Celebrity meltdowns that erupted on social media

Celebrity meltdowns are nothing new, but sometimes they happen on a grand cyber scale. It's easy to forget that social media is a fairly recent development, and our access to stars' unfettered personal thoughts and daily activities as we scroll through their feeds is relatively unprecedented. Social media is a powerful tool for reaching millions of followers quickly, and some celebs tend to be pretty free with their opinions and images (much to the chagrin of many a PR professional.) 

Unfortunately for some celebrities, their musings and rants on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the like have occasionally led to fairly serious consequences and heaps of negative press, and in some cases, digital meltdowns have actually signaled real-life crises.

Which stars have seen their personal lives or their careers take a hit when they've unleashed on social media? From musicians to actors to a hall of fame athlete, keep reading to find out.

Alec Baldwin doesn't tweet others the way he'd want to be tweeted

Actor Alec Baldwin has found himself in hot water a number of times after going off the rails in response to perceived slights. Perhaps his most infamous social media meltdown occurred when a reporter at the Daily Mail accused Baldwin's wife of tweeting during actor James Gandolfini's funeral in June 2013.

According to The Huffington Post, Baldwin took to his Twitter account to call the journalist a "b****," and that's not all. "I'm gonna find you … you toxic little queen, and I'm gonna f**k … you … up." The Daily Mail promptly removed the article

That social media tirade signaled bigger problems to come. Later that year, the 30 Rock star allegedly launched anti-gay slurs at a New York Post photographer. That incident got him fired from MSNBC.

In November 2017, Baldwin stirred up more drama when he got into it on Twitter with actress Asia Argento over comments he made about the #MeToo movement. According to VultureBaldwin then quit Twitter but continued to tweet at Argento and her boyfriend, the late Anthony Bourdain, from his foundation's social media. Bourdain later told the Daily Beast that his advice to Baldwin would be: "Just shut up." As of this writing, the actor's social media is up and running but pretty quiet, so he might have taken Bourdain's advice on this one.

Tyrese Gibson blames the meds for his Insta meltdown

In 2017, actor Tyrese Gibson posted a series of emotional and disconcerting messages to Instagram that gave followers an inside look at his legal battles with his ex-wife, Norma, over custody of their daughter. "Norma I know you can see this, I'm sorry I got re-married, I'm sorry we didn't work out… " Okay, so perhaps that doesn't seem so bad, but…

Gibson followed that up by reportedly hiring a plane to fly over his daughter's school with a banner that said, "No Matter What, Daddy Loves You Shayla." He also posted a series of photos of his daughter on Instagram, writing, "I wanted the banner to be longer but it's was too expensive…" He then uploaded a video to his Facebook page in which he sobs and begs, "Don't take my baby, please don't take my baby." 

Needless to say, all of this social media activity left fans and followers scratching their heads. The Wrap reported that Gibson explained in a since-deleted Instagram post in November 2017, that prescription drugs were to blame for his erratic behavior. He reportedly wrote, "because of this high stress and very traumatic experience I was advised then ultimately connected with multiple therapist and psychiatrist … this particular drug that was suggested although maybe helpful to others had an adverse effect on me and this is the reason I had a complete meltdown online."

Roseanne Barr destroys her show in one fell tweet

One tweet was all it took for Roseanne Barr to bring her entire professional life crashing down around her. The offending social media message made its way into the world on May 29, 2018, when Barr (who has a long history of tweeting offensive material) equated former Barack Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett to "muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby." 

Barr apologized for her offending tweet the same day, posting: "I am now leaving Twitter… I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans…I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste." She also tried to blame Ambien, a claim the sleep aid swiftly shut down on Twitter. Also that same day, ABC canceled the highly successful Roseanne reboot. 

P.S. Barr didn't quit Twitter.

Amanda Bynes drags the Obamas and Drake into her Twittersphere

Actress Amanda Bynes had perhaps one of the most notorious and public social media meltdowns in Hollywood history. According to Complex, Bynes' Twitter account showed signs of trouble as early as 2010, when her missives became increasingly bizarre and aggressive. At one point, she reached out directly to Barack Obama's campaign, asking for help after she was arrested for drunk driving. (For the record: she later called Michelle Obama "ugly.") At another point, she declared she wanted rapper Drake to "murder my vagina."

So what was really going on behind those tweets? The actress was apparently battling a string of mental health-related issues and was involuntarily admitted to a treatment facility in October 2014. Thus began her slow road to recovery, which has since included long breaks from social media; enrollment at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles; and the mending her rocky relationship with her parents. 

Bynes still tweets every now and then, but her output is way more chill. In February 2018, she posted a snap of a casual dinner with friends.

Courtney wasn't feeling the love in 2009

In this case, angry Tweets actually led to lawsuits. In 2011, singer Courtney Love agreed to cough up $430,000 to fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir, who claimed Love ruined her business via a 2009 rant on Twitter. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Love had accused Simorangkir of being a "drug-pushing, thieving prostitute with a history of assault and battery." 

Love later mocked Simorangkir in an interview on the The Howard Stern Show, which led to a second lawsuit. Love wound up shilling out another $350,000, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

If that wasn't enough, Love actually went to trial to defend herself in a defamation lawsuit filed by her former attorney. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Love prevailed in what was "believed to be the first trial in a U.S. courtroom involving allegations of defamation on Twitter." 

Moral of the story? If you don't have anything nice to tweet, maybe don't tweet at all.

Shia LaBeouf isn't shy about sharing his views

Actor Shia LaBeouf has developed a reputation for some pretty out-there behavior — like, you know, the time he watched all of his movies for three straight days, or the time he fought with a homeless man hours before getting arrested at a Broadway musical or… you get the idea.

Looking back, LaBeouf's Twitter page might have foreshadowed some of the drama. According to The Telegraph, his social media featured some fairly strange content, including bizarre instances of plagiarism. He also got into a weird feud with actor Jim Carrey after Carrey mocked LaBeouf at the 2014 Golden Globes, prompting LaBeouf to tweet: "If you explain @JimCarrey you've killed him, Nobody knows if it's for real or not. That way he's immortal." Wait, what?

There's more: LaBeouf was arrested for public intoxication in July 2017, after which he tweeted an apology. In a March 2018 interview with Esquire, he discussed rehab and sobriety. "For a long time, I thought that life was secondary to art … I'm just trying to deal with my life right now, 'cause I don't have f**k-all to offer the world until I do." Aside from posts about his art and the odd rant here and there, LaBeouf has been relatively quiet on social media as of late, and that's probably a good thing.

Azealia Banks gets grounded from Twitter

Rapper Azealia Banks has stirred up a ton of drama with other celebs on Twitter, feuding with everyone from Lady Gaga and Iggy Azalea to Pharrell and Russell Crowe, just to name a few. According to XXL magazine, she finally crossed the line in 2016, when Banks went after 14-year-old Disney star Skai Jackson and made racist statements toward singer Zayn Malik. In May of that year, Banks' Twitter account was suspended.

Of course, that didn't stop Banks from taking to Facebook to praise Donald Trump's victory in November 2016. She also turned to Instagram to feud with Rihanna over the president's controversial travel ban in January 2017. "As far as rihanna (who isn't a citizen, and can't vote) and all the rest of the celebrities who are using their influence to stir the public, you lot really REALLY need to shut up and sit down," she posted (via the Daily Mail). She reportedly shared Riri's phone number online, too.

Banks did eventually get her Twitter account back, but it was offline yet again by June 2018. According to XXL Magazine, the social media mayhem resumed when RuPaul's Drag Race contestant Monét X Change tweeted to Banks: "Do you not realize that the LGBTQIA+ Community is the ONLY reason you have a career?" Banks quickly fired back, "your crotch is rotting and fermenting…" It's unclear if Banks was suspended or if she deactivated her Twitter, but we can likely expect this social media volcano to eventually erupt again.

Kanye West knows how to stir the pot

For all intents and purposes, Kanye West had a pretty awful 2016. Nowhere was that more evident than on his Twitter account, which quickly became the rapper's go-to place to post disconcerting rants. In one instance, he claimed he was $53 million in debt and pleaded for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to "invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas."

From freak-outs at Saturday Night Live to on-stage rants about Beyoncé and Jay Z and the abrupt cancellation of his Saint Pablo tour, West appeared to be on the fast track to some type of breakdown. It all came to a head in November 2016, when West was hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation. The meltdown was later blamed on his erratic use of prescription medication, but it seemed like he was on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, West's behavior raised eyebrows again in April 2018, when he returned to Twitter after an extended break to languish praise on President Donald Trump: "You don't have to agree with trump but the mob can't make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother." Politics aside, West's social media comeback dovetailed with an ill-advised publicity tour that included a stop at the TMZ studios for an infamous interview in which he characterized slavery as a "choice."

Instagram insults nearly cost Adam Richman his show

In 2014, former Man v. Food host Adam Richman posted a photo to his Instagram page using the hashtag #thinspiration, prompting a user to note that the term was most often used on pro-eating disorder websites. Richman responded by calling the follower a "c**t." Well, that escalated quickly. Unfortunately, Richman was just warming up. He told another commenter to "eat a bag of s**t" and encouraged another to commit suicide. This entire meltdown was recapped in detail, courtesy of BuzzFeed.

The Travel Channel reportedly delayed the airing of Richman's show, Man Finds Food, which was slated to premiere on July 2, 2014. The show eventually debuted in June 2015, after Richman issued a statement of apology (via E! News). "My behavior was unbecoming and unacceptable," he said, in part. "Instead of responding to comments with compassion, I lashed out in anger."

We're happy to report that Richman seems to have either grown a thicker skin or cultivated a glass half-full approach to life. He made headlines again in June 2018, when he pledged to cut back on the gloom and doom and "do my best to push whatever rain I'm dealing with out of the way and make sure I give you guys lots of awesome rainbows to look forward to."

One Twitter pic unravels Anthony Weiner's career

It all started with a tweet. U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's political career began to unravel in 2011, after he accidentally posted a crotch shot to his public Twitter feed. The photo, which Weiner claimed was part of a hacking, launched a media firestorm that eventually revealed that the lawmaker had been engaging in sexual conversations with multiple women online. He resigned from Congress in June 2011.

After making the rounds to apologize profusely to the public and to his wife, Huma Abedin, the scorned politician kicked off a campaign for mayor of New York City in 2013. It had all the makings of a true comeback story — until the press discovered that he hadn't stopped chatting up women online. Weiner (known online as "Carlos Danger,") dropped out of the race.

Shockingly, he was back at it again in 2016. According to the New York Post, Weiner was still sexting photos of his crotch, but this time, his son was also in some of the images. Just when you think this scandal can't get any worse, The New York Times reported that the F.B.I.'s investigation into illicit text messages Weiner allegedly sent to a 15-year-old girl became the catalyst for Hillary Clinton's email scandal, part deux. Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison in September 2017, and his divorce from Abedin was settled in 2018. 

And to think it all started with one misplaced Tweet.

Sinead O'Connor's sounds the alarm on Facebook

Singer Sinead O'Connor posted a lengthy Facebook diatribe that set alarm bells ringing about her wellbeing in November 2015. "The last two nights finished me off. I have taken an overdose," she posted. "There is no other way to get respect. … I'm at a hotel, somewhere in Ireland, under another name If I wasn't posting this, my kids and family wouldn't even find out."

Within hours, O'Connor, who has battled mental illness for decades, was reported to be "safe and sound" and receiving medical treatment. Billboard subsequently reported that her behavior stemmed "from a battle with Irish folk musician Donal Lunny, the father of her youngest son, Shane." Lunny reportedly wouldn't let O'Connor see their son because of her alleged psychological needs.

O'Connor went missing again in a suburb of Chicago in May 2016, but was later found safe. In August 2017, a tearful O'Connor posted a video to Facebook expressing suicidal feelings. When fans voiced concern, her reps posted to her page, confirming that the singer was again receiving treatment. During a September 2017 appearance on Dr. Phil, O'Connor explained that her mental health problems came from hormonal fluctuations following a hysterectomy. In 2018, she performed in the States for the first time in four years under the name Magda Davitt, so let's hope that's a sign that her life is progressing in a positive direction. 

Jose Canseco's hot takes on harassment get him canned

Six-time Major League Baseball all-star Jose Canseco has a reputation for being a loose cannon on Twitter. According to the Daily Mail, he went on a long and nasty Twitter rant against his then-girlfriend, Leila Shennib, in July 2011. He even shared her phone number online, later explaining that, "When I said I'd never forgive or forget what she said, I wanted people to call her and ask her about what she's said and what she did."

Canseco's tweets ended up costing him personally and professionally. In December 2017, he was fired from a broadcasting gig with NBC Sports California after he tweeted his thoughts on politicians and sexual molestation, including this: "What is going on with all these politicians molesting women I've been molested by several women and never complained." And this: "Well I mean I've been beaten by women taken advantage of by women and molested by women I never complain but it was kind of a turn-on." Those tweets have since been deleted, but Canseco's job meltdown was permanent. 

To date, Canseco continues to avidly tweet about neutrinoshandcuffing lightning, and being "a starfleet commander in the space force." Don't say you haven't been warned.

Rob Kardashian's roller coaster of revenge

Reality TV star Rob Kardashian used Snapchat to vent in a big way after his fianceé, Blac Chyna, moved out of his house with their newborn daughter in December 2016. Bizarrely, Kardashian seemed especially concerned about the food that Chyna took with her: "She took all my food, like, all my food which is just crazy … Everything, all my chips, everything. She took all my drinks … all the Eggos … But wait, where's my sugar? She took my sugar. She took my open bag of my favorite chips." Kardashian later apologized to Chyna on Instagram, explaining that he had been in "an emotional bad place." He went to an even worse place in July 2017, when he shared an explicit photo that was allegedly a part of Chyna's body to social media.That set off a high-profile legal firestorm.

It's worth mentioning that Kardashian has been ranting and raving on social media for some time. He once compared his sister, Kim Kardashian, to the psychotic protagonist of Gone Girl; and he tweeted half-sister Kylie Jenner's cell phone number to the public. For what it's worth: Chyna has also tweeted Rob's number, so there's blame to go around between these two.

Tila Tequila: reality star turned white supremacist

Former reality star Tila Tequila raised a lot of eyebrows when she posted a photo of her performing a Nazi salute to her Twitter account in November 2016. Her social media page was quickly suspended, but that post was part of a pattern of disturbing social media behavior from Tequila. According to The Huffington Post, she tweeted, "I'm a white supremacist!" and asked her followers, "Are you and your people ready to be rounded up to FEMA camps? Actually, that may be letting you off too easy!" 

Tequila previously raised alarms on Twitter when she released a series of seemingly suicidal tweets in 2009. She later released a statement (via E! News), that said, "I am a bit embarrassed and ashamed that the whole world witnessed my very public meltdown about being suicidal, but at the same time, I know that I shouldn't be."

What she should be embarrassed about, however, is her incredibly judgmental February 2018 Facebook post that called Kim Kardashian a "jezebel wh**e" and berated anyone who follows "ANYONE who is posting provocative photos because it is causing [their] eyes to sin!" Enough already.