Lawyer: Gigi Hadid's Drug Arrest Highlights The Hidden Benefits Of Celeb Tourism - Exclusive

Gigi Hadid's vacation to the Cayman Islands started off with a bang — and not a good one. According to People, the supermodel was arrested for having marijuana and drug paraphernalia on her person while arriving via private jet to the tropical destination. Hadid and her friend, Leah Nicole McCarthy, who also had drugs in her luggage, were arrested on July 10 for "suspicion Importation of Ganja and Importation of Utensils used for the consumption of ganja."

After being moved to a detention center, Hadid and McCarthy pleaded guilty in a summary court on July 12. The two women were given a $1,000 fine with no conviction on their records. Los Angeles entertainment attorney Tre Lovell explained to Nicki Swift that Hadid's sentence isn't unusual: "Nothing stands out to me as unusual in this case. Medical marijuana is legal in the Cayman Islands, although it's still illegal to transport it in and out of the country, but since this was a relatively small amount for personal use, a lighter sentence is understandable."

Hadid's reps later confirmed the news, reassuring the public that the supermodel didn't have anything on her record, per E! News. They said, "Gigi was traveling with marijuana purchased legally in N.Y.C. with a Medical license. It has also been legal for medical use in Grand Cayman since 2017. Her record remains clear, and she enjoyed the rest of her time on the island." And whether she knew it or not, the repercussions for Hadid's actions highlight some risks with celebrity tourism.

Gigi Hadid's arrest could have dissuaded tourists

Gigi Hadid's $1000 fine punishment may seem pretty light, but it shouldn't be much of a shock considering her fame. In fact, being famous can help when it comes to certain legal troubles. Los Angeles entertainment attorney Tre Lovell explained this theory to Nicki Swift. He shared, "Judges, prosecutors, detectives are all people who watch television and movies and are fans of actors, actresses, and supermodels, and many in the entertainment business." 

Lovell added, "If two people are arrested for the same offense, and one is a celebrity, and the other is an average unknown person, the chances are the celebrity will get the better deal." And even though juries are supposed to do what's right, Lovell suggested that even they can show potential bias when it comes to a celebrity case.

As for Hadid's punishment in the Cayman Islands, her influence might have played a role in the repercussions she received. Celebs are known to vacation in some of the most beautiful places and can bring a lot of tourism to various spots. Because of this, Lovell suggested, "Celebrity tourism in the Cayman Islands is huge, and they certainly wouldn't want to do anything to dissuade tourists or celebrities from going there. Things like this certainly are considered when a celebrity visitor is arrested for a minor offense such as this..." So, it looks like Hadid has her supermodel fame to thank for her light punishment.