When you think of celebrities with a bad reputation and a criminal record, there are always those few repeat offenders that come to mind. People who have grown up rough or too soon, or gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd. Which is why it would surprise you to know that some of your favorite celebs, who appear to be nice, well-rounded and extremely normal individuals, have actually done something in their past that resulted in them being arrested.
It turns out criminal records in Hollywood are far more common than we originally thought, and this should serve as a sharp reminder that these people who are worshipped by so many, and praised by the media, are actually riddled with flaws. Celebrities make mistakes, and some of these mistakes result in arrests, which range from not-so-serious crimes like disorderly conduct and driving without a license, to the really serious crimes like stabbing, assault, and the most common charge of all, drug possession. From celebs who have baby faces, or appear to be the girl next door, below are 15 famous people you never would have suspected of having a criminal record — and some have even been arrested more than once.
15. Reese Witherspoon — disorderly conduct
Reese Witherspoon seems like the girl next door, and apart from having a successful acting career, she is also a mother, and a celeb, who by all accounts, is really nice. Which is why her arrest for disorderly conduct came as a surprise to so many.
In 2013, Witherspoon and her husband, Jim Toth, were arrested and briefly jailed after being pulled over for driving under the influence while in Atlanta. It was Toth who was driving, but according to People, Witherspoon gave the arresting officer a hard time. In his report, he details how she “began to hang out the window and say that she did not believe that I was a real police officer.” And that after Toth was arrested, she got out of the car and resisted the officer’s request.
14. Matthew McConaughey — drug possession
Matthew McConaughey is one of my favorite actors, and he appears to be a really good guy. Apart from his charitable work, he is also a family man (he’s been married to Camila Alves since 2012 and the couple has three children). However, in 1999, McConaughey found himself in trouble with the law.
He was reportedly arrested at his home in Austin, Texas, following a noise complaint — his neighbor had accused him of “disturbing the peace.” When the police arrived at his home he was reportedly dancing naked, and playing the bongo drum with his friends, and when police searched the home, they found that the actor was in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. According to an Associated Press report, via Entertainment Tonight, McConaughey was arrested and booked “on suspicion of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting transportation.” But it was only the latter charge that he was found guilty of.
13. Bruno Mars — drug possession
No one would ever suspect Bruno Mars of any wrongdoing because he is genuinely one of the most drama-free people in Hollywood; but even nice people make mistakes. Mars’ mistake came about in 2010 when he was arrested in Las Vegas on suspicion of narcotics possession.
Mars was found in possession of cocaine. He reacted to his mistake in a mature way and expressed his remorse, which according to reports resulted in him being sentenced to 200 hours of community service for his offences.
The following year, Mars addressed his brush with the law during an interview with GQ magazine, in which he admitted to feeling scared after being arrested for “doing dumb s***.” He added, “I was really intoxicated. I was really drunk. So a lot of that is a big blur, and I try every day to forget and keep pushing.”
12. Chace Crawford — drug possession
Chace Crawford has a baby face, and you could never think of him doing anything illegal, but sometimes things aren’t always as they seem! In 2010, (the same year that Bruno Mars was arrested for drug possession), the Gossip Girl actor made headlines after he was arrested in his hometown of Plano, Texas, for possession of marijuana under 2 ounces.
According to Perez Hilton, Crawford had been sitting in a car with a friend outside a pub when cops approached the vehicle, and found the actor with the unlit joint. He was reportedly charged with a misdemeanour, and was bonded out of jail. According to TMZ, it was the actor’s first offence, and he reportedly struck a deal to avoid a permanent record. The conditions of which were to do 24 hours of community service, report to a probation officer once a month, and to stay out of trouble for 12 months.
11. Jay Z — stabbed someone
Nowadays when you think of Jay Z, you think of him as being a great husband to Beyoncé, a father of three, and in general just a fantastic person and family man. So it may surprise you to know that in 1999, Jay Z was arrested for stabbing record executive Lance “Un” Rivera in the stomach. The incident happened during an altercation in the Kit Kat Club, a Manhattan nightclub, which was meant to be a listening party for Q-Tip’s solo album Amplified.
According to MTV News, Jay Z turned himself into the police for questioning, following the incident, but reportedly denied any wrongdoing and involvement in the stabbing. However, two years later Jay Z pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour assault charge and reportedly received a sentence of three years probation.
10. Michelle Rodriguez — driving under the influence
Michelle Rodriguez is a strong, independent woman; but she also has a bit of a bad girl past. In December of 2005, while in Hawaii filming the TV series Lost, Rodriguez was reportedly arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. According to People, she pled guilty to the charges and was offered either 240 hours of community service or five days in jail — she chose the jail. However, this was not her first offence.
The publication reports that in November of 2003, Rodriguez was reportedly arrested for driving under the influence (and was placed on a three-year probation), and a hit and run the previous July. And in 2007, she was sentenced to 180 days behind bars for violating probation with regards to these charges.
9. Matthew Broderick — careless driving
In 1987, Matthew Broderick was involved in a car accident, while on holiday in Northern Ireland. He reportedly crossed into the wrong lane and had a head-on collision with another vehicle. The driver and her passenger, (a woman and her elderly mother), were pronounced dead on arrival at one of the local hospitals.
It happened during the middle of the afternoon, and Broderick, who was aged 25 at the time of the accident, had been driving with his passenger, the actress Jennifer Grey. According to People, Broderick was also rushed to the hospital for a badly broken right leg, as well as cuts on his face. While Grey only received superficial injuries.
8. Bill Gates — traffic violations
Bill Gates is known for being the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, a multi-billionaire, and a generous philanthropist, but no one really associates him with having a brush with the law. While Gates is not on our list for doing something horrific, it’s his traffic violations that have earned him a record.
Gates was first arrested in 1975 for driving without a license and speeding. Then in 1977 he was arrested a second time, this time in New Mexico, for not stopping at a stop sign and again, driving without a license.
It seems Gates definitely has a love of cars, especially fast cars, and he reportedly used the money he initially made off Microsoft on a Porsche 911 supercar. In 2016 during a Bloomberg interview, he revealed that sometimes he would “drive around at high speeds” through the New Mexico desert in an attempt to clear his head.
7. Woody Harrelson — disorderly conduct, and more
In 1982, Woody Harrelson was reportedly arrested in Ohio, for disorderly conduct after he was reportedly found dancing in the street. In addition, he was charged with resisting arrest because he reportedly ran from the police.
Then in 2002, Harrelson was arrested while in London, England. According to Daily Mail, the man who was driving the cab that night, Les Dartnell, claimed that the actor was acting strangely, and asked to be let out just minutes into the journey. What happened next, was Harrelson vandalizing the taxi, he reportedly smashed the door and broke the lock. The actor was later arrested but released on bail, and the case was reportedly dismissed after he paid the cab driver for the damages to the vehicle.
6. Joshua Jackson — assault
It’s hard to imagine Joshua Jackson being charged with assault, but in 2002 he made headlines for all the wrong reasons. He was allegedly arrested after getting rowdy at a hockey game between Carolina Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he reportedly assaulted a security guard.
According to People, a report revealed that Jackson, who was aged 24 at the time, had drunkenly struck the security guard and grabbed him by his neck. While behind bars, police tested his blood alcohol content, which was reportedly 0.14 percent. Jackson is reported to have been released after posting $1000 bail.
But Jackson’s record came back to bite him a few years later. His former girlfriend, Diane Kruger, revealed in 2013, that her mother had quizzed her boyfriend about his arrest warrant when they first met. Awkard!
5. Stephen Fry — credit card fraud
Stephen Fry is an incredibly bright man, who is now beloved for his comedic work and activism, which includes hosting QI and the long-running British television show A Bit of Fry & Laurie. When he’s not working, he’s slamming people who are homophobic, which includes challenging one of Russia’s anti-gay extremists.
However, his life wasn’t always uncomplicated. During his childhood, he was expelled from several schools for delinquency, and at age 17, he was arrested for credit card fraud.
He stole a family friends credit card, and reportedly went wild with it; or as he put it he was “going ape.” It was reported that Fry spent three months in jail for his offences. After which, he appeared to clean up his act and was accepted to the prestigious Queens’ College in Cambridge, where he went on to further his education.
4. Christian Slater — drunk driving and assault
Christian Slater may appear to be a really nice celeb (after all he has one of the most charming smiles in Hollywood), and he has been involved in a number of charities. That said, he actually has quite a lengthy criminal record.
He was first arrested in 1989 for drunk driving — a sheriff’s spokesperson reportedly revealed that he had crashed into a pole. Then he was arrested for a second time, after reportedly attempting to board a flight at Kennedy Airport with a loaded gun.
Then in 1997, almost ten years after his first arrest, he was arrested for assault when he reportedly became involved in a fight with a man who had attempted to stop him from punching his then-girlfriend, Michelle Jonas; The Independent reports. He later told police that he had been heavily intoxicated at the time. Then in 2005, Slater made headlines again, this time for third-degree sexual assault. He reportedly grabbed a woman’s butt while intoxicated.
3. Tonya Harding — obstructed investigation into attack
There was a time when Tonya Harding was an American sweetheart who had a fantastic future as a figure skater (she was reportedly the first woman to do the triple axel jump), but her competitive nature got the better of her, when she obstructed an investigation into an attack on one of her competitors.
Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, planned an attack on Nancy Kerrigan. The attack was to be carried out by a man named Shane Stant, who in 1994, attempted to break rival Kerrigan’s right leg — in the hopes of destroying her career. Thankfully it only left her with a badly bruised kneecap and quadriceps tendon.
According to Biography, Harding reportedly pleaded guilty to obstructing the investigation into Kerrigan’s attack, which helped her avoid jail time. Instead, she was banned from skating for life. According to OregonLive, she was also sentenced to three years probation and fined $100,000.
2. Nina Dobrev — disorderly conduct
Nina Dobrev doesn’t really have a criminal record, because her offences were more like a slap on the wrist! Dobrev, as well as several other of her Vampire Diaries castmates, were arrested in 2009 after police received a call that the women had been “hanging” from a bridge in Smarr, Georgia; as well as reportedly “flashing motorists,” TMZ reports.
What had really happened, was that the six actresses had reportedly been doing a photo shoot with photographer Tyler Shields, who was also arrested. Perez Hilton reports that seven different motorists had called in, expressing their concerns that these women were in danger, and one caller claimed that they had been flashing passersby.
1. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves is undoubtedly one of the nicest people in Hollywood. Known for his generosity and appreciation of all those he works with — which includes the time that he reportedly gave the Matrix franchise’s special effects and costume design teams some of his money. But Reeves reportedly found himself in trouble with the law in 1993, when, according to Lomography, he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to reports, he had been stopped by police who saw him driving in an erratic way, and when questioned he was arrested for drunk driving. Very little is known about this arrest, and honestly, if it weren’t for the mug shot there would be virtually nothing linking Reeves to this charge. Seriously, if anyone has more information about this arrest, let us know in the comments below.
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