If you're a celebrity with a serious problem, there's only so long until it becomes public. You can have the best publicist on the planet, but tabloids are desperate to find flaws.
Some celebrities make it easier than others. From racism to domestic violence, here's how some stars have killed their careers.
Racist remarks: Seen Michael Richards in anything lately? Not that he was doing a lot before, but the Seinfeld alum had at least at a budding standup career until he used racial slurs during his act. He tried to do damage control by explaining the flub as a failed bit, but it didn't work.
And ever since Mel Gibson's reported anti-Semitic tirade in the back of a police car, his career has had a long, slow death. His racism was confirmed in a recorded phone conversation with his ex, and no one has appeared to have forgiven Mel.
His new movie, The Beaver, is said to be one of his most touching performances, but while it's a hit among critics, the public can't seem to get past Mel Gibson's reputation. That, and, it's a movie about a beaver puppet.
Stealing: Ok, maybe not just stealing, because Winona Ryder still managed to somehow salvage her career. But frequent trips to and from court is like tying a noose around your career. Lindsay Lohan, for example, has had so many run-ins with the law, it was hard for her to nab another movie role, with executives describing her as "uninsurable."
Rehab: If you're in rehab all the time, when exactly are you available for shooting? After Charlie Sheen's last rehab stint and forthcoming meltdown, Warner Bros. had enough. They fired Charlie from Two and a Half Men and didn't waste much time discussing a replacement.
Others have made rehab work, though. The trick is to really get help, and then leave so you can get back to work.
Sometimes celebrities spend so much time in rehab, the only way they can make money from being on screen is if they end up on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.
Domestic violence: When Chris Brown was interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America in March, he blew up after she insisted on bringing up his violent past. Brown's window-smashing tirade only confirmed for the public that he was an abuser with a serious anger problem. Even Brown recognized his dying career, writing in an online statement:
"Right now I need all of my fans help. A lot of radio stations aren’t playing my records. They are not being that supportive and I wouldn’t expect them to. It’s on the fans and what you guys do in your power to bring me back. "
Let's face it, Brown. You committed career suicide.
Overall insanity: Anne Heche's career might have come back from the dead, but no doubt her long hiatus was due to no one in Hollywood taking her seriously. In 2000, Anne Heche broke up with long-time girlfriend Ellen DeGeneres and claimed that she was God, ready to take everyone back to heaven in a spaceship.
No one wants to work with a weirdo.
As much as the public will embrace a celebrity, one wrong turn, and they'll turn their backs on them. That's why publicists have jobs. We pay our celebrities well, and we'll be damned if our box office money is supporting someone who casually tosses around racial slurs or beats up women.