“I called my other personality Celestia. I believed I was from another planet. I could see into the future. I could heal people. I was, in my mind, learning it from God.”
Anne Heche – September 2001
Maybe it’s an undetected side effect of Botox. Maybe it’s something in designer bottled water. Perhaps it’s the L.A. air. Who can say? All I know is that something is affecting high profile female showbiz personalities, turning them into out of control, occasionally dangerous wackjobs and nothing is being done to stop it.
Mariah Scary…sorry, I mean Carey…was among the first to fall victim to the unnamed contagion. Following an impromptu striptease on MTV’s “Total Request Live” the summer before last, you’ll recall, the diva suffered a highly publicized breakdown and was hospitalized.
Many speculated that the collapse was linked to the toilet dive her career had taken. After signing a multi-album deal with Virgin, reported to be worth $100 million, both her big screen debut Glitter and the record of the same name tanked so badly the company paid $28 million in January to get out of the contract.
Whatever this mysterious malady is, one of its most recognizable symptoms is a delusion on the part of a prominent figure that the public has spent months, or years, on pins and needles awaiting a tell all interview timed to coincide with the release of their new product.
Carey’s case is textbook. Not only has the 32-year-old Grammy winner recently made the talk show rounds and released the new collection “Charm Bracelet,” she also bared her soul in an hour long MTV special melodramatically entitled “Mariah Carey: Shining Through the Rain.” The broadcast offered members of the studio audience an opportunity to benefit from the wisdom the artist gained in the course of her ordeal:
“Like we were doing ‘Dateline’ and suddenly I went into like a striptease burlesque show,” she reflected during the Q&A, “I’m like, it’s ‘TRL.’ I thought you were supposed to feel at home and do stupid stuff. I’m not going to stop being me because people don’t get me.”
The prognosis isn’t good. And it gets worse. On the subject of her new album, Carey explained, “I put all the things I had gone through into my music.” Sounds like a real toe tapper. Why do I think a more fitting title might have been “Loony Tunes?”
Of course, Carey’s the picture of mental health next to Whitney Houston. The 39-year-old singer and “Bodyguard” star is currently making the rounds to promote her December 10th release “Just Whitney” and generate public sympathy for her years of Hunter Thompson-level drug and alcohol use.
Appearing December 4th on a special edition of ABC’s “Primetime” with Diane Sawyer, Houston did little to counter the perception of her as a megalomaniacal bag of bones. Her voice as raspy as if she’d just sucked down a carton of unfiltered Camels, she claimed she’d elected not to enter rehab because she believed she could overcome her substance abuse problems through the power of prayer, was evasive when questioned about rumors of domestic violence in her home life with rapper Bobby Brown and was defensive on the subject of missed concert dates and live appearances. Houston claimed, for example, that she didn’t really blow off that Oscars telecast after all. The producers had fired her just before the show.
Saddest perhaps was her reaction when Sawyer confronted Houston with the now infamous emaciation photo taken during her performance at a Michael Jackson tribute broadcast. “Oh that,” the singer shrugged, “that was just a bad angle.” Right. And it’s just the stripes on his jersey that make Dom DeLouise look fat.
Pencil in a big time breakdown in the not too distant future. The diva’s obviously in massive denial on a number of fronts. For example: the breach of contract suit her ailing 82-year-old father/manager has brought against her. When asked about accusations that she hadn’t paid him for services she had asked him to perform, Houston flew into a bug-eyed rage, “They’ll never get $100 million out of me. I know that!” Ah, a touching sentiment for the holiday season.
Winona Ryder. Need I say more? One of the most beloved, not to mention highest-paid, actresses of her generation nabbed in mid-drug-fueled crime spree? Young, rich, talented, babeliscious and totally out of her mind. Perhaps hope for the afflicted lies in the psychological counseling Ryder has been sentenced to receive. If it actually happens, it’ll be the closest thing to laboratory research that’s been done on the phenomenon thus far.
The mysterious ailment is affecting divas in virtually every realm of entertainment. Increasingly retired Rosie O’Donnell is being sued by the company that published her magazine. Apparently the former Queen of Nice mutated into a holy terror once the cameras stopped rolling and the presses started. In its current issue, Vanity Fair has a real eye-popper on the “League of Their Own” actress and the explosive behavior that struck fear in the hearts of Rosie employees.
“When one editor tries to explain just what was so frightening and humiliating about O’Donnell’s rages,” the magazine’s reporter writes, “words almost fail her. She had this way of staring straight ahead and screaming-’DID YOU NOT HEAR ME? WELL, YOU BETTER DO THAT!’ It was like a kid being abused.”
Speaking of kids who need security guards more than security blankets, did we think Michael Jackson could get any freakier? Now he’s dangling toddlers over high-rise hotel balconies and playing hooky from court by pretending a spider bit him. Like Houston, the wacko one is facing repercussions from blowing off concert dates to which he committed. The singer’s so out of it he doesn’t even seem to realize he’s already played the spider bite card in a previous public imbroglio. My recommendation? Michael might want to think about spending a little less time with prepubescent boys and a little more with the Orkin Man.
Get the rest of the story in part two of GIRLS GONE WILD>>>
Posted on December 20, 2002 in Features by Rick Kisonak
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