'90s Musicians Who Were Arrested For Bad Behavior

The following references hate crimes, sexual assault allegations, and addiction.

The '90s, in some ways, were a simpler time. Cell phones were scarce, social media was non-existent, and we discovered many of our favorite songs while listening to the radio or watching MTV (they used to actually play videos, believe it or not). While we stanned many of the musicians of that era, some of them had, or would go on to have, unfortunate brushes with the law. Money, fame, and dominating the charts can get a person far in life, but when it comes to doing wrong by Lady Justice, it isn't a given that a celebrity will get away with anything and everything. 

The crimes committed by the artists on this list range from bizarre to disturbing to kind of on-brand. So, tie your hair up in a scrunchie and your flannel around your waist because it is time to find out which '90s musicians broke stuff, looked back in anger, or simply needed a remedy.

Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys

In 2016, Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys fame was arrested in a Florida bar when he grabbed a bouncer by the throat. According to NBC News, Carter was reportedly already intoxicated when he and a friend showed up at Key West's Hog's Breath Saloon. When the bartender turned the two men away, Carter reportedly became belligerent and refused to leave after being asked repeatedly to do so.

Things escalated, with Carter assaulting the bar's bouncer, leading to a misdemeanor battery charge. Although the case was dismissed in exchange for Carter performing community service, the incident did mar his boy band image just a bit. But Carter was just interested in moving forward, telling "Access Hollywood" (via People), "I'm focused on the positive stuff that is happening and getting back on track."

But Carter's legal troubles were far from over. In April 2023, the singer was sued for sexual assault by Melissa Schuman, formerly of the pop group Dream. Shuman first came forward with the allegations in 2017. Carter denied the allegations, claiming through his lawyers that the accusation was nothing more than a PR stunt. In late 2022, a woman named Shannon Ruth filed a lawsuit against the boy bander, alleging he assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17 years old. Carter, who denied these allegations as well, filed a countersuit against Ruth.

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).

Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit

Fred Durst of the '90s nu-metal band Limp Bizkit is not known for being mild-mannered onstage. In fact, many blame Durst and the band for inciting the riots that tore through the Woodstock '99 music festival. And mere weeks before that debacle, Durst was arrested for assaulting a security guard at a concert in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The whole incident stemmed from a misunderstanding. According to MTV News, a local security guard named Pat Estes thought Durst's personal security guard Richard Allen Surrency was a fan, so he tried to pull Surrency from the stage. Durst was not happy that Estes did this to someone from his team and he didn't hold back. The rocker kicked Estes in the head and then bragged to the crowd about it. "I kicked that punk a** security guard in the head," Durst said, according to police. "That f***ing b****, you ain't gonna get a check tonight." Durst was arrested when he left the stage, and although assault charges were later dropped, Estes sued Durst in a civil suit that was settled out of court for $100,000.

This was not the last time Durst got rowdy with a staff member either. According to MTV News, during Limp Bizkit's Anger Management Tour, Durst reportedly threw a microphone at a lighting tech; Durst's team maintained it was an accident. The tech, who suffered a broken nose, a lost front tooth, and two black eyes, sued Durst for damages and the case was settled out of court.

Foxy Brown

Don't mess with Foxy Brown's nails. In August 2004, the rapper lost her temper when she was charged by a NYC nail salon for a manicure she didn't receive. "I got the pedicure, but they didn't give me the manicure," she said outside her court hearing, according to The New York Times. Brown showed up at Bloomie Nails in Chelsea wanting her usual mani-pedi, but since the salon was about to close, she only received the pedicure. According to Brown, she was charged for both services; according to salon employees, Brown tried to leave without paying. An altercation ensued when employees locked the door, trying to keep the rapper from leaving. She was accused of hitting the manager and assaulting another employee with her cell phone. According to People, Brown received a sentence of three years' probation and was ordered to take anger management classes as a result of the incident.

The anger management classes may not have had much of an impact on the rapper, as she was arrested again in 2007 for throwing hair glue at a beauty supply store employee. Later that year, Brown was accused of throwing her Blackberry at a neighbor during a dispute over a loud car stereo. And in 2011, Brown was kicked off a cruise ship after an incident regarding, once again, a manicure appointment.

Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes

Chris Robinson of the band The Black Crowes has a pretty chill vibe compared to some of his rock n' roll contemporaries. But when he got arrested in 1991 following a heated altercation at a convenience store, his vibe sure seemed a heck of a lot less chill.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Robinson stopped by a Denver area 7-11 to grab some beer following a show. Evidently, he overheard a fellow customer tell her female friend she recognized him as the lead singer of The Black Crowes. The friend, on the other hand, didn't recognize him or the name of the band. Robinson was not happy about this. According to the report, he proceeded to yell at and mock the second woman before spitting on her. He then left the store in a huff without paying for his beer.

As a result of his unsavory outburst, Robinson was charged with assault and disturbing the peace, both of which he pleaded guilty to. He was fined $53 and received six months' probation, and he's probably hoping no one remembers the incident. Oops.

Peter Buck of R.E.M

Peter Buck, lead guitarist for R.E.M, has always had a pretty low-key, even shy, vibe about him. And that's what makes the 2001 incident for which he was arrested all the more bizarre. As recounted in Rolling Stone, Buck was on a British Airways flight from Seattle to London when he began acting completely out of hand. After downing 15 glasses of wine, Buck got his hands on a tub of yogurt and a spoon and appeared to be threatening a cabin director and a flight attendant with it. Buck then wrestled another flight attendant who tried to get him away from the emergency exit door which Buck grabbed onto saying he was "going home." He also knocked over a food cart, tried to steal a knife, got stuck between seats, and tore up the warning card he was given. According to The Guardian, he reportedly told the pilot, "You are just a f***ing captain and I am R.E.M."

When he arrived at Heathrow, Buck said he had no memory of the scene he'd made whatsoever, claiming he'd taken a sleeping pill that must have mixed badly with alcohol. Buck was charged with common assault, being drunk on an aircraft, and for damaging airline property. He was eventually cleared of all charges, after apologizing in court and having several celebrity character witnesses stand up for him, including U2's Bono and bandmate Michael Stipe.

Scott Stapp of Creed

Creed frontman Scott Stapp was about to embark on his honeymoon in February 2006 when his bad behavior sidelined him and his new bride, former Miss New York USA Jaclyn Nesheiwat. As reported by Rolling Stone, Stapp was arrested at LAX on charges of public intoxication. Stapp's struggles with substance issues had been going on prior to this incident and unfortunately continued afterwards.

In 2007, Stapp was once again arrested, this time at his home in Boca Raton, Florida. Per Billboard, the incident occurred during a domestic dispute between Stapp and Nesheiwat. According to a spokesman for the sheriff, "Stapp threw a bottle of Orangina at his wife, at her head, and missed and the bottle broke." The charge, originally a felony, was reduced to a misdemeanor since no one was injured.

Stapp and his wife share two children together and stayed together for quite a while, despite Stapp's troubling behavior. In 2014, Nesheiwat filed for divorce citing Stapp's substance abuse issues and her fear that he was a danger to himself and the family. The two eventually reconciled and in 2019, Stapp celebrated five years of sobriety

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).

Liam Gallagher of Oasis

Liam Gallagher, lead singer of British pop rock band Oasis, must be awfully camera shy. In 1998 he was arrested not once, but twice for attacking someone who tried to take his picture. In March of that year, Liam was arrested for heatbutting a fan who tried to photograph him outside of a hotel in Brisbane, Australia. The victim sustained a broken nose, and Liam was charged with assault. The singer was released on bail. According to the AP, the charges were eventually dropped entirely, as the fan decided to take it to civil court instead. 

In November 1998, Liam got into another dustup when he spied a journalist trying to take his photo outside of a pub in North London. The freelance photographer alleged to Reuters (via MTV News), "I approached him to take a picture, and he turned aggressive. A scuffle broke out. He broke my camera lens and stole a film." However, the photog ultimately chose not to press charges. And in 2002, he was nabbed by cops yet again after he struck not a photographer, but a German police officer in the middle of an ongoing bar brawl. While he was ultimately released, Liam wound up losing two teeth in the chaos. 

Fans of Oasis know that the singer is famously a bit surly, often feuding with his brother and bandmate, Noel Gallagher. In 2018 Liam told The Guardian, "I've always been a bit of an arrogant c***, even when I was digging holes for a living in Manchester."

Art Alexakis of Everclear

During a 1999 concert in Austin, Texas, things got rowdy between the alt-rock band Everclear and their fans. Lead singer Art Alexakis was accused of dumping water on a teenage girl's head and then throwing the bottle at her. Although he denied having any part in such antics, Alexakis was charged with simple assault by contact.

As reported by MTV News, Everclear's version of events was a bit different, and they even blamed the girl for starting the trouble. According to the band's account, she threw a drink that hit Alexakis while the band was performing. The girl denied this allegation. 

Things only escalated when security removed her from the crowd. "As she neared the stage, she started screaming, cursing and spitting at Art and the band," read a statement by Everclear. The band said it was a member of their crew who threw water on the girl, not Alexakis. The girl's lawyers weren't buying it, and Alexakis and guitarist Brian Lehfeldt were both charged with misdemeanor assault.

Kid Rock

Kid Rock's 2007 Waffle House arrest really comes as no surprise, given the Michigan-born singer's persona as a rough and tumble country boy. Rock and his entourage were eating at the restaurant chain in the early morning hours when another patron had words with one of the women dining with Rock. A fight broke out, which was caught on Waffle House security cameras, and led to Rock being charged with battery. The "Bawitdaba" and "Cowboy" singer spent the night in jail, and according to MTV News, he was given a year of probation and was ordered to pay $40,000 in damages. "One thing led to another," he said during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, "windows were broken, and, you know, cussin' and fussin', the mud, the blood and the beer."

That same year, Rock was arrested after he punched Tommy Lee at the MTV VMAs. According to Access, Rock was nabbed for misdemeanor battery but ultimately no charges were pressed.

Mark Wahlberg

Before he was an actor, Mark Wahlberg was the star of the early '90s hip hop group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. And before he was a hip hop artist, he was a surly teenager in Boston up to no good. In 1986, a 15-year-old Wahlberg was charged with chasing three Black schoolchildren and their teacher while throwing rocks at them and yelling racial slurs. The next day, Wahlberg showed up at a local beach and threw rocks at multiple Black children and incited others to join in.

Two years later, Wahlberg was the assailant in yet another hate crime, this time targeting two Vietnamese men. He knocked one man unconscious using a wooden stick, and punched the other in the eye. Wahlberg, who was high on the drug PCP at the time, referred to both men using racial slurs, according to police. Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder, but ultimately pleaded guilty to felony assault. He served 45 days of his two-year jail sentence.

In 2014, Wahlberg sought to be pardoned for the latter crime, hoping to have it wiped from his record. He later dropped the request, and in a 2020 interview with The Guardian said, "I also prided myself on doing the right thing and turning my life around ... I would hope that people would be able to get a second chance in life." The violent nature of these hate crimes is difficult to overlook, despite the fact that it seems not to have affected his career at all.

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.