The Untold Truth Of These Disney Channel Stars

There's nothing the tabloids love more than a Disney Channel star who's fallen from grace — whether or not the reputation is actually warranted. The truth is that being difficult isn't always terrible. In fact, it can lead to great art. Shia LaBeouf may annoy his fellow cast members by pulling out his own teeth and refusing to shower, but his commitment to method acting leads to incredible performances. For other Disney stars like Bella Thorne or the Sprouse twins, breaking free of the Mouse's marionette strings was a nightmare for no one other than the over-controlling network.

Growing up on screen isn't easy, and a handful of child actors have fallen into the trap of substance abuse and castmate squabbles (everyone who's lived through middle school knows teen hormones have a particularly nasty effect on our psyche). From rehab to straight-up cat fights — these Disney Channel stars have quite the reputation.

Bella Thorne loves shaking it up

Bella Thorne never wanted to become a Disney Channel star, so it's not surprising that she never really acted like one. After becoming a household name alongside Zendaya in Disney's Shake It Up, the star admitted that she only took the gig for the cash. "Do you think that I wanted to be a Disney girl? Did you think I wanted to do that?" she told MTV's Happy Sad Confused podcast. "We were about to live physically on the street if I didn't have that role."

Since the show's cancellation, Thorne has made quite a few headlines, including bravely coming out as bisexual, posting topless photos on Instagram, and canoodling with Scott Disick. Oh, and she was also reportedly a nightmare on the set of the Freeform series Famously In Love. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the starlet exhibited "diva-like behavior" so much so that production was relieved when the series was canceled.

According to Thorne, that's not at all how things went down. The actress told The Los Angeles Times that the network had bullied her and called her ugly in an email. She said they labelled her a diva "because they were scared I was going to go running my mouth if I was upset." Welp, they weren't exactly wrong. But if being difficult means standing up for yourself — Bella, you go girl.

Demi Lovato's Disney ride was no Camp Rock

Demi Lovato may have risen to fame as the smiley girl next door from Disney's Camp Rock, but, as noted by People, the star has battled substance abuse, eating disorders, and mental illness throughout her entire career. At one point, it affected her work so much that her manager, Phil McIntyre, threatened to quit.

In her documentary Simply Complicated, Lovato revealed things came to a head after an incident where she punched a backup dancer following an Adderall and alcohol-fueled party while touring for Camp Rock 2. She finally got clean in 2013.

"I was not easy to work with," she admitted. "I was using while I had a sober companion, and I went through about 20 different sober companions." She added, "I didn't feel anything. I didn't feel guilty. I didn't feel embarrassed. ... I would sneak out, get drugs. ... I would fake my drug tests with other people's pee ... and I'd lie straight to their faces."

Lovato managed to maintain six years of sobriety, but was hospitalized after an alleged overdose in July 2018. Following a 90-day stint in rehab, People reported that she's been splitting her time between her mother's home and a sober house while her Lovatics cheer her on from afar.

If only Raven could have predicted this cat fight

Raven-Symoné is one of those rare Disney Channel stars who almost constantly worked for the network throughout the early 2000s. Her portfolio proved her versatility — from roles in classics like Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century to voicework in Kim Possible to finally landing her own series, That's So Raven. Though the starlet obviously wasn't misbehaving enough to get booted by the Mouse, she did have a few unfortunate fumbles with her Cheetah Girls crew. Mainly, they really didn't get along.

"It was weird, putting together young women our ages — 19 to 22 — one of whom had not been in the mix," she once reportedly revealed (via J-14). "I'll be honest. There were territorial issues. There were catfights. It was not all peaches and cream off camera."

Today, Raven-Symoné is older but maybe not wiser. The star is perhaps best known for causing catfights on The View with her controversial opinions (see: the now-historic Watermelondrea incident). The Wrap claims these comments were precisely what led to her exit from the talk show, but, more likely, it may have been her Disney spin-off Raven's Home.

Miley was just being Miley

Miley Cyrus has largely put her twerking days behind her and her tongue back inside of her mouth. You're more likely to see her cuddling with her pigs than grinding on a middle-aged pop star, but her chill demeanor shouldn't be surprising. The star admitted to smoking "a lot of weed" before quitting cannabis in 2017. Hey, she isn't a Disney star anymore!

Cyrus' inherently easy-going nature is apparently something she developed later in life. According to the New York Daily News, Cyrus used to display "diva-like behavior" on the Hannah Montana set, which allegedly caused a rift between her and co-stars Emily Osment and Mitchel Musso. Cyrus was also reportedly jealous of Osment's rising profile, and her dad was said to have "severely" dissed Disney execs.

To Cyrus' credit, being one of the most famous teens on the planet couldn't have been easy. In an interview with Marie Claire, the star admitted, "I just had to keep going, be tough, be strong. Everything happened to me on that set." This included getting her first period which left her writhing in embarrassment and tears. The 12-hour work days were apparently so grueling that her mom "suggested bringing in lights for seasonal affective disorder" and she regularly suffered from "anxiety attacks" that forced her to cancel shows.

Dylan and Cole Sprouse walked out of Disney and never returned

Dylan and Cole Sprouse have had some distance from the Disney channel — which probably gave them a little perspective. And gave the Suite Life of Zack and Cody stars time to regularly roast each other on Twitter. Leave it to your twin brother to poke you when you're still reeling from a nude photo scandal. Like the ghosts of the Disney stars that came before him, Dylan appears to be pretty talented at brushing off the controversy. Apparently, neither of the twins have a problem telling anyone to shove it — even if it's their network.

In a Salon interview, Dylan claimed he pitched an idea for a Suite Life spin-off with his brother. Execs turned them down but later re-pitched them the same idea with slight differences as if it were brand new. That's when the brothers walked out and never returned.

"Cole and I turned to each other and we basically laughed in their faces and walked out," he told Salon (via Us Weekly). "And that was the last meeting we had with Disney."

Dylan later admitted in a Tumblr post (via E! News) that he and his brother stood up to Disney "hundreds of times" and refused to do things they didn't want to do. As such, they may have been an utter nightmare for the notoriously controlling hand of the Mouse — but we're glad they did things on their terms.

Sarah Hyland's nightmare co-star

It's safe to say that Matthew Prokop isn't exactly a household name. If anything, he's more known for dating Modern Family star Sarah Hyland than he is for his portrayal of Jimmie Zara in High School Musical 3 or his role in the Disney Channel original Geek Charming. Unfortunately, their relationship reportedly wasn't healthy.

According to People, Hyland met Prokop at an audition for High School Musical. They later starred together in Geek Charming, and proceeded to date for five years — four of which were allegedly horrific. In 2014, Hyland sought a temporary restraining order against Prokop. According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the Geek Charming star "pinned Hyland against a car during an argument about her outfit" while "calling her 'c**t, c**t c**t' and choking her." The starlet allegedly "could not breathe or speak" and was "scared and in fear for [her] life." Prokop also allegedly threatened to commit suicide, to set her house on fire, and to possibly harm her dog. His behavior was reportedly so troubling that the director of Prokop's rehab facility contacted Hyland and told her it would be in her best interest to get a restraining order.

According to TMZ, Hyland was granted the restraining order the following month — and Prokop had stay away from her puppy, too.

Lindsay Lohan's tragic fall from Disney stardom

Lindsay Lohan didn't start out with a reputation marred by drug use and erratic behavior (including that bizarre, live-streamed alleged kidnapping attempt). At one point, the famed redhead was a fledgling Disney superstar with leading roles in well-received remakes like Parent Trap. According to IndieWire, things started to fall apart for her on the set of Herbie: Fully Loaded. Amidst recording an album in her trailer and working 14-hour days, Lohan was hospitalized for a "kidney infection," according to The Daily Beast (via IBT). This is when the rumors of her drug use and hard partying began.

In 2006, the Get a Clue star was scolded by the CEO of Morgan Creek Productions in a letter obtained by The Smoking Gun. She was allegedly "acting like a spoiled child" on the set of Georgia Rule. There's perhaps no account more infamous than The New York Times' scathing piece about Lohan's non-comeback The Canyons (aptly titled "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie"). Lohan was reportedly fired before they even began after skipping out on a couple of meetings. She was eventually rehired after she stormed director Paul Schrader's hotel room, "pounded on doors" until she found him, and "texted him manically" while hysterically crying when he wouldn't let her in.

The Canyons maintains a dismal 22 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Shia LaBeouf takes it way too far

Shia LaBeouf is undeniably one of Hollywood's most eccentric actors — and that's bound to ruffle some feathers. While he didn't appear to cause any problems on the set of Disney's Even Stevens or Holes, somewhere along the line he developed a not-so-great reputation. The beloved child star is so hated that, according to The Washington Post, someone once got punched just for looking like him.

Part of LaBeouf's bad rep stems from the fact that he reportedly takes method acting too far. Some might call it genius, others might call it crazy, but most people can agree that it drives his castmates up a wall. According to The Daily Mail, LaBeouf's behavior on the set of Fury was so erratic that he alienated himself from Brad Pitt and Jason Isaacs. He allegedly "pulled out his own tooth" and "refused to shower for weeks on end." It was apparently so bad that the former Even Stevens star was warned about his behavior and ended up staying at a separate hotel away from the rest of the production.

LaBeouf even admitted to Page Six that he spooked co-star Mia Wasikowska after getting a little too meta with his moonshine drinking on the set of Lawless. "Mia was ready to walk away from the movie. I was really pretty aggressive about it ... I don't think she had ever experienced anything like that," he said.  

From spin-off to downward spiral

There's a reason Orlando Brown hasn't appeared in Disney's That's So Raven spin-off. Apparently, Raven's on-screen bestie has been the subject of some unsavory press. According to TMZ, the star was arrested for a DUI, allegedly threatened to kill a woman in 2014, and was arrested in 2016 for domestic battery and "drug possession with the intent to sell." The drug of choice? Methamphetamine (always a classy move). The star also reportedly went missing for a brief period in 2008.

Despite all that — and that's already a lot — the former That's So Raven star caused some drama with the show's lead Raven-Symoné. In an interview with VladTV, he claimed to have had a sexual relationship with the Disney Channel star, then proceeded to describe her breasts in uncomfortable detail. If that didn't annoy Raven enough, things crossed over into creepy territory when Brown tattooed a portrait of her on his chest and neck in 2018. Needless to say, she's probably thrilled his role on Raven's House was recast.

Meth charges aren't exactly Disney's cup of tea

It may have been smooth-sailing for Lalaine Vergara-Paras on the set of Lizzie McGuire, but the child star's most troubling years proved to be a nightmare for the Mouse. It's safe to say Disney wouldn't want one of their most iconic supporting characters ending up in the throes of a methamphetamine charge.

According to TMZ, Vergara-Paras, who played Lizzie McGuire's artsy BFF Miranda, pleaded guilty after being "charged with felony possession of methamphetamine" in 2007. Around that time, she lost contact with her Disney Channel co-stars. In an interview with The Huffington Post, the former child star referred to that period of her life as her "dark years."

"I just went nuts and stupid, just being angry and acting like I was so bada**," she said. "That just turned into me digging myself in a deep hole, and after I got arrested that was like a slap in the face that I needed to turn my perspective around."

Vergara-Paras later attended a drug treatment program, and her charge was reportedly expunged from her record. She allegedly holds "a job down to pay the bills."

Vanessa Hudgens' nude photo scandal was a Disney nightmare

Disney Channel star Vanessa Hudgens seems absolutely lovely by all accounts (just look at her adorable portrayal of Joan of Arc in Drunk History). In adulthood, the High School Musical star has grown into a Coachella fashion icon, but, at one point, she was Disney's biggest nightmare. In 2007, an 18-year-old Hudgens publicly apologized when her nude photos were leaked on the Internet.

In a Vulture essay, fellow Disney star Joe Jonas claimed he heard that Hudgens was kept in the Disney offices for a "whole day" because they "were trying to figure out how to keep her on lockdown." He claimed he'd "hear execs talking about it, and they would tell us that they were so proud of us for not making the same mistakes."

Transformers star Megan Fox later came out in support of the actress. During an interview with GQ, she said, "It's like, 'Oh, I'm sorry I took a naked, private picture that someone is an a**hole and sold for money. I'm sorry if someone else is a d**k.' No. You shouldn't have to apologize ... I hate Disney for making her do that."

Hudgens told Paper that the incident was "the worst moment" of her career and a "really sh***y situation that sucked."