Not all child stars have controversy follow their every move, but quite a few onetime young actors have found themselves in some pretty hot water. From pregnancies to nudity scandals to DUIs, some of these teens managed to mess with their own careers before they truly got started, while others were able to turn things around and build names for themselves in Hollywood. Though the cast of "The Wonder Years" — which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the show's finale on May 12, 2018 — wasn't exactly synonymous with scandal back then, star Fred Savage has endured some serious drama since. TV mom Alley Mills revealed in January 2018 that young Fred and TV brother Jason Hervey faced sexual harassment charges from a costumer in their final season, claims Alley told Yahoo were "completely ridiculous" because there was "no crime." In March 2018, a costume designer on his since-cancelled 2015 show "The Grinder" filed a lawsuit accusing Fred of harassment, discrimination and assault and battery, charges he's called "completely without merit and absolutely untrue." Keep reading to find out the latest on Fred and other former child stars plagued by controversy…
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Now in his 40s, Fred Savage has maintained a successful career in Hollywood, transitioning from acting to directing and producing in the late '90s. In 2015, he returned to acting on the FOX show "The Grinder," which ran for a year. He followed that up with a Netflix series, "Friends From College," and then signed on to host the game show "Child Support" alongside Ricky Gervais in early 2018. He's maintained his innocence since former "The Grinder" costume designer YoungJoo Hwang sued him and 20th Century Fox in March 2018 alleging harassment and assault. But 20th Century Fox Television, which produced the series, has defended Fred, explaining that after conducting an internal investigation into the costumer's claims, it "found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Savage" and "will vigorously defend against these unfounded claims." Fred has been married to childhood pal Jennifer Lynn Stone, with whom he has three kids, since 2004.
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"The Cosby Show" was one of the most popular sitcoms of the '80s. Lisa Bonet played Denise Huxtable, the family's free-spirited child, so life seemingly imitated art when Lisa made some edgy decisions off-screen as well. The actress fueled scandal when she took a role opposite Mickey Rourke in 1987's "Angel Heart," which featured a graphic sex scene that initially earned the film an X rating. She also posed topless in Interview magazine. The moves reportedly angered her TV dad, Bill Cosby. Though she moved over to the spinoff "A Different World" in 1987, she left the show after one season after revealing that she was pregnant with husband Lenny Kravitz's child — another choice that Bill was reportedly unhappy about. Though she briefly returned to "The Cosby Show," she soon left amid a cloud of drama.
Lisa Bonet's acting life post-"The Cosby Show" was filled with a lot of TV movies and a few appearances in major studio films. She starred alongside Will Smith in "Enemy of the State" in 1998 and had a role in "High Fidelity" in 2000. More recently, she's popped up on episodes of shows like "New Girl," "Girls" and "Ray Donovan." As for her personal life, that child she had with Lenny Kravitz grew up to be actress Zoe Kravitz. Lisa split from Lenny in 1993 — the same year she legally changed her name to Lilakoi Moon — and found love again in 2005 with actor Jason Momoa. The couple welcomed two kids, daughter Lola and son Nakoa-Wolf, and married in 2017.
When you think of a troubled former child stars, one of the first names that comes to mind is Amanda Bynes. The actress got her start on Nickelodeon's "All That" before landing her own sketch-comedy series, "The Amanda Show," on the network in 1999 at just 13 years old. But more fame amounted to more drama for the star, whose erratic behavior started when she announced her retirement — and then un-retired — from acting in 2010 at age 24 after appearing in the hit comedy film "Easy A." What followed were years of legal drama, psychiatric holds and stints in rehab. 2012 proved to be her most troublesome year: Amanda was arrested on DUI charges and accused of two different hit and runs. Her Twitter rants that year didn't help her cause, as she bizarrely utilized the social media site to ask for help from then-President Barack Obama. 2013 wasn't much better for the former child star, as she continued to tweet erratically and ended up arrested again — this time for allegedly tossing a bong out a window in New York City — and was placed on a psychiatric hold. 2014 saw another DUI arrest, a shoplifting incident and more time in a psychiatric facility. Reports also claimed she'd been kicked out of her school, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. So how did things turn out for the troubled onetime child star?
In 2015, things started looking up for Amanda Bynes! She was able to resume classes at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and her life seemingly calmed down after that point. Her probation for her last DUI case in 2014 ended in 2017, and Amanda's lawyer told Page Six that December that 2018 was looking bright. "In 2018, she looks forward to completing fashion school and dipping her toe back into acting. She has had several offers but is waiting for the right one to come along for a comeback," her attorney told the outlet. We're waiting, Amanda!
Sasha Mitchell was part of ABC's iconic "TGIF" lineup that was filled with family-friendly shows like his sitcom, "Step By Step." Sasha's teenage character, Cody, wasn't known for being the brightest member of his family, but he certainly kept the laughs coming! Unfortunately, off-screen, things weren't quite as jovial for Sasha, who was arrested for spousal abuse in 1995. The drama didn't end there: The actor claimed his wife beat their children and he violated his probation enough times to land himself in jail. Sasha was actually allowed to leave his cell to film "Step By Step" during the day, but the continued scandals eventually led ABC to ax him from the series.
Sasha Mitchell left "Step By Step" in 1998 after seven years on the series. He continued to work steadily after, mostly landing television movies and guest spots on TV shows like "ER," "NYPD Blue" and "JAG." More recently, he's nabbed roles in small films like the short "Father and Father." He split from the wife he allegedly abused, Jeannette Robbins, back in 1997 and went on to marry Rachel Mitchell in 2010. That marriage also came to an end, with Sasha filing for divorce in 2015.
Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy went from a supporting role on "iCarly" to a starring role alongside Ariana Grande on her very own show, "Sam & Cat." Unfortunately for Jennette, her new hit show was soon marred by controversy when lingerie photos of the actress leaked in March 2014. That same month, the star opted to not attend the network's annual Kid's Choice Awards, resulting in buzz that she and execs were at odds. Nickelodeon canceled "Sam & Cat" after just one season.
After parting ways with Nickelodeon, Jennette McCurdy started her own online show, "What's Next for Sarah?," serving as writer, executive producer, editor and star. From there she got a role on the Netflix drama "Between." More recently, Jennette can be seen in the thriller "Pet." When it comes to her personal life, Jennette hasn't gone public with a relationship since splitting from basketball player Andre Drummond in 2013.
Life tragically didn't imitate art for Dana Plato. The child actress starred as goodie-two-shoes teenager Kimberly Drummond on the hit late-'70s sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes." While her character was wholesome, off-screen, Dana was getting more and more into drugs and ended up getting pregnant and married — to rock guitarist Lenny Lambert — in 1984. The pregnancy led to her firing since it was so out of character for wholesome Kimberly.
Dana Plato had a hard road after being fired from "Diff'rent Strokes." She welcomed son Tyler with her musician husband Lanny Lambert and then attempted to revive her acting career. She returned to "Diff'rent Strokes," reprising her role for a few guest appearances on the final two seasons, but once the show ended, she never quite landed a role like Kimberly Drummond again. She modeled for Playboy and took some roles in B-movies, but while she enjoyed that modicum of success, an accountant she worked with ended up stealing most of her money. She then lost custody of her son and ended up moving to Las Vegas, where she worked at a dry cleaner and eventually attempted to rob a video store. She ended up getting back into drugs and in 1999, she died of an overdose. Her death was ruled a suicide.
Disney stars have a reputation to uphold! So when former "Hannah Montana" star Mitchel Musso was arrested for a DUI in 2011 at age of 20 — he wasn't even the legal drinking age — the Disney Channel was quick to remove him from his own show, "Pair of Kings."
After "Pair of Kings," Mitchel Musso continued to lend his voice to "Phineas and Ferb" for three more years, but his acting roles were fewer and further between. He's appeared in a few small films, most recently in 2018's "Bachelor Lions." In his personal life, Mitchel occasionally posts on social media, where he shares photos with his nursing-student girlfriend, Haley Rome.
Jessica Biel got her start in the '90s on "7th Heaven," a wholesome WB show centered around a religious family. So it came as a shock when she posed nearly naked in "Gear" magazine in 2000 when she was still 17. The racy photoshoot caused tensions with producer Aaron Spelling, but after taking a year off to go to college at Tufts University, Jessica returned to the show. "That photo shoot was just a really bad decision on my part," she later told Entertainment Weekly, adding that she "learned a whole lot from the experience, so it was definitely a blessing in disguise."
When Jessica Biel left "7th Heaven," a lot of doors opened up. She starred in a slew of teen movies in the early '00s including "Summer Catch" in 2001 and "The Rules of Attraction" in 2002. She found success on the big screen and eventually transitioned to smaller, indie films for a time before later tackling producing. In 2017, she starred in and executive produced the USA Network series "The Sinner," for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination. More recently, she starred in a music video for husband Justin Timberlake's song "Man of the Woods." She wed the former *NSYNC singer in 2012 after five years of dating. The two have one son together, Silas, who was born in 2015.
Remember Julie McCullough? You might not, because she wasn't on "Growing Pains" for long. The actress landed the role of Julie Costello on the family-friendly series in 1989 playing the Seavers' teen nanny who was also a love interest for Kirk Cameron's character, Mike Seaver. It's been reported that Kirk, an evangelical Christian, had her fired after just 11 episodes once her Playboy past was revealed.
After being forced off "Growing Pains," Julie McCullough made appearances on other hit shows of the era like "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "Harry and the Hendersons." These days, Julie's acting days are behind her, but she's still in the spotlight: She works as a stand-up comedian. She's been married once — to Canadian actor David Sutcliffe from 2001 to 2003 — but is currently single.
Oh, Little J! Taylor Momsen brought Jenny Humphrey to life on "Gossip Girl" in the late '00s. Jenny went from innocent high schooler to rebellious "It" girl on the series, and Taylor's own career in Hollywood mimicked the same trajectory. She parted ways with the popular CW show in 2011 — viewers watched as her appearances dwindled — amid rumors that her on-set behavior could be erratic.
When Taylor Momsen left "Gossip Girl," she also left acting behind, choosing to focus on music: Taylor has fronted the gritty rock band The Pretty Reckless since 2009. Her worlds collided in 2012 when she returned for the series finale of "Gossip Girl," which used her song "Kill Me" in the last episode. Taylor's band has toured alongside artists like Evanescence, Marilyn Manson and Fall Out Boy. Their most recent album was released in 2016 and their most recent single, "Back to the River," came out in June 2017. Not much is known about the star's personal life, but she'll be 25 in 2018.