When we watch TV, go to the movies, or attend concerts (admittedly before Covid), we enjoy watching our favorite stars. But despite being role models for millions, celebrities sometimes break the law. The justice system’s credibility then takes a hit when it all too often looks the other way.
Of course, stars weaken the justice system’s credibility because of their talent, charm, good looks, or wealth which shines so bright it often dazzles judges and juries.
When judges and others authorized to levy consequences bend the rules in celebrity cases, sooner or later the notion of “blindfolded” Lady Justice goes out the window.
I’ve written blogs about how both young and old celebs have been treated – here and here, respectively. Below are short descriptions of a few other celebrities who’ve been arrested according to Vocal.media/criminal for DUIs, drug possession, and theft. Most have skated compared with the likes of you, me, and especially poor minority suspects.
Keeping up with an inebriated Kardashian.
Khloe Kardashian is popular for being one of the famed sisters in “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” But in 2007, Khloe had a run-in with the law that ended in an infamous driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
After her DUI, she was placed on 3 years probation. However she violated the terms of her probation. And so, she was sentenced to 30 days in prison and directed to join an alcohol treatment program.
While a month in jail could be formidable, in reality the Reality Star served only 3 hours, having been released due to jail overcrowding.
Bruno Mars and Catch and Release.
Bruno Mars is one of the most captivating artists in the world. When he’s not captivating fans with his lyrical tenor voice, he charms ’em with classic jazz dance moves. But in 2010, the “Locked Out of Heaven” star almost found himself locked up on felony drug possession charges.
Mars’ partying in Las Vegas had to be cut short when over 2.5 grams of cocaine were found in his bathroom at the Hard Rock Hotel. Mars pleaded guilty to drug possession charges in a quick deal.
Authorities fined the “Grenade” singer $2000 and mandated 200 hours of community service. After Mars completed his hours, a court dropped the felony charges against him. Many feel Mars got a light sentence via plea bargaining.
Stephanie Pratt Has Sticky Fingers
Ms Pratt became a household name with her role in the reality show, “The Hills.” When she was 20 years old, police arrested her for 2nd-degree theft. She and a friend (also part of the young Hollywood “in crowd”) entered a Neiman Marcus store and got caught red-handed stealing $1,300. worth of merchandise. A search revealed that Pratt had marijuana in her purse. Authorities somehow only administered a slap on the wrist.
For a while Pratt, the sister of actor Spencer Pratt, avoided trouble. But in 2009 she was arrested for DUI after attending a birthday party for fellow reality star Heidi Montag.
Pratt got out of jail after paying $5000 bail. The justice system sentenced her to three year’s probation, which she successfully completed.
Robert Downey Jr. & Justice System’s credibility.
The list of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood often includes Robert Downey Jr.. His on-screen charming personality and acting chops keep audiences riveted.
Yet, in the 1990s, the “Iron Man” actor was a different man since he was once arrested on drugs and weapon charges.
In the 1990s, Downey lived a fast life. He often did some very risky things to maintain a drug habit. In 1996, officers stopped him on Sunset Boulevard for speeding. They found the “Natural Born Killers” actor had heroin, cocaine, and a .357 handgun in his car.
Who’s Been Sleeping in My Bed?
A month after the incident, Downey was arrested again. This time, it was for trespassing into a Malibu home a block away from his while out of his mind on booze and cocaine. He was found sleeping in just his underwear in one of the beds in the home! Following the arrest, Downey was sentenced to a 3-year term at a California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility.
However, after a lot of determination and kindly “breaks” due to his parents’ hard work in the film industry, Downey overcame his addiction and got back into the movies as a widely acclaimed actor.
The Prince of Bel-Air Gets Fresh
As an actor, rapper, and film producer, Will Smith is easily one of the most beloved people in entertainment. But, while he’s charming as a performer, he was arrested years ago for criminal conspiracy and aggravated assault.
Early in his career as a singer in 1988 and 1989, Smith spent money freely and underpaid his income taxes. The IRS eventually assessed him $2.8 million in back taxes. They took many of his possessions and garnished his income.
Things got rocky for Smith in 1989. The “Men In Black” star had just won a Grammy Award. Crazily, he soon got into an argument with his record promoter, and the man, William Hendricks, nearly lost his eyesight.
Justice System’s credibility
Police arrested Smith, for criminal conspiracy, accusing him of having his bodyguard beat up Hendricks.
Luckily for Smith, all charges were dismissed, eventually, saving him from doing time in prison.
Comments re the justice system’s credibility.
We need to stop making a mockery of our criminal justice system. It’s not good for society when the system gives preferential treatment to actors, artists, and entertainers we admire. If we don’t follow recommended guidelines in crim justice procedures we weaken the justice system’s credibility.
Criminologist Dr P. Sundramoorthy states “When the system bends the rules in high profile cases, sooner or later, it becomes flawed and [more] rules are broken.”
The law can’t appear to serve personal interests rather than societal interests.
Your turn.Your thoughts.
Is your favorite celebrity included here, whether it’s Downey as Goldilocks or Mars behind Bars? If so, make any additional remarks that seem warranted to you.
Do you have similar stories to share about other celebs?
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