Sometimes, being famous isn’t as glamorous as it seems. The stress of being famous can lead people to make poor decisions, such as getting involved in scandals or spending too much money.
Pop star Shakira is currently being tried in Spain for alleged tax fraud and faces up to eight years in prison if found guilty. However, a fall from grace need not be irreversible. Some celebrities have done time in prison and were able to turn their life around, make a comeback, and construct very lucrative careers.
1. 50 Cent
Once incarcerated, the popular rapper showed that he could make it to the top. 50 Cent spent six months in prison for dealing cocaine, heroin, and a starter gun, as recounted in the semi-autobiographical film Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
It is also common knowledge that 50 Cent has been shot nine times (a bullet fragment is still lodged in his tongue).
2. Michelle Rodriguez
Michelle Rodriguez was first sentenced to 60 days in jail for a probation violation in 2006 but was freed after only four hours and twenty minutes due to overcrowding. One year later, the actress breached her probation again.
She wore a monitoring bracelet but nevertheless admitted to drinking alcohol on at least three occasions and failed to do community service. After that, she received a prison term of one year and eighty days.
3. Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney, despite being a major music star at the time, was apparently not famous enough in Japan to avoid being arrested. In 1980, McCartney was arrested at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport for attempting to import half a pound of marijuana into the country. He was released after 9 days, which was, according to the Japanese police, enough time for him to learn his lesson.
4. Robert Downey Jr.
Before becoming Iron Man, RDJ had to overcome significant obstacles. In 1999, he was sentenced to three years in jail after many events involving drug arrests and failure to comply with the courts.
In August 2000, he was freed early after serving just about a year in prison. He dabbled in cocaine after his release, but in 2005, put his troubled past behind him to have a family and become the brilliant actor we know him as now.
5. Tim Allen
Before Allen became everybody’s favorite dad on Home Improvement, he was arrested in 1978 for trafficking cocaine. Though he risked life in jail, he served only five years for turning over the names of 21 persons he had worked with in the narcotics trade.
After landing the role of Mike Baxter on the canceled ABC comedy Last Man Standing, Allen never looked back.
6. Mark Wahlberg
In 1988, Johnny Trinh reported that Wahlberg had assaulted him. Following his conviction on charges of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled substance, Wahlberg spent 45 days in Deer Island House of Correction out of a total 90-day sentence.
He petitioned to have the occurrence removed from his record, and Trinh has publicly indicated that he forgives Wahlberg for the incident. Wahlberg committed the deed at the age of 16, but he is better known today for his acting roles.
In his early years, the now-billionaire rapper-entrepreneur dealt drugs. Jay-Z even claims that his time spent selling drugs helped him succeed in the music business.
8. Danny Trejo
At just 10 years old, Danny Trejo was detained for the first time. Two years later, he endured his first detention at Eastlake Juvenile Hall. Trejo spent eleven years moving in and out of the jail system for robbery and drug peddling. His final prison sentence began in 1965 when he was caught selling four ounces of heroin to an undercover federal agent.
During that time in 1968 (Trejo was 24), he was part of a prison riot that earned him solitary confinement when he beat a guard in the head with a rock. He was released after serving five years of his ten-year sentence. After his release, Trejo became sober and began working as a substance abuse counselor.
In 1984, he was invited on-set to aid an actor who was battling with his own sobriety — and got cast in the film. He has since appeared in at least 150 different movies and TV shows (though some estimates are much higher) (though some estimates are much higher).
He’s also currently the proprietor of a rapidly developing restaurant business headquartered out of Los Angeles, which includes Trejo’s Tacos, Trejo’s Cantina, Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts, and recently co-authored a cookbook.
9. Wesley Snipes
After being found guilty in 2008 of willful refusal to file federal income tax returns, Wesley Snipes reported completing his term in 2010. Snipes petitioned for an appeal in 2011 which the Supreme Court declined to hear.
He was released in April 2013 and stayed on the home arrest until that July to carry out his term. Snipes’ acting career didn’t end with his prison stint. He continues to star in feature films to this day including 2019’s “Dolemite Is My Name” and 2021’s “Coming 2 America.”
10. Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson had a rocky relationship that was publicly known. In 1998, Lee received six months in county jail after being jailed for kicking Anderson while she held their kid. Lee subsequently had a successful music career, both as a solo artist and as a member of Mötley Crüe.
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