Top 10 Disney Child Star Scandals



Top 10 Disney Child Star Scandals

Script written by Michael Wynands

They may have gotten their start at the House of Mouse, but they took a wrong turn on their way out. From Zac Efron's drug abuse to Lindsay Lohan's derailment, Disney child stars have suffered their fair share of controversy. WatchMojo is counting down the most infamously troubled former Disney stars.

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Script written by Michael Wynands

Top 10 Disney Child Star Scandals

They may have gotten their start at the House of Mouse, but they took a wrong turn on their way out. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for Top 10 Disney Child Star Scandals.

For this list, we’re looking stars who were once affiliated with Disney or the Disney Channel, and who went on to cause major upsets with their behavior.

#10: Fergie’s Wayward Years

Long before the Black Eyed Peas, Stacy Ferguson spent six seasons on Kids Incorporated, a musical comedy series, which, while not produced by Disney, was picked up by the Disney Channel in 1986. Fergie played Stacy, a member of the titular group. After leaving the series in 1989, she joined the girl group Wild Orchid. Although they were initially successful, it was during this time that she discovered a love for sex and a weakness for drugs - including crystal meth. Difficulties with drugs, poor album sales, and other complications led Fergie to bow out, just in time to join BEP during the making of the group's third album.

#9: Zac Efron’s Substance Abuse

The transition from teen heartthrob to leading man can be a rough one. And though Efron has since clearly carved out a niche for himself as both a comedic and dramatic actor, there was a rough patch. He managed to keep his habits hidden for years – the partying reportedly started as early as 2007 after the release of High School Musical 2 - but it was only around 2012 or 2013 that it began showing. Paparazzi shots often showed him looking worse for wear, while tabloids went so far as to speculate about overdoses. After a stint in rehab, he opened up about his use of cocaine, MDMA and alcohol.

#8: Lalaine Vergara-Paras’ Dark Days

Hilary Duff may have been the star, but Lizzie McGuire's best friend found her own unfortunate way to shine. As Miranda, Vergara-Paras was a spirited girl, unafraid of speaking her mind or doing her own thing when it came to fashion. Lalaine's open mindedness, however, was far less kid friendly. After the series came to a close, she dabbled in music before moving on to crystal meth. In 2007, according to reports by AOL, Complex and TMZ, she was charged with felony possession of methamphetamines and was subsequently admitted to a drug abuse program.

#7: Orlando Brown’s Legal Troubles

This one time Disney star appeared everything from “Family Matters” to animated shows like “Waynehead” and “Fillmore!”. But he is without a doubt best known as Eddie Thomas, one of Raven’s closest friends in the series “That’s So Raven”. While Raven-Symoné has since found success in the talk show world, Orlando has struggled, not only in finding another consistent role, but also personally as well. Since 2011, he has racked up a number of charges, including drug possession, battery and more than one DUI. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s not been invited back for the “That’s So Raven” spin-off.

#6: Shia LaBoeuf’s Adult Life

The “Even Stevens” star's post Disney career started off well enough. He’d earned himself a Daytime Emmy for that role, and then landed one sizable role after another in films like “Constantine”, “Disturbia” and, of course, the lead in mega franchise “Transformers”. His films might not have been well-reviewed, but he’d established a substantial place for himself in Hollywood. Unfortunately, LaBeouf also has a knack for getting into trouble. He had run-ins with the law as early as 2005, but since 2011, it’s seemingly been one fight, drunken incident, unusual artistic statement, and scandal after another.

#5: Vanessa Hudgens’ Nude Leak

It hasn't been an easy ride for the other half of “High School Musical”'s leading couple either. In 2007, when Hudgens was 18, photos leaked online showing her both nude and scantily clad. Happening between High School Musicals 2 and 3, the leak very well could have cost her her role. While this was averted, it was only after a lot of damage control work on the part of herself, her PR team and Disney. After 2014's iCloud leaks, Hudgens and co may have had an easier time putting the fire out, but in 2007 blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator was still the way of the land.

#4: Lindsay Lohan’s Derailment

Lindsay Lohan snagged the hearts of kids and parents alike across America when she played dual roles in the 1998 Disney film “The Parent Trap”. She was a rising star, and snagging leading roles in Disney films “Life-Size,” “Get a Clue” and “Freaky Friday.” Lohan became a true household name with the release of “Mean Girls” in 2004. Unfortunately, success also brought with it public pressure and the trappings of fame. By 2006, she was already attending AA meetings. Since then, she’s been a tabloid regular, with her party girl lifestyle, frequent run-ins with the law and trips to rehab slowly eroding all credibility and star power.

#3: Demi Lovato’s Demons

Lovato's undeniably found success beyond her Camp Rock days, but in doing so she’s had to overcome many obstacles after another. She publicly dealt with issues of mental health, including depression, bipolar disorder, self-harm and eating disorders, all by 18. Though she came out of rehab stronger, Demi’s the first person to acknowledge the challenges of staying sober. Though her struggles started off as scandalous, her open attitude towards them have made her a role model for young people struggling with similar issues everywhere, becoming a voice for those suffering with mental health and substance abuse issues in the process.

#2: Miley Cyrus’ Adult Persona

Few Disney stars made more of an impact than Hannah Montana. But at a certain point, Miley needed to step out from behind the character and introduce the world to her real self. It seemed like she’d done that with 2007’s “Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus”. And she seemed to be taking the transition to adulthood one step at a time... until her 2013 album Bangerz, when all of sudden, she seemingly reinvented herself as a pot smoking, Molly popping, hyper-sexualized, twerking, parent’s worst nightmare. This, of course, meant she became a provocative lightning rod for criticism, and set a whole new standard for former child stars everywhere.

#1: Britney Spears’ Epic Meltdown

This was the pop star implosion that rocked the world and stopped the presses everywhere. Few Disney stars before or since can claim the sort of meteoric rise to fame that this former Mouseketeer experienced. But when it all proved too much, she snapped with a vengeance. Sometime around 2006, things began to unravel and her problems became all anyone could talk about. Dangerous driving, child endangerment, divorces, rehab, shaving her head, freaking out on paparazzi – and the tabloids there to eat it all up! But slowly, Britney fought her way through, and bounced back to reclaim her title as an unstoppable juggernaut of pop.