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From Riches To Rags: 15 Celebrities Who Flamed Out Spectacularly

A collage of celebrities crushed by fame including Lindsay Lohan, Nicolas Cage, Halle Berry, Macaulay Culkin, Mel Gibson, Tobey Maguire, Martin Lawrence, Chalie Sheen, and Corey Feldman
Source: Getty Images and INSTAR Images

Mar. 24 2020, Updated 2:41 p.m. ET

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Being famous is not just about having a yacht-load of money and flying private jets. With fame comes not only power and influence, but also extreme scrutiny and obsessive jealousy. You write something without putting much thought into it on Twitter, and your name is all over the headlines the next morning. You say something controversial in public, and you are thrown down the garbage disposal. Paparazzi catch you at a bad moment, and your career is burned to a crisp.

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More: No Talent, No Problem: 25 Stars Who Are Famous For Doing Nothing At All

Yes, having that magnifying glass on your personal life is not something every celebrity can handle. With the pressure that comes with being in the spotlight comes great responsibility. And not every celeb can handle that—some go down the road of drugs, alcohol, squandering money, getting into trouble with the law, and more!

More: Crash & Burn! 20 Former Child Stars Who Flamed Out Spectacularly

From Charlie Sheen and Macaulay Culkin to Halle Berry, Mel Gibson, and Nicolas Cage, these are the flamed-out stars who achieved an astronomical level of fame and fortune, but were crushed by fame and lost either of them (or both). RadarOnline.com takes a look at these 15 celebrities who crashed and burned spectacularly and with much fanfare.

Charlie Sheen

Actor Charlie Sheen arrives at Chrysalis' 5th Annual Butterfly Ball at the home of Fred and Carla Sands on June 10, 2006 in Los Angeles, California
Source: Getty Images

Charlie Sheen's life has been spiraling out of control for quite a few years now. Even though Sheen used to be known for his iconic performances in Two and a Half Men, Anger Management, and The Three Musketeers, it's his troubled personal life that has been soaking up all the media coverage lately. Sheen has made quite a few headlines since CBS and Warner Bros. gave him the boot over his erratic behavior and derogatory comments about the Two and a Half Men creator, Chuck Lorre, in 2011. In November 17, 2015, Sheen revealed that he had been diagnosed as HIV-positive four years prior. In 2017, rumors suggested that Sheen's battle with HIV left him broke, and the actor was even slammed with a lawsuit for allegedly exposing his ex-girlfriend to HIV. A report by People, published in late April 2018, revealed that Sheen racked up nearly $5 million in unpaid taxes.

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Martin Lawrence

Martin Lawrence during Martin Lawrence at a Photocall for the Film 'National Security' - Madrid at Villa Magna Hotel in Madrid, Spain
Source: Getty Images

Martin Lawrence burst into stardom in the mid-90s after his unparalleled performances in such movies as Bad Boys and Big Momma’ House as well as TV series Martin. Viewers were convinced that Lawrence was in it for the long haul, that we'd see the comedian on TV and movie screens for years and decades to come. But his career headed in the downward direction after violent outbursts and arrests. In the mid-90s, Lawrence was charged with battery for punching a man in a Hollywood nightclub. In a separate incident, Lawrence ran into traffic on busy Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, and kept yelling at cars while carrying a gun.

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Halle Berry

//Halle Berry
Source: Getty Images

The magnitude of Halle Berry's stardom in the early 2000s cannot be overstated. In 2002, she became the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar for her spectacular performance in Marc Forster's Monster Ball. Two years later, Berry graced big screens with her role in Catwoman, which, although became a massive box office flop, is to this very day Berry's most memorable movie role. Even though Halle Berry starred in Cloud Atlas in 2012 and X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014, it seems that her acting career had its moment in the 2000s, and that moment has passed. The downfall of Berry may have something to do with the hit-and-run accident in the early 2000s, in which the actress was sued for "gross negligence" and "torturous infliction of emotional distress," according to Entertainment Weekly. Berry allegedly hit a woman with her car and then ran away on foot. Berry pleaded no contest to charges of leaving the scene of the DUI accident and was sentenced to three years' probation, fined $13,500 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service, according to the LA Times. In 2013, Halle Berry also revealed that she had been in therapy for more than 30 years over her troubled childhood, according to the Metro.

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Tobey Maguire

//Tobey Maguire
Source: Getty Images

Tobey Maguire, who is oftentimes called the best Spider-Man ever, milked the role of Peter Parker for all it's worth, but never quite convinced audiences that he is capable of playing other characters. The shadow of Spider-Man seems to have followed Maguire wherever he went, so the actor has been stuck as a supporting actor and focused on producing films. Maguire's struggles to maintain his superstar status after the Spider-Man franchise landed him in big trouble in 2011, when the actor was reportedly sued in connection with a mega-million dollar illegal gambling ring.

Maguire settled the lawsuit over litigation that he participated in the Ponzi scheme. The actor agreed to pay back $80,000, and acknowledged that he had not known that the poker game was illegal, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Maguire reportedly won more than $300,000 in the high-stakes poker games. Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon were also part of the lawsuit.

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Val Kilmer

//Val Kilmer
Source: Getty Images

Millennials may not know who Val Kilmer is, but the actor was Tom Cruise-George Clooney-Robert De Niro-famous in the '90s. Back then, Val Kilmer had the status of an actor whose name would putt butts in the seats. After his memorable roles in Batman Forever (as Bruce Wayne), Top Gun, Tombstone, The Doors, and Heat, no one doubted even for a second that Kilmer was one of the most sought-after actors of the 1990s. But the actor was booted off the top of the A-list amid rumors that he was difficult to work with, had a sharp tongue, and caused problems on movie sets (in 2017, Kilmer opened up about his "difficult" reputation in Hollywood, according to Forbes).

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Lil’ Kim

Lil' Kim (aka Kimberly Jones) was arrested by New Jersey cops in July 1996 and charged with possession of marijuana
Source: Getty Images

Lil' Kim used to be only Kim we knew. She was called the Queen of Rap and Hip-Hop Goddess, as her songs and albums kept topping Billboard charts in the late '90s and early 2000s. But it all came crashing down in 2005, when Lil' Kim was sentenced to one year in federal prison along with a $50,000 fine for lying to a federal grand jury about a friend's involvement in a 2001 shooting outside a radio station in Manhattan, according to the Washington Post. The rapper was released after 10 months of her sentence. Lil' Kim has changed her appearance with the help of plastic surgery so many times that it's practically impossible to keep track of her ever-changing face. What may have also contributed to the downfall of the Queen of Rap was that she owed the U.S. government over $1 million after not paying her taxes for almost seven years, according to the New York Post.

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Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes during 'Blade II' Premiere at Gramun's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California, United States
Source: Getty Images

Wesley Snipes was the badass guy from the Blade film trilogy and several other movies from the '90s and early 2000s. After Blade movies, Snipes' popularity (and net worth) was blown out of proportion, but not for long. In 2009, Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for tax fraud and neglecting to pay over $17 million in back taxes, according to The New York Times. Since his release from prison, Snipes has focused on small film projects.

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Lindsay Lohan

//Lindsay Lohan mug shot
Source: Getty Images

The role of Cady Heron in Mean Girls served as Lindsay Lohan's trampoline to fame. Ever since then, the actress has found herself in trouble with the law numerous times, and has been arrested at least eight times, including arrests for DUI, reckless driving, and shoplifting. It weren't just Lohan's legal woes that turned her into one of the most unhireable actresses of her generation, as there were also reports of her unprofessional on-set behavior. Even though critics actually praised her performance in Mean Girls, Lohan's reputation of the trouble-prone party girl eclipsed her acting talent.

According to E! News, between 2007 and 2012, Lohan pleaded guilty to misdemeanor cocaine use and DUI, was sentenced to one day in jail and 10 days of community service, placed on three years' probation, had her probation extended by an additional 12 months, fitted with an alcohol-monitoring SCRAM device on her ankle, sentenced to 90 days in jail for failing to attend her court-ordered alcohol education classes, given 120 days in county jail and 480 hours of community service for violating her probation on the DUI accident, had her shoplifting charge knocked down to a misdemeanor, among other things.

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Mischa Barton

In this handout image provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, actress Mischa Barton poses for her mug shot December 27, 2007. Barton was arrested driving under the influence overnight
Source: Getty Images

Mischa Barton was one of the most famous actresses on American television in the mid-2000s thanks to her role on The O.C. But after her infamous DUI arrest in West Hollywood in 2007, Barton's acting career suddenly took a turn for the worse. Barton pretty much disappeared from the public eye for nearly a decade before she was cast as one of the celebs to compete on Dancing With the Stars in 2016. The coming year brought her even more publicity when she was the victim in a sex tape scandal involving her ex-boyfriend. The scandal evolved into a highly-publicized "revenge porn" trial in 2017.

Barton was charged with four criminal counts, including DUI, one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level exceeding the legal limits, one count for diving without a license and one count of possession of marijuana. She was on probation for 36 months, was ordered to attend three months of alcohol education classes and paid a fine, according to Access Hollywood.

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Macaulay Culkin

Macaulay Culkin during Ubid.com Joins forces with Hollywood Stars to Launch Celebrity Auction to Benefit Hurricane Victims - Arrivals at Empire Ballroom in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Source: Getty Images

Macaulay Culkin achieved an almost deity-like presence on American television thanks to his iconic role of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone movies, which to this very day are one of the go-to movies to watch on Christmas Eve. Culkin was reportedly making $8 million per film in the early 2000s, and was the most promising child star in Hollywood, but the pendulum of fate swung in the opposite direction after Culkin was arrested for possession of marijuana and prescription drugs in 2004, according to CNN. The Home Alone star was charged with two misdemeanor drug charges for the possession of marijuana and prescription drugs. Culkin disappeared from the public eye, though paparazzi continued to stalk him for years. In 2014, Culkin was caught on camera kissing another man.

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Kim Basinger

//Kim Basinger
Source: Getty Images

Kim Basinger was one of the best Hollywood actresses in the 1990s. She won an Oscar for her role of Lynn Bracken in L.A. Confidential in 1997. Basinger's other prominent role included playing Bond girl Domino Petachi in Never Say Never Again opposite Sean Connery, as James Bond. She also starred in 1989's Batman, 8 Mile, and The Natural, among others. Besides her critically-acclaimed performances, Basinger also rose to fame thanks to a scandalous lawsuit in the early 1990s. Basinger decided to pull out of the controversial film Boxing Helena, by Main Line Pictures, which prompted the studio to file a lawsuit over her refusal to appear in the 1993 film. As a result of the lawsuit, the studio walking out $8.1 million richer from the court. After the court's ruling, Basinger filed for bankruptcy protection, according to Variety. Basinger hasn't been successful in clawing her way back into the movie industry ever since (though she did land a prominent role in 2017's Fifty Shades Darker opposite Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson).

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Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson with full beard at the Daddy's Home 2 UK Premiere
Source: INSTAR Images

Mel Gibson went from one of the best filmmakers in Hollywood to an ostracized director nobody wanted to do business with. Gibson's reputation was in tatters after a DUI arrest in 2006, when the director went on a hate-filled, anti-Semitic rant. The Brave Heart actor's infamous outburst was recorded as he was being placed into a police car, according to The New York Times. Then the recording leaked online and Hollywood blacklisted the iconic director. Four years later, tapes surfaced of Gibson going on a racist and sexist rant and making death threats against his ex-girlfriend, according to Business Insider. Gibson has since cleaned up his act, it was reported in 2016 that he credits the AA program with helping him achieve 10 years of sobriety. He was seemingly forgiven in 2017 when he received a nod from the Academy in the best director category for his film Hacksaw Ridge, which was nominated for several other Oscar awards that year.

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Corey Feldman

Corey Feldman at the Grammys Viewing Party
Source: INSTAR Images

Corey Feldman used to be a huge child star in the '80s, but today people may recognize him as an outspoken activist whose sole purpose is to take down what he calls a pedophile ring in Hollywood, according to People. Feldman, who is best known for his roles in Stand By Me and The Lost Boys, has been trying to find justice in Hollywood after claiming that he and fellow child star Corey Haim were sexually assaulted at a young age by influential men in the movie industry, according to the Latin Times. Haim, who struggled to stay sober in his adulthood, died of pneumonia in 2010. Feldman continues his mission to expose a network of Hollywood pedophiles in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

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Nicolas Cage

//Nicolas Cage
Source: INSTAR Images

Although Nicolas Cage's career has been a rollercoaster of masterful overacting, the extent of the actor's meme-worthiness cannot be compared to any other Hollywood actor or actress. Many call him one of the most misunderstood actors of our time, while others argue that Cage ruined his career when he started acting in cheap and low-budget films. Cage has long been criticized for his indiscriminate movie choices, but what many critics seem to forget is that he received an Oscar for his role in Leaving Las Vegas in 1996, and was nominated for another Oscar in Adaptation in 2003. Or maybe it's because of these accolades that his B-movie appearances seem that much more unforgivable?

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Nick Stahl

//Nick Stahl
Source: INSTAR Images

Many call him the latest victim of the Terminator curse. Nick Stahl, who is best known for his prominent role in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, seemed to be headed to Hollywood's cream of the crop A-list, but his promising acting career came to a halt after a series of high-profile issues, including but not limited to getting arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct at a Hollywood adult movie shop, getting detained by the police on a mental health hold, and being arrested on suspicion of using methamphetamines. However, Stahl was never charged for committing a lewd act at a porn shop, and was not charged with drug possession, according to RadarOnline.com. On top of that, his family reported Stahl missing on skid row, but he eventually resurfaced after a long and mysterious absence.

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