10 Actors Who Ruined Their Reputations

Movie stars are among the most privileged people on the planet, but many find a way to screw up their position as beloved idols and come crashing down to earth. These are the movie stars who had it all and blew it spectacularly…

Jeffrey Jones

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You’ll never watch ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ the same way. Jones, who played Principal Ed Rooney – a headmaster who spent an entire day attempting to track down a young pupil playing hookie – got into trouble with the law in 2003 when he was arrested for possession of child pornography. Jones pleaded no contest and had to register as a sex offender as well as serving five years’ probation. He was also accused of soliciting a 14-year-old boy to pose for pornographic photographs, although this was settled out of court in 2004. Jones still works in Hollywood to this day – catch him in 2014’s disaster movie ‘10.0 Earthquake’ – but was arrested twice in 2010 for failing to update his sex offender status in Florida and then again in California.

Wesley Snipes

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Action movie star Snipes took the phrase “tax doesn’t need to be taxing” to heart, and decided that the least taxing way of dealing with his tax problem was to not pay tax at all. That’s somewhat frowned upon when you’re a millionaire movie star, and Snipes was found guilty on three misdemeanor counts of failing to file a federal income tax return between the years of 1999 and 2004 (all that ‘Blade’ money must have been stuffed under so many mattresses). Snipes served a three-year prison sentence at McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania after the US Supreme Court declined his appeal. His first role upon his release was as Doc in ‘The Expendables 3’, in which his character joked that he was locked away for “tax evasion”.

Rob Lowe

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Sure, in shows like ‘Parks & Recreation’ he’s literally all smiles, but Rob Lowe has a dark past. There is a cracking theory going around that says the only reason that Lowe agreed to star in the utterly mediocre Cameron Diaz comedy ‘Sex Tape’ was because he was keen to bury all mentions of his own sex tape, filmed in 1988. Lowe videotaped himself having sex with a 16-year-old girl in Atlanta, Georgia and although the age of consent in the state was 16, meaning he broke no laws, the scandal was a damning blow to Lowe’s squeaky clean Brat Pack image. Incidentally, if you search for ‘Rob Lowe sex tape’, there’s not a single mention of the 2014 comedy movie until you get to the second page of results. Doh.

Johnny Depp

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Depp had it all: commercial success, critical adoration, celebrity pals and a rock star lifestyle. Where did it all go wrong? Depp’s relationship with actress Amber Heard was controversial from the start after he left wife Vanessa Paradis to hook up with a girl 23 years his junior. They were together for just a year before cracks started to show; in May 2016, Heard released photos of her bruised face which she alleged she received when Depp threw his phone at her. A domestic abuse case was recently settled out of court (Heard donated her £5.3 million settlement to a charity that supports victims of abuse) but more videos have emerged of a drunken Depp being aggressive and abusive towards Heard. One further claim alleges that the actor cut off the tip of his finger and smeared blood all over the wall of their house, accusing her of adultery with Billy Bob Thornton.

Hugh Grant

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Grant was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood at the time of his arrest in 1995, but his run-in with prostitute Divine Brown took him down a few pegs. Vice cops caught Grant in a ‘compromising situation’ (to say the least) with the LA hooker and placed him on two years’ summary probation. Far more damaging was the effect the arrest had on his ‘charming Englishman’ persona, and the toll it took on his relationship with partner Elizabeth Hurley. Grant was already scheduled to appear on the publicity circuit to promote his new movie ‘Nine Months’, but the film was all but forgotten as Grant issued multiple mea culpas to the media. “I’ve never been one to blow my own trumpet,” he told talk show host Jay Leno.

Randy Quaid

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How to unpick the weird and worrying tapestry of Randy Quaid’s life and career? The funnyman made us laugh with many a role in the ’80s but friends claim his marriage to wife Evi Quaid was the beginning of the end for his career and his sanity. In 2004, Quaid was said to have “verbally and physically” abused fellow performers of stage show ‘Falstaff’; in 2009 the Quaids were arrested for allegedly defrauding an innkeeper; in 2010 they were found living in a guest house that belonged to someone else; they then fled to Canada after failing to appear for their burglary hearing and filed for immigration status. Now sporting a huge straggly beard, Quaid claimed that “Hollywood star whackers” were out to kill him. Charges against Quaid and his wife were recently dropped after they attempted to sneak back into the US via Vermont, and the actor has recently come out as a supporter of Donald Trump, which makes perfect sense.

Paul Reubens

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The man that millions of children knew week-in week-out as Pee-wee Herman dragged both his real name and stage name through the mud in 1991 when he was arrested for masturbating in an adult movie theatre. Reubens made matters worse on his arrest by offering to do a kids benefit in-character to “take care” of the matter. It didn’t work: Reubens pleaded no contest and although the plea kept the actor’s record clean, he was obliged to perform 75 hours of community service. His show, ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’, was cancelled (although Reubens claimed it was already canned), but the character made a comeback on stage at the MTV Movie Awards later that year, asking the audience: “Heard any good jokes lately?” Pee-wee returned earlier in 2016 with a new Netflix movie, ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’, produced by Judd Apatow.

OJ Simpson

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Orenthal James Simpson was an American football star and an up and coming star of the silver screen – you ought to know by now that his life story took quite the about turn in 1994. Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered in her Los Angeles home, and although Simpson was acquitted after a lengthy and star-studded trial, in 1997 a civil court awarded a £25 million judgement against Simpson and ruled that he was responsible for their wrongful deaths. But that’s not the end of his fall from grace; in 2008, Simpson was arrested on counts of criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, assault, robbery and using a deadly weapon after his involvement in a Las Vegas casino break-in. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison but the ‘Juice’ could be loose on parole as early as 2017.

Mel Gibson

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The sensational exploits of Gibbo are well-known, but we couldn’t do a round-up of stars and their faux pas without featuring Mad Mel. Gibson’s problems with alcohol are equally well-documented, but Hollywood was shocked when the actor was arrested for DUI in 2006; an enraged Gibson exploded in an anti-Semitic rage, called one female officer “sugar t*ts” and claimed that “Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world”. Gibson attended an alcohol recovery program and made a tentative return to Hollywood with ‘Edge Of Darkness’ and ‘The Beaver’, but in 2010 audio recordings of Gibson on the phone to his ex-wife Oksana Grigorieva revealed that the actor still had anger issues. He was banned from being in the vicinity of Grigorieva and their daughter and pleaded no contest to a battery charge. He too made his comeback in ‘The Expendables 3’, a sort of cinematic care home for the beastly and badly behaved of Hollywood.

Lindsay Lohan

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La Lohan is the quintessential child star gone off the rails: the fresh-faced youngster got her start in Disney movies, graduated into cool teen roles like ‘Mean Girls’, then slid into a career car crash that hasn’t yet corrected itself. Lohan’s excessive partying got her into trouble more than once: she was called out by producer James G Robinson in a public letter that called her “irresponsible and unprofessional”, and was arrested for drink-driving in 2007. Various stints in various rehab clinics attempted to right the sinking ship, but Lohan’s reputation as uninsurable stuck and her career dried up, even before she served one measly day in jail for her DUI. Encouragingly, Lohan has showed signs of getting back on track: she starred in David Mamet’s ‘Speed-The-Plow’ in London’s West End in 2014 and in 2015 she finished her community service, marking the first time in eight years that she was probation free.

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