Photo Credit: Courtesy of Amanda Bynes/Twitter
Sorry, Amanda Bynes -- the window for saying "just kidding!" is no longer open. Back in April, the actress' bizarre antics and weird tweets had us wondering if her "meltdown" was an elaborate prank. Two months later, we've seen far too much to believe that she's faking it -- and yet, that's what she apparently wants people to think.
Last Thursday, Amanda's friend Jonathan Jaxson posted what he says is an actual text message conversation between himself and Bynes. In the texts, Amanda breezily declares that her troubling behavior is just a means to a comeback.
"All this has been an act and you know it! I am an actress and know what I'm doing," Bynes reportedly told Jaxson. "I got to 2 million followers and now everyone wants me. I am smart and not stupid. Everyone mentions my name. The world loves me!"
When Jaxson responded that people were worried about her, Bynes supposedly replied, "Just wait and the world will see!"
First of all, a disclaimer about Jonathan Jaxson: We don't know that we can trust him. He's the guy who was legally forced to apologize after he insisted that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' wedding was staged. (He also said he was Kim's publicist for two years, which she denies.) His biggest claim to fame seems to be talking trash about celebrities he's worked for, most recently Kim Zolciak.
Besides all that, Jaxson is a publicist who's currently promoting his own book, and what could be better promotion than generating a new Amanda Bynes headline? It worked for him once before, when he begged the NYPD for a Twitter intervention, saying he didn't know Amanda's address. This time around, there's a major concern-troll vibe to his tweets, which makes us even warier. This one, for example:
If you send me texts telling me you are doing this all as an act, I will let the world know. Especially when sooo many have been worried!— Jonathan Jaxson (@jonathanjaxson) June 14, 2013
Whatever Jaxon's ulterior motives, let's say that the conversation he posted was totally real. If so, Amanda Bynes is faking her meltdown in order to stage a comeback. And it's working! Her fans can stop worrying because she's fine, she's great, she's totally in control.
Except she is so, so obviously not.
Were she faking these shenanigans, we're pretty sure she wouldn't have gotten herself arrested last month, or been kicked out of the hotel she was calling home. Those In Touch photos of her squalid living conditions probably wouldn't have seen the light of day. And then there's the plastic surgery and the piercings -- both of which could theoretically be fake, but if they're real, that's a pretty extreme measure to take in order to further convince people you're nuts.
Honestly, we'd kind of like to believe that Bynes has been messing with us. For one thing, it would make her an evil genius, which is a pretty solid career move for an ex-Nickelodeon star. It would also relieve our guilt over gawking at her like she's a human car crash. So maybe we'll hold out a sliver of hope.
If she is punking us, it would change our whole viewpoint on her recent antics, like this weekend's trip to an Atlantic City casino. According to the New York Daily News, Bynes showed up to the Revel casino alone, her dog in tow, wearing a blonde wig and a dress that still had security tags attached to it. By all accounts, she was "acting crazy"; one witness says they saw her "coming out of a bathroom ... doing the chicken dance."
If she's having an actual breakdown, her solo gambling trip isn't doing much to ease our minds. But we'd prefer to think she's got a bucket list at home called "fun stuff to do to make people think I'm crazy," which contains items like "jump on trampolines in Buffalo" and "do the chicken dance in the middle of a casino." However unlikely, it sure beats the alternative.
Donna Kaufman is an iVillage contributing writer. Find her on Google+.