Celebrities. They’re just like us. Well, some are a bit worse off than most us at certain times in their lives – especially celebs who have done prison time. There are obvious and memorable celebrity jailbirds. Think O.J. Simpson and Phil Spector. But there are also ones you may have either forgotten about or never knew served time in jail at all.
At age 16, Mark Wahlberg spent 45 days in prison for attacking Johnny Trinh, a Vietnamese man who had already been blinded during the Vietnam War. Wahlberg has come under fire recently for requesting a pardon for his crime as he believes he has changed and shouldn’t have it hanging over him any longer. For any naysayers who feel he doesn’t deserve that, take note – Trinh has spoken out saying Wahlberg was young and made a mistake and that he should be pardoned. What an amazing act of forgiveness!
Back in 1978, the actor we know as an amiable sitcom dad was arrested for drug trafficking. That’s right – Tim Allen, aka Tim “The Toolman” Taylor from 1990’s show "Home Improvement," was taken into custody and faced a potential life sentence. He ended up serving only two years in exchange for giving up information on several other dealers. He’s very fortunate that things didn’t turn out worse for him, from the sounds of it.
Lauryn Hill was in prison for three months for failing to pay her taxes to the tune of over a million dollars. She tried arguing with the judge that she planned to pay them, just not in the time they wanted her to and he shut her down saying regular citizens don’t have that privilege. Ouch, your honor.
After a 2008 conviction and a lost 2010 appeal, Wesley Snipes served three years in Federal prison for failing to pay taxes from 1999-2001. I guess the lesson learned here is when you’re a famous person in the spotlight, it might be a good idea to always pay your taxes.
Yes, even Sir Paul has done time in the clink. His was a crime committed overseas while on tour with The Beatles. He was arrested in Japan for bringing marijuana into the country and spent nine days in jail! Paul was quoted as saying he knew he shouldn’t have taken the drugs to Japan as they have notoriously strict penalties for this type of offense. Looks like he got off pretty easy considering that fact.
Michelle Rodriguez served only 18 days of a 180 day sentence for violating her probation in relation to a drunk driving conviction. She also served five days in a Hawaii jail in 2005 for a drunken driving incident there and another day in Los Angeles for violating parole for that offense.
Kiefer Sutherland did time in 2011 in connection with a drunk driving charge – he served a total of 48 days, the entire sentence he was given. A police officer was quoted as saying that Sutherland fulfilled his sentence quietly and was always humble, never giving them any trouble. Sounds like he was a model prisoner. Let’s hope he stays good, at least until he gets out of probation in 2016.
Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Downey, Jr. was in and out of prison multiple times between 1996 and 1999 for drug-related offenses and probation violation. We all knew of his many arrests but he actually did hard time more than once and is now one of the most respected actors of our time. Here’s hoping he continues on the path of sobriety.