Tragic Details About Ashley Tisdale

For many of us, the mention of Ashley Tisdale's name probably brings back memories of the good old days when Disney Channel had the best shows ("The Suite Life of Zack and Cody," anyone?) and "High School Musical" was all you and your friends talked about. Tisdale skyrocketed to fame after landing the role of Sharpay Evans in "High School Musical," and from there, things only escalated. It wasn't just her acting career that took off — thanks to the fact that "High School Musical" allowed Tisdale to show off her killer vocals, her music career also got a big boost, and in 2007 she released her debut album, "Headstrong," which landed at number 5 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

To the world, Tisdale's life seemed picture-perfect — who wouldn't want to be young, successful, and famous? But even though she landed her first big Disney role on "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody" at the age of 18, Tisdale told Today that it was still quite an adjustment. "I think that when I was 18, during 'The Suite Life,' and I had success, I kind of had that growth period of really getting to know who I was. And I think that is really hard and difficult," she told the outlet. She might've had a pretty successful career overall, but the star has navigated plenty of highs and lows since the '00s.

Ashley Tisdale and her High School Musical co-star didn't get along

Siblings Sharpay and Ryan Evans might've had some healthy competition between their characters in "High School Musical," but they still got along pretty well. The actors who portrayed them, however, did not. That's right — Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel didn't see eye to eye, and it took filming three movies together before they finally bonded.

In 2017, Tisdale sat down with Grabeel for a video on her YouTube channel, and the two had a candid chat about what things were really like behind the scenes. "All I remember is, we were not close," Tisdale said as the two talked about their time in "High School Musical." "We were not good friends," she added as Grabeel burst into laughter. "We hated each other," Tisdale admitted, and Grabeel agreed that the two of them definitely got off on the wrong foot. Looking back, Tisdale was pretty certain that she was the problem, acting like a real-life version of Sharpay back then.

In an interview Grabeel did with Billboard, he said that the squabble started during auditions for the film when Tisdale gave him notes for his audition. "I was like, 'Who is this girl telling me how to do my own audition?'" Grabeel recalled. He also thought she was a little spoiled. "The juxtaposition [between us] was pretty crazy," he added. Despite initially disliking each other, Tisdale and Grabeel eventually became close friends.

The paparazzi once broke into her house

Being famous comes with a whole lot of baggage, and it usually includes a mob of paparazzi following you wherever you go. When "High School Musical" became a runaway success, its stars were thrust into the spotlight, and the media couldn't get enough of them. While that's great for your career, it can also turn into a pretty scary situation when paparazzi won't leave you alone, and Ashley Tisdale quickly learned that they would do just about anything to get a picture.

In 2008, Access Hollywood reported that paparazzi broke into Tisdale's house, and she revealed that it wasn't the first time her privacy had been violated in this way. "They broke in, they came into my home before," Tisdale told the outlet, adding, "They don't want middle America to know this is what they do to try and get pictures."

Tisdale called the police, but it appears the paparazzo got away before he could be arrested by police on the scene. "I've never seen the guy again, but they go to an extreme for pictures," the star added.

The actress received major backlash for getting her nose done

Being in the spotlight means that people notice everything about you, especially when you make changes to your appearance. And Ashley Tisdale came face to face with the ugly side of the media when she underwent rhinoplasty in 2007.

When she was asked about her nose job in a 2021 interview, it opened old wounds. So Tisdale took to her blog, Frenshe, to set the record straight about why she underwent the procedure and how it led to one of the darkest periods of her life. In the blog post, she explained that she had a medical condition that could only be remedied by rhinoplasty. In 2007, she told People she had a deviated septum that was so severe that it caused breathing problems. "The older I got, the worse it got. I went to get it checked out, and the doctor told me the septum was 80% deviated and that I had two small fractures on my nose," the star explained.

On her blog, Tisdale elaborated on the media storm that ensued once people noticed that her nose looked different, saying that it was nothing short of a nightmare. "When I got it done I was scrutinized, judged, and made to feel ashamed over my decision. I made a decision that was no one's business (and is STILL no one's business) and for that decision, I was constantly made to feel bad about it," she wrote.

Tisdale was diagnosed with alopecia at a young age

About 10 years ago, Ashley Tisdale noticed her hairline was looking a little off, thanks to a growing bald spot. Tisdale reacted the way any of us would — she freaked out a little, and during her next hair appointment, she asked her hairdresser about it, who casually told her that it was alopecia. This autoimmune disease is pretty common, and even though it can be very distressing, the bald patches that form are often temporary. Cleveland Clinic explains that alopecia is the result of the immune system attacking the body's hair follicles, which then causes excessive hair loss. It can start at any age (Tisdale's started in her early 20s) and affects around 7 million people in the United States alone.

It took her a while, but Tisdale eventually opened up about her diagnosis on Instagram in 2023, telling fans that her alopecia is triggered by stress (though the condition can have many other causes as well). "Any type of hair loss can affect your self-esteem, especially if you feel like you're the only one going through it," Tisdale wrote on her blog, Frenshe, adding, "That's why I want to talk openly — because it's nothing to be ashamed of." That doesn't mean that finding new bald patches on her head isn't distressing, and Tisdale admitted that it used to send her into an anxious spiral, but she's learned how to better manage it since.

She was devastated when her dog died

Ashley Tisdale's adorable pup, Maui, wasn't just her best friend — she was Tisdale's soulmate. When Maui died in 2019, Tisdale was heartbroken, and her fans mourned with her when she broke the news on Instagram.

"This pain is the worst pain I've ever felt," Tisdale wrote in the caption. "Maui was my soulmate, the connection was unlike any other. She didn't care who I was and what I did, she just loved me unconditionally." The pictures Tisdale posted of herself cuddling Maui would make even the most coldhearted villain cry, and she received condolences from thousands of people. In the caption, Tisdale lamented the sad fact that dogs don't live as long as people. "I will miss you every single day of my life Maui," she added.

People later reported that Tisdale held a small funeral for Maui, which was attended by her husband and a close friend. Tisdale posted snaps of the ceremony to her Instagram Stories, and it was heart-wrenching to see. 

The star had bad plantar fasciitis while pregnant

Everyone experiences pregnancy differently, and for Ashley Tisdale, her first pregnancy came with a bad case of plantar fasciitis. She opened up on Instagram about the pain she was experiencing due to the condition and said she was hopeful it would subside once she gave birth to her baby girl.

Plantar fasciitis is a very painful foot condition that is triggered by inflammation in the plantar fascia. This tough tissue is found on the soles of the feet and is sensitive to increased weight. Once it becomes inflamed, people usually experience pain in their heels, per Johns Hopkins Medicine. Gynecologist Thaïs Aliabadi notes on her website that pregnancy can trigger this painful condition when the arches of the feet start to gradually flatten as the baby grows and the weight on the feet increases. It appears this was what the star was experiencing. "It literally hurts just to walk on my feet. I've never felt pain like this and I'm hoping once the baby is here it lets up," she said on one of her Instagram Stories. "It's very painful — hurts just to walk, anywhere every single day," she added. Tisdale did, however, say that she was thankful she wasn't dealing with any other complications aside from plantar fasciitis and asked her followers to weigh in with remedies to help ease the pain.

Tisdale was heavily criticized for drinking coffee while pregnant

Celebs almost always find themselves under the public's magnifying glass, and even more so when they're pregnant. Ashley Tisdale learned just how bad this can get when she posted an Instagram video of herself drinking coffee while pregnant with her first child. "When you've been up since 4am it's coffee time," Tisdale captioned the post. Moments later, the comments were going wild.

"I hope that's decaf," one follower commented. "Can you drink coffee when pregnant?" another asked. "Would you let your baby have coffee in the bottle? You are giving your baby caffeine," one said. Still, others defended Tisdale, saying people should mind their own business. "Y'all know you can have caffeine while pregnant right?!" one follower clapped back.

Tisdale never responded to the backlash, but she was probably aware of it, given that some outlets reported on the controversy the post caused. It's not clear if she was drinking decaf, but even if she was drinking a regular cup of joe, some experts say there's not necessarily anything wrong with drinking caffeine while pregnant, as long as you do so in moderation. Speaking to CNN, Dr. Christopher Zahn said that consuming less than 200 mg of caffeine per day is safe for both mom and baby. Tisdale probably did her research ahead of time, but haters are always going to hate.

She had a hard time breastfeeding her firstborn

Aside from dealing with plantar fasciitis during her pregnancy and receiving criticism for drinking a cup of coffee, Ashley Tisdale faced a new challenge after her baby was born: Breastfeeding. Tisdale took to her blog, Frenshe, to share how difficult her breastfeeding experience was and how disappointed she'd been that it didn't turn out the way she'd hoped.

"Our journey started on day one in the hospital when Jupiter was having trouble latching," she wrote. "I probably should've taken that as a hint, but instead I kept on trying, even though I could tell Jupiter was frustrated," she added. Tisdale admitted that she'd seen plenty of moms on Instagram posting pictures of themselves breastfeeding their babies. She felt pressure to do it too, and to do it well, especially since she wanted to have that experience with her daughter.

But it wasn't meant to be. Tisdale pumped her breast milk at first but felt like it was taking up a lot of precious time she could be spending with her newborn, so she ultimately made the switch to formula milk. Tisdale added that she still got to have special moments with her daughter even though she wasn't breastfeeding her. "You're still looking into your baby's eyes, whether it's with your breast or a bottle," she wrote.

The star has dealt with mental health issues

Ashley Tisdale knows what it's like to live with anxiety — she's been dealing with it for years, though she had no idea what was happening at first. She thought there was something wrong with her and didn't get the help she needed until much later on.

Speaking with Melissa Wood-Tepperberg for the "Move with Heart" podcast, Tisdale revealed that she used to get panic attacks without understanding what was happening to her body. "Obviously when I was on tour, nobody was like, you're having a panic attack ... I remember going to a doctor and being like, my heart flutters sometimes before going on stage and he was like, 'That's just anxiety. But you have a healthy dose of anxiety,'" she told Wood-Tepperberg. Hearing that you have a "healthy dose of anxiety" doesn't actually help ease said anxiety, however.

Tisdale told People that she continued dealing with these episodes until she started doing some of her own research and learned that there was a name for what she was experiencing. The singer also opened up about how she used to feel like she wasn't measuring up to her own stardom. "There are so many times I'm at an event or even just at a social party and I feel like I'm not good enough to be there, and I feel that a lot of us struggle with that," she said.

Tisdale lost someone close to her to suicide

Ashley Tisdale is no stranger to the challenges of navigating mental health issues, and she's well aware of the dire consequences of not getting the help you need. Speaking to Melissa Wood-Tepperberg for the "Move with Heart" podcast, Tisdale revealed that she'd lost someone close to her to suicide. "I had lost somebody to depression, and I was just like, that's the scariest when people don't want to talk about it. And you always go, 'I never knew he struggled,'" she said.

In an essay she wrote for Cosmopolitan, Tisdale described the loss of this friend as "devastating," adding that it made her own anxiety worse. She didn't reveal who the friend was, but said that this chapter of her life was what inspired her third album, "Symptoms." "Writing that album forced me to be honest about my own symptoms and to shed some light on my vulnerabilities," she wrote. "Once it was written and done, I realized I had found my purpose. I didn't want to be 'just an actress' — I wanted to help others navigate their mental health journey," she added. You might be seeing more of her in the wellness space these days, and that's exactly where she wants to be. "Mental health is my purpose, and it's a full-time job that I've fully dedicated myself to," she shared.

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She experienced health complications because of her breast implants

While she'd never really spoken publicly about her breast enhancement surgery before, Ahsley Tisdale opened up about it in 2020 via an Instagram post. She told followers that she had the implants removed after experiencing health issues that she believed were related to the implants. "Prior to the surgery, I constantly felt my body was less than, and thought this change would make me feel more whole and more secure about myself. And for a short period of time ... it did," Tisdale wrote in the post's caption. This high didn't last long, however, and the star soon found herself dealing with new gut issues and food sensitivities.

Tisdale's symptoms were consistent with breast implant illness, which isn't a well-researched field yet, according to the Cleveland Clinic. For some people, their symptoms go away after getting breast explant surgery. However, others find that their symptoms persist. In her post, Tisdale said that she's finally feeling like herself again, so it seems that the symptoms were temporary in her case.

Tisdale is constantly dealing with mom guilt

Ashley Tisdale works from home, which means she can be with her daughter, Jupiter, all the time. But as any working mom would know, it's not always that simple. Speaking to Hello! Magazine, Tisdale revealed that she's been dealing with plenty of mom guilt since her daughter's birth. She wants to be the best mom she can possibly be but realizes that means taking care of herself as well. "I definitely struggle with mom guilt during the day when I'm working," she told the outlet. "I'll hear [Jupiter] outside playing, and I'm like, 'Oh man, I want to be out there with her,'" she added.

Tisdale knows that gnawing guilt that makes an appearance whenever you prioritize yourself, but said that moms need to learn "it's something you shouldn't feel bad about." She added, "You can do small little things that can go a long way." For her, that means prioritizing self-care after she puts Jupiter to bed. "Either I'll watch a show with my husband, or be like 'Okay, I need to kind of prioritize myself,'" she explained. While there's probably no cure for mom guilt, knowing that you can be a better mother when you take care of yourself too can help you engage more with the things that fill you up. "A happy mom is just so good for the baby and for the family. It's something you shouldn't feel bad about," Tisdale said.