Whether it’s Hollywood or Bollywood, stars end up in the limelight for all the wrong reasons in both the film industries. In this list, I have listed the top ten actors who have spent time in jail. Read on to know how, why and when they managed to get themselves tossed behind the bars.
10- Chris Klein
The American actor is best known for his characterization of Chris Ostreicher in the ‘American Pie’ series. On February 5, 2005, he was arrested for drunk driving in San Diego. Soon after, his engagement with Katie Holmes was called off. The actor maintained that his arrest had nothing to do with his broken engagement. In 2010, he was arrested for the second time for driving under the influence of alcohol again, this time in Los Angeles. He served out his time in a private city jail. The actor spent four days or 96 hours in jail for the repeat offence. He also faced four years probation and alcohol education classes.
9- Tim Allen
This lovable comedian served time in prison! I don’t know about you but I was definitely shocked when I came across this piece of information. Tim Allen is known for lending his voice to the character of Buzz Lightyear in ‘The Toy Story’ series. He is also a famous TV actor who appeared in ‘Home Improvement’ and is currently playing the lead in ‘Last Man Standing.’ Back to the jail time, however. In 1978, Allen was arrested from the Battle Creek International Airport, Detroit, for possession of almost a pound of cocaine. He pled guilty to drug trafficking charges and avoided life imprisonment only by naming other drug dealers. He was then sentenced for five years in prison out of which he spent two years and four months at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minnesota, after which he was released on parole in July 1981. In 1997, he was arrested again for driving under the influence of alcohol (he almost tripped backwards when he was pulled over and had .15 percent blood-alcohol content) and had to undergo rehabilitation for alcohol abuse
8- Monica Bedi
Monica Bedi is an Indian actress who has acted in movies like ‘Jaanam Samjha Karo’ and ‘Jodi No. 1’. Bedi has acted in Tollywood movies apart from Bollywood, and also appeared in TV shows like ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’. She is, however, best known for being gangster Abu Salem’s girlfriend. Abu Salem was wanted in India for his connection to the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. In 2002, Monica Bedi and Abu Salem were arrested in Portugal by the Lisbon police for entering the country using forged documents. Monica was using a fake passport in the name of Fouzia from Bhopal. She spent time in a jail in Portugal before being extradited to India in 2005. In September 2006, an Indian Court convicted Bedi on charges of passport forgery. The Supreme Court later upheld this verdict. She was lodged in the Chanchalguda Women’s Prison after she was deported from Portugal to India. All in all, Monica Bedi has spent approximately five years in jail after being accused of forgery.
7- Danny Trejo
The Hollywood badass. The tough guy. Everyone’s favourite villain. As it turns out, however, Danny Trejo was a real life badass even before he found fame in Hollywood. The American actor, best known for his roles in movies like ‘Desperado’, ‘Machete’ and ‘Heat’, had served eleven years in prison before he became a big name in Hollywood. Danny was in and out of prison for eleven years on armed robbery and drug related charges. He served time in the Holmesburg Prison, Folsom State Prison and the San Quentin State Prison. After successfully overcoming his drug addiction, Trejo was released from prison in 1972. Interesting fact- Trejo landed his job in the movie ‘Runaway Train’ indirectly because of the screenplay writer Edward Bunker. Bunker recognized Trejo as he himself had served time in San Quentin. He offered to pay Danny $320 dollars a day to train the hero of the movie in boxing- a skill that Danny had picked up in prison. Danny Trejo is one rare example of a man who wasn’t lead astray by the glamour of the film industry, but actually found stability in it.
6- Wesley Snipes
Tax evasion. Well at least it is different from the run of the mill drug addiction cases. Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes served two years in prison for tax evasion. He was formally charged with tax evasion amongst other things in 2006. In April 2008, Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for failure to file his federal income tax returns. He finally appeared in jail only in 2010 after filing a number of appeals. Snipes was very recently released from McKean Federal Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania in April 2013.
5- Shiney Ahuja
The rising actor had everything going for him before his career came to an abrupt halt. After winning the Filmfare Award for the Best Debut for his film ‘Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi’ and starring in successful commercial ventures like ‘Gangster’ and critically acclaimed ones like ‘Khoya Khoya Chaand’, everyone though Shiney Ahuja was the next big thing in Bollywood. In 2009, Shiney was accused by his domestic help of raping her. He was arrested in June 2009. His repeated attempts at obtaining bail were all turned down. Shiney finally got bail from the Mumbai High Court in September 2009 after spending three months in jail. In 2011, he was convicted by a fast track court of raping his 20 year old maid and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment. He sought and obtained bail after spending 27 days in Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.
4- Robert Downey Jr
Star kids seem easily susceptible to misdemeanors that land them in jail. In the case of Robert Downey Jr, this happened because of constant drug and substance abuse. The son of actor, director and producer Robert Downey Sr, Downey Jr was ‘surrounded by drugs’ right from his childhood. His father, himself an addict, allowed Downey Jr to use marijuana at the age of six! Little surprise, then, that this Hollywood actor was in constant trouble with the law because of his drug problem. In between 1996 and 2001, Downey was arrested several times on drug related charges. In an interview with Britain’s GQ magazine, the actor has been quoted as saying that he can’t believe that he stayed out of jail for as long as he did. Some embarrassing circumstances of his arrest included driving under influence with a revolver, driving his Porsche naked and hallucinating on drugs and sleeping in his 11 year old neighbour’s bed while high on cocaine. Downey finished with drugs for good in 2005 when he married producer Susan Levin. He is currently one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood.
3- Salman Khan
Salman Khan is the son of famous actor and screenwriter Salim Khan and made his debut in the 1988 movie ‘Biwi Ho Toh Aisi’. Salman Khan or ‘Sallu Bhai’ as he is affectionately known in the industry, is known for his frequent run-ins with the law besides his successful Bollywood career. In September 2002 he was arrested for rash and negligent driving which caused the death of one person and injured three others. Though the charges were later dropped, trouble did not end just there for the actor. In 2006, he was formally charged with imprisonment for killing a black buck or a chinkara during the shooting off his movie ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ in 1998. Salman was charged under the ‘Wildlife Protection Act’ by a Rajasthan Court, while his co-actors Tabu, Saif Ali Khan and Sonali Bendre were also charged with lesser offences. Salman Khan was sent to jail after being accused of poaching in 1998 and again in 2006. He managed to obtain bails in both cases. In 2007 he was sent to jail for the third time. He was lodged at the Jodhpur Central Jail.
2- Sanjay Dutt
Son of legendary actors Sunil Dutt and Nargis, Sanjay Dutt seemed destined for stardom from the moment he made his debut in ‘Rocky’ in 1981. However, his entire career has been riddled with controversies, court trials and jail time. The first time he was jailed was in 1982, when he was arrested for possession of cocaine. He spent five months in jail. In April 1993, Dutt was arrested under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) for involvement in the 1993 bomb blasts. The charges leveled against him included illegal possession of arms and housing weapons used in the serial blasts. The arrest, incidentally, happened just three weeks before the release of his film ‘Khalnayak’ in which he plays a hardened criminal. After that, the actor has been in and out of jail several times. In between 2006 and 2007, he spent seven months at the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai and other jails in Pune. By March 2013, Dutt had already spent 18 months in jail at different time periods. In March 2013, the Supreme Court upheld his five year sentence under the TADA. Sanjay Dutt is currently in jail, serving time.
1- Lindsay Lohan
Controversy’s darling Lindsay Lohan has had her own fair share of jail time. The child actress who starred in successful movies like ‘The Parent Trap’ grew out of her childhood into a troubled teenage-hood. In 2007 alone, the actress was arrested four times on charges of driving under influence and possession of cocaine. In between 2007 and 2011, Lindsay’s life was one endless series of rehabs, court trials, flouting probations, compulsory community service and jails. Most of the charges for her arrest had something to do with driving under influence or possession of drugs. In 2011, she was arrested for stealing a $2,500 necklace from a Venice jewellery store. The charge was later brought down to misdemeanor and Lohan spent time in jail. In May 2011, she was released from California’s Lynwood jail due to overcrowding and spent the rest of her sentence under house arrest. Most recently in 2012, Lindsay was arrested first for clipping a man with her car and then for allegedly assaulting (punching, to be exact) a woman at a New York nightclub. Whew! One extensive list of jail sentences, this.