Celebrities have ruined their careers in all kinds of ways — and some of them have managed to make incredible comebacks! Robert Downey Jr. survived multiple drug relapses, getting fired, and even a prison sentence to return as one of the world’s biggest box-office draws. Other stars waste their chances and join the ranks of celebrity overdoses like Whitney Houston, Carrie Fisher, River Phoenix and John Belushi! But it’s not just drugs that have made a permanent mess of some showbiz careers….
CeeLo Green looked set to survive a 2012 court case where he was accused of sexual battery and secretly drugging a woman’s drink. Christina Aguilera was reportedly disgusted with her fellow coach on “The Voice,” but the public seemed ready to forgive as he pleaded “no contest” — until he went to social media in 2014 to say “”People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!…If someone is passed out, they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.” A show on TBS was quickly canceled, and he’s been looking for a comeback ever since.
Stephen Collins had spent years as the wholesome preacher patriarch on the show “Seventh Heaven,” and was a regular presence on television until 2014 — when his bitter divorce had wife Fay Grant declaring that “in the presence of his therapist, Stephen admitted that he has engaged in a long-term pattern of sexually abusing minor children, including sexually molesting three young girls over a decade ago.” He hasn’t been in front of the cameras since his divorce was finalized in Jan. 2015.
Jan-Michael Vincent was one of the ’70s hottest rising stars, and went from the gritty Charles Bronson actioner “The Mechanic” to the Disney hit “The World’s Greatest Athlete.” The star sabotaged his big-screen career with his drinking, though. He was still able to command $200,000 an episode when he moved to the small screen in “Airwolf.” The ravaged star finally left Hollywood and got sober, but has also lost a leg over a blood infection while battling other health problems.
Charlie Sheen could have managed a comeback after The National ENQUIRER’s bombshell exclusive that the TV star was hiding his HIV-positive status while running around Hollywood. Instead, the actor has remained volatile as ever — and claimed in May 2018 that one woman suing him for exposing her to HIV is a lying “hooker.” That kind of behavior — especially among the new #MeToo movement — has kept Sheen from being accepted back into stardom.
Lindsay Lohan trashed her career enough to become an in-joke when she made a cameo with Charlie Sheen in 2013’s “Scary Movie 5.” Before that, the former Disney actress had gone from the prestige of “Mean Girls” to making a public spectacle of herself on the Hollywood social scene. She even blew a chance with Jane Fonda in 2007’s “Georgia Rule,” as producers publicly shamed her for being “discourteous, irresponsible and unprofessional.” Now she’s back struggling for a comeback with a reality show on MTV.
Shia LeBeouf was praised by Steven Spielberg as the next Tom Hanks. The former child star returned the favor by trashing the powerful director after filming 2008’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” saying: “He’s less a director than he is a f–king company.” Not even the “Transformers” franchise could save Shia’s career after cameras caught his arrogant ranting at an African-American cop while being arrested in 2017.
Tom Sizemore had spent years as a character actor before finally getting a lead role in 1997’s “The Relic” – and then he was arrested for felony spousal abuse two weeks after the movie topped the box office. His wife refused to press charges, but the arrest exposed Sizemore’s problems with alcohol and drugs. Despite the best efforts of pals like Robert De Niro, Sizemore has gone to prison and relapsed frequently — and was even accused in 2017 of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl on a 2003 film set.
Tila Tequila was a pioneering social media star — and the outrageous star celebrated her bisexuality on the hit MTV reality show “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.” But she got the wrong kind of attention in 2013 when she went to social media with a rant titled: “Why I Sympathize With Hitler,” declaring that “he was not a bad person as they have painted him out to be…here is a man who was not a coward [and] stood up for his country in a DESPERATE TIME OF NEED.”
Sasha Mitchell joined Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers on the hit sitcom “Step by Step” after his screen career fizzled — but his lovable role as a goofy surfer dude went wrong after he was accused in 1995 of assaulting his wife and endangering his young stepdaughter. That was followed by a May 1996 ruling that Sasha had violated his probation and had to do 60 days for continued domestic violence. He was divorced and permanently off the A-list by 1997.
Mischa Barton was the breakout star of the hit FOX show “The O.C.,” and was killed off the show as the actress planned a big-screen career. Instead, she made low-budget movies and was quickly canceled when trying a 2009 comeback with The CW on “The Beautiful Life.” A series of embarrassing public meltdowns through 2017 would lead to rumors of drug addiction for the broke beauty. After finally stepping away from the spotlight, Mischa’s attempting a reality-show comeback as a regular on MTV’s revival of “The Hills.”
Robert Blake was enjoying a career revival when the former star of “Baretta” was arrested for the 2001 death of his second wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley. He was later acquitted in the sordid case. After an appeal in 2008, Blake was found liable in a civil court for Bonnie Lee’s wrongful death and ordered to pay her relatives $15 million. He hasn’t made a film in over two decades, but got married to an old flame who testified in his defense.
Jeffrey Jones was one of Hollywood’s busiest character actors, including a beloved role as Principal Rooney alongside Matthew Broderick in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” No one was laughing when Jones was hit with child pornography charges in 2002, though. Cops said that he’d been soliciting a 14-year-old boy to pose nude for private photos. He’d later be arrested twice more for failing to register as a sex offender while trying to continue his career. Jones’ pal Paul Reubens dodged criminal charges from a related raid on his home, however, and went on to a Broadway comeback in his role as Pee Wee Herman.