Home Celebrity Celebs Who Flushed Their Careers Down The Toilet In Moments

Celebs Who Flushed Their Careers Down The Toilet In Moments

Monica September 8, 2023

Becoming a celebrity isn’t an easy feat whatsoever. Celebrities have to spend countless hours perfecting their career, getting the right agent to promote them, appearing at events, and many other things to keep up appearances. Becoming famous can come down to taking advantage of rare key moments. But once people become famous, that doesn’t mean they’re in the clear.

When they appear in public, celebrities must constantly watch what you say and how you act. Otherwise, it can and does negatively impact your career. We’ve seen many a celebrity say or do something that sent their once-promising careers downward. We chronicled the celebs who flushed their careers down the toilet in moments just by speaking and acting out of line, so find out who they are for yourself here.


R. Kelly

Where do we even begin with this controversial R&B singer? It’s almost as if he flushed his career down the toilet on purpose. Thanks to his secret obsessions including minorities and inappropriate gestures towards minors, he threw himself under the bus. At first, he refused the claims that the public made about him, including young girls claiming he used them as sex slaves. Eventually, his record label caught on to all of the illegal things he purposefully did. He was arrested and taken care of by the feds, going to jail and flushing his career down the toilet at the same time (via Fox 32 Chicago).


Ellen Degeneres

Despite cashing in massively on her super-nice and friendly image, rumors came out that Ellen Degeneres didn’t treat her staff well, or even with baseline human respect. Even though she once paved the way for LGBTQ acceptance, she took a turn for the worse. Behind the scenes, she’s a completely different person than she portrays herself to be in public. Apparently, not only is Ellen difficult to work with, but her workplace has instilled several draconic rulesets. That made it nearly impossible for her employees to feel comfortable while working on set. In regards to her accusations, in interviews, she’s said, “I take that very seriously and I want to say I am so sorry to the people who were affected. I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power and I realized that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.” Her show understandably lost fans and viewers because of the accusations (via Buzzfeed News).

Outlook India

Lance Armstrong

At one point in time, Armstrong was considered an incredible cyclist and a true American hero. Unfortunately, this fame didn’t last. Rumors came that he’d used performance-enhancing drugs on more than one occasion. This would negate the tons of awards and physical accomplishments he’d achieved. Not only did he use steroids, but investigators accused him of also trafficking enhancement drugs. Armstrong used testosterone, cortisone, the human growth hormone, and an anti-diabetes drug the night before races. In a few moments, he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and flushed his career down the toilet (via The Guardian).

ABC News

Jeffrey Tambor

You may recognize Jeffrey Tambor from the hit show Arrested Development. Even though Tambor received a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy for his acting, that didn’t make him immune to mistakes that crushed his career. Two of his crew members reported him for sexual misconduct, and another soon after reported him for sexual improprieties. He said, “But I have never been a predator — ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.” He left the show soon after (via ABC News).

Smithsonian Magazine

Fatty Arbuckle

Even though most of us don’t know who Fatty Arbuckle is, he was a popular comedian during the 1910s and ’20s. He worked alongside Charlie Chaplin and became one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood. But he flushed this fame and fortune down the toilet after he allegedly murdered Virginia Reppe in 1921 by rupturing her bladder. This caused her to mysteriously become ill and then died four days later. The ordeal was a huge scandal and even though he was acquitted of the charges, his career never revived (via History).

NY Times

Louis C.K.

At one point in time, Louis C.K. was one of the most well-known comedians in the world. His ability to make people laugh was matched by few. But even though he managed to win the hearts of millions of people, he sadly was unable to keep his reputation up. During the #MeToo movement, several female comedians came forward and exposed Louis C.K. and his inappropriate gestures and comments behind the scenes. His career completely fumbled, and his movie, I Love You Daddy, was terminated. He admitted his actions, even saying, “At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my d*** without asking first, which is also true… The power I had over these women was that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.” It looks like the fame and fortune got to his head and because of these horrendous actions, he lost all of it (via Rolling Stone).


Kanye West

Maybe you were a huge fan of Kanye West at one point. Apart from his chart-topping albums, he’s well-known for marrying and divorcing Kim Kardashian. Throughout his career, however, he was accused of several controversies. One in particular contributed to his downfall. It was all thanks to a Tweet he sent. In only a few moments, he destroyed his career with a tweet that accused Jews of controlling the world and destroying those who got in the way. Without first specifying who he was talking about, he said, “You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone whoever opposes your agenda.” His accounts were suspended and he lost over $1 billion in deals with major companies like Adidas and GAP thanks to his Antisemitic tweets (via CNN).


Armie Hammer

Thanks to the several disgusting scandals he got himself into including cannibalism, inappropriate messages, and sexual misconduct, Hammer ruined his reputation in only a few moments. It didn’t take much for the truth to come out, which included accusations of sexual assault. Women shared and distributed his messages online, which hinted at cannibalism fantasies. His once-thriving career was flushed down the toilet. One of these messages included Hammer saying, “You just live to obey and be my slave. If I wanted to cut off one of your toes and keep it with me in my pocket so I always had a piece of you in my possession?” And that’s not even the worst of it. He went to a facility and received the help he certainly needed (via Complex).


Mel Gibson

Gibson was once one of the most famous actors in the world and even one of the sexiest men alive according to many female fans. But he quickly tarnished his reputation thanks to his scandalous controversies. His true colors came out in a matter of moments. The first occurred in 2006 when he was pulled over and charged with a DUI. Instead of behaving, he cursed and said a ton of anti-semitic words that rightfully came back to haunt him. His ex-wife also recorded him threatening her, using racial slurs and other horrible words. Hollywood blacklisted him and he was never able to regain the fame he once had. His inability to control his outbursts destroyed his fame and he’s been resorted to only working behind the camera (via ABC News).


Joe Paterno

You’d think someone that’s called “JoePa” would be a nice, comforting, safe person to be around. But the sports figure lost his title when authorities discovered he was involved in a child sex scandal. Paterno witnessed his assistant head coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abuse young children and never said anything about it. He preferred to keep his partner’s reputation in good light instead of saving young children in need. He kept it covered up to not embarrass the Penn State football program. After the exposure, which took years to come to light, his 111 wins were removed from his record and his contract was terminated (via Washington Post).


Martha Stewart

This successful businesswoman isn’t everything she’s made out to be. In 2003, authorities indicted her on security fraud and obstruction of justice. She didn’t fight the accusations and instead stepped down from her position as CEO. She’d made false statements to investigators, who eventually sentenced her to five months of house arrest. She described her incarceration as horrifying, saying, “No one — no one — should have to go through that kind of indignity, really, except for murderers, and there are a few other categories.” Her sketchy behavior negatively impacted her thriving career, and in a matter of moments, she was reduced to nothing (via Hollywood Life).


Jerry Lee Lewis

Not only did Jerry Lee Lewis as a 23-year-old marry Myra Gale Brown a 13-year-old, but she was also related to him. Their marriage caused great controversy in rock n’ roll history and rightfully so. Lewis went from making thousands of dollars per performance to making less than $300. Their marriage survived more than a decade but completely ruined Lewis’s career. To make it worse, in 1970, Myra filed for divorce and accused Lewis of abuse and adultery (via NY Post).

Grazia Magazine

Chris Brown

It’s probably no surprise that Chris Brown made it on this list. We all know about the violent incident with Rihanna. He physically abused her and left her with a bruised face and a split lip. Brown recalled the night, saying, “Like I remember she tried to kick me, just like her beating sh*t, but then I hit her. With a closed fist, like I punched her, and it busted her lip, and when I saw it I was in shock, I was ‘fu*k, why did I hit her like that? So from there, she’s…spitting blood in my face, it raised me even more. It’s a real fight in the car, and we driving in the street.” Even though he was sentenced for his behavior, his entire reputation was tarnished in a matter of moments (via Grazia Magazine).


O.J. Simpson

The list never ends with O.J. Simpson. He was once a star in the NFL world. But he shocked everyone and flushed his fame down the toilet in a mere matter of moments during a high-speed chase. This happened immediately after the mysterious murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her lover Ron Goldman. Even though he was somehow acquitted, he was again charged years later with criminal conspiracy and robbery. Investigators never solved the murders. Again, he was eventually released though he was sentenced to 33 years in prison. All of these accusations impacted his career and he was never viewed the same way again (via ABC News).

Vanity Fair

Aziz Ansari

Another artist called out during the #MeToo movement was Aziz Ansari. Several women accused him of sexual misconduct and aggression, which contradicts what he claims he preaches. He’s supposedly an outspoken feminist but after the accusations, his fans questioned him. In an interview, he said, “There’s times I felt scared. There were times I felt humiliated. There were times I felt embarrassed. And ultimately, I just felt terrible. That this person felt this way.” He took a break from the spotlight before returning to stand-up comedy (via NBC News).


Harvey Weinstein

Even though he was once a major film producer, the disgusting Weinstein wasn’t immune from acting like a bad person. He was once the facilitator of many top Hollywood moments and was seen as one of the most influential people in Hollywood. But he used this power for evil. If a woman said no to him, he punished and blacklisted them. It wasn’t until 2017 that women came forward to tell their stories about the misconduct regarding Harvey Weinstein. Eventually, more than 80 women made these allegations. Women felt relief when the truth finally came to light. Mira Sorvino, one of his victims, Tweeted, “Just seeing this after I awoke, I burst out crying. There it is, confirmation that Harvey Weinstein derailed my career, something I suspected but was unsure of. ” He spent two decades in prison and was blacklisted from Hollywood (via Vanity Fair).

Nicki Swift

Giuliana Rancic

Even though E! Television’s Fashion Police can be a horrendous thing to watch sometimes, Giuliana Rancic took her brutal comments too far in 2015. During one of her outrageous moments on screen, she commented on Disney star Zendaya’s dreadlocks and made some nasty remarks about their potential smell. Zendaya responded by saying, “To say that an 18-year-old young woman with locks must smell of patchouli oil or ‘weed’ is not only a large stereotype but outrageously offensive.” She ruined her career in a mere matter of moments with the comment and lost tons of fans (via Nicki Swift).

ABC News

Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker

These two scandalous Hollywood stars lit their career on fire. They told their followers that all sinners would receive forgiveness from God if they donated to them. It wasn’t until 1987 that the public revealed their scandal. Lo and behold, donating to them didn’t give anyone forgiveness from God, it was a scam. It also came out that Jim Bakker drugged his secretary and they were wanted for fraud (via ABC News).


Melissa Rauch

If you’re a fan of The Big Bang Theory, then you’ll know Melissa Rauch from her moments on screen. She maintained a low profile throughout her career, though one controversy negatively impacted her fame. This included her “hobbit hands,” when she didn’t get the job for a commercial because the director didn’t like her hands. She said, “When I was first auditioning and going out for commercials, my hands stood in the way. I was in the running for a [TGI] Friday’s commercial, to play a waitress, and I was down to the wire on it… I was in the callback, and they said, ‘Okay, great, so glad you’re available next week. One more thing, can we just see your hands, to the camera? Show them back and front.’ I did that, and I heard the director from behind the camera go, ‘Jesus Christ!'” Because of the body shaming, she didn’t get the job, though this probably helped her more than hindered her (via Yahoo).


Amanda Bynes

There was one point in time when many of us wanted to hang out in the Girl’s Room with Amanda Bynes. She was once loved by millions of people, especially thanks to her appearance on All That. She had a successful career that eventually dwindled. Bynes was pulled over by the police, where she attempted to flee the scene. Police charged her with a DUI, and then, later on, charged her with the possession of marijuana. Eventually, she suffered some sort of psychotic break and supposedly lived out in the streets for several days before people found her. This contributed to her complete downfall (via Complex).

The Cut

Kevin Spacey

You’d think that with an incredibly successful career, someone as well-loved as Spacey wouldn’t have taken it for granted. But after the Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo movement, it came out that Kevin Spacey made inappropriate advances on young boys. Netflix fired Spacey, and Spacey took to alcohol to blame for his actions. Spacey claims not to remember and even goes so far as to say, “If I did behave then as he describes. I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.” He was never able to revive his Hollywood career (via The Cut).

NBC News

Bill Cosby

He was once known as “America’s favorite dad,” loved by millions of people around the world for his fatherly compassion. People respected Cosby as an actor and comedian. But his reputation took a complete turn for the worse. He went from having a trusting, honorable reputation to being a dishonest criminal. Horrendous sexual allegations against Cosby came out one by one from over 60 women, which forced Hollywood to blacklist him (via NBC News).

ABC News

Lou Pearlman

By managing popular boy bands like the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, Pearlman made his way up the ladder of fame. But that was all thrown down the toilet when he was sentenced to 25 years in prison for fraudulent behavior. Federal prosecutor Roger Handberg said he did this through “bank fraud money that he needed to use to pay off an investor, he would do. If he had a problem where he had to pay a bank some money, he would use the investor money. All the money was co-mingled– and it was used however it would benefit him.” He ran a long-standing Ponzi scheme that left over $300 million in debt. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering. His fate was chosen for him when he died from cardiac arrest eight years later (via ABC News).

Hollywood Reporter

Tila Tequila

Tila Tequila’s downfall started when she announced her love for Hitler and proceeded to post photos of herself in a Nazi uniform in front of a photo of Auschwitz. To try and redeem herself, she blamed addiction and depression. But it didn’t stop there, years later, she went on several anti-semitic rants on Twitter and claimed to be the reincarnation of Hitler himself. She defended herself, saying, “It is about Hitler and his side of the story that was never told since he was not the victor. However, those of you with a closed mind can think I am being anti-Semite [sic] all you want because I already told you that I am not, nor will I repeat myself.” Her mental health deteriorated in what seemed like a matter of moments, completely ruining her career (via Hollywood Reporter).


Lindsay Lohan

As a successful actress from a young age, Lindsay Lohan seemed to have it all. She was incredibly successful by the time she turned 18, and though she had it all, she couldn’t keep it. Her parent’s marriage crumbled, which affected her behavior. With the inability to cope, she turned to partying, drug use, and alcohol abuse. She owned up to it, saying, “And from then on, the press were on me all the time,” Lohan said. “It was the first time I’d taken drugs. I was out in a club with people I shouldn’t have been with, and took cocaine, and got in the car. It was so stupid.” She got herself into a series of DUI’s, probation violations, and rehab. Relaunching her career to the success it once was has proved to be nearly impossible. Her partying impacted her career and she hasn’t been able to get back up on the same foot ever since (via CNN).