Hollywood star scandals quiet in 2008

Fri Dec 19, 2008 8:13pm EST
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Politics was not the only arena that saw change in 2008, Hollywood also felt different as stars like Britney Spears and Robert Downey, Jr. overcame past personal troubles and let their work speak for them.

In 2007, the tabloids brimmed with celebrity scandals.

Spears attacked a paparazzo with an umbrella and flashed her private parts in public. Celebrity heiress Paris Hilton spent three weeks in jail for violating probation in a case of driving under the influence, and actress Lindsay Lohan saw her hard-partying life turn to DUI arrests and stints in rehab.

This past year stood in stark contrast.

"I would definitely say the golden age of the shock starlet seems to have ebbed," said Seth Abramovitch, editor of Defamer, a celebrity news Web site. "It peaked last year and they all sort of went into nesting mode."

Spears, 27, began 2008 on a downturn as she was twice hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation. But her life soon quieted down as a Los Angeles family court granted her visits with her sons, and her father took over her affairs.

Things got so slow for Spears that last month she told Rolling Stone magazine she felt old and boring. But quietude appears to have been a boon for the pop diva, because this month she released the chart-topping comeback album "Circus."

Since 2005, when he argued with TV interviewer Matt Lauer about psychiatry and jumped on Oprah Winfrey's couch proclaiming his love for Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise has battled his own image problems.   Continued...

<p>Madonna (R) performs with Britney Spears during the Los Angeles date of her "Sticky and Sweet" tour at Dodgers stadium in Los Angeles November 6, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>