Quite a few celebrities think the law doesn’t apply to them and have been put behind bars because of it. Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber and Amanda Bynes have all been arrested for DUIs. Martha Stewart served time for security violations, Mischa Barton was charged for marijuana possession and Winona Rider was caught shoplifting. Celebrity mug shots litter the tabloids all the time, which is why sometimes famous figures are arrested a little too quickly.
These ten well-known faces ended up being accused for crimes they did not commit. Although they’ve been proved innocent, their names have forever been tainted by these false accusations. Read on to see what 8 celebrities were able to verify their innocence, despite terrible indictments.
8) Carl Lewis
This 10 time track and field Olympic medalist lost the respect of a lot of fellow athletes when he was accused of using performance enhancing drugs. In 2003, someone leaked drug test results to Sports Illustrated that showed trace amounts showing up in Lewis’s system in 1988. In the three tests that were leaked, drugs were shown at 2 parts per million (ppm), 4 ppm, and 6 ppm.
Although these results were no lie, Lewis was still okay to compete because they were such a small amount and the substances came from over the counter medications and dietary substances. Even further, today a test needs to show results at 10 ppm or above to even be considered positive. Lewis said about the drug accusation, “It’s ridiculous. Who cares? I did 18 years of track and field and I’ve been retired five years, and they’re still talking about me, so I guess I still have it.”
7) Nathaniel Richardson
The ex-husband of the actress Shannon Richardson, who has appeared in The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries, was accused of sending ricin-laced letters to politicians. The poisoned letters were targeted for President Barack Obama and New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, so pinning it on Nathaniel Richardson was a serious accusation. That’s just what Shannon Richardson did to try to get back at her husband. She called the authorities and linked him to the crime, showing “ricin” searches done on their laptop and a post-it note on his desk with Bloomberg and Obama’s addresses. After Nathaniel was taken in, however, the police eventually realized his wife was framing him – she’s the one who actually sent the poisoned letters.
6) Warren Sapp
Warren Sapp is a Hall of Famer, former NFL player who was a teammate for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders. After his retirement from the field, Sapp was chosen to work as an analyst for the NFL network. In 2010, however, Sapp was arrested for physically abusing a woman he was dating at the time. The incident allegedly happened at a hotel room they were staying at, without any witnesses. Due to his arrest, the NFL pulled him from covering the 2010 Superbowl XLIV.
Another woman that Sapp was spending a lot of time with around the incident, Persiana, tweeted, “A really close friend of mine was falsely accused of some serious BS and I’m sooooo upset right now! Omg! I will whoop a b**ch for him.” A little over a month later, the woman who claimed she was his victim dropped the charges completely. Sapp maintains that his accuser lied because she wanted alone time with him that night, and he asked her to leave the room so he could have a meeting.
5) Tucker Carlson
Tucker Carlson is a political commentator who has worked for CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, as well as co-founding The Daily Caller. In the summer of 2001, however, he was worried that his successful career would go down the drain when a woman accused him of raping her. The woman, who has not been publicly named, filed criminal sex charges against Carlson for allegedly raping her in Kentucky. Carlson hadn’t even been to Kentucky much less ever met the woman.
Carlson passed a lie detector test to prove his innocence. It also turned out that the woman who was accusing him was mentally unstable and had been stalking him for a while, sending him tokens in the mail, like cards and key chains and signing them from “your biggest fan.”
4) Brian Banks
This former Atlanta Falcons linebacker didn’t have an easy ride to the NFL. In 2002, when Banks was only 17 years old, one of his high school classmates came forward, saying that while they were in school together, Banks dragged her into a stairwell and raped her. Banks served five years in prison and another five on probation before he was able to meet up with the accuser, while he was secretly taped with a microphone – she admitted that she fabricated the rape story, and he got her confession on tape. Only in 2012 was Banks’ conviction overturned.
Before he was accused of rape, Banks had received a scholarship to go to the University of South Carolina for football. He had to miss the opportunity because he was sent to prison, but when he got out, he managed to make it to the NFL. Banks said of his hardships, “I feel like what I’ve been through these past 10 years shows that I have a determination factor of not giving up, of keeping hope in whatever it is that you want to accomplish in life that you can.”
3) Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves, the Canadian actor who is best known for playing Neo in The Matrix series, was falsely accused of raping and impregnating one of his fans. The woman came forward to sue Reeves for child support. She said that in 2009, he dressed as her ex-husband and hypnotized her to get her in bed and impregnate her.
Reeves maintains that he never met the woman before in his life and told US Magazine, “I had to go to court. It was horrible. I didn’t do it. I’m not the dad.” Reeves also had to take a DNA test, which ultimately proved he did not father her child.
2) Dewey Bozella
This American boxer spent 26 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Bozella was only 18 years old when we was said to have murdered an elderly woman in her apartment, while he was burglarizing it. Bozella contacted the organization “The Innocence Project,” and they were finally able to help him prove that he was framed. Only in 2009, after two and a half decades in prison, was Bozella exonerated and able to live as a free man.
While Bozella was in prison, he took up boxing to stay in shape, entertain himself and to channel his anger. Bozella eventually became the light heavyweight champion of his prison. Once he was released from prison, Bozella continued boxing. In 2011, he earned the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award. In his acceptance speech, Bozella said, “[In prison], I didn’t merely want to survive, I wanted to thrive. Boxing awakened me…. My vision became clear. I vowed to save children, teaching boxing and share my story. Hopefully I can save others. My purpose now is to help all children understand how truly valuable life is.” Imagine how far Bozella could have went in the boxing world if he wasn’t trapped in prison for 26 years. But then again, maybe if he wasn’t in prison, he wouldn’t have taken up boxing at all.
1) David Copperfield
Magician, David Copperfield went through a two year investigation by the FBI when former Miss Washington runner up, Lacey Carroll, accused him of trapping her on his private island in the Bahamas and repeatedly sexually assaulting her. No evidence was ever found against Copperfield, and the charges were dropped after Carroll accused another man of something similar. Copperfield gave an interview to Oprah after the incident was finally over. He told her, “To be falsely accused of something that horrendous is a devastating thing for yourself, your friends, your family, really bad. When the truth comes out – you know she was arrested, not me – finally things you know come to light. Unfortunately, in the press, what happens is…”
And Oprah cut in, “People remember the charge. They don’t remember the exoneration.”
Copperfield went on to say, “Not only exoneration, but I was the victim. Big difference.”