It always makes headlines when celebrities are accused of crimes. Just recently, Reese Witherspoon was arrested for disorderly conduct in relation to a DUI incident. Drug and DUI charges seem all too common among the rich and famous. Sometimes they go to rehab and sometimes they have to pay up, but what about major crimes? More often than not, celebrities seem to be found not guilty and acquitted of their felonious charges, but here are a few that did not:
After losing his heavyweight title in 1990, Mike Tyson’s behavior became increasingly erratic. His marriage was falling apart and the rumors about domestic violence were running rampant. Then in 1991 he attended the Miss Black America pageant where he made numerous unwanted advances toward various contestants. Desiree Washington was won over by his celebrity and she agreed to visit him in his hotel room, where he violently forced himself on her. At the trial in 1992, Tyson was convicted and given six years in prison.
The famous Don King, not a boxer, but a boxing promoter was convicted of manslaughter in 1966 before his career even got started. Some say it even jumpstarted it. Before his conviction on those charges he admitted to killing another man while numbers-running in Cleveland, Ohio in 1954. He got off on that charges with a “justifiable homicide” defense. But after pistol-whipping and stomping an employee to death outside of his bar, he couldn’t escape justice. Originally the charges were for second degree murder, but the judge reduced them. He only served four years in prison.
The jovial television personality Martha Stewart found herself tangled in scandal in 2001. After receiving inside information regarding ImClone Systems stock, she avoided an almost $46,000 loss by selling her stock before it plummeted in value. In 2003, she was indicted on an array of charges from obstruction of justice, securities fraud, conspiracy, and perjury. In 2004, she was found guilty of conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators. She received a five-month sentence in prison and two years of supervised release.
When rapper, Lil’ Kim, testified in court in defense of some friends of hers involved in a 2001 shooting outside of a radio station, she apparently didn’t quite tell the truth. As a result, in 2005 she was convicted of three counts of perjury. She was acquitted of the more serious charge – obstruction of justice. She could have faced up to five years in prison for each count, but managed to be sentenced to one.