While we often hear about the largesse of some celebrities – the kind who leave a giant tip for a waitress or visit the sick children’s ward dressed as a certain pirate or even decide to the foot the bill for a fan’s wedding. Heartwarming, right? But then there are some on the other end of this spectrum, as well. We are talking about the kind of celebs who are so cheap, sometimes, that word can’t begin to describe them.
These are the celebs who want favors from everyone, all the time. They don’t want to pay their bills or taxes, let alone tip the staff. These celebs give the whole celebrity business a bad name. Many of these celebs have since then straightened out their act and become model citizens. But their checkered past proves that if it wasn’t for their cheap antics, they could have avoided being labeled as losers. Frankly, fans need to remember that celebs are human too. So here go 15 celebs who could’ve avoided jail time if they weren’t so cheap.
15. Wesley Snipes Decided Not To Pay The Government
So Blade here decided he was a tad too savvy for the dumb ol’ government and could get away with just his slick moves and didn’t need to pay his taxes at all. Blade went to prison for three years for not paying his taxes, and we got saved from watching yet another Blade movie. Wesley Snipes didn’t just pretend to do action, though. He knew his moves, considering the fact that he trained in martial arts since the age of 12. He has an impressive 5th Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate and 2nd Dan black belt in Hapkido as well. Unfortunately, all that falls flat considering he tried to cheat his own government by not paying his taxes. Initially, he was also booked and tried for a felony count of conspiracy to defraud the government and on the felony count of filing a false claim with the government, but he was acquitted. But he did serve three years for failure to file taxes and was finally a free man only in mid-2013. He has been seen in 2014 Expendables 3 since then.
14. No One Takes What Is Mine, Says Jay-Z
The gem that Beyonce married shot his older brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry. When asked about this time in his life, Jay-Z says he thought his life was over and that he’d be in jail forever. His stint in a juvenile delinquent center didn’t change him much because in 2001, when he was definitely no longer a child, he pleaded guilty to stabbing record producer Lance ‘Un’ Rivera and got three years’ probation for third-degree assault. Too cheap to change? In his book Decoded, he said, “One night I went to Q-Tip’s solo album release party and at some point in the night, I ran into the guy everyone’s been telling me is behind the bootleg. So I approached him. When I told him what I suspected, to my surprise, he got real loud with me right there in the middle of the club. It was strange. We separated and I went over to the bar […] Before I even realized what I was doing, I headed back over to him, but this time I was blacking out with anger. The next thing I knew, all hell had broken loose in the club. That night the guy went straight to the police and I was indicted…”
13. When Martha Stewart Served A Crockpot of Lies
So Martha Stewart looked like a regal old lady who everybody but her employees wanted as their grandma. But then she lied to federal investigators about committing insider trading rather willfully and thought that she could get away with it. Turns out, she couldn’t. She landed into hot soup and so this grand old lady went to prison instead. According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Martha avoided a (rather paltry) loss of $45,673 by selling all 3,928 shares of her ImClone Systems stock after receiving unpublished news that her company was under FDA license. Her stockbroker told her that stocks would crash and Martha thought she was being smart and cutting her losses. Hardly, considering she was indicted for by the government on nine counts, including charges of securities fraud and obstruction of justice – she ended up paying almost $200,000 as fines (not to mention legal fees) and went to prison for some five months and another two years of supervised release. So much for cutting losses!
12. Hugh Grant Decided To Do The Nasty, Cheaply
Yup, we all remember how this British gent fell from grace. Despite being involved with the very hot Elizabeth Hurley in 1995, the British actor Hugh Grant was arrested in Los Angeles and charged with “soliciting a pr*stitute.” While he faced the possibility of six months in jail for participating in “lewd conduct” in a public place, he pled no contest to it all. So he was fined $1,180, placed on two years’ probation, and was ordered to complete an AIDS education program! The incident and the arrest occurred just two weeks before the release of Grant’s first major studio film, Nine Months, and he was scheduled to go on American TV to promote the film. He gamely faced Leno’s hard questions on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Leno asked him, “What the hell were you thinking?” He answered, “I think you know in life what’s a good thing to do and what’s a bad thing, and I did a bad thing. And there you have it.”
11. Liar Liar Lil’ Kim Is In Jail Because She Fibs
So Lil’ Kim is not too bright because she lied to federal investigators about her and her friends’ part in a shooting. In a case of “she said and the Feds said,” she said her friends weren’t there. The feds, however, had a video showing all three of them present at the crime scene, so she was flat out on luck. Lil’ Kim, whose real name is Kimberly Jones, could have faced up to 20 years in prison (five years each on three counts of perjury and one count of conspiracy), but thankfully, the judge sentenced her to a year and a day. So 366 days is what she served. After this, she began a new feud with Nicki Minaj, had a stint on Dancing With The Stars, and after Hugh Hefner’s death, she “exposed” the fact that she too was offered a Playboy deal that she turned down.
10. Robert Downey Jr. Fell Asleep On A Neighbour’s Bed
So being rich and famous doesn’t mean you can waltz into your neighborhood bloke’s homestead and proceed to fall asleep on his bed in a state of inebriation. Robert Downey Jr. was arrested and thrown into jail for many drug-related charges over the years, but his rap sheet also states trespassing as one of his crimes, and he got a one-year stint in jail for this. The only high point is that he managed to wipe the slate of his life clean and begin again… For years, though, he was down and out into drugs and alcohol in a big way – and he was introduced to this poison by his own father at a very early age, supposedly to better manage the then pre-teen. Once Downey was hooked, he stayed hooked, often showing up on sets in a drunken haze before he finally swooped so low, the only way up was get out of this vicious circle. Kudos to Iron Man!
9. Heather Locklear’s Highway To Hell
This Melrose Place star knocked into a “no parking” sign and then fled the scene in her car – but the trail of debris led the cops right to her. She was arrested and formally charged with a DUI. Blood tests revealed that she was not under the influence of alcohol, but her anxiety and depression prescription drugs could, in fact, lead her to drive with impaired abilities. That said, Locklear was sentenced to three years of informal probation, a DMV driver safety class, and a $700 fine. But basically, if you know that you are taking anti-anxiety pills and that your driving skills could be impaired, you should drop the car off and call a cab. Or you can hire a driver. Unless of course, you are Heather Locklear and too cheap to do that and willing to risk prison time.
8. Sean Penn Gets Into Many Fights
This amazing actor and Oscar winner has a long trail of abuse behind him. But none of these claims got him arrested. Apparently, this guy doesn’t take too kindly to the press taking pictures of him. So in 1986, he was arrested for assaulting a photographer and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, of which he only served 33. Then in 2009, Sean Penn got into another fight with paparazzi, which saw him later plead no contest to a misdemeanor vandalism charge. The man is a magnet for trouble and indulges in his cheap stunts and legendary temper too damn often and it’s very surprising that he hasn’t gone down for a long prison stint. Maybe it’s the Oscars. But cheap is cheap, and Penn is one of the cheapest brawlers around. Or maybe, he’s finally calmed down.
7. Paul Reuben Gets Extremely Inappropriate
Paul Reubens, also known as the Pee-Wee’s Playhouse star, was caught and arrested for behaving extremely inappropriately in an x-rated movie theatre. That did not endear him much to parents. Then, in 2004, Reubens pled guilty to an obscenity charge during a case in which parts of his art collection were deemed inappropriate. All he did was pay a $100 fine for the latter and well, for the former, he was just too cheap to get a room. For the charges that he had an inappropriate obsession with children, this is what he had to say: “One thing I want to make very, very clear, I don’t want anyone for one second to think that I am titillated by images of children. It’s not me […] Because that’s not true.”
6. Want To Be Alone? Hermits Need To Pay Taxes Too, Lauryn Hill
The once famous singer decided to withdraw from society to get her act together and between 2005 and 2007, she did not file her taxes. So the government swooped in and Lauryn Hill was sentenced to jail for three months. Her withdrawal became a little too literal, considering she went behind bars. So despite being an eight-time Grammy winner, when you don’t pay your taxes, fame cannot save you. Lauryn’s defence was that she stopped paying taxes considering she had dropped out of the music business. But she kind of forgot to take into account the hefty royalties she was earning. We understand the need to retire into solitude, but really, when your earnings are in the seven figures, you shouldn’t be so cheap as to not hire a CA. Prison must have set her priorities straight, considering after finishing her stint behind bars in 2013, she jumped back in showbiz with a much-hyped post-prison show.
5. When You Don’t Pay Your Taxes You Get Fat Joe
So Fat Joe (the guy involved with that dissing feud with 50 Cent) served four months in jail because he didn’t pay his taxes for not one, two, or three years, but for five whole years! While he was arrested twice before for assault-related cases, tax evasion finally felled him. When you are a celebrity and beat people up, the government can look away. But when you earn millions and become stingy with the government, the IRS comes and hauls a*s! While initially the rapper was charged with failure to file tax returns from 2007 to 2010, his plea bargain and ashamed attitude turned the judge in his favor, so the charges were reduced to not filing for two years. Despite the fact that he was cheap enough not to file his taxes, the judge was lenient in sentencing as well, because he paid back $718,000 in back taxes prior to sentencing and also donated computers to local schools.
4. I Got Away With Murder… What’s A Little B&E?
So while everybody and their neighbor is convinced that OJ did murder his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, the jury was from another planet and acquitted him. His assets were seized and his book rights were awarded to Goldman’s family, but OJ just had to go behind bars. So he stole some of his own sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel and this robbery did not stay in Vegas. He was arrested and got some six years behind bars. The man was cheap enough to think that just because it was sports memorabilia about him, it was his. Well, no can do, OJ. On October 3, 2008, which was, ironically, 13 years to the day after he was acquitted of the murders of his ex-wife and her friend, OJ was found guilty of all 10 charges, which basically revolved around breaking and entering, as well as robbery at gunpoint. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison with eligibility for parole in nine years and as of October 2017 is a free man.
3. Why Should I Buy Meds When I Can Steal Them?
Sometimes, people take their so-called success a little too far. Or maybe they take their onscreen character too far. Jamie Waylett, also known as Vincent Crabbe from the Harry Potter movies, plays Malfoy’s bumbling but evil bodyguard/friend. In reel life, he gets off easy, but in real life, he went to prison for two years for violent disorder during the infamous 2011 England riots. He used a Molotov cocktail while looting a pharmacy in London because apparently, he thinks he can get away with it here, too. More than 3,000 arrests were made across England, with more than 1,000 people issued with criminal charges for different offences related to the riots. The courts had to sit for extended hours to decide the fate of the 3,443 crimes all across London. There were some five deaths, 16 people were injured, and an estimated £200 million worth of property damage happened.
2. Ryder Makes An Unbelievable Thief & The Real Reasons Why
When news broke way back in 2001 of Winona Ryder trying to make it out of Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills with more than $5,000 worth of merchandise, people could not believe it. But it was true. This petite actress was convicted of grand theft felony and vandalism, given three years of probation, and assigned to 480 hours of community service. In addition, the court ordered Ryder to pay $6,355 in restitution to Saks and to undergo psychological and drug counselling for her misdemeanor. Apparently, this was a time in Ryder’s life when she was clinically depressed, and had been prescribed heavy painkillers by someone she dubbed a quack doctor. The doctor, Jules Mark Lusman, finally had his medical license revoked by the medical board of California for unethical prescriptions of narcotics to the rich and famous. She’s made a remarkable personal and professional comeback since and the world is happy that she is over her cheap antics.
1. He Survived The Survivor And Then Prison, Too!
Richard Hatch won Survivor and was so hopped up on his success that he didn’t pay taxes on his million-dollar winnings. Before he could enjoy it all, he went to prison for three years. Seriously celebs, and pseudo-celebs. Pay. Your. Taxes. The fact that Richard Hatch did this came as no surprise to his fellow contestants, considering he was referred to as “the snake” by some! Following his Survivor win, Hatch was charged with tax evasion and was convicted as well. He served a 51-month sentence in federal prison, though in his defence, he argued that the prosecution and conviction were flawed. No surprise here! He then served an additional nine months in prison for not amending his 2000 and 2001 tax returns, so to say that his defence was flawed is an understatement! Cheap as cheap can be, eh, Hatch?
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