5 of the Most Infamous and Scandalous Celebrity Trials in History

We know that celebrities hardly ever behave, but when the law gets involved, it usually results in a scandal that is tough for a celeb to shake—no matter how famous or beloved they are. In many cases, the lawsuit or scandal becomes the reason behind the celebrity’s fame (or infamy), and their work is long forgotten. Read on to learn about some of the juiciest celebrity trials we’ve ever seen, and the far-reaching effects they had on each of the stars’ careers.

O.J. Simpson


When O.J. was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, the media was in a full-coverage frenzy (as they usually are with these things.) As coverage continued, the country was polarized between “did he?” and “didn’t he?” Everyone had an opinion, and the entire nation was divided—greatly due to the fact that it turned into a “race case,” which always causes people to take sides quickly. With the mysterious gloves and an exciting car chase, the footage and evidence grew stranger, yet stronger. Although Simpson’s attorney, Robert Shapiro, demonstrated a lack of respect for the court and the charge, Simpson was ultimately acquitted of murder.

Michael Vick

The then-Minnesota Viking was arrested on animal cruelty charges when he was discovered to have been running an illegal and vicious dog-fighting ring. Breeding pit bulls for the dubious “sport,” killing unprofitable dogs by hanging, knifing, and shooting dogs was among the allegations lobbied at Vick. Apparently Vick wasn’t making enough money as a professional football player, so he needed a side job to bring in a little extra cash.

Michael Jackson

We can’t talk about celebrity court cases without mentioning the King of Pop and the charges of child abuse leveled against him. MJ was accused of inviting underprivileged adolescent boys to his amusement park-themed home, the Neverland Ranch, serving them a wine drink he called “Jesus Juice,” and committing sexual crimes against them. As the King of Pop’s reputation took a dive, fans were disappointed and the nation was once again divided and skeptical about what the real truth was.

Roman Polanski

The celebrated movie director was charged and ultimately convicted of “unlawful sex with a minor” after tapes he shot of him with the young girl surfaced years later. The 13-year-old girl in the tape was an adult by the time the case reached trial, but she was reluctant to cooperate with the courts and appeared to want to stay out of the spotlight. This case was more of a hidden scandal since it had taken place so many years prior—however, the media loves any type of scandal, especially one that involves skeletons in the closet.

Kobe Bryant

Bryant was accused of raping a young woman working at the Colorado spa where he was staying to recuperate from knee surgery. The charges were eventually dismissed and Bryant settled out of court in the civil case she brought against him relating to the charges. Luckily for him, Bryant is talented enough that the case is still remembered, but not overshadowing for his career. Plus, plenty of famous athletes have fouled up their lives since then, so the legal spotlight has moved on to others since Kobe’s debut.

When celebrities behave badly, they cannot escape scrutiny from the media and speculation from their fans. These cases were infamous and their notoriety may outlive the stars’ careers themselves, which is unfortunate for those who worked so hard to cultivate a successful career. Fame is a fickle thing, and as you can see, you can be the golden child one day, and an enemy of the state the next. Information for this article was provided by ICBC lawyers in Vancouver at Kenneth Cristall Legal.

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