Hollywood celebrities often play dramatic roles on film, but their personal lives can be even more dramatic. Real-life drama in Hollywood routinely includes public divorces, frequently from equally famous spouses. Celebrities who are arrested even for minor offenses can expect to see the incident repeatedly on the evening news. A few celebrities have personal lives that are so chaotic they overshadow their careers. One such celebrity, Amanda Bynes, has exhibited increasingly erratic behavior over the past few years, culminating in multiple arrests during the summer of 2013.
Amanda Laura Bynes was born on April 3, 1986, and achieved early fame on Nickelodeon during that late 1990s and early 2000s with series such as "The Amanda Show" and "All That." She also starred on The WB's sitcom "What I Like About You" from 2002 to 2006. She also pursued a film career, beginning with the 2003 comedy "What a Girl Wants" and the 2006 comedy "She's the Man." Bynes also starred in two films in 2007—"Hairspray" and "Sydney White." Her most recent starring role was in the 2010 comedy "Easy A."
Bynes is best known for her role in "Hairspray," for which she won three cast awards. These awards include "Ensemble of the Year," awarded by the Hollywood Film Festival in 2007 and "Best Acting Ensemble" from the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, also in 2007. Bynes also won the "Ensemble Cast Award" from the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2008. Her award nominations include "Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture" from the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2008 and "Best Line From a Movie" from the MTV Movie Awards in 2011.
In 2010, the first public signs that Bynes was experiencing emotional difficulties manifested in her frequent indecision regarding her career. She appeared in "Maxim" magazine wearing only lingerie, a move many Hollywood insiders questioned since it sharply contrasted with the girl-next-door image she was known for. Bynes stated that the new look was who she was now and announced her retirement from acting in June 2010. Bynes then changed her mind the following month and announced that she was "unretired" on her Twitter page. Bynes also said she was taking time off from acting in an interview by "People" magazine at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards. She announced her retirement from acting again in September 2012, saying that she wanted to focus on a career in rapping and fashion design.
Bynes began to experience legal difficulties in 2012, beginning with a ticket for driving while talking on a cell phone in March of that year. She was also arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated in April, when she sideswiped a police car. Bynes was allegedly the perpetrator in two hit-and-run incidents during 2012, one in April and one in August. These incidents resulted in Bynes being charged in September 2012, although the charges were dropped in December, when Bynes made a financial settlement with the victims.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles suspended her driver's license in September 2012, and she was cited for driving on a suspended license later that same month. She pleaded no contest to that charge in May 2013 and received a sentence of three years' probation. Her DUI charges from 2012 are still pending as of July 2013.
Bynes's legal difficulties became more severe in 2013 when she was arrested in her Manhattan apartment in May. Bynes was charged with reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, and possession of marijuana after she allegedly threw a bong out of her window. Bynes claimed that the bong was actually a vase, and she subsequently underwent a psychiatric evaluation before being booked on those charges. She also posted on her Twitter page that the arresting officer in that incident sexually harassed her, claiming that the officer slapped her vagina. The Manhattan Police Department denies the accusation.
On July 22, 2013, Bynes started a fire in a stranger's driveway in Thousand Oaks, California. She fled the scene, but the police apprehended her shortly thereafter. Bynes was given a mental health evaluation and was admitted to a psychiatric hospital two days later. A judge ruled on August 9 that Bynes was unable to consent to her own medical care and granted her mother a conservatorship over her affairs. This ruling means that Bynes's mother will make decisions regarding her finances and medical treatment until a court rules otherwise.