Celebrities are always looking glamorous, and we find ourselves admiring the perfect lives they’ve constructed for themselves. This is what makes it surprising and thrilling when they do awful things and end up in the back of a cop car, reminding us for a moment that they’re just like the rest of us – they face struggles and make mistakes.
When these guys get arrested for erring, we get to see their mugshots in all its humiliating glory. Granted, looking your best is definitely not a priority when you find yourself in trouble with the law, but some celebrities just looked absolutely embarrassing in their mugshots. However, others have shown us that it’s possible to still look fresh and impeccably stylish in mugshots. Here’s a list of 10 best and worst celebrity mugshots you probably haven’t seen.
Best Celebrity Mugshots
Before Jay-Z became the prim and proper business mogul/world-class artist that we know today, he was not afraid to get his hands dirty or rough up anyone who crossed him. The rapper had the entire world paying attention to him early on in his career (in 1999), not because he dropped another outstanding record, but because he was arrested for felony assault.
He allegedly stabbed a record executive, Lance Riviera, with a 5-inch knife, perforating his stomach for leaking his album. Lance filed a civil suit for over 500 thousand dollars in settlement. Jay-Z was picked up by the police and his mugshot was taken. He managed to look laidback like he was in the middle of a photo shoot for his next album cover, even though he wasn’t wearing anything fancy. We have seen many celebrity mugshots over the years and this is certainly one of the best.
2. Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton was the ultimate “It girl” before the dawn of the Kardashians. Paris is a lot of things: a socialite, tv personality, model, actress, businesswoman, singer, celebrity DJ, and an occasional lawbreaker. In her heydays, she was arrested a number of times. In 2010, she was arrested outside a nightclub in Las Vegas for possession of cocaine. After a wild night of clubbing, drug use, and dealing with law enforcement agents, Paris still managed to look better than most people on their best day in her mugshot.
In fact, it became an instant pop culture sensation. There are other mugshots of her from other arrests, each one more stunning than the last. You would be forgiven for arguing that the pictures were cropped from a red carpet shoot, rather than a mugshot. That’s how fantastic she looks in them.
3. Justin Bieber
Sometime in January 2014, Bieber was arrested for driving under the influence, with an expired license, and for resisting arrest. The Canadian singer confessed that he had taken a mixture of alcohol, marijuana, and the anxiety medication Xanax – a combination that could have landed him in the ER had things gone further south. The young pop star was grinning in his mugshot like he was on the red carpet and not on the way to jail, proving once again that it is almost impossible to take a bad picture of him. Check out all the fine celebrity mugshots you’ve ever seen, you won’t find any cooler than what we have here.
4. Bruno Mars
Shortly after the release of his hit single Just The Way You Are, Bruno Mars blessed us with one of the best celebrity mugshots ever when he was arrested at a Las Vegas casino and later charged for possession of cocaine. His lovely grin made us pay less attention to the crime he committed. If anything, it reminded us why we all adore the Grammy-winning singer who has made us throw our hands in the air and funk up the dance floor or come close to tears by just listening to his soul-searching lyrics.
Bruno Mars pleaded guilty to the offense, swearing that he had never tried drugs before and that it was just a foolish attempt at experimentation. He managed to escape jail time but had to pay a fine, go for drug counseling, and serve the community. He has stayed trouble free since, but his mugshot is forever immortalized.
5. David Bowie
Taken nearly half a century ago, legendary rock singer David Bowie‘s mugshot from when he was arrested for possession of a huge amount of marijuana, just after a concert, is one of the coolest you will ever see. He was only 29 then and at the peak of his career. The rock musician was looking at over 15 years in prison for the drugs that were found on him, but thankfully, a grand jury passed on convicting him and the charges were dropped. Bowie can be seen wearing a crisply tailored English suit and staring into the camera with soulful eyes. The mugshot is certainly one of his best pictures you’d come across.
6. Michelle Rodriguez
The Fast and Furious star was arrested in December 2005 for driving under influence, which violated her existing probation. While she was being processed, she kept screaming and cursing at the officers but somehow managed to look calm, wearing a silent self-satisfied smirk for her mugshot.
She said that the combination of steroids she was using to treat allergies, her erratic period, her skin that was shedding due to the medication she was on, and general stress, made her really manic and full of energy that had to be quelled somehow. She certainly doesn’t look like her troubles in the mugshot. When given the option of jail time or community service, Michelle chose to spend 5 less-than-savory nights in jail.
Worst Celebrity Mugshots
For everything that’s dope, there is an equivalent measure of uncool. So, the following are some of the celebs who have entertained us with some not-fashionable mugshots.
7. Gary Coleman
The actor who rose to fame playing Arnold in Different Strokes, an American 80s sitcom, was arrested in 2010 on a charge of domestic assault, which he was later found not guilty of, but not before he gave us one of the most haunting mugshots in history. Gary Coleman’s attitude seemed to be getting progressively worse and taking several bad shapes after the show ended – he once intentionally hit a fan with his truck. Whatever it was that was pissing him off might explain why he was glowering at the camera while the photographic portrait was being taken. Seriously, the mugshot can probably be used to scare children into good behavior and will always rank among worst celebrity mugshots.
8. Shia Labeouf
Former child star and actor, Shia Labeouf has had several run-ins with the law. He has been arrested for public drunkenness, driving under influence, disorderly conduct, and criminal trespassing. His first arrest was in 2005 when he threatened a neighbor with a weapon for obstructing his parking spot. He was back in police custody in 2007, later on in 2011, and again in 2014. It was the last arrest that produced this embarrassing mugshot of him with tear-filled eyes after he was picked up for criminal trespassing and disorderly behavior. Till date, no one knows what he was crying about, maybe he felt deeply ashamed for his lousy behavior, including spitting on the officers who came to drag his law-breaking a** to jail.
9. Heather Locklear
This shouldn’t be left out in any list of worst celebrity mugshots. The Melrose Place star was arrested in 2008 on a charge of reckless driving and driving under the influence after she had trouble leaving a parking lot and kept driving over a pair of sunglasses. It was later discovered that she wasn’t drunk or on drugs, just suffering a side effect of the anxiety medication she was taking.
Heather looked disoriented like she had not slept in days in her mugshot, and we can’t unsee it. However, this was not her first or only brush with the law. She had been picked up for a hit-and-run, and more recently, on charges of domestic violence and battery, the latter which she committed against the police officers who appeared first on the scene. Heather has not had the easiest life, she’s been battling mental health issues and it might explain why she ends up on the wrong side of the law sometimes.
The award-winning rapper was arrested twice in 2000 on gun-related charges – he illegally possessed a firearm. His mugshot was taken after the second arrest because he assaulted a bouncer in a parking lot for kissing his wife, talk about the fury of a lover scorned. From his haircut to the scowl on his face, nothing in the mugshot was working out. Perhaps, the lyrical genius was going for a tough, menacing, gangster look, but it turned out a lot less flattering.
Despite his many brushes with the law, Slim Shady has never been to jail, but this mugshot remains one of the worst celebrity mugshots we have had the displeasure of seeing. The rapper himself admits that after that encounter, he decided enough was enough and, that it was time to fix himself up and get his affairs together. Thankfully, he has managed to do that over the years.