Celebrities. They’ve got money, cars, clothes, fans, glamorous parties with A-listers and…a rap sheet? That’s right, folks. The rich and famous know how to get in trouble with the law like everyone else, the only difference is that sometimes throwing their name out will lower their sentence or let them walk free. Hey, at least they will always have their souvenir mugshot to prove their bad-ass status. Most of the time it’s public intoxication, disorderly conduct, or resisting arrest. Sometimes it’s a much more serious crime like physically attacking someone, trading insider secrets, or murder.
As the stories unfold, we stare at the TV or printed article in awe that someone of such high stature, who could be someone’s role model, could commit such a crime. Below is a compilation of the most memorable celebrity arrests to date that we have had the opportunity to witness. If you ever think you’re having a bad day, just remember, a celebrity’s bad day is public knowledge and plastered on every magazine, news broadcast, social media platform and the internet. Kind of makes your problems not seem so bad, doesn’t it?
20. Martha Stewart – Securities Fraud
Known for her cooking skills, high-end décor, and crafty ideas, Martha Stewart was seen as the ideal, all-around perfect homemaker. She was a strong woman, built an empire in a male-dominated world, and devoted her life to home living and fashion. Stewart, however, was also greedy and gave into the temptation of having a “one-up” on the competition. In 2003 Stewart was charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and securities fraud. Two years prior, Martha pulled her shares from a company called IMClone through her stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, after receiving insider knowledge of the company. Martha Stewart was found guilty and received a five month federal prison sentence, disgorgement of roughly $140,000, and two years of electronic monitoring (aka house arrest).
19. Justin Bieber – DUI
Where do we start with this pop star’s childish and immature antics? Lunging at paparazzi, drag racing on public roads, disorderly conduct, driving under the influence…the list goes on. “The Biebs” broke out of the good boy title and created a bad boy image practically overnight. His trial occurred via video. The presiding judge was Joseph Farina. Bieber was found guilty on 3 counts: DUI, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest “non-violently”. Because of his lack of consideration for the general public, a petition began to send Bieber back to Canada if he didn’t straighten himself out. He was fined $2,500.
18. O.J. Simpson – Accused Of Murder
One of the most publicized cases in history is the O.J. Simpson trial for the alleged murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson hired an A-class defense team including Johnny Cochran, Robert Shapiro, and Robert Kardashian. They argued the evidence was mishandled and therefore could be contaminated. Cochran had Simpson put on the black gloves found at the scene of the murder. The gloves were too small to fit his hands.
From there the coined phrase “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” has stemmed. Admissible evidence was left out such as the white Bronco Simpson was driving. Suspicious evidence such as $8,000 in cash, fake facial hair, and a change of clothes was present in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. O.J. Simpson was found not guilty and released. Within the past ten years O.J. Simpson has written a book called If I Did It and a show has emerged based on his trial called The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
17. George Michael – Lewd Act
George Michael was caught engaging in what police described, as a “lewd act” with little to no respect or care for the police officer present with him in the men’s bathroom. Michael was immediately arrested and booked. He was released on a $500 bail and appeared in court. The district court sentenced him to community service at an AIDS Charity. From then on, George Michael quickly added to his rap sheet: Possession of Class A and Class C drugs, an attempt to get away from the police because he had drugs on him (his car hit a divider), an addiction to prescription drugs, and so on. He said the fuse that lit his “self-destructive” behavior was brought on ten years ago by the death of his mother.
16. Chris Brown – Assaulted His Girlfriend
Even though his crime occurred 7 years ago, Chris Brown will forever be remembered as a loose cannon. He was convicted and held without bail in 2009 for assaulting his girlfriend, Rihanna. The judge sentenced him to probation and outpatient rehab. The facility was court-ordered to notify when Brown had shown up. He was kicked out for not taking his rehabilitation seriously and not following the rules. This was a violation of his probation so he was then sentenced to a live-in anger management facility and ordered to complete three eight-hour sessions of community service a week. Later on in the year, Brown assaulted a man in a hotel. Because he showed promising progress in rehab, the judge refused to send Brown to jail.
15. Columbus Short – Arrested Three Separate Occasions
The Scandal star was charged and arrested on three separate occasions in 2014. Twice for physically assaulting his wife, and the third was for punching a man in a bar fight. Because of his temper, his wife filed for divorce after he was convicted of spousal battery. Short admitted to self-medicating to handle his overwhelming workload. His drugs of choice were cocaine and alcohol. He confessed to making the wrong choices and not handling situations in a more appropriate manor. In August 2015, Short was arrested once again for an unsettled dispute with his bail bondsman. Limited information was released concerning this issue.
14. Alec Baldwin – Disorderly Conduct
Famous for his roles in 30 Rock, Pearl Harbor, and It’s Complicated, Baldwin was arrested in 2014 by the NYPD for riding his bike the wrong way on Fifth Avenue and for disorderly conduct. The officers reported Baldwin as belligerent and using offensive language. After being released the next day, Alec hopped on Twitter tweeting the badge numbers of the officers, their names (which he got wrong), and how incompetent the NYPD is. Later on in the year this loose cannon chased a cameraman who got too close for Baldwin’s liking and physically assaulted the man. No charges were filed but it’s safe to say Baldwin thinks his long-term fame warrants his behavior.
13. Lindsay Lohan – DWI, DUI, Disorderly Conduct
Lohan made herself known when she was just 11 years old in the remake of The Parent Trap with Dennis Quaid and the late Natasha Richardson. She surely had talent and her acting career took off like fireworks. Like many childhood stars who grew up in the limelight, such as Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie, she lost her way and rebelled. She has been arrested for drugs, DWI, DUI, disorderly conduct…the list goes on. Her mom, Dina, decided not to encourage her daughter on the straight and narrow, instead she TOO was arrested for DUI. The two have a tumultuous past and seem to be in a fight as soon as they reconcile. These days, since Lindsay’s new boyfriend came along, she’s been a lot happier, healthier, and has stayed out of trouble.
12. Amanda Bynes – DUI And Reckless Driving
The childhood star for Nickelodeon’s hit show, All That, became a household name when she was just 10 years old. Between the years 2012 and 2014 Amanda Bynes put herself through a plethora of unnecessary acts including driving under the influence and reckless driving. In 2012 Bynes was taken into police custody after being pulled over and failing every field sobriety test. She was examined by a drug recognition expert and booked. Bynes was sentenced to a psychiatric clinic involuntarily. By 2014, upon her trial date, the law had had enough of her and settled on three years of probation for her while attending an alcohol education class. Amanda Bynes was fined heavily for her indiscretions and released to the custody of her parents. Bynes has been laying low since then.
11. Winona Ryder – Theft
Famed for her roles in Mermaids, Mr. Deeds, and Girl Interrupted, the world was shocked to see such a wholesome actress commit theft at Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue. Associates stated they witnessed Ryder place almost $5,000 worth of merchandise in her bag with the security tags removed. Ryder was also charged with illegal possession of prescription drugs the police found on her at the time of the arrest. Ryder’s attorney argued there was no theft committed but the store’s security footage caught her on tape ripping the tags off. Winona posted a $20,000 bail, and was found guilty for her actions. She was sentenced to probation, a fine, and community service.
10. Andy Dick – Groping People And Disorderly Conduct
Probably one of the most controversial, outspoken, and slightly disliked actors in Hollywood, Andy Dick never apologizes for being himself, nor does he learn from his mistakes. Along with the DUIs, groping people, disorderly conduct, and public exposure, Andy Dick can now add grand theft to his long list of offenses. In 2014, the LAPD picked the actor up on Hollywood Blvd. for allegedly stealing a man’s $1,000 necklace. He sat for awhile in jail waiting for someone to come and post his $25,000 bail. Fortunately for him he was out in time to make an appearance in Zoolander 2 with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.
9. Phil Spector – Convicted Of Murder
This celebrity’s arrest was by far one of the most disturbing among the collection. Phil Spector, a well-known music producer, was charged and convicted with the murder of Lana Clarkson, a fashion model and actress. Spector spoke the words “I think I killed someone” to his chauffeur. Spector faced two original trials and no matter how the coin was flipped, the consensus was that Phil Spector killed Lana in his mansion in 2003. The evidence and testimonies from other women against Spector was too much to try and build any acquittal of the charges. After a long, drawn out procession of trial after trial, in 2009 Spector was charged with the maximum sentence of nineteen years to life in prison.
8. Michael Vick – Ran Dog-Fighting Ring
NFL quarterback, Michael Vick, was arrested along with three associates for running and operating a dog-fighting ring. Vick was busted after his cousin had given Vick’s dog- fighting address as his residence. The police obtained a search warrant on suspicion of illegal activity, and they were right. Michael Vick was incredibly apologetic for his actions and took full responsibility for what he had done but the courts were not convinced since he had lied repeatedly throughout the trial. The judge sentenced him to two years in prison, three years of supervised probation in which he is not allowed to buy, sell or own a dog, and ordered him to pay upwards of $1 million in restitution and fines. Vick was also mandated to attend a drug and alcohol treatment center at his expense.
7. Bill Cosby – Accused Of Assaulting Women
Once the beloved dad on The Cosby Show and comical host of Kids’ Say the Darndest Things, Bill Cosby has just recently been added to our list of celebs with a rap sheet. At the ripe age of 73, more than 40 women have come forward saying Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them. Because of these allegations, Cosby’s reputation as a wholesome icon of Hollywood has been smeared – he had his figurehead statue removed from Disney grounds, and his Star of Fame was vandalized by someone who wrote ‘Rapist’ across his name. The court proceedings continue to get to the bottom of these allegations dating back more than 20 years. However, Bill Cosby’s reputation is tarnished forever because of these accusations.
6. Nicholas Brendon – Trashing Hotel Rooms
Famous for his role as Xander Harris in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Brendon was arrested at least four times in 2015; charges include public intoxication, trashing hotel rooms, and the fourth was in upstate New York for a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. According to records, he grabbed her by the throat and choked her. He was also arrested at that time for third degree robbery which is a felony, one count of obstruction of breathing, and two counts of criminal mischief. Brendon pled guilty and was told he would not have to do any jail time if he completed a drug and alcohol counseling program and stayed out of trouble for one year.
5. Charlie Sheen – What Hasn’t He Done
To remember or record all of Charlie Sheen’s bad behavior and arrests would not only be an article in itself, but it would be a redundant one, at best. Most of his indiscretions involved hiring call girls, soliciting for prostitutes, domestic disturbances, violating restraining orders, drugs and alcohol, assault, and so on and so forth. We all remember his drug-induced video that went viral of him rambling about his gripes with the world. His famous catch phrase “Winning” took America by storm and we say it on a daily basis when something good happens. As of recently, Sheen’s shady past and good times have caught up with him. Sadly, he has tested positive for HIV.
4. Paul Reubens – Indecent Exposure
He played the quirky kid’s show character Peewee Herman, an FBI agent in the Movie Matilda, and even had a part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie. He was a jack of all trades with a versatile personality but in 1991 Reubens killed his career after being caught in an adult entertainment theater masturbating. He pled no contest and was charged with indecent exposure. He was fined and had to pay court costs. Later, in 2002, Reubens plead guilty for possession of child x-rated films after a search was performed by the L.A. Police of his home. His representative argued the pictures were part of Reuben’s extensive “photographic art” collection. He was registered as a sex offender, fined $100, and given three years of probation.
3. Hugh Grant – Caught With A Lady Of The Street
Caught with his pants down, the British actor Hugh Grant was charged with lewd conduct in public along with Divine Brown (real name: Estella Thompson). At the time he was in a relationship with Elizabeth Hurley – at first she refused to comment but a few days later she said it felt like she had been shot. The couple decided to stay together and work through everything. Hugh Grant was sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine and to attend an AIDS awareness program. Divine Brown, according to records, violated her probation for prostitution and was sentenced to 180 days in prison.
2. Matthew Broderick – Reckless Driving Led To The Death Of Two
Our beloved Ferris Bueller was crowned the king of skipping school in the 1980’s hit movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off even though he played a fictional character and, most of us know, our parents were never that oblivious. Broderick lost his “too cool for school” persona when he crashed head on with an oncoming car. He killed the two people in the other vehicle, a mother and daughter. Broderick sustained a broken leg, and his girlfriend at the time, Jennifer Grey made it out without any injuries. He was charged with reckless driving and if convicted, could have faced up to five years in prison. After court proceedings he was convicted of careless driving and order to pay a $175 fine.
1. R. Kelly – The Wrong Kind Of Adult Entertainment
Kelly is a famous R&B singer who made a big splash with catchy jams such as ‘Ignition’ and ‘Snake’. His fans (and the world for that matter) were beyond shocked to see such a successful artist being arrested in Polk County and being charged with 21 counts of child x-rated films. After the sheriff’s department in Florida received a pile of sex tapes starring R. Kelly and a different girl in each video, four more lawsuits for rape were leveled against the star. The videos, stated one officer, were “rapes in the making.” R. Kelly was acquitted of all twenty-one counts. He has agreed to settle two of the four lawsuit allegations, but will fight the others.
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