Felony charges are not the end of life, especially for artists. The entertainment industry is much more forgiving of past mistakes, and several ex-felons with celebrity status still get the numbers.

So, if you have a passion in life, be it music, theatre, or dancing, there is still hope for you. Also, remember to aim for the highest heights. You might not get star status, but you can still earn significant money in the profession.

List of Ex-felons with Celebrity Status Today

Some celebrities have committed crimes before their success. Others celebrities have been convicted of felonies after becoming famous.

People Who Became Celebrities after the Felony

4 People who gained their celebrities after the felony are listed below:

Robert Downey Jr.

Before his Marvel success, Robert Downey Jr. suffered from drug addiction and has a felony for it. He did get a pardon for his crimes later but still has a felony record against him. Another significant charge against him is the possession of a pistol.

Mark Wahlberg

Wahlberg has been charged with both murder and racist hate crimes. He pleaded guilty to the assault. At the time of the charges, he was pretty young. Now, he has publically apologized for his actions and has come a long way.

Danny Trejo

With 11 years in jail for drugs and armed robbery, Danny Trejo has come a long way. Now, you can see him on-screen with his badass persona, but before, he had the experience of living in prison. He used the time there to learn boxing, get clean, and get his life together.

Matthew McConaughey

Matthew was arrested on suspicion of possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and resisting transportation. He was loudly playing bongos while dancing on top of the table. All while being under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

Now, the presence of a felony is not a stepping stone towards celebrity status. These people have turned their life around with dedication to their craft and resolve to lead a better life.

Ex-felons with Celebrity Status – Stars Who Committed Crime After Becoming Famous 

Other celebrities got caught in controversies after becoming famous and committed felonies. The fame comes with several pressures and public scrutiny. Here are 4 stars who committed the felony.

Bill Cosby

Me Too movement led to several names reveals, and one of them was Bill Cosby. In 2017 he was found guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.

Courtney Love

In 2003, she was convicted of the felony of drug possession. In 2004, she was charged with felony assault as she attacked a woman with a flashlight and bottle.


In the year 2000, Eminem was convicted of possession of a concealed weapon and also for assault. He did plead guilty to both the charges in court.

Stephen Fry

There are others as well who suffer from mental issues. Stephen Fry has bipolar disorder, and in 1993, he stole a family friend’s credit card and went on a spending spree. The act landed him in prison for theft.

While some were able to overcome their past for a better future, others weren’t as lucky. But, being in the public eye can take a significant toll on people, resulting in such instances.

The Forgiving Nature of Entertainment Industry

The world of entertainment is much more forgiving. Employers in the entertainment industry are light on their background checks, and your craft can help you earn good money. So, people who have particular passions can still lead a happy and fulfilling life.


A criminal record is not the end of your dreams. Several actors and singers have been able to turn their image around even after huge setbacks. These ex-felons with celebrity status prove that people are willing to forgive the past of people who show positive change.

So, just because you have hit the slump does not mean that it will only go downhill from here. Still, it is best to take the past as a learning experience and turn your life around.

While the change can start right from the prison, it’s never too late to change.

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