We as a society have a fascination with celebrities. This is shown with the numerous paparazzi that follow them everywhere they go and the countless magazines and online websites dedicated to them. But celebrities are not always on the right side of the law. Here are a few who have found themselves behind bars.
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Before Mark Wahlberg starred in movies like “Lone Survivor” or “Shooter”, he spent 45 days in prison for beating a Vietnamese man with a wooden stick. His charges were attempted murder and assault.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downy, Jr. is quoted as saying, “When the door clicks shut, then you are safe” in regards to his prison stint for drug use and possession. He claims being in prison was the safest he has ever felt.
Wesley Snipes wasn’t able to demolish his charges for tax evasion. And he wasn’t able to jack the city when it came to paying taxes. He spent three years in prison for tax evasion. The United States Supreme Court refused to hear his case.
Don King secured his place in boxing history by helping set up the “Rumble in the Jungle” fight between Mohammad Ali and George Foreman. King spent time in prison on a reduced charge to Manslaughter for beating a man to death over a $600 debt.
Tim Allen did a prison stint in 1978 for drug trafficking. He was caught with 1.4 pounds of cocaine.
Curtis James Jackson lll
Known as 50 Cent, Curtis James Jackson lll was sentenced to three to nine years in prison for selling cocaine to an undercover officer. Three weeks later, his house was raided where officers found heroin, ten ounces of crack cocaine and a pistol. Jackson did six months in a boot camp program where he earned his G.E.D.
The Beatles star was warned about Japan’s strict no-nonsense policies in regards to drugs. But he didn’t listen and was caught with with a half pound of marijuana by Japanese customs authorities. He was facing a seven year prison sentence but was released after nine days.
After being pulled over for reckless driving while intoxicated, Paris Hilton violated the terms of her probation and received a 45 day jail sentence. The judge refused to grant her any alternative to jail.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr.
Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., also known as “Lil Wayne” is no stranger to the legal system. He has served a prison sentence in Rikers Island and had his tour bus pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Arizona where they found an assortment of drugs, cash and weapons. His arrests are numerous.
Lindsay Lohan may hold the record for being held behind bars for the least amount of time before being released at 84 minutes of a 24-hour sentence. Later, Lohan would be sentenced to 90 days in jail for violating the terms of her probation.
In an investigation regarding corporate fraud, Martha Stewart was charged and convicted of lying to federal authorities. She spent five months in prison.
After drinking alcohol and using cocaine for a few days, the sleep deprived Christian Slater was arrested in Los Angeles after assaulting his girlfriend and a man who tried to stop him. He also assaulted a police officer. Slater spent 59 days behind bars for his behavior.
Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.
Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr, better known as his rapper name T.I. or Tip was facing a maximum ten years behind bars on federal weapons charges but accepted a plea deal that gave him one year and a day in prison.
James Brown put on his dancing shoes when he evaded the police in a two-state car chase. But he was unable to dance his way out of a six year prison sentence for two counts of aggravated assault and a count of eluding the police.
The Motley Crue front man may have received one of the most lenient sentences out of all the celebrities who have been arrested. After killing a man in a car accident in which he was intoxicated and crippling two other women, Neil did 15 days of a 30 day jail sentence, was ordered to pay $2.6 million in restitution, and perform 200 hours of community service. He was also given a 5 year probation term.
Actress Michelle Rodriguez received an 18 day jail sentence after being arrested for a D.U.I. She failed to fulfill her community service hours and attend educational classes which led to the jail sentence.
While serving time for armed robbery and drug offenses in San Quentin, Danny Trejo won titles in the lightweight and welterweight division for boxing. He also completed a 12-step program which he credits for turning his life around.
Better known by his stage name, Ja Rule, Atkins served two years and four months for tax evasion and a weapons charge. He served some of his time on Rikers Island.
While serving a 48 day jail sentence for multiple D.U.I.’s, Sutherland worked in the laundry facility of the jail and served other inmates their breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because he was considered a long-term inmate, he wore the same orange jumpsuit as other inmates and was housed in a cell by himself.
Kimberly Denise Jones
Kimberly Jones, a.k.a. Lil’ Kim was a witness to a shooting outside of a Manhattan radio station. She served a one year, one day prison sentence for lying to investigators while trying to protect her friends.
Grammy Award winner Lauren Hill served a three month jail term for failing to pay income taxes. Once released, she served three months of home arrest, was ordered to pay the taxes due and received a fine. She was also placed on probation.
While some celebrities saw jail due to some serious crimes, society has a short term memory. Some have been able to rebuild their lives and others remain in the system.
Follow Brent McAllister on Twitter @brentonmutually
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