A significant part of newsworthy items today comprise celebrity arrests for some misdemeanor or the other, and it is almost as if good behavior is a rarity. From the entertainment point of view, celebrity arrests are sheer and pure fun, so here’s a list of some famous bad boys and bad girls.
A young Alfred Hitchcock was sent to the police station by his father along with a note requesting the officer to put him in prison for five minutes as punishment for bad behavior.
In the words of the illustrious Mr. Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility“, but we can safely say that these particular celebrities simply dismissed it as a line from a comic book.
Celebrities have often been urged to become better role models for the sake of their fans, and certainly for the sake of their personal well-being. However, money, fame, and power is a heady combination, and can become potentially career-threatening, as several of the following celebrities have already discovered. Through the hard way, of course.
So, here is a list of a few selected celebrities who have spent some time behind bars for taking the law in their hands. And then mutilating it, of course.
Celebrities Who Have Been Jailed
The star of TV shows like Home Improvement/Last Man Standing was arrested in 1978 for possession of 1.4 lb of cocaine, and pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges. He was also arrested in 1997 for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
The tough gal of The Fast and Furious, Avatar, and Resident Evil has spent some of her precious time in the slammer in a hit-and-run case, where she was also charged with DUI in 2003. She was charged with DUI again in 2005, and was interestingly let out of jail due to “overcrowding”.
Kiefer Sutherland made a name for himself through the TV series 24. His claim to shame moment came in 2007 when he was arrested in Los Angeles for DUI.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Our Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes has had quite the colorful past, being a former drug addict. The late 1990s saw Downey, Jr. being arrested multiple times for possession of heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.
This movie star had the usual run-in with the law on account of DUI in 1989. However, his sensational arrest happened in 1997 when he assaulted his then girlfriend and a police officer, while in a drugs-and-alcohol fueled state. Later in 2005, he was arrested again for sexually harassing a woman on the street in Manhattan.
This businesswoman brings us a refreshing change from the typical DUI arrests we’ve seen so far. She was sentenced to prison after being charged on nine counts relating to insider trading on her company’s stocks; with obstruction of justice and securities fraud among them.
In 1994, this infamous rapper committed the heinous crime of helping to sell cocaine. That’s not too serious, one might think. But it gets interesting… 50 Cent’s customer at the time was an undercover police officer, and we need not go any further.
Mark Wahlberg the Hollywood star was once Mark Wahlberg, the member of a street gang in his younger days. He’s been to the slammer for various drug-related offenses, but he earned his “stripes” as a result of an attempted murder charge for an unprovoked attack on two Vietnamese men, knocking one unconscious, and permanently blinding the other.
Is she in court? Is she in prison? Is she in rehab? It’s hard to pin down Lindsay Lohan, who’s had trouble with the law on account of DUI, possessing drugs, missing court dates, shoplifting… oh, how I wish the list ended here.
Lil’ Kim spent a whole year in jail for having lied to a Federal grand jury. She was trying to shield her and a friend’s involvement in a shooting outside the Hot 97 studios in Manhattan in 2001.
Lil Wayne has had several run-ins with the law, mostly centered around his marijuana habit. He’s also been held for criminal possession of a weapon. But mostly, it’s been just the pot.
Wesley Snipes brings a break in the monotony of drugs and DUI, having got into the slammer for tax evasion. Well done, Mr. Snipes, messing with the IRS came as a fine change for our readers.
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie
They may not be on talking terms anymore, but Ms Hilton and Ms Richie are two peas in a pod. Both took to driving after consuming naughty things in separate incidents – Ms Hilton did the booze, and Ms Richie did the drugs.
Zsa Zsa Gabor
We’ve got to admit, old school Hollywood does do everything in style, as is evident from screen legend Zsa Zsa Gabor’s actions. She spent time in jail for assaulting a police officer. What’s more, she firmly stands by her action to this day. Way to go, Zsa Zsa!
The Godfather of Soul has been to prison on a s-e-r-i-o-u-s charge of assault and battery with the intention to kill. He also landed in trouble for having messed up his probation rules that very year. Additionally, he was also charged with several drug-related and driving offenses.
Mike, Mike, Mike, oh Iron Mike. Among his several controversies, the one that took him to prison was the rape case filed in 1991. Throughout the trial, Tyson maintained that it was consensual sex, but the jury thought otherwise. The other offense that landed him in jail was the ubiquitous DUI.
So now, you’d naturally think, “Oh, it’s Charlie Sheen. He obviously went to jail for DUI“. Gotcha! The man was taken for having assaulted his wife, Brooke Mueller, who incidentally, has had her prison time for DUI. She’s currently cooling her heels off in rehab for substance abuse.
Jack Abramoff and his Cronies
Former businessman and lobbyist Jack Abramoff was sentenced to six years in prison in 2006 following the Indian lobbying scandal. He also took along with him 21 others which included prominent names like J. Steven Griles and David Safavian (White House Representatives), and Bob Ney (U.S. Representative), who were found guilty of corruption. He was convicted of mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and tax evasion. He spent 43 months behind bars, before being released in 2010.
Samuel B. Kent
Samuel B. Kent was the first federal judge in the US to be charged with sexual crimes. In 2009, Judge Kent was sentenced to 33 months in prison for having lied to investigators about sexually abusing two female employees. Even after the scandal broke, Judge Kent offered to retire instead of resign, with a view to keep receiving his salary. The leaders of the House Judiciary Committee ordered him to resign, or face impeachment, causing Judge Kent to finally comply.
Tainted sprinter Marion Jones faced accusations of consuming performance enhancing drugs since early in her career, but managed to dodge them every time, until she ultimately confessed of taking performance enhancers before the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She was held guilty lying to federal agents in the steroid investigation case, and sentenced to six months in jail.
The illustrious Bill Gates being a member of this list indeed has an amusing reason. Way back in 1977, a young Bill Gates was arrested in New Mexico for speeding.
Former NFL player Rae Carruth is currently in jail after being convicted of conspiring to murder his pregnant girlfriend. He narrowly escaped the death penalty as he was not found guilty of first degree murder.
Boxing promoter Don King was charged for murder in two separate cases. The first was when he shot a person who was trying to steal money from his gambling house. The second was in 1966 when he brutally stomped an employee to death for owing money. He was charged of non-negligent manslaughter and spent four years in prison, and was eventually pardoned for the crime in 1983.
Sir Paul has been a self-confessed user of marijuana. While in Japan in 1980, he was arrested for possessing 8 ounces of cannabis, and remained in local prison for 10 days before being deported.
Actor Tom Sizemore has been fighting drug addiction since the age of 15. In 2003, he was convicted of assault and battery against his girlfriend. He also went to jail for having flunked drug tests while on probation.
After being charged for possessing illegal firearms, rapper T.I. pleaded guilty and was slapped an undefined prison sentence, house arrest for a year, and 1500 hours of community service in 2008.
Rapper Ja Rule has done quite a colorful list of things that caused trouble with the law. These include driving with a suspended license, illegally possessing weapons, marijuana stashes, and even tax evasion. Didn’t we mention he was quite the creative lad?
This list certainly isn’t comprehensive, as inhabitants of the celebrity kingdom are very earnest when it comes to being in the news for whatever reasons. And that includes misbehavior as well.