No one can escape the hard law and if found guilty, you will have to serve out your sentence no matter who you are. Celebrities going to jail or appearing in court is always a big deal and it weighs so much more heavily on them as they are the ones who should be setting the right example for all their fans and followers. These are 15 of the most shocking high profile cases:
#15 Phil Spector
This music producer had a reputation for pulling guns on people and when a woman ended up shot in his home, there was not much question about who it was. Lana Clarkson’s death led to a hectic court trial where the defense claimed that she had committed suicide with some compelling evidence.
The first trial ended with a hung jury but a second trial proved him guilty and sentenced him to 19 years in prison.
#14 Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart is the last person people would have thought to be on trial and in jail but this did happen. In the year 2004, she was convicted of conspiracy, obstruction, and uttering false statements to federal officials. Based on insider information, she was caught selling off stocks. She eventually spent five months in jail but her company, as well as career, soon recovered.
#13 O.J. Simpson
The part-time actor and former football legend was charged with the brutal murder of his wife and a friend. The case eventually lost out due to forensic mistakes, bad witnesses as well as general ineptitude. A civil trial found him responsible for the two deaths and ordered him to pay $33 million in damages. He is also currently serving a 33-year long sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping.
#12 Robert Blake
He has always been known to have a temper and general eccentricity. His second wife, Bonnie Lee Bakley was found shot twice in a car outside a restaurant and many immediately blamed Blake. It did not help that his alibi was that he returned to the restaurant to fetch a lost gun.
Two witnesses at the trial claimed that Blake attempted to hire them to kill his wife. Since there was a lack of any forensic evidence which directly linked him to the murder, he was found not guilty. A year later, a civil trial court did find him liable for his wife’s death.
#11 Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson still cannot believe that he was required to spend three years in prison after a rape accusation in the year 1992. He is under the belief that he and the gorgeous Desiree Washington engaged in consensual sex in his hotel room.
At the trial, Tyson seemed to be angry and uncooperative which only made the sentence easier. Despite the fact that the case started as a he-said-she-said case, Tyson was sentenced to five years in prison and was released in 1995.
#10 Oprah Winfrey
Oprah was sued by the Texas cattlemen for libel and hurting their business during a 1996 broadcast. On that particular show, she had discussed an outbreak of the mad cow disease with cattlemen and a vegetarian advocate named Howard Lyman.
The Texas cattlemen claimed that it was Oprah’s comments and statement that she would not eat beef again, damaged the beef industry. It also led to a 10% drop in cattle futures. Oprah was declared innocent after the trial which took place in Texas.
#9 Oscar Pistorius
This well known South African Paralympic runner was an inspiration to all those at the 2012 London Olympics. However, on Valentine’s Day 2013, he shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, to death through the bathroom door. He claimed he thought that she was an intruder but he was still charged with murder. The trial was held for weeks and his mental stability came in to question. However, the judge ruled him guilty and he was sentenced to five years in prison.
#8 Fatty Arbuckle
This trial is what changed Hollywood for the worse. Silent film star Fatty Arbuckle was charged with murdering a woman who attended a drunken hotel party which he hosted. After much speculation, the vicious rumors turned out to be not true. It took three trials before Arbuckle was finally acquitted and proved innocent but it had already done a significant amount of damage to his career.
#7 Roman Polanski
This trial cannot take place until Polanski’s return to the USA. In the year 1977, the well-known director was charged with at least 6 counts of sexual misconduct. He allegedly had sex with a 13-year-old girl and he never denied it. Once he had accepted a plea bargain, there was a massive public outcry.
The judge who was overseeing the case started to have second thoughts about the plea bargain. Polanski feared getting some serious jail time and fled to France. Attempts to extradite Polanski have failed and the case remains open.
#6 Robert Downey Jr.
In the 1982 filming of the movie The Twilight Zone, the film shoot ended with charges of involuntary manslaughter. Actor Vic Morrow, as well as two child extras, were killed in an FX explosion which caused a helicopter to fall on them.
At the trial, the prosecution showed director Landis as being reckless and neglecting all warnings about the risks of the shoot. Landis admitted to violating child labor laws but maintains that he was nothing but professional on set. The trial lasted for nine months and the family members of those killed reached settlements with the studio.
#4 R. Kelly
When this case finally hit the court, the story had already turned six. The ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ star was charged with having sex with an underage girl and recording it. R. Kelly stood by his word that he was not the man in the video but he never managed to explain why he also had pictures of the same woman. When he illegally married 15-year-old Aaliyah, it only added to the allegations.
After years of delays, the trial lasted for only 3 weeks. The defense stuck by his innocence and later went on to claim that the woman was not underage. The court eventually found him innocent.
#3 Lindsay Lohan
It is no secret that Lindsay Lohan has seen the inside of a courtroom on multiple occasions and what seems to stand out the most is her attitude. Somehow the camera always catches her looking particularly annoyed, outraged, or indifferent. Few of her shenanigans with the law (DUIs/Theft/Violating Probation) went to actual trial without a deal being struck.
Lohan does not have a good track record of keeping up with her plea deals. In fact, she has spent days in prison for not showing up to compulsory meetings and failing to complete community service.
#2 Michael Jackson
Pop icon and legend, Michael Jackson, was charged with an outstanding 14 counts which included child molestation of a 13-year-old boy. MJ pled innocent to the charges though he did not deny the fact that they slept in the same room, he (MJ) slept on the floor.
The trial was not shown on TV though news channel E! went to the extent of hiring actors and recreating the trial. The case went sour for the prosecution from the beginning as the witnesses credibility and criminal records demanded closer attention. Jackson was found NOT guilty of all the charges.
#1 Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin does not seem like the ‘appear in court’ types but he has many female dalliances who turned the public against the much-loved ion by the 1940s. When actress Joan Barry launched a paternity suit against him, Chaplin came under vicious attack by the public.
He was charged with violating Barry’s civil rights after an incident where she broke into his house with a gun. He was also charged with violating the White slave trafficking Act for paying for her train ticket. Both of these were seriously weird charges. He eventually went to face two trials due to the paternity charge. Despite three doctors claiming and proving that he was NOT the father, he was still required to pay child support. He eventually left for Europe and stayed there.