Amanda Bynes using drugs, has spent $1.2 million, parents say

A then 13-year-old TV star Amanda Bynes with her family in 1999.
A then 13-year-old TV star Amanda Bynes with her family in 1999.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Amanda Bynes has been using drugs, is consumed by paranoia and has spent $1.2 million in just a few months, the actress’ parents said in court papers filed this week to take over their daughter’s legal affairs.

Bynes’ parents said they were “deeply concerned” that their daughter poses a risk to herself and others and that her behavior has been fueled by paranoia, drugs and an obsession with plastic surgery.

Rick and Lynn Bynes, in court papers filed by attorney Tamar Arminak, say the incident where the 27-year-old actress set her pants on fire in the driveway of a Thousand Oaks home is the latest episode in a series of actions that illustrate why she needs a conservatorship.


Bynes was involuntarily hospitalized for mental health treatment after she was detained in Thousand Oaks this week.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Glen M. Reiser on Friday delayed a decision on the conservatorship, saying the standard 72-hour mental-health hold on Bynes had already been extended for up to 14 days.

The judge said he wanted to hear from the actress and get a full report before acting. He set a new hearing for Aug. 9.

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies detained the “Hairspray” actress on a psychiatric hold Monday after she set a small fire in the driveway of a Thousand Oaks home.

In court papers her parents described their daughter as “appearing to have a substance abuse problem” and being “extremely paranoid about being watched, including at our residence.”

“She would cover smoke alarms with towels, tape windows shut and cover her car dashboard with cardboard and tape out of fear that cameras were watching her from inside these places,” according to the documents.


In addition, they said it appeared she has “body image” issues and is obsessed with the idea she and others are “ugly,” noting she called a young niece “ugly” on Twitter.

Bynes, her parents said, talks “incessantly about cosmetic surgeries that she wants” and they have “received large doctor bills.” In recent months, since moving to New York, she has started spending large amounts of cash.

According to the filing, Bynes had approximately $4 million in savings but has spent about $1.2 million in a short time, with many checks written out to cash. In June and July, they say, she withdrew $100,000 from her accounts -- all in cash.

The parents are seeking control of her finances and medical decisions. The move mirrors that of Britney Spears’ parents in 2008 after she exhibited what seemed to be erratic behavior. Spears remains under a conservatorship.

In the Thousand Oaks’ incident, Bynes took off her pants while trying to douse the flames, according to court papers. In the documents, her parents quote witnesses saying Bynes’ dog may have also caught fire and that she went to a nearby liquor store and washed gasoline off the animal.

Until recently, the actress had been living in New York. When she was asked how she got back to her native Thousand Oaks, she replied “ she “cabbed it,” according to court records.


The actress’ parents said they don’t know how their daughter got to California or where she had been staying. They said they believed “she is essentially homeless.”

Bynes is facing charges in New York related to a May incident in which she allegedly tossed a marijuana pipe out of her Manhattan apartment window. She has pleaded not guilty to reckless endangerment and attempting to tamper with evidence.

Her parents in court papers also noted a series of arrests in Los Angeles that began in April 2012 when her car struck a sheriff’s cruiser while she was allegedly intoxicated. She was subsequently charged in two hit-and-run incidents and her license was suspended.

She was later arrested and convicted of driving without a license in Burbank.


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