Earlier this year, we shined a spotlight on celebrities doing things they probably wished they hadn’t. As it turns out, there’s no shortage of famous fiends running afoul of the law. Such as…
10. Ozzy Osborne
Long before his relegation to reality TV, Ozzy Osborne embraced the life of a debauched rock star full throttle. From biting the head off of a live bat to riding on the rails of the crazy train, the former Black Sabbath frontman raised Hell with the best of them.
In 1982, he firmly cemented that legacy after urinating on a historic landmark in San Antonio, Texas, while wearing a dress. On that particular occasion, his manager and future wife, Sharon, had hidden his clothes in an attempt to stop him from indulging in yet another alcohol and drug-fuelled binge. It didn’t work.
After finding the inebriated rocker relieving himself, local police arrested him for public intoxication. Several reports mistakenly claimed he had defiled the Alamo, but the infraction occurred across the street at a different memorial. Nonetheless, Ozzy would be banned from the city for ten years.
9. Johnny Cash
Despite limited amenities and lack of privacy, spending the night at the Greybar Hotel isn’t always a bad thing. Johnny Cash wrote “Starkville City Jail” about his experience while locked up in Mississippi — a song which, ironically, he performed on his seminal live album recorded at San Quentin Prison.
Although the revered “Man in Black” protested that he had been simply picking flowers at the time of his arrest, authorities charged him with trespassing and public drunkenness. He was then taken to jail, where Cash kicked the cell wall so hard that he broke his toe. Upon his release the next morning, he took off his shoes and gifted them to his 15-year-old cellmate, saying, “Here’s a souvenir. I’m Johnny Cash.”
8. Charles Barkley
It’s usually best not to say much when being pulled over by the cops — advice NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley could have used on New Year’s eve in 2008. After blowing through a stop sign in Scottsdale, Arizona, the notoriously outspoken player-turned-broadcaster admitted he had been in a hurry to pick a woman for sex. Most lawyers also typically caution against driving drunk with a loaded handgun.
After failing a series of field sobriety tests, Barkley eventually pleaded guilty to two DUI-related counts and one count of the traffic violation. According to the police report, the good-natured “Sir Charles” jokingly offered to tattoo a cop’s name on his rear end if it would get him out of trouble.
7. Courtney Love
Jet-setting around the world in first-class is a perk roundly enjoyed by the rich and famous. However, word count limitations prevent listing all the times Courtney Love insisted on manufacturing turbulence at 35,000 feet.
On a flight from Los Angeles to London in 2003, Love (real name Courtney Harrison) was arrested at Heathrow Airport after the cabin crew on a Virgin Atlantic flight complained that the singer had verbally abused them and refused to put on her seat belt.
Regardless, Virgin CEO Richard Branson welcomed the controversy: “Courtney was a little out of it on the flight on the way over and apologized for her behavior, said Branson. “We are looking forward to flying her back. Perhaps our new slogan should be, ‘Rock stars swear by us.'”
Getting busted in the drive-thru lane isn’t usually an item found on any fast food menu. But for Wu Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB), a routine run for burgers and fries resulted in jail time following his escape from court-mandated rehab in 2000.
Born Russell Jones, the notorious entertainer would ultimately become ensnared by his own celebrity. After pulling into a McDonald’s parking lot in Philadelphia, he became mobbed by fans seeking autographs, which led to cops arriving on the scene. The on-the-lam rapper then jumped into his car and attempted to flee via the drive-thru lane before getting arrested and hauled off to the clink.
5. Keith Moon
At the ripe age of 20, Keith Moon already owned a well-earned reputation as a party animal. So naturally, the legendary drummer of The Who celebrated his 21st birthday by trashing a hotel room and (allegedly) driving a Lincoln Continental into a swimming pool.
The disturbance began innocently enough following a gig in support of Herman’s Hermits in Flint, Michigan, in 1967. Moon, whose capacity for chaos mirrored his prodigious musicianship, initiated a food fight while staying at a Holiday Inn. He then proceeded to get spectacularly hammered, during which he lost a tooth in the ensuing mayhem.
Local cops arrested the pickled percussionist and took him to a dentist’s office, where Moon was apparently so drunk that he didn’t require any anesthetic. Also, the hotel subsequently billed him for $24,000 worth of damages.
4. Amy Winehouse
For most people, attending a Christmas time performance of Cinderella is a delightful experience for all ages. Unless your name is Amy Winehouse. In 2009, the late singer became combative at a show in Buckinghamshire, England — abuse that included yelling obscenities and calling the stepsisters in the play “b*tches.”
When the venue’s manager asked her to change seats — and then refused to serve her another drink (she’d already necked five vodka and Cokes) — Winehouse grabbed him by the hair and unleashed a flurry of punches and kicks. She later pleaded guilty to assault and was granted a conditional discharge, predicated on good behavior to avoid further punishment.
The Milton Keynes magistrates court also ordered the Back to Black songstress to pay £85 in costs and £100 in compensation for the victim. During sentencing, Judge Crabtree told the boozy chanteuse: ‘It is obvious that alcohol played a part.’ Well put, m’lord.
3. Shia LaBeouf
The trappings of fame affect some celebs harder and more frequently than others. Shia Labeouf, for example, even launched an apology tour. One of his more absurd high-profile meltdowns involved getting arrested at a Walgreens in Chicago while trying to buy cigarettes in 2007.
The former child star admitted he had been hitting “the sauce” at an underground nightclub before visiting the drugstore several times. LaBeouf, who had been in town shooting the movie, Eagle Eye, refused to leave the store after knocking over a candy display and getting mouthy with a security guard. This led to his arrest and charges of criminal trespassing, a performance that earned him an overnight stay in the drunk tank.
2. The Rolling Stones
A crucial element to achieving pop superstardom is unwavering swagger — something The Rolling Stones possessed in spades right from the start. In 1965, the band was returning home after a show when they stopped to answer nature’s call at a service station in east London. But when the attendant told the shaggy-haired youths to get lost, Mick Jagger famously declared, “We’ll piss anywhere, man.” And so they did (three of the members, anyway).
Jagger, Bill Wyman, and Brian Jones appeared in West Ham Magistrate Court a few months afterward, charged with insulting behavior and obscene language. They were each fined five pounds and ordered to pay 15 guineas costs, an expense worth every penny for the mad splash of publicity and solidifying their sexy rebel image.
1. Zsa Zsa Gabor
With a penchant for marrying wealthy men and a lavish lifestyle dripping in diamonds, Zsa Zsa Gabor pioneered being famous simply for being famous decades before social media, and duck-lip selfies became en vogue. She managed to continue garnering headlines in her 70s, including an incident that became known as ‘the slap heard round the world.’
On June 14, 1989, Beverly Hills police officer Paul Kramer pulled over the Hungarian-born socialite in her Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible for having expired tags. While Kramer checked for other violations, which revealed an open container of Jack Daniels and an expired license, Gabor drove off. After he chased her down, she responded by whacking him across the chops. Later, the diva claimed to have acted in self-defense, stating her alleged mistreatment was “like Nazi Germany.”
During a media circus trial, Gabor violated a court-imposed gag order by calling prosecution witness Amir Eslaminia, “a little punk with a hairdo like a girl.” She then attempted to atone for the insult, telling him that she spoke Turkish, to which the young man replied, “So? I’m from Iran.” “Well, that’s close,” said Gabor.
She was eventually convicted and sentenced to three days in jail, 120 hours of community service, and $12,937 in fines and restitution. In 1996, the well-publicized dust-up would be parodied in a commercial for Nutrasweet (featuring – and we’re not kidding here – the author of this list as the slapped cop).