There are some celebs that no matter how hard they try, they just can’t shake their rocky past.
And while we’re all for a good redemption story (we see you on the come up, Justin Bieber), sometimes it’s worth taking a trip down memory lane to remember the forgotten illegal mistakes of Hollywood’s elite!
The likes of Martha Stewart might be a tale-as-old-as-time, but we have a feeling the actions of the stars (below) are sure to shock you!
OK, hear us out. We know it’s not all that unsurprising that Snoop Dogg’s faced some legal troubles, but back in 1993, he and his bodyguard were arrested for murder! Just as the musician (born Calvin Broadus) was becoming a household name, the rapper and a member of his security team, McKinley Lee, were arrested and charged with murder and assault of a 20-year-old, Philip Woldemariam.
The case was met with inconsistent recounting of the event and a claim that Broadus and Lee had acted in self-defensive when shooting the victim in the back and butt, according to The Washington Post. (A fact that didn’t sit right with some witnesses who did not remember seeing a gun on Philip’s person or him reaching for it before the altercation.) But after more than a week of deliberations, Snoop was acquitted of the murder charge, giving him peace of mind he’d be able to raise his (at the time) 1-year-old son, Corde Broadus.
The rapper even recalled the moment on Instagram in 2020, posting a throwback video of the trial (below)!
While he was deemed innocent after this case concluded in 1995, this certainly wasn’t the last run-in with the law that the weed-loving entertainer faced.
Often cast as a dad in family flicks like Daddy’s Home and Instant Family, this restaurant entrepreneur was charged with attempted murder in 1988! Via court documents filed in Boston, 16-year-old Mark Walhberg attacked two Vietnamese-American men, Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh, while trying to rob them. He knocked the first unconscious with a five-foot-long wooden stick and punched the other, leaving one eye blind. He also made unsolicited racial slurs during the encounter, calling the men “g**ks” and “slant-eyed g**ks,” according to investigators. Mark went on to serve 45 days in Boston’s Deer Island House of Correction.
More recently in 2014, the filmmaker sought a pardon for these actions and was met with MAJOR outcry from social media users who felt the Massachusetts native had not apologized or owned up to his wrongful and often racist past enough to be granted a truly clean slate. He was not pardoned…
So much for family entertainment!! Peter Robbins, the original voice behind iconic cartoon character Charlie Brown, plead guilty to a murder-for-hire plot against Bill Gore, a San Diego Country Sheriff, in November 2015 according to Associated Press.
Already in prison for violating probation after stalking an ex-girlfriend and plastic surgeon, the former child actor admitted to sending threatening letters to the manager at his former mobile home park in Oceanside, CA as well as letters to media offering money to have the Sheriff killed. He was sentenced to nearly five years in prison.
So, the next time you’re enjoying a heartfelt holiday classic like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas you might want to think twice about that sweet voice you’re hearing…
Speaking of voice actors, Toy Story’s Tim Allen was arrested for possession of over one pound of cocaine in the late ‘70s. Telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2021 that he “was an F-up” following his father’s death in a car crash in Colorado, the acclaimed actor was 23 when he was caught at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport in Michigan smuggling the drug in his luggage. The young adult avoided a life sentence by providing police with the names of other drug dealers, lowering his prison time to just over two years from 1979-1981. Allen became a household name 10 years later starring on Home Improvement.
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
Before he was a Marvel mainstay, this actor was arrested in 1996 for possession of cocaine, heroin, and a pistol. Two weeks later, Robert Downey Jr. was arrested again for entering a neighbor’s home on drugs. He later served a year and three months in prison after violating parole in 1999.
But not all hope was lost for Spiderman’s mentor, because in 2015, the Hollywood A-lister was granted a pardon by Governor Jerry Brown, who credited the fictional superhero as a “law-abiding citizen” with “good moral character.” So seems this man lives up to his hype after all!
If you thought Lori Loughlin got out of jail early, get this!
Khloé Kardashian spent an incredibly brief time in the clink after violating probation in a drunk driving case. The now mega-famous Keeping Up With The Kardashians star was sentenced to 30-days in jail on July 3, 2008 after failing to attend roadside cleanup duty or enroll in an alcohol education class following a DUI arrest.
Yet, Kim Kardashian’s younger sis only spent three hours behind bars, the department claiming they let nonviolent offenders out early due to overcrowding. Some suspect the whole ordeal may have been E!’s attempt to stir up more drama for the reality series, according to author Ian Halperin behind Kardashian Dynasty: The Controversial Rise Of America’s Royal Family. Either way, it did provide some top-notch humor over the years!
Back in 1999, this hunky Serenity actor was infamously arrested naked after police “broke into” his house when they received a noise complaint. Coming clean about the event for the first time in his latest memoir Greenlights, Matthew McConaughey described the “jam session” in which he undressed, opened his windows, blasted “African melodic beats,” and smoked marijuana. He even admitted to purposefully not covering himself up during the arrest because the officers had entered his home without warning. The 51-year-old was fined $50 and quickly became a local and international sensation as “BONGO NAKED” man.
Watch him recall the hysterical moment with CBS Austin News anchor Walt Maciborski, and learn why he doesn’t regret the arrest (below)!
This man has places to go! For a lesser charge, the co-founder of Microsoft was arrested TWICE in the late 1970s for reckless driving, both times without a license! Caught speeding and blowing past a stop sign, Gates’ mugshot is rumored to have inspired the original default icon for Microsoft’s Outlook. If true, that’s pretty iconic…
Is all hope lost for our faves?? Maybe not…
While a lot of these criminal pasts are quite frankly awful, there are some celebrities who use their platform to highlight injustices of the world. Below are just a couple stars who were arrested for the greater good to leave you with a little hope.
Taking a page out of Jane Fonda’s book! As an environmental warrior, this Nashville actress proves some arrests are for the betterment of society! While starring in the hit series Heroes in 2007, Hayden and a group of friends paddled out to stop a boat of fishermen in Japan from catching and killing endangered dolphins. On live TV the next day, she learned of an arrest warrant against her, later writing:
“We can no longer hide [behind] out-dated, senseless cultural traditions and lazy, bad habits that are resulting in the annihilation of our planet’s resources and the extinction of our species.”
Remaining steadfast in her desire to protect Mother Earth, no more consequences amounted from this incident.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON
While not arrested, Samuel L. Jackson was expelled from Morehouse College after he locked board members — including Martin Luther King Jr.’s father! — in a building for two days to protest the historically Black college’s curriculum and leadership.
In a plot not all the different from Kristen Stewart’s film Seberg, the creative’s mom also sent him out of Atlanta because she feared for his life after the FBI had been at his house due to his involvement with the Black Power movement, according to Watch The Yard. Samuel has since turned to drama as a way to “engage people and affect the way they think.” Incredible!
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Know anyone else we’d be truly shocked to recall spent some time in the slammer?? Share in the comments (below)!