Famous or not, the slammer is one scary place to be. But at least if you’re a celebrity, you probably won’t get the maximum sentence for breaking the law. In fact, for the world’s rich and famous, a jail sentence can be so ridiculously short, it’s hard to believe it was actually ordered by a real judge!
Don’t get us wrong – some Hollywood stars have served some serious jail time to pay for their bad decisions. But for a lot of A-listers who commit minor crimes, fame and fortune have played an important role in minimizing the amount of time those familiar faces have had to spend locked up. We get it – celebs can’t remain incarcerated with the general public. Everyone knows their name and not in a fun kinda way. But when is Hollywood just getting away with too much?
Jail is supposed to rehabilitate criminals and prepare them for life back on the outside. But with some of these brief stints behind bars, we’re not really sure there was enough time for that. And with celebs like Khloé Kardashian posting their mug shots on Twitter, one can’t help but wonder if the whole point of prison was just entirely lost on some people.
Here are some of the shortest celebrity jail sentences that we’re almost positive were completely and utterly pointless – but are still absolutely hilarious to read about.
Disclaimer: Don’t try these crimes at home. You’ll probably go to jail for a lot longer than these celebrities did.
10 Paris Hilton – 5 Days + 18 More Days
To be fair, the blond heiress was actually sentenced to 45 days for driving without a valid license. Her license was revoked after her second DUI charge. But after just five days, the socialite was released. But America wouldn’t let her off that easily. People bashed the state for giving her special treatment. The stars may be blind, Paris, but the American people obviously aren’t!
So a judge, who we can only assume was bursting at the seams with joy, actually demanded she be brought back and forced to serve the rest of her time. After another 18 days, Hilton was re-released due to overcrowding, and left to rebuild her life on the mean streets of Beverly Hills (so sad!). Interesting side note: with a total of 23 days behind bars, Paris actually spent more time in jail than all of the celebs on this list combined!
9 Paul McCartney – 9 Days
There may be an entire generation of millenials who still think Paul McCartney is some random guy Kanye West was gracious enough to collaborate with. But the rest of us who do not live under a rock, know full well who this rock star really is – and apparently, so did the judge who sentenced him to prison time back in 1980.
McCartney was caught at a Tokyo airport with half a pound of marijuana. He just tried to board the plane with it – like a boss. Unfortunately, he was apprehended for the crime, which carried a maximum seven-year sentence. The Beatles singer was sentenced to just nine days in prison. Then, he was free as a bird. Prison obviously didn't bother him too much. He actually used his mugshot photo as the cover of one of his albums.
8 Rip Torn – 4 Days
Not only did he play Columbo’s uncle and Men in Black’s Agent Zed, but his name is kinda killer. We’re really just going to assume that’s exactly how he got off with such a light sentence.
7 Zsa Zsa Gabor – 3 Days
Back in 1990, Zsa Zsa Gabor (who was probably a better looking 73-year-old than any of us will ever be!) was arrested for slapping a police officer in the face. Isn’t that just your gut reaction when you get pulled over for driving without a license with an open bottle of alcohol next to you, though?
Apparently, all of those things are pretty illegal and the actress was hauled off to the slammer for three whole days. It’s easier to get married nine times and divorced eight times than it is to convince a judge not to send you to jail at all. But still, just three days for assaulting a police officer alone is pretty impressive. Well played.
6 Shia LaBeouf – 1 day
The Transformers star has had a tumultuous last couple of years, including multiple run-ins with the law. He spent a whole 24 hours in jail and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Despite being in jail for just one day, Shia LaBeouf described his experience as "scary."
We can’t even begin to imagine what 24 hours is like when you’re incarcerated. It must have felt like at least 72 hours, for sure! On the bright side, LaBeouf said his jail time served as a real wake up call for him to turn his life around and start making better choices. That’s sort of like a win.
5 Michelle Rodriguez – 12 hours
After violating her parole from a previous DUI charge, the Lost star was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Lucky for her, far too many people are breaking the law and ending up behind bars, leading to overcrowding.
Michelle Rodriguez only spent a mere 12 hours locked up for violating her parole. That means she wasn’t even in jail long enough to watch a Fast & Furious movie marathon. Shia LaBeouf is probably super jealous he had double the prison time.
Rodriguez reportedly chose jail time over community service, because that's how much she did not want to physically do any work. Good call, Rodriguez. Community service time never gets slashed.
4 Khloé Kardashian – 3 Hours
Perhaps you watched the riveting episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians where the most outspoken sister was hauled off to jail. Her mother cried, she laughed, big sister Kim took selfies on the way to the prison drop off. It was an emotional rollercoaster, obviously!
Kardashian was sentenced to 30 days in prison for violating her parole on a previous DUI charge. After being dropped off at the jail, her family had barely made it back home before Khloé called for a pick-up!
Due to overcrowding, her sentence was cut - by practically 100% - and she was sent home. However, in a later interview with Ryan Seacrest, Khloé said she was sent away because the prison was “on lockdown” while she was there. Celeb status to the rescue!
3 Lindsay Lohan – 84 Minutes
Let’s just start off by saying if your jail sentence is being measured in minutes, some part of the legal system is just failing big time. Lindsay Lohan was arrested for drunk driving and possession of drugs. She most definitely spent more time getting a fresh manicure for her court appearance than she did in jail.
Lohan was arrested and jailed for other crimes but this sentence, also thanks to prison overcrowding, didn’t even amount to two hours. The paperwork probably wasn’t even completed by the time of her release. We hope Lindsay took the whole 84 minutes to truly rehabilitate herself and get off drugs! But judging by her subsequent arrests, we’re going to assume that didn’t go well.
2 Nicole Richie – 82 Minutes
It was only two minutes less than her pal Lindsay Lohan, but who’s counting, right? Nicole Richie got herself a DUI charge for driving while high on drugs. The law requires a minimum four-day sentence for DUIs in the United States, which is what Richie was sentenced to.
Overcrowding again saved the day. But we should also mention, Richie’s good behavior was apparently cited as another reason she was let go before she was forced to use a communal prison toilet. The only way that punishment fit the crime is if she was forced to watch episodes of The Simple Life while she served her time.
1 Jane Fonda – Seconds
If you’re surprised Jane Fonda was ever thrown behind bars, you’re not the only one. In 1970, she was arrested for kicking a police officer at a Cleveland airport after he falsely accused her of trying to smuggle drugs. They were later proved to be just vitamins.
Fonda was released almost immediately, making her the celebrity with the shortest jail stint we know of. We wonder how it went down. Did she walk in, say, “I’m Jane effing Fonda!” and get the OK to leave? In any case, Fonda wasn’t guilty of anything – well, except assaulting a police officer. But how lucky was that police officer to meet Jane Fonda?