15 Celebrities That You Forgot Committed Horrible Crimes!
Given the immense talent of some of the world’s most famous and beloved actors, it can be easy to forget that these men and women are human, and therefore are flawed just like the rest of us. Yet some are little more flawed than others, and have done heinous things in their past that contradict their more “polished” roles on the screen. Here are some shocking crimes committed by some of the world’s most famous actors.
1. Will Smith – Assault
Even though so many of his vibrant, friendly, and lovable on-screen characters suggest otherwise, the superstar actor Will Smith actually has a dark and violent past. In 1989, when he was only 20, the actor was part of a group of men that viciously assaulted a man—leaving him almost blind.
Although he was able to avoid jail time because the charges were dropped, he remembers the night he spent in jail as being the “worst night of his life.” And to make matters worse, he was apparently woken up constantly in jail by inmates who wanted an autograph from the budding star.
Sometimes it takes a dark and despicable act to see the light, which is apparently what happened to Smith, since by all accounts he now lives a happy, peaceful life.
2. Mark Wahlberg – Drugs, Assault
It’s no coincidence that Wahlberg often plays violent, mean, and somewhat disturbed characters. The actor has an incredibly violent and dark past, starting in his early youth. Once he reached the age of just thirteen, Wahlberg had already had several run-ins with the Boston Police (reportedly around 24 total), many of which were for drug-related crimes.
While addicted to a range of drugs including cocaine, Wahlberg seemed unwilling or unable to alter his violent behavior, and when he reached fifteen he was charged in two separate instances of throwing rocks at African American school children while shouting racial slurs.
Things seemed to only get worse for Wahlberg. When he was sixteen, he and a group of teens were charged with attempted murder after they assaulted two Vietnamese men by beating them over the head with a stick. Somehow, the troubled actor managed to serve only forty-five days out of a two-year sentence.
3. Mike Tyson – Rape
Although he’s one of the most famous fighters of all time, Mike Tyson is almost equally as famed for the whirlwind of controversy that seems to surround him at all times. One such controversy was his arrest for the rape of Desiree Washington (who was just eighteen at the time) in Indianapolis.
Washington claimed that Tyson had made advances in his limo after inviting her to a party. Then, Washington claimed that Tyson raped her in his hotel room before the party even began. This story was substantiated in part by the testimony of Tyson’s chauffeur, who confirmed for the court that Washington was indeed in a state of shock when she fled from Tyson’s hotel.
Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison and four years probation, although he was released after having served less than three years. Tyson reportedly used his time behind bars to convert to Islam.
4. Tim Allen – Drug Trafficking
Born Tim Allen Dick, this famed actor—known best for his role in the hit television show Home Improvement as well as characters in Toy Story and The Santa Clause trilogy—has a reputation of being a wholesome, family man on television. Millions of children and adults alike have looked up to Allen as a source of moral purity and kindness.
The man behind the characters he plays, however, is a bit darker. In October of 1978, Allen pled guilty to drug trafficking and was sentenced to a lifetime behind bars. However he received a substantial deal from the judge, who offered to reduce his sentence to just 3-7 years if Allen would disclose the other names of the dealers involved in the drug ring.
After accepting the deal, Allen was paroled after serving just over two years in prison. Not a bad deal taking into account he was originally supposed to spend his life behind bars.
Allen didn’t seem to appreciate his good fortune though, since he was arrested again in 1997 for a DUI charge in Michigan, with a 0.15% blood-alcohol level.
Luck once again seemed to be on Allen’s side when it came to his sentencing, however, since he only received a single year of probation and no jail time.
5. Christian Slater – Too many crimes to list…
Unlike most of the celebrities on this list, Mr. Slater simply has too many convictions to list next to his name. Most of his many convictions, however, involve alcohol.
Take, for instance, his 1989 drunk driving and assault charge, for which he only spent ten days in jail. (Judges seemed to be a little easier on drunk drivers back in the day…) Then, in 1994, Slater attempted to fly on a commercial airplane with a gun stashed in his luggage (never a good idea) and had to do months of community service as a result.
Things only got worse for Slater when a few years later he was arrested for assaulting his former girlfriend Michelle Jonas and a police officer while intoxicated.
These punishments failed to dissuade Slater, who in 2005 was arrested once again for assault in New York City, after a woman claimed he assaulted her on the street.
It’s hard to believe that given Slater’s long history of convictions and failure to learn his lesson that this last charge would end with leniency on behalf of the court, but that’s exactly what happened. The charges were dropped completely on the condition that Slater “behave” himself for six months.
6. O.J. Simpson – Burglary
Ah O.J. — the center of one of the most infamous crime trials of the past century. Yet we couldn’t list “murder” next to his name since although he was charged with the murder of Nichole Brown and Ronald Goldman in 1994, he was acquitted. (Remember “if the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit”?)
Yet we can list burglary, since Simpson admitted freely to leading a group of burglars in an attempted robbery of the Palace Station hotel and casino in Las Vegas—the goal apparently being the theft of various sports memorabilia.
Bruce Fromong, the man whose room the group of bandits broke into, claimed that the intruders held him at gunpoint while they demanded that the memorabilia be handed over. One could legitimately question the truthfulness of Fromong’s testimony, however, since he was a known criminal and drug dealer.
Simpson claimed that he was only trying to “reclaim” items that were initially stolen from him, yet he should probably learn that this is best left to law enforcement, since Simpson was arrested and held without bail for the robbery.
7. Charlie Sheen – Assault and Criminal Mischief
Although Charlie Sheen more recently has made a name for himself as being a bit “kooky” to say that least, he has a long history of criminal behavior.
On Christmas morning of 2009 in Aspen, Colorado, for instance, Sheen was arrested for physically assaulting his then-wife, Brooke Mueller. Sheen eventually pled guilty in 2010 at the request of his lawyers, who knew that Sheen didn’t have much of a case.
According to Mueller, Sheen had pinned her down on the bed and threatened to slice her throat, with the official report claiming that Sheen had told Mueller that she “better be in fear,” and that if she told anyone about the incident he would kill her. Not the best way to spend Christmas morning.
Attempting to play down the incident, Sheen reportedly told police that although the two had indeed “slapped each other around a bit,” he had made no such threat with a knife. Although he did admit to “snapping two pairs of her eyeglasses in front of her,” in an attempt at intimidation.
In the end, Sheen was only sentenced to thirty days in a drug rehab center, thirty days probation, and thirty-six hours of anger management. No jail time.
8. Mickey Rourke
Unlike Tim Allen, Mickey Rourke is not much known for his “family-friendly” roles, and is instead known for roles in dark comedies such as “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” and horror mysteries such as “Angel Heart”.
Yet Rourke’s criminal past still may come as a surprise to many. Having been a winning boxer before starting his acting career, it was apparently a bit tricky for Rourke to leave his violent past behind, since in 1994 he was arrested for assaulting his then-wife, Carre Otis.
Rourke adamantly denied the charges—which were eventually dropped—and said instead that Otis’ allegations had been brought about as an attempt to further her career.
Regardless of what actually happened, the two seemed to have patched things up. Since although they did eventually divorce, the couple stared together in “Exit in Red” after the alleged incident took place.
9. Ozzy Osbourne – Drugs and Alcohol
This English rocker, who rose to prominence in the 1970s as the vocalist for Black Sabbath, has had more than his fair share of run-ins with the law—due overwhelmingly to his abuse of drugs and alcohol.
Ozzy has said that before he got sober, he spent most of his life getting wasted, and he’s claimed that there “must be something wrong with the system if so many people have to get F***ed up” on a regular basis like he does. Perhaps, although there might be better ways of fighting the system, Ozzy.
After being fired from Black Sabbath in 1979, Osbourne reportedly spent the next several months camped out in a hotel room abusing alcohol and a wide variety of drugs, claiming later that he was ingesting so many substances at once, and in such large quantities, that he’s surprised he ever survived the ordeal.
In 1984 he seemed to have hit rock bottom, after he was found drunkenly urinating on a memorial honoring those who had died at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
10. R. Kelly – Child Pornography
No crime is really a “good” crime, although most would agree that some can be worse than others. And, most might also agree that child pornography and having sex with underage girls ranks among the worst.
R. Kelly, the rapper/singer/songwriter whose biggest hit was “I believe I Can Fly”, was accused of sexually assaulting a minor when a video surfaced that showed Kelly having sex with, and urinating on, an underage girl.
The sex-tape was twenty-seven minutes long and allegedly made by Kelly himself. However luckily for Mr. Kelly, the prosecution couldn’t prove the identity of the girl in the video, even though multiple witnesses testified against him. The lack of identification, along with the fact that there was no testimony from the victim herself, led to the charges being dropped in only a matter of hours.
Although Kelly technically walked free, his reputation was unalterably tarnished by the incident.
11. Jay-Z – Attempted Murder
Jay-Z has a relatively “good” reputation within the world of rappers in that he’s managed most of his life to stay out of serious trouble with the law.
We soon forget, however, that Jay-Z was charged with attempted Murder after he went to the Kit Kat Club in Manhattan in 1999, and allegedly stabbed Lance Riviera, a record producer, in the stomach with a five-inch blade. As the story goes, Jay-Z’s entourage made a scene to distract the bouncers and other security personnel while Jay-Z could exact revenge on Riviera, whom Jay believed was responsible for leaking his new record.
Jay-Z surrendered to the police the following evening and was eventually released on a $50,000 bail. Pleading guilty only to a misdemeanor, Jay-Z was lucky to have his defense team unveil a video that made it appear he was nowhere near the incident when it took place.
12. Hugh Grant – Sex in public with a prostitute
As is the case with so many celebrities on this list, Hugh Grant is best known for playing the most innocent, kind-natured “good guys” the imagination can conjure. Known for his roles in romantic comedies such as “Notting Hill” and “Mickey Blue Eyes”, Grant has been praised by many fans and critics alike for his satirical comedic talents.
Yet Grant’s past is somewhat tarnished by the fact that he was arrested for having oral sex in public with a prostitute in Hollywood while filming “Nine Months” in 1995.
Grant pleaded no contest, was fined $1,180, and was placed on summary probation for two years. He was also ordered to complete an AIDS education program.
To his credit, Grant remained incredibly open and transparent about the incident and admitted fully to his wrongdoing—telling Jay Leno (who asked him what the “hell he was thinking” in an interview that took place soon after the incident), “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.”
13. Bill Gates – Driving without a license
Relative to the other crimes committed by celebrities on this list, this one is fairly benign.
In 1975, Bill Gates was arrested for driving without a license in New Mexico after he was pulled over for speeding.
Gates, who has been a fan of fast cars his whole life, bought a Porsche 911 in the early 70s and used to race it in the desert on a regular basis, and would rack up multiple speeding tickets—apparently (and understandably) not caring about the large fines that accumulated in the process.
Perhaps on this occasion, Gates was speeding out of glee that he was already quickly on his way to becoming the richest man in the world, having just created the world’s first microcomputer. Gates’ exponential financial rise also allowed him to quickly post his own bail of $1,000, which he reportedly was able to pull out of his wallet on the spot.
14. Robert Downey Jr. – Drug Charges
Known as one of Hollywood’s most illustrious “bad boys” and cunningly talented actors, Downey claims that most of his inspiration and drive has actually been fueled by drug use, and he says that he’s been addicted to a wide variety of substances since he was just eight years old.
He once told a judge, “It’s like I’ve got a shotgun in my mouth with my finger on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gun metal.”
These addictions led to a large number of arrests and rehab attempts—all of which had apparently been unsuccessful until 2003, when the help of his family, therapy, medication, yoga, and the practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu seemed to pull him away from the brink.
Downey also received a full and unconditional pardon from Jerry Brown, then-Governor of California, for all of his prior drug convictions.
15. Kobe Bryant – Sexual Assault
As one of the world’s most celebrated and talented basketball players of all time, it’s hard to image that Kobe Bryant would commit an act as terrible as sexual assault, yet this is exactly what one nineteen-year-old girl accused him of in 2003.
As the story goes, Bryant met the young lady, Katelyn Faber, while staying at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Eagle County in 2003, the night before the star athlete was scheduled to have knee surgery.
The girl, who was an employee at the hotel at the time, claimed that she repeatedly told Bryant to stop during sex, and Bryant refused. Bryant, on the other hand, admitted to having sex with Faber (and subsequently cheating on his wife) but denied assaulting her—claiming that the encounter had been consensual.
The lack of evidence, plus the fact that Faber refused to testify in court, led to the charges being dropped. As is almost always the case, however, Bryant’s “good guy” reputation took a serious hit.