While having a clean criminal record is an important requirement for a lot of jobs, being a reality television star is not one of them. Here are 13 of the sleaziest criminals of reality television. It is truly shocking to learn how many people have both records and reality shows. Some of the crimes were committed before they became stars (do networks do background checks?) and they ultimately redeemed themselves, but for others, reality television never changed the fact that they were criminals, committing egregious acts from assault, to robbery, domestic violence, child molestation and even the worst crime of all, murder.
13 June Shannon of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
Boo to this Honey Boo Boo star for being in a relationship with Mark McDaniel, a convicted child molester. If that sounds like it couldn’t get worse…it does! McDaniel molested June Shannon’s own daughter, Anna Cardwell, aka Chickadee. She also allows McDaniel access to her other children and he was rumored to have shared a bed with Honey Boo Boo. While Shannon has yet to be charged with a crime for this specific incident, she was previously charged with several, including cashing bed checks, theft and failure to pay child support.
12 Apollo Nida of The Real Housewives of Atlanta
From Real Housewives of Atlanta to real inmate of The Big House, Apollo Nida makes this list for a whole slew of crimes. Between 1998 and 1999, Apollo served five months in prison on charges related to possession of stolen goods. In 2004, he was convicted of racketeering and sentenced to 18 years in a Georgia prison. Apollo got lucky because he was released on parole after serving only five years. In January 2014, Nida found himself in trouble once again, this time on federal fraud charges. Ironically, his wife (well, now ex-wife because she filed for divorce), Phaedra Parks, is a lawyer.
11 Ryan Jenkins of Megan Wants A Millionaire
Ryan Jenkins was a contestant on the VH1 reality show, Megan Wants A Millionaire, in 2009. After the show, he strangled his girlfriend, Jasmine Fiore, before murdering her and stuffing her body in a suitcase. The show was actually airing when he committed these crimes. When Jenkins publically became connected with Fiore’s death, VH1 pulled the show off the air, off On Demand, off the Internet, never released the show on DVD and hasn't let it see the light of day ever since. Jenkins was also reportedly a contestant and the winner of the third season of I Love Money. VH1 also pulled that show. Jenkins committed suicide shortly after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
10 Will Hayden of Sons of Guns
Child molestation is arguably up there with murder (maybe worse) when it comes to being a criminal. What’s even worse than being an ordinary child molester? Molesting your own daughter, which is exactly what Stephanie Hayden alleges her father, Will Hayden did. The elder Hayden was actually first arrested for child molestation back in August 2014, which lead to the cancellation of the show. But, Stephanie isn’t so innocent herself. She and her husband, Kris Ford were arrested on October 14th for child abuse, allegedly beating their nine year old son with a belt.
9 Vincent “Don Vito” Margera of Jackass
Vincent “Don Vito” Margera is known for his appearances on several reality shows starring his nephew, Bam Margera, including Jackass and Viva La Bam. In 2006, he was arrested at a mall in Colorado for groping two 12 year old girls. At his preliminary trial, his arresting officer testified Margera called her and her partner “psycho bitches,” during the arrest. After a circus of a trial, he was ultimately found guilty on two counts of sexual assault on a minor. Facing two years to life in prison, he was ordered to 12 years of "serious" probation, which was to be served in Pennsylvania. Sadly, Margera was also ordered never to “play” the role of Don Vito in any capacity whatsoever, ever again.
8 Danielle Staub of The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Former Real Housewife of New Jersey, Danielle Staub was never known for being the epitome of class. In fact, she was really the epitome of sleaze. Nearly 30 years ago, Staub, who was then known as Beverly Ann Merrill, spent nearly a month in jail for her role in a kidnapping and extortion scheme in Miami. The victim alleged that Staub organized the drug deal, pistol whipped him and stuck a gun in his mouth during the kidnapping. The entire case is documented in the book, Cop Without A Badge by Charles Kipps. The book also describes Staub as a stripper and a cocaine addict.
7 Farrah Abraham of 16 and Pregnant & Teen Mom
6 Mark Wahlberg of Walburgers
While being the front man of The Funky Bunch wasn't criminal (and a little more funny than sleazy), Mark Wahlberg, who is known for many things, including his hit reality show Wahlburgers, had a past that very much was. In his youth, Wahlberg was arrested for a laundry list of crimes, including the attempted murder and assault of a Vietnamese man, who he saw on the street and beat with a stick. On the very same day, Mark also blinded and attacked another Vietnamese man. Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder, but only plead guilty to assault. He was charged with two years in prison, but only served 45 days.
5 Jenelle Evans of 16 and Pregnant & Teen Mom 2
4 Tareq and Michaele Salahi of The Real Housewives of D.C
3 All The Husbands on Prison Wives Club
Lifetime’s new show, Prison Wives Club is about a group of women with husbands and boyfriends incarcerated for robbery, assault and murder. The men are shown on the show through the video calls they have with their women through the prison version of Skype. In a recent interview with OK Magazine, star LaQuisha made a very good point about the public judging the women and their husbands, “Just because they’re locked up doesn't make them any less human, make them any less worthy of love and relationships because the moment we believe that nobody can be rehabilitated, is the moment we lose faith in humanity all together.”
2 Adam Lind of 16 and Pregnant & Teen Mom
While some of the Teen Mom mothers are undoubtedly pretty sleazy, it’s hard to not mention teen dad Adam Lind, who is Chelsea Houska’s baby daddy. He’s not only a criminal, but also a horrible father to his adorable daughter, Aubree. He’s been found guilty of three D.U.I’s and driving with a revoked license. He’s also mean to Chelsea, refusing to communicate with her, which makes his co-parenting about nil. With such an adorable little girl, his legal problems and neglect of her, makes his sleaze factor higher than he probably is on any given Saturday night.
1 Flavor Flav of Flavor of Love
Flavor Flav has been on many reality shows including Flavor of Love, Wifeswap, Strange Love, The Surreal Life and several others. Ironically, the 911 Is A Joke singer has had a lot of trouble with the law. As a small child, he set a house on fire because he was playing with a lighter. By the 11th grade, Flav had been in and out of jail for robbery and burglary. Over the years, Flav has racked up a laundry list of charges including domestic violence, drug possession, attempted murder and assault. He even did time at Rikers. It’s a safe bet if you are looking for Flav, he’s either shooting a reality show or dealing with legal problems.