When you think of prison celebrity may not be the first thing that pops to mind, however, the rich and famous make mistakes and commit crimes just like everyday people, and as a result serve jail time. Today we’re spotlighting eight celebrity moms who’ve spent time in prison.
1. Martha Stewart – In March of 2004, The “Queen of Homemaking” Martha Stewart was found guilty of felony charges of conspiracy, obstruction of an agency proceeding, and making false statements to federal investigators. Stewart served a five-month term in a federal correctional facility and a two-year period of supervised release, which included five months of electronic monitoring.
2. Lil’ Kim – On March 17, 2005, rapper, Lil Kim, real name Kimberly Denise Jones, was convicted of three counts of conspiracy and one count of perjury for lying to a Federal grand jury about her and her friends’ involvement in a 2001 shooting. In July 2005, Jones was sentenced to a year in prison, thirty days home detention upon release from custody, and three years of probation. She was released on July 3, 2006, after serving approximately 12 months.
3. Amber Portwood – In June of 2012, Teen Mom star Amber Portwood began a 5-year prison sentence as the result of a December 2011 arrest for possession of drugs, felony domestic violence and failing to complete a court-ordered rehab program. In 2013, she was released from Indiana’s Rockville Correctional Facility, four years early.
4. Teresa Giudice – On March 4, 2014, Real Housewives of New Jersey cast member Teresa Giudice and her husband Joe entered a guilty plea to 41 counts of fraud, following a deal struck with federal prosecutors. The couple was accused of engaging in bank, mail, wire, and bankruptcy fraud, which allegedly saw them net over $5 million over a 10-year period. On October 2, 2014, the reality star was sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison, while her husband received a 41-month term. The couple will serve their sentences separately, so one parent may be allowed to stay with their children. Teresa began her sentence on January 5, 2015.
5. Lauryn Hill – On May 6, 2013, singer-songwriter, Lauryn Hill was sentenced to serve three months in prison for tax evasion and three months of house arrest. She had faced a possible sentence of as long as 36 months, and the sentence given took into account her lack of a prior criminal record and her six minor-aged children. Hill was released from prison on October 4, 2013, a few days early for good behavior, and began her home confinement and probationary periods.
6. Leona Helmsley – Leona Helmsley was an American businesswoman known for her flamboyant personality and had a reputation for tyrannical behavior that earned her the nickname “Queen of Mean.” Following allegations by unpaid contractors that work done on her home had been charged to her company, she was investigated and convicted of federal income tax evasion and other crimes in 1989. She initially received a sentence of 16 years, but served only 19 months in prison and two months under house arrest. During the trial, a former housekeeper testified that she had heard Helmsley say: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.” In 2007, Helmsley died from congestive heart failure at the age of 87.
7. Marion Jones – On January 11, 2008, former world champion track and field athlete, and pro basketball player, Marion Jones was sentenced to six months in jail resulting from her involvement in a check fraud case and her use of performance-enhancing drugs. She served all six months.
8. Sophia Loren – Sophia Loren was convicted, in absentia, of tax evasion in 1980. She appealed but eventually was sentenced to 30 days in prison, and spent only 17 of those days in jail. “My sons were 14 and nine when I packed my bags. When they came to say goodbye, I tried to memorize their expressions,” the legendary actress recalled in her memoir. “I think that being locked away is the worst form of punishment that any human being can ever be forced to endure.”