Sex, drugs and murder. These are just some of the behind-the-scenes scandals that have tarred the memory of some of our favorite family TV hits. So, as the Stephen Collins child molestation allegations play out, we look back at other shows – like 7th Heaven – that have been hit with either off-set tragedy, or sex and drug revelations.
Former Full House star Jodie Sweetin was very candid about her downfall in her 2009 memoir unSweetined. The blonde actress – who played Stephanie Tanner for eight years on the hit show – admitted to alcohol binges https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/09/lamar-odom-drug-binges-high-end-call-girls-behind-khloe-kardashian-back/, getting high on ecstasy and cocaine, and even snorting meth at the premiere for the Olsen twins’ tween movie New York Minute.
She was the ultimate girl next door so it was a shock when Jaimee Foxworth of Family Matters fame admitted that she turned to porn after being dropped from the show. The actress – who played Judy Winslow – turned to adult films to make ends meet, and also became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
Jamie Lynn Spears
Getting pregnant https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/10/a-timber-bun-in-the-oven-jessica-biel-rocking-a-bump-at-bondi-beach/ at 16 is the ultimate scandal for many families. Getting pregnant at 16 when you’re Britney Spears’ younger sister — and the star of a wholesome kids’ show — is headline news. In 2007, Jamie Lynn Spears shocked parents and Zoey 101 fans alike when she announced she was expecting.
For many years, Danny Bonaduce was the poster child for former child stars gone wild. The actor, who charmed the nation as Danny in the ‘70s sitcom The Partridge Family, has been arrested for trying to buy cocaine, and was once charged with allegedly robbing and beating up a transvestite prostitute.
As the nerdy Screech in the kids’ sitcom Saved By The Bell, there was nothing offensive about Dustin Diamond. That all changed when the child star grew up, appeared in a sex tape and wrote a tell-all book https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/09/kendall-kylie-jenner-book-sales-flop-rebels-indra-kardashians/ called Behind The Bell in which he talked trash about his former cast mates, accusing them of indulging in sex and drugs.
When footage surfaced of a bedraggled Maia Campbell rambling into a camera, many assumed the former In The House star was just a crack-addicted prostitute – another ex-child star who hit rock bottom. But in a 2012 episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, the actress admitted that her untreated bipolar disorder https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/11/catherine-zeta-jones-bipolar-disorder-0/ contributed to her downward spiral into substance abuse.
In the January 2014 mug shot following his third DUI arrest, David Cassidy looked nothing like the heartthrob that he was in his Partridge Family days. The actor’s manager told CNN the star had fallen off the wagon after a period of stress.https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/01/david-cassidy-third-dui-arrest/
Freddie Prinze Sr.
Tragedy marred the legacy of ‘70s sitcom Chico and the Man. Freddie Prinze Sr. – the actor and comedian who played Chico in the series – committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in January 1977. His son, future star Freddie Prinze Jr., was just shy of 11-months-old at the time. https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/03/sarah-michelle-gellar-doppelganger-daughter-charlotte-grace-prinze/
The fact that Bob Crane – star of ‘60s sitcom Hogan’s Heroes – filmed homemade sex tapes https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/10/stephen-collins-seventh-heaven-molestation-child-sex-abuse-scandal-tapes/ would have been scandalous enough back in the 1970s. The shock of his secret life was overridden, however, by the fact he was bludgeoned to death by an unknown attacker in June 1978. More than 36 years later, the case remains unsolved.
Fans of Glee were shocked when it was announced in March 2013 that the actor Cory Monteith had checked himself into rehab for substance addiction. They were heartbroken when – less than four months later – he was found dead of a drug overdose in a hotel room in Vancouver, Canada. https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/07/cory-monteith-anniversary-glee-star-death/
After twerking her way into controversy (with the aid of Robin Thicke’s crotch) the scandal of the Miley Cyrus Vanity Fair cover of 2009 seems like child’s play. The 15-year-old Hannah Montana star told fans she was “embarrassed” to have taken part in the Annie Leibovitz photo shoot that saw the Disney actress posing semi-naked and staring back at the camera.https://radaronline.com/videos/miley-cyrus-latest-outrage-spits-on-fans-during-concert/
Amanda Bynes is another former child star whose adult life seems to have been marred by emotional problems and an alleged mental illness. In October 2014, the former The Amanda Show actress broke free from her parents’ care, leaving Los Angeles to resume her bizarre and erratic https://radaronline.com/photos/solanges-erratic-elevator-beat-down-of-jay-z-isnt-the-first-time-shes-shocked-a-look-back-at-some-of-her-most-bizarre-moments/photo/654402/ lifestyle on the streets of New York. However, in a tweet Amanda denied she is mentally ill telling fans, "Call me what you want but please do not call me crazy or insane because that's a joke."
The life of former child star Merlin Santana was cut short in 2002 when he was shot and murdered on the streets of L.A. Merlin – who played Romeo in the hit sitcom The Steve Harvey Show – first came to national attention by playing one of Rudy Huxtable’s admirers in The Cosby Show.
Among the things that Nickelodeon probably doesn’t want their stars to do, appearing in leaked photos in lingerie while pouting seductively for the camera is probably one of them. Enter Jennette McCurdy, who appeared in such child-friendly shows as iCarly, Zoey 101 and the short-lived Sam & Cat.
The former child stars of ‘80s sitcom Diff’rent Strokes deserve to be in a category all by themselves. But let’s start with the late Gary Coleman whose controversies include suing his parents and former business adviser and assault and domestic violence arrests. Not forgetting the mystery and rumors surrounding his 2010 death after he fell down some stairs and hit his head.https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/06/breaking-news-gary-colemans-ex-girlfriend-see-him-one-last-time/
He has since turned his life around but for Todd Bridges – who played Willis Jackson in Diff’rent Strokes – crack cocaine was his downfall. Gary Coleman’s on-screen older brother Willis was also tried with – and acquitted of – attempted murder charges in the late 1980s. https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/04/todd-bridges-corey-feldman-bill-protect-child-actors-sexual-predators/
Her death was ruled a suicide, but drugs and alcohol abuse tainted the short life of Dana Plato, who played clean-cut Kimberly Drummond in Diff’rent Strokes. The tragedy was compounded when in 2010 – nearly 11 years to the day of the anniversary of her death – Dana’s son Tyler Lambert shot himself to death. https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2010/05/diffrent-strokes-star-dana-platos-son-commits-suicide/
Mackenzie Phillips – the former star of One Day At A Time – had already solidified her reputation as a long-term drug addict when she dropped another bombshell in 2009. In her memoir “High On Arrival,” the daughter of The Mamas and the Papas singer John Phillips alleged that she had a decade-long incestuous relationship with her own father.https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2009/09/mackenzie-phillips-slept-her-own-dad/
Angus T. Jones
For a generation of viewers, he will always be remembered as the cherubic Jake Harper in the hit comedy Two and a Half Men. But in 2012 Angus T. Jones denounced the show that made him a star in a bizarre interview for a religious website where he encouraged fans not to watch the show because it’s “filth” that conflicts with his beliefs.https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2012/11/angus-t-jones-melt-down-video-pastor-second-coming-jesus/
As RadarOnline reported back in 2012, Erin Moran – the actress who played clean-cut Joanie Cunningham in Happy Days – had fallen on hard https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/08/amber-portwood-drug-addiction-prison-book-never-too-late-teen-mom/ times. According to a source, she was broke and bouncing from motel to motel. Erin and her husband were allegedly evicted from their California home, which they lost to foreclosure, before relocating to a trailer park.
For generations of British and Aussie children, Rolf Harris was a TV personality, singer and cult figure who sketched pictures on kids’ shows, played at the Glastonbury Festival and even painted a portrait of the Queen. He is now sitting in one of Her Majesty’s prisons https://radaronline.com/exclusives/2014/10/teresa-giudice-prison-life-details/ after being exposed as a pedophile and found guilty on 12 charges of indecent assault.