The Quick Report

15 Surprising Celebrity Arrests

Even the rich and famous have to answer to the long arm of the law sometimes. Not often, but sometimes. Here are 15 celebrities who stunned the world when they were arrested.

Bruno Mars

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In an ill-advised and boneheaded move, crooner Bruno Mars was picked up by the Las Vegas police in 2010 after being found with a bag of cocaine in the Hard Rock Hotel. Mars himself has downplayed the arrest, saying he was young, stupid, and blinded by the glitz of Vegas. He says the incident helped to humble him, too!

Matthew McConaughey

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Actor Matt McConaughey was arrested in a very bizarre dust-up with the police in 1999. His neighbors called the police about noise from McConaughey’s home, and they found him playing bongo drums in the nude. For his own part, McConaughey has never admitted any fault—after all, playing the drums without clothes on at your own home isn’t illegal.

Justin Timberlake

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Here’s a recent one. On Tuesday, June 18, Justin Timberlake was arrested in Sag Harbor and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. The former NSYNC star was reportedly dejected during the arrest, and the now-famous exchange between JT and the arresting officer can elicit some mean-spirited chortles. “This is going to ruin the tour,” Timberlake reportedly said, to which the arresting officer responded, “What tour?” Dejected, Timberlake sheepishly replied, “The world tour.”

Reese Witherspoon

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Reese Witherspoon’s mugshot speaks to her annoyance at the circumstances surrounding her 2013 arrest. When her husband Jim Toth was pulled over for driving in the wrong lane, Witherspoon stormed out of the vehicle and argued with the police about what they could do to her. It turns out, they could arrest her for disorderly conduct.

Donald Trump

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Former US president Donald Trump voluntarily gave himself up to Fulton County authorities in Atlanta in 2023 after being found guilty on charges of racketeering. A now-famous mugshot was snapped, the first ever mugshot of a former US president, and quickly went viral on social media.

Paris Hilton

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Paris Hilton has faced criticism for being famous for… not much of anything. Her family owns some hotels. She was infamously arrested in 2007 for driving on a suspended license and served only half of her 45-day prison sentence before being sent home.

Justin Bieber

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The most notable thing about Justin Biber’s 2014 arrest is how glib he was about the whole thing. He was essentially the stereotypical careless celebrity when he was arrested for driving under the influence, itself a pretty serious charge! Bieber later stated that such a thing would never happen to him again.

Winona Ryder

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This one ruffled some feathers. In 2001, Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting from a store in Beverly Hills. While she never served any jail time, the incident tanked her career for years. Her comeback didn’t arrive until 2016’s Stranger Things.

John Mayer

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John Mayer was arrested in 2001 on charges of driving with a suspended license, like many other celebrities. Mayer was a good sport about it, offering to donate money to charity if anyone could find his long-missing mugshot in 2009. Two different publications did, and Mayer kept his word, donating to animal rescues.

Nicki Minaj

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This one went a little under the radar as it happened before she was famous, but Nicki Minaj was arrested in 2003 for criminal possession of a weapon. Fans of the rapper might realize this was around the time she worked for Red Lobster. How the wheel turns, huh?

Macaulay Culkin

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Child star Macaulay Culkin was arrested for possession of marijuana in 2004 while passing through Oklahoma City. He paid a fine and spent a small amount of time in jail before making bail. Thankfully for him, he only received a suspended prison sentence for the infraction.


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Genuine sweetheart and all-around lovable superstar T-Pain was arrested in 2007 on charges of driving with a suspended license. Someone apparently snitched on him because they saw him driving when they knew he shouldn’t be, prompting police to put out a warrant for his arrest. He surrendered himself to the police and was let out shortly after a few administrative necessities.

Michael Phelps

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Michael Phelps might be legendary in the world of competitive swimming, but he’s struggled with a few personal challenges, too. In 2014, he was arrested in Baltimore on DUI charges. He pled guilty and remarked that he was in a “dark place” when he was arrested.

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Shia LaBeouf

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Shia LaBeouf is another former child actor who has had numerous run-ins with the law. He was arrested in 2017 for disorderly conduct after he flipped out when no one would give him a cigarette in Savannah, Georgia. You know, relatable stuff.

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Lindsay Lohan

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Linday Lohan’s journey from child star into adult acting success was troubled, to say the least. She was roundly mocked in the media for her turbulent legal issues, with cruel onlookers leering over her struggles with addiction. We can be awful to one another, can’t we?

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