There are times in life when you really need a break—and you just can’t get one.
It’s hard to keep your cool when the grind is getting the best of you. Are you working 14-hour days, sharing the subway with manspreaders and eating fast food every night because you’re too tired to cook? God, imagine if you were famous. How is it that people expect you to smile and pose for pictures when you feel like sprinting through the crowd, calling an Uber and locking yourself in your room for two days straight?
These celebrities broke down in very public ways for very different reasons. What can we say? Life is hard.
These are the most infamous celebrity breakdowns of the 2000s.
When: July 19, 2001
Mariah Carey showed up *unannounced* to a 2001 airing of MTV’s TRL bearing gifts. Carey took off her shirt, gave it to host Carson Daly and proceeded to pass out popsicles to the audience. Her surprise appearance gave way to nonsensical (and quotable) moments like: “All I know is I just want one day off when I can go swimming and look at rainbows and eat ice cream. And maybe like learn how to ride a bicycle.” Carey checked into a New York hospital six days after her impromptu appearance for what was deemed an “emotional and physical breakdown.”
Natasha LyonneGetty Images
When: April 19, 2005
Natasha Lyonne had a mental breakdown in her apartment in New York back in the early ’00s. The Orange Is the New Black star wrecked her apartment, which she apparently rented from Michael Rappaport, as well as her neighbor’s apartment. Lyonne smashed her next door neighbor’s mirror, “picked up her dog and eerily proclaimed, ’I’m going to sexually molest your dog,'” according to Complex. She was eventually forced into a methadone treatment center.
Tom CruiseHarpo Studios
When: May 22, 2005
Tom Cruise’s crazed 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey was jam-packed with bizarre acts like him kneeling on the ground, pumping his fist, grabbing Winfrey’s hands and shaking them and sporadically jumping on her couch—all in proclamation of his love for then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. The audience seemingly loved every second of it, especially when Cruise brought Holmes out from backstage to show her off. It was the interview that changed everything.
Mel GibsonGetty Images
When: July 30, 2006
Mel Gibson was charged with “misdemeanor drunken driving” back in August of 2006. He had reportedly been driving on the Pacific Coast Highway with an open container of alcohol in his car and when pulled over, he made anti-Semitic and sexist remarks to the cop. The LA Times posted a transcript of the unsettling comments. Gibson later apologized twice, saying his words were “blurted out in a moment of insanity.”
Paula AbdulGetty Images
When: January 2007
A video of Paula Abdul seemingly “slurring her words and rocking back and forth in her seat” during a morning show interview with FOX caused concern in January of 2007. Her publicist dubbed the whole thing a “technical problem.” Later that year, Abdul reportedly had “an insane nervous breakdown” at LAX. A source claimed the breakdown “lasted 10 minutes,” that Abdul was “hyperventilating and on the verge of passing out” and was yelling in a “rage-filled Poltergeist voice.”
Alec BaldwinGetty Images
When: April 2007
Alec Baldwin left his then-11-year-old daughter Ireland an explosive voicemail back in 2007. TMZ posted a recording of the two-minute voicemail and in it, Baldwin tells his daughter he’s going to “straighten your ass out” and called her a “rude, thoughtless little pig.” Baldwin later apologized for the voicemail, saying he had been “driven to the edge by parental alienation.”
Britney SpearsGetty Images
When: January 3, 2008
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline’s parental showdown in January of 2008 at Spears’ house ended with the police finding her under the influence of an unknown substance and her eventual hospitalization. Spear’s meltdown spanned over a year and included partying without underwear on with Paris Hilton, shaving her head and attacking a paparazzo’s SUV with an umbrella.
Mischa BartonGetty Images
When: July 15, 2009
Mischa Barton was hospitalized after having a breakdown in the summer of 2009, two years after The O.C. had ended. Barton was 23 at the time and “frightened and frantic,” according to People. Barton opened up to the magazine about the incident in 2013. “It was a full-on breakdown,” she said. “It was terrifying. Straight out of Girl, Interrupted.”
Kanye WestGetty Images
When: September 13, 2009
Kanye West’s infamous interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was seemingly all a part of a bigger meltdown. That same night, Kanye walked around the awards show with a bottle of Hennessy while periodically grabbing then-girlfriend Amber Rose’s butt. He recently spoke out about the Taylor Swift interruption, calling it “the beginning of the end of my life,” and revealed that Lady Gaga canceled their joint tour, Fame Kills, the day after the incident.