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From 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' to battling addiction, Nicholas Brendon can't seem to stay out of trouble. Why such a long criminal history?

Here’s how ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer”s Nicholas Brendon is a criminal

You may best remember him as affable jokester Xander Harris on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Nicholas Brendon’s troubled life & career post-Buffy is no laughing matter. This August, Brendon was arrested on felony prescription fraud charges during a traffic stop in Indiana. He was also charged with a misdemeanor for failing to identify himself to the police. 

This is far from the first time the actor has fallen afoul of the law. Brendon, 50, has intermittently courted jail time since 2010 when he was charged with four misdemeanors including felony vandalism & battery against a police officer. At the time of his most recent arrest, he was serving a three-year probation sentence for domestic violence. 

Despite vanquishing demons on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Brendon’s had a tougher time reckoning with his own and has been open with the public for years about his persistent struggles with substance abuse & alcoholism. What happened to Nicholas Brendon, and how did his dark side end up stealing the spotlight from an otherwise promising acting career?

buffy the vampire slayer nicholas brendon

From slaying vampires to fighting addiction 

Though Nicholas Brendon’s continued to garner acting roles since Buffy the Vampire Slayer, including turns on Private Practice & Criminal Minds, he’s more frequently made headlines for over a decade of arrests, convictions, and rehabilitation stints. Brendon first entered a recovery program for alcoholism as early as 2004. 

Following a 2015 arrest for trashing a hotel room, Brendon’s spokesperson released a statement to E! News that directly addressed the actor’s mental health issues: “We are aware that Nicholas’ actions are of a much deeper origin—and we are working toward creating a healthy environment for him to thrive in.” 

In a 2015 interview with Dr. Phil, he confessed to multiple suicide attempts and trauma caused by childhood sexual abuse: “I think about it every day of my life.” The actor, who portrayed Buffy’s wisecracking pal on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, also discussed coming to grips with his pain in the Tallahassee Democrat: “[…] a lot of the stuff I’m having to deal with in my life, inside of my head […] is not fun and it’s not funny.” 

buffy the vampire slayer nicholas brendon

A history of abuse

Brendon’s pattern of criminal violence came to a head in 2017, when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend in Palm Springs. He was accused of “violently” grabbing her arm and pulling her hair during a fight at the Saguaro Hotel bar. His girlfriend identified in court as “Jane Doe” testified that this was just one of many times that Brendon attacked her in their relationship. 

She reported other traumatic incidents such as “being strangled and thrown across the room,” “being covered in bruises, bite marks & scratches,” and being held at knifepoint by Brendon. Brendon was released on $50,000 bail, sentenced to three years of probation, and required to complete a 52-week domestic violence course. In 2015, he was arrested on a similar charge after choking his then-girlfriend.

buffy the vampire slayer nicholas brendon

“Nicholas Bender” 

It’s clear from this year’s arrest that Nicholas Brendon is still in the thick of battling addiction. After being pulled over for swerving and failing to signal, police noticed that he “appeared nervous due to a visibly racing pulse on his neck and shaking hands,” according to a report obtained by TMZ. 

Police discovered a bottle of pills prescribed to “Nicholas Bender” and a prescription for amphetamine salts for “Kelton Schultz.” Brendon also identified himself as Kelton Schultz. (Schultz is Brendon’s family name.) He later told the police that Kelton Schultz was his identical twin brother, who’s actually named Kelly Donovan and famously portrayed Brendon’s double on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Brendon is currently in the news for health issues apparently worsened by the time he spent in jail. His spokesperson says that he’s suffering from “paralysis in the genitals”  and legs. Due to his “deep-seated medical problems & immense pain,” the star will be dropping out of his latest project, a film called “Wanton Want.” 

What do you think of Nicholas Brendon’s tragic backstory & disturbing actions? Will his career ever recover from his multiple arrests & abuse accusations? Let us know below in the comments. 

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  • He completed the Wanton Wants movie so that is false. But he has abused just about everygirlfriend including my friend (Sarah Allison) . He needs to be banned from EVERY venue. He is abusive to his fans, his manager and venue staff. The best thing he can do is go into treatment and start working a program because until then he’s a lost cause.

    December 1, 2021
  • People need to stop throwing money at him and support his behavior with this. And the people around him especially T. need to stop enabling him in his behavior. It is sickening what he has done to people and gotten away with thanks to threads from his team. He needs professional help that they can’t give him. And as long as he doesn’t want help and he has to fear no consequences, he is a lost cause. A lot of people have childhood trauma but they work on it. Using it as an excuse for his behavior is just not flying anymore.

    January 16, 2022

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