring his love for Katie Holmes? He later told Esquire, “I wanted the audience to be happy. But I’ll take responsibility for my actions… Afterward, wild things were being said about me, and once they’re in the ether, there’s nothing you can do about it.” Being a Scientologist will do that to you.
Christian Bale’s rant on the set of Terminator Salvation (more a verbal attack on the photography director for interrupting a scene he was filming) was a masterpiece of egotistical gibberish that culminated in threats to “kick his fucking ass.” Click here to listen to the whole thing.
It can’t have been easy being on the promo trail for Glitter – the movie was a pungent pile of steaming dung. However, Mariah didn’t really need to go quite so far off the rails, handing out popsicles to bemused onlookers, stripping, muttering about rainbows and nosediving straight into hospital for “exhaustion”.
Even ironic hero David Hasselhoff hasn’t been totally clear of public meltdown. Who could forget that pathetic video clip of a drunken Hoff rolling around trying to eat a cheesburger like a homeless lunatic outside MacDonalds while his daughter implores him to grow up? Not good.
Courtney Love’s lived with one foot on the wild side for some time. Her arguments with her daughter via Twitter were well documented and she was famously (inadvertently) still using heroin while pregnant with said sprog.
If ‘Faith’ could be classed as a high point in George Michael’s career, we guess you could file driving stoned into a North London Snappy Snaps (and getting arrested for the umpteenth time) under “low point”. He could at least have bulldozed a bank or a Wetherspoons.
Featuring two DUIs, three arrests, several breakdowns in exclusive clubs and numerous very public showdowns with her ex-girlfriend Sam Ronson, Lindsay Lohan’s life has been one long lesson in discretion. Not so much airing her dirty laundry in public and thrusting it in our faces.
She was once a Mouseketeer and a teen pop sensation. Then one day, she decided to shave her head and it all went a bit Pete Tong. She’s attacked paparazzi, dated paparazzi, got divorced and got acquainted with rehab. There were even rumours of mental instability and possible depression and suicide threats.
One of the best public meltdowns of late was unfortunately a hoax. Actor Joaquin Phoenix spent two years cultivating a Badly Drawn Boy-on-crack look, embarrassing himself on mainstream chat shows and pretending he wanted a rap career. By the time we reached the scene where Spacehog’s guitarist craps on him in the film of his descent I’m Still Here, it was obvious it was all fake.
Whitney Houston lost about a decade to drugs and her somewhat bad influence of a husband Bobby Brown. Sadly she also seems to have lost that voice – reviews of her comeback shows have ranged from “shambolic” to “weird”.
In 1996 Robert Downey Jr was arrested for possession of heroin, cocaine and a Magnum handgun. Standard roadtrip acoutrements for a hellraiser that was about to embark on a half decade of demented chaos. He did rehab with gusto though and a few years after being caught wandering around Hollywood barefoot he was starring in Iron Man.
2011’s prime meltdown candidate in a pre-Sheen world was Christina Aguilera, who was appearing drunk at parties and starting fights with co-stars of her recent terrible film ‘Burlesque’. Keep an eye on this one as the months progress.
Starring on talent shows like American Idol would be enough to turn anyone a bit Sheen, but Paula Abdul took it to the next level. It’s never been ascertained if drink or drugs were to blame but there was a time when she was woozily swaying about in her chair and making no sense at all.