That’s what happened on Monday when TMZ posted a story saying that Britney Spears was being investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services for the alleged mistreatment of her sons Sean and Jayden. That replaced the earlier, more sensational story that had Spears being investigated for child abuse, an accusation that reportedly came from her ex-husband Kevin Federline who has been critical of Spears’ parenting skills or lack thereof.
Baby mama drama, film at 11.
Next came the news that Owen Wilson, a guy whose rep is damn near stellar, allegedly tried to commit suicide on Sunday night at his home in Santa Monica. In some ways that news was far more troubling because up until the 38-year-old Dallas native was rushed to the hospital, the only mark against him — and it was no bigger than a pinhead — was that he might have something to do with the breakup of Kate Hudson’s marriage to rocker Chris Robinson.
Breaking news: Kate’s ex makes 9-1-1 call.
Two different headline-making incidents, one common bond.
Spears and Wilson are both in trouble. And like most other celebrities — most people actually — they can’t buy or charm their way out of adversity. They’ve got to deal with it and that can be problematic — especially if you don’t know how.
One of the things I’ve noticed during the 12 years I’ve been covering entertainment is that celebrities — even those who bitch and moan about always being in the public eye — don’t fare well when those eyes aren’t upon them. Some just don’t know how to turn it off, put their feet up on the coffee table and watch reruns of “Sex and the City” with a glass of Poppy Pinot Noir in one hand and some fat-free nacho chips in the other.
That’s too much like my life and God knows they aren’t trying to be me.
It’s also hard for them to speak for themselves without the aid of a human mouthpiece (aka publicist), or make wise decisions when enablers — like us, constantly surround them.
We sometimes place celebrities on pedestals so high that we don’t even notice when they’re teetering on the edge. In Spears’ case the warning signs have been there for years. At 21, she played the bride in some truth-or-dare marriage with her Louisiana homeboy Jason Alexander in Las Vegas that was annulled after 24 hours. She then married an unemployed music video dancer who already had one kid out of wedlock and another on the way; had two baby boys within a year and then proceeded to become the poster child for Mamas With Issues.
Yet even though Spears might not be the greatest mother on the planet — as shown by TMZ and other tabloid outlets — she hardly seems like the type to attempt suicide. Her demons appear to be more superficial. It’s like oops, I’ve done it again! You kind of want to give Justin Timberlake’s ex a pass since she has been paying taxes since she was like 8. Perhaps that’s why she’s now a bizarre 25-year-old, crotch-flashing, bar-hopping, lip-synching, baby-dropping, lollipop-sucking, head-shaving kid testing the limits.
Conversely, the situation with Wilson, a fun-loving actor and filmmaker, is more perplexing because we didn’t see it coming. The star of such films as “The Wedding Crashers” and “You, Me and Dupree” has been so low key for so long, it’s just hard to imagine that there could possibly be anything wrong with him other than that funky bump on his nose. Here’s a guy who should be on top of the world and telling women to peel him a grape.
Instead he tried to kill himself and no one can figure out why.
Could it be the break up with Hudson? Does Wilson, as US magazine suggests, have issues with drugs or depression? Whatever the case Wilson is so far over the edge now that he is being watched 24/7 by nurses at Cedars-Sinai.
It’s hard to determine how far gone Spears and Wilson are, but both have a lot to lose if they are unable to get it together before their respective demons take full possession of their minds, bodies and souls. In time, I’m hoping that Wilson’s self-inflicted wounds will eventually heal and he’ll reclaim his spot on Hollywood’s A-list with a little help from his friends and family.
But no one will ever look at him in the same way again.
And Spears could lose her kids if a judge determines she’s an unfit mother during a scheduled custody hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 4. It seems ironic that someone who had everything, could end up with nothing at all.
That’s some real BS.
But that’s what happens when you fall asleep at the wheel. Get well guys.
Miki Turner is an entertainment columnist for MSNBC.com. She welcomes all comments at firstname.lastname@example.org