We all enjoy a drink or five, a heavy night out, or maybe some of us even like to indulge in a few illegal substances, but hey, whose to judge, right? Drugs have been around for as long as we have, with our ancestors often treating themselves to a Class A or two or a cheeky glass of the old vino. That’s right, from the Sumerians who liked to overindulge in a little opium, to the suspicious tea drinkers in China. In fact, substance abuse and pill popping has basically been around forever. With no real change today, especially when you compare the USA’s meth crisis, or the constant need for weed among the young, drugs are just as common as they were all those years ago. But what happens when a celebrity is caught in the act? With those famous faces just as entitled to dabble in the area of narcotics as us regular folk, it can sometimes be an even more dangerous game.
As money seems to be no object among the rich and famous, anything can become available. With no limitations or restrictions, addictions can spiral out of control, along with their careers. And catching just a glimpse of a celebrity gone rogue, you can guarantee the paparazzi will be there, waiting in the wings, ready to catch that career-ending snap. However, not everyone has a problem, with some just in it for the binge, the constant party, or release of a stressful day.
So, let it be seen that even celebrities make mistakes; here are 15 photographs of celebrities busted on drugs.
15. Whitney Houston
Poor Whitney Houston, loved all over the world and forever idolized, Houston’s voice will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the best in the world, if not the best. Beginning her career as a model, Houston eventually went on to act, direct, and sing, becoming one of the most influential performers of our time.
As the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 hits, Houston’s first album was actually the best selling debut album ever. Garnering more acclaim for cult classic The Bodyguard in 1992, the soundtrack kicked off Houston’s signature song, with I Will Always Love You, forever being attributed to the star.
However, with a turbulent relationship with ex Bobby Brown, drugs and alcohol became a common theme within Houston’s success. Often pictured ravaged by drugs, Houston finally succumbed to her addiction in 2012, when she was found drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. With heart disease and cocaine listed as the cause, the news of the death shocked fans and regular folk alike all over the world.
14. Zayn Malik And Louis Tomlinson
Caught blazing a joint in the back of a car, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson shocked the world with their school-boy antics and immature behavior. Footage was taken in Peru, which has a very stern ‘no drugs’ policy, and shows the boys sharing and smoking the stuff. Stupidly, Tomlinson proclaims “joint lit, happy days,” to a beaming Malik, who then follows with, “very controversial”.
By recording the whole scenario on camera, the film proves that either the boys are indeed idiots, barely lacking a brain cell between them, or just have the sheer arrogance of believing they can get away with it. Nevertheless, One Direction member and all around good egg, Liam Payne was not happy, apologizing for his band mates’ behavior, citing, “I love my boys and maybe things have gone a little sideways. I apologize for that, we are only in our 20s and we all do stupid things at this age”.
13. Amy Winehouse
If one person could turn you off drugs for life, it’s Amy Winehouse. Famed for her many issues regarding drugs and alcohol, Winehouse sadly succumbed to her addiction in 2011, passing away from alcohol poisoning at the tender age of 27. The London born pop princess who was loved around the world for her soulful voice and warm personality, was also an award winning superstar, racking up a number of prestigious awards on her route to stardom.
However, as well as drink, Winehouse had a major drug addiction, with heroin at the top of the list. Often looking extremely gaunt and severely underweight, Winehouse was also notorious for her turbulent relationship with then husband and bad influence, Blake Fielder-Civil, who undoubtedly helped her indulge in the addictions. Nevertheless, the exceedingly talented singer songwriter will go down in history as one of the greatest musicians England, if not the world, has ever seen.
12. Lindsay Lohan
Never far from trouble, Linday Lohan has been arrested a number of times, mainly due to her excessive alcohol and drug problem. For nearly ten years, Lohan has been topping the headlines with regards to her drink and drug use, with numerous stints in rehab as a result.
First arrested in 2007 for drunk driving, Lohan was arrested a couple of months later for possession. After a short stretch in jail, Lohan returned to the limelight only to fail a drug test after her release. In and out of rehab, Lohan was back in jail again, resulting in another stay in rehab and a car accident that involved a number of substances. Admitting to taking cocaine during an interview with Piers Morgan, Lohan also confessed to taking marijuana and ecstasy.
Still hitting the headlines with her antics, Lohan was recently involved in a physical altercation with now ex-boyfriend Egor Tarabasov. On the Greek island of Mykonos, the pair were taped in the middle of a heated fight, while both physically grabbing each other in full view.
11. Kate Moss
One of the most prolific fashionistas to have ever graced the catwalk, supermodel to the stars, Kate Moss has had a turbulent career when it comes to drugs and ex-boyfriends. Pictured on a number of occasions with suspicious cigarettes, and a number of other things, Moss took it one step further when she was filmed taking cocaine in the corner of now ex-boyfriend and renowned drug user Pete Doherty’s recording studio. With reports claiming she snorted up to five lines in 40 minutes, pictures also saw the famous icon washing it down with numerous amounts of vodka and whiskey. Finding its way on to the front pages of newspapers all over the world, Moss’ career took a huge beating, with Burberry, H&M, and Chanel all distancing themselves from the supposed role model. After ditching Doherty and a quick stint in rehab, Moss was back and strangely, more in demand than ever before.
10. Pete Doherty
Speaking of which, English musician and part-time poet, Pete Doherty, has often been the subject of front page tabloids due to his prolific drug use and addiction. Extremely talented and lyrically gifted, Doherty’s talent is often overshadowed by his drug abuse, especially during his time with indie band The Libertines.
Arrested on a variety of occasions, Doherty has also been apprehended for driving under the influence, car theft, and breaking into best friend and band mate Carl Barât’s apartment, stealing a number of items and selling them for drugs— what a guy!
Claiming to have been a rent boy at one stage in his life, Doherty has acknowledged his addiction with stints in multiple rehabilitation clinics to help him beat the habit. However, famous for falling off the wagon more than once, Doherty has since been in and out of jail, and continues to fight for sobriety.
As of 2015, it was reported that Doherty had successfully completed another period in rehab, this time in Thailand, in which he announced plans to create a foundation for struggling addicts like himself. Let’s hope this time Doherty is successful in his mission, and continues to produce top quality music in the foreseeable future.
9. Nick Nolte
When a mug shot was released showing a disheveled and unkempt Nick Nolte, the world was forced to take a second look. Not only had Mr. America let himself go, but with reports that he was also under the influence doing the rounds, Hollywood was indeed shocked. As a one-time model, Nolte was also famed for his prolific acting skills. Starring in classics such as North Dallas Forty, Cape Fear, and Affliction, in which he secured an Oscar nod, Nolte continued his success with the recently released A Walk In The Woods.
However, with a checkered past when it comes to the cops, Nolte was arrested as early as 1965, when he was caught selling counterfeit documents and given a 45-day jail term. Seemingly learning his lesson, Nolte avoided the authorities for some time, until he was arrested in 2002 for drunk driving, resulting in the now famous mugshot. Ordered to go to alcohol and drug counseling, Nolte later explained that the mug shot wasn’t actually a mug shot at all. Discussing the incident with GQ magazine ten years after the original arrest, Nolte claimed that the photo was actually just a polaroid taken by one of the police officers who had taken him to hospital for a blood test. Only agreeing if the policeman in question shared the profits with his colleagues, Nolte happily posed for the picture. Hmmm, do you buy it?
8. Courtney Love
With a history of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, Courtney Love certainly lives up to her reputation as rock star to the stars. Dabbling in all genres, Love has experience in acting, art, producing, and music, fronting the popular punk band, Hole. As well as music, Love is also highly publicized for her turbulent relationship with Nirvana front-man Kurt Cobain, ending in 1994 with Cobain’s supposed suicide.
Struggling with addiction throughout her life, Love confessed to trying cocaine at 19, going on to become a hardcore heroin user not long after. Thrust into the spotlight when Vanity Fair published an article in 1992, reporting that Love was still addicted to heroin during her pregnancy, Love received a number of unsavory comments, and the temporary removal of her daughter.
After a number of pictures taken by the media, displaying her obvious addiction, Love was sentenced to six months in rehab in 2006. Claiming to have been sober since 2007, Love has seemingly overcome her addiction, with no known use of drugs or alcohol.
7. Amanda Bynes
American child star and former actress Amanda Bynes, has often been the subject of tabloid front pages. Starting her career on Nickelodeon from 2002 to 2006, Bynes went on to star in a number of high profile movies such as She’s the Man, Hairspray, and Easy A.
In 2012, Bynes shocked the world when she suddenly announced that she was retiring from acting, followed with a very public mental breakdown. Arrested for driving under the influence that same year, Bynes was also charged with two hit-and-runs, resulting in a financial settlement with the victims.
In and out of trouble with the police over the next coming years, Bynes was arrested again for possession, tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment— witnesses claimed they saw Bynes throwing a bong from her apartment window. From starting a fire in the driveway to a very public Twitter meltdown, in which she accused her father of molesting her, the star had been struggling with drugs and alcohol, law enforcement, and evidently, mental illness. Bynes was eventually hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
6. George Michael
Recently denying that he was addicted to crack cocaine, George Michael has had his fair share of drug-related accusations. Famed for being one half of the successful British boy band, Wham, Michael has sold more than 80 million records worldwide, following an equally victorious solo career.
Reprimanded for possession in 2006, Michael was cautioned by police with no further charge, however, he was later arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Admitting that he wished he could stop his extreme cannabis use, Michael was again famously arrested in a public toilet for possession of a Class A drug. Again, reporting that he had learnt his lesson and was in the process of ‘cutting back’, Michael was involved in a car accident, which saw him crashing into a London photography store. Arrested for being under the influence of drugs while driving (again), Michael was sentenced to eight weeks in prison and a five year ban from driving.
5. Lisa Robin Kelly
Known for her stint as Laurie Forman, the older sister of main character Eric Forman, on That ’70s Show, Lisa Robin Kelly was eventually written out due to a drinking problem that she claimed resulted in the loss of her baby.
In 2010, she was arrested for driving under the influence in which she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 months of unsupervised probation. In and out of trouble with the police over the next few years, Kelly was again arrested for driving under the influence after failing a sobriety test.
After a long battle with drugs and alcohol, Kelly admitted that she had a problem and swiftly checked into the Pax Rehab House in California. However, not long after entering the program, Kelly died in her sleep at only 43 years old. With her death attributed to ‘multiple drug intoxication’, Kelly’s husband rapidly filed a lawsuit, claiming the facility was negligent and responsible for her wrongful death.
4. Michael Phelps
Olympic hero and role model to all, Michael Phelps is currently America’s most decorated Olympian of all time. Bringing up his tally to 28 medals during his recent stint at the Rio Olympics, Phelps is one of the most successful athletes of our time.
However, with success, often comes controversy, with Phelps first arrested for driving under the influence at 19 years old. Sentenced to 18 months probation, Phelps was also ordered to attend meetings at a number of high schools, warning students of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Obviously not listening to his own advice, Phelps was photographed using a bong in 2009, resulting in the loss of a number of advertising contracts. Given a three month suspension from swimming, Phelps publicly apologized for the incident. However, yet again Phelps was arrested in 2014 on charges of driving under the influence, resulting in a suspension from competing in the 2015 World Aquatics Championship.
3. Justin Bieber
Nobody saw this coming! NOT. Adored all over the world, and loved by many, Justin Bieber seems to have been around forever, well, since the age of 13 anyway. Releasing one of the most successful debut albums of all time, Bieber has gone on to sell over 100 million records, making him one of the best selling musicians ever recorded. With a high network of fans, named the ‘beliebers’, and a string of beautiful women behind him, Bieber can seemingly do no wrong.
However, in and out of trouble for a number of things throughout his career, Bieber has often been the subject of many tabloid front pages and drug-related headlines. Accused of reckless driving in 2012, Bieber was later charged with vandalism while on tour in Brazil a year later. But, with his first arrest coming in 2014, Bieber was charged with driving under the influence, resulting in the now famous mug shot, depicting a smiling and arrogant Bieber. Arrested more than a few times since, with stories of intimidation and destroying his neighbors’ property, Bieber has also been snapped holding a number of suspicious ‘cigarettes’.
2. Robert Downey Jr.
The drug addict that we love to love, Robert Downey Jr. is strangely one of the most popular actors in the biz, and the highest paid. Finding fame in classics such as Weird Science, and Chaplin, earning him an Oscar nod in the process, Downey Jr. has seemingly enjoyed a turbulent relationship with the press.
As a high-functioning drug user, Downey Jr. would often continue to work throughout his addiction, despite the quality of his work obviously being negatively affected. Arrested for possession in 1996, Downey Jr. was found with a large amount of heroin and cocaine, a common occurrence over the next few years.
With stories emerging of an intoxicated Downey Jr. passing out in a neighbor’s bed, and a number of failed or missing drug tests, a once promising career looked well and truly over. However, after checking himself into rehab, king of the comebacks Downey Jr. went on to star in a number of high profile movies, with the Iron Man franchise thrusting him into Hollywood royalty.
1. Britney Spears
Suffering a very public meltdown in 2007, Britney Spears shocked the nation when pictures emerged of her looking a little worse for wear. With the paparazzi following her every move, Spears snapped, resulting in a night of anarchy consisting of shaving her head, and attacking photographers with her umbrella.
After growing up in the public eye, and a number of complicated relationships behind her, Spears was on a downhill road to debauchery. With events that saw her marry her childhood friend, to her relationship with ex-boyfriend Justin Timberlake scrutinized at every moment, it is no wonder Spears suddenly cracked.
As claims circulated that she was struggling with an addiction due to an ongoing custody battle with her children, Spears had seemingly had enough, going on to sleep in her car and shave her head in full view of the paparazzo. It was eventually revealed that Spears was actually suffering from Bipolar Disorder, which is likely to blame for her heinous actions and trouble with drugs. Thankfully, with things on the up, Spears continues on her quest for the ultimate comeback.