Hollywood isn’t immune to anything, even if it might feel like it sometimes. There are plenty of actors who have been convicted of minor– or even major– crimes throughout the years.
With that said, there are a select few actors who have committed and been convicted of some pretty terrible crimes. While people are more than the worse thing(s) they’ve done, there is something to be said of people who have been convicted of some pretty heinous things and might not feel remorse. There’s also something to be said of people who do feel remorse. Each person’s story is unique.
Some actors have come out and apologized sincerely, while others have gone to their graves refusing to admit their faults. Either way, a crime is a crime. Just because someone has moved on from it, doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
Being convicted means that someone was declared guilty of a criminal offense. These actors have all been convicted in a court of law, so it is no longer speculation. While the court system might be flawed, it’s pretty clear that these convictions came after many complex legal proceedings. Just as well, most of these actors have admitted guilt.
Here are the 15 Actors You Never Knew Were Convicted Of Terrible Crimes.
15. Mark Wahlberg
Back in the day, Mark Wahlberg was more known for being Marky Mark instead of the critically acclaimed, action hero movie star that he is today. Unfortunately, something from Wahlberg’s past still haunts him to this day.
Known for his roles in Boogie Nights, The Fighter, and Ted, Mark Wahlberg has never been able to shake off the assault charge on his record. In 1988, Wahlberg assaulted two Vietnamese men within a twenty-four hour period. He punched one of them in the eye which severely injured him.
The other instance was even more graphic. Wahlberg took a giant stick and hit the other Vietnamese man in the head. He then proceeded to yell racial slurs at the man.
14. Tim Allen
It’s difficult to imagine that the voice behind Buzz Lightyear was the face of a major controversy back in the day. Yet, that’s exactly what happened.
Time Allen is best known for his sitco, Home Improvement. He’s also been in some other movies, including The Santa Clause franchise and the Toy Story franchise.
In 1978, Allen was arrested at a Michigan airport because he was holding onto over 650 grams of cocaine. That’s almost a pound and a half of cocaine, which is why he was instantly convicted as a drug trafficker. He had also admitted to being a drug dealer at the time.
13. Christian Slater
You probably know Christian Slater for his roles in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Interview with a Vampire, and Mr. Robot. Unfortunately, Slater has also had a string of legal issues in the past.
In 1989, Slater was sentenced to ten days in jail after a drunk driving and an assault charge. Then in 1994, he tried to sneak a gun onto a plane. After that, in 1997, he was convicted of assaulting is girlfriend. He also assaulted the police officer who arrived on the scene. He then went to jail for three months.
In 2005, Slater sexually harassed a woman on the street and was charged with third degree sexual abuse. Though he faced major consequences, the charges were dropped against him as long as he promised to not get into trouble for just six months. However, many members of the public believed that justice wasn’t served for this crime.
12. Paul Reubens
You probably know Paul Reubens best for his role as Pee-wee Herman in all things Pee-wee related. The sixty four year old actor became a staple in homes across the country while he was on the kid’s show, Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
In 2002, Reubens was notified that police were searching his home. During the search, they found a collection of child pornography. Reubens fired back claiming it wasn’t child pornography and stating that it was actually Rob Lowe’s sex tape.
The charges against Reubens were actually dropped, but only because he made a deal that if he plead guilty to a lesser charge, he wouldn’t have to deal with the ramifications of a child pornography verdict.
This required him to register his address with local officials. He also wasn’t allowed to be around any minors unless he had permission from their parents. This lasted for about three years and then he was allowed to return to his life as normal.
11. Charlie Sheen
There’s just too much to say about Charlie Sheen. The actor has gotten himself into some major trouble throughout the years. Sheen, who is best known for his roles in Two and a Half Men, Anger Management, and Spin City, has become Hollywood’s infamous bad guy.
In 2009, Sheen assaulted Brook Mueller, his wife at the time. He was arrested and charged with a felony for menacing, third-degree assault, and criminal mischief.
Instead of having to go through the legal proceedings and potentially being charged to the fullest extent, Sheen took a plea bargain instead.
He ended up pleading guilty to only misdemeanor assault, which resulted in him having to go to a rehab center. He was also forced to be on probation for a month, and, ironically, had to take anger management classes.
10. Terrence Howard
You might recognize Terrence Howard for his role in Iron Man. He’s also the lead on the hit television show Empire.
Truth be told, Howard hasn’t actually been convicted of much. However, he has admitted to committing his crimes– specifically, hitting his ex-wife.
In 2001, Howard was charged with simple assault, terrorist threats, harassment, and stalking after he punched his wife in front of his children (along with some other things). He pleaded guilty, but not to those crimes. He pleaded guilty only to disorderly conduct and that was that.
In 2010, his second wife accused him of doing the same thing to her that Howard did to his first wife. Then in 2015, Howard’s third wife also accused him of assault yet again.
According to Howard, these violent outbursts and abuse claims are due to an underlining issue. When he was two years old he witnessed his father stab and kill a man. His dad served less than a year in prison and Howard claims that he was abused by his father while growing up.
9. Charles S. Dutton
Charles S. Dutton is an actor from Baltimore, Maryland who has made appearances in some of your favorite shows and movies. He’s been in American Horror Story, House, and The L Word. You’ll probably recognize him most from his role as Dillon in Alien 3. He’s also a two-time Tony Award nominated actor.
Before Dutton became a successful actor, he was a street fighter. During one fight, the person he was up against had a knife. Dutton did all he could to defend himself, and ended up actually killing the man who he was fighting.
This event resulted in Dutton being convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years in prison. However, he ended up doing nine years in prison due to misbehavior and insubordination.
Dutton says that prison changed his life, stating that his time in solitary confinement completely redefined his life. There, he read and learned that he needed to better his life. Once he got out of prison, he turned to acting as an outlet.
8. Jeffrey Jones
Actor Jeffrey Jones has a very familiar face. You probably would recognize him for his roles in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sleepy Hollow, and Deadwood. He’s also done voice-over work for many cartoon shows, such as Justice League and Invader Zim.
In 2002, Jones was arrested on account of the fact that he had gotten a 14 year old boy to pose in the nude for photographs. He also had other evidence of child pornography, which was used against him.
After pleading no contest, Jones was charged and given a punishment of only five years probation. He also had to attend counseling and was forced to register as a sex offender. He was later arrested twice for not updating his sex offender status.
7. Sean Penn
Chalize Theron was always too good for Sean Penn. You probably know who Sean Penn is due to his roles in Milk, I Am Sam, and All the King’s Men. The two-time Oscar winner has a bit of a scandalous past which you may not know about, though.
Penn hasn’t actually been convicted of a lot, but it may seem like he’s gotten away with many things. He’s allegedly beaten his ex-girlfriend Madonna with a baseball bat. The only reason why she didn’t press charges was because Penn had been convicted of assaulting a film extra at the same time and she didn’t want him to receive a worse sentence because of this instance.
According to Madonna, as well as other sources, Penn was regularly abusive towards her during their time together. After some more issues between the two, he was arrested for felony domestic assault, but made a deal and plead guilty only to a misdemeanor charge.
6. Lindsay Lohan
If you haven’t heard about Lindsay Lohan’s criminal record, just know it’s a long list which stems mostly from drug related issues. The actress is best known for her roles in Mean Girls, The Parent Trap, and Herbie: Fully Loaded.
The actress has had her share of issues, however. Unfortunately, she never had many good role models to look up to. Her dad has also been known to have substance abuse issues, so unfortunately for Lohan, it seems like she may have inherited her addiction issues from her dad.
Lohan’s major issue is her carelessness. She doesn’t seem to care, nor does she seem to have looked at past experiences and changed for the better. She has been arrested on drug charges, DUI charges, and a theft charge, just to name a few.
She’s also been convicted/not convicted so many times that CNN has a running article that they update every time something gets added to her record.
5. Hugh Grant
Most of the public has managed to move past Hugh Grant’s criminal past. The actor, who is best known for his roles in Love Actually, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and About a Boy, landed himself in hot war in 1995 after he was arrested.
His crime? He was arrested for conducting “lewd behavior” in a public place with a sex worker.
Grant had paid a sex worker $60 to perform oral sex on him in a side street while he was promoting a movie in Los Angeles. Instead of having to go through with court proceedings, however, Grant only had pay for his offences in a minimal amount. The actor had to pay a fine of $1000 and attend an AIDS education program.
4. Mark Salling
Mark Salling made his way to fame through one outlet: Glee. The star made his debut on the show as the bad-boy jock named Puck and was on the show from 2009 to 2015.
Salling started getting into trouble in 2013 when a woman accused him of sexual assault. He said it was completely false and actually sued her for damages. However, the two ended up settling out of court.
After that, in 2015, Salling was arrested for the possession of allegedly thousands of child pornography items, including both photos and videos. To be fair, Salling hasn’t been convicted yet, though the pornography was found on his property.
3. Robert Blake
Actor Robert Blake was a pretty successful actor, but hasn’t acted since 1997. He may be remembered for his roles in Lost Highway, Money Train, as well as Baretta.
Blake has gone through a lot. He was put on trial in 2004 for murdering his wife, though he was ultimately found not guilty on all counts. He did have to spend a year in jail, though, while waiting for trial since he was not permitted to leave on bail.
With that said, Blake’s children filed a civil suit against him because they believed that he had killed their mother. During that trial, the girlfriend of an accomplice admitted that she believed Blake had done it. He was charged with paying $30 million because he was considered liable for his wife’s death.
Blake ended up going bankrupt and tried to appeal the verdict. The verdict was upheld, but he only had to pay half the money after that.
2. Felicia Pearson
Felicia Pearson is best known for her role as Felicia “Snoop” Pearson on The Wire. On the show, her character is accustomed to a life of crime, but this wasn’t unusual for the real-life Felicia, who drew on her background as inspiration for the series.
When Pearson was only 14 years old she was convicted of second degree murder after shooting another girl. She was sentenced to spend two eight year sentences consecutively in prison, which totaled to sixteen years behind bars.
This would have been a sentence longer than her actual age at the time. However, she ended up only serving a little over six years before being released.
Pearson then cleaned up her life and began acting. Because of her past experiences, she was able to give an incredible performance on The Wire.
Unfortunately, in 2011, she pleaded guilty to drug charges and was sentenced to seven years in prison, though it was a suspended sentencing, which meant that she would potentially not have to serve time at all. She was also given three years probation.
1. Johnny Lewis
The story of Johnny Lewis is incredibly sad. The actor is best known for his work on Sons of Anarchy as “Half Sack” and Raise Your Voice as “Kiwi.” He also dated Katy Perry for a year in 2005-2006.
In 2012, Lewis killed his landlord while he was on a violent rampage. Her cause of her death was reported as blunt head trauma and strangulation. She was an 81 year old elderly woman that Lewis hadn’t been getting along with. He also killed her cat during the fight.
After the murder, Lewis tried to ransack all of the stuff out of the woman’s home before ultimately falling to his death once he heard police sirens. The actor was only 28 years old when he died.
What crimes surprised you the most? Can you think of any other actors who have committed terrible crimes in the past? Let us know in the comments.
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