Celebrities seem to think that they are entitled to lots of things, including bargains when in court. The history of Hollywood stardom has taught us that famous people will always try to wriggle their way out of being held liable for anything, whether that is through bribery, tears, or their media influence and power. We hope that the government and courts will remain strict and give naughty celebs the justice that is due, but sometimes these things just don’t happen. Let’s take a look at some famous figures who have found themselves in hot water and ended up being thrown in jail for it.
We have celebrities here who have gotten into trouble for tax evasion, fraud and conspiracy, as well as drug possession, assault, battery, robbery, and weapons charges. These things happen to people in all kinds of entertainment; from music, acting, directing and producing, television hosting, singing, rapping, and we even have a Bollywood star on our list. Life is really weird, especially when we have celebs in Hollywood who think that they are above the law. That is just not the case, and never will be! When will celebrities get it?
We will skip some celebrities, such as Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes and their DUIs, as well as Shailene Woodley, who was arrested after protesting at the Dakota Pipeline.
15 Don King
Professional boxing promoter Don King has been linked to organized crimes, including connections to John Gotti, a notorious mobster. King has faced lawsuits for payment fraud, unpaid funds, theft, and conspiracy. His biggest criminal incident was in a manslaughter case. King was convicted of killing Samuel Garrett, who had worked with King. For the conviction, King was sentenced to four years behind bars in the 1960s. He was then pardoned in 1983. In the case of the Samuel Garrett murder, King was quoted as saying that the ensuing fight was just “the frustrations of the ghetto expressing themselves,” essentially trying to make it okay that he killed a guy. He went on to say “his head hit the ground. These things happen.”
14 50 Cent
Rapper 50 Cent has been arrested for multiple charges, including selling cocaine, heroin possession, firearms possession, assault and battery. In 2013, he pleaded not guilty to domestic violence charges and vandalism against model and actress Daphne Joy, who accused the rapper of kicking her and destroying her bedroom after the two got into a heated argument. He caused over $7,000 in property damage, and the charges are responsible for five years in prison. 50 Cent ended up getting out of the prison sentence, but the weight of intensity of the charges is enough for us to include in this list. In the summer of 2016, 50 Cent was put into jail after saying mothe****ker during a concert in the Caribbean. Allegedly, the authorities at the concert venue told the rapper that he couldn’t use profanity during his performance, but he did, and ultimately went to jail for it.
13 Wesley Snipes
In April, 2013, Wesley Snipes was released from jail after being charged for conspiring to defraud the United States, as well as false and fraudulent claims on his income tax returns. He also received six counts of deliberately failing to file taxes on his earnings. Snipes had also sent three false bills of exchange to the IRS, worth some $14 million. Snipes shot back by claiming that he was a non-resident alien of the U.S. and that this whole case was just meant to slander his name. In 2008, the actor was convicted of three criminal counts, and spent three years behind bars. In 2015, after over a decade away from TV, Snipes appeared on an episode of The Player. His film projects of the past few years have been lackluster and have included Chi-Raq, Temple, and The Recall. His most pivotal role has been in the Blade movies, which won him a Blockbuster Entertainment Award.
At the end of May 2009, rapper T.I. (Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) began his prison sentence at a correctional facility in Arkansas. Convicted on a weapons charge, T.I. received a sentence for one year and one day. Known there as prisoner #59458019, the rapper made a show of arriving to the correctional facility, and he seemed to think that he was entitled to special treatment. Psh, not in jail, bro! At age 28, he was found guilty of trying to purchase unregistered weapons (machine guns and silencers), after his friend was shot dead. Perhaps trying to protect himself, T.I. went about it all wrong. The rapper actually got off really easy, because at first he was expected to be hit with a 10-year jail term, as well as $750,000 in fines for his crimes. Instead, he got a break with his plea deal, and after his release, he had three years of probation to get through.
11 Charles S. Dutton
65-year-old actor-director Charles S. Dutton was sent to jail after being convicted in the death of a stranger. Dutton had gotten into an altercation with a man on the streets of his neighborhood, and that man ended up ultimately dying from his injuries in the fight. Dutton was sentenced to seven and a half years in jail, but while being incarcerated, he ended up stirring up trouble with the other inmates. In one fight, Dutton himself was stabbed in the neck by another inmate. For that incident, Dutton had to spend six days in solitary confinement at the prison. Interestingly enough, while in solitary confinement, Dutton began reading a book about black playwrights, and he started a drama group of inmates at the prison! Dutton then went back to school, obtained his GED and went to university for dramatic arts. Thus began his career as an actor and director on the screen and stage.
10 Danny Trejo
Hollywood actor Danny Trejo has had a pivotal career, but the 72-year-old’s public image is tarnished by his criminal charges. He served 11 years in prison, from 1961 to 1972 on charges of robbery, murder, and drug possession. The actor would commit the robberies and other crimes so that he could fuel his addiction to drugs. While in prison, Trejo got himself into trouble, joining up with the “bad guys” in jail and inciting riots within the correctional facility. However, Trejo ended up changing his ways, and once he was released from prison after over a decade behind bars, he vowed to get sober - and stay sober. He has kept that promise for nearly 50 years, and now he tries to infuse young people with the values of living a clean lifestyle and treating others with respect. So, his story does have a happy ending, and it seems that Trejo did a complete 180. Good for him!
9 Lil Wayne
34-year-old rapper Lil Wayne has had some very big problems in his life. Granted, the rapper grew up in a crappy environment and seriously lacked any authority or father figure in his life during the younger years. Still, when you commit a crime, you need to do the time. For Lil Wayne, his charges included a one-year prison sentence on Rikers Island in 2010 after he pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a weapon. Then, while in prison, Lil Wayne was caught with contraband, but he ended up being released from Rikers Island four months early. Another legal incident involved the rapper getting put on probation for 36 months, which was the result of a plea deal. Other legal troubles for the rapper included lawsuits of fraud, copyright infringement, multiple accounts of weapons possession, unpaid royalties, and drug possession. While his prison sentence wasn’t as long as others, Lil Wayne has had so many legal troubles and feuds that he warrants a spot on this list.
8 Christian Slater
Famed actor and producer Christian Slater is a Golden Globe winner famous for his roles in films such as The Name of the Rose, Broken Arrow, and Hard Rain. In 1997, the actor was slammed with a prison sentence for drug assault. He was arrested in Los Angeles after the police were called to subdue Slater, who was found yelling and acting violently. He was also caught fighting with another man and he had attempted to punch his then-girlfriend. The police took Slater in and the actor told them that he was under the influence of alcohol, heroin, and cocaine. The 1994 incident was eight years after Slater received a charge for driving under the influence. This time around, he received a jail term for six months on firearms and drug charges. He was also told to complete a rehabilitation program, spend three months in residency for drug treatment, and to complete a one-year program for people charged with battery.
7 O.J. Simpson
O.J. Simpson is the poster child for celebrity murder trials. He is linked to the 1994 death of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, who were stabbed to death and found dead outside of Nicole’s home. Due to a lack of evidence, O.J. was found not guilty of the murders, even though so many people swear that he is guilty. Goldman’s family sued O.J., and he was convicted of holding responsibility for the wrongful death and battery of Goldman, and the battery of Nicole Brown. Even over 20 years later, this crime is still an unsolved mystery, and it will hang over O.J.’s head for the rest of his life. Even though he was found not guilty, we needed to include this on our list because it is often considered the “Trial of the Century” and pretty much anything in the English-speaking world will know something about it.
6 Phil Spector
Record producer, musician, and songwriter Phil Spector was the mastermind behind musical groups, hit albums, musical and recording styles, and more. But that doesn’t mean that the 75-year-old is not without his inner demons and struggles. When actress Lana Clarkson was found dead in Spector’s residence in 2003, all hell broke loose. Lana had suffered a gunshot wound to her mouth, and was seated in a chair. Spector responded by saying that her death was an accidental suicide and that she had administered the gun shot. However, Spector’s driver was the one who made the 911 call, and the driver said that Spector told him he thought he had killed someone, and the driver said he saw Spector with a gun. In 2009, Spector was found guilty of murder, using a firearm in the commission of a crime, and was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison. He’s currently serving in California.
5 Martha Stewart
It was quite a shock to many people when the domestic goddess, Martha Stewart, ended up being sentenced to some serious jail time. In 2002, Martha took up a position on the Board of Directors for the New York Stock Exchange, a position she only held for 4 months. She resigned after it was revealed that she was guilty of securities fraud, conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, making false statements to federal investigators, and obstruction of justice, which was a result of her manipulating the stock market. She had connections with Peter Bacanovic, who gave her information, materials, and insider resources about the stock market, which helped Martha avoid a loss of over $45,000. She avoided the significant loss by selling her shares of the ImClone Systems stock, which dropped 16% the following day. She spent 5 months at a correctional facility, where of course she made crafts and gourmet recipes with the prison food.
4 Ja Rule
Ja Rule has made a living and a career out of being a rough and tough rapper, spitting rhymes about his gangster lifestyle and all of the trouble that he has gotten into. Well, it art ended up imitating life for Ja Rule, and in 2010, the rapper was charged in a court trial stemming from a 2007 incident in which he was arrested for weapons and drug possession. In 2010, Ja Rule was sentenced to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempted possession of a weapon. His prison sentence started at Rikers Island, and then moved to a correctional facility in New York. However, in 2011, the rapper was hit with an extended prison sentence for tax evasion. He had failed to pay taxes on his earnings from 2004 to 2006, sums which totalled some $3 million. This kept him behind bars for another 6 months.
3 Monica Bedi
Monica Bedi has her famed rooted in Bollywood culture in India. The 41-year-old has worked as a television presenter and actress. In fact, 2017 will end her 3-year break from film acting, and she will appear in the movie Bandookan, a production filmed in Punjabi. Back in 2002, Monica, along with her Bollywood film partner, Abu Salem, was arrested in Portugal, after she was charged with entering a foreign country by using forged documents. It wasn’t until 2006 that the Indian government charged Monica with the crime and found her guilty of using a fake passport to travel abroad. She was sentenced to 5 years behind bars and was put into the Chanchalguda prison for women as inmate #103. While in prison, Monica suffered with depression and took a while to transition into the jailbird lifestyle. She was also stripped of her Bollywood star privileges. She likened it to a living hell.
2 Shelley Malil
You might know Shelley Malil from the film The 40-Year-Old Virgin. He has also appeared in Holes, Collateral Damage, and My Favorite Martian, among others. In 2008, Malil was caught in an intense and serious scandal in which he attacked his then-girlfriend, Kendra Beebe. The court trial ended up resulting in Malil being convicted of attempted and premeditated murder as well as assault with a deadly weapon. It was a night in 2008 when Malil pulled a knife on Kendra after finding her at home in the living room with another man. Malil proceeded to stab Kendra 20 times, and while she survived, she had a punctured lung, and significant damage to her neck, chest, back, and arms. During the court trial, Malil said that he actually wanted to be sent to jail; he wanted to pay for his crime. He received a life sentence, which may be more than he wanted.
C-Murder, also known as Corey Miller has perhaps the worst prison sentence of all. His case dates back to 2002, in an incident involving the shooting of a fan. Just this past August, Miller was found guilty of second-degree murder and he could potentially face a life sentence behind bars. The jury and judge found Miller was involved in the murder of a 16-year-old fan (Steve Thomas), who was shot dead at a club in New Orleans, Louisiana. Interestingly, Miller ended up changing his rapper name from C-Murder to C-Miller in 2003, when he was first brought to court for the killing. In May of 2016, Miller pleaded no contest to separate, second-degree attempted-murder, and he was also reprimanded for pulling a gun on the bouncer at that New Orleans club. In 2016, he released an album along with BoosieBadazz, called Penitentiary Chances, to retell his side of the story in the murder case.
Sources: Billboard, ABC News, NY Times, MTV, CNN
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