20 Famous Mugshots of Your Favorite Celebrities
Celebrities are humans too. No matter how much money or power they have, celebrities are still susceptible to doing the wrong thing. While this might be something small like a social media gaff or an offensive comment in an interview they have to apologize for later, it can also be much worse. Drink driving, drug possession, and assault are some of the crimes celebrities have been arrested for over the years. It’s not until their famous mugshots are released that the public realizes how messed up some of these celebrities are.
There have been dozens of celebrities from all walks of life who have found themselves in police custody. While many try and stop their famous mugshot from being released, they inevitably find their way to news reporters and gossip columns. While some of the celebrities look pretty normal and play up to the camera, it’s clear to see others are not in their right mind.
From Jane Fonda and Nick Nolte to Justin Bieber and Bill Gates, here are 20 famous mugshots of your favorite celebrities and the stories behind their arrests.
1. Bill Gates
Bill Gates is probably the last person you’d expect to end up in jail, but the clean-cut computer geek got caught driving without a license in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1977. He also failed to stop at a stop sign.
The arrest didn’t deter Gates from flaunting the law while driving, with the Microsoft founder famously receiving not one, but three speeding tickets while driving his Porsche 911 from New Mexico to Seattle.
2. Jane Fonda
This is one of the most iconic mugshots in history. Actress and activist Jane Fonda looks into the camera with her left arm raised in protest. She was arrested at Cleveland airport after returning from Canada on drug smuggling charges. She had bottles of vitamins that she had cleared with customs, yet were “mistaken” for drugs by American law enforcement.
Fonda wrote about the experience in an essay where she claimed her arrest was under “orders from the White House – that would be the Nixon White House.” Of course, Fonda got off and explained further in her essay. “I was released on bond and months later, after every pill had been tested in a lab (with taxpayer’s money!) The charges were dismissed and there were a few paragraphs hidden in the back of papers that they were vitamins, not drugs.”
The one time Jay-Z lost his cool almost cost him his career. While attending the release party for friend and fellow rapper Q-Tip’s Amplified album, Jay-Z got into a confrontation with record executive Lance “Un” Rivera. Hova believed he was behind the leak of his album Vol. 3…, so like any sane person, he approached Rivera in a crowded club and stabbed him in the guts.
At first pleading not guilty, Jay-Z realized that wasn’t going to work due to the evidence piling up against him. He changed his plea to guilty for third-degree assault to get a lighter sentence. This got Jay three-years probation and he was able to continue his career in the music business, going on to become one of the greats.
4. Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr was a mess during the 90s, although you wouldn’t know it by his smile in this mugshot. Downey Jr was arrested on a bench warrant in 1999 after missing a court-ordered drug test. He was already on probation for a 1996 incident where he was found in possession of heroin, cocaine, and a .357 magnum handgun.
The missed drug test cost him six months in Los Angeles County jail. After his release, you might have thought Downey Jr would get on the straight and narrow. That wasn’t the case, with the Iron Man actor finding himself arrested several more times and heading back to prison.
He finally got his act together and with the help of good friend Mel Gibson, began making movies and resurrecting his career in the early 00s.
5. Jimi Hendrix
Riding high and at the peak of his career, guitarist virtuoso Jimi Hendrix found himself in trouble with the law. Flying into Toronto for a tour, Hendrix was detained by customs officers who searched his luggage and found what they believed to be small amounts of heroin and hashish. He was arrested, charged, and released on bail.
It took seven months before Hendrix stood trial, during which time the stress of 20 years in prison clearly took its toll on him. After a three-day trial, the jury deliberated for a further eight hours and found Hendrix not guilty. There wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove that the drugs were his.
Many believe Hendrix was set up as part of a police crackdown on rockstars, as he was never a known heroin user.
6. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan has been arrested so many times her mugshots could make an entire article. She has been arrested for drunk driving, drug possession, and various other misdemeanor crimes.
This mugshot was taken when Lohan was sent to Lynwood Jail in California for probation violations. She was to serve three months in jail followed by 90 days in a rehab facility. This wasn’t the first or last time Lohan found herself behind bars, but thankfully she appears to be in a good space these days, with her run-ins with the law a thing of the past.
7. Pablo Escobar
For someone who just got arrested, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar looks pretty happy in his mugshot. It’s theorized that Escobar knew he wouldn’t be detained long due to his influence.
The mugshot was taken in 1977 after Escobar and some of his crew were arrested for transporting cocaine. At that time he was running much of the cocaine through Columbia and had a policy; “plata o plomo,” which translates to “silver or lead.” Escober offered a bribe or a bullet to the head. But this time it didn’t work and he ended up in jail. His case kept getting passed around and then the arresting officer was mysterious killed, meaning there was no case against Escobar, who walked free.
8. Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr was arrested an astonishing 30 times during his short life. But unlike other famous people who ended up in handcuffs for drug possession, resisting arrest, or domestic abuse, King Jr was only fighting for his people’s freedom.
The above mugshot was taken after King Jr was arrested for a protest boycotting segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 24, 1956. This was not long after Rosa Parks found herself on the wrong side of the law for failing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person.
The boycott lasted 385 days, in which King Jr’s house was bombed, but ended when the United States District Court issued a ruling that racial segregation on buses was illegal.
9. Johnny Cash
The Man in Black found himself on the wrong side of the law a few times during his life, none more so than in October of 1965. Johnny Cash was arrested in El Paso, Texas with 688 amphetamines capsules and 475 sedative tablets hidden in his guitar case. Police believed he was smuggling heroin, but it turned out Cash just had a load of prescription pills on him. Because of this he received a suspended sentence and was released on a $1,500 bond.
Surprisingly despite all his run-ins with the law and image as a tough guy and lawbreaker, Cash never served time behind bars.
10. Nick Nolte
Similar to James Brown’s famous mugshot, Nick Nolte looks like he’s been through the wringer. Wearing a bright Hawaiian shirt with his frazzled hair sticking out, Notle certainly looks like he’s doing it tough. This mugshot was taken after he was arrested in 2002 on a driving and drug charge.
Nolte was under the influence of GBH and pleaded no contest to the charges. He was given three years probation and had to undergo alcohol and drug testing as part of his sentence.
Talking about the experience in his memoir, Nolte wrote; “It went viral – my hair wild, my expression unsettling, looking like an asylum inmate out for a lark. In 1992, People magazine had named me the ‘Sexiest Man Alive,’ and now, 10 years later, I looked to all the world like a madman.”
11. Frank Sinatra
Ol Blue Eyes’ infamous mugshot came about after he committed the unusual crime of seduction. This is when a man or woman tricks someone into having sexual intercourse with them.
At the age of 23, long before his days as a crooning legend, Frank Sinatra was busted for this crime after promising his ex-girlfriend he would marry her so he could have sex with her. Fortunately for Sinatra, the woman was already married, which made her claims a bit of stretch. Still, the judge wanted to punish the upstart and he was charged with adultery. This charge was eventually dropped and Sinatra went on to have one of the great careers in Hollywood.
12. James Brown
The “Godfather of Soul” looks like he’s been on a 24-hour bender in his famous mugshot. Appearing disheveled with a three-day growth and his hair all over the place, this mugshot was splashed all over newspapers and TV broadcasts in 2004. He was arrested in South Carolina on domestic violence charges. Brown pleaded no contest and served no jail time.
This wasn’t his only arrest, with Brown having run afoul of the law multiple times during his life. Theft, assault, rape, drug, and gun-related incidents fill out Brown’s police jacket.
13. Justin Bieber
It shouldn’t have been a surprise when pop star Justin Bieber got arrested in 2014. A child star who became a heartthrob as a teen, Bieber was always destined to go through a “troubled” phase. After being chastised for pissing in a bucket and acting like a general nuisance in public, Bieber finally found himself in cuffs.
He was initially arrested for allegedly drag-racing a yellow Lamborghini through the streets of Miami Beach, Florida. He was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and resisting arrest without violence. Bieber copped a plea bargain and ended up having to only pay a $500 fine and attend a 12-hour anger management course. He also donated $50,000 to local children’s charity Our Kids.
14. Jim Morrison
If you’re wondering why Jim Morrison looks so young and fresh-faced in his mugshot, it’s because it was taken a few years before he became the frontman of the Doors. 19-year-old Morrison was arrested for a string of offenses while watching his university football team, the Florida State Seminoles.
The charges leveled against Morrison included petty larceny, disturbing the peace, public intoxication, and resisting arrest after he stole a policeman’s hat. Despite all the chargers, Morrison walked free and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles.
15. Nicole Richie
Despite being under the influence of drugs, Nicole Richie still manages to look good in her mugshot. The daughter of Lionel was arrested in 2006 after failing a sobriety test. It was reported she was seen driving erratically and had driven up an exit ramp and into oncoming traffic.
Charged with driving under the influence, Richie admitted to using marijuana and popping a few Vicodin before her arrest. She was sentenced to four days at the Century Regional Detention Center but incredibly only spent 82 minutes locked up. Due to overcrowding, Richie was released early as she wasn’t deemed a threat to society. She entered an 18-month anti-drinking program and got off parole in 2010.
16. Bruno Mars
The pint-sized singer got on the wrong side of the law in 2010 when he was arrested in the bathroom of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas with a little yayo in his possession. Having never been in trouble with the law before, the public was a little shocked when Mars got caught.
He pleaded guilty to the charges but was told if he stayed clean and out of trouble for a year, the charge would be struck from his criminal record. He also paid a $2,000 fine and completed a drug counseling course and 200 hours of community service.
Mars spoke about the situation with GQ magazine in 2013 and seemed quite remorseful. “I was young, man! I was in fucking Vegas… I wasn’t thinking.” He added: “I was given a number one record and I’m out doing dumb shit. I was really intoxicated. I was really drunk. So a lot of that is a big blur, and I try every day to forget.”
17. Tiger Woods
The world was shocked when Tiger Woods was found to be a serial cheater who indulged in frequent sex with prostitutes while portraying the happy family man to the public. The 2009 scandal ended his marriage and sent him on a downwards spiral. Somehow he managed to restore his reputation, and after a brief hiatus from golf, got back to his winning ways.
But Woods carefully manipulated public person took another dent when he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. As you can see from the mugshot, Woods wasn’t in a very good place. He was found by police unconscious in his car that was still running and parked in a stationary position in traffic.
Woods only ended up being charged for reckless driving, resulting in the former number one golfer being fined $250, put on a year’s probation, and ordered to undergo 50 hours of community service. He also had to submit regular drug tests and would be thrown in jail if caught drinking.
18. Al Capone
Famous Chicago gangster Al Capone managed to evade authorities for years as he built his criminal empire. He was arrested numerous times but nothing ever landed him hard jail time. This mugshot was taken after Capone was arrested for vagrancy when visiting Miami Beach. Of course, he got off and went about his business.
Just a year later Scarface found himself up on tax evasion charges, and this time they stuck. Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison but ultimately only served eight due to the onset of neurosyphilis, an infection of the central nervous system that turned his brain to mush. He died not long after his release.
19. Hugh Grant
Just as he was about to break into America, English actor Hugh Grant found himself in the news for all the wrong reasons. Grant was arrested on June 27, 1995, after being caught with his pants down, literally. Grant was receiving oral from sex work Divine Brown when Vice cops swooped.
Grant looks very sheepish in his mugshot and pleaded no contest. He was fined a paltry $1,180, put on a two-year probation, and court-ordered to attend an AIDS education course.
While it did impact his career at the time, a few hit movies later and Grant was finally fulfilling his potential as a leading man and became one of the UK’s most successful modern actors.
20. David Bowie
The 70s were a great time musically for David Bowie, but not so personally. In the throws of drug addiction, Bowie found himself near death on multiple occasions. He also got himself arrested in 1976 on drug charges after a show at the Community War Memorial Arena in New York.
It wasn’t just Bowie who got fingered, with musician and tour buddy Iggy Pop and a couple of other hangers-on getting pinched. The four were said to be in possession of about half a pound of weed. They were released on bail for $2,000 and all charges were eventually dropped.
It’s believed this incident led to Bowie never playing in Rochester again,
See more about - 18 Blacklisted Actors In Hollywood