With all the money and fame that comes with being a celebrity, they are often under a lot of scrutiny, and it would be challenging to keep any skeleton in their closet or keep any run-in with the law, out of the media.
Some celebrities have committed crimes, either before they were in the spotlight or during their fame. Whenever it happened though; they are not exempt from being punished for their illegal actions. However, some may think that the law looks favorably on them and their punishment or their time in jail is not as harsh, or not as long as the average person. With some of their crimes being as awful as cold-blooded murder, not everyone has lost their career from their jail time, in fact some are more famous than ever!
6 Hugh Grant – Soliciting a prostitute
Hugh Grant has appeared in many movies, and his characters usually live up to the posh spoken, well educated and generally ‘nice guy’ image that comes to mind when you think of this British star.
It is no surprise then, that we will all remember the police photo that went viral of Grant, after he was arrested for soliciting a prostitute. This photo sold a different image of the well-liked actor. Grant was arrested in Hollywood when he drove up to a prostitute, let her enter his car and then after driving to a residential street, they apparently engaged in lewd conduct. Both were arrested and taken into custody. Living up to his ‘nice guy’ image, the officer described Grant as being extremely embarrassed and was very nice and cooperative.
More recently, Divine Brown, the prostitute in question, thanked Grant for changing her life as the event earned her a million dollars. She had agreed to do the deed with him for $50 but the resulting arrest and media frenzy resulted in her earning more than a reported 1.5 million, thanks to interviews and television appearances.
5 Winona Ryder – Grand theft
Probably more renowned for her sweet smile and petite frame, Winona Ryder certainly gives the impression that she really is the sweetest thing. However, Ryder has had her fair share of run-ins with the law.
Winona Ryder has had vast media attention for shoplifting in 2001. She was accused of stealing nearly $6000 worth of designer clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue. She was found guilty of Grand Theft and Vandalism. Potentially, she faced up to 3 years in jail, however, the prosecutor was not looking to put Ryder in jail but wanted her to be responsible for her conduct.
4 George Michael – Engaging in a Lewd Act
George Michael was a pin up for many girls across the world in the 80’s, during his huge success being part of a duo band, Wham. He then went on to have a successful solo career after the band broke up. It was rumored that he was gay and in an interview in 1999, Michael said that falling in love with a man ended his conflict over bisexuality. Eventually, he admitted that he was gay.
Michael was at Will Rogers Park, situated across the road from the Beverley Hills Hotel, when an officer was monitoring the park. On entering the rest room, the officer saw Michael engaging in a lewd act. He was completely alone but it was felt by the officer that Michael was aware that someone had entered the restroom. Michael was fined and sentenced to 80 hours community service.
3 Lindsay Lohan – Possession of Cocaine, DUI and Assault
It’s a little sad when an actor is more famous for their out of control life and constant arrests, than for any movie or show they have starred in. You can’t even count on both hands, the amount of times Lindsay Lohan has been arrested and she does not seem to be learning from her numerous mistakes.
Born in 1986, Lohan was a childhood star when she started working as a fashion model and starring in a soap opera. She made it big when she made her first movie with Disney called, Parent Trap and her success went on from there.
Starting in 2007, after a lot of car accidents and unsuccessful AA meetings, Lohan began her 1st rehab program and by October 2010, Lohan was entering her 5th program in rehab for drugs and alcohol. Lohan has been in front of a judge over 20 times and should have spent over 6 months in jail, however, she has only been incarcerated for less than 2 weeks in her several trips to the LA County jail.
Lindsay has a record spanning from driving under the influence, possession of drugs and assault. She has hit the headlines more recently, when she announced that she is suing the makers of Grand Theft Auto V, as she alleges that the company have included a character in the game that is based on her.
2 James Brown – Robbery, Assault and Battery and Drug Possession
One of the original funk music musicians, James Brown's career has continued over 6 decades. Early in his life, he spent some time in prison for robbery. On his release, his career started when he became a gospel singer. Eventually he joined an R&B vocal group, which became The Famous Flames. He was the lead singer of the group and his success took off from there, rendering him the ‘Godfather of Soul’.
In addition to his well-known title as the ‘Hardest Working Man in Show Business’, he also became known as an inmate at the State Park Correctional Institute. After several run-ins with the police, he went on a crime spree, which resulted in assault and battery with intent to kill, as well as several other offences. He had entered an insurance conference, armed with a shotgun and pistol, telling everyone to leave. He then proceeded to leave in his pick-up truck and outrun the police. Brown had already been charged with carrying a pistol in the past and was sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison.
Brown stayed clean for a few years after his release but in 1998, he was charged with possession of drugs, where he was forced to enter a 90-day drug treatment program.
1 Don King – Murder
When you hear the name Don King, you would probably have an image of a man with wild hair. An American boxing promoter, King has represented some of the biggest names in boxing including, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. He really does have an impressive repertoire of names.
However, these big names in boxing may not see him in favorable light, as King was sued by almost all of the boxers he promoted for defrauding them. King settled most of the lawsuits, meaning no time in jail or any conviction for these crimes.
King was no stranger to living on the wrong side of the law, though. After dropping out of university, he ran an illegal bookmaking operation. His crimes did not stop here. King was charged with killing 2 men over a 13-year period. The first charge was found to be justifiable homicide, as the man he killed was trying to rob one of his gambling houses; King shot him in the back and killed him.
The second killing occurred in 1966. King was convicted of second-degree murder for stomping an employee to death because he owed King money. This was actually reduced to non-negligent manslaughter after the trial, therefore, King only spent 4 years in jail. Unbelievably in 1983, he was actually pardoned for the crime.