Some people may remember 13 years ago when Britney Spears had a breakdown and shaved her head. Apparently, it was a lot worse than most of us thought. We all know that Spears shaved her head and attacked the paparazzi, but maybe there was something a little more going on behind the scenes.
In fact, there was! Spears’ awful bodyguards – you know, the people who are supposed to keep her safe – began accepting bribes from the paparazzi so that they could get better pictures of her. This naturally led to her getting angry, as it would most of us as well. It’s just a shame that it backfired on her.
These actions likely led to the beginning of her conservatorship, which has been in place since her breakdowns in 2007. It was put in place to protect her but has been heavily abused. Her father is the conservator and has put some pretty strict rules into place regarding every part of Spears’ life.
Because her father has control over her finances, she can’t go to an ATM to pull out money. She also can’t buy the stuff she wants. On top of having complete control over her money, she also cannot have an iPhone – oddly specific. During the court appearance, it also came to light that she has an IUD she wishes to be removed to have another child.
Many of us watched Amanda Bynes when she was younger, and we all expected her to become the role model that Hilary Duff is today. Unfortunately for Amanda, things didn’t turn out that way. Since her early years, Bynes hasn’t had an easy time. In 2014, it was revealed that she has bipolar disorder.
Now that we look back, all the signs are there. Calling her behavior erratic couldn’t even begin to describe the way she was acting. Soon after she told the world about her bipolar disorder, her addiction to substances came to light. That was when her family decided that it was time to step in.
Bynes’s drug and alcohol addiction made her unable to make beneficial decisions for herself and her future. Her mother became a conservator for her in an attempt to get her life back on track. Everyone thought it was fine and dandy until Bynes began to speak out. At first, her cries fell on deaf ears, but Britney Spears’s recent headlines gave Bynes a bit more attention.
In 2020, Bynes joined Instagram and explained her situation to get support similar to what Britney Spears has. Under Bynes’ conservatorship, she can’t marry her fiancé, Paul Michael, or leave the treatment center she’s been staying at. She tried to have the conservatorship removed in 2020, but the judge kept it in place.
It seems like 2007 was a bad year for a lot of people, Lindsay Lohan included. Her life went off the rails that year when she was convicted twice of driving drunk, once for cocaine use, and three trips to rehab. She also spent a total of 84 minutes in jail and 10 days of community service. All in all, things weren’t going too well for her.
Now, she can look back and say that it was "totally irresponsible," she told Piers Morgan during an interview, but it took a lot for her to get there. Lindsay Lohan has struggled with several problems, much like the other child stars on this list. Some even believe she has an undiagnosed mental disorder that could be causing much of this.
Lohan began going to AA meetings in 2007 following her arrests and checked herself into a treatment center. Unfortunately, things got much worse for her. By 2013, she had gone through six stints in treatment facilities, and she went on Oprah to discuss her troubled family life when she was younger.
Michael Lohan, Lindsay’s father, saw the conservatorship for Britney Spears, so he approached his lawyer to begin the same type of guardianship for his daughter. So far, Lindsay’s father has failed to gain a conservatorship, but he won’t stop trying. Hopefully, Lindsay can get her life in order to avoid anything like Britney has gone through.
The Beach Boys were all about being happy-go-lucky, but behind the scenes, they were all dealing with some pretty dark stuff. Brian, Carl, and Dennis’s father Murray had been extremely abusive towards the boys growing up. Verbal and physical abuse was common, and the stories started spilling out when the boys became older.
One story was about how Murray had hit Brian in the head with a 2x4, which caused permanent hearing loss in his right ear. The stories are pretty gruesome, so it’s no wonder that it led to some major issues. Brian Wilson seemed to be the main target of Murray’s anger and abuse. Dennis would later describe his father as, “a tyrant ... I don't know kids who got it like we did.”
Eventually, Brian got away from his father, but it was almost like getting out of the frying pan and into the fire. In 1964, Wilson had a breakdown and had to resign from regular concert touring. It was that seam year that he was diagnosed with bipolar schizoaffective disorder. After the breakdown, Wilson’s psychologist, Dr. Landy, began controlling everything.
Landy also became Wilson’s business partner, and they formed an extremely tight bond. Family members stated that Landy would over-medicate Wilson to make him easier to control. Wilson even told The Post that Landy “wasn’t very friendly with me.” To break this hold, Wilson’s cousin, Stan Love, was granted a conservatorship. Following that, everything Dr. Landy did to Brian Wilson came to light, including cutting off all contact with friends and family.
Unlike some of the other stories on this list, Joni Mitchell’s story is a little more positive. Hailed as one of the greatest songwriters ever by Rolling Stone, she’s had tons of medical issues that have kept her from producing like she once did. In 2010, she was diagnosed with Morgellons syndrome, which is a skin disorder that causes sores on the body.
Things got even worse in 2015 when fans were shocked when Joni Mitchell collapsed in her Bel Air home. It came to light that she suffered from a brain aneurysm, but she was on the road to recovery. She just needed a little time to recover, but she needed some help while she focused on healing and regaining her facilities.
During her recovery, Joni Mitchell would need a conservator to handle her affairs. Superior Court Judge David Cunningham III placed her friend Leslie Morris as Mitchell’s conservator, although she would have no control over financial decisions. This was probably the best decision considering some of the other issues that have gone down with the other financial conservators.
This all occurred in 2015, and she began working daily to regain her abilities. She was able to talk fairly quickly, but it took three years for her to walk again. While there are no reports whether or not she’s still under a conservatorship, it’s assumed that she’s back to controlling her own daily decisions as her health improves.
One of the hardest things in life is losing a spouse, and it certainly hit Randy Meisner hard, especially considering how she passed. Lana Rae Meisner was killed in the couples' Studio City, California home. CNN reported that a rifle had been accidentally discharged while being moved in a closet.
The LAPD officially stated, “as she lifted the rifle in the case, another item within the case shifted and hit the trigger of the rifle causing it to fire and fatally injure Mrs. Meisner.” The two had been married nearly 20 years, and Randy took it hard – very hard. After the death, Meisner was placed under a court-ordered 24-hour supervision following a suicide threat.
From that point on, Eagles’ member Randy Meisner requested a conservatorship for himself. He stated that he was in “a lot of pain” following the death of his wife, which was certainly an understatement. The conservatorship was given to Meisner’s longtime friend, Arthur Ford. His accountant, Thomas DeLong, would control Meisner’s finances.
However, not all were pleased with the choices. James Newton, who describes himself as a longtime friend, wanted someone else chosen as a conservator. Due to recent mental troubles, the judge and Newton decided on Frumeh Labow, who has a lengthy background in social work, to fill the role, instead of Meisner’s other friend and accountant. As far as anyone knows, Meisner is still under a conservatorship and rarely appears in public.
It was hard to grow up without hearing Casey Kasem. American Top 40 (or Casey’s Top 40) was how everyone stayed in the loop on the top songs, and it also gave us a look at the lives of our favorite artists. Who knew that years later we’d be telling Casey Kasem’s story. This DJ and radio personality had some pretty rough years as he grew older.
It shocked everyone when we found out he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2007, but it wasn’t announced until 2013 when his daughter, Kerri Kasem, let the world know. A few months later, she also stated he had Lewy body dementia that left him unable to care for himself. Because of this, a conservatorship was required for him.
Things got ugly from that point on. Kasem’s wife and his children from another marriage fought for control. The judge decided to grant his current wife Jean a conservatorship, but his children weren’t going to back down. Julie (Kasem’s daughter) hadn’t been able to see her father despite having power of attorney before the conservatorship.
The judge reversed the conservatorship in May 2014 and granted a new conservator, Kerri Kasem. They claimed that their stepmother had been abusing their father, which the judge apparently agreed with. The children later tried to file charges for elder abuse, but the District Attorney never filed anything on their behalf. Casey Kasem passed away on June 15, 2014.
Mickey Rooney was one of the most famous actors to ever live. He appeared in over 300 films before his death, but the years leading up to his final days were nothing but fighting. In 2011, Rooney was granted a temporary restraining order against his stepson Christopher Aber and Aber's wife Christina, and that's when their awful behavior came to light. Rooney was a victim of elder abuse.
It didn’t seem like they were sympathetic either. During an interview, Hollywood Reporter exposed the pair, quoting Chris as he laughed and said, “she kicked him real hard” under the table. That was just one of the many things they did to Mickey Rooney as he was unable to care for himself and needed a little help.
They also stole money from him and abused him (including withholding food and medication from the former child star). This is precisely why Rooney’s attorney filed for a conservatorship. By the time he did this, more than $400,000 had disappeared from Rooney’s finances. The judge granted it in 2011 along with a restraining order against Aber, but that was pretty much it.
In 2014, Rooney passed away from natural causes. The Hollywood Reporter went on to say, “one of the biggest stars of all time, who remained aloft longer than anyone in Hollywood history, was in the end brought down by those closest to him. He died humiliated and betrayed, nearly broke, and often broken.”
Not a whole lot is known about Harrison Post, but a ton of people are comparing his situation to Britney Spears. Why? It shows exactly how Hollywood can take control over someone’s life. Harrison Post is relatively unknown today, but back in the '30s, he was a Hollywood socialite and secret lover of William Andrews Clark Jr (son of Senator W.A. Clark).
Harrison posts family took him captive and defrauded him under the guise of protection. Conservatorships didn't come about until the 1960s, meaning what Harrison Post was under was technically a conservatorship. Back in the day, they called it a guardianship, but today, it would be considered the same exact thing.
In 1934, Harrison Post had a nervous breakdown, although medical records are scarce. No one is too sure what happened exactly, but some documents explained how he had a "lesion on his brain." At that point, Harrison's sister, Gladys, petitioned the court to have him declared incompetent. She won the case and was given guardian over his estate, which totaled $200,000 (or $4.5 million today).
At that point, she began spending and selling off everything she could get her hands on. Harrison's estate was dismantled publicly as she auctioned everything off. By 1936 when he was declared competent, there wasn't anything left. Post was broke but free. His story is detailed in the book Twilight Man: Love and Ruin in the Shadows of Hollywood and the Clark Empire by Liz Brown.
It's almost hard to believe that Mariah Carey was nearly placed under a conservatorship years before Britney Spears. Carey's career has spanned decades and she's unequivocally the voice of Christmas, so what happened? Who would ever think to place this angelic-voiced goddess under a conservatorship? After all, she paved the way for many artists today.
Over the years, Mariah Carey hasn't been quiet about her family's treatment of her. Saying they were dysfunctional doesn't do it justice. They treated her poorly, including verbal and physical abuse that ended up with the police being called. In 2020, she released a memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, that detailed everything she endured.
In the memoir, she wrote, “I knew for a long time that to my family, I’d been an ‘ATM machine with a wig on.” Carey went without sleep, and she had an altercation with her mother following a fight. The police were called, and her mother attempted to put her in a “hard-core detox and rehab center.” Carey was committed against her will.
Legally, she wasn’t in a conservatorship, but labels aside, it’s what she was dealing with. It was at that point her family thought it could be used against her to become the executors of her accounts and affairs. Bother her mother and brother claimed she was unstable, and she had to be institutionalized. Thanks to therapists and friends, she was able to fight her way out.
Charlie Sheen isn't the most stable person in the world. Starting as early as the 1990s, he had issues with drugs and alcohol. On top of that, he's been taken into custody for assault of his significant others, Brittany Ashland and Denise Richards. Then, there’s the famous breakdown in 2011 when he couldn’t stop talking about "tiger blood."
Sheen is quoted as saying that Alcoholics Anonymous was “written for normal people, people that aren't special, people that don't have tiger blood, you know, Adonis DNA.” Along the way, Charlie Sheen's father Martin Sheen has been fighting to get his son right. You could call it an uphill battle, but it’s more of a 90-degree battle with the angle going straight up.
After seeing that someone had to intervene, Sheen's family decided that it was time to try and get a conservatorship over the actor. An insider told Radar Online, “Charlie’s parents are discussing getting a conservatorship of their son. Martin and Janet know that it’s highly unlikely their petition would be granted, but they are trying to do whatever possible to save Charlie’s life.”
In six months alone, Charlie Sheen spent more than $500,000 on women and drugs. Martin Sheen tried to do what he could, stating that his son wasn't rehabbing at home. He also said, " Charlie is calling the shots, he hasn’t surrendered to sobriety, and until that happens, this cycle won’t end.” Ultimately, the petition for conservatorship failed due to Charlie entering rehab. Again.
Aaron Carter was a staple of the '90s. After his brother became popular with the Backstreet Boys, Aaron jumped on the fame wagon. Then, Carter went off the deep end as his fame faded into oblivion. He got involved with drugs and alcohol and his mental health issues boiled to the surface.
During an interview with a talk show, Carter listed his conditions for the world to hear. He stated, “The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I’m manic depressive.” That was when his brother, Nick, stepped in, hoping to help his brother.
Aaron Carter's family tried what they could to help him by filing to obtain a protective order. Nick Carter filed the ticket to get an appointment with a judge. From there, they had to convince him to force Aaron into treatment. The judge decided that Aaron Carter wasn't enough of a risk to himself to assign a conservatorship.
Unlike Britney Spears, Carter has been placed under several psychiatric holds and has even publicly shown his bag of medication on The Doctors. Carter even holds several weapons, to the point where his family contacted ATF to remove all firearms from his home. After the attempt to get a conservatorship failed, Aaron threatened his brother and pregnant wife. Nick Carter filed for a restraining order against him for himself and his wife.
Honestly, someone needs to help Demi Lovato. Things haven't been going her way. Everyone knew something was up when she went to rehab in 2011. During this time, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and became the poster child for the disorder while partnering with several organizations to destigmatize the illness.
Then, the 28-year-old had an overdose in 2018. She had taken opiates that were laced with fentanyl. This incident led to the actress and music star to have three strokes and a heart attack. According to a documentary she made, she claimed “my doctors said that I had five to 10 more minutes” before she died.
Demi Lovato, during the documentary, also claimed that she was left with brain damage from the event. Lovato also says she can still feel the effects of it because she can't drive or read very well due to blurry vision. During her hospital stay, her family decided that it was time to step in and direct her life to a better place.
Lovato's mother Dianna Hart talked about a conservatorship because she "didn't trust Demi with anything at the moment," an insider told Radar Online. The insider went on to say, “Lovato's mother Dianna Hart talked about a conservatorship because she "didn't trust Demi with anything at the moment.” Ultimately, she decided against it, but limited access to those Demi knew to keep her in a safe headspace.
Way before Zoe Saldana took over the role of Lieutenant Uhura, Nichelle Nichols owned the role. She was the OG, but her life hasn’t been smooth sailing since her exit from Star Trek. Nichelle Nichols has been entangled in an intense legal battle over her estate. At some point, Gilbert Bell (her former manager) became caretaker over the 87-year-old actress.
After some suspicious actions (like not allowing Nichols to see her friends in 2019), Nichols's son Ken Johnson looked into the situation. He found that Bell was taking advantage of her dementia, which she had been diagnosed with in 2018…or 2013 depending on which lawsuit you look at. At that point, Bell exploited their relationship and took control over her financial assets and personal affairs.
Ken Johnson filed with the court, asking to be put in control of her estate and personal affairs as a conservator. He went onto say that bell intended to defraud his mother and abused her. Bell's attorney didn't take it sitting down. He claimed Johnson wants to sell Nichols’s assets out from under her.
This intense legal battle has been going on for years with Nichelle stuck in the middle. Things don't look good for the former manager. Johnson's lawsuit alleges Bell forced his mother to take out a reverse mortgage for more than $400,000 and that she's pretty much wiped out. He hopes "something resembling justice is done" and that bell is "held accountable for the damage he's done."
After all the headlines with Britney Spears, it makes us wonder why Amy Winehouse wasn’t placed under a conservatorship. It turns out she was, but it didn’t quite save her. Let’s start from the beginning. Winehouse was one of the most talented singers we've ever seen, but her life was chaos. The artist had several battles with substance abuse going back as far as 2005.
By 2007, she was hospitalized for a period for what was reported to be an overdose of a cocktail of drugs. Soon after, she admitted she had issues with self-harm, depression, and eating disorders. Violence was also an issue. In 2006, Winehouse admitted to punching a female fan in the face and attacking her own spouse.
Because Amy Winehouse was from the UK, conservatorship wasn’t really a thing. It was called a deputyship, but it’s a lot harder to get approved. The only real way to get it done is if the person is suffering from a serious brain injury or illness, living with dementia, or has a severe learning disability.
Winehouse naturally didn’t fit any of those, so her friends and family didn’t have the same options as other celebrity families have had. Amy did give her parents limited control over her finances, but it was too little and too late. Winehouse died in July 2011 from alcohol poisoning following an intense downward spiral.
Kurt Cobain was one of the most influential artists that has ever lived, which says a lot considering he passed away at the young age of 27. When Cobain died, he left behind Francis Bean and the mother of his child, Courtney Love. As Francis Bean grew older, she was in the spotlight, but not by choice.
She gained full rights over her father’s estate and image. Why not Courtney Love? Well, anyone that knows her can tell you that saying she’s “unstable” doesn’t go far enough. The woman has a history of being totally unruly and was almost under a conservatorship herself. She couldn’t even raise her daughter.
When Francis Bean was 17, she was put under the care of her grandmother Wendy O’Connor and Aunt Kimberly Dawn Cobain. Love had been abusing her daughter despite Love’s attorney insisting otherwise. The fact of the matter is that Courtney Love overdosed on painkillers while taking care of her daughter.
Because of that, Bean’s grandmother gained guardianship over the girl and her father’s estates. This was done strategically. If Francis Bean continued to hold onto her father’s image and assets, Love could take it all away from her. Now that Bean is an adult, she has control over everything Kurt Cobain once again, but it was rough for a couple of years there.
Peter Falk was one of the best actors of the '70s and on. Columbo wouldn't be the same without him! Sadly, he passed away in 2011, and the years leading up to this weren't easy ones. In December 2008, Falk was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He declined very quickly and that left his family with one choice.
One of Falk's physicians noted how he had rapidly slipped into dementia and things were getting worse. It got so bad that he didn't even remember his role on Columbo. In June 2009, a judge granted a two-day conservatorship with Shera Falk to be her husband's conservator. For months, he needed around-the-clock care.
Then, suddenly, Falk's daughter petitioned to take control over his personal care and affairs. Catherine Falk claimed that Shera Danese Falk stopped family members from seeing and visiting him. She also failed to notify them on major changes in his condition and kept his death and funeral arrangements under wraps.
After the petition, Catherine Falk withdrew the petition after she was granted visitations. Due to the way the situation was handled, a law was passed to prevent this from happening again. Peter Falk's Law would ensure that children couldn't be cut off from news of serious medical and end-of-life developments. Children also couldn’t be cut off from contact. Catherine Falk was a major spokesperson for the law.
Thomas Girardi may not seem like a famous name for those outside of Los Angeles but know that he's a pretty high-powered guy. He was co-founder of Girardi & Keese, one of the major law firms that represent plaintiffs against major corporations. One of their cases actually included the inspiration behind Erin Brockovich.
Along the way, Girardi married a few times, including Erika Jayne, one of the stars of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Girardi is also being sued for embezzling money from clients. On top of that, Girardi has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease while Erika Jayne has decided to divorce him.
Tom Girardi’s Alzheimer’s disease continuously gets worse, which has required a conservator to step in. Tom's younger brother has stepped in to take control over the conservatorship, which puts him in control of the estate. The court records state that Tom's "major neurocognitive disorder" is the reason for the conservatorship.
During the hearing, Erika Jayne also spoke about his conservatorship, stating that she disagreed with it altogether. She continued by saying, “I think that we should put together the reasons why the conservatorship should be dissolved, and then we'll address it, address the court.” Despite her statements, Tom Girardi consents to the conservatorship.
Throughout his career, Kayne West has made some pretty interesting choices both professionally and personally. It started in 2005 when West said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” during a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser. Then it continued through 2006 when he compared himself to Jesus and was featured on the cover of Rolling Stone while wearing a crown of thrones.
The hits kept coming, some more offensive than the last. During a concert in 2014, Kanye West told everyone to stand at his concert. Almost everyone stood, but Kayne wasn’t happy. He told everyone to stand once again and refused to continue the concert. The crowd booed and eventually West realized the guy literally couldn’t stand up. He apologized, but the damage was done.
In 2014, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West tied the knot, and she attempted to help him during his mental health struggles. Kanye, ever present on Twitter, made much of their personal life public when he inferred she was trying to get him “locked up.” This began rumors that she was trying to get a conservatorship over him.
Kanye tweeted that Kim and her mom “tried to fly in with 2 doctors to 51/50 me” – referring to the California law code that placed a temporary, involuntary hold on those who present a danger to themselves or others. The tweets were promptly deleted, an apology issued, and nothing really became of the situation afterward. Kim K and Kanye are still seeking a divorce.
Did you know that Colin Farrell had a son? He does! Little James Farrell is quickly becoming an adult, but Colin isn’t having an easy go of it. In 2007, James was diagnosed with something called Angelman syndrome. This is a rare genetic disorder that causes developmental delays, an excitable demeanor, and an inability to speak.
Over the years, James's condition has gotten worse and worse. It has made him unable to make decisions on his own and even take care of himself. Because of that, Colin Farrell has petitioned the court to grant a limited conservatorship over his son. The court date is set for September 2021.
The court petition states that James is “nonverbal and has issues with his fine motor skills, making him unable to properly care for his own physical health and well-being and requiring him to need assistance in preparing food, eating, bathing, and clothing himself.” Because of this, they’ve asked the judge for the limited conservatorship.
A limited conservatorship isn’t as expansive as the original kind and will only allow Colin and Kim (James’s mother) a few things. The case for James’s conservatorship requests the ability to “decide where James lives, access confidential records, withhold or grant marriage, withhold or grant medical consent, make decisions about his education and control his social or sexual relationships.”