Are you ready to read about some of the most talented celebrities in society? We're talking (multiple) Best Actor winners, Hall of Famers in the sports world, wrestlers and musicians - that type of talent. Celebrities who have inspired countless people through their actions and who may very well be some of your favorites. In fact, one of the actors on this list is cast to be one of the biggest villains in an upcoming Marvel film, so you better believe you know all about him.
All of this sounds great, right? At least until you realize that every single guy on this list is, within reason, has done some pretty terrible stuff. That's because all of them have been arrested, or been heavily linked to instances of domestic abuse against women (most often their partner).
There are more prominent examples, like the recent allegations against Johnny Depp by Amber Heard, and others that may have slipped off your radar, like the time Nicolas Cage went after his wife. We've even got an actor who has over 25 films coming out in the next two years, so you're going to see a heck of a lot of him, but hopefully the fact that he has multiple domestic abuse charges doesn't change your opinion on him.
While some people on this list are repeat offenders, like Charlie Sheen and Terrence Howard, other stars like Billy Dee Williams (aka Lando Calrissian) may have only had one run-in with the law, but that didn't make him immune from appearing below.
Then, of course, you have the most recent allegations levied against Jerry "The King" Lawler. Most wrestling fans know about his recent suspension, but do you know he gave his fiancee a gun and told her to kill herself? If you think that's excessive, just wait until you find out the reason behind the entire ordeal.
Lawler is far from the only wrestler with an ugly past and you'll be left speechless by the story behind Stone Cold Steve Austin and his horrendous abuse toward then-wife, Debra Marshall. All that and more are included as we talk about the 20 prominent male celebrities who have had a past history of domestic violence.
20 Stone Cold Steve Austin
Steve Austin is one of the biggest WWE Superstars of all time, but it was his fame that led to the rampant abuse against his ex-wife, Debra Marshall to continue for as long as it has. In a tell-all interview with Sean Hannity, Debra blew the whistle on her marriage with Steve which among other things, included rampant steroid use and fits of rage.
“I mean, for three times, I'd seen him attack me — I mean, and at work people would know it, and they would cover the bruises on my face… The last time — and I've never talked about this. The last time Steve attacked me, alcohol was involved. He jumped on me. He's on my back with his knee in my back, pounding me in the back and in my face. I thought I was going to die.”
When Debra was asked to further clarify on the backstage politics that went on, she stated “they're not going to rat on the top money-maker in wrestling. And everyone else knew this was going on, but no one's going to stop it because Steve would make millions of dollars for Vince.” Debra claims that a gag order was placed her.
19 Charlie Sheen
There is no doubt that Charlie Sheen has always seemed a little off his rocker. Yet if you think of his image as just being a fun party boy, you’d be ignoring the long history that Sheen has with domestic abuse charges. The first incident with a woman happened back in 1990, when Sheen accidentally shot his fiancé (and fellow actress) Kelly Preston, injuring her wrist. While we aren’t sure about the context, that can’t have been good.
In 1994, an unnamed student came out and stated that Sheen had struck her after she refused intercourse.
In 1996, Sheen was arrested for beating Brittany Ashland, an adult performer, who claimed that Sheen knocked her out, said he was going to kill her, and needed 7 stitches in her lip.
In 2006, Sheen got into more trouble when his wife Denise Richards filed for divorce and stated that Sheen abused alcohol, prostitutes, had an anger problem, threatened to kill her numerous times and was granted a restraining order.
In 2009, Sheen was arrested on Christmas after he allegedly strangled, held a knife to throat of and threatened to kill his wife, Brooke Mueller. They got divorced.
In 2010, Sheen had an altercation after trashing his hotel room. Adult film star Capri Anderson stated that Sheen strangled and claimed he was going to kill her. Sense a pattern?
If you think Sheen was a terrible repeat offender, just wait until you read about the 6 times that Terrence Howard has been arrested.
18 Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage’s incident is a lot less severe than most on this list, but that just means that you may not have heard about it. It happened back in 2011 when a very drunk Cage was denied a tattoo in New Orleans. A video showed Cage arguing with his wife (Alice Kim), and friends who try and convince him to leave the store.
Cage does leave but then begins to push Kim and aggressively tries to pull her into a house, which he had drunkenly mistaken as his own. Police were called and charged Cage with domestic abuse, disturbing the peace and public drunkenness.
As an extra fun bonus, Cage’s bail of $11,000 was posted by the Bounty Hunter, Duane 'Dog' Chapman, who said
“I am a truly dedicated fan of Mr. Cage and will not be granting any interviews about my client as I wish to respect his privacy. I performed my duties as a bail bondsman and not in connection with our show. This is what I do for a living, There are two sides of my job: I release my clients after they have been arrested; and pick them up if they don't show up in court. I do not believe the latter will be the case for Mr. Cage."
17 Chris Brown
One of the most prominent examples of domestic abuse came back in 2009 when Chris Brown was arrested prior to the Grammys for beating then-girlfriend, Rihanna. The incident got even more significant for Brown when photos of Rihanna’s badly battered face made their way to the internet.
Brown completed a documentary about his career, Welcome To My Life, and in it, he opens up about what he calls one of the biggest regrets of his life. “I felt like a f--king monster…I was thinking about suicide and everything else. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating. I just was getting high.”
Though as I am sure you’ll agree, there is absolutely no excuse for ever laying your hands on a woman. Especially to the degree that Brown did. Despite the incident, the two got back together in 2012, with Rihanna hoping that she’d be able to change him. Perhaps not shockingly, their relationship did not last.
16 Mickey Rourke
Mickey Rourke may have been outstanding in The Wrestler, but wrestling has no place in the bedroom (…at least not in this way). Micky met his then-wife Carre Otis on the set of Wild Orchid and the two got married in 1992. When you learn about his proposal, you’ll start to understand why their marriage had issues.
Micky got down on one knee after not seeing Carre for months, and when she asked for some time to think about it, Micky pulled out a hari-hari knife and told her that if she didn’t say yes, and say yes right away, he was going to kill himself.
There was also the time a gun that belonged to Rourke accidentally got discharged, shooting Carre only 2 inches from her heart. When you hear her describe the situation, it’s hard not to have your heart break for her.
"'Wait! Help me!' I finally cried out, forcing the words to come. 'You gotta help me . . . I’m bleeding. I’m bleeding really bad.' I wailed. It hurt so much to move. 'This is a nightmare. Clean this up!' Mickey was agitated. I could tell he had grave concerns that the press would get wind of the incident. I panicked, wondering which was more important: my life or covering up the fact that I’d been shot with Mickey Rourke’s gun?'"
Carre also alleged that Rourke had slapped her around in the past, and in 1994 Rourke was arrested for domestic violence, but the charges were dropped. The two saw their marriage end in 1998 and Rourke has been in a relationship with Russian model Anastassija Makarenko since 2009.
15 Tom Sizemore
Tom Sizemore is a great actor who may be best known for his role in Saving Private Ryan, but the actor also has 28 movies or television shows that are either in pre-production, post-production or completed that are expected to come out between now and 2017. This includes the lead in the anticipated Half Life movie based on the incredible video game. So you better believe you’re going to be seeing a lot more of him.
Too bad he just happens to seem like an awful person who has a long history with both substance abuse, and domestic violence. Tom was in a relationship with Heidi Fleiss, but he was convicted of assault and battery charges and their relationship subsequently ended. Tom was arrested in 2007 and 2009 with drug-related charges.
Tom was also arrested for domestic violence in 2009 after an argument that he had with a woman became physical.
14 Dennis Rodman
One look at Dennis Rodman and it’s clear that nobody was going to question him when he stated he wasn’t of sane mind when he got married to Carmen Electra. Their marriage seems even more troubling when you learn that back in 1998, police were called after they both tried to beat the **** out of each other. Dennis was found with scratches all over his arm as well as having a torn t-shirt. Carmen was sporting a cut lip from the altercation. Like many people on this list, this too was the sign of a relationship that was not destined to last forever!
This was not the last time that Dennis had a run-in with the law for domestic violence though. In 2008, Dennis was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic battery. When asked about it, a representative for Dennis informed TMZ that
“Last night Dennis and his girlfriend had too much to drink. When they returned to their hotel they started arguing and a minor altercation broke out where Dennis grabbed her by the arm and left a bruise…. his drinking has been escalating in the last six weeks due to a nasty divorce and not seeing his children in over two months."
The incident led to Dennis planning on entering a rehab facility.
13 Johnny Depp
You are not going to be able to find many people out there that haven’t heard the recent story about Johnny Depp. Depp is one of the most versatile and talented actors of all time and seemed to have a happy marriage with fellow actress Amber Heard. Yet as you know by the nature of this list, that’s clearly not the case. Heard has come out and requested a divorce and restraining order, and has made allegations that she had been beaten on several occasions.
Things got even more serious when Amber Heard showed up to court with a severe bruise around her eye. She claims that along with breaking various things in their apartment, Depp smashed his iPhone into her face.
Depp has yet to be arrested, but that very well may just be a matter of time.
Depp’s spokesperson stated on the matter “Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life.”
12 Tommy Lee
When you consider Tommy Lee has been married to Pamela Anderson, you may not be shocked to learn that he’s had himself a bit of an interesting past. Lee has been arrested in 1994, as well as in 1998, on cases of domestic abuse. Lee was involved with Anderson until their final separation in 1999. In the 1998 incident, Lee was sentenced to six months in jail.
The separation between the two included a bitter legal battle over their two sons, who were at the time 5 and 3. When filing a report to the Los Angeles Supreme Court, Anderson said
"Tommy's behavior has deteriorated to such an extent that I am afraid for the emotional well-being of the children while in his care...Given Tommy's documented violence towards me, for which he was incarcerated, I believe the court should award me sole legal custody of the children."
Anderson also went on to describe one of the most dramatic moments of their abusive relationship.
“I was holding Dylan in my arms while breast-feeding him, when Tommy physically attacked me with complete disregard for my safety and, more importantly, for the safety of our children. Tommy kicked me violently in the back several times and in the buttocks. He was completely out of control."
Anderson stated that things got worse when Lee developed jealousy over the time and attention that was required to their two children.
11 Vanilla Ice
He may be known for singing "Ice Ice Baby", but that may be what his wife Laura was asking for after Vanilla Ice (real name Robert Van Winkle) got violent with her. Sadly, this is something that has happened on several occasions for him. The first incident happened back in 2001 when Robert was arrested after he allegedly held his hand over his wife’s mouth to "shut her up." His wife was also missing some hair, which Robert said he ripped out to prevent her from escaping his car. Laura told police that she was afraid of her husband.
Another incident happened back in 2004 and Vanilla ice pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly content and was sentenced to probation.
If that wasn’t enough, in 2008, his wife claimed “He started yelling at me for going out to buy a bedroom set in front of my daughter….I can't say any more until I talk to an attorney."
The following day, Laura told officers that he had only pushed her but a judge still ordered that Robert only be able to contact his wife via telephone, although this was eventually not upheld.
10 Josh Brolin
When it comes to certain incidents, the female party often does not wish that charges be filed against their abuser. This was the case between Diane Lane and Josh Brolin who had a serious altercation back in 2004. The two were arguing and it prompted Diane to call the police and tell them that her husband was abusing her. As a result, Brolin was arrested and charged with spousal battery. A spokesperson for the couple came out and explained more details on what went on.
“There was a misunderstanding at their home, Diane did not want to press charges and asked them not to arrest him, but in cases involving the possibility of any physical contact, the police have to arrest first, ask questions later…the two are back together in their home and are embarrassed the matter went this far."
The two got divorced in married in 2004 but were divorced by February 2013. In March 2015, Brolin became engaged to his former assistant and current model, Kathryn Boyd. Brolin will join the Marvel universe in 2018 when he makes his anticipated debut as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War Part 1.
9 Constantine Maroulis
Constantine Maroulis may not be as big a star as some people on this list, but he was a fan-favourite on American Idol, so he’s got to get at least some recognition for that. Constantine placed 6th on the 4th season of the show. Since then he’s received a Tony Award nomination for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical and has also starred as the lead in Jekyll and Hyde on Broadway.
He may not have won the show, but that's not a bad career to fall back on. Unfortunately, back in 2015 Constantine was arrested on a domestic violence charge. Maroulis’ representatives stated that he was defending himself after his partner and the mother of his daughter, Angel Reed, told him she was leaving him. As a result, Constantine threw her to the ground and kicked her in the groin.
His representatives also denied the kick, stating that Constantine had a bruise on his thigh when Angel threw things at him.
Call me crazy, but getting into a fight was probably not a great way to ensure your relationship continues.
8 Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal’s best movies definitely came well before the 2000s, which made his sexual assault case in 2010 all the more damaging for the former star. A former assistant of the star filed a $1 million lawsuit against the star, accusing him of “sexual harassment, illegal trafficking of females for sex, failure to prevent sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and false representation about employment.”
She claims that she was the subject of a vicious sexual assault by Seagal that left her feeling like a sex toy.
Steven’s former wife, Kelly LeBrock, has also come out and stated that Seagal was abusive throughout their marriage that lasted from 1986-1996.
7 Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson has had his public image altered by several embarrassing incidents, but none was more serious than the battery charge he received against his then-wife, Oksana Grigorieva. Their relationship became toxic quickly and included a series of tapes being leaked that showed Gibson yelling things at Grigorieva, including that she deserved to be raped.
Along with the battery charge, Grigorieva filed for a restraining order. When asked about the incident with the tapes, Mel opened up
“You have to put it all in the proper context of being in an irrationally, heated discussion at the height of a breakdown, trying to get out of a really unhealthy relationship. It's one terribly awful moment in time, said to one person, in the span of one day and doesn't represent what I truly believe. "
As for the battery charge, the "no contest" means that for Gibson, “I was allowed to end the case and still maintain my innocence. It's called a West Plea and it's not something that prosecutors normally allow. But in my case, the prosecutors and the judge agreed that it was the right thing to do.”
While that means it is possible Mel had never struck Grigorieva, based on the other evidence, we find that pretty hard to believe.
6 Sean Penn
In 1987, Madonna checked herself into Cedars Sinai hospital after she claimed her husband, actor Sean Penn, attacked and beat her with a baseball bat. When asked why she did not file a police report, Madonna stated that Penn was about to start a 60-day jail term as is, because he had recently assaulted a film extra.
The more extreme event came out a year later when Madonna claims Penn tied her to a chair using heavy twine. Penn then beat and degraded Madonna for the next 9 hours and only agreed to untie her when she agreed to perform a disgusting sex act on Penn.
All of this would be absolutely outrageous, but thankfully for Penn, Madonna denies the incidents. In an interview in 2015, Madonna stated: “Sean has never struck me, ‘tied me up,’ or physically assaulted me, and any report to the contrary is completely outrageous, malicious, reckless, and false.”
While it does not line up with the original story, at least Penn has Madonna coming to his aid.
5 James Brown
James Brown may have had a smooth voice, but there is nothing smooth about physically assaulting women. In 2004, Brown was arrested after allegedly shoving his wife Tomi Rae Brown to the ground and then threatening to beat her with a chair. While Brown denied the charges, his wife still required hospitalization for her injuries. He was ordered to pay $1,087 as punishment for the assault.
This is not the only time Brown has had a run-in with the law. In 1988, Brown was charged with assaulting his then-wife, Adrienne Rodriguez. Throughout the course of their marriage that lasted from 1987 until her death in ’96, Brown was arrested four times for charges of assault.
There was also an incident in 1988 in which James Brown allegedly raped Jacque Hollander and while he did not physically assault her, Jacque stated that he threatened to kill her with a shotgun if she did not comply with his demands. Sadly, Jacque did not come out about the incident until 2002 and the case was thrown out due to the limitations defense.
4 Billy Dee Williams
Billy Dee Williams may have appeared in Star Wars, but he’d need a heck of a lot more than the Force to escape police custody when he was arrested back in 1996. Billy was arrested after his girlfriend at the time went to police with minor scratches and bruises all over her body. She alleges that Williams slapped her several times on the face. The incident apparently began when the two engaged in a heated argument during a drive home for dinner. Fights are the worst, fights when you’re "hangry" are significantly more difficult to deal with. It was described by the policeman, Ron Sanchez as being a “physical confrontation from both parties, on both parties” and went on to add how Williams had absolutely no history of violence at the time of his arrest.
The woman eventually came out and stated that the entire ordeal was her fault and that her hope was that the police would stop investigating the case. As a result, Williams was only ordered to undergo 52 counseling sessions.
3 Christian Slater
Whether you love television or movies more, you’ve probably seen something that Slater has been in. Acting since 1985, Slater has been in several prominent pictures, but in 1997, the most prominent thing going on in his life was his decision to beat up his then-girlfriend, Michelle Jones. Slater then proceeded to assault the police officer, though when you find out he was also allegedly on drugs and alcohol, are you really surprised? Slater spent 3 months in jail and 3 months in rehab as a result of the situation. Slater was also charged with sexual abuse after allegedly sexually harassing a woman while out walking around in New York.
Slater is currently one of the leads in the TV series Mr. Robot which follows the story of a young computer programmer, Elliot, who suffers from social anxiety and makes connections through hacking. Things get more interesting for Elliot when Mr.Robot, who is portrayed by Slater, recruits him.
2 Terrence Howard
Terrence Howard was cast in the first Iron Man but was dropped from the sequels after reports came out that he was incredibly difficult to work with on set, as well as various contract disputes. You may be extra glad the role got re-cast with Don Cheadle when you learn all about Terrence’s awful history with domestic abuse.
The first allegation came back in 2010 when Terrence assaulted a flight attendant on an airline. Maybe not so bad, but in 2001, he was arrested after assaulting his estranged wife, Lori McCommas. The two had apparently gotten into an argument on the phone, leading Howard to drive to her house, kick down her door and punch her 3 times. Howard admitted to the events.
In 2005, Howard beat up two random strangers, Danielle DiStefano, and Kevin Saffell while in line for Ray’s Dining Car.
Can this get any worse? How about in 2010, when Howard’s second wife, Michelle Ghent divorced Howard and stated how it only took one week into the marriage for Howard to beat her and attempt to throw her off a balcony in South Africa. One week prior to the divorce filings, Michelle stated that Terrence threatened her with a butcher knife. Howard claimed it was Ghent that was the violent one, but she was granted a restraining order.
In 2012, Howard attacked his on-again/off-again girlfriend May Seng Yang, while out with his current girlfriend Erica Jiles (great impression). Allegedly, “Howard had choked her, thrown her to the ground and punched her in the eye, then told his girlfriend, '**** this, I’m going to jail for this tonight.'”
Both parties dropped the criminal charges and settled in a private suit.
Last but not least, in 2013, Howard and Ghent took a trip to Costa Rica to try and re-kindle things, but it went poorly and Terrence "sucker punched" her, grabbed her neck, threw her against a mirror and then tried to choke her. “While I was on the ground, (Howard) kicked me repeatedly in the head and shoulders with strong blows…I knew I had to get away from (Howard) or he would try to kill me.”
The incident ended only when Ghent was able to pull out and administer pepper-spray against the enraged Howard.
Still want to go see him in any of his upcoming films?
1 Jerry Lawler
Jerry “The King" Lawler is one of the most influential people to ever work for the WWE. A multiple time champion, and long term announcer with the company, there were not many people that argued with his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2007. But you aren’t going to hear his name uttered in the WWE for quite some time, especially when you hear about the domestic violence charges that were leveled against Lawler earlier this month.
His fiancee, Lauryn McBride, claims “Lawler held her against the kitchen counter, hit her in the head, pushed her against the stove and then put an unloaded gun on the table and told her to kill herself. Both are claiming that the other brought the weapon into the situation.”
How upset do you need to be to put a gun on a table and ask the person you’re supposed to love more than anything to kill themselves? Imagine if she had. The argument started after McBridge apparently lied to Lawler about where she had been. Both McBride and Lawler were taken into custody. The WWE released the following statement.
“According to a police report, Lawler and his girlfriend, Lauryn McBride, were taken into custody and booked on alleged charges of domestic assault—bodily harm, a misdemeanor. WWE has zero tolerance for matters involving domestic violence, and per our policy, Jerry Lawler has been suspended indefinitely following his arrest”