Child Stars Gone Wrong!

Michelle Rivas and Yuna Lee

Entertainment is a big part of anyone’s childhood. With no worries in life, children spend the majority of their days watching fun shows and playing games. Naturally, after watching these shows all the time, people begin to admire the young faces in them. These child actors that gain stardom at a young age usually have a care-free, innocent image. Unfortunately, as they grow up in the spotlight, they begin making bad choices and let the fame either get in their head or cause conflicts in their lives. Many of the iconic child television programs that were played on basically everyone’s TV at one point were made in the 90’s through the early 2000’s. Many of the faces of these shows have grown up and are now adults with families. The concerning part of all of this is the police record that also grew with them. Here are some of the most well known meltdowns, good girls gone bad situations, and the overall downward spiral of child stars.

1. Amanda Bynes – Debuted in All That, Amanda Bynes made a name for herself when she she starred in her own spin-off show, The Amanda Show. Her career reached a peak between 2000 and 2010 when she appeared in movies such as She’s The Man, What A Girl Wants, Hairspray, and Easy A. Her downward spiral really began in March 2010 when rumors of Bynes being fired from her involvement in the movie Hall Pass for being “paranoid and fearful” on set arose. After that, she got arrested for a DUI and for crashing her rental car. From then on, Bynes has got kicked out from multiple classes and airports for her inappropriate behavior, allegedly started a fire, threatened to sue multiple magazines, and even got caught shoplifting. She has also been recorded discussing her desire to murder her parents.

2. Macaulay Culkin – Culkin was the biggest child star of the 90’s after his breakout performances in Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Home Alone 2, The Good Son, The Nutcracker, and more. He even starred in Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” music video. But, at the age of 14, he declared that he was retiring from acting. After that, he and his fortune were caught in the middle of a nasty custody dispute between his parents, and he ended up suing for emancipation and control over his money while he was still a minor. Unfortunately, that was not the last of his appearances in the tabloids. After his nine year relationship with Mila Kunis came to an end, Culkin turned to drugs and alcohol. According to the police, he was arrested for marijuana possession and had a controlled substance without a prescription.

3. Matthew Underwood – Underwood played the role as Logan Reese on the popular Nickelodeon show, Zoey 101. He was first arrested in his home for suspicion of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor who was found in his bedroom. After he admitted that the cannabis and paraphernalia were his, he was released after posting bail. Underwood was then arrested again in front of the hookah lounge that he co-owns for probation violation.

4. Lindsay Lohan – A child actress and model before her breakout performances in Freaky Friday, Confessions Of Teenage Drama Queen, and of course, Mean Girls. She also had a music career at one point but that gradually came to an unsuccessful end. As her fame grew, so did her presence in the tabloids. She was arrested multiple times for DUIs, reckless driving, possession of cocaine, and was charged for assault and negligence.

5. Orlando Brown – Brown played the role as Eddie Thomas on the popular Disney show, That’s So Raven. He was first arrested for the possession of marijuana in 2007, and then was given a 180 day sentence when he didn’t show up to his probation after being arrested again for a DUI. He took things a little further by threatening to kill a woman and her daughter but then agreed to a plea bargain. Later on in 2016, he was arrested again for domestic violence charges and was warranted two additional drug-related charges after meth was found on him.

6. Britney Spears – Spears started out on stage productions and television shows as a child before pursuing a musical career as a successful pop singer and performer. With custody battles over her kids, a pending divorce, and going in and out of rehab, she was on her way to one of the biggest public meltdowns in pop culture. Her downward spiral began when she decided to shave her head in front of the very enthusiastic paparazzi. After that, she assaulted a photographer, was involved in a hit and run, lost custody over her kids, struggled with a drug addiction, and was finally forced into admission to a hospital.

7. Ricardo Medina Jr. – Medina was on the television series Power Rangers as the lead character, the Red Ranger. He was first arrested for allegedly stabbing his roommate multiple times with a “Conan the Barbarian” sword during an argument over Medina’s girlfriend. Medina claimed it was “self defense” and was later released. The D. A. decided to reopen Medina’s case for investigation, and he was later rearrested due to the contradiction between his self defense story and the evidence found. As a result, he will be serving 26 years in prison.

8. Dutch Elijah Whitlock – Whitlock played the role as the “skater dude” in the very successful trilogy, High School Musical. He was arrested after attempting to rob a pizza place in Utah at gunpoint. Whitlock managed to escape after threatening a worker and stealing the money. He was later caught by the police after the same employee recognized Whitlock. He was sentenced to three years of probation, 177 days in jail, and was ordered to complete a substance abuse treatment program. In addition, he was charged a total of $1,075 in fees for his crime, $200 in attorney fees, $115 in damages, and $750 in general fines.

All of these stars had bright futures ahead of them, and in some cases, they achieved their dreams with a few bumps in the road. Unfortunately, some let the fame and money consume their childhoods and leave closets full of skeletons for their future selves to deal with. To be fair, they had to grow up in front of the world at very young ages and were criticized for things all kids were doing at the time. In the end, they all played a role in someone else’s childhood whether it was a significant one or not.