Celebrity Families That Are Always In Trouble With The Law

The following references sexual assault, addiction struggles, hate crimes, and domestic abuse.

Being a celebrity has its perks. There's the money, the fame, the opportunities, and even the entirely unnecessary free stuff. But one thing celebrities aren't given is a free pass from the law. Yes, even stars can get arrested and maybe even go to jail like anyone else. 

Talented and famous people are imperfect human beings like the rest of us; they make mistakes, grapple with various struggles, go down a wrong path. The lucky ones have family to support them through their struggles and blunders, which can make all the difference. When Khloé Kardashian was arrested for a DUI in 2007, her family rallied around her. What's more, Kardashian learned her lesson. As she told Tyra Banks (via People), "What I could have done is just unthinkable. I will never, ever do that again." 

But what happens when the family celebrities turn to for support are in no position to help them, having struggles of their own? Unfortunately, some celebrity families have more than one member getting nabbed by the long arm of the law. Sadly, it's something that has happened too often in the entertainment business. These are celebrity families who continue to get busted.

The O'Neal family

Before there was Brangelina, there was Ryan O'Neal and Farrah Fawcett. The two never married but had a long relationship and welcomed son Redmond O'Neal. But their love story was tainted by tales of substance abuse and infidelity, and sadly, Fawcett passing away in 2009 from cancer.

As noted in a Daily Mail story that dubbed the O'Neals "Hollywood's most troubled, dysfunctional clan," life hasn't been smooth sailing for Ryan and his children. Redmond and Ryan were arrested in 2008 after methamphetamines were reportedly found in the home, per People. Ryan also got into trouble with son Griffin O'Neal. In 2007, police were called to Ryan's home in Malibu and arrested the actor for assault, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. Ryan claimed his son swung a fire poker at him and ended up hitting Griffin's pregnant girlfriend, so Ryan grabbed his gun. What's more, Griffin and Redmond have both spent time in jail. Ryan's elder son was convicted of reckless driving after he got into a boat accident that killed Gian-Carlo Coppola, and he served 15 days behind bars for failing to complete his community service. Redmond went to prison in 2015 for a parole violation. 

Ryan's daughter, Oscar winner Tatum O'Neal, has had her own share of problems with the law. In 2008, she was arrested for buying crack cocaine. Tatum pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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.

The Douglas family

Another prestigious Hollywood clan is the Douglas family, led by actor Kirk Douglas, who passed away in 2020 at the age of 103. One of Kirk's sons, Eric Douglas, had a few acting credits but never really made a name for himself. In the mid-'90s, as reported by the Los Angeles Times, he was arrested at least three times, one of which was a misdemeanor drug charge. Sadly, Eric died in 2004 from an accidental overdose.

According to Page Six, Michael Douglas' son Cameron Douglas has been arrested three times (1999, 2005, and 2009) for drug possession. The arrest in 2009 happened in a sting and resulted in another charge of conspiracy to distribute drugs for which he received five years. While he was in prison, he got caught with drugs and another four years were tacked to his sentence. In 2016, he was released.

In Cameron's memoir, "Long Way Home," he said he was exposed to drugs at a young age by his father. He also shared his identity struggles, writing, "It's diminishing to be perceived mainly as someone else's son or brother, and it's hard to develop a sense of yourself as a person intrinsically worthy of others' respect. How do you compete with Kirk Douglas? How do you live in Michael Douglas's shadow?"

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The Lohan family

Unfortunately for actor Lindsay Lohan, it's tough to think of celebrities who've been arrested without thinking of the "Mean Girls" star. Lindsay's arrest record began when she got in trouble for driving under the influence and cocaine possession in her early 20s, and it only continued from there. In 2011, she was picked up for stealing a necklace, then arrested again for a traffic incident the next year and an altercation outside a bar. Her last arrest came in 2013 when she was nabbed for reckless driving and lying to a police officer.

Lindsay's mother, Dina Lohan, and her father, Michael Lohan, also spent time in handcuffs. Like his daughter, Michael has had several arrests, including getting a DUI after crashing his car into a pole in 2005. He was picked up again in 2011 for domestic dispute, and in 2021, NBC News reported Michael was arrested for alleged patient brokering at a drug treatment facility. In the early '90s, he spent time in prison for stock fraud. A few years later, he headed back to prison when he violated his parole to visit Lindsay on a film set. Mom Dina got arrested in 2013 for speeding and driving while intoxicated and was picked up again in 2020 for a DUI after rear-ending another car.

It's no secret that Lindsay's relationship with her parents has been complicated. The actor told Oprah in 2013, "I hate what a bad rap people give my parents because they're just parents at the end of the day."

The Spears family

Pop superstar Britney Spears has had her share of run-ins with the law. In 2007, Spears was charged with hit-and-run and driving without a license, per The Guardian. In January of the following year, Marie Claire reported that Britney was detained by police at her home and taken in for evaluation. According to the report, she would not give her kids to ex-husband Kevin Federline per their custody arrangement and was suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Britney's little sis, Jamie Lynn Spears, shares a daughter with Casey Aldridge, who has been arrested on more than one occasion. In 2019, it was for possession of drugs, and a year later TMZ reported he was caught breaking into a campsite with the intention of stealing some rifles. Britney's luck with exes isn't much better. Her first husband, Jason Alexander, attempted to sneak into her wedding to model Sam Asghari in June 2022. Per CBS News, security detained Alexander while police were called and subsequently arrested him for an outstanding warrant.

Jamie Spears might have a cleaner record than his daughter, but the details surrounding Britney's conservatorship and his involvement are far from pristine. Per Variety, after the conservatorship was lifted, her attorney, Mathew Rosengart, stated, "This conservatorship was corrupted by James P. Spears." Britney alleged her father committed conservatorship abuse, and the two entered into a legal battle over money matters. 

The Hilton family

For decades, the Hilton family was best known for their hotel dynasty. That all changed in the '00s when Paris Hilton became a pop culture icon. Unfortunately, the light that shined on "The Simple Life" star wasn't always positive, and the socialite butted heads with the law a handful of times. Her first arrest came in 2006 with a DUI. Mere months later, Paris was back in court for driving, more than once, with a suspended license. Per People, this time she received a sentencing of 45 days in jail after telling the judge, "I respect the law. ... I want you to know I'm very sorry and will pay complete attention to everything from now on." As the same outlet noted in 2010, she had three drug-related run-ins with the law involving marijuana in South Africa and Corsica, and then cocaine in Las Vegas.

Paris is not the only member of her family who has gotten into trouble. Aunt Kim Richards has been nabbed for battery, resisting arrest, and theft. Brother Barron Hilton got a DUI and hit someone with his car in 2008, per TMZ. Paris' youngest sibling, Conrad Hughes Hilton, has also been arrested multiple times. His list of offenses includes probation violations, drug-related infractions, and a particularly bad incident on an airplane. While on a flight in 2014, Conrad reportedly refused to take his seat when asked, yelled at other passengers, and threatened to kill members of the crew. He was sentenced to probation and community service.  

The Chrisleys

The world was introduced to the Chrisley family when "Chrisley Knows Best" premiered on the USA Network in 2014. For nine seasons, the reality show focused on Todd Chrisley, a real estate mogul, and wife Kathy Chrisley as they raised their children and enjoyed their lavish lifestyle. Though things seemed to be ideal, there was trouble from the start. Todd's eldest son, Kyle Chrisley, was on the run from police, reportedly trying to evade a warrant for his arrest following a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend. Alluding to his son's addiction and mental health issues, Todd told People, "He has his struggles. As a family, we all continue to lift him up." Then in 2019, TMZ reported Kyle was arrested on drug charges. At the time, his ex reportedly stated in an affidavit that Kyle threatened to kill her.

In 2019, Todd and Julie were indicted on tax evasion and fraud charges and subsequently taken into custody in Georgia. After the news broke, Kyle came to his dad's defense on Facebook, noting that they'd reconciled. By June 2022, Todd and Julie were found guilty and sentenced in November for tax crimes including conspiracy to defraud banks to the tune of $30 million, per CNN. Todd was given 12 years and Julie seven. 

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.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The Minaj family

Before she even released her first record, Nicki Minaj got herself a different kind of record. In 2003, she was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon. Per Atlanta Black Star, Minaj shared the mugshots and arrest report on Instagram but the post has since been deleted.

In 2019, Minaj married longtime friend Kenneth Petty and the two had a daughter the following year. But Petty brings with him his own record, including being a level two registered sex offender in New York. Petty also went to prison for attempted rape and first-degree manslaughter. In July of 2020, he was in front of a judge again for failing to register as a sex offender. While prosecutors fought for jail time, arguing that supervised detention in Minaj's mansion was no punishment, that was ultimately what the judge gave him, per BuzzFeed.

Minaj's brother, Jelani Maraj, is also a violent crime offender. He was convicted in November of 2017 of predatory sexual assault. As reported by USA Today, Maraj was convicted of raping an 11-year-old child in his home. He was sentenced 25 years to life.

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).

The Baldwin family

Most movie fans are familiar with at least one of the Baldwin brothers. Alec, Daniel, William, and Stephen all found success in the industry, though Alec, the oldest, has not only been the most prolific but also the most featured in the press. Part of that could be due to his long and volatile relationship he's had with the paparazzi, starting with an altercation with a photographer in 1995 that resulted in battery charges. Alec was ultimately acquitted. More altercations with photogs followed, though he wasn't arrested for some of them. However in 2014, he was nabbed when he rode his bike down the street the wrong way. And in 2018, he was arrested after reportedly hitting someone over a parking spot. His most serious charge involved the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Following the accidental fatal shooting of Hutchins on the set of "Rust" in 2021, Alec was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Alec's brother Daniel was arrested in 2006 for possessing cocaine and drug paraphernalia, per Reuters, and he was picked up by police again in 2011 for suspicion of auto theft. Stephen, the youngest of the Baldwins, has two traffic-related arrests to his name, per TMZ. Stephen earned a more serious charge of tax evasion when he failed to file for three years. He faced up to four years in prison, but got a plea deal, according to Forbes.

The Sheen family

Actor Charlie Sheen has been known as the quintessential bad boy ever since his character hooked up with Ferris Bueller's sister. It was just shy of ten years later when he was a witness in the Heidi Fleiss trial and admitted to using her services. Per CBS News, in 1996, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend, Brittany Ashland. He pleaded no contest. In 2010, he pleaded guilty to assaulting his third wife, Brooke Mueller. The actor has been candid about his past struggles with substance abuse but despite his legal issues, he famously described himself to ABC News in 2011 as "winning." He also said he was clean, stating, "I've just answered to a higher calling and it happened in the blink of an eye."

The amount of times Charlie's been in trouble with the law, however, is eclipsed by the extreme number of arrests his father, Martin Sheen, has accrued. As per the Daily Mail, with 66 on his record, Martin was apparently the celebrity with the most arrests as of 2020. Granted the majority of these charges were for civil disobedience and protests, such as his first arrest in 1986 at President Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative. Son Emilio Estevez shared on "This Morning" that when he was a kid, he didn't understand the social justice work his dad did. "Now, of course, as an adult and having made this film ['The Public'], it has all become very clear to me as to the why of it," he added.

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.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

The Wahlberg family

Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg has had quite the trajectory, starting as a singer, then pivoting to rapper, model, actor, and entrepreneur. So it makes sense some might have forgotten — or are not even aware of — his troubled youth and altercations with the law. Some of those charges were for hate crimes, including one involving Mark and others throwing rocks at a group of Black children, and another where he physically assaulted two Vietnamese men, per Consequence. The actor told Men's Health (via HuffPost) that 45 days in jail was enough for him to change and seek a different life than his siblings. "Three of my brothers had done time. My sister went to prison so many times I lost count," he said.

One of those brothers was Jim Wahlberg, who's now a film producer. He shared with CBN News in 2022, "I lived a rough and tumble life. I was always a hustler, was always manipulative." He was arrested for the first time at age 10, and in the years that followed, he struggled with addiction and the law. After spending time in prison for armed robbery and breaking into a cop's house, he turned his life around.

Actor Donnie Wahlberg also had some trouble with the law. According to the AP, Donnie was charged with arson after a fire started at a hotel where he was staying. He denied setting the fire, and the charges were eventually dismissed. 

If you or a loved one has experienced a hate crime, contact the VictimConnect Hotline by phone at 1-855-4-VICTIM or by chat for more information or assistance in locating services to help. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

The Cage family

Veteran actor Nicolas Cage has developed a reputation over his career as being somewhat eccentric and unpredictable. In fact, he shared some wild stories with David Letterman in 2012, adventures with Charlie Sheen that happened 20 years prior. Essentially, while Nicolas and Sheen were on an airline flight, Nicolas grabbed the PA to mess with the passengers, saying he was the pilot and losing control of the plane. The pilot was understandably angry, and the "National Treasure" actor was greeted by officers when the doors opened. "Then I just very gingerly, very politely, very delicately kindly talked my way out of going to airport jail," he told Letterman.

In 2011, Nicolas was arrested for domestic abuse and disturbing the peace after an incident with then-wife Alice Kim, as reported by ABC News. Officers on scene reported that the actor appeared to be intoxicated. The charges were ultimately dropped. 

Actor-musician Weston Cage, one of Nicolas' three children, was arrested in 2011 for domestic violence against his then-wife, Nikki Williams, per the Los Angeles Times. He had another brush with the law in 2017 when he was in a car accident, and it was reported that he was under the influence and fled the scene, resulting in a charge of hit-and-run along with the DUI, according to People. The car accident was reportedly his second of the night.

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.

The Downey family

Robert Downey Jr. has gone through more than his share of turbulent times. In addition to struggling with addiction issues from a young age, the "Iron Man" star has been arrested on more than one occasion. In 1996, police got him for speeding and found he was in possession of drugs and a gun, per the Los Angeles Times. Unfortunately, even court mandated treatment wasn't enough for Downey Jr. to change, and he ultimately served time in 1999 after more drug charges. After a brief stint in jail, he's since done the work to stay on the straight and narrow. He has stayed sober since 2003. Sadly, his eldest son, Indio Downey, hit a significant bump.

In 2014, Indio was arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop. Indio was not driving and was 20 years old at the time. Officers found what they believed to be cocaine in his possession. Per Forbes, Downey Jr. said in a statement, "Unfortunately there's a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it." Fast forward to 2022 and dad's Instagram seems to indicate things are going well and that he's proud of his son's accomplishments in his music career.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).