25 Celebrities with Shocking Criminal Records

Posted by , Updated on December 21, 2023

Being a celebrity isn’t as glamorous as it may seem. There is a great amount of responsibility that comes with being in the limelight. We often put celebrities on pedestals. We also tend to look up to them as role models.

Can you imagine an actor who plays a heroine in a movie getting arrested for robbery in real life? Or a renowned dancer getting in trouble for shoplifting?

The fact of the matter is that famous people are humans and even they make mistakes sometimes. However, their mishaps don’t just get ridiculed by their family and friends; instead, they’re critiqued by millions of viewers all over the world.

In this article, you’ll find out about 25 Celebrities with Surprising Criminal Records You Won’t Believe.



Martha Stewart


Martha Stewart, an American retail businesswoman, is also known as the queen of home decor. She has a wide selection of business ventures that range from television to social media and merchandising.

Throughout her career, Stewart played her innocent persona to her advantage. That is until she went to jail for securities fraud, false statements, and obstruction of justice. She ultimately served a five-month sentence for lying about a stock sale.


Stephen Collins


Millions of young adults grew up watching Stephen Collins play a stern yet loving father on the hit television show 7th Heaven. That is one of the reasons why it was it was so shocking when Collins admitted to engaging in sexual misconduct with three girls.

Unfortunately, all of the incidents occurred too far in the past that the cases sit outside of the statute of limitations. 


Josh Duggar


Nothing screams reality television more than two parents raising 19 children. The Duggar family decided to start a career in the reality TV business in 2008. The series was an instant sensation and millions of views tuned every week to watch the famous family.

Unfortunately, the show came to an end in 2015 after it was revealed that Josh Duggar, one of the eldest sons, sexually molested five girls. He was later admitted into a faith institute for treatment. 


Mel Gibson

Mel Gibsonhttps://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/celebrities-accused-of-shocking-crimes.html/

Mel Gibson is an American actor and filmmaker who is widely recognized for playing the hero in action movies. Despite his larger-than-life personas on-screen, Gibson has been accused of having less-than-honorable behavior in the real world.

In 2006, he shouted offensive, anti-Semitic abuse at a Los Angeles police officer after getting pulled over. Public records indicate that Gibson shouted, “The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world.”

He later issued an apology statement that talked about his problems with alcoholism.


Jared Fogle


For more than a decade, Jared Fogle was the spokesperson for Subway, a popular restaurant chain. He started to rise to popularity in 2000 by attributing his significant weight loss to his Subway sandwich diet.

Over the years he has appeared in countless commercials, advertisements, and promotional events. However, his career came crashing down when he pled guilty to possessing and distributing child porn. As of 2019, he is serving his 12.5-year sentence in prison.


Christian Slater


Christian Slater, an American actor, was charged with a series of criminal offenses over a span of eight years. In 1989, he was arrested after failing a sobriety test while driving. He ended up spending 10 days in jail.

Five years later, he was arrested for trying to board an airplane with a concealed weapon. Then, in 1997, Slater served three months in jail for assaulting his then-girlfriend and a police officer.

After spending 100 days in rehab, Slater went on to live a healthy and successful life.


Hugh Grant

Hugh Granthttps://www.cinemablend.com/new/How-Hugh-Grant-Handsomeness-Almost-Cost-Him-Movie-Career-67565.html

For many of us, Hugh Grant is that charming handsome guy who stars in our favorite romantic movies. That’s part of the reason why fans were shocked to hear that Grant was arrested after being caught with a sex worker in Los Angeles.

Grant later described his public lewd conduct as a moment of insanity. Luckily for Grant, he was able to carry on with his acting career. He went on to land roles in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Two Weeks Notice, and Paddington 2.


Woody Harrelson


If you are going to be arrested, at least try to make it for something funny. Woody Harrelson, an American actor, knows all about making arrests interesting.

In 1982, he was arrested in Ohio for allegedly dancing in the middle of a busy road. It didn’t stop there, though. On June 7, 2002, Harrelson took police on a bizarre taxi chase through London. He even tried to escape on foot before getting caught. 


Larry King


It is almost impossible for celebrities to hide from their past … even if it happened decades ago. For American television and radio host Larry King, his embarrassing criminal record from 1967 is resurfacing after the release of Louis E. Wolfson’s biography.

The book goes in great detail about King’s arrest for grand larceny. King eventually pleaded no contest but the damage was already done and he later got fired from his job at the WTVY station.


Nicholas Cage

Nicholas Cagehttps://theblast.com/c/nicolas-cage-erika-koike-criminal-history-dui-arrest

Renowned Hollywood star Nicholas Cage is one of the few actors whose everyday life is more interesting than the characters he portrays.

In 1997, he was involved in a massive comic book heist. Comic book thieves broke into his home to steal his copy of Action Comics #1 and a few other rare belongings.

More recently, in 2019, Cage tried to get his marriage to Erika Koike annulled by saying he was too drunk to realize he was getting married. Cage has a history of abusing alcohol. Within the last 10 years, he has been arrested for two DUIs.


Bruno Mars

Bruno Marshttps://www.theclever.com/top-celebrities-criminal-records-list/

Ever since Peter Gene Hernandez was a little boy, his parents knew he was bound for stardom. Hernandez earned his nickname Bruno when he was just a toddler. It was also around this time when he started his entertaining career.

Hernandez experienced a bump in his road to success in 2010 after failing a sobriety test. He later admitted that his arrest was an important lesson. It was a harsh example of how fast everything can be taken away.


Vanilla Ice


It’s understandable why Robert Matthew Van Winkle wanted to be known as Vanilla Ice. Even still, the name Vanilla Ice still doesn’t seem to fit someone who was accused of threatening a homeless man with a pistol.

The famous rapper was also arrested, for the third time, in 2008 for domestic violence. Somehow he was able to bounce back and continue his career. As of 2019, he has an estimated net worth of $18 million.


Stephanie Pratt


Before finding fame on the hit reality television show The Hills, Stephanie Pratt got herself into some serious trouble. When she was just 20 years old, she and her friend were caught stealing more than $1,300 worth of clothing.

To make matters worse, police also found illegal drugs in her purse. She was eventually charged with second-degree theft and promoting a harmful drug.

Her run in the law didn’t stop there. A few years later, she was charged with driving under the influence.


Matthew McConaughey


Matthew McConaughey, an American actor, rose to fame after appearing in the coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused. His good looks and charming personality made it easy for fans to love him.

People even think his arrest in 1999 is quite cute and outrageous. Police went to McConaughey’s residence following a noise complaint and found him dancing naked in his home. They also found marijuana.

Luckily, his drug charges were dropped but he did end up paying a $50 fine for the noise offense.


R. Kelly

R Kelly https://www.celebtattler.com/celebrities-with-criminal-records/

It’s quite surprising how R. Kelly has been able to get away with his crimes throughout the past two decades. The once-popular R&B singer was first accused of marrying a 15-year-old girl in 1994. Since then, there have been numerous lawsuits filed against him.

More than two dozen women have come forward with horrific stories of sexual assault and misconduct. Most recently, he has been hit with two separate federal sex trafficking charges. So far, he has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.


Stephen Fry


The University of Cambridge is one of the oldest (and most prejudiced) schools in England. It is also the place where Stephen Fry, a British actor, discovered his knack for theatre.

Before graduating from college, Fry served three months in prison for credit card fraud. Luckily, that didn’t get in the way of his career.

He went on to appear on numerous television shows, which helped skyrocket him to stardom. Fry now has an estimated net worth of $35 million.



Jay Zhttps://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/celebrities-you-never-knew-had-criminal-records

Shawn Corey Carter, also known as Jay-Z, was born on December 4, 1970, in Brooklyn New York. He and his three siblings were raised by their single mother.

Growing up in the infamous Marcy Projects wasn’t easy. Carter turned to music as a way to escape from reality.

Towards the end of 1999, his music was finally starting to get recognized. It was also around this time when Carter was arrested for stabbing a record executive. After pleading guilty, he was able to walk away with just three years’ probation.


Khloe Kardashian


Intimate aspects of the lives of the Kardashian family have been documented on their reality show Keeping up With the Kardashians since October 14, 2007. Over the past 16 seasons, there has been a film crew capturing all their scandals, divorce, and arrests.

There is almost nothing that is kept private. Many fans tend to forget that Khloe Kardashian was arrested for drunk driving on their very first season. Luckily, for Khole, people seem more interested in her future love life than her past.


Michelle Rodriguez


By the age of 11, Michelle Rodriguez was already used to moving from place to place. Constantly being surrounded by new people and new environments during her childhood made it difficult for her to build relationships and to feel at home.

After settling in Jersey City, she was able to follow her passion for acting. In 2000, she landed a lead role in Girlfight. Sadly, five years later she was arrested for driving under the influence and a hit and run.

Rodriquez was able to pick herself up and she went on to play roles in blockbuster hits like Avatar and The Fast and the Furious.


Bill Gates


Even one of the world’s most successful and intelligent businessman has a few skeletons in his closet. Before Bill Gates skyrocketed to power, he was arrested in 1975 for driving without a license and speeding.

Luckily, that isn’t what he is known for. The co-founder of Microsoft Corporation is widely recognized for his work as a philanthropist.

Most recently, he has been working on ways to save the planet by inventing new ways to create clean energy.


Tim Allen


As shocking as it may sound, the actor best known for playing Santa in the 1994 film series The Santa Clause has a criminal past. When Tim Allen was 25 years old, he was arrested for possessing over 650 grams of cocaine.

Then, in 1997, he was detained for driving under the influence. After spending time in rehab, Allen was able to start fresh. He now lives a more relaxed life with his wife and six children in Denver, Colorado.


Danny Trejo


Danny Trejo, an Oscar-nominated actor, is known for playing those tough-guy persona roles on the big screen. While many fans are used to seeing him portray a drug dealer or gang member, a lot of them might be surprised to know that he was actually once a gangster.

Trejo spent over ten years collectively in prison for various crimes like robbing a liquor store, selling drugs, and being involved in a shootout. Even after all of that, he was able to make a life for himself.

“I’d rather shoot for the moon and miss the stars than shoot for the gutter and make it,” said Trejo.


Robert Downey Jr


Acting runs through Robert Downey Jr’s veins. His father was a filmmaker and his mother was an actress. It seems there was never a dull moment during his childhood growing up in New York City.

Downey admits that he was exposed to drugs at an early age. He also stated that he started smoking marijuana at the age of six.

Downey was involved in illegal activities for almost a decade before he got caught. In 1996, he was arrested for drunk driving and possession of cocaine, heroin, crack, and a Magnum revolver.


Mark Wahlberg

Mark Whttps://www.celebtattler.com/celebrities-with-criminal-records/

Life before fame wasn’t easy for Mark Wahlberg. He was born in Massachusetts on June 5, 1971,  to parents Alma and Donald Wahlberg.

During his early teenage years, he started to get into trouble. When he was 16 years old, he was caught stealing two cases of alcohol from a local convenience store. Public records also show that he punched a man in the face while trying to escape from the police.

Wahlberg eventually turned his life around and found his passion for acting.


Will Smith

Will Smithhttps://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/celebrities-you-never-knew-had-criminal-records

Hollywood royalty, Will Smith, began his steady rise to fame when he was just 16 years old. After dabbling in the music industry, he decided to give acting a shot.

Luckily, he was able to land his first major role in the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air a year after being arrested.

In 1989, he was involved in a vicious assault that almost left one man blind. Despite his setbacks, Smith has gone on to become one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood.

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