Some celebrities have seriously done time in jail for real offenses, not just DUI or marijuana possession. Here are six of them.
The actor/producer and rapper spent 45 days in jail for beating up two Vietnamese men in separate incidents. He was 16 at that time but was tried as an adult and convicted for attempted murder and assault. A confessed racist, he harassed black school children and attacked a neighbor, fracturing his jaw. Wahlberg, who has many TV series and film credits to his name, asked for complete and unconditional pardon from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2014. He now regrets doing so, saying he doesn’t need a piece of paper to acknowledge that he has righted the wrongs he did in his past.
According to a criminal defense lawyer, a pardon does not erase a conviction but restores the person’s civil rights. On Christmas Eve of 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown of California granted Robert Downey Jr. a pardon for his felony drug conviction in 1996. Brown is a former Jesuit seminarian.
Robert Downey Jr.
The A-list actor is has been on the list of Forbes’ highest paid actors since his first Iron Man movie came out in 2008. It has been followed by a string of box office hits since then, the latest being Captain America: Civil War.
But it wasn’t always that way for Downey. From 1996 to 2001, the actor was on a downward spiral, with numerous arrests for possession of marijuana, heroin and cocaine. He did not complete court-mandated drug treatment programs. Under the influence of drugs, he drove over the speed limit, trespassed into a neighbor’s house and was found by police wandering barefoot near LA. After missing several required drug tests, he was sentenced to three years to the California state prison in Corcoran where he served almost one year before a judge ordered his release.
The hip hop singer with several hit songs also founded a record label that has top artists in its fold. In 2010, Lil Wayne was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon and marijuana and spent 8 months in Rikers Island jail in New York. The incident happened in 2007 following a performance in Beacon Theater in NYC. The artist was smoking pot with another man when police arrested them. They also found a .40 caliber gun in a bag nearby.
Lil Wayne’s criminal record includes arrests by border patrol agents in Arizona and Texas for possession of marijuana, cocaine and Ecstasy pills. He has faced civil lawsuits for copyright infringement and unpaid royalties from individuals and studios.
Charged and acquitted in 1994 in a closely watched case on the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, the infamous NFL player was finally convicted of separate crimes committed in 2007. Simpson led a group of men and stole memorabilia from the Palace Station hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was sentenced to 33 years in prison for criminal conspiracy, robbery, assault and kidnapping with a deadly weapon.
Television personality and owner of the Martha Stewart Living company, Stewart was found guilty of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators about the stock sales of her share in ImClone Systems. The style maven had become a household name for her shows that featured everything about the home, from cooking to interior design and crafts and arts.
She served five months in a federal facility in West Virginia, then successfully made a comeback in television and expanded her business.
The 76-year old record producer and songwriter is currently serving a 19-year prison term at the California State Prison in Stockton. He was found guilty of the second degree murder of actress Lana Clarkson in 2003 and started serving his sentence in 2009. He will be 88 by the time he is eligible for parole.
Spector produced several hit songs and albums, including some of the Beatles. But his erratic and bizarre behavior got in the way of his talent and business acumen, finally sending him to jail.