What life behind bars is really like for these celebs

Prison is never a walk in the park, but if you're a celebrity who's slipped up, you might just find yourself in a plush facility that inspired your favorite Netflix show. These white-collar prisons, affectionately dubbed Club Fed after the famed chain of resorts, have been home to plenty of stars who swapped out their country club memberships for some hard (okay, not that hard) time. But that's just if you're lucky.

For many celebrities, being incarcerated is a harrowing experience — even if you're in one of America's cushier joints. Disgraced stars such Jared Fogle and C-Murder have reportedly faced some extremely tough conditions, and other big shots, like Bill Cosby and DMX, seem to be cruising right through their time in the clink. From the oddly light-hearted anecdotes, like Anthony Weiner hoping for a pen pal, to the decidedly darker, like Phil Spector's rapidly declining health, here's what it's really like to be a celebrity in the slammer.

Suge Knight claims he was spied on in the slammer

For famed music mogul Suge Knight, prison is anything but sweet. In April 2018, the star used his get out of jail free card to pay a visit to the local hospital. According to TMZ, Knight was hospitalized for at least two days in 2018, and health issues have been an ongoing issue since he was arrested in connection to a hit-and-run death in 2015. The Mirror reported that Knight has blamed prison conditions for his failing health. In 2015, he collapsed during a court hearing. Two years later, he was supposedly treated for blood clots. 

Though Knight has reportedly been held in solitary confinement and banned from having phone calls and visitors, that doesn't necessarily mean he's been totally alone. According to TMZ, Knight alleged that law enforcement and prosecutors secretly listened in on meetings he had with his lawyers, and that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to jailhouse drama. The New York Times reported that two of the star's 15 attorneys (yes, he went through 15 attorneys) were indicted for witness tampering. 

In September 2018, Knight was sentenced to 28 years in prison after accepting a plea deal.

Phil Spector has become 'very frail'

Music producer Phil Spector was known for creating the "wall of sound," but today, he sits in silence. According to the Mirror, the music mogul lost the ability to speak and was transferred to the California Health Care Facility, which houses some of the sickest inmates in the state. Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life in 2009 for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, reported CNN. The producer's health has allegedly deteriorated to the point that he communicates with his lawyer, Chuck Sevilla, through hand-written letters. Savilla admitted Spector is "very frail." 

"I believe he is able to walk, he's lost a lot of weight, he's been unable to speak for nine months due to polyps in his throat which they keep telling him they're going perform surgery on, which they have not done," Sevilla told the Mirror in 2014. "That's just one of his many maladies."

Spector's decades-younger wife, Rachelle, apparently took the vows "in sickness and in health" very seriously, telling the Los Angeles Times in 2010 that she visits him "every single weekend." It's unclear if she's still dropping by on the regular, considering he filed for divorce in 2016, after she blew through a huge chunk of his $35 million fortune, reported Page Six

Bobby Shmurda is in good spirits despite prison attack

In 2016, Rolling Stone reported that rapper Bobby Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison after accepting a plea deal for conspiracy and weapons-related charges. (Shmurda claims his attorney forced him to accept the deal and unsuccessfully advocated to have it overturned.) Though his ride in prison hasn't been easy, the star is reportedly "maintaining great spirits" — at least if you ask his mom.

According to TMZ, Shmurda's time behind bars has been fraught with friction. The star has allegedly tallied 11 violations, including "drug possession, fighting, and having a shank." Bossip also reported that an inmate tried to stab the rapper, but Shmurda managed to escape the attack. After the incident, he was reportedly transferred to a facility near Canada affectionately dubbed "Little Siberia" because it's cold and remote. The "Hot N**ga" rapper will reportedly stay in protective custody for the rest of his sentence. According to a family spokesperson, "lowlives" targeted Shmurda because "they think they can score brownie points if they get a star." 

It's not easy being famous.

DMX put on some prison pounds

DMX isn't losing his mind up in prison — but he might have been when he didn't pay his taxes. According to The Root, the rapper pleaded guilty to "federal tax fraud worth $1.7 million" and was forced "to pay $2.29 million in back taxes." In early 2018, he was sentenced to a year in prison, and we haven't heard much from him since, though he might be saving it for the big screen.

According to The Blast, X has been offered "everything from book deals to movies about his life" since his sentencing and utilized his time at New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center to work on new music. The singer has since been transferred to West Virginia's Federal Correctional Institution Hazelton, which has drug treatment programs for addicts like X (let's not forget his terrifying possible overdose-slash-asthma attack in 2016).

DMX's attorney, Murray Richman, told The Blast that the star was "very happy" and "doing remarkably well" before he was transferred. The jury's still out on his time at Hazelton, but he's reportedly put on a little weight and grown a short beard.

Here's hoping Bill Cosby still likes pudding

It's going to take a long time for Bill Cosby to pay off his reported $282,000 of unpaid legal bills — at least if he's planning to use his prison earnings. According to TMZ, the sitcom star was once the world's highest-paid actor, raking in a total of $84 million in 1986 and 1987. Today, he'll be lucky to pull in a meager $0.45 per hour at the Phoenix State Correctional Institution in Pennsylvania, where he's serving a three to ten-year sentence. Cosby began his stay in September 2018, after being convicted of drugging and assaulting a Temple University employee in 2004, CNN reports. Though Philly.com claims the actor is currently flying solo in his own cell "adjacent to the infirmary," he's expected to eventually join the general population. 

USA Today reported that Cosby's defense team was already working to secure his release "as soon as possible." Meanwhile, both prison officials and Cosby's spokespeople have adamantly denied reports that the octogenarian has gotten into altercations with other inmates, including "a gang fight" and something about a banana and/or a chicken patty being thrown at his face. Cosby is said to be "in good spirits" and enjoying daily phone calls from his wife, Camille. Alleged food fights aside, the star of '80s Jell-O commercials should be able to look forward to mealtime … as long as he isn't sick of pudding. The sweet treat is sometimes served as a dessert, though the prison reportedly doesn't carry Jell-O brand.

Jared Fogle is at the bottom of the prison pecking order

There's no word on how many sandwiches Jared Fogle is eating in prison, but the former Subway spokesperson is currently serving a more than 15-year sentence for sex crimes involving minors, reported CNN. Apparently, his prison time isn't going down as easy as a $5 footlong because child molesters, known as "chomos" in the prison yard, fall at the bottom of the prison pecking order. Fogle has allegedly been involved in a number of altercations since his sentence began.

According to a report by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (via People), the Subway star suffered a bloody nose and facial bruising after being attacked in the recreation yard. "He's been slapped around fairly consistently since the start of his sentence — it just hasn't been reported," said prison consultant Larry Levine. "He's had several inmates warn him to keep away, and he's been threatened that if he says anything about being roughed up, they'll get to him."

Though Fogle may not be making many friends behind bars, Radar Online reported that he has found a pen pal who allegedly exchanges explicit letters with him.

C-Murder is hungry for justice

In 2009, The Associated Press (via MTV) reported that rapper C-Murder (real name Corey Miller) was sentenced to life in prison for the 2002 nightclub murder of 16-year-old Stephen Thomas. According to The Hype Magazine, the rapper has always maintained his innocence, and a whopping 16 years after his initial arrest, he may be getting a second chance. In the spring of 2018, C-Murder was reportedly transferred to a "transitional facility," which could mean he's preparing for an early release. C-Murder's publicist Tammy "Ty" Page told All Hip Hop that an inmate incarcerated in Georgia confessed to Thomas' murder. On top of that, WDSU reports a key witness "recanted his testimony" and claimed C-Murder was not the person he saw shoot the gun. "I want him to know I'm not upset with him. I'm proud of him," C-Murder told WDSU of the witness." 

C-Murder's time in prison has not been easy. All Hip Hop reports the star went on a hunger strike with his fellow inmates after they were "treated inhumanely" and "denied proper healthcare." Page claimed her client was "placed in handcuffs for nearly 24 hours" during a 2017 incident, and his hands swelled up so much they "had to cut the handcuffs off of him nearing amputation."

Please... wait a minute, wait a minute, Mr. Postman

Anthony Weiner can't sext in prison, but he can write letters. According to the New York Post, the disgraced former congressman is reportedly "looking for pen pals." Where can we not send our application? In September 2017, Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting a 15-year-old girl. In prison, cellphones are contraband, so it seems Weiner is opting for snail mail instead. 

According to the New York Post, the ex-politician set up a rather upbeat away message on his personal email account before he went to the slammer. "I'll be away for a while, but I would love to stay in touch," he reportedly wrote. "As quaint as it may sound, the best way to reach me is by sending me a letter … please include your full mailing address here and, of course, include it when you write." The convicted sex offender also asked his pals to send him a few books, and apparently he couldn't help but make a joke about prison living: "And although you didn't ask — yes, you may send me books via Amazon. (No Crock-Pots or washer/dryers, though)."