10 Shocking Crimes Committed by Celebrities



10 Shocking Crimes Committed by Celebrities

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Don Ekama
These celebrity crimes will shock you! For this list, we'll be looking at famous people who have been convicted of some despicable crimes. Our countdown includes Matthew Broderick, Mark Wahlberg, R. Kelly, and more!

10 Shocking Crimes Committed by Celebs

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the 10 Shocking Crimes Committed by Celebs.

For this list, we’ll be looking at famous people who have been convicted of some despicable crimes. We’ll specifically be considering criminal cases that resulted in a conviction, so alleged crimes and civil suits will not be included.

Which of these celebrities are you most surprised to see on this list? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Careless Driving

Matthew Broderick

Matthew Broderick may be beloved in America for his roles in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and 1994’s “The Lion King,” but he isn’t quite adored across the pond. While driving in Northern Ireland with his then-girlfriend, actress Jennifer Grey, Broderick veered onto the wrong lane and crashed into another car. The two actors survived the accident with significant injuries. But the passengers in the other car - 28 year old Anna Gallagher and her mother, Margaret Doherty - lost their lives on the spot. Broderick was initially charged with causing death by dangerous driving. However, he got off with the lesser conviction of careless driving and a $175 fine. The victims’ family was dissatisfied with the sentence, describing it as “a travesty of justice.”

#9: Drug Trafficking

Tim Allen

It may be hard to picture this family-friendly actor and comedian getting arrested for moving illegal substances but that actually happened. Before his “Home Improvement” days Tim Allen was caught with over 650 grams of cocaine at the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport. in Michigan. After being arrested and pleading guilty to felony drug trafficking charges, the actor was faced with the possibility of life in prison. However, he cut a deal with prosecutors and received a reduced sentence of three to seven years, in exchange for giving up other dealers. Luckily, he was able to get his life back on track and has been sober since 1998.

#8: Perjury

Lil’ Kim

In February 2001, Sufi Jackson and Damon Butler, who were Lil’ Kim’s bodyguard and manager respectively, were involved in a shootout outside a radio station in New York. The event left one man severely injured. During their trial, the rapper testified in front of a grand jury that she hadn’t seen either of the two men at the scene on that fateful day. However, surveillance footage was uncovered that proved all three of them were together in front of the building. This resulted in Lil’ Kim being convicted of perjury for lying to a federal grand jury. Despite maintaining her innocence throughout the trial, she got a one-year prison sentence four years after the unfortunate crime.

#7: Felony Assault

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg may be a movie star and successful businessman now, but his teenage years were quite tumultuous. By the time he was 15, Wahlberg had gotten hooked on substances, dropped out of high school and taken to court over a racially-charged assault. His most significant crime occurred at 16, when he assaulted two Vietnamese-American men with a large wooden stick and his fists. The actor pleaded guilty to felony assault and received a two-year jail sentence. However, he ended up spending just forty-five days inside before he was released. Later on, Wahlberg met with one of his victims to render a formal apology for his terrible actions. He also once tried to have his conviction pardoned.

#6: Felony Assault

Chris Brown

The assault case of Chris Brown against his then-girlfriend and fellow musician Rihanna dominated the news cycle in the late 2000s. This shocking incident occurred in February of 2009, when the singers got into a heated argument that ended with Brown hitting Rihanna. While she sustained visible injuries and was hospitalized , he later turned himself in to the police. After pleading guilty to felony assault, he was given a sentence of five years probation and six months of community service. The singer would go on to violate his probation only four years later. After the latter incident, he served time at a regional jail in Virginia.

#5: Racketeering

Allison Mack

After appearing as Chloe Sullivan on the long-running CW superhero series “Smallville,” Allison Mack mostly withdrew from the spotlight. She would later become the subject of media attention in 2018 when she was named as a close confidant and enabler for cult leader Keith Raniere. As a member of Raniere’s cult “NXIVM,” Mack helped recruit women who would be severely mistreated. She was initially charged with trafficking crimes, forced labor and more. But after cooperating with investigators on Raniere’s prosecution, she negotiated a plea deal for the lesser charge of racketeering. While she was sentenced to three years in prison, Raniere received a hefty 120-year sentence.

#4: Mistreating Dogs

Michael Vick

Arguably one of the most electrifying quarterbacks in NFL history, Michael Vick built a reputation for himself with his remarkable rushing abilities. His impressive career was overshadowed in 2007 when news of his involvement with an illegal dog fighting ring came to light. Vick was indicted on federal and state felony charges for running events, participating in related high-stakes gambling and causing the ends of several dogs. He pleaded guilty to sponsoring the venture and was sentenced to 23 months in a federal prison. Due to the backlash from the case, the football player lost several endorsement deals and was let go by the Atlanta Falcons.

#3: Exploitation & Many Other Crimes

R. Kelly

Since the 1990s, R. Kelly has been accused of committing shocking crimes against people younger than him. In 2002, the singer was arrested and indicted on 21 counts of a terrible crime after a video that allegedly showed him performing his violations was released. The case was closed in 2008, however, after the singer was acquitted of all charges. But then people saw the harrowing interviews and accounts from various people in the “Surviving R. Kelly” docu series. Their words helped rekindle media attention on all the allegations leveled against Kelly. He was later indicted on 18 federal charges related to assault and committing crimes against younger people. Kelly was found guilty in 2021 of nine charges and is still awaiting sentencing as of April 2022.

#2: Taking A Life

Phil Spector

Phil Spector became a leading music figure in the 60s and 70s after co-founding his own record label at just 21. He produced music for renowned acts like the Beatles, and Ike & Tina Turner. After nearly three decades of relative inactivity, Spector was arrested in 2003 for taking the life of actress and model Lana Clarkson. That morning, Clarkson had followed Spector home from her night gig hosting at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. But he would later fatally wound her. Spector was tried twice for the crime. After the 2007 trial ended in a mistrial, the second series of proceedings two years later saw him convicted and handed a sentence of nineteen years to life.

#1: Assault

Bill Cosby

Throughout his nearly six-decade career as an actor and stand-up comedian, Bill Cosby built a reputation as a charismatic family man that brought America together. Behind the scenes, however, he was plagued with numerous allegations that date as far back as 1965. Since then, approximately sixty women have come forward with allegations that range from assault to misconduct. In 2015, Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault based on a 2004 incident involving Andrea Constand, a former basketball player. He was convicted of the crime in 2018. However, he had his conviction overturned due to violations of his due process rights by the prosecution.