12 Celebs With a History of Legal Troubles

Celebrities entertain us. Their lives consist of flashing lights, makeup artists, and red carpets. All that glitz and glam can make us (and them) forget that they are held to the same laws as the rest of us. Here are 12 celebrities who have had their day in criminal court. 

1. Brandy Norwood

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Bandy dominated the music charts in the mid—to-late 1990s. She was also cast as the leading character in the sitcom Moesha (1996-2001). In 2006, she was involved in a car accident that left the other driver dead. Although she was allegedly speeding, due to lack of evidence, there were no criminal charges filed. 

2. Matthew Broderick

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Best known for his role in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), in 1987 Matthew crossed a lane of traffic and hit another vehicle head-on causing two deaths. Instead of manslaughter, he was charged with reckless driving and fined. He has gone on to produce and star in a successful filmography. 

3. Allen Iverson

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Before NBA fame, Iverson faced 15 years in prison over a bowling alley brawl. After four months, the ruling was overturned and he was freed. Iverson was drafted by the 76ers in 1996, played for many teams, and ended his career as a Point Guard back with the 76ers in 2010. He was awarded the NBA MVP in 2001. 

4. Mark Walberg

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Before his prolific silver screen career, Mark Walberg was a violent and unruly teen. By 13, he was already addicted to cocaine. At 15 he was for throwing rocks and slurs at African-American children. At 16, he was charged with attempted murder after beating a Vietnamese man with a stick while yelling racial slurs. He pleaded guilty and only served 45 days in jail. 

5. Kobe Bryant

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One of the most celebrated NBA figures of all time, Kobe Bryant collected five championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers before retiring in 2016, 20 years after his rookie year. In 2003, he was accused of rape by a 19-year-old girl. The matter was settled out of court.

6. Duane Chapman

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In 1976, Dog the Bounty Hunter was convicted of 1st-degree murder in the shooting death that occurred during a drug deal. He was not the shooter, but still served five years in prison. Later he would get into bounty hunting where he landed a show on A&E. 

7. O.J. Simpson

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 “The Juice” fell from grace during the trial of the century in the mid-1990s. Although acquitted, the once football legend found himself behind bars after robbing a sports memorabilia dealer at gunpoint in 2007. Simpson denies any use of weapons. He will be eligible for parole in October of 2017. 

8. George Michael

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The sudden passing of George Michael, lead singer of Wham, shocked everyone. However, the musician had a long list of run-ins with the law. He was convicted of multiple lewd public acts, a string of drug processions, and enough DUIs to warrant two months in prison as well as two temporary bans from driving. 

9. Amanda Bynes

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The public breakdown of Nickelodeon child star Amanda Bynes started in 2012 when she fled an officer writing a ticket. She would have four subsequent driving incidents, including a DUI. In 2013, she was charged with possession after throwing a bong out of a 36th story window in NYC. She has gone to rehab, is attending school, reports she is much better, and looking to return to acting. 

10. Lindsay Lohan

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Lindsay won our hearts in the remake of The Parent Trap (1998). Unfortunately, the young starlet turned to drugs and alcohol in the 2000s. Over the next few years, repeated probation violations landed her in court, behind bars, and on house arrest. By 2013, her reputation and star power had faded. She now lives in London and believes that the move was the best thing she has ever done for herself. 

11. Tim Allen

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In 1978, Tim Allen was convicted for drug trafficking after he was caught with 640 grams of cocaine. He served 2.5 years of his sentence because he gave up information on other dealers. He has since turned his life around first with a career in stand-up comedy, a well-received filmography, and two successful ABC sitcoms, Home Improvement (1991-1999) and Last Man Standing (2011-2017).

12. 50 Cent

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Eminem’s protégé had some street credit. In 1994, he sold cocaine to an undercover policeman. A subsequent search of his home uncovered more cocaine, heroin, and an unregistered pistol. He was sent to 6 months of boot camp. In 2005, he was convicted on three counts of assault when he jumped into the audience after getting hit with a water bottle.

While these celebrities found themselves in hot water, each have been fortunate enough to begin or continue successful careers. From violent crimes to mental breakdowns, one thing is certain: celebrities are human—just like the rest of us.