America's Sweetheart is a visual novel video game, released for the Nintendo Switch console sometime in 2019. Set in the city of Los Angeles, California, the game centers on its main protagonist Scarlett Beau, who is the heiress to her family's grand fortune and highly successful hotel chain.
Her outrageous lifestyle and rumored short-lived relationships made her the centre of attention for endless tabloid magazine articles, and Beau was proclaimed America's leading It girl as a result of her mass breakthrough into mainstream media. Paparazzi stalked her everywhere she went, recording her every move; snapping picture after picture, capturing each and every of her numerous endeavours – some of which spawned enormous scandals.
As Scarlett continued to live her extravagant life, she found it increasingly hard to deal with her fame and media sensation status, eventually falling into a downward spiral that was soon considered the biggest, most public downfall of any star in history.
The game takes place in the year 2009, accompanying the protagonist through her meltdown following years of immense fame.
Scarlett Margot Beau was born in New York City on August 3, 1982, the youngest child of real-estate developer Landon Beau and socialite Brittany Beau. Alongside sister Cashmere and brothers Cedric and Troy, Scarlett is one of multiple heirs to the Beau hotel fortune.
Scarlett spent her childhood moving from one luxury residence to another, living a seemingly normal life attending private high school. At this time, her family took up mansions all throughout America, and frequently vacationed at a multimillion-dollar home in the Hamptons. Having graduated high school, Scarlett and her sister Cashmere began regularly attending fashion shows and A-list parties. The two soon became regulars on the red carpet, and a titillating magazine spread shot by a Hollywood celebrity photographer cemented Scarlett's rapidly increasing fame.
Around this time, Scarlett signed with one of the world's biggest modeling agencies while still a teenager. She was soon seen in a flurry of campaigns for leading clothing designers as well as national publications, leading to a burgeoning demand of public appearances and further establishment as one of America's biggest household names. Short-lived romances with actors, as well as callous comments directed at her peers, earned Scarlett gigantic amounts of press and articles written about her further fortified her reputation for careless jet setting and hard-partying, as her innocent image slowly began to shatter before the eyes of America.
The world's perception of her continued to worsen throughout the following months, and in February 2009, Scarlett found herself in hot water after she was caught on film practicing sexual relationships with one of her many then-boyfriends. The footage was released by paparazzi to the public without any sort of permission, and contributed to a major media circus and personal crisis on Scarlett's end. Outlets called her behavior "irresponsible" and "troubling," saying that she was sending "the wrong message to millions of her fans."
Her filthy rich fortune became scarce as she wasted tremendous amounts of money on drugs and alcohol to help escape the stress of her everyday life. She continued to frequent the club scene for a time, partying with the few friends she had left as she seemed to push nearly everyone away. She reportedly checked in and out of rehabilitation, as her troubles in the spotlight continued to be the main subject of never-ending gossip.
Scarlett wasn't the only member of her family making headlines that year, however. Her older sister and best friend, Cashmere, announced that she was expecting a baby with her husband, soon followed by the announcement of a miscarriage that took the media by storm and had her family shaken to the core. Months of mourning ensued and contributed to Scarlett's deteriorating mental health.
In August, only a few days after her birthday, Scarlett was taken to the hospital for psychiatric evaluation after her parents took notice of her problematic ventures. Rumors circulated that she had bipolar disorder, as well as clinical depression, but that diagnosis was never confirmed.
Scarlett prematurely left the hospital on her own accord and flew to New York City, more specifically to her childhood Beverly Hills mansion, where she locked herself for a week and proceeded to go insane. Despite her parents' and sister's desperate requests to see her, Scarlett refused to let them into the house. Police were asked to intervene, and upon breaking into the residence, they found Scarlett's corpse in a bathtub – she had slit her wrists and arms and bled to her death at age 27. She spent her last days in despair, uncertain of what to do with her life.
If there is one thing that becomes clear throughout Scarlett Beau's controversial collapse, it's that she didn't want anything to do with the person the world thought she was. She was not an innocent good girl. She was not America's sweetheart.