6 Celebrity Meltdowns That Dominated Headlines

Public celebrity meltdowns often capture headlines, though it’s usually at the expense of the entertainer.  While the social media era has offered a real-time glimpse into these moments, before Twitter and Instagram, celebrity outbursts were featured across tabloid covers worldwide. 

While some famous folks have used their platform to openly address these situations, others have spiraled further under the weight of scrutiny and pressure. Unfortunately, this has led to added struggles and potential damage to their careers and personal lives. While such incidents may keep us fixated on our phones for prolonged periods of time, they are also a reminder that individuals who built careers off of keeping fans entertained are still human beings, whose emotions often spill out in front of the world. 

Let’s take a trip down memory lane at some of the celebrity meltdowns that are still talked about today. 

1997 – Dennis Rodman kicked a cameraman in the groin after becoming upset during a game 

Dennis Rodman was no stranger to controversy throughout his career. However, during a 1997 basketball game between the Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Garnett and Dennis Rodman were seen tussling over the ball, and at some point, Rodman lost his balance. He fell next to cameraman Eugene Amos, who was filming the game, and seemingly for no reason, Rodman exchanged words with the man and then kicked him in his private area. He was suspended for 11 games. 


2007 – Britney Spears shaved her head and attacked a paparazzi with an umbrella

Britney Spears famously shaved her hair off and went after a paparazzi who tried to photograph her during the public meltdown that led to her strict conservatorship. When speaking about the infamous situation years later, she admitted that postpartum depression, losing custody of her sons to her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, and the loss of her aunt caused her to spiral, resulting in a public meltdown. 


2013 – Justin Bieber urinated in a mop bucket inside a restaurant

Singer Justin Bieber battled several issues, though one in particular that was caught on camera seemed to highlight his deep personal troubles.  In July 2013, the star was filmed urinating inside a mop bucket that was situated inside an eatery.  As people looked on, Bieber did not attempt to stop or retreat to a restroom, which was available. 


2018 – Cardi B tossed a shoe at Nicki Minaj during New York Fashion Week

Who can forget Cardi B in her red gown being held back by several men as she screamed at Nicki Minaj in September 2018?  Their issues had built up over time, and when the women came face to face, things took a nasty turn.  Cardi even tossed a shoe at her fellow rapper, who was also being surrounded by several guards.  The incident would leave Cardi with a large lump on her head, and she would later explain to W Magazine that she reacted so strongly due to Minaj continuing to “take a lot of shots” at her. 

2020 – Kanye West claimed Harriet Tubman never freed slaves before bursting into tears during his campaign rally

Kanye West’s presidential bid feels like a fever dream, but we, in fact, lived through this chaotic time. During his first campaign rally in July 2020, he made several odd claims, such as Harriet Tubman not actually helping free slaves. He also revealed that he and his ex-wife Kim Kardashian considered having an abortion while she was pregnant with North West. As he began speaking about his father once wanting his mother to have an abortion when she was pregnant with Ye, he immediately broke down in tears. 


2022 – Will Smith smacked Chris Rock during the Oscars

It’s only been two years since Will Smith shockingly slapped Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards. While he was banned from the award show soon after, many people rallied around Smith, who had grown tired of Rock’s jokes about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock previously made a GI Jane joke, referencing Pinkett Smith’s bald head due to alopecia. Smith has since apologized, but the slap remains a recent pop culture moment for the books. 

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