Celebs often find themselves making headlines for nefarious deeds. Ordinary people break the law all the time, but for some reason no one expects celebrities to do the same.
They are elevated to star status, which makes them different from the average person, yet these people in the spotlight prove again and again that they are really no different from the general populace.
When it comes to breaking the law, celebrities usually do not do so for money. Rather, it is due to carelessness or even boredom that leads to criminal activity. For the most part celebs, like the rest of the population, do not resort to breaking the law in any way, however, when they do, they have been known to face lighter sentencing.
Top rate lawyers and star-status seem to lead to many famous people walking away from crimes that normal people would be jailed for. The following list includes these stars who broke the law but largely got away with it.
In 2006, Brandy Norwood from the TV show "Moesha" was involved in a fatal car crash. Although the California Highway Patrol recommended she be charged, she walked away from the incident with no charges.
A spokesperson for the attorney's office stated that there was insufficient evidence to place any charges, including vehicular manslaughter, on Norwood. The actress herself was not hurt, although the woman (Awatef Aboudihaj) she struck from behind died of her injuries.
The parents of the dead woman ended up suing Norwood for $50 million dollars and said that she had been driving dangerously. This, along with other lawsuits, were all settled out of court. Although Brandy reportedly suffered emotionally from the incident, she was not charged with any offenses.
9 Roman Polanski
The public was shocked when in 1977 Roman Polanski was charged with six sex offenses. The film director was arrested after he had allegedly sexually assaulted Samantha Gailey, a 13 year old girl. Polanski was charged with the assault of a minor, as well as perversion, issuing drugs to a minor and sodomy.
Polanski originally pleaded not-guilt to the accounts, but later changed his plea to guilty in exchange for five charges being dropped. Instead, he was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse.
Before he could be sentenced for his crimes however, the director ran to France, escaping his charges and imprisonment. As he was a French citizen, he was protected in the country. Polanski has lived in France since then and escaped all responsibility for his crimes.
8 Matthew Broderick
In 1987, Matthew Broderick was involved in a car crash that took the lives of two people. This was just one year after the release of the hit movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The crash took place in Ireland during Broderick's vacation with Jennifer Grey, his girlfriend.
The accident was Broderick's fault, as he mistakenly traveled on the wrong side of the road. Whilst doing so, the actor ran into a vehicle that held a mother and daughter. Both would die from the incident.
Although he was charged with death by dangerous driving, he ended up receiving the lesser charge of careless driving and was ultimately fined just 175 dollars. If the other charge had held, he could have faced 15 years in prison.
7 Michael Vick
When it came to light that Michael Vick was involved in a vicious dog fighting ring, fans around the world were shocked. The NFL star destroyed his reputation from the incident, and took part in the killing of pit bulls.
Images of the mangled bodies of the dogs began to circulate the media, and millions spoke out against the animal cruelty. He was faced with a 4 and a half year prison sentence originally, but later had it dropped to just 23 months.
This was even after he had lied to the judge about his involvement in the pit bull fighting. Vick publicly apologized for the incident, but this was not enough to redeem his image, or reduce his prison time further.
Vick was allegedly deeply involved in the dog fighting ring, and took part in killing dogs that could not perform. Although some saw his sentence as adequate, many more disagreed.
6 Chris Brown
Chris Brown another celeb who ruined his reputation, at least for a while, for his crimes. When images of Rihanna's bruised and battered face circulated, many people stood up and spoke out against the brutal assault.
Not only did Brown assault Rihanna, he also allegedly threatened to kill her when she attempted to phone for help. Chris Brown ended up with a five year probation as well as six months community service and was ordered to take a domestic violence course, however, he was not charged with any jail time.
Brown bit, punched and choked the singer; he admitted to beating Rihanna, but the second charge of making threats was dropped. The zero jail time led many to question if justice was truly served.
5 Jimmy Savile
BBC entertainer Jimmy Savile got away with his crimes for an entirely different reason. Savile died in 2011, but it was largely after this that reports started to come in regarding sexual abuse.
He was able to get away with various sex crimes because of his status as a celebrity, according to Jeremy Hunt, health secretary, and others. Savile was allowed into different hospitals due to this status, and it was there that he committed the sex offenses.
The crimes took place against vulnerable and often helpless victims, including an 11 year old cancer patient, a pregnant woman, a paralyzed woman and an 8 year old boy. Savile was involved with fundraising for the hospitals. In all, over 60 abuses cases were revealed.
4 Snoop Dogg
Although Snoop Dogg has a reputation for being calm and collected, especially after his name change to Snoop Lion, he may have been involved in a murder. In 1996 Snoop Dogg was acquitted of murder charges, along with another rap artist.
The rapper was involved with the Crips gang when he was discovered 1992, and before that, but was he afterwards as well? Philip Woldemariam, the gang member that was shot in 1993, was allegedly killed by McKinley Lee and Snoop Dogg. The pair were placed under house arrest for two years waiting on their trial.
The defense lawyer managed to prove that his death was an act of self defense, however, and both men were acquitted of the murder charges.
3 JR Smith
JR Smith, a famous NBA player, was under fire after he caused the death of his passenger. While many athletes lose their jobs over such occurrences, Smith was able to keep his. In 2007, the basketball star ran a stop sign and hit an oncoming vehicle.
The impact launched him and his passenger from the car. The passenger hit his head and suffered massive head trauma, which caused his death that very night. The accident was undoubtedly Smith's fault, which he acknowledged.
Smith was charged with vehicular manslaughter, of which he pleaded guilty to, but was sentenced to just 90 days in jail. Smith only ended up having to serve 24 of these though, which made his sentence even lighter.
2 R. Kelly
R. Kelly has gotten away with various counts of statutory rape, which many of his fans still do not know, or at least acknowledge. Many will remember the way in which he married a 15 years old and filmed himself urinating on, and having sex with, underage girls, so why did he retain his popularity?
The trial that he ended up facing was due to a sex tape that allegedly showed R.Kelly paying for sex with an underage girl, and urinating on her.The girl looked like his god daughter, who was just 14 when the tape surfaced. Despite overwhelming evidence against him (the room the assault took place in even looked like his sauna room) R. Kelly ended up being acquitted of all charges.
1 Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber had often been called a good role model and "good boy" before he started to break the law. Justin was involved in an assault charge, which was dropped, as well as drag racing, which he also got away with.
Was it due to his star status? Or was the justice system doing its job and could not find enough evidence? Many think it is the former. The drag racing incident saw Justin with a medley of drugs in his system, including prescription drugs and alcohol. In addition to this, he was driving with an expired license.
Most normal people would likely expect large fines and to at least be seen by a jury. Not so for Bieber. All driving charges were dropped against the singer, and his popularity did not seem to suffer for the incident.
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