Some celebrities just can’t seem to stay out of legal trouble. Why, when they arguably have it all—money, power, fame—would they risk it all? Is it because as celebrities they are now so controlled that they can’t make a move without a manager, an agent or a publicist saying it’s okay? Are these bad choices their way of acting out or rebelling? Or is it due to some addiction—drug, sex or otherwise? Or, is it because the power makes them feel invincible? Could be any one of these things or combination. Let’s look at the top 3 offenders and see in which category they fall.
August 2016 and Chris Brown is back in the news. He was arrested in his home in Tarzana, CA, charged with assault with a deadly weapon (California Penal Code 245), and released on $250,000 bail. Now, truthfully the story is a little fishy. The victim doesn’t have the cleanest hands or background and seemingly jumped at every television interview she could the day of the alleged crime. But, unfortunately for Brown, a search warrant for his home was issued and guns and drugs were uncovered in a duffle bag right outside. So, even if it turns out he did not hold a gun to the victim and threaten her, there is still the possibility he will be charged with other violations. At the time of this writing we do not know the types of drugs recovered or who owned the gun, but as a convicted felon resulting from his assault on Rihanna, Chris is not supposed to be in possession of a firearm. Perhaps the weapons belonged to one of his houseguests, and maybe the drugs too. That would be good for Chris who posted ranting, aggressive and at times rambling Instagram videos while he holed up in house hours after the alleged incident while waiting for LAPD to return with a search warrant. This one is going to be interesting to monitor! True to our title, Chris Brown has had many a run-in with the law in between his assault on Rihanna in February 2009, for which he plead guilty and this August 2016 situation. There’s, the 2012 fight with Drake’s crew, then the assault on Frank Ocean, a hit and run and then another assault arrest after he grew angry with fans who tried to take a picture with him. A May 2014 arrest for a probation violation. Then there were the allegations levied against him in January 2016 for an alleged assault in Vegas (those charges were dropped). He has also faced legal complaints from his neighbors who say Chris and his friends ride ATVs recklessly on the street and damage their lawns. This is simply too much for one 27 year old musician. One thing is for sure though, Chris Brown needs help and a support system that can truly be there for him.
Like Chris Brown, Lindsay Lohan was back in the news in August 2016 but not for committing a crime; rather she was the victim of alleged domestic violence at the hands of her fiancée, Egor Tarabasov. So far no charges have been filed. Lohan has been in the spotlight since she was a young actress but as she entered her teens she became better known for her legal missteps than her acting chops. In 2007, Lohan was arrested twice, both times for DUI. As a result, she was sentenced to one day in jail, community service, drug treatment programs for her addiction to cocaine, and 3 years of probation. Two years later though in October 2009, after failing to complete all the mandated programs, a year was added on to her probation. In June 2010 she was arrested after she violated a court order mandating that she not consume alcohol while wearing an ankle bracelet; she was sentenced to 90 days in jail. Lucky Lindsay only had to stay for two weeks. In September 2010, she failed a drug test, spent another day in jail, and went back to rehab for three months. For a short while after that, Lindsay was seemingly doing okay. But, not for long. In February 2011 she was charged with that somewhat infamous burglary involving a necklace from a Venice jewelry store. She was sentenced to 120 days in jail and community service but due to overcrowding she served her sentence under house arrest. All that luck and you’d think Lindsay would make better choices. But, Lindsay once again failed to complete her community service and was sent back to jail. Luck was still with her and after a few hours she was released again due to overcrowding. This is when you truly begin to wonder—is this luck or do celebrities get special treatment? Looking at Lindsay’s laundry list it’s hard to say they don’t. On a good note, Lindsay has remained pretty much crime-free for the last few years albeit not without drama as is pretty evident by the events of August 2016.
Charlie Sheen, troubled, rich kid from Malibu, son of famed Hollywood actor, Martin Sheen has spent a large part of his adult life entangled with the law. Generally for involving the same two things: assaults and drugs. Back in 1996, he charged with assaulting a former girlfriend. In 1998, he nearly overdosed on cocaine. Then, in 2006, during his divorce from Denise Richards, there were claims that he physically and verbally abused her, even threatened to kill her. And, in December 2009, he was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault of Denise Richards. He has months in and out of rehab and has also participated in domestic violence counseling. Despite all of that, he was subsequently found naked and drunk in a New York hotel. In 2014, a Los Angeles dental technician sued him for assault and battery. Though he didn’t deny his conduct and blamed in on gas the dentist’s office administered, she ultimately dropped the case. What is clear though is that Charlie Sheen has had drug and anger problem that prevent him from making the best choices and even a supportive family and a lot of rehab have not really helped this Hollywood bad boy stay clean and out of trouble. Now that he is in his 50s maybe age will slow him down, provide him with some clarity and help him walk the straight and narrow.
Alexander Pope said, “to err is human.” Yes, celebs are human but it is troubling that people in their position to be role models, to do the right thing take such risks with their lives as well as those of others. And whether the repeat behavior is due to the pressure of the spotlight, youth, vast wealth, or delusions of superiority, one thing is for sure, these repeat offenders need help. At Proof we urge them to get some—for everybody’s sake.