Celebrity arrests can ruin careers or, alternatively, add to a celebrity’s legendary status. Some celebrities have even bounced back and turned their careers around after being arrested. Here are some of the most notorious celebrity arrests ever made.
Oscar-nominated actress and critics’ darling Winona Ryder made headlines in 2001 when she was arrested for shoplighting $5,000 worth of clothes at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. It was a shocking development in the life of one of the most famous young actresses of the ’90s, who had starred in such films as Beetlejuice, Heathers, and Reality Bites and garnered awards attention for Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence and Little Women.
Ryder was sentenced to three years of probation, community service and counseling, and for a while her career was on the backburner.
However, in recent years Ryder has made a triumphant comeback as the star of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, garnering Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her role as Joyce Byers.
If you’ve lived a wild life, are a rich and famous lead singer in a hard rock band, what can you do to get even more attention? Well, if it’s 1982 and you’re in San Antonio, Texas, you urinate on a national monument. That’s when Ozzy Osbourne got arrested at the Alamo.
Ozzy claims he didn’t mean to desecrate the Alamo: he just needed to go and he was just looking for a place with some privacy. Ozzy was banned from the Alamo and even from playing in San Antonio at the time.
Ten years later, Ozzy apologized with a $10,000 donation to the Alamo, which lifted the ban. But Ozzy didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to revisit the monument until 2015, when he and his son Jack went to the Alamo for their History Channel show Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour.
Robert Downey Jr.
It’s hard to imagine now that he’s spent the better part of the last decade appearing in Marvel films, but there was once a time when the man behind Iron Man found himself on the wrong side of the law.
That time was mid-’90s to early 2000s. Downey Jr. was first arrested in 1996 on drug-related charges. He receive three years of probation, but was arrested once more in 1999 when he failed to perform his mandatory drug test. He spent nearly a year in a state prison and substance abuse treatment facility, but continued to have trouble with drugs and the law when he got out.
Overall, Robert Downey Jr. has been arrested six times on drug offenses, but he finally got sober in 2003. Five years later, he starred in Iron Man and the rest is history.
The West Wing star Martin Sheen holds the celebrity record for getting arrested 66 times. Sheen says he feels no shame over his arrests as they were for trespassing and civil disobedience charges related to protesting political causes such as Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” initiative. Recalling his “Star Wars” arrest, Sheen said, “It was a terrifying experience, and also one of the happiest days of my life, because it turned out we had done everything we possibly could to object to this idea.”
Sheen has stayed out of trouble with the law for a long time, though. It’s been over 10 years since his last arrest in 2007 for trespassing on a nuclear testing facility in Nevada.
Eternally baby-faced pop singer Justin Bieber spent his later teen years desperately trying to build a tough guy reputation. He was arrested on charges of drunk driving, resisting arrest and driving without a license when he was caught street racing in 2014 at the age of 19.
You might think Bieber finally succeeded in earning a bad boy reputation when Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies presented a warrant to search Bieber’s mansion in Calabasas, California for evidence in a felony vandalism investigation that year.
However, the “felony vandalism” Bieber was accused of was egging his neighbor’s house, causing an estimated $20,000 in damage.