Amanda Bynes won't be charged for starting a fire in the driveway of an elderly woman's home because the actress is still undergoing a mental evaluation at a California hospital, and new information from a friend suggests that the 27-year-old's illness was obvious before her latest bizarre incident.
Bynes was put on a 5150 hold after she started a fire with a gas can in the driveway of a stranger's home, warranting an involuntary hospitalization for psychiatric evaluation. "She's at a mental health facility now, so we're out of the mix," Don Aguilar of Ventura County Sheriff's Office told MTV.
"For someone to be admitted, a judicial proceeding takes place and someone has to make a finding that the person is a danger to themselves or others," Rusty Selix, executive director of the Mental Health Association of California, explained. "[With the act of] setting fires in a driveway it is not a problem to make that determination."
Rumors that Bynes may be experiencing schizophrenia have gone viral following the child star's hospitalization, and new testimony supports the widely held belief that she may be suffering from a mental illness. "She has a hard time talking to people because she's so weird. She's all over the place. There's a lot of disorganization going on in her brain," said Ana Rivera, who befriended the star while she lived in New York City.
Rivera lived in the same apartment building at Bynes, and the 22-year-old said her bizarre behavior was impossible to deny. "She opened up, and it was obvious she had problems. It was immediately obvious she didn't have any friends," Rivera said. "When I asked if she'd met a lot of people since she moved to New York, she said only me and another woman in her building," Bynes' friend explained, "She's literally only hanging out with her dog. Amanda desperately needs help."
Rivera's description of Bynes certainly seems to suggest that a mental illness was at play, detailing a girl with little awareness as to what was going on. "Everything she said out loud, she thought she was saying in her head. She never even apologized, she just carried on," Rivera revealed. "When she says in public that it wasn't her, it must be an imposter, I don't think she's even aware or remembers going out in those outfits, and so [she] genuinely believes it's not her," Rivera continued.
While Bynes continues to be evaluated for mental illness her family is taking action, and will reportedly appear in court on Friday to ask a judge to grant them a temporary conservatorship to oversee her personal and financial affairs. According to a source, Bynes' parents "are hopeful that the judge will take into consideration that she tried to start a fire in a stranger's driveway, and burned her pants in the process."
In order for a judge to agree, Rich and Lynn Bynes will need to show their daughter is a danger to others, which they believe is self-evidenced by the recent fire incident. "Her behavior is completely unpredictable, and she needs long-term mental health help," the source added.