Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Juvenile Delinquents

Script written by Alex Slade Everybody loves a bad boy (or girl), but these celebrities took that a little too literally when they were younger. Even the most famous of celebrities have had troubled pasts that some them get into trouble with the law, their friends and family and their schools. From the obvious choices like Eminem, Mark Wahlberg and Danny Trejo, to the less obvious like Stephen Fry, Drew Barrymore and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson!
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Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Juvenile Delinquents


They may be celebrities, but they had to grow up like the rest of us, and sometimes that means making tough choices. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebrities Who Were Juvenile Delinquents.

For this list, we’re taking a look at those entertainers who had rocky childhoods, in that certain decisions they made while growing up led to serious consequences, which the performers may or may not have come to regret in their adult life.

#10: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

It’s impossible not to love The Rock. From his wrestling days to his movie days, he’s always been charming, but it took a lot of work to get to where he is now. Being arrested multiple times before the age of 17 sure sounds like a tough thing to get over. Today, it’s as hard to picture an afro’d teenage Dwayne Johnson as it is to picture him being involved in a theft ring, yet both happened. Evicted from his apartment at age 14 while living in Hawaii, he’d target tourists, stealing upmarket clothing and jewelry... and shoplifting Snickers bars.

#9: Stephen Fry

A fascinating man, as intellectual as he is charismatic, Stephen Fry worked to get to where he is, but was a troubled youth nonetheless. Expelled from school at 15, Fry’s darkest teen days came at age 17. Arrested for credit card fraud, young Stephen spent three months in prison after being found in the possession of a stolen card. It’s hard to believe, yes, but how he got caught is suitably Stephen Fry - he was arrested in a four-star hotel room after buying classy shoes and an Ingersoll watch. Mind you, it also didn’t help that the hotel he chose was directly across the street from the police station.

#8: Mike Tyson

This is one person you definitely do not want to get physical with. Before he was the youngest heavyweight champion of all time, Mike Tyson had his fair share of run-ins with the law. Snatching a purse at the age of 12 was only part of his spree, during which he was arrested multiple times before the age of 13. Young Tyson’s life of crime, however, led to his eventual break, as it was a detention center counselor who first saw his potential as a boxer and introduced him to Cus D’Amato, who not only helped him become the heavyweight champion, but also became his legal guardian.

#7: Drew Barrymore

Sure, Drew Barrymore’s adult life has had its... bolder... moments, but they pale in comparison to her childhood. A star at seven, thanks to her role in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, she became a smoker by age nine, added booze to the mix at 11, pot at 12, and cocaine by 13. A Studio 54 regular even as a child, Barrymore entered rehab at 14 and after a suicide attempt, eventually lived with David Crosby for a few months – who was himself known for substance abuse issues – in an effort to remain sober.

#6: Snoop Dogg

Selling weed while in high school is one thing, but Snoop took it to a whole other level and that level involved cocaine trafficking. That’s not to say he didn’t also sell weed - Cameron Diaz can attest to that. During his post-high school years, he was in and out of prison, Snoop continued with his criminal actions, traveled with a gang, and continued to possess illegal drugs and even firearms. Although Snoop has regular drug related brushes with the law, his arrest in 1993 was for something much more serious: murder. Detained in connection to a killing conducted by his bodyguard, Snoop was cleared of all charges soon after.

#5: Eminem

Growing up without knowing his father and always moving from town to town was not an easy life for Eminem, especially when he constantly fought with his mother. Bullied to the point where his mom filed a suit against his school, Eminem eventually dropped out at age 17 due to poor grades and poor attendance. Marshall Mathers’ troubled youth also introduced him to his two-time spouse Kim and set up his mother’s infamous $10-million lawsuit for slander.

#4: Merle Haggard

It’s hard to picture country icon Merle Haggard beating someone during a burglary attempt, but that was when he was barely a teen. It’s safe to say Merle turned his life around, but when he was young, he was sent to a juvenile detention center multiple times for larceny and truancy, and even escaped. Going to prison, however, is what turned things around for him: he earned a high-school equivalency diploma and played in the prison band. Haggard’s post jailhouse success even earned him a pardon, from then California governor Ronald Reagan.

#3: Danny Trejo

An actor with over 300 film credits sure has a lot of stories to tell, and not just mean fictional ones, either. Beginning as a petty criminal alongside his uncle and shady mentor, Trejo eventually earned jail time for stabbing a man with a broken bottle. Additionally, his early life was also littered with drug use – from marijuana to whatever he could get his hands on. Trejo’s drug life eventually led him to be arrested in 1965 for selling drugs to an undercover police officer. Later completing an in-prison 12-step program, Trejo became a drug counselor and worked to help others struggling with addiction.

#2: 50 Cent

Usually, when someone’s been shot nine times, they die, but not 50 Cent. It takes a special kind of person to be able to survive that, and his past no doubt hardened him to the pains and struggles of adulthood. Being born to a cocaine dealer is not the best start to a childhood, and 50 became a drug dealer himself at age 12. His life as a pusher, however, went downhill when his school’s metal detectors indicated he was carrying a gun. Following a pair of arrests in 1994, 50 was sent to a juvenile detention center and decided to turn his life around, ultimately adopting his 50 Cent moniker.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Alan K. Simpson

- Courtney Love

- Charles S. Dutton


#1: Mark Wahlberg

Blinding someone is a hard thing to live with, and it’s something Mark Wahlberg has lived with his entire adult life. When he was 16, he beat a Vietnamese man, which resulted in the victim supposedly going blind in one eye. It was only much later in life that the victim revealed that he’d actually lost the eye during the Vietnam War. Before that, though, Wahlberg was addicted to cocaine at only 13 years old, and dropped out of school entirely. Thankfully, a parish priest helped him get back on track, and his reflection while behind bars prompted him to make a change - one that appears to have stuck.
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