They are celebrities because, by definition, they entertain us. And in 2012, their legal issues were no exception to that rule.
#1: Lindsay Lohan
With LiLo, the hits just kept coming. In March 2012, fresh off a stint of supervised probation for necklace theft back in 2011, she nicked a car with her own in an attempt to escape the paparazzi at a night club. The car belonged to the club’s manager, who pressed charges.
In June, Lohan was involved in an accident on a Santa Monica highway. Then came autumn, which brought leaving the scene of an accident in September, one of several hospital stays during the year, and a domestic disturbance with her mother in October.
After her driver came forward and reported she was the one driving in the June accident, she was charged in November in California with resisting an officer, providing false information, and reckless driving.
On the same day in November, she was charged on the East Coast with assault for punching a woman in a reported fight over a boy in New York City. By December, news that the IRS had seized her bank accounts for unpaid back taxes came as no surprise.
#2: Chris Brown/Rihanna
Hip hoppers Chris Brown and rival Drake turned a New York night club into a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie in June, when they reportedly brawled over Rihanna.
The pop queen had possibly been dating Drake after breaking up with Brown, who was on supervised probation for beating her up. While no criminal charges were filed against Brown or Drake for the night club showdown, plenty of civilians have filed civil suits against the two.
And just to keep things interesting, despite the domestic battery charge from a 2009 beating, Brown and Rihanna looked very happy together at a Knicks-Lakers game on Dec. 25.
#3: Fiona Apple
Singer Fiona Apple started the show when she got busted for possession of hash and marijuana in West Texas in September. Her tour bus was searched at the infamous Sierra Blanca checkpoint on I-10, 80 miles east of El Paso, and she spent the night in the local jail.
Apple continued to entertain us at a concert in Houston two days later, when she rambled onstage about her stay in the Hudspeth County jail. She told the audience that she wrote down and kept an encoded version of the illegal behaviour of some of her keepers, according to CNN. She offered to make any of those members of the sheriff’s department “famous any time you ask.”
Rusty Fleming, the sheriff’s public information officer reportedly retorted in a letter quoted by TMZ, “First, honey, I’m already more famous than you, I don’t need your help,” and pointed out that the publicity she’d gained from her arrest was helpful for her career. “Don’t worry, sweetie, I won’t bill you,” he said. “Just shut up and sing.”
While she settled in December with the victims of the hit-and-run accidents, charges are reportedly still pending for driving without a licence and driving under the influence.
#5: Justin Bieber
Kind of like his bubble-gum pop, Justin Bieber’s legal troubles amounted to not much more than some really bad luck with the paparazzi. Hounded by the hoards, he took out his frustrations on one photographer in May, allegedly sending the man reeling with a punch.
The Los Angeles County D.A. considered bringing misdemeanour battery charges against the teen idol in June but by November had decided against it, citing a lack of evidence.
Also last summer, Bieber was chased by a paparazzo in a speeding car; that man was charged with reckless driving. Then in December, another paparazzo photographer was killed trying to take a picture of Bieber.
Moral of this story? Paparazzo beware in 2013.
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