Tara Reid’s Rocky Life in the Spotlight: From Bizarre Appearances to Getting Booted Off a Plane

She may now be known for her big-screen film roles, but Tara Reid scored one of her first major breaks on TV back in 1995, playing Ashley in the daytime soap Days of Our Lives.

Reid, who first began acting at 6 years old, became a household name in Hollywood following her turn in 1999’s American Pie and its subsequent sequels: 2001’s American Pie 2 and 2012’s American Reunion.

“In my American Pie days, everyone was kissing my butt. I didn’t realize how good I had it,” the actress told PEOPLE in 2008. “But the second things go down, no one cares. See who visits you in the hospital when you’re sick. I’ve become more humble.”

From 2003 to 2005, Reid held a recurring role in Scrubs, on which she played J.D.’s (Zach Braff) love interest. 

As she began rising up the ranks in Hollywood, Reid — who would go on to host her own (albeit short-lived) travel show, Taradise, in 2005 — was branded as a party girl.

“I was the first one,” she told TIME in 2014 of her partying days. “I was before Paris Hilton, before Lindsay Lohan. I’m the oldest one, and I started selling magazines. They still want to make me that.” She added: “The magazines aren’t even letting me grow up, and that’s what’s hurting me with the character roles. They need to let me be the woman I am now, not the girl. There’s a big difference.”

Talk about a wardrobe malfunction: At Diddy’s birthday party in 2004, Reid inadvertently flashed more than a smile when the strap of her dress slipped off on the red carpet. “I just can’t get a break,” she told PEOPLE. “It’s like people expect this to happen to me.”

Reid has always been a natural in front of the camera — a statement her mom is quick to echo. As a kid, Reid “was always hamming it up,” said her mom, Donna.

“It would be the ultimate dream for me to win an Academy Award, be in love and have kids,” Reid told the New York Post in 2005 of her future plans. “Then I would say, ‘Life is great! I have done everything I wanted.’ I keep trying to get closer to that.”

Following a 2004 liposuction surgery, Reid — who would undergo reconstructive surgery two years later — was left with scars on her stomach. “They are my battle wounds,” she told PEOPLE of her “uneven” abs.

After unflattering bikini shots of her surfaced in 2008, Reid faced a barrage of Internet attacks aimed at her post-surgery figure. “I’ve been a media target for years now,” the actress shared. “It does hurt my feelings, but what can I do? I have to move on.”

In December 2008, Reid made the decision to enter rehab with the intention of changing her life for the better and mending “strained” relationships with friends and family members.

“Tara has a problem with alcohol. It’s been at the root of much discomfort between herself and her family and friends,” a source close to the star told PEOPLE at the time. “She finally made the decision to do something positive for herself and her loved ones.”

The actress was faced with comments like “anorexic” and “#soskinny” after posting a bikini photo of herself on Instagram over Thanksgiving weekend in 2014.

“Some people that eat too much, [and] you yell at them that they’re fat,” she said during an interview, adding that women of all sizes encounter body-shaming comments in their lifetime. “You want to get mad at me because I’m skinny? Great, get mad at me. I am what I am.”

While Reid stayed busy through the years with small acting roles and event appearances, the American Pie star experienced a career resurgence with 2013’s surprise hit, Sharknado, a SyFy original movie that would lead to four sequels in the coming years.

“I think people are saying, ‘This girl has lasting power. She’s been in this business since she was 6 years old,’ ” Reid told TIME. “I’ve done over 45 movies. Regardless if they’re A movies, B movies, C movies, D movies. I always stay working. I love what I do.”

In 2016, Reid and Dean May signed up to star on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars — but their turn didn’t last long after the show’s counselors found out the two weren’t actually in a romantic relationship. The actress confirmed their dynamic in a candid interview with a producer. 

“Part of the reason we did the show is because [May] owes money and taxes and he could use the money and he wouldn’t mind the fame … so I wanted to do the show for him,” Reid revealed.

Dressed in Grecian-inspired lingerie, Reid couldn’t help but smile while attending Maxim‘s annual Halloween party in 2016.

In an interview with E! News, Reid opened up about dealing with plenty of body shaming during her years in the spotlight. “I’ve definitely felt bullying in my life. With media or press or just different things in my life,” she said. “People always say I don’t eat. I eat all the time. They call me scary skinny. You’re my friend; everyone knows I eat more than anyone. I’m just a thin girl.”

“Bullying is such a big deal these days and it’s something I very much personalized with,” shared Reid, who stars in Worthless, a film about the hazards of bullying. “In my life, I’ve had a lot of bullying and I know what that feels like and how much it hurt.”

The 42-year-old American Pie actress has a tendency to turn heads — this time wearing a long blonde wig to the Hollywood premiere of Valerian and The City of a Thousand Planets in July 2017.

The actress showed off her figure in a see-through chainmail minidress on the red carpet at the Freedom United Foundation’s Art for a Cause event in July 2017. Her bra nowhere to be found, Reid instead wore tan pasties and a matching thong to cover up. 

Reid caused some concern during a live interview in August 2018 throughout which the actress appeared to slur her speech and squint heavily at the camera while promoting the sixth and final film of the franchise, The Last Sharknado.

Though Reid appeared in relatively good spirits throughout the interview, smiling in her black sequined top, the Taradise star stumbled over her words, speaking in slow, drawn-out sentences, causing fans on Twitter to question whether she was okay.

In August, Reid caused concern among her fans when she appeared on Australian show Today Extra to promote The Last Sharknado. The actress stumbled over her words, spoke slowly, had slurred speech and trailed off. She told fans in a statement that she was “in great spirits and health” a week later.

Two months later she was making headlines again she was removed from a Delta flight for allegedly causing a “disturbance.” 

The actress was seen being asked to leave by a flight attendant in a video obtained by TMZ. Reid, 42, could be seen wearing a black coat, a red beanie and carrying her dog in one arm.

A rep for the actress did not have a comment.


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