Falling stars: child stars who have had run-ins with the law

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com  |  June 8, 2012 at 11:40 AM
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The pressure of the spotlight. The lack of privacy. Living in a bubble.

Celebrity may have its perks, but stars so easily lose touch with reality--and often, with the law--especially when fame and success begin to wane.

For child stars, thrust into the public eye before they've had a chance to grow up, it seems to be that much easier to fail. And just as Hollywood (and the paparrazi) loves a good success story, it adores a total flameout. Just ask Lindsay Lohan.

Former "The Hughleys" castmember Dee Jay Daniels was charged Wednesday with murder.

Here's a list of former child stars-gone-bad whose ranks he now joins on the Hollywood perp-Walk of Fame. We watched them grow up, fall down, and occasionally--pick themselves back up.

Lindsay Lohan

The quintessential good girl-turned-Mean Girl-turned-bad girl, Lohan has become her generation's poster child for regular arrests, embarassing drunken nights caught on film, shoplifting charges and a total career crash and burn. She's had two DUIs, three trips rehab, and has been sentenced to 240 days in jail over four separate stints (although she's only served a total of 15 days, plus 35 days of house arrest). Her most recent probation ended in March.

Amanda Bynes

Bynes charmed audiences with her easy, quirky humor, but has retreated from the spotlight in recent years as her personal life has gotten her some unwanted attention. She was arrested in April after side-swiping a police car at 3 a.m. Although she maintains she does not drink, she refused to submit to substance testing and was charged with a DUI on Tuesday.

Macaulay Culkin

We loved him as an adrorable trickster in the "Home Alone" movies, but in 2004, Culkin was arrested in Oklahoma City when police found him with marijuana, Alprazolam and Clonazepam. After a brief jail stay, he plead guilty to misdemenor drug charges and entered probationary rehab.

Christian Slater

"Heathers" star Slater has tested our affections--and the legal system--with a variety of charges and convictions over the years. He's served time for drunk driving and assault (1989), boarding a commercial plane with a gun (1994), assaulting his then-girlfriend while drunk and high (1997), and sexually harrassing a woman on the street (2005).

Skylar Deleon

Deleon had a bit part in the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" series, but he's best remembered for the 2004 murders of Thomas and Jackie Hawks, who Deleon and his ex-wife Jennifer Henderson tied to the doomed couple's yacht anchor and tossed overboard. He was sentenced to death in 2009.

Half the cast of Diff'rent Strokes

Despite his famously small stature, Gary Coleman wasn't afraid to stand up for himself--sometimes resulting in legal troubles. He was charged with the assault of a bus driver in 1998, cited for disorderly conduct for a "heated discussion" with his wife in 2007, reckless driving in 2008, a domestic dispute with his wife in 2009 and domestic assault in 2010.

Todd Bridges, the Willis to Coleman's "What'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" fared no better. He battled a cocaine addiction and was arrested for the attempted murder of a drug dealer in 1988. He also got into it with a tenant over rent payment, stabbing the tenant with a kitchen knife in self defense when attacked with a sword.

Dana Plato, who was already involved in drugs and drinking while still on the air as Diff'rent Strokes' Kimberly, robbed a video store at gunpoint in 1991. Although she was only sentenced with probation, she was arrested for forging a prescription for Diazepam in 1992 and served 30 days.

Honorable mention

Drew Barrymore, who had two stints in rehab before she turned 15, is a member of a rare group of child stars who passed through a turbulent period only to come out successful on the other side. She was married Saturday to her third husband, Will Kopelman, and she is pregnant with her first child.

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