Money Changes Everything

Categories: General Archive

Beaucoup bucks are the harbinger of celeb breakdowns 

After signing a reported $50 million (yes, $50 million) deal for the third season of Chappelle's Show, creator/star Dave Chappelle is AWOL and new episodes, which were supposed to premiere May 31, have been repeatedly delayed. It's even been rumored that Chappelle is being treated at a South African psychiatric hospital. To paraphrase Chappelle's beloved Rick James impression, "money is a helluva drug."

This isn't the first time a celebrity has cracked immediately after inking an eyepopping contract. In 2001, Mariah Carey landed a deal with Virgin Records that was estimated at $100 million. After the resulting album tanked, Mariah quickly cycled through the three phases of a routine celebrity breakdown: 1.) babbling incoherently on the internet, 2.) babbling incoherently on MTV, and 3.) checking into a hospital for "dehydration." (What is it with all these thirsty celebrities? Can't an A-lister get a Sierra Mist around here?)

There are loads of casualties on the "Being Rich is Hard" battlefield: Lindsay Lohan, who was a robust, freckled teen in her less-famous days, is now a multimillionaire at 18--and a wan, taneorexic blonde who's battled dehydration and recently told Teen Vogue that she's pleased that she can finally "fit into clothes." Think this would have happened if she'd languished in obscurity?

In other words, overnight success means you'll soon be thin, thirsty, crazy and/or delusional. So think twice before you sign that three-picture deal with Dreamworks, okay kids?

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