Celebrities Arrested for Criminal Activity

Christine J. Flores, CBA

A recent visit to a crime history museum was quite the education.  The exhibits included the history of the mob, and stories about the likes of Al Capone and The Birdman of Alcatraz, Robert Stroud.  There were some interesting displays of a model electric chair and gas chamber, and information about modern crimes such as cyber crimes and human trafficking.

What kind of surprised me was the number of celebrities who were arrested and in some cases convicted of a crime.  Here are a few that caught my interest. 

Sir Paul McCartney – Paul McCartney was detained in 1980 at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport for trying to enter the nation with half a pound of an illegal substance. After convincing the Japanese authorities that the substances were only for his personal use, the authorities concluded nine days were enough to teach Paul a lesson, and they set him free.

Sir Ringo Starr – Ringo Starr was arrested in Houston, Texas in 1995 after an incident in a local restaurant.  Ringo was enjoying a meal with his wife, Barbara Bach, and a small group of friends at a BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse.  After being asked to sign his credit card slip, Ringo became loud and belligerent.  According to a BJ’s staff member, Ringo just started rambling, ‘Peace and love.  Peace and looooove.  No more autographs after the 20th of October.  It’s gonna be tossed.  Check the date.”  After that, he tore up the check.  It was reported he started climbing onto the table and kicking the salt and pepper shakers.”

After a server got some salt in her eye, the manager of the restaurant called the police.  Officers called to the scene found it necessary to use a taser on Sir Ringo after he became uncooperative and uncontrollable. 

Ringo Starr was booked into Harris County Jail under suspicion of assault.  His bail was set at ten thousand dollars.  Representatives for Mr. Starr posted bail for the ex-Beatle. 

Ringo was evaluated by a physician who concluded that he was served several glasses of sangria instead of the fruit punch he ordered.  It was thought that the sangria combined with the high salt content of the food he had eaten, along with being asked to sign the credit card slip which triggered his unwillingness to sign autographs was the cause of the incident.

Matthew McConaughey – After one night of naked bongos, the actor Matthew McConaughey discovered himself in a prison cell. In 1999, police got called to his residence, where they found a naked McConaughey, high on illegal substances. His one night spent in jail only built his legendary icon status.  I guess there is no such thing as bad publicity.

Charlie Sheen – Actor Charlie Sheen of Two and A Half Men fame was detained on Christmas Day in 2009 following a fight with his ex-wife Brooke Mueller. He was jailed for the remainder of the holiday on charges of second-degree assault, threatening, and criminal mischief after being arrested in an Aspen prison. Charlie eventually entered a plea of guilty to a misdemeanor third-degree assault charge.

James Brown – Singer James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, and the police engaged in a fast-paced chase on an interstate highway.  The police ultimately caught up with him and he was detained.  He was found guilty of possessing an unauthorized firearm and attacking a police officer, in addition to possessing several illegal substances and driving-related charges he already had. He was given a six-year prison term but only served two. Brown managed to maintain his following base.

Khloė Kardashian – This article would not be complete without the mention of at least one of the Kardashians.  The 2008 arrest of Khloé Kardashian is remembered more so for Kim’s selfie-taking response to learning that her sister had been jailed. Yet, given that the California jail was overcrowded, Khloé Kardashian only spent three hours of her thirty-day sentence there. Her crime? She broke probation after her DUI arrest.


Categorized in: