According to the Wall Street Journal, nearly one in three American adults has a police record. All things considered, odds are that you are personally acquainted with at least a few people who have been arrested at some point in their lives, for one offense or another. And despite the obvious buffers provided by fame and fortune, some celebrities haven’t been able to escape the statistic.
Although notorious red-handed stars like OJ Simpson, R. Kelly et al may have largely managed to evade the law amid incriminating bodies of evidence, others went on to prove that stardom wasn’t exactly the Get Out of Jail Free Card they had hoped it would be.
You might be able to envision some of the not-so-lucky ones in the back of a police car with little difficulty, while others will probably leave you feeling like two distinct worlds have collided. These lesser-known celebrity criminals are inextricably associated with reputations either so snobbishly posh or glowing with wholesome modesty, you’ll have a hard time believing they ever broke bad, even in their younger years.
So keep reading; we’ve compiled a list of the top ten celebrities – along with unflattering mugshots – who went from limelight to crimelight and have the soiled police records to prove it.
10 Keanu Reeves – Drunk Driving
First on our list of stars in stripes is Keanu Reeves. He became a household name at the turn of the nineties for portraying the legendary bonehead “Ted” in the popular Bill and Ted films, but ironically ended up living up to the role when he was pulled over for drunk driving in 1993. He was arrested and hauled in immediately, but avoided a harsh sentence due to his instantaneous confession. He could have landed himself some serious prison time if he hadn’t owned up, so it’s probably a good thing he didn’t pull a “Conspiracy Keanu.”
9 Bruno Mars – Cocaine Possession
This hyper-famous singer-songwriter faced felony charges when he was arrested for the possession of 2.6 grams of powder in September 2010. When pressed on the subject of exactly what happened that night in the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, the artist formerly known as Peter Hernandez replied, “I’m a f*cking musician!” Astonishingly, this defense didn’t get him out of the 230 hours of community service or drug education courses he was ordered to complete, but his guilty plea did help him avoid possible prison time. Don’t worry, Bruno – being locked out of heaven is a lot better than being locked in the slammer with a 300-pound cellmate named Cupcake.
8 Carmen Electra – Battery
Third on our list of criminal celebs is Baywatch beauty Carmen Electra, née Tara Patrick. In 1999, she and her husband Dennis Rodman, former NBA superstar, incited a police report for creating a disturbance in their upscale Miami Beach hotel. When authorities arrived on the scene, it was clear that the two had taken part in a vicious brawl. Both sported a number of nasty bruises and scratches, and Rodman’s shirt was ripped. Each pointed the finger at the other, and both were cuffed, arrested, and booked on misdemeanor battery charges.
7 Will Smith – Aggravated Assault
It was 1989 when Will Smith was arrested for his alleged involvement in the cruel attack of record promoter William Hendricks, which nearly left the man blind in one eye and requiring six stitches. According to reports, Smith became agitated after an argument with the victim, and later gave his bodyguard orders to assault him. Smith’s role in the crime earned him charges of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, simple assault and reckless endangerment of another person, and a cold jail cell in West Philadelphia where fanatical inmates harassed him for autographs. Why you makin’ trouble in the neighborhood, Will?
6 Hugh Grant – Lewd Conduct
Posh English actor Hugh Grant was quite literally caught with his pants down when he was arrested for indecent conduct and solicitation of a prostitute on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip in 1995. Police allegedly witnessed the entire proposition take place before tapping on the car window to find a paid business transaction in full swing. Grant upheld his well-spoken, polite demeanor throughout the booking, but nonetheless appeared mortified as he and his saucy escort, Divine Brown, were taken into custody and booked on charges of lewd conduct.
5 Jay Z – Assault
It was October 1999 when world-renowned rapper-songwriter Jay Z pled guilty to third-degree assault after brutally stabbing record producer Lance “Un” Rivera at a listening party in Manhattan’s Kit Kat Club. According to reports, the hip-hop producer had drawn the ire of Jay Z, whose birth name is Shaw Carter, after allegedly bootlegging the artist and circulating original material nearly a month premature of its determined release date. Carter avoided a second-degree felony assault charge by withdrawing his initial ‘not guilty’ plea, and instead walked away with only a three-year probation sentence, while ostensibly dusting his shoulders off.
4 Tim Allen – Drug Trafficking
Home Improvement star Tim Allen was incarcerated for more than two years in Federal Correctional Institute, Sandstone when he demonstrated his familiarity with more than one type of sawdust. Allen was caught with over 650 grams of cocaine at the Kalamazoo/Battlecreek National Airport in October of 1978, and subsequently pled guilty to drug trafficking charges. His cooperation, as well as his willingness to supply authorities with the names of a number of other drug dealers, reduced his sentence from possible life imprisonment to a maximum of seven years. He was paroled and released early in June of 1981.
3 Heather Locklear – Hit and Run
Melrose Place actress Heather Locklear was arrested in April 2010 after a call to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department reporting a crash in Westlake Village, California. Upon police investigation of the collision site, it was evident that someone had expertly mowed down a “No Parking” sign, bruised the adjacent street curb, and efficiently left the scene of the incident. Exhibit A: Locklear’s black BMW, scarred with damage that plainly matched evidence from the collision site. The performance awarded the actress a citation for a misdemeanor hit-and-run.
2 Haley Joel Osment – Drunk Driving
This child star was arrested in 2006 after crashing his Saturn station wagon while driving under the influence. Haley Joel Osment was on his way home from a Los Angeles concert when the accident took place, and upon having his blood-alcohol content tested, the actor boasted twice the legal limit. Because Osment flipped his car, he sustained a number of injuries and was hospitalized, although his drunken mugshot seems to indicate that he probably didn’t feel much. Authorities also confiscated a quantity of marijuana from Osment. He was sentenced to three years probation, an alcohol rehab program, and lifetime of lame one-liners. I see drunk people…
1 Mel Gibson – Drunk Driving
Academy award-winning actor-director Mel Gibson was arrested in 2006 in Malibu for driving drunk and for driving with an open alcohol container in the vehicle. The incident made headlines after an inebriated Gibson pushed his luck even further by making anti-Semitic remarks directed at the arresting deputy, James Mee. According to authorities, the actor asked whether Mee was a Jew, and then began a colorful rant. “F*cking Jews! The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.” For good measure, Gibson also allegedly called a female officer at the police station ‘sugartits’ during his booking. He was sentenced to three years probation.