Normally, Hollywood is known for its bright lights, glitz, and glamor. Celebrities have staff to help them look their best for photo shoots and public appearances. They look polished hand professional on the red carpet. Producers and professional photographers work hard to get the best shots possible.
Most celebrities also work hard to earn a good reputation and keep it. Some celebrities are political activists. Many have a favorite cause, such as animal rights.
As the old saying goes, “all that glitters is not golden.” Hollywood has a dark underside. Fame and fortune are not always what they appear to be, either.
Golden images can be undone in an instant. News of celebrity arrests and the associated mug shots go viral quickly thanks to social media and the internet.
10. Nicole Richie
California Highway Patrol officers arrested Lionel Richie’s daughter in December 2006 for DUI. Preliminary tests indicated that she was not under the influence of alcohol, but she did admit to smoking marijuana.
“[W]hen the officers came into contact with the SUV in the carpool lane, it was at a complete stop facing the right direction, in the city of Burbank. When officers approached, the vehicle was taken off the highway and Richie was arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs,” Patrol Officer Todd Workman told People .
9. Ken Lay
The former Enron CEO will be remembered for the corporate scandal that brought down energy giant Enron Corporation. Lay became CEO and chairman of the board in 1986. He retired for a short time in 2001, but took the reins again after successor Jeffrey Skilling abruptly resigned. He was indicted by a grand jury in July 2004 on ten charges, including conspiracy and securities fraud. He died of a heart attack before he could be sentenced in July 2006.
“Enron was his creation, he nursed it like a child, and the death of Enron was like the death of a child to him,” attorney Michael Ramsey told CNN Money .
Image: By United States Marshals Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
8. Phil Specter
This music producer is best known for his “wall of sound” recording technique. His best known songs include “You Lost that lovin’ feelin’” and “Be my baby.” Specter’s last major project included work on the Ramones’ collection End of the Century.
He was arrested ten years ago on suspicion of murder.
A limousine driver called police at 5 a.m. to report hearing gunshots at Specter’s gated estate. When police arrived, they found Lana Clarkson’s body in the foyer. Police arrested him immediately.
“None of this equates[.] He has been in great spirits and great shape, and feeling so good about everything. This doesn’t fit into what I know about him and where he is,” guitarist Dave Kessel told The Los Angeles Times .
Image: By LAPD [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
7. Bernard Madoff
Bernard Madoff was arrested December 11, 2008 in one of the greatest Ponzi schemes of all time.
The Ponzi scheme takes money from new investors to pay back previous investors. The scam got its name from Charles Ponzi. During the 1920’s, he made a name for himself by promising hefty returns on stamps.
Madoff also promised double-digit returns on investments. His scheme may have continued undetected if the economy had not collapsed in 2008. Several non-profits and other charities worldwide lost millions of dollars. Many people lost their entire life savings. Although his business is in bankruptcy, most of that money will likely never be recovered.
Frontline has a timeline of the scam here .
Image: By U.S. Department of Justice [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
6. Richard Ramirez
The infamous Night Stalker terrorized women in California during the mid-1980’s.
Ramirez earned his nickname for committing his violent crimes at night. He was tried and convicted on 43 counts. Thirteen of those charges were murders.
His photograph was widely circulated in the media. Local residents helped the police catch him.
Ramirez died of natural causes at Martin General Hospital last month.
“Richard Ramirez hurt a lot of people and I think our thoughts should be with the next of kin and the survivors, because their lives were forever changed by this man,” Los Angeles prosecutor Alan Yochelson told Rueters .
Image: By San Quentin State Prison, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (http://www.theserialkillers.info/?Richard-Ramirez) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
5. Rod Blagojevich
The former Illinois governor was arrested on corruption charges for trying to sell President Barack Obama’s former Senate seat. Prosecutors also accused him of trying to use his political office for personal financial gain.
Blagojevich was convicted in June 2011. He did not testify in his own defense.
“Governor Blagojevich has always stood up and stood tall. He hasn’t hid. And he has truly enjoyed being out in public. He never considered ‘sneaking’ out of Chicago and miss an opportunity to say goodbye,” spokesman Glenn Selig told Cnn .
He will spend 14 years in a Colorado prison.
4. Wesley Snipes
Federal authorities arrested actor Wesley Snipes at Orlando International Airport in 2006 on charges of income tax evasion. Snipes had just returned from filming a movie in Africa.
Snipes starred in 1991’s Jungle Fever. He is best known for playing the lead role in the Bladetrilogy.
Prosecutors accuse him of not paying $12 million in taxes and filing income tax returns from 1999 to 2006. Snipes will finish serving his three-year sentence at home.
3. Ryan O’Neal
O’Neal began his acting career with a role on Peyton Place. He has recurring roles on the show Bones. He has also played roles in three movies.
Ryan has been arrested several times over the years, mostly for drug problems.
Authorities arrested Ryan in 2007 for assault after he had a fight with his son, Griffin O’Neal. The reason for the fight remains unclear.
“Deputies determined that Mr. Griffin O’Neal was assaulted by his father during a family dispute,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. John Benedict told People magazine.
Ryan’s most recent arrest came in September 2008 when he and his son were arrested for drug possession.
Image: By Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
2. Ted Stevens
FBI agents arrested former Alaska senator Ted Stevens in 2008. Authorities accuse him of hiding gifts on his financial disclosure forms required that are required by the senate.
Federal agents thoroughly investigated the connection between Stevens and the VECO Corporation. Whenever the company needed help navigating bureaucratic red tape, they called Stevens for help. They gave him gifts, such as a new generator, in return.
VECO founder Bill Allen called Stevens for help in 2006, when a bill stalled in the legislature. He asked Stevens to use his connections to push the bill through.
“I’m gonna try to see if I can get some bigwigs from back here to go up there and say, ‘Look, uh, you just gotta make up your mind, you gotta get this done,'” Stevens said in a phone call, according to court documents .
1 Theodore Kaczynski
Theodore Kaczynski, better known as “the Unabomber,” was a brilliant mathematician and former professor. Authorities arrested him at his modest home in Montana in 1996.
He mailed several bombs over a twenty year period from 1975 to 1995. Twenty three unsuspecting people were injured when they opened the package.
The turning point in the investigation came when Kaczynski mailed a 35,000 word manifesto to the New York Times. He threatened to blow up an airplane if the newspaper did not comply. In a press release , the FBI debated whether or not to allow newspapers to publish the letter. Attorney General Janet Reno approved the publication in the hope that someone would recognize the author.
That proved to be the right decision in this case. Theodore’s brother David read the manifesto in the newspaper. He recognized his estranged brother’s writing style, and he contacted authorities.