As 2013 fades into its final weeks, it’s time to look back and reflect. There are plenty of people writing about the big stories of 2013, The Boston Massacre, the Trayvon Martin murder case, civil war in Syria, etc, but today let’s bite into my favorite guilty pleasure: Celebrity Arrests. But this isn’t just a way to let off steam during a busy holiday season. Our obsession with celebrity arrests serves a very vital function. With all the celebrity worship that goes on in today’s society, it’s important to remember from time to time that the celebrity life is more than glitz and glamour, and, while celebrities get away with more than most of us, they are not above the law.
Let’s start with someone North Texas sports fans know well, Lamar Odom. Lamar is best known around the country for his celebrity wife (and super-celebrity sister-in-law), but around here he is best known for the dismal 2/3 season of basketball he gave the Dallas Mavericks two years ago. Fresh off of an award winning season (Lamar won the league’s 6th Man of the Year in 2011), the Mavs were expecting big contributions from the almost 7 foot forward, instead they got half-hearted play and atrocious numbers prompting Mark Cuban to ask Lamar to go home before the season was even over. Well the troubles did not end there for Lamar. After a few tumultuous days in which Lamar was supposedly missing, the former NBA star was picked up for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol last August in California. The case is still pending but Lamar has pleaded not guilty.
Comedian Jeff Garlin probably gets the award for an arrest that sounds most like a scene of out of his own TV show. Garlin has gotten into numerous bizarre altercations with co-star Larry Davidson on the hit comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm. But this year, a real life argument ended with his arrest last June. Reports indicate that Garlin was breaking car windows during a heated argument over a parking spot. Maybe he forgot the show wasn’t running this year.
South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius had perhaps the fastest fall from grace of 2013. Barely half a year after captivating the world for being the world’s first double amputee to run with able bodied men at the 2012 Olympics, Pistorius, also known as Blade Runner, was arrested and charged with murdering his girlfriend. The details of this South African case are blurred, but Pistorius claims that he believed that his girlfriend was an intruder and shot her in self-defense. Since the arrest, multiple stories, such as this one, have surfaced about his life painting Blade Runner as an erratic, gun nut. We’ll have to see how this one plays out.
Update: Pistorius was recently hit with two more gun charges for acts that allegedly took place before the shooting of his girlfriend in February.
Aaron Hernandez’s murder charge has been one of the most captivating stories of the year and for good reason. Last year Hernandez was a rising young player for the New England Patriots. After the season the Patriots even awarded their tight end with a 40 million dollar contract extension (and if you’re not aware the Patriots are notoriously cheap). Hernandez was a very highly touted prospect out of the University of Florida in 2010, but had a history of drug use and gang associations causing his draft stock to fall to the fourth round. But a few years of good play had put those fears in the rearview mirror for Patriots fans. But then came the shooting death of Odin Lloyd last June. Aaron has been the top suspect since day one after numerous pieces of circumstantial evidence establish that the two had an altercation that night and place him at the murder scene. Not to mention that Aaron apparently broke his security system that same day and hired professional cleaners for his home. The prosecution’s case does have holes, however, as police have yet to find the weapon used in the murder. Aaron has hired top of the line legal council and will proceed to trial some time next year. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
And there were so many more. Former porn star, Jenna Jamison, was charged with battery in April. Reese Witherspoon was charged with disorderly conduct after she loudly disagreed with an Atlanta’s police officer decision to arrest her husband. Craig Robinson, best known for his role as Daryl on The Office, was arrested for drug possession in October in the Bahamas. Rapper, Chris Brown, who made headlines in 2009 for assaulting his then-girlfriend Rihanna, was once again charged with assault for incidents stemming from an altercation outside the W hotel in Washington D.C. Even squeaky, clean sportscaster, Al Michaels, got in on the action this year and was charged with a DUI in April. And let us not forget about these celebrities who are no strangers to controversy: former and current NFL stars, Chad Ochocinco and Adam Jones, rappers, 2Chainz and DMX, and actors Kevin Hart and David Cassidy. It’s been a busy year indeed.