Waking up to find a nude stranger eating ice cream at the foot of your bed? Sounds like a nightmare, but for actor Nicolas Cage, it was his reality when he found himself in the midst of a home invasion years ago.
Cage is one of many celebrities who have faced intruders head on and have managed to gain control of a scary situation, either by talking the intruder into leaving, like Cage ultimately did, or by defending themselves in more physical ways — like LL Cool J was forced to do in 2012, when he found an intruder in his home and ended up breaking the man’s nose, jaw, and ribs in the fight that followed.
Sometimes, not even the most intricate security measures employed by the rich and famous can keep out the bad guys. Here are eight occasions where celebrities were forced to defend themselves and their property from home invaders.
1. William Daniels
“Boy Meets World” actor William Daniels successfully scared away a potential intruder earlier this month by thinking quickly in the face of danger. Daniels, known for his role as the wise teacher Mr. Feeny, was with his wife on the night of October 27, 2018, when they heard someone attempting to break down the back door of their home in California’s San Fernando Valley. Daniels was quick to turn on the lights, which successfully startled the would-be intruder, causing him to abort his mission and run off.
A representative for Daniels confirmed that neither he nor his wife were injured during the attempted break-in. The ordeal also lead to some pretty funny tweets from Daniels’ former “Boy Meets World” co-stars, who couldn’t help but praise Mr. Feeny for, once again, being a great role model.
2. Shaunie O’Neal
Whoever targeted Shaunie O’Neal’s home earlier this year picked the wrong house to mess with. O’Neal, a producer and the ex-wife of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, was more than prepared when two would-be burglars trespassed onto her property in August in what looked to be the early stages of a burglary attempt. In surveillance footage uploaded onto social media, O’Neal could be heard taunting the suspects via the microphone in her home’s security system, much to the surprise of the criminals.
“What are you doing? You’re on camera. Smile, b***h,” O’Neal said. Unsurprisingly, the men wasted no time hightailing it out of there.
As O’Neal explained on Instagram, her ex-husband is a spokesperson for Ring home security cameras, so it’s only natural that he “made sure the kids and I had cameras everywhere.”
3. The Game
Anyone considering robbing The Game may want to think twice. While the rapper was away from home to attend the BET Awards earlier this year, a group of three men tried to break into his house. Their attempt was unsuccessful and The Game later posted surveillance footage of the failed burglary on social media with a stern warning: Try it again, and they’d have to deal with him next time.
“If & when you come back I’M KILLING ALL THREE OF YOU N***AS ON SIGHT!!!” he wrote on Instagram. “So if you wanna lose your life over some Xbox’s & A few TV’s.... by all means, pull up & hop that gate again...”
The Game also pointed out that the men, who covered their faces using only their hands and occasionally towels, didn’t think to hide from his neighbor’s security cameras, and even parked their car in a space in plain sight of his neighbor’s cameras.
4. George Harrison
George Harrison, a former member of the Beatles, was almost killed in 1999 when a man broke into his home one early morning in December. A 33-year-old man named Michael Abram snuck onto Harrison’s property wielding a knife around seven inches long and promptly attacked Harrison, according to a New York Times report. Harrison and his wife, Olivia, fought Abram, but Abram managed to stab Harrison in the chest multiple times, while Olivia suffered various minor injuries during the scuffle. Thankfully, the couple managed to subdue Abram until the police arrived, and both were treated in the hospital for their injuries and ultimately recovered from the ordeal.
Neither authorities nor Harrison believed the incident to be a burglary, according to The Times. Abram was described by his mother as a drug addict who suffered from mental illness, and she claimed that he had become obsessed with the Beatles and even believed them to be “witches,” The Times reports.
Harrison died in 2001 from lung cancer.
5. Nicolas Cage
For Nicolas Cage, life imitated art when he woke up one night to find a nearly nude stranger watching him from the foot of his bed. While promoting the film “Trespass,” a horror action flick about a violent home invasion, in 2011, Cage recalled a scary occasion when he woke up and saw a “naked man wearing [his] leather jacket eating a Fudgesicle in front of [his] bed,” according to Time.
Cage was able to diffuse the situation, not with physical force but by calmly talking the man into leaving, Time reports. He did so using “verbal judo,” Cage said, and he ultimately decided not to press charges against the intruder, who reportedly had problems with his mental health, according to the outlet. Cage was also adamant that he and his family move out of the house following the disturbing incident.
“I know it sounds funny... but it was horrifying,” Cage said of the situation, according to Time.
6. LL Cool J
An intruder who broke into LL Cool J’s California home in 2012 lived to regret it after he came face-to-face with the rapper and got the beatdown of a lifetime.
LL Cool J was at home with his family when his security alarm went off at around 1 a.m., CNN reports. The famously well-muscled rapper investigated the situation and found an intruder, who he then physically subdued and kept restrained until police arrived. The fight left the intruder with a broken nose, jaw, and ribs, according to CNN.
LL Cool J discussed the experience with Oprah Winfrey during a heartfelt interview the following year, Yahoo reports.
“What was on my mind was what could have happened if I wasn’t home,” he said, according to Yahoo. “It wasn’t one of those ‘beat your chest’ moments, it was one of those grateful, gratitude, ‘Thank God’ moments that I was able to handle the situation.”
7. Ellen Barkin
Ellen Barkin is known for portraying the powerful head of a crime family on TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” and last year, the actress borrowed some of her character’s moxie to subdue an intruder she discovered on her property.
Barkin reportedly found a would-be burglar on the balcony of her Manhattan apartment one early morning last November, the New York Police Department confirmed to Newsday. Though the intruder tried to push through the doors, Barkin held them closed, the outlet reports. The suspect ultimately left empty-handed, with the New York Daily News reporting that he dropped a bag filled with jewelry he intended to steal before making his getaway. Police were not able to identify any suspects after surveying the area, Newsday reports.
8. Taye Diggs
Actor Taye Diggs is yet another celeb whose home has been broken into while they were away attending a star-studded event. Diggs was a presenter at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2013 and returned to the Los Angeles abode he shared with his then-wife Idina Menzel later that night, only to find an intruder rifling through items in his garage, CNN reports. The man was “looking for items to steal,” a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told CNN.
The burglar fled the scene but ultimately wasn’t able to escape Diggs, who reportedly chased the intruder down the street, tackled him to the ground, and restrained him until the authorities arrived, an LAPD detective told CNN. The suspect, 20-year-old Hassan Juma, was arrested and later charged with one felony count of first degree burglary with a person present, E! News report.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.