All too often we hear horror stories about child actors and actresses that were led down the wrong path due to the temptations of the Hollywood lifestyle. The number of things that become accessible to them combined with the new social circles they enter into is a merger that can be as explosive as an open flame and gasoline. Many of these kids begin to travel down exceedingly dark paths. As we’ve seen with innumerable child stars, the allure of the party lifestyle and the damage drugs and alcohol can do to one’s mind typically ends in a major change in their behaviour which makes them difficult to work with or even worse, they just stop being cute and the Hollywood industry throws them away like a ten dollar parking ticket.
Even when a child star doesn’t side with the Empire and join the Dark Side, everyone is prone to get into a little trouble now and then. It’s just so surprising when it happens to young famous people because you’re prone to believe they’re trying harder to keep their noses clean (or at least trying harder to not get caught) to make sure their careers stay afloat. This would seem especially true for young stars with networks like Nickelodeon or Disney as they’re often given the added responsibility of being considered role models to young children. Hopefully most of these Disney stars just made some one time mistakes and they’re able to stay on top.
15. Debbie Ryan
Debbie Ryan has been Disney royalty for quite some time now. She’s starred in the Suite Life of on Deck and reprised her role of Bailey Pickett in numerous cross-overs with other Disney shows. Later she would get her own starring series called Jessie that also featured cross-overs with a number of other Disney shows. Like most young and attractive Disney “It” girls, a music career was slapped onto the side of her acting career, you know, just to see if it might take off. Unfortunately, Debby was arrested for a DUI in August of 2016. Luckily, this seems like a one time mistake and won’t have a negative impact on her career. According to IMDB her plate looks pretty full throughout 2017 and into 2018.
14. Lalaine Vergara-Paras
If we’re being honest with ourselves, we all know the title for the best show to ever air on The Disney Channel is a tie between Even Stevens and Lizzie McGuire. Anything that’s come after is just Disney fooling themselves.
Excuse me. Nostalgia was doing weird things to my brain. Disney is still doing just fine.
Anyway, we haven’t seen much of Lalaine after Lizzie McGuire ended. In fact, she wasn’t even in the Lizzie McGuire theatrical film. LaLaine seems to have focused more on music, only taking occasional roles in films like Easy A. In addition, she also got into…meth!?
13. Mitchel Musso
After Hannah Montana wrapped up, things didn’t seem to go so well for Mitchel Musso. He tried his hand at the obligatory music career that many Disney stars seem to get saddled with at some point. Nothing much became of that. He wasn’t a major part of the Hannah Montana movie as the film saw Miley being whisked away to Tennessee and away from her usual surroundings and acquaintances. He did have a role on the Disney Channel series Pair of Kings, but he was dropped from the show immediately after a DUI in 2011. This wasn’t entirely a parting of ways – Mitchel was wrapped into the show for one more year until Disney would look into more adult projects. They simply sped that process along.
12. Orlando Brown
While most of the people on this list will have seen nothing more than a DUI or a small drug possession charge, Orlando Brown, one of the stars of That’s So Raven, decided to go the extra mile and take his issues directly to the police station. Back in 2016, Brown and his girlfriend parked in a police station parking lot and proceeded to argue. Brown allegedly physically struck his girlfriend and the police were called. Needless to say, it didn’t take them long to arrive at the scene.
Brown initially refused to leave his car, but once in jail, the police found him to be in possession of methamphetamine.
11. Brian Bonsall
Let’s take a ride on Professor Peabody’s Wayback Machine and look at a Disney star from an era before every kid they could get their hands on had three shows, a Disney Channel Original Movie, and a budding music career.
Brian Bonsall was a rising child actor that started out on the series Family Ties and then went on to play Worf’s son in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Once Brian got a little older, Disney caught light of him and put him in their cinematic masterpiece, Blank Check. In case you were wondering, it’s a movie about a kid who receives a signed blank check and proceeds to fill it for a million dollars. For our younger readers, a check is something cavemen used instead of debit cards.
10. Britney Spears
It’s easy to forget that Britney Spears had her beginnings with the Disney Channel since most of her fame was due to her music career when she splashed onto the MTV scene with her music video for the song ‘Baby One More Time’. Prior to that fame, Britney first began to make her name on The All New Mickey Mouse Club along with big names like Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, and Christina Aguilera.
We all probably remember Britney’s very public meltdown. Around this time in 2007, Spears was involved in a hit-and-run. She thought she had gotten away with it but the incident was captured by the paparazzi and the owner filed a report after seeing his car in the video. It was also found out that Spears had been driving without a license.
9. Lindsay Lohan
It looked like Lindsay Lohan was about to have it all. It’s been so long since Lindsay was Disney’s go-to adorable child star it’s easy to forget her big break was starring in a number of Disney produced theatrical releases. We won’t go into much detail into what exactly Lohan was arrested for, as that would be a whole article in and of itself. You can rest assured that Lohan has had a number of DUIs, possession charges, failure to appeal charges, and a number of charges related to failure to comply with the terms of her various probation sentences.
8. Shia Labeouf
Shia Labeouf has become such a big name star that it’s easy to forget that Labeouf starred in what is arguably the greatest Disney Channel original series of all time, Even Stevens.
Much like Lindsay Lohan, Shia Labeouf has experienced a number of arrests that could fill an article on their own. He’s been charged with criminal trespassing at a Walgreen’s store, assault as part of a bar brawl, public drunkenness, and drunk driving.
Trouble always seems to follow Labeouf but that appears to be because he revels in it. It’s also interesting to note that Labeouf and Even Stevens co-star Christy Carlson Romano have gone on to lead lives that could have easily been the futures of their respective characters Louis and Ren Stevens.
7. Kelli Berglund
Kelli Berglund is considered “one to watch” and it’s largely thanks to her role in two Disney Channel original series: Lab Rats and its spin-off Lab Rats: Elite Force. Like many Disney stars that exhibit a lot of promise as a future major star, she was given a role in one of Disney Channel’s original movies. In Kelli’s case that film was How To Build A Better Boy.
Kelli might be the hippest Disney star to date as she was busted at the Coachella music festival at the young age of 20 while trying to use a fake ID. Fortunately a huge deal wasn’t made about the incident and Berglund was let back into the festival to continue [legally] partying.
6. Jake T. Austin
One of my hidden shames as an adult male is I really liked the show Wizards of Waverly Place. As in, I really liked Wizards of Waverly Place. I don’t mean I’m now an adult and I was a teen when it aired. I was an adult when it aired. I made sure I was home to watch the late night block of repeats and laughed out loud at many of the show’s gags. Needless to say, it came as quite a surprise to me when the youngest cast member, Jake T. Austin, was arrested and charged with a DUI after being part of a four-car hit and run crash back in 2013.
5. Ryan Gosling
Believe it or not, squeaky clean Ryan Gosling has also earned the DUI every former Disney star seems to eventually receive. Back in 2005, Gosling was arrested under suspicion of a DUI. Instead of getting a high-priced attorney and denying everything like most celebrities would in his situation, Gosling owned up to what he had done and plead guilty, resulting in a charge for the lesser crime of “exhibiting speed”. Gosling was originally charged with driving under the influence and having a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of .08.
What’s that? Gosling isn’t a Disney Star? Incorrect! He was indeed a member of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club. His involvement was apparently overshadowed by cast members like Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.
4. Christina Aguilera
Christina is another one from the the late ’80s and early ’90s era of The Mickey Mouse Club. When you combine Mickey Mouse Club with another Disney show, Kids Incorporated, Disney was responsible for a lot of major stars. The kids of Kids Incorporated seemed to keep their noses a bit cleaner because Christina joins Mr. Gosling and Ms. Spears of the MMC for racking up an arrest.
Aguilera was arrested in 2011 for public intoxication when her boyfriend at the time was pulled over for driving erratically. According to officers, Aguilera was not belligerent and was very compliant with officers. Unfortunately she was so wasted she didn’t know where she was and she couldn’t stand. Officers arrested Aguilera for her own safety.
3. Justin Martin
Back in 2015 Justin Martin, one of the stars of High School Musical 3, got into a pretty heated altercation that resulted in a number of gun charges, one of them involving pointing a gun at a police officer.
Apparently, Martin was being accosted by another group of young men carrying firearms. When police in an unmarked car showed up, Martin assumed this was another member of the crew that had aggressively approached him. As one would imagine, pointing a gun at an officer is a huge no-no.
Martin went to jail for 18 months and in that time began talking at schools about making better choices and accepting responsibility for your actions. His situation, along with others on this list who have bounced back, just show you don’t have to spend the rest of your life being defined by a single mistake.
2. David Henrie
David Henrie is probably the least guilty person on this list. Henrie’s arrest lasted only a couple of hours and all seemed to be a big misunderstanding that was able to simmer down on its own.
Henrie and his brother Lorenzo got into a mild skirmish with some security guards when Lorenzo was reported by witnesses to have been talking and laughing about a group of people who had previously made a scene while leaving a Universal lot. Witnesses say a security guard came up and pushed Lorenzo, which provoked David into going to help his little brother. The guards held Lorenzo down while another guard kept David from getting to him. Arrests were made, but witnesses say the guards were clearly in the wrong, which may had been what led to everything being dropped in a matter of hours.
1. Mackenzie Phillips
MacKenzie started life in the spotlight early as a child actor, best known for her work on the original run of the series One Day At A Time back in 1975. MacKenzie maintained a pretty good career in film and television and eventually made it on the Disney paranormal series So Weird as the young, hip mother. This role was considered a comeback for Mackenzie as it was known that she had a long battle with drugs and alcohol in her past. Her past sadly caught back up to her in 2008 when she was being screened at an LA airport. Security found balloons and baggies filled with heroin and cocaine.
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