From Michael Jackson to Britney Spears: Celebrities Who’ve Been Charged With Horrific Sex Crimes

If the latest Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment allegations have taught us anything, it’s that famous people are just as troubled as anyone else. We may like to think of celebrities as role models, but they’re just as imperfect as the rest of us — and in fact, plenty of them have criminal records. 

Harvey Weinstein is far from the first famous face to make the news for his indiscretions. From domestic violence to murder, celebrities have been accused of some shocking crimes. And sadly, some of America’s most famous faces have been accused of some horrific sex crimes. Some managed to settle out of court, while others went to prison.

Nelly

Nelly standing in black shades and a black shirt at a red carpet event.

A concerning trend among celebrities. | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

Early on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, rapper Nelly was arrested on his tour bus after someone accused him of rape. He was arrested on suspicion of second degree rape, and although he was eventually released without being charged, the case is still pending.

Nelly is the latest example of a long line of celebrities that have been accused of sex-related crimes.

Next: America’s sweetheart, exposed.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears is in a silver dress on the red carpet.

Britney Spears allegedly tried to seduce a body guard. | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Even pop princess Britney Spears isn’t immune from allegations. Her ex-bodyguard, Fernando Flores, alleged that Spears paraded around naked in front of him and attempted to seduce him on several occasions. The case was settled out of court.

Next: This star was involved in sex cults and scandal.

R. Kelly

R.Kelly performing on stage while holding a microphone.

R. Kelly is familiar with sex crimes. | Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

R. Kelly’s sex crime scandals span several decades. He married Aaliyah in 1994 when she was just 15 years old (he was 27), sparking rumors that he was into younger girls. Those rumors continued in 1996 when Tiffany Hawkins accused him of inappropriate sexual contact with her and other minors when she was 15 years old. In the years that followed, sex tapes and other accusations emerged, culminating in a 2008 child pornography trail, where he was acquitted of charges.

But recently, Kelly has been accused of running a sex cult by a woman who broke free and broke her confidentiality agreement to come forward. The woman’s accusations are horrifying, including being groomed at that age of 16 to please Kelly sexually and being held against her will. Kelly and his attorneys have denied everything.

Next: This Red Hot Chili Peppers star got into hot water. 

Anthony Kiedis

Anthony Kidis is shirtless and is singing on stage.

Anthony Kiedis was charged with indecent exposure. | Rob Carr/Getty Images

In 1989, the Red Hot Chili Peppers played at George Mason University in Fairfax County, Virginia. After the show, Anthony Kiedis, the band’s frontrunner, exposed himself to a woman outside his dressing room. He was convicted of indecent exposure and sexual battery.

Next: The face of Subway sandwiches is behind bars.

Jared Fogle

Jared Fogle wearing glasses and a suit at an event as he stares straight ahead.

Jared Fogle is paying for his crimes. | Slaven Vlasic

Everyone knew Jared Fogle as the man who lost an impressive amount of weight eating Subway sandwiches. Now we know him as the man who pled guilty to possessing and distributing child pornography and crossing state lines to pay for sex acts with at least two teenage girls. He’s in prison for 15 years, where he belongs.

Next: The Voice said “forget you” to this singer.

Cee Lo Green

Cee Lo Green in gold shades and a gold shirt on a red carpet.

Cee Lo Green ended up without a job. | Michael Loccisano

A few years ago, Cee Lo Green pleaded no contest after a woman accused him of slipping ecstasy into her drink during a date. He completed his court-ordered 360 hours of community service, but The Voice never agreed to allow him to return.

Next: No more great adventures for Pee-wee.

Paul Reubens aka Pee Wee Herman

Paul Reubens wearing a button down shirt and black blazer.

Paul Reubens’ family-friendly persona was tarnished. | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Pee-wee has had his share of trouble since his playhouse days. In 1991, he pleaded no contest to indecent exposure charges when he was caught exposing himself in a movie theater. Then, in 2001, police searched his home and found over 30,000 pornographic images, some of which included minors. He was sentenced to three years of probation and had to register as a sex offender.

Next: These disturbing allegations spanned decades.

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby wearing a tan collared shirt, with his hands out and speaking in an interview

Bill Cosby shocked the world with his actions. | ABC

Once known as a wholesome family man and the funny father on The Cosby Show, Bill Cosby now has accusations of sexual misconduct that span 50 years. He has been accused of drugging and molesting dozens of women, and he admitted he has “acted inappropriately” on more than one occasion. Despite numerous testimonies from his victims, his case was declared a mistrial.

Next: A Lowe point.

 Rob Lowe

Rob Lowe pointing his index finger.

Rob Lowe faced charges for participating in a sex tape. | Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Plenty of people know that actor Rob Lowe made a sex tape. But what many aren’t aware of is that one of the women featured in the tape was a minor. The girl’s mother sued, and Rob settled out of court.

Next: A fall from grace.

Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins in a tan jacket and collared shirt, smiling slightly for the camera.

Stephen Collins underwent a serious investigation. | Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Stephen Collins was once known as the beloved father on 7th Heaven, but the man behind the character was far from holy. During a therapy session with his wife, he confessed to exposing himself to and molesting girls under the age of 13. His wife divorced him, and the FBI investigated him.

Next: This boxer’s career was interrupted by a prison sentence.

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson in a suit looking towards his side.

Mike Tyson spent time behind bars for his actions. | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

During the height of his boxing career, Mike Tyson was accused of rape by Desiree Washington, who said he assaulted her in a hotel room after inviting her in. A jury found him guilty and he spent three years in prison before he was paroled.

Next: This director was called the poster child for celeb sex offenses. 

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski signs autographs in front of fans.

Roman Polanski ruined the life of a teenager. | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning director, was arrested and charged with statutory rape, sodomy, and child molestation in 1977 after he drugged and slept with a 13-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to statutory rape, but once he was released from prison, he fled to France once he heard he may have to return to jail.

Since Polanski is a French citizen, he can’t be extradited to the U.S. But if he ever returns, he’ll have to face the music.

Next: This actor once brutally terrorized the Queen of Pop.

Sean Penn

Sean Penn poses for photos at a benefit dinner for 'Rebuild Haiti'.

The allegations against Sean Penn were shocking. | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization

Sean Penn’s marriage to Madonna was a volatile one — she once went to the hospital after he beat her with a baseball bat. In December 1988, when Madonna tried to leave the house after a fight, Penn tied her up and left her in a chair for hours, threatening to shave her head. He untied her hours later after she agreed to perform sexual acts on him. Madonna escaped and went straight to the police station. 

Next: This A-list actor wanted the wrong kind of massage.

John Travolta

John Travolta wearing a black suit and dark sunglasses.

John Travolta’s case was eventually settled. | Ian Gavan/Getty Images

In 2012, the legendary actor was accused of sexual assault and battery by two male massage therapists. According to the men, Travolta “got friendly” during the massages and groped them. The lawsuits were eventually dismissed.

Next: This late icon had a rough life.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson standing in front of a red curtain.

Michael Jackson has been at the center of a couple of child sex abuse scandals. | Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images

Michael Jackson was accused of sexually abusing children twice in his life. The first case took place in 1993, when then 13-year-old Jordan Chandler and his father accused Jackson of sexual abuse. Jackson eventually settled out of court with the family for $22 million.

In 2003, Jackson agreed to let a documentary film crew follow him around and film his life. When the documentary aired, some controversial scenes discussing sleepovers with young boys prompted a federal investigation. After the young boy involved in the documentary and his mother had told investigators that Jackson had behaved improperly, Jackson was arrested and charged with molestation. He was eventually acquitted.

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