Audiences recall actor Orlando Brown from his debut in Major Payne with Damon Wayans and his role as Eddie Thomas in That’s So Raven, a Disney Channel comedy that aired from 2003 to 2007. After that promising start to his career, Brown had a series of high-profile controversies, which included skirmishes with the law, involvement with drugs, and strange comments about prominent celebrities. His freewheeling, sometimes irrational, sometimes shocking public demeanor generated reams of bad publicity.
Brown’s out-of-control behavior raised questions about his well-being. He morphed from wholesome teen to wayward, self-destructive bad boy practically in front of our eyes. So where is Orlando Brown now?
He Left Acting To Pursue A Music Career
Brown decided to shift gears professionally and focused on music, which turned out to be a smart move for him. One of his songs, “Pay Attention to Me” was in the film Thirteen (2003). Three years later, in 2006, Brown released an album titled Trade It All. He then took a long break before releasing any more music.
He Began Making Headlines For All The Wrong Reasons In 2016
Things began to go haywire in a big way for Brown about a decade after his album came out. In January 2016, according to CNN, a then-28-year-old Brown was arrested in Torrance, California for “possessing and bringing methamphetamine into police headquarters, possessing drug paraphernalia, battery and resisting or delaying arrest.” He also allegedly struck a woman in public who he was dating at the time.
Denying the charges, Brown lamented on Instagram, “I’ve been in jail for a whole month and every day in jail is two days,” Brown wrote. “Nobody cared about me. How do you think I feel?”
Two years after that, in January 2018, Brown was arrested again—this time in Barstow, California, for allegedly having “a verbal argument at an apartment with … his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mom.” The charges confronting Brown were “[b]attery against a spouse, resisting a peace officer, and possession of a controlled substance.”
A Barstow cop became aware that Torrance police had an arrest warrant for Brown. He had missed a court date. Brown landed behind bars again.
His attitude appeared defiant. He wrote several comments about his predicament, including one that sounded a little ominous: “Brace yourselves for this one.”
Brown continued on his path of eyebrow-raising conduct in May 2018 by getting a jumbo tattoo of his former That’s So Raven co-star, Raven-Symone, on his neck and chest. The representation of her face on his body was noted by People, which described Brown’s new tattoo as “huge.”
Brown’s string of run-ins with law enforcement got longer in June 2018. He was seen by police arriving and departing from a Las Vegas motel known for its guests’ nefarious activities, such as prostitution and drugs. They intercepted the taxi Brown left in. “[H]e initially refused to cooperate,” TMZ explained, so they arrested him for “felony narcotics possession, and misdemeanor charges of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.”
In September 2018, he was nabbed for burglary in Las Vegas. Brown was noticed on camera changing locks at a place called Legends Restaurant & Venue, which was owned by a friend of his. Police showed up when a security alarm sounded. When they arrived, they reportedly found Brown perched on the building’s roof. He stuck to his story—that he was changing the restaurant’s locks—which his friend refuted. So Brown was put behind bars yet again.
Page Six noted that Brown was detained “on $13,000 bail, which includes bail from previous arrest charges for drug possession, resisting a public officer, and domestic battery.”
He Began To Get Help In Late 2018
Brown’s erratic, law-breaking behavior began to worry his friends, who staged an intervention for him. Brown went to rehab, but “it clearly didn’t work out entirely as planned,” according to HotNewHipHop. Brown reportedly stayed for only one week before quitting and getting himself into another messy scrape that drew media attention.
A video surfaced at this time showing Brown “walking around barefoot in the streets with what appears to be a box of wine while a man follows him with a camera, threatening to knock out Brown if he comes near his home.”
Brown’s friend and manager, Solomon Barron, was so concerned about his downward emotional spiral in December 2018 that he appeared on an episode of Dr. Phil titled “From Disney Star to Homeless and in Danger: Will Orlando Brown Accept Life-Saving Treatment?” Barron described Brown’s plight in the hope that the famous retired psychologist could assist his buddy.
“If you can’t get him to recognize his problems,” Barron said to Dr. Phil, “he does not have a chance in life, at a comeback, anything. It doesn’t look good for him.”
After Barron left the stage, Brown came out on the set and sat down with Dr. Phil, who asked him many probing questions. Brown’s confusion was apparent. He asserted that he was Michael Jackson’s son, claimed to have four kids although he seemed mixed up about their ages and names, and said he had been sober for four years. All those statements were untrue.
Following a lot of pushback and resistance, Brown finally agreed to go to a Malibu clinic for treatment. At the end of the program, Dr. Phil gave an update and said Brown “had made great strides” toward recovery.
By 2020, His Life Seemed To Be Heading In The Right Direction
A couple of years later, Brown seemed to be gaining traction in his attempt to return to a more settled life. He began releasing new music: “F**ck My Fame” (2018), “Empire” (2019), and “Hi, I’m Famous”, and “Coming to America” (2020).
In September 2020, The Christian Post reported that Brown, then 32, was “getting ready to graduate from a faith-based treatment center in Texas and he’s singing high praises about the power of prayer and Christian fellowship.”
Brown was preparing to graduate from Rise Discipleship, a Rise Church-run, no-cost men’s recovery program, two months later, in November.
According to the Post, Brown was upfront about his past issues. “I went through a lot. I experimented with crystal meth, with weed. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was addicted to the internet. All kinds of stuff.”
He credited his fiancée for connecting him with this program and standing by him while he sorted his life out.Brown made a guest appearance on Cornbread TV in 2022 and played Detective Brown in Bloody Hands, which is in post-production this year.
He Has Continued To Make Bizarre Accusations Against Other Celebrities
Brown’s odd behavior returned in the form of peculiar remarks he made about well-known personalities. In January 2020, E! News reported that Brown alleged having a sexual encounter with Nick Cannon, with Cannon supposedly clad as a woman. On Instagram, Cannon denied the claims, labeling Brown’s allegation as “a cry out for help.”
A few months later, in April 2020, Brown came out with more weird statements. According to HotNewHipHop, “A video of Brown began to circulate where he screams into the camera about being sexually assaulted by Michael Jackson, who, at one point, he says is Will Smith.”
Brown piled up more jaw-dropping allegations in July 2022, when he was a guest on Breakbeat. He said he had a sexual encounter with rapper Lil Bow Wow, which the rapper denied.
What’s next for Orlando Brown? It’s really anybody’s guess. He may stay on the straight and narrow, or continue to teeter between recovery and wreaking havoc.