The celebrity lifestyle that many famous figures live, can sometimes (often) lead to trouble with the law. A large number of actors, musicians and sports stars have all faced legal issues in the past, ranging from various crimes such as assault and theft charges, to more serious offences that required these famous figures to face long jail sentences. Often, these types of criminal offences will be made in times of desperation, when the fortune of a particular celebrity has taken a turn for the worse, or if they are suffering health or substance abuse problems. But in some particular cases, it seems as though living the high life gets to some people’s heads, more so than others, while others seem to commit illegal acts just for the sake of it, or maybe simply because they feel like they can live above the law. This article counts down the 10 most bizarre and confusing crimes committed by the rich and the famous, ones that are so petty that you simply have to scratch your head and wonder, why on earth would these celebrities (or anyone for that matter), feel like it is okay to commit these sorts of crimes?
10. O.J. Simpson – Pirating Satellite TV
O.J. Simpson has had a troubled legal history. He was tried for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, in 1995, and acquitted before being found liable for the deaths in a civil case brought against him by the victim’s families. He later was involved in a string of other legal troubles, including an armed robbery in Las Vegas but perhaps the strangest crime he has committed was the pirating of satellite television signals. A search of his home in 2001, by the FBI, who were looking for evidence of money laundering and drug trafficking, found that the ex-sports star had equipment that was receiving unauthorized signals from DirecTV. The company sued Simpson and a federal judge awarded the company $25,000 in damages.
9. Lindsay Lohan – Necklace Theft
Former child star and actress Lindsay Lohan, is no stranger to issues with the law. She has spent varying amounts of time in jail, rehab and on probation, for a string of offences related to drugs and alcohol abuse, including charges of driving under the influence. However, in 2011, the celebrity was arrested and faced charges of theft for walking out of a jewelry store while still wearing a $2,500 necklace. Lohan initially contended that she had not intentionally stolen the item, but had believed she was loaning it, something the owner contended. Eventually, the actress entered a no contest plea and was ordered to spend 120 days in jail by the court.
8. Halle Berry – Leaving Car Collision Scene
Halle Berry has largely been free from legal issues during her long career. The actress has starred in movies such as the X-Men series, Monster’s Ball and the James Bond flick, Die Another Day and has remained trouble free for the most part, attracting press attention mainly for her film work, activism and personal life. Bizarrely though, the 48-year-old was involved in a road accident when her car collided with another vehicle, causing both her and the other driver minor injuries. The biggest problem stemmed from the fact that Berry fled the scene of the collision. After entering a no contest plea in court during a hearing in 2000, the judge ordered the actress to perform community service, pay a fine and was put on probation for three years.
7. DMX – Impersonating FBI Agent
DMX has a fairly lengthy and varied criminal record. He has spent time in jail and been convicted of a string of crimes, including identity theft, breaking probation, animal cruelty and drug possession. Without a doubt, the most baffling crime came in 2004, when he, using a police siren and flashing light, pulled over a car at a parking lot at JFK International Airport, and attempted to arrest the driver by claiming to be an FBI agent.
DMX then attempted to evade police by fleeing but was apprehended when he crashed his car. The incident led to the vehicle being impounded by the police and the rapper being given a $1,000 fine. A civil suit filed by the victim led to DMX then being ordered by a New York County Judge to pay $240,000 in damages.
6. D’Angelo – Soliciting Sex
D’Angelo has largely remained out of trouble throughout his long career, with almost no legal issues coming his way. The R&B and soul artist, who has been compared to the lies of Marvin Gaye for his vocal talent and songwriting ability, got into trouble in 2010, when he was arrested and charged with solicitation. Driving around at 2:30 a.m., he mistook an undercover police officer for a prostitute, pulled over his Range Rover and proceeded to try to solicit oral sex from the woman. The artist apparently offered the police officer $40 for her services, despite having over $12,000 in his car at the time of his arrest.
5. Antony Worrall Thompson – Shoplifting
Anthony Worrall Thomspon, a well known chef in the United Kingdom for his work on television, was caught shoplifting in 2012. While using self-service checkouts, the 60-year-old purposely did not scan several items. Security guards filmed him doing the same thing multiple times over the course of a few weeks, to ensure it was not a mistake before confronting him and calling police.
The famous television chef admitted that he had no money problems and could not understand why he carried out the acts. After police arrested him on suspicion of theft, Thompson received an official caution. He also agreed that he would get the help he needed to ensure that such incidents would not happen again in the future.
4. Shia LaBeouf – Trespassing
Shia LaBeouf has never shied away from controversy. Over the past decade, the actor has become embroiled in a number of issues, ranging from claims that he has plagiarized other people’s work, to arrests for violence and assault. Perhaps the most bizarre out of all of his past problems though, came when the actor was filming for the Transformers film, in 2007. LeBeouf was allegedly drunk and refused to leave a Walgreens store when asked by security, leading to his arrest. While these charges were later dropped, he has since been in trouble for something very similar. Earlier this year, he was arrested in a New York City theater for being disruptive and remaining on the property, despite being escorted out.
3. Edward Furlong – Public Intoxication
The career of Edward Furlong got off to a great start when he appeared as one of the main characters in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but it later faltered due to a string of arrests and convictions for domestic violence and substance abuse. He has since spent time in jail and rehab facilities, as well as attending counselling. While other crimes that Furlong has committed are incredibly serious, one in particular is just plain baffling. In 2004, the actor was arrested for public intoxication following an incident in a supermarket, where he was “freeing” lobsters from display tanks with his friends and placing them on the ground. After refusing to stop, police were called and they noticed that Furlong appeared to be drunk, so they took him into custody.
2. Marilyn Manson – Sexual Misconduct
Throughout his career, Marilyn Manson has attracted controversy and has had to battle a number of lawsuits and other legal problems. A lot of this can be put down to his general image and the type of music he is known for. However, one crime in particular is infamous for landing the star in trouble with the law. During a concert in July of 2001, Manson grabbed the head of a security guard while he was on stage and proceeded to grind his crotch on the man’s head. While police initially treated the incident as a felony, they later dropped it to a misdemeanor charge. He was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and had to settle a civil suit against him with the security guard.
1. Winona Ryder – Stealing
Winona Ryder got into legal trouble in 2002, when she was arrested after attempting to take a variety of designer items from a Saks department store without paying for them. According to details that came out in court, the actress had removed security tags in the dressing room on clothes and accessories that totaled $5,500.
For the shoplifting spree, Ryder was convicted of shoplifting, vandalism and grand theft. She received a sentence of three years’ probation, 480 hours of community service and more than $3,000 in fines, as well as an award of compensation to the store for the damaged and stolen goods.
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