Love can “strike” when you least expect it, and being in a committed relationship comes with its own unique set of complications. This is especially true when you’re a celebrity and you fall in love with someone who has a criminal past. The media is already obsessed with the love lives of famous people, and when one person in a celebrity relationship has done jail time, it can mean big news for most entertainment websites and broadcasts.
However, when it comes to love, there are times when you have to live boldly with the fact that you’ve chosen a person with a “past”. After all, everyone deserves a second chance, and some of these famous criminals have made a conscious effort to turn their lives around. Of course, there are also times when these relationships don’t work out, but then again, sometimes marriages end in divorce even when neither party has been arrested.
No matter what, it’s always important to use caution when choosing a mate, even if there’s nothing on your spouse’s criminal record. Here are 12 of your favorite celebrities who married their wives or husbands, even though they were criminals.
Rapper Papoose stuck with his wife, fellow rapper Remy Ma, while she was behind bars for an altercation that involved her shooting a former friend in the stomach. Remy Ma rose to fame when she was on rapper Fat Joe’s record label, and had a few hit records before getting locked up. While her arrest and incarceration were making hip-hop news and former fans were criticizing her, Papoose’s love remained constant. The two recently celebrated Valentine’s day together, and let the world know that they were happy to be commemorating 11 years of being together. It looks like Remy has really turned her life around, and is happy to be back home with her husband and children.
11 Esther Schmucker
While you may not recognize Esther Schmucker right away, she may ring familiar as part of the Amish Mafia. Esther has significantly changed her look, and caught the attention of rapper Imir Williams. The two were in a relationship—but on Halloween of 2013, Schmucker had to press charges against him and file three protection orders to keep him away from her. Reportedly, Williams assaulted Schmucker, and she wanted to make sure that she was safe from any further danger. This led many in the Amish community to form the opinion that she should have never ventured into the “outside world.” Esther is living a quieter life these days, is married, and has a five-year-old daughter.
10 Sandra Bullock
When actress Sandra Bullock started dating Jesse James and eventually married him, most people were pretty surprised. After all, James was known for being “rough around the edges,” while Bullock was considered one of America’s sweethearts. It was later revealed that Jesse’s company had violated a number of Clean Air Laws and was fined pretty heavily. One of James’ former clients also claimed that Jesse’s company never finished work on a vehicle. This wasn’t the first time Jesse James was accused of criminal activity at work. However, Bullock’s marriage to James ended due to “crimes of the heart”, when Jesse couldn’t seem to stop cheating.
9 Matthew Rutler
Musician Matthew Rutler is best known these days for being Christina Aguilera’s ex-fiance, and the two have a daughter together. When the couple was pulled over one night, Christina switched seats with Matthew so that he could take the DUI charges. When police tested Rutler’s blood alcohol level, he was dismissed and regained his “non-criminal” status. Aguilera was then taken into custody for public intoxication. It looks like since she’s the bigger star, she wanted her beau to take the fall for her. Rutler showed how much he loved Aguilera that night, but it’s probably not the best idea to let your significant other attain criminal charges in order to “cover” for you.
8 Robin Givens
Actress Robin Givens will always be known as former boxer, Mike Tyson’s first wife. She has stated that, in hindsight, she should have known that Tyson had some anger issues, but she was in love at the time. Givens filed domestic violence charges during her marriage to the boxer, and Tyson was also cited for general violence and erratic behavior. They were only married for a year, and during that time, Robin saw that Mike was a manic-depressive and was emotionally unstable. Fortunately, she was able to get out of the marriage alive, but her story serves as a cautionary tale that sometimes, there’s more to millionaire athletes than meets the eye.
7 Dennis Rodman
Remember when retired basketball player Dennis Rodman and professional host and vixen Carmen Electra were husband and wife, for like, 30 seconds? The two got married in Vegas and later had their marriage annulled. However, there was also a time when Rodman filed domestic violence charges against Electra and had a restraining order against her. It was also reported that Carmen filed a restraining order against Dennis as well. As you can see, the whole relationship was a mess. Thankfully, the two of them realized that their marriage was a disaster before too much time went by, and decided to call it quits before things got even more out of hand. So, technically, they’re both “criminals” when it came to their romantic time together.
6 Melinda Gates
Melinda Gates is the proud wife of Microsoft’s Bill Gates, and the two have done a lot to help those who are less fortunate through charitable work and donations. However, before Bill was a technology mogul, he was arrested for driving without a license and speeding in 1975. Two years later, he was arrested again for not having a license while driving and not stopping at a stop sign. Sure, these are minor charges compared to some of the things other celebrities have been convicted for, but it’s pretty surprising, since Bill Gates has such a squeaky-clean image. Obviously, Gates has cleaned up his act considerably since then.
5 Sarah Jessica Parker
Actress and fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker is married to Matthew Broderick, who is also an actor. In the 1980s, Broderick was involved in a car accident that resulted in the death of two people in another car. He was charged with death by dangerous driving, but the charge was later reduced to careless driving. He was only charged $175 for the crime, which the family of the victims found grossly unfair. Broderick has stated that the incident took a significant toll on him, and Parker was apparently able to love him in spite of this tragedy. The two have three children together; a son and a set of twin girls.
4 Jada Pinkett-Smith
Most people see Jada’s husband Will Smith, as a friendly, handsome actor. But, there was a time when Will was a bit of a criminal. In 1989, Smith was charged with aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy. He was involved in an altercation in which a man was nearly left blind! The charges were later dismissed and Will went on to enjoy a successful music, television and movie career. Apparently, Jada was able to look past Will’s former mistakes and see him as a great husband and father. The two have been together for nearly two decades and have a son and daughter together.
3 Lana Turner
Apparently, being attracted to bad boys isn’t a new “thing” with actresses and other famous celebrities. Legendary actress Lana Turner was once in a relationship with mobster Johnny Stompanato, in the 1950s. Johnny was known for having a fiery temper, and even got into a fight with Sean Connery on a film set. His aggression and lack of anger management spilled into his personal life as well, and there were several times when Lana feared for her safety. During one of Stompanato’s fits of rage, Turner’s teen daughter stabbed him to death in self-defense. Unfortunately, this story is not the first of its kind, and could hopefully serve as a warning for other celebrities.
2 Charlie Sheen
While many would think of celebrity bad boy Charlie Sheen as the “criminal” in his relationships (he recently revealed that he is HIV positive), he actually dated someone who did jail time. Sheen was in a relationship with adult film star Ginger Lynn, who did four years for tax evasion. However, if being erratic and saying hurtful things to exes were crimes, Charlie would definitely have to do some time of his own. These days, Sheen is living a more quiet life, and has been discussing his health diagnosis. One of his ex wives, actress Denise Richards, and is also supporting him, and helping him raise his children, including his twin boys with ex-wife Brooke Mueller.
1 Whitney Houston
There has long been a debate about whether late singer Whitney Houston was attracted to bad boys, or if she was actually the “bad” one in the relationship. When she was married to Bobby Brown, he was arrested several times for drugs and domestic violence, but she continued to stick by his side. It was also reported that Whitney’s friends and family members advised her against being in a relationship with Brown, and many people, including her mother, didn’t want her to marry Bobby. The two divorced a few years before Houston passed away from a drug overdose, and apparently remained close. Unfortunately, Bobby and Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, died in a similar way to her mother, and was allegedly involved with a man who also had a drug problem and abused her.