Unfortunately, personal struggles derailed her, and Bynes has since made multiple attempts to regroup. However, her return to the spotlight remains up in the air. Find out what happened to this promising young woman, and get the whereabouts of Amanda Bynes in 2021.
Amanda Bynes Was A Successful Child Star
Amanda Bynes is best known for entertaining kids and tweens on the small screen throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. She got her first big break on the Nickelodeon sketch comedy series All That, where she showed off her physical comedy chops with talented co-stars like Kenan Thompson and Nick Cannon. Her likability eventually earned her star billing on The Amanda Show, a variety program that ran on Nickelodeon between 1999 and 2002.
But Bynes wasn’t meant to stay with the kids’ channel forever. In 2002, she moved to The WB, where she starred in four seasons of the sitcom What I Like About You with Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Jennie Garth. She also saw success in mainstream films like Hairspray and She’s the Man.
Bynes’ last role was in the 2010 comedy Easy A, co-starring the up and coming actress Emma Stone. Although she earned positive reviews for her performance, she referred to the experience as a test of her already fragile sanity.
“I literally couldn’t stand my appearance in that movie and I didn’t like my performance. I was absolutely convinced I needed to stop acting after seeing it,” she told Paper in 2018. “I was high on marijuana when I saw that but for some reason it really started to affect me.
I don’t know if it was a drug-induced psychosis or what, but it affected my brain in a different way than it affects other people. It absolutely changed my perception of things.”
Thus marked the beginning of a dark (and very public) chapter in Bynes’ life.
Bynes’ downward spiral began in 2012 when she was accused of three separate hit-and-runs in the span of five months. She was arrested for a DUI and eventually charged with two counts of hit-and-runs. Apparently, her public cry for help—addressed directly to President Barack Obama via Twitter— fell on deaf ears. Bynes eventually settled out of court with some of the victims, the charges were dropped, and she received three years probation.
In the meantime, she wasn’t exactly scared straight. In mid-September of 2012, she was caught driving with a suspended license. Less than a week later, she was dumped by her agent, publicist, and lawyer. According to TMZ, “the team decided to cut bait … acknowledging they can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped.”
Bynes packed things up, headed for the East Coast, and took up residence in Manhattan. But the change of scenery did little to help her. In May 2013, NYPD received a complaint that Bynes had rolled a joint in the lobby of her building.
When police officers went up to her apartment, she threw a glass bong out of her 36th floor window. The actress was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence, and criminal possession of marijuana. Soon after, she entered rehab and spent nearly six months at an inpatient facility in California.
But Bynes fans couldn’t help but wonder what triggered her erratic behavior. In October 2014, she offered a disturbing explanation via social media. “My dad was verbally and physically abusive to me as a child,” she wrote in a now-deleted series of tweets.
“He called me ugly as a child and then asked me if I wanted to have sex with him and I did not know how to respond and I said no and then I was forced to live with my dad which was a total nightmare.”
Three hours later, she recanted, writing “My dad never did any of those things The microchip in my brain made me say those things but he’s the one that ordered them to microchip me.”
Bynes’ mom Lynn issued a statement through the family lawyer denying the claims. “These accusations are absolutely horrible and could not be further from the truth!” She said. “These allegations stem from Amanda’s mental state at the moment. They have no basis in reality.”
Bynes’ siblings also issued a generic statement in support of their parents. However, an unnamed source told People that there was definitely animosity between the father and daughter. (“She is very angry at her father,” said the insider.)
But depending on what day it is, and what kind of condition she is in, Bynes might tell you that her issues have nothing to do with her parents. Rather, she succumbed to the pressures of being a young starlet in Hollywood. For instance, she told Paper that seeing herself dressed as a male character in She’s the Man triggered a wave of shame and depression.
“I went into a deep depression for four to six months because I didn’t like how I looked when I was a boy,” she said. “I’ve never told anyone that… [It] was a super strange and out-of-body experience. It just really put me into a funk.”
She also blamed an Adderall addiction on losing her job in the 2011 comedy Hall Pass. Bynes, who couldn’t memorize her lines and didn’t click with the rest of the cast, was replaced mid-production by Alexandra Daddario.
Bynes attempted to start a new chapter by getting clean and enrolling at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. She also hyped up an upcoming clothing line as part of her comeback. However, recovery eludes her. In 2014, she was involuntarily committed, and in 2019, she checked into a mental health facility “following a stress-related relapse.”
With so much chatter about the #FreeBritney movement these days, many people are starting to see parallels between Britney and Bynes’ experiences.
Since 2013, Lynn Bynes has been her daughter’s conservator. Despite the fact that the former actress has complied with mental health treatment, graduated from school, and successfully completed a stint in a sober living community, she says she does not have access to her finances.
Lynn was scheduled to maintain conservatorship of her child’s estate through August 2020. Word is that Bynes planned to challenge the arrangement, but there’s no word on whether or not it expired or was extended. (She often scrubs her social media accounts after posting sprees, so it’s hard to keep up with the latest news.)
What Is Amanda Bynes Doing In 2021?
Bynes is currently engaged to on-and-off-again boyfriend Paul Michael. Word is that the two met in sober living in 2019. The actress announced they were engaged on Valentine’s Day of 2020, but the couple split and reconciled between then and now.
In an interview in December 2020 with E! News, she revealed that while they don’t live together and the pandemic made things difficult, the relationship was great. Michael echoed the sentiment, but Bynes’ attorney David A Esquaibias wasn’t so sure, telling E! News, “it appears to me he is selling access to her to the paparazzi.”
Beyond her personal life, Bynes also released Diamonds in January 2021, a hip-hop track with a rapper named Precise. To say the reception was lukewarm would be generous. Take a listen:
Whether she returns to acting, pursues her fashion career goals, or lives a quiet life away from the spotlight, we wish nothing but the best for Bynes and hope that she stays on the right path.