Have you been following the latest in the Amanda Bynes saga, Bettys? We’d sort of lost track of it amidst all the hullabaloo of the Royal Baby, but we’re finally catching up now, and, well… maybe a conservatorship is exactly what she needs, because it’s gotten CRAZY.
Here’s the story:
On Monday night, Amanda was hospitalized and put on a 5150 psychiatric hold after starting a small fire in the driveway of Bonnie Braaten. As far as we know, Bonnie was just a random resident of Thousand Oaks, CA; she had never had any contact with Amanda before the incident and didn’t know why the troubled starlet might have attempted to light her driveway on fire. Authorities opted for the 5150 instead of arresting Amanda, which means that she has been involuntarily confined due to the fact that she may be a danger to herself or others—or her dog, which she apparently drenched in gasoline while setting the fire. (I KNEW it was a bad idea for her to be a pet owner!)
Typically, 5150 holds only last for 72 hours; an anonymous source close to the case, however, told the LA Times that authorities could ask to have the order extended for up to two weeks. Why? Presumably to carry out atn extensive examination and figure out what might be going on with Amanda. According to TMZ (although note that the sensationalist angle is TMZ’s bread and butter, so take it with a grain of salt), she’s actually exhibiting signs of schizophrenia, which is quite serious indeed. As such, Amanda’s parents are allegedly seeking to put her in a conservatorship—something they hadn’t yet been able to do, as her recent behavior had been a little odd, but not so troubling as to warrant taking away her freedom. The fire incident and the 5150 changed all that, though, so even though she won’t be charged with a crime, things are far from settled for her.
Although the last time I wrote about Amanda, I cracked a (probably in poor taste) joke about how if she sank any lower, she’d be entering Lindsay Lohan territory, I don’t actually think we’re looking at a LiLo situation here—I think (and I am almost definitely not alone) that it’s something more like a Britney Spears circa 2007’s Shaved Head Incident. Britney, too, was placed under a conservatorship after suffering from an epic breakdown; although she never stopped working, she dropped out of the limelight for a while and has only recently begun to edge her way back into it.
The difference here might be that Britney was still at the height of her fame when her break happened, whereas Amanda has been struggling to stay relevant. At this point, all I can say is that I REALLY hope she gets the help she needs, because something is clearly not right.
Tell us: What do you think might be going on with Amanda?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.