In retrospect, we should have known something was up with Amanda Bynes back in the summer of 2010, when she retired from acting, then un-retired from acting, then deleted her original Twitter feed altogether. Since then, The Amanda Show‘s former lead has been behaving more and more erratically — getting in multiple car accidents, dramatically altering her appearance, and declaring on her latest Twitter account that she wants the rapper Drake to “murder [her] vagina.”
And then came May 23, when Bynes was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment. (She allegedly threw a bong out of a window in her New York City apartment.) The incident has catalyzed an even odder spate of behavior for the ex-Nickelodeon star, including wearing a ratty platinum wig to court and claiming that she’s going to sue the NYPD for both sexual harassment and making a false arrest.
How did she get here? Though the real story probably begins when a 7-year-old Bynes appeared in her first commercial (for Buncha Crunch) in 1994, let’s start instead a little more than a year ago, when Bynes had her first brush with the law.
April 6, 2012: Amanda Bynes is arrested for driving under the influence in West Hollywood, Calif. Apparently, the actress was pulled over after hitting a stopped police car. After being arrested, the actress refused a test that would have determined if she was either drunk or using drugs.
April 10, 2012: Bynes is accused of hitting another car on the San Fernando Valley’s 101 Freeway and fleeing the scene.
June 5, 2012: After being formally charged with a DUI, Bynes pleads her case directly to President Obama via Twitter: “Hey @BarackObama… I don’t drink. Please fire the cop who arrested me. I also don’t hit and run. The end.” She pleads not guilty to the charge.
Aug. 5, 2012: Bynes is accused of another hit-and-run, this time on Ventura Blvd.
Sept. 5, 2012: Bynes is formally charged with two counts of hit-and-run relating to the incidents in June and August. She faces up to a year in jail if convicted of both misdemeanors. She pleads not guilty.
Sept. 16, 2012: Bynes is pulled over for driving with a suspended license. Her driving privileges had been revoked after her hit-and-run charges.
Sept. 17, 2012: Lindsay Lohan, Bynes’s one-time acting rival, is upset that Bynes hasn’t been incarcerated. “Why did I get put in jail and a Nickelodeon star has had NO punishment(s) so far?” she tweets furiously, following a few minutes later with this message: “These are the moments that I appreciate my life experiences, living without regrets and Disney for supporting me as an actress.”
Sept. 20, 2012: Bynes tells People that despite appearances, she’s “doing amazing,” and that she’s also starting a fashion line and moving to New York (where, presumably, she’ll no longer have to drive). She claims again that she doesn’t drink. The article also quotes an “observer” who watched Bynes engage in bizarre behavior at the gym — stripping to her strapless push-up bra in a spin class, pulling out her makeup kit, and exiting the class after spending 10 minutes touching up her lipstick and eyeliner.
Sept. 21, 2012: TMZ reports that Bynes has been dropped by her agent, her publicist, and her lawyer, all in the span of a few weeks. The trio reportedly quit only after not being able to get in touch with Bynes for an entire month. According to TMZ’s sources, Bynes was a “dream client” for years — but she had become increasingly difficult over the past year.
Nov. 1, 2012: Bynes tells Us Weekly that she is suing In Touch for printing a “fake” story about her walking around a tanning salon completely naked, and that she wants the press to respect her privacy: “I’m 26, a multi-millionaire, retired.”
Dec. 14, 2012: Bynes reaches a settlement with the victims of April and August’s alleged hit-and-run victims. Two accidents down, two to go.
Jan. 16, 2013: Bynes posts a photo on her new Tumblr page, revealing that she’s gotten a cheek piercing. Later pictures will reveal that her right cheek has been pierced as well. The Tumblr account has since been deleted.
Mar. 17, 2013: Bynes claims she “created” the phrases “ILY” (“I love you”) and “LOLOL.”
Mar. 22, 2013: Bynes tweets that she wants Drake to “murder [her] vagina.”
Mar. 28, 2013: Bynes tweets that she’s suing Us Weekly and Perez Hilton “for continuing to act like I’m doing something wrong by tweeting and walking to photoshoots. F— you!!!!”
April 2, 2013: Bynes — or someone who shares her features, her cheek piercings, and a hair color similar to the pink she sported in her DUI mugshot — is photographed walking around Manhattan. On Twitter, she claims that the photos are actually of an imposter: “My hair is blonde, I’ve never been a redhead! Somebody keeps posing as me! Check my photos on Twitter for up to date pictures!” The tweets are later deleted.
April 5, 2013: Us Weekly reports that Bynes claims once again that she’s “suing certain blogs and magazines,” though this time she says it’s because they’re “saying [she has] a mental illness.” She complains that the press “take pictures anytime I’ve gained weight then write a fake story!” In a later tweet, she demands that the media use only photos from her Twitter account while writing an article about her.
April 15, 2013: Bynes posts the following video online. Description: “I’m Sucking On A Sour Patch Kid Listening To Music Getting Ready For Tonight :D”
April 25, 2013: Bynes apparently says goodbye to tangled extensions (and not-red hair) by buzzing half of her hair for a ‘do she says is inspired by the singer Cassie.
May 1, 2013: In an exclusive interview, Bynes tells In Touch that she’s not crazy. “I have no clue [why people say I’m insane]. Every time I’ve heard it, it came from an ugly person’s mouth, so I don’t care,” she tells the magazine. She repeats once more that she doesn’t drink because she’s “allergic to alcohol,” insists that she doesn’t smoke pot, and says that she’s focused on getting in shape “for all the photo shoots.” Additionally, Bynes says she’s designing clothes and “can’t wait to start working on an album.”
May 2, 2013: Jenny McCarthy tweets, “Police are at @AmandaBynes house. I hope they get her help. Enough of this circus. She needs help.” She’s repeating claims made by the publicist Jonathan Jaxson, a self-described friend of Bynes who has tweeted several concerned messages directed at the actress. The claim about the police is later confirmed to be untrue.
Bynes responds by lashing out at McCarthy, calling her “ugly” and an “old lady” who “look[s] 80 compared to me.” McCarthy apologizes; Bynes responds by saying, “thanks! I’m sorry I offended you! You’re beautiful! I was lying! I’ll delete our tweets!”
May 5, 2013: Bynes admits via Twitter that she had a nose job “to remove skin that was like a webbing in between my eyes” several years ago.
May 9, 2013: Bynes pleads no contest to driving with a suspended license and is sentenced to three years of summary probation. She is also ordered to pay a $1,400 fine. Her DUI case is still pending.
May 22, 2013: In Touch goes inside Bynes’s “drug-fueled house party,” claiming that Bynes sleeps on a bare mattress, that her windows have been spray-painted black, and that her floor is covered in bags of pot. A photographer documents the scene.
May 23, 2013: Bynes is arrested on drug charges after allegedly tossing a bong out a 36th-floor window. She is taken to Roosevelt Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, then spends a night in Central Booking and heads to court the next morning — all while clad in a ratty platinum blond wig. A mug shot reveals her natural hair to be close-cropped and light brown. Bynes tells the judge that the object she threw was just a vase.
May 25, 2013: Bynes takes to Twitter to tell her side of the arrest story, claiming that the reports are “all lies.” She says that the police found no pot on her and that there was no bong outside her window; she also claims that one of the officers sexually harassed her by “slap[ping] my vagina.”
May 26, 2013: Bynes lashes out at Rihanna on Twitter, saying, “Chris brown beat you because you’re not pretty enough” and that she “almost named [her] new dog Rihanna.” Rihanna shoots back, tweeting, “Ya see what happens when they cancel Intervention?” Bynes’s tweets are later deleted.
Also that day, Bynes tweets that she’s suing her family “for money laundering/unethical manager work,” saying that she’s no longer speaking to her parents. “I would rather them be homeless than live off of my money,” she adds.
Then In Touch reports that Bynes has been wig shopping.
May 27, 2013: Bynes tweets that she’s suing the NYPD “for illegally entering my apartment, lying about drugs on me and lying about me tampering with non existent drug paraphernalia, then I’m suing for being put into a mental hospital against my will, then locked up overnight for coming home after a facial and working out with my trainer like the good girl that I am.” She repeats that she’s “allergic” to drugs and alcohol, and ends the note by saying that she’s “looking forward to a long and wonderful career as a singer/rapper!”
Oh, and later, she says those anti-Rihanna tweets were “fake”: “Rihanna and I met and I’m sure we’ll be in a music video together one day!”
May 28, 2013: Bynes now claims that she’s suing TMZ, as well as the police officer who allegedly sexually harassed her. She says that she will not press charges against the cop, though, and that “his punishment will be being the cop who sexually harassed someone who would never find him handsome enough to be my boyfriend.”
Meanwhile, perhaps history’s hottest mess speaks for us all with a perfectly timed tweet: