Stars who couldn’t quite cope with the pressure of fame


Lindsay Lohan

While many of us have dreamed about being rich and famous, with the whole world knowing our name, fame isn’t always what it is cracked up to be. Along with the luxurious lifestyle, private jets, yachts, fancy cars, endless shopping sprees, and ginormous mansions – also comes a life under the constant scrutiny of the public eye.

Although some celebrities are able to handle the pressure of being famous quite seamlessly, others have greater difficulty. Many stars have peaked at ultimate fame before eventually taking a downward spiral into chaos after crashing from the non-stop lack of privacy and the heavy burdens that come along with being famous.

Here are some stars who just couldn’t quite handle life in the limelight.

Lindsay Lohan

Actress Lindsay Lohan was thrown into the spotlight at a young age, after her mega success from her breakthrough performance in 1998’s The Parent Trap. As she entered her teen years, her fame only grew as she appeared in a string of popular Disney Channel films, such as 2003’s Freaky Friday. In 2004, she starred in the hit comedy Mean Girls and by then, she had already earned her status as the teen It girl of Hollywood.

Lindsay Lohan

However, eventually the fame and pressure involved in being famous, including a non-stop work schedule, became just too much for the former child star. This led to Lohan’s struggle with illegal substances and several visits to rehab centers. While she seems to be doing much better today, and even has her own MTV reality series – Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club, her career definitely is not what it use to be.

Kid Cudi

Soon after making his musical debut in 2008 with his top-charting single Day ‘n’ Nite, Kid Cudi flew into a world of stardom. Fans were instantly attracted to his incredibly unique sound and style. His career took off much faster than he had anticipated, and by the time his first album, Man on the Moon: The End of Day was released the following year, he was a two-time platinum artist.

Kid Cudi

However, after winning his first Grammy in 2012, we started to hear a lot less from the rapper. In a 2014 interview he ended up revealing what happened. “I couldn’t deal with fame,” he said. “I could not wrap my head around the fact that a week before I blew up I was just a regular dude and a week after it was just on, it was a whole other thing.”

Amanda Bynes

Amanda Bynes started a life of fame early on, as a kid star on the popular ’90s Nickelodeon sketch comedy series, All That. Her career quickly took off, and not before long she had her very own show on Nickelodeon, The Amanda Show. By the 2000s, it seemed as if Bynes was everywhere, appearing in every teen movie under the sun.

Amanda Bynes

However, the hectic work schedule and constant lack of privacy and pressure of Hollywood eventually began to weigh on the young actress, and she unfortunately started to go down a road of legal trouble. Today, Bynes seems to be enjoying a more private life, and is focusing on a career in fashion, recently earning an Associate’s of Art degree at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising.

Dustin Diamond

If you were watching TV in the ’90s, chances are you are familiar with Dustin Diamond aka lovable ‘nerd’ Screech from teen sitcom Saved by the Bell. While on the popular show, Diamond received fan-favorite status for his quirky humor and fun-loving persona he played on-screen.

Dustin Diamond

Unfortunately, after the franchise came to an official end in 2000, Diamond struggled landing steady roles and everyone, including his fans, couldn’t disassociate him from Screech. Many people would approach the star on the street, only to be disappointed to see that he wasn’t really like his character in real life, causing many people to label him as a ‘jerk.’ Unfortunately, as his career struggled, Diamond found himself in the midst of some legal issues, and even spent three months in prison in 2015 for disorderly conduct.

Lauryn Hill

In 1999, R&B singer Lauryn Hill shattered music records everywhere after receiving 10 Grammy nominations in one year, shortly after going solo and releasing her debut album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. However, not long after her tremendous success, the fame started to become a burden. Her manager once said in an interview, “She couldn’t go to the grocery store without makeup and I think that had an adverse effect on her.”

Lauryn Hill

By 2012, Hill got in trouble with the law, getting sentenced to three months in prison due to tax evasion. Although the singer still performs today, she stries to keep her personal life out of the limelight.

Dave Chapelle

During the 2000s, Dave Chapelle was pretty much everyone’s favorite comedian. The stand-up comic-turned-TV star, with his very own successful Comedy Central sketch show, took a quick leap into mega fame. However, he didn’t like what being famous meant, especially to his career as a stand-up comedian.

Dave Chapelle

He walked away from his high-rated show in 2006, and later said, ” I’m interested in the kind of person I’ve got to become. I want to be well-rounded and the industry is a place of extremes. I want to be well-balanced. I’ve got to check my intentions, man.”

Charlie Sheen

For eight years Charlie Sheen was the star of one of the most popular series on television, Two and a Half Men. However, in 2011, after suffering a public breakdown and making derogatory comments about the creator of the show, Chuck Lorre, the actor was fired and soon replaced with Ashton Kutcher.

Charlie Sheen

Although Sheen tried to pick up the pieces of his damaged reputation, even starring in the FX comedy Anger Management for two years after, his career definitely has not returned to what it once was.

Jodie Sweetin

Jodie Sweetin is known best for her longtime role as Stephanie Tanner on one of the ’90s most popular sitcoms ever, Full House. Unfortunately, after the series came to an end in 1995, Sweetin, who was 14 at the time, started spiraling into a dangerous world of drinking and illegal substances.

Jodie Sweetin

In 2009, she wrote unSweetined, a memoir where she spoke about the challenges of growing up on television, and about her struggles. Luckily, today she is in a much better place, and has even been reprising her role on Netflix’s reboot, Fuller House.

Zayn Malik

After leaving One Direction in 2015, sources close to the singer claimed that Malik left because he had “realized that he didn’t actually want to be famous” and that he had strongly disliked living life in the public eye.

Zayn Malik

And although today as a solo artist it seems like Malik is over his fear of fame, a string of cancelled appearances leading up to his Pillowtalk single debut could have indicated that he was still struggling with the public responsibilities at the time.

Angus T. Jones

In 2010, Angus T. Jones made history by becoming the highest-paid child actor ever thanks to playing Jake Harper on Two and a Half Men. However, according to Jones, growing up on TV was not ideal, and as he entered his teen years he grew to detest the sitcom that made him rich and famous.

Angus T. Jones

He posted a video begging fans to stop watching the show, and even called it ‘filth.’ He left the series in the 10th season, returning only for the series finale in 2015. Since then, he has put his acting life far behind him.

Kim Basinger

Icon of the ’80s and ’90s and former Bond girl, Kim Basinger, may have spent many years in front of the camera, but she actually grew up painfully shy. Although she was able to open up more as her career took off, her rise to fame was not an easy one.

Kim Basinger

She has since admitted that she suffered from several bad panic attacks at the peak of her career while she was in her 20s. In a 2001 HBO documentary, she opened up about her agoraphobia – the fear of being in public places, claiming that at times she stayed in her house for six months straight.

Rob Kardashian

While he did appear more regularly on Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ earlier seasons, he usually preferred to stay on the sidelines and let his sisters be the stars. However, living life in front of the cameras eventually got to him, and he ended up taking a hiatus from the show, and the spotlight, spending years inside of his house hiding from the paparazzi.

Rob Kardashian

Today, the father-of-one still remains out of the public eye for the most part, and rarely appears on his family’s reality show.

Macaulay Culkin

Home Alone star Macaulay Culkin was once known as the most successful child actor since Shirley Temple. However, shortly after reaching the height of his career in the mid ’90s, Culkin took a break from the screen.

Macaulay Culkin

After retiring from acting as just a teen, and emancipating from his parents at the age of 16, the former child star started making poor decisions, often getting in trouble with the law regarding the possession of illegal substances. Since then, Culkin prefers to stay low, and has called fame both a blessing and a curse.

Renée Zellweger

One of the most sought-after Hollywood actresses of the ’90s and 2000s was without a doubt Renée Zellweger. The Bridget Jones’s Diary star proved her incredible talent in numerous films of the era. However, as years went by, we started to see less of the blonde beauty.

Renée Zellweger

Then, in 2014, the movie star shocked everyone when she appeared on a red carpet looking like a completely different person. Although Zellweger later denied having plastic surgery, many believed that she had indeed gotten some work done due to the pressure put on aging women in the industry.

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf first came into prominence back in 2000, when he played Louis Stevens on the popular Disney comedy series Even Stevens, after which his career in film successfully began. Unfortunately, the former child star turned towards a difficult path filled with numerous legal issues and arrests for things like assault and driving under the influence.

Shia LaBeouf

He also earned a reputation for his slightly bizarre behavior and outlandish ‘performance art’ like when he showed up to the Berlin Film Festival with a paper bag over his head that read, ‘I am not famous anymore.’

Robert Pattinson

Similar to his Twilight costar, and ex-girlfriend, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattison is one of those stars who just couldn’t handle being famous. While the on-screen romantic vampire quickly became everyone’s favorite heartthrob, he wasn’t prepared for just how famous he would become.

Robert Pattinson

In an interview he called fame “strange” and spoke about how he didn’t have a “normal life” anymore. He also spoke about how isolating Hollywood can be. While he is still appearing in films every now and again, days of flocks of young girls chasing after him seem to be in the past.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber’s singing career started at the age of 13, after he was discovered on YouTube. Soon after debuting his first single One Time, he reached incredible fame, and continued to take over the music industry for years after. However, as he grew into adulthood, his cute-natured behavior changed and he was suddenly seen getting into fights with paparazzi and fans, vandalizing walls in Brazil, driving recklessly, and throwing eggs at neighbors’ houses.

Justin Bieber

Today, it seems like Bieber is starting to fix his public image, and has recently settled down with his new wife, model Hailey Baldwin.

Selena Gomez

Much like ex Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez also faced adversity. After her lupus diagnosis, Gomez was going through a rough time and had to go to rehab. After tearing up at a concert in Indonesia, she spoke publicly about rethinking her life.

Selena Gomez

Making good on her promise, she went completely silent on social media for three months – unheard of for a star of her calibre. Despite having everything, she said she felt “absolutely broken inside.” She slowly transitioned back into her career since, and executive produced Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, which deals with teen mental health issues.

Jennifer Lawrence

Ever since starring in the first Hunger Games movie, Jennifer Lawrence has become one of Hollywood’s most popular film actresses. However, although she has become known for her down-to-earth nature and witty humor, she has also been criticized for having a somewhat ‘snobby’ attitude.

Jennifer Lawrence

Dare we recall when she rudely called out an international journalist, who was using his phone to translate a question, to stop looking at his phone during a press interview? Lawrence herself even once admitted that she wished she could take “three months off” at a time from talking to fans and the media.

Britney Spears

Many of us witnessed the Princess of Pop’s unfortunate breakdown in 2007 when she was photographed shaving her head. Later that year, at the MTV Video Music Awards, Spears gave a highly criticized performance of her new single Gimme More, where she appeared to be sad and out of it – not at all like the energetic performances her fans were used to.

Britney Spears

Luckily, Spears was able to make a remarkable comeback, so much so that many people often forget that 2007 ever happened.

Mariah Carey

For someone who’s been so famous for so long, it’s hard to imagine a legend like Mariah Carey not being able to cope with fame. Nevertheless, her infamous New Year’s Eve performance in 2018 proved otherwise, with Carey going on and on about not getting tea.

Mariah Carey

The roots of her troubles, however, began much earlier. After breaking up with boyfriend Luis Miguel in 2001, the diva reportedly suffered from depression, made worse by the failure of her album and movie. It all culminated with a hospital stay, but she thankfully seems to be doing fine now.

Kanye West

Kanye West is almost as well-known for his controversies and erratic behavior as he is for his music at this point. During one concert in November, 2017, Yeezy suddenly went on an unsolicited rant about Beyoncé, Jay Z and other recording artists.

Kanye West

He then left the stage early, and the rest of his tour was canceled. The next day, he had checked himself into a hospital for “psychosis” brought on by “exhaustion.” He also famously (and publicly) begged Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for money. He seems to now be concentrating on his Sunday church services.

Mischa Barton

It was brief, but for a time in the early to mid-2000s, Mischa Barton was Hollywood’s biggest “it girl.” After a starring role on teenage drama The O.C., she landed a string of movie roles, all of which flopped.

Mischa Barton

She spoke candidly about struggling with her weight, while her mom – then her manager – allegedly stole her earnings. It all came to a head in 2009, when Barton was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility. Her mainstream career seems all but over now, and she has stuck to appearing in indie films.

Winona Ryder

Like Mischa Barton, Winona Ryder was the “it girl” of the 1990s, appearing in Edward Scissorhands, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Little Women, and Girl, Interrupted to name but a few. At the turn of the millennium, however, things took a turn.

Winona Ryder

Ryder was caught shoplifting in New York City in 2001, an incident that prompted her to speak up about her mental health struggles. She revealed she battled issues such as anxiety, depression and exhaustion, which even made her drop out of The Godfather Part III. She has since turned down major roles, and appears in Netflix’s Stranger Films.

Edward Furlong

Edward Furlong broke out in the biggest way possible, with a starring role as a young John Connor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Being in a blockbuster that huge was quite the feather in the cap of the 13-year-old actor, and he seemingly went from strength to strength.

Edward Furlong

Starting in the 2000s and into the 2010s, though, he began facing one legal issue after another, with multiple arrests for substance abuse and other offenses. Furlong even admitted that he was broke, and seems to have become another child star cautionary tale.

Robbie Williams

While he isn’t as well-known in the States, Robbie Williams is one of the biggest names in British music. How big? He’s the best-selling male solo artist in the U.K. Getting his start in boy band Take That, he went on to have a successful solo career that included hits like Angels and Millennium.

Robbie Williams

However, fame left its mark on the singer, and he struggled with substance abuse problems. Things got so bad in 1999, that he couldn’t leave his house for fear of meeting people. Today, he credits his wife Ayda with saving his life.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato found fame very early, netting her first starring role in Camp Rock at only 16. Only two years later, however, she got in trouble for assaulting her backup dancer on a flight.

Demi Lovato

Lovato not only suffered from various illicit habits, but was also diagnosed as bipolar. “I wanted freedom from the inner demons,” she said of that period in her life. “I wanted to start my life over.” After a stint in rehab, she did just that – and uses her fame to help others in her former position.

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom is a two-time NBA champion, but his personal life consisted of more tragedies than victories. His mother passed away when he was just 12, while his father was absent. One of his infant children passed away, as did his grandmother, who raised him.

Lamar Odom

In 2009, he met Khloe Kardashian and seemed about to turn things around. The two got married, but his behavior and rumors of infidelity led to the marriage ending. In 2015, Odom went into a coma after mixing illicit substances, and nearly lost his life. He’s since recovered, but suffered some brain damage.

Jake Lloyd

In 1999, eight-year-old Jake Lloyd ended up in a unique position – playing one of the  most beloved characters in the revamp of one of the most successful franchises of all time. Cast as a young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Lloyd seemed destined for superstardom.

Jake Lloyd

Sadly, things turned out differently. Two years after the movie, his acting career was over. The level of fame he attained at such an early age destroyed his life, he said, and he refuses to watch the movie that made him a star to this day.

Kit Harington

Game of Thrones remains one of the most popular television series even after its May 2019 finale. All of its stars immediately shot to fame thanks to the success of the show, including one of the main characters Kit Harington – otherwise known as Jon Snow.

It was recently reported that Harington checked into a treatment facility to deal with some personal issues following the end of the series. He needed some time for himself to cope with what he was dealing with now that GoT is over and the surprise ending that completely shocked him and his costars.

Kristen Stewart

Although Kristen Stewart had already been acting for a few years, she was truly launched into fame in 2008 – after appearing in the beloved teen vampire film based off of the Stephanie Meyers novel series, Twilight. After appearing in the fifth and final installment of the popular franchise, Stewart moved on to several more roles in film.

Kristen Stewart

However, since her and costar Robert Pattinson’s very public and dramatic breakup, she has been vocal about her distaste of fame. She even once compared being famous to having her “limbs cut off.”