Movie Stars Who Fought the Law

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
October 31st, 2012

Movie Stars Who Fought the Law

-- Most celebrities earn more than enough money to take a cab home if they are feeling tipsy after a night of drinking with friends. They even earn enough to rent a limo or other chauffeured cars to take them to and fro. Yet somehow, so many of them end up getting pulled over for drunk driving. In Hollywood, driving drunk or under the influence of other drugs is so common that it would take hours to read all about it. So here is an overview of some of the most notorious cases of movie stars who have had brushes with the law.

Robert Downey, Jr. has had a career resurgence playing millionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man. Through two feature films and a part in the blockbuster 2012 hit "The Avengers," Downey has won rave reviews and amassed a whole new generation of fans. However, this success was hard earned after a string of drug-related arrests between 1996 and 2000. He was even arrested for wandering under the influence of drugs into his neighbor's home and falling asleep, even though he wasn't invited. He has had two stints in jail, one lasted four months and the other lasted nearly a year. Downy apparently learned his lesson during the second stint, because he has been clean and sober ever since, which leads to his reprisal as Iron Man.

Lindsay Lohan hit the movie scene as a cute little redheaded girl who stole the hearts of millions with her turn as both twins in "The Parent Trap" remake, costarring Dennis Quaid. After branching out into music, she seemed to have a very rosy future, until she fell under the spell of drugs and alcohol. Her troubles began in 2007, when she was arrested twice for DUI and entered rehab as a result. Upon her release, she still found herself in trouble, violating the conditions of her parole on several occasions. She was sentenced to jail but spent just hours there due to overcrowding. In 2009 and 2010, she had several televised court appearances stemming from failure to show up for mandatory volunteer work, failed drug tests and even an allegedly stolen necklace. She has had a hard time getting work due to high insurance premiums for completion of the film. Despite her ordeals, she is ready to make a comeback as the iconic character playing Elizabeth Taylor in Lifetime's "Liz and Dick."

Speaking of former child stars, Amanda Bynes is one of those whom everyone thought would make it into adulthood unscathed. For the first few years of her adult career, that is precisely what happened. With turns in comedy fare like "She's the Man" and "What a Girl Wants," she seemed to really have it all. Unfortunately, in April 2012, she was arrested for DUI, which set off a bizarre string of events and culminated in her license getting suspended. She was later cited for driving with a suspended license and has taken to rants on social media that some fear is consistent with drug and alcohol abuse. Whether or not she has a substance abuse problem, her career has clearly suffered due to her erratic behavior. She has not filmed a movie since having a supporting role in "Easy A" in 2010.

Nick Nolte has won rave reviews and awards for his powerful acting performances, some of which required him to look disheveled. Nothing could prepare his fans, though, for his notorious mug shot from a December 2002 arrest for DUI, which came just three months after another arrest in September for being under the influence of GHB, more commonly known as roofies or the date rape drug. He entered a treatment facility and has not had any additional skirmishes with law enforcement since.

Sometimes a celebrity arrest shocks moviegoers because it is someone whom they would not suspect of ever getting into trouble with the law. Such is the case with actor Sam Shepard, who was arrested in 2009 in Normal, Illinois, for drunk driving. He was fined, given two-year probation and seemed genuinely sorry for what he did, even admitting he was wrong by pleading guilty instead of trying to have the charges dropped. The classy way that Shepard handled the embarrassing case might serve as an example for other actors who find themselves in the same predicament. Of course, they could always use their hard-earned money and hire themselves a driver for the night, which would spare them a trip in the back of a police car.