The Expert: Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007!

The Expert: Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007!

The Expert: Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007!

New York Observer

What better way to lighten your Monday load than with a little celebrity lifestyle coaching from Patrick Wanis, PhD? He’s just miraculously survived an invasion of legion New Yorkers in town for Art Basel Miami. Despite all that distraction, he offered up a gargantuan platter of super-chewy goss. It’s The Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007!

We’ve included his list, which Mr. Wanis released only to The Daily Transom, but we decided to focus first on El Numero Uno: the biggest celebrity train wreck of the year-at least in Mr. Wanis’ view. And you’ll likely never guess who it is. (Hint: It’s not Britney Spears. It’s not Lindsay Lohan. And it sure ain’t Paris Hilton.)

Speaking to the idea of a “celebrity meltdown,” Mr. Wanis acknowledged that a lot of people think celebrities have always been a mess. They claim, he said, that it’s just that today’s technology makes keeping track of their every slip-up too easy. “It’s not just our ability because of technology to know more about their lives. It’s that their lives are in much greater turmoil than ever before,” he told us, adding: “They are losing sight of who they really are. They’re getting carried away by their persona, by their image, and by the grandeurs of delusion and power. It’s a corruption of power.”

After composing his list, Mr. Wanis was able to find a pattern, one common theme linking all the stars on his list. “They all need help,” he mused. “Help beyond just going into a rehab clinic or a detox clinic. Most of them need to actually deal with their inner demons. And not just try to escape them via drugs, alcohol and partying.”

So, back to the number one meltdown of 2007-it’s Boy George! Yup, the Karma Chameleon himself fills Mr. Wanis’ top slot this year for celebrity meltdowns. Why? Namely, because the Culture Clubber (a.k.a. George Alan O’Dowd) has been arrested and charged with falsely imprisoning Auden Karlsen, a 28-year-old Norwegian male model, in his East London home. According to Mr. Karlsen’s testimony, he was lured under false pretenses to Mr. George’s apartment, where the sassy singer then produced whips and sex toys, shouting, “Now you’ll get what you deserve.” Handcuffed to Mr. George’s wall, Mr. Karlsen claims that his escape was only possible because he yanked on his handcuffs hard enough to dislodge a hook holding him down.

“He never had a voice as a child. So he set out to be a singer so he could express himself, and his clothes have always been about him trying to express himself. He’s a rebel,” Mr. Wanis said. “But how much more extreme can you get? What an amazing reflection of the deeper pain and problems he has when he is obviously engaging an escort. Ok, so [Mr. Karlsen] says it was for photographs, but what did they do after the photographs? And then he chains him to a wall, pulls out sex toys and whips and says, “Now you’re going to get what you deserve!’? I mean, did he think about playing the song, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” while he was doing all that?” asked Mr. Wanis with a light chuckle.

Oh, and Mr. George is kind of old, which really means something, said Mr. Wanis. “Britney‘s still in her twenties, but he’s forty-six! He may not look it, because he dresses well and he covers it up with a lot of makeup, although he’s become pudgy. He’s not that slender, toned person he was back in the eighties. Britney’s still young; Paris is still young; Lindsay‘s still young. So there is a difference, and they have time to heal now while they’re young,” he said.

Without further ado, here is Mr. Wanis’ Top Ten Celebrity Meltdowns of 2007:

Two: Britney Spears
2007 has probably been the worst year of Britney’s life with so many bizarre behaviors -fights with the paparazzi and her mother, custody battles, binge drinking and car accidents. However, the number one meltdown is the shaving of her head. Few people realized how serious this incident was and what it signified. Although in some cultures, shaving the head can represent cleansing or letting go of the old self, in Britney’s case it was really more about self-mutilation and self-loathing than a spiritual ritual. She still needs help.

Three: Paris Hilton
She violated the terms of her drunk-driving probation and landed in jail for almost three weeks. But it was Paris’ behavior – crying out ‘mom’ and being physically dragged out of court that revealed that Paris is emotionally trapped in her adolescent years. Her acts of arrogance, entitlement and superiority only fooled some people – she is suffering from narcissism.

Four: Lindsay Lohan
Lohan’s behavior places her in the Brat Pack along with Paris and Britney. And just like them she too had a problem with alcohol and partying and, a domineering mother and a poor relationship with dad. Finally, after two drunk-driving arrests in four months, Lohan was mature enough to admit to the world that she is addicted to alcohol and drugs and set out to get help.

Five: Mindy McCready
Maybe the media doesn’t take Mindy seriously because she is a country singer and not a pop star, but her problems are serious. In 2004, Mindy was sentenced to three years’ probation after being convicted on a prescription drug fraud charge. But she broke that violation this year when she was charged with battery and resisting arrest when she allegedly scratched her mother’s face during a fight at their home. And to top it off, police said she had been drinking and got into a smackdown with a female deputy who was investigating the domestic dispute.

Six: Keifer Sutherland
Four arrests for driving under the influence since 1988! And the latest one, at twice the legal alcohol limit of 0.08! This meltdown is partly about power and delusion. Kiefer, after all, is ‘24′’s Jack Bauer – he breaks all the rules and always gets away with it. The problem here is that Sutherland wasn’t on set and when off the set he would be helping himself to deal with the real pain and real self that he is trying to escape.

Seven: Owen Wilson
Owen has always appeared on screen as the affable, happy-go-lucky guy who always scores with the women. And he did score well off screen as well. But when it was revealed that police responded to a report of a suicide attempt at his Santa Monica home, my first inkling and intuition was that it was connected to a woman, possibly the breakup with Kate Hudson a couple of months before. We forget that celebrities are still human and suffer the same pain as the rest of us when it relates to rejection, breakups or unrequited love.

Eight: Alec Baldwin
Threatening and insulting your 11 year old daughter in a phone message is a serious emotional breakdown that warrants the immediate help of a therapist. An enraged Baldwin left a message for Ireland, his daughter calling her a “thoughtless little pig,” threatening to “straighten your ass out when I see you”, telling her she doesn’t have the brain of a human being and then verbally bashing her mother and his ex-wife, Kim Basinger as “a thoughtless pain in the ass who doesn’t care about you.” Maybe this is one of the most extreme meltdowns of 2007 because it emotionally damages a vulnerable child.

Nine: Ellen DeGeneres
Ellen owes much of her success to being the amicable, what-you-see-is-what-you-get comedienne who is always happy, and happy to make fun of herself. But her viewers were shocked to see Ellen crying on national TV pleading for an animal shelter to return to her friends the dog she adopted but gave away to those friends. Ellen admitted that she was to blame also adding that the puppy was “too much energy and too rambunctious” for her cats. Ellen’s heart was in the right place but making it public led to death threats against the shelter and suddenly Ellen’s meltdown caused people to place more emphasis on a dog’s home than human life. How would Ellen respond on TV if she discussed the 2.5 million people who lost their homes and the 400,000 civilians who were murdered in the Darfur Genocide?

Ten: Michael Vick/OJ Simpson
It’s a tie, and ironically, they are both football stars! After getting away with what some people would say is murder, thirteen years later, O.J. Simpson will stand trial on robbery and kidnapping charges over a Las Vegas hotel room confrontation. It appears arrogance, delusions of grandeur and self-sabotage led OJ to believe he really can get away with anything and more than once…Well, maybe not!

After entering a guilty plea to federal dogfighting charges in August, Michael Vick was told that a condition of his release is that he be randomly drug tested until his December sentencing date. Two weeks later he tests positive for marijuana. This is another example of celebrity stupidity, entitlement and delusion; the delusion that because someone has fame and fortune they can get away with anything and everything. Ironically, Vick’s lead defense counsel then tells the media: “This is a very difficult time for Mr. Vick.” Yes, it is -because we create our own reality.

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