For a lot of people, ringing in the new year means turning the page on old problems and embracing the opportunity for a fresh start. For some celebrities, that moment can’t come soon enough.
Yes, life in the spotlight certainly has its perks, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. And sometimes those challenges involve handcuffs, mugshots and posting bail. From rapper Tekashi69, who remains in federal custody on a slew of serious charges, to actress Allison Mack, whose year was marked by a tremendous fall from grace after being arrested in the spring for her role in an alleged sex cult, there’s been no shortage of celebrities who’ve run into trouble with the law.
Here’s seven cases from 2018 that grabbed headlines and shocked fans:
Brooklyn rapper Tekashi69, also known simply as 6ix9ine, has become one of the most controversial rappers to rise to fame in recent years, but his sudden arrest earlier this year may stymie his ascent to superstardom.
The "Fefe" rapper, born Daniel Hernandez, was arrested along with three other men on racketeering and firearms charges in November, mere weeks after dodging jail time and being sentenced to probation in a 2015 child sex case.
Prosecutors have alleged that Hernandez committed armed robberies and other criminal acts as a member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, a New York gang, the New York Daily News reports.
He is alleged to have participated in an armed robbery of one of the gang’s rivals by filming the act as he watched in a nearby SUV; on another alleged occasion, Hernandez and three others made plans to shoot and kill someone they believed had disrespected the gang, but they were not successful in their attempt, according to an indictment obtained by the outlet.
Hernandez was denied bail and remains in custody, a decision his legal team plan to appeal, according to Rolling Stone.
If convicted, he could be slapped with a maximum sentence of 32 years in prison.
The 22-year-old rapper announced that he’d fired numerous members of his team the week before his arrest, seemingly in an attempt to distance himself from the suspected criminals that ran in his inner circle.
Ending up on the wrong side of the law isn’t new territory for Hernandez, however; he’s previously has been arrested for allegedly choking a teenage fan, driving with his license suspended and assaulting a police offer (by squeezing his hand too hard).
Most notably, he co-starred in a sexually explicit video with an underage girl when he was 18 years old.
He pleaded guilty last December three felony counts of the use of a child in a sexual performance over the video, and was sentenced to probation and community service in October.
2. Cardi B
New York rapper Cardi B, along with eight companions, surrendered to police in early October in relation to their suspected involvement in an August strip club brawl.
The 25-year-old “Bodak Yellow” rapper is alleged to have arranged an attack on two bartenders at the club, and personally threw “chairs, bottles and hookahs [smoking pipes] in the club at 3 a.m.,” the New York Police Department confirmed to CNN.
Cardi B, born Belcalis Almanzar, was later charged with two misdemeanors counts of reckless endangerment and one misdemeanor count of assault.
Her legal team has denied that she injured anyone, but nonetheless, a judge ordered her to refrain from contacting either of her alleged victims, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. She is due to return to court on Jan. 31.
The beef between the rapper and the two bartenders, sisters identified as Jade and Baddie Gi, is said to have stemmed from one of the sister’s alleged dalliances with Almanzar’s ex, rapper Offset, according to TMZ.
Their attorney, Joe Tacopina, told CNN that the pair plan to seek legal action against Almanzar, whom he said “ordered and committed violent assaults” against his clients.
The rapper also got into a very public fight with fellow artist Nicki Minaj at the Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party in September. In a move that perhaps added fuel to the fire between the “I Like It” rapper and the bartenders, Minaj recruited the two women to appear in her “Good Form” video last month.
3. Allison Mack
Allison Mack, a 36-year-old actress known for her role on The CW’s “Smallville,” was cast in a whole new light after her shocking arrest in April.
Mack was taken into custody and charged with sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labor for her involvement with an alleged cult called NXIVM.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Moira Kim Pen claimed that Mack routinely “starved” women until they represented the “sexual feminine ideal” of the cult’s leader, Keith Raniere, who was also arrested and hit with the same charges as Mack.
She is also alleged to have acted as a type of slave master who recruited young women into the fold, using “fraud, force and coercion,” and routinely instructing them to “to perform ‘acts of care’ for their masters and to pay ‘tribute’ to their masters,” prosecutors said.
She later admitted to reporters that branding the women with a tattoo was her idea.
Mack was released days after her arrest by posting $5 million bond and agreeing to wear an electronic monitoring device on her ankle while under house arrest, among other conditions.
Raniere, her co-defendant, was ordered held without bond.
Raniere’s attorneys claimed earlier this month that NXIVM was actually a “wonderful humanitarian organization,” and requested that the criminal charges be dismissed, People reports.
Raniere, Mack and other alleged leaders of the organization have all pleaded not guilty. Their trial is scheduled to begin in March.
4. Pooch Hall
Getting arrested for a DUI is one thing, but getting caught driving drunk with a toddler on your lap is another matter entirely.
In one of the most potentially dangerous celebrity crimes of the year, actor Marion “Pooch” Hall was arrested in early October for driving under the influence and child endangerment after allegedly weaving in and out of traffic and, eventually, crashing his vehicle into a parked car.
The 44-year-old star of Showtime’s “Ray Donovan” not only appeared to be driving while intoxicated, but witnesses reported seeing a young child riding on his lap and occasionally placing his hand on the steering wheel, police said, according to NBC Los Angeles.
“Mr. Hall’s 2-year-old son was riding in the car with him at the time of the collision and was determined to have been riding in the vehicle unrestrained, as required by law,” police said in a statement obtained by the outlet.
Thankfully, no one was hurt during the incident, and the child was released to Hall’s wife upon his arrest, according to NBC Los Angeles.
Hall secured his release from police custody the morning after his arrest by posting $100,000 bail, the outlet also reports.
He was charged later that month with one felony count of child abuse, one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage and one misdemeanor count of driving with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in a news release. He could face up to six years in prison if convicted, according to the office.
Hall entered a not guilty plea the following day, Los Angeles Times reporter Andy Nguyen shared on Twitter.
5. Stormy Daniels
Adult film actress Stormy Daniels made national news this year when she publicly claimed to have had an affair with Donald Trump prior to his presidency and was paid to keep quiet about it. Her claims have made her a number of enemies — political and otherwise — which she says led to her arrest while performing at a Ohio strip club in July.
Three female undercover police officers who were in attendance during her performance at the Columbus venue claimed that Daniels rubbed her breasts on them in violation of state law.
She was released from custody hours later after posting $6,054 bail.
Her high-profile attorney, Michael Avenatti (currently embroiled in a legal battle of his own, one that may end his relationship with Daniels) claimed that the entire situation was a “set up” and described it as an “absurd use of law enforcement resources,” according to The Associated Press.
A judge later dropped the charges against Daniels because the statute in question only applies to regular workers at the club (Daniels was a guest performer) and the FBI launched an investigation into the unit responsible for her arrest.
A disagreement with a security guard outside of a gated community in Georgia led to a late-night arrest for T.I., who went on to call the entire situation “nonsense” on Instagram.
The 37-year-old rapper and actor was attempting to gain entry into the Eagle’s Landing Country Club community, where he lives with his wife and children, one night in May when he happened upon guard Euwan James sleeping at his post, according to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
T.I. claimed that James refused to let him in at first, even after he explained that he was a resident there and had simply forgotten his keys, the report states. James eventually relented, but T.I. claimed that he refused to tell him his name or his supervisor when he requested, according to the report, while James claimed that the rapper cursed and yelled at him and, after parking his car at his house, returned to the security post to threaten him. Police also claimed in their report that officers smelled alcohol on T.I.'s breath, and he later admitted to drinking on his way to confront the security guard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
T.I., born Clifford Harris Jr., was arrested alongside a friend who was with him during the incident and charged with misdemeanor charges of simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Prosecutors decided in October to drop the assault charge and the rapper accepted a plea deal in December, agreeing to pay a $300 fine for breaking a local law that prohibits using profanity in public in exchange for the remaining charges being dropped, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. T.I.’s lawyer, Steve Sadow, told the outlet that his client entered the no contest plea in order to “put this matter to bed.”
7. Alec Baldwin
Losing out on a parking space that you wanted can definitely be frustrating, but actor Alec Baldwin let his disappointment lead to a rage-fueled altercation when he allegedly got into a physical fight over a parking spot earlier this year.
The 60-year-old actor and regular “SNL” guest star was arrested on assault and harassment charges in November after making “physical contact” with the face of a man who parked his car where Baldwin had been planning to park, police sources told NBC New York.
Baldwin told the police that family members had been saving the parking spot for him when it was stolen out from under him, police said, according to the Associated Press. Police said that an argument then erupted and the two men began yelling at and shoving each other, the Associated Press reports. Baldwin’s alleged victim was later taken to a local hospital to treat jaw pain, according to police. Baldwin, meanwhile, was arrested and released around two hours later.
Baldwin took to Twitter to proclaim his innocence as news of the brawl began to spread, writing that the “assertion that [he] punched anyone over a parking spot” was “false.” His attorney later said in court that video evidence will prove Baldwin’s innocence “beyond all doubt.”
[Photo Credit: Getty Images]
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