With Lindsay Lohan starting a 90-day jail term this week, Folklaw thought it would take a look at 10 celebrities who have been thrown in the slammer.
1. Paris Hilton: The most famous person who is famous for being famous. Hilton received a 45-day sentence in 2007 for violating her probation after being picked up by the cops when driving while her licence was suspended. Hilton only served a limited amount of time in jail, but she told E! News that "when I come out, I can't wait to start my new life and be stronger than I am now".
Folklaw knows that the new, "stronger" Hilton is itching to get involved in the Middle-east peace process and use her fame to advance various causes, but first she needs to do a little more shopping and have some more "me" time.
2. Robert Downey Junior: The precociously talented actor went through a rough trot in the mid to late 1990's, as he battled various addictions. In 1997, he missed a court ordered drug test and was sentenced to four months in a Los Angeles County jail. On his release, he continued to battle with booze and drugs and after missing another court ordered drug test in 1999, he spent nearly one year in the slammer.This proved to be a career masterstroke for Downey Junior. On his release, he joined the cast of Ally McBeal, for which he has received Emmy Awards, which sits somewhere between LA Law and Rumpole of the Bailey on Folklaw's list of favourite legal dramas.
3. Johnny Cash: The man in black with a striking resemblance to Joaquin Phoenix, was one of the great rock n roll rabble rousers. Cash was busted several times for drug possession and on one occasion, starting a forest fire after his truck caught fire. However, his time on the inside was always brief, normally to sober up, and he never served a prison sentence. Cash must have liked prison, because two of his most well known albums were live recordings at San Quentin and Folsom Prisons. God rest his sole.
4. Phil Spector: Another musical genius, the record producer famous for creating the "wall of sound" production technique is now surround by walls of a different kind after being convicted of murder last year. The eccentric recluse who has produced amongst others The Ronettes, The Righteous Brothers and The Ramones is now at Corcoran State Prison in California, where housemates include Charles Manson, a man who has inspired the Beatles and less memorably, Guns N Roses. No word yet on whether the two of them plan to collaborate, Johnny Cash style, and perform a prison gig. For Spector, there is nowhere for him to "do run run".
5. Marcus Einfeld: The former Queens Counsel and Justice of the Federal Court was sentenced to three years prison in March 2009 for knowingly making a false statement and perverting the course of justice. This all stemmed from a speeding fine he tried to wriggle out of, in which he initially said someone else was driving his car. Unfortunately for him and the woman Einfeld named, she had been dead for three years. Einfeld is still serving his sentence.
6. Nelson Mandela: Ok, he might not have deserved to go to jail, but he served 27 years in prison during the apartheid era. On his release he has been fairly busy, becoming the President of South Africa, inspiring the Springboks to a rugby world cup title and marrying the former President of Mozambique. Now in his 90's, the former lawyer is a beacon to humanity everywhere.
7. Gandhi: Another former lawyer (do you see a pattern here?) who was born in India, but first practiced law in the UK and South Africa. He was arrested shortly after returning to India, which prompted hundreds of thousands of protesters to rally outside the jail until he was soon released.While at a loose end between cases he decided to tackle the small matter of British rule in India. Famous for sitting down in order to get others to stand up, Gandhi employed the tactic of non-violent protest in order to topple the British Raj.
8. Oscar Wilde: The man who was famous for being earnest, "the Wilde one", as he was known to his mates, including the Marquess of Queensberry, spent time in Reading Gaol on the charge of gross indecency. He died in Paris shortly after his release. A true literary legend.
9. Wayne Carey: The former Australian Rules footballer was not a lawyer, but he has kept plenty of lawyers busy. Carey was first arrested in 2004 in Las Vegas on a charge of misdemeanor battery, and released after one night in custody. He was also arrested on a charged of assaulting a police officer in Miami in 2007 (going to the USA made him angry, apparently), and was arrested on home turf in Melbourne in 2008 after having to be subdued by police with capsicum spray. Carey was ordered to do community service by American authorities as a result of his Miami shenanigans, and is now back in Australia, seeking redemption of sorts.
10. Conrad Black: The former media tycoon, also known as Lord Black of Crossharbour after being made a British peer (not as hard as it used to be), was convicted of fraud in 2007 and sentenced to six and a half years jail, but was released this week.Black was once the owner of the Daily Telegraph (UK) and a director of Fairfax. Before being locked up, he and Lady Black became known for their lavish parties, with his lifestyle once memorably described by one of his biographers as being "that of a millionaire living like a billionaire". American authorities are still to determine whether he should face additional charges, such as holding a preposterously named title.
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