Pop Stars Accused Of Terrible Crimes

This article contains descriptions of domestic violence, sexual assault and rape allegations.

Pop artists have always delivered the soundtrack to our lives. Their music is there to get the party started or help us navigate through the emotions of heartbreak. Their records have intertwined with our personal lives and often times we feel like we've grown up with the artist. Over the years you may have seen your favorite artists in the headlines for more than their music. Celebrity gossip has given us a peek into their personal lives and skeletons in their closets have spilled out.

With the likes of R. Kelly being sentenced to 30 years in prison for charges involving sex trafficking, music lovers have begun to realize we truly don't know the person behind our favorite lyrics. The serious accusations have even led some to question whether we should be able to separate the art from the artist. Some artists, despite criminal accusations following them throughout their careers, still have maintained their innocence. Others have gone on trial and been convicted of heinous crimes. The following list is sure to shock you, so let's dive right in.

Chris Brown's history of violence

In February 2009, Chris Brown went from teen heartthrob to the man accused of brutally beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna. The police report and the leaked image of Rihanna's horrific facial injuries left fans around the world shocked and disgusted. Despite the details of the incident being plastered around the world, Brown avoided serving any jail time for domestic violence. Instead, Brown was sentenced to probation and community service. Since that incident, Brown's violence towards women continued multiple times over the years. In 2016, Brown had a fierce standoff with a SWAT team after a woman accused him of pointing a gun at her. The singer was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. 

In 2017, ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran was granted a 5-year restraining order against him, per People. In the court documents, Tran accused the singer of domestic abuse and verbal abuse. She alleged the singer repeatedly texted her violent threats and even threatened to kill her. "Around the second week of February, he told a few people that he was going to kill me," Tran wrote in the reports. "He said if no one else can have me, then he's gonna 'take me out.'" 

In 2022, the singer was later sued for $20 million by a woman claiming he drugged and raped her. Brown's accuser's lawyers later dropped her after text messages with Brown found on her phone didn't line up with her original claim.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Snoop Dogg's murder charge and shocking acquittal

Long before Snoop Dogg became besties with Martha Stewart, he was an aspiring rapper from Long Beach, California. With his signature west coast style, he quickly became an artist the industry was interested in. In 1992, at just 21 years old, Snoop Dogg signed to Death Row Records hoping it would help him break through the music scene, but things would quickly get complicated for the man known as Snoop Dogg, aka Calvin Broadus. Less than a year later, Broadus would find himself in a courtroom fighting for his freedom instead of performing his hits on stage.

The "DoggFather" was charged with first-degree murder and was watching a career he hoped for, slip from his hands. The rapper and his crew had a run-in with a rival gang that quickly escalated. Guns were drawn and a person was left dead at the scene. Though the rapper immediately fled the scene, he later turned himself into the police and was charged. He maintained his innocence and took his chances with a trial. In 1995, the trial began and his strong legal case helped Snoop Dogg receive a shocking acquittal a year later.

Over the years, this shocking case has interested fans of the rapper. The infamous case would be adapted into a television series produced by none other than rapper 50 Cent. The story of Snoop's murder trial would become part of a Starz anthology covering crimes in the world of hip-hop.

A twitter account had serious accusations against Bieber

In 2020, Justin Bieber was forced to speak out and clear his name after serious accusations were thrown at him. It all started on Twitter after a former fan accused the singer of sexually assaulting her during an alleged 2014 encounter. In since-deleted tweets, 'Danielle' claimed that Bieber invited her and a friend to his room at the Four Seasons Hotel and later sexually assault her. 

As the tweets from two separate accounts went viral, Bieber hopped on Twitter to deny the incident and provided evidence of his innocence. "Rumors are rumors but sexual abuse is something I don't take lightly. I wanted to speak out right away but out of respect to so many victims who deal with these issues daily I wanted to make sure I gathered the facts before I made any statement," he wrote. Bieber went on to claim that he was with then-girlfriend Selena Gomez during that time and the two stayed in an Airbnb, not a hotel. He provided screenshots of the reservation and hotel receipts of him staying at the Westin in Austin. 

"However this story is factually impossible and that is why I will be working with Twitter and authorities to take legal action," he wrote in his final tweet. Bieber kept true to that promise and later filed a $20 million defamation lawsuit against the two Twitter accusers. However, Bieber dropped the lawsuit in 2022.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

24 women accused Kris Wu of sexual assault

Kris Wu is a Chinese-Canadian pop star who first rose to fame as a member of EXO — a K-pop boyband. In 2014, Wu decided to pursue a solo career. His dreams of being a solo superstar haven't gone quite as planned. Wu has found himself behind bars instead of on the music charts. In August 2021, Wu was arrested in Beijing on the suspicion of rape. 

An unnamed 17-year-old accused the star of raping her while she was under the influence. The teenager also alleged that seven other women came forward with similar stories about Wu's predatory behavior. Many of the other accusers are reportedly under the age of 18. Despite the numerous allegations, Wu publicly denied any wrongdoing in a statement writing, "I only met Miss Du once at a friend's gathering, I didn't ply her with alcohol ...I have never 'coerced women into sex' or engaged in 'date rape'," per The Guardian

Since then, a total of 24 victims came out with accusations about him, leading to his conviction in November 2022. Wu was sentenced to 13 years in prison after being found guilty of raping three women. The court even ruled that he would soon be deported to Canada after serving his sentence.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Michelle Branch's marriage made headlines

2022 was been quite the whirlwind for singer Michelle Branch. It all started in August when the singer confirmed to TMZ she was splitting from her husband of three years. "To say that I am totally devastated doesn't even come close to describing how I feel for myself and for my family. The rug has been completely pulled from underneath me and now I must figure out how to move forward," she said.

Her statement came after the singer dropped some serious tea on Twitter. In Branch's now-deleted tweets, she accused her ex-husband of cheating shortly after she gave birth to their child. Shortly before news of their split made headlines, Branch was arrested for domestic violence against her estranged husband. Court documents revealed the singer had admitted to the police she slapped her husband during a heated argument. Branch was later released after posting $1,000 bail. Less than two weeks later, the domestic violence case against Branch was dismissed after both parties revealed they had reached a settlement.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Boy George was accused of false imprisonment

Boy George may be known to some for his signature style, but some fans know him for a famous case that resulted in him having to serve 15 months in jail. It all started in 2007 when George falsely imprisoned a male escort in his London apartment. According to Audun Carlsen, the singer's behavior left him traumatized. The date night took a turn when George accused him of attempting to hack his laptop and chained him to a wall. After Carlsen made his escape, George reportedly attacked him with a chain and threatened him.

During the trial, George admitted to handcuffing Carlsen after believing he had stolen naked photos from his laptop. However, George denied ever punching him or attacking him with a chain. The singer served his 15 months and later issued a public apology in 2017. Carlsen never found his apology sincere and was angered when the singer was cast on the UK hit series "I'm a Celebrity" in 2022. 

"Had I been a woman and he did what he did, he would never have been given the platform," Carlsen told The Mirror. "It's hurtful that big organizations like ITV give him that platform." He confessed that he suffers PTSD from the incident and is now fearful of using dating sites. Carlsen even argued that providing George a platform on television sends the wrong message to survivors of abuse.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Ricky Martin faced serious allegations from his nephew

We're sure no one had Ricky Martin being accused of domestic violence and incest on their 2022 Bingo card. In July, news broke that a restraining order was filed against Martin in Puerto Rico. The victim, who was originally anonymous, accused Martin of domestic violence and harassment. Court documents included claims from the accuser that they feared for their lives after breaking off a relationship with Martin. Many originally believed it was Martin's husband who filed it, but the news that followed made everyone gasp. It was soon revealed that the petitioner was actually Martin's 21-year-old nephew. Martin's nephew alleged the two were previously in a romantic relationship. 

In a statement to Today, Martin's lawyers vehemently denied those claims. "Unfortunately, the person who made this claim is struggling with deep mental health challenges," the statement read. "Ricky Martin has, of course, never been — and would never be — involved in any kind of sexual or romantic relationship with his nephew." His nephew later withdrew his claims in court and the case was later dismissed. In an effort to fully clear his name, Martin later filed a $30 million lawsuit against his nephew. In the suit, Martin accused him of extortion, harassment, and malicious persecution.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

A former pop star accused Nick Carter of rape

As a member of The Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter has grown up in front of the limelight. Alongside his group, he continues to tour for their long-devoted fans. However, in 2018, the accusations Carter was facing were shocking. Melissa Schuman, a singer formerly part of the girl group Dream, wrote a blog post accusing Carter of sexually assaulting her in 2002 before the pair shot a film together. 

In 2017, an unnamed woman accused Carter of sexually assaulting her in a bathroom at a house party over a decade earlier. The 20-year-old accuser even filed a police report and visit the hospital for examination. The woman remained anonymous and nothing came of the case. 

Schuman explained wanting to come forward at the time but realized that Carter's money and his powerful legal team would be too difficult to go up against. Schuman felt compelled to come forward in 2018 after reading the anonymous woman's accusations telling The Daily Beast, "I couldn't believe that there would be other people. When I saw the article, and I saw the similarities, with the bathroom...And I felt at that moment that it wasn't about just me anymore, and I had a responsibility to do and say something."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Zayn Malik was accused of attacking Gigi's mom

Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid were one of the cutest celebrity couples. The pair met in 2015 and had a high-profile relationship that featured a few bumps in the road. Due to the on-again-off-again nature of Hadid and Malik's romance, fans were shocked when Hadid announced she was expecting her first child with him in April 2020. In October 2021, their romance fell apart in a shocking way when Hadid's mother, Yolanda accused Malik of striking her. 

The incident took place when Yolanda visited the home Malik shared with Gigi. After an argument, Malik allegedly shoved her into a dresser and hurled insults. In court documents, Yolanda accused him of calling her "f***ing Dutch slut," and demanded that she stay away from his child with Gigi. He allegedly called Gigi, who was in Paris at the time and shouted at her. Though Malik denied striking Yolanda in any way, she accused him of causing physical pain and mental anguish. 

Malik was later charged with four criminal offenses and pleaded no contest. He later told TMZ, "I adamantly deny striking Yolanda Hadid and for the sake of my daughter I decline to give any further details and I hope that Yolanda will reconsider her false allegations..." Following the incident, Hadid and Malik split, and the singer was dropped from his record label.

Multiple women have accused Trey Songz of sexual assault

Trey Songz previously sang about the neighbors knowing his name, but at this point, the police know his name too. The R&B singer has faced numerous allegations from women over the years. In December 2021, former college athlete, Dylan Gonzalez posted a Twitter, "Trey Songz is a rapist. Lord forgive me I Couldn't hold that in another year. See you in 2022." She followed that up with a Tweet days later that further accused Songz of raping her in a Las Vegas hotel. Gonzalez revealed she suffers from PTSD from the incident and encouraged other survivors to come forward. 

A month later, another woman filed a $20 million lawsuit against Songz, accusing the singer of rape. The singer denied her claims and the lawsuit was later dismissed. In November 2022, a woman accused Songz of viciously assaulting her in a New York City bowling alley, but Songz denied beating the woman

These aren't the only accusations of violence against the singer.  In 2017 actress Keke Palmer accused Songz of "sexual intimidation" following an encounter at a party. And in 2021, the Las Vegas Police were investigating claims of sexual assault against Songz during his birthday trip to the city.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Michael Clifford faced allegations from a fan

The band 5 Seconds of Summer rose to popularity alongside the biggest boy band in the world, One Direction. In 2013, they were selected as the opening act for One Direction on their Take Me Home Tour. The band soon became stars on their own with hits like "She Looks So Perfect". As One Direction took a hiatus in 2015, 5 Seconds of Summer continued on. However, the group kept finding themselves in controversy. First, it was their infamous Rolling Stone interview that hurt their career and reputation amongst fans and peers. Following that, group member Michael Clifford faced serious allegations from an anonymous fan account. 

Then in 2020, a fan took to Twitter and accused Clifford of touching her inappropriately in the crowd at a concert in 2013. Clifford publicly denied her claims on Twitter. "i am heartbroken to read these things that are being said – they are just BEYOND untrue. i was never allowed in the crowd i only ever watched at front of house," he explained. The group's manager at the time also confirmed the group was never allowed into the crowd. 

After his denial, the fan later recanted the accusations against Clifford and claimed she misidentified the man who touched her. "Today, I found out that I've been wrong for almost seven years. Today I found out that my offender is dead. My offender IS NOT MICHAEL," she tweeted.

Cardi B and the B stands for brawl

In 2018, the "Bodak Yellow" rapper was accused of ordering an attack on two bartenders after she believed they slept with her husband, rapper Offset. The two women, Jade and Baddi Gi claimed five people in Cardi B's crew viciously attacked them by throwing chairs and bottles. The rapper later turned herself into the police. Cardi B was charged with misdemeanor assault, yet her lawyers denied the rapper caused any harm in the incident.  In 2022, Cardi B pleaded guilty to third-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Part of the plea deal included 15 days of community service. 

This wasn't the rapper's first brush with scandal. In 2019, Cardi also faced serious accusations of rape after an old video of her resurfaced. In an old Instagram video, the rapper detailed her early life as a stripper attempting to make it in the music industry. She admitted to drugging and robbing men. As the video resurfaced, she was then compared to the likes of Bill Cosby and R. Kelly as #SurvivingCardiB began to trend on Twitter. In an Instagram live she shut down claims of her being a rapist.

Laine Hardy's was accused of spying on ex-girlfriend

An American Idol winner being accused of a felony is not something fans would expect. Laine Hardy was crowned the winner of season 17 and hoped to follow in the footsteps of other successful winners like Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. However, the 21-year-old found himself in a shocking controversy when he was accused of wiretapping his ex-girlfriend. 

Hardy's ex-girlfriend claimed he bugged her room when she and her roommate found a recording device planted under the bed. Upon the discovery, she initially thought it was a phone charger. She later told police that she long suspected Hardy was spying on her due to him knowing details about her life that she never told him. Police reported that the device contained secret recordings over ten days. 

After being confronted by his ex-girlfriend, Hardy admitted to bugging her dorm but claimed he later threw it in a pond afterward. Police later issued a warrant for his arrest and he was taken into custody. Hardy was later released after posting $5,000 bail. As of writing, there's no update on this case. However, if convicted, he could serve up to 10 years.

Diplo sued his accuser

Diplo is the creative brains behind some of your favorite hits. The famous producer and DJ has worked with some of the biggest names and music from the likes of Madonna to Justin Bieber. However, in 2021, the producer's name was involved in a police investigation. Per The Daily Beast, a woman took to Twitter to accuse Diplo of recording explicit videos of her without her consent and grooming her during their relationship. "I never had the will or intention to expose Diplo being that I did not want all the years I invested into speaking & hanging out with him to go in vain....or end nasty," she wrote on Twitter. "But I slowly started to realize he is a huge manipulating liar / gaslighter who PREYS young women of ALL races..."

The woman alleged that following her Twitter thread, an account connected to Diplo posted naked photos of her as retaliation. Diplo's lawyers denied those claims and called the accuser a stalker. The woman later accused him of rape and giving her an STD and prosecutors considered filing charges against Diplo. A judge later granted the woman a restraining order against him due to her claims of revenge porn. However, the producer sued the woman claiming that she was obsessive and harassing him and his family. In November 2022, Diplo won the lawsuit against his ex-girlfriend. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).