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Top 10 Reality Stars Who Went to Jail

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Spencer Sher From Reality Stars to criminals! Paris Hilton, Bobby Brown, Khloe Kardashian, Abby Lee Miller, Apollo Nida, Renee Alway, Teresa Giudice, Will Hayden Amber Portwood and Janelle Evans are reality TV’s biggest stars. They’ve also got another thing in common: convicted criminals. Take a look at our Top 10 Reality Stars Who went to Jail.

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Top 10 Reality Stars Who Went to Jail

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reality Stars Who Went to Jail.

For this list, we’ll be taking a look at men and women who share the dubious double distinction of having both appeared on reality TV and been incarcerated at some point. For simplicity’s sake, anyone who was brought to jail and booked will be considered.

#10: Paris Hilton

Ah yes, the original queen of reality TV. Hilton, along with her co-star Nicole Richie burst onto the scene as the clueless duo of rich party girls who starred on “The Simple Life”, a reality series that forced the socialites to do menial, low paying jobs, highlighting their detachment from the real world. Ironically enough, both women would soon find themselves serving prison sentences for car related crimes. In 2007, Hilton was caught speeding and driving with a suspended license and sentenced to 45 days in jail. That same year, Richie was busted for driving under the influence and slapped with a four-day sentence, of which she only served only 82 minutes!

#9: Bobby Brown

This singer was a controversial figure long before he got his own reality TV series. “Being Bobby Brown” was meant to depict the daily life of Brown and his then-wife Whitney Houston. It received high ratings but poor reviews, and when Houston didn’t sign on for a second season, the show was ultimately canceled. Brown had a long history of personal drama and run-ins with the law, but even by his standards, it was a particularly rough patch. Between 2003 and 2006, he was arrested a number of times for DUI-related offenses and missed child support payments. Of course, his legal problems didn’t end there.

#8: Khloé Kardashian

As far as reality TV stars go, Khloé Kardashian is up there with the best of them. As a key component on the hit series “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” as well as its subsequent spin-offs “Kourtney and Khloé Take Miami” and “Khloé & Lamar”, the middle Kardashian sister is the epitome of “famous for being famous”. In 2008 however, she found herself staring down the barrel of an unglamorous 30-day prison sentence after having broken the terms of her probation for a 2007 DUI. In a familiar twist, Kardashian would only serve under three hours behind bars due to overcrowding in the prison.

#7: Richard Hatch

Who could forget the antics of Richard Hatch from the first season of “Survivor”? The Rhode Island native had a penchant for walking around in the nude and goading fellow contestants into verbal battles. He played the game so aggressively, in fact, that he’s been featured on a number of “Nastiest TV Villain” lists. And yet, Hatch managed to win season 1; taking home a $1 million payday in the process. Unfortunately... he never paid taxes on said prize. He was later convicted of tax evasion and served 51 months in prison. Let that be a lesson to all reality TV winners: just because you won the money doesn’t mean there aren’t strings attached.

#6: Abby Lee Miller

This Pennsylvania dance instructor shot to fame in 2011 as the chief personality on the reality television series “Dance Moms”. The show follows Miller as she attempts to teach aspiring young dancers the tricks of the trade while simultaneously dealing with their often overzealous mothers. Everything was going great until 2015 when it was revealed that Miller had been hiding parts of her income from the IRS. This led to a 2017 conviction on charges of bankruptcy fraud as well as the concealment of bankruptcy assets. For this Miller was sentenced to one year and one day in jail. Too bad she couldn’t dance her way out of that one!

#5: Amber Portwood

Portwood made a name for herself on reality TV series “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom”. The latter of the two shows focuses on a group of young women as they struggle to balance their newfound motherhood with their personal and professional lives. Portwood found herself in hot water after she physically abused her child’s father Gary during an episode of the show. After a broad investigation, the reality TV star was charged with domestic violence and drug possession but managed to avoid prison by agreeing to check into a rehab facility. Unfortunately this didn’t last and Portwood was sentenced to five years in prison; but was released early due to good behavior.

#4: Apollo Nida

As the husband to Phaedra Parks, a longtime cast member of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”, Apollo Nida often clashed with his wife on screen. Well, that appears to be the least of their troubles now. In 2014, Nida was sentenced to eight years in prison after it was discovered that he stole millions of dollars from more than 50 different people over a four-year period. The scam worked by stealing people’s identities and then purchasing loans under their names. This is nothing new for Nida, as he previously served a six-year prison sentence from 2003 to 2009 for stealing cars.

#3: Renee Alway

Talk about a wasted potential! Renee Alway began her modeling career at the tender age of 13. She appeared in numerous publications over the years and dramatically increased her exposure when she made it all the way to the final three on “America’s Next Top Model” cycle 8. But nobody could have predicted what would happen next. The blonde blue-eyed Alway was arrested in 2013 after a standoff with California police officers. The former model and actress was sentenced to 12 years in prison on multiple counts of burglary, one count of vehicle theft, as well as illegal firearm possession. Where that side of her came from... we’ll never know!

#2: Teresa Giudice

Giudice rose to fame as one of the original members of the reality TV series “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”. Since 2009 the Italian-American author, entrepreneur and television personality has written multiple books and appeared on other reality TV shows such as “Celebrity Apprentice”. However, on October 2nd, 2014 Teresa and her husband Joe were convicted of 41 counts of fraud. Over the course of 10 years the couple had committed bank, mail and wire fraud to the tune of over $5 million. Teresa was sentenced to 15 months in prison while her husband got 41. Upon her release after 11 months served, Teresa quickly returned to the show that made her famous.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Jason Wahler

Alexis Neiers

Jenelle Evans

#1: Will Hayden

Disturbing doesn’t even scratch the surface when discussing the crimes of this former reality TV star. For five seasons Will Hayden was the primary subject on the Discovery Channel series “Sons of Guns”, a show centered on Red Jacket Firearms LLC, a firearms manufacturer based out of Louisiana. Hayden, along with his daughter Stephanie managed the shop and served as the show’s main characters. However, in 2017 Hayden was convicted of raping two girls, including a 12-year-old Stephanie years prior. Suffice to say the show was immediately cancelled. Due to the nature of his crimes Hayden was sentenced to life behind bars without possibility for parole.


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