By Emily Feimster
Martha Stewart may finally be free, but that doesn't mean other celebrities have learned from her mistakes. Uh-oh! Yes, despite having fame and fortune, some folks just can't seem to stay out of trouble, and this year has been no exception.
Though most celebrities manage to avoid the big house - Martha excluded - rapper Lil' Kim was not so lucky. In July, she was sentenced to serve a year in prison for lying to a federal grand jury about those responsible for a 2001 shooting outside a New York radio station. The rapper clutched a Bible and wept as the terms of her conviction were read in court. She was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and will face a further three years on probation. Kim began her sentence in September at a federal detention center just outside of Philadelphia - which is definitely no Camp Cupcake.
Two of this year's other big profile trials ended in acquittals. Big shocker! Actor Robert Blake was acquitted after standing accused of killing his wife Bonny Lee Bakley outside a restaurant in Los Angeles in 2001. Evidence to convict Blake was deemed circumstantial as there were no eyewitnesses, blood or DNA evidence to conclusively link him to the crime. Some felt justice was recently served, though, when a civil jury decided the actor was behind the slaying, and ordered him to pay Bakley's children $30 million in damages. At least now he and O.J. can lean on each other for support.
Also narrowly escaping jail was Michael Jackson
, whose child molestation trial was about as animated as his Neverland Ranch. Not only did he hop on top of an SUV to thank his fans for their support and even supply them with a few dances moves, but he also sparked controversy when he arrived at court wearing pajamas. After 14 weeks of testimony, Jackson was cleared of 10 charges of child molestation and conspiring to commit child abduction, false imprisonment and extortion.
Russell Crowe and Christian Slater certainly know a thing or two about getting off easy. Crowe made news this summer after throwing a telephone at a hotel employee when the man failed to get a phone connection to the actor's wife Danielle in Australia. Crowe has reportedly sealed a deal with the New York's District Attorney's office so he will avoid jail for his assault. Slater was arrested after allegedly feeling a woman's bottom in a New York street, while intoxicated. Slater was booked on two sexual misconduct charges and released from police custody. However, in September, the groping charges against Slater were dismissed.
Other celebs causing a ruckus include rap-rocker Kid Rock, who was arrested in Nashville on assault charges. He was charged with simple assault after allegedly punching DJ Jay Campos in Christie's Cabaret strip club in the early hours of the morning. Hey, at least it was somewhere classy! "Sopranos" actor Vincent Pastore pleaded guilty to attempted assault on his girlfriend, Lisa Regina, and was sentenced to community service and to undergo therapy for anger management. He was accused of punching Regina in the head, bruising her, grabbing her hair and yanking her out of his car with such force that she fell onto the street. Yikes! Maybe someone should tell him he's not on "The Sopranos" anymore.
Apparently "Rush Hour" star Chris Tucker also forgot he wasn't on a movie set when he was arrested after refusing to pull over when Georgia cops clocked him at 109 miles-per-hour. The pursuit lasted for about 10 miles before the Atlanta native stopped. He told authorities that he didn't hear their sirens because he was on his way to church. Riiight. He pleaded guilty to speeding and eluding police during a brief car chase and paid a fine of $6,999.
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter was arrested in Huntington Beach, California after being pulled over in March and charged with driving under the influence. The singer insisted he was on prescription medication at the time "and was unaware of its interaction possibilities." However, he was ordered into a three-month alcohol treatment program after pleading guilty to drunk driving.
"American Pie's" Chris Klein was arrested in February after San Diego sheriff's deputies found he had a blood alcohol content of .20 or higher, which is more than twice the California limit of .08. He was charged with two misdemeanors, each of which carries a maximum of six months in jail upon conviction.
"The West Wing's" Stockard Channing is in the middle of fighting a DUI charge. She was arrested in December after an officer said her blood-alcohol levels were .12 and .13. This summer Channing announced she was planning to challenge the charge by insisting the breathalyzer used on her was faulty. Yeah, blame it on the equipment!
Then, of course, there are those repeat offenders. As if Tom Sizemore hasn't spent enough time in court, he was charged with possession of drugs in February after failing court-imposed drug tests seven times in just a month. On one occasion he was caught trying to use a prosthetic penis filled with a clean urine sample to fake the results. He was sentenced to just under two years in jail for the drug charges. Despite the sentencing, Sizemore was allowed to remain free while he appeals a domestic violence conviction brought against him in 2003 by ex-girlfriend Heidi Fleiss. In October, he had his probation reinstated. The judge told the star she had seen "remarkable improvement" in his fight against drug addiction. Wonder how long that will last?
Speaking of not being able to stay out of trouble, Courtney Love was ordered into a rehabilitation facility AGAIN after tearfully informing a judge she's been using drugs in violation of her probation terms. Although anyone who watched her on Pamela Anderson's Roast would have already known that. The judge told Love that he had been planning to send her to jail but decided that treatment would be a better option.
Whitney Houston had little choice about her trip to a rehabilitation clinic in the Spring - she was taken there on a court order. Come on Whitney, even you admitted it - crack is whack! Of course her husband Bobby Brown was in trouble again after refusing to attend a child support hearing. He was called to court following allegations he failed to pay support costs for his two children with former lover Kim Ward. When it comes to the wild antics of this infamous couple, all we can say is thank goodness we're not them. Maybe next year they'll manage to be on good behavior?.but we doubt it.