Lest you think we hold our athletes to a higher standard, Marvin Harrison is a future hall of fame wide receiver who never really made waves the way other pro athletes tend to--say, building a car out of pot. He has always been quiet, classy and professional on the field; the picture of what the NFL and its white, middle-class fans want out of their athletes.
Anyone who'd imagined Harrison and his quarterback Peyton Manning palling around in the off-season was surprised to learn last year that Harrison was actually more like all the characters Denzel Washington has played since Training Day.
Dwight Dixon, resident of Philadelphia and therefore an ex-convict, got into a fight with Marvin Harrison. After Harrison allegedly kicked the shit out of him, Dixon fled in his vehicle. Harrison was not finished though, and allegedly began shooting at him. And not just with regular "I'm a little dissatisfied with your behavior" bullets, but with bullets that can pierce 48 layers of fucking Kevlar, also known as "I want you and people the next town over to be dead" bullets.
He reportedly shot Dixon in the hand with said superbullets, but also hit another bystander in the back, and hit a car with a two-year-old inside. He was just like Gary Busey in Lethal Weapon or like Gary Busey in real life.
A whiter, saner Marvin Harrison.
We say "allegedly" because, while the bullets found at the scene were indeed from Harrison's gun (according to ballistics reports) and Harrison was at the scene and had motive to shoot the guy, the cops have yet to prove whether or not it was Harrison who fired the weapon. This means that the cops believe it's possible for somebody to have stolen Harrison's gun to shoot at somebody that Harrison wanted to shoot at, like some kind of NRA guardian angel. Or, Harrison simply handed the gun to a friend and said, "I'll give you five bucks to shoot that dude over there."
Because of conflicting witness statements, the district attorney decided not to file charges. However, the man shot in the back did state that it was Harrison who shot him, and is now suing him. Presumably he'll be going to court in 49 layers of Kevlar, just in case. Especially after a feature story in ESPN Magazine painted a portrait of Harrison as a mini-kingpin, buying up tracts of land in his old Philly neighborhood, strolling around the premises armed to the teeth and flying into a violent rage when anybody invades his space.
Not So Lucky - OJ Simpson
You might have missed it when it came up on the news a few years back, but OJ Simpson was actually put on trial for the murder of two people. Like Harrison, things panned out in Simpson's favor and he ended up a free man, with the victims left to seek restitution in civil court.
Unlike Harrison, the remainder of Simpson's life will be defined by the fact everyone on Earth believes he's a murderer, regardless of what the criminal justice system said. Everyone believed it the moment the story broke. The lesson? Always cooperate with the cops, like Harrison did. Running away in a white Bronco with a bag of cash and a fake beard just makes you look guilty.
Chuck Berry is one of the greatest guitar players of all-time, and one of the inventors of rock music as a whole. In 1990, he was also sued for being a huge perv.
Having made all kinds of money for being music legend, Berry decided to buy a few restaurants. Then he decided to buy some video cameras. Then he decided to install those cameras in the ladies restrooms of his restaurants so he could watch some sweet, sweet urination. Then he got the shit sued out of him by nearly 60 women.
Of course, Berry denied that he had any knowledge whatsoever of the cameras, and that if cameras were indeed found in the bathrooms of his restaurants, somebody else installed them--probably one of those bathroom cam bandits you're always hearing about on the news.
Despite Berry's foolproof defense of shrugging and looking as surprised as anyone else, he had to pay over 1.2 million dollars divided up amongst the victims.
YOU GONNA GET FILMED.
Berry's music career was finished at that point anyway, so adding the "creepy old man" title to his long list of accolades didn't really cause much of a stir. Berry is still widely considered to be one of the greatest musicians of all-time, proving that trying to watch women pee is perfectly acceptable if you're either a skilled musician or German.
Not so lucky - Pee Wee Herman
Hilariously offputting children's entertainer Paul Reubens had made a name for himself with a television show and a couple of films under his belt. To celebrate, he undid that belt and began to play with himself in a movie theater. A couple of years later he was charged with possessing child pornography, a charge which was later dropped in favor of a lesser charge, but the stigma of Pee Wee being a giant, freaky perv made all of his work up to that point seem about twice as creepy in retrospect, and it was already pretty creepy.
Rick James is known for "Superfreak," his decades long monstrous addiction to crack and for being Dave Chappelle. By the early 90s, he also had developed a penchant for torture
He was also addicted to hairspray.
Being addicted to drugs is standard for pretty much all musicians. Torturing people while on the drugs with drug paraphernalia is a little different though and expressly forbidden in Disney Record contracts. So when Rick James kidnapped music executive Mary Sauger, then beat her for roughly 20 hours, it started a series of what qualifies as dramatic and insane events.
After being paroled for the aforementioned day-long beating, shit got real. Rick James was hanging out with 24-year-old Frances Alley, when he became suspicious that she had stolen drugs from him. Unwilling to part with any of his drugs under any circumstance, James likely snorted toilet cleanser until holding her hostage seemed like a fine course of action.
"Man, I am just full of good ideas."
He tied her up, burnt her with the hot end of a crack pipe, and forced her to service him sexually for six fucking days. To put six days of torture into perspective, she was essentially tortured for 12 viewings of all three Lord of the Rings movies, uncut. That's a shitload of Smeagol.
Rick James was convicted of two charges, but avoided the torture charge, which would have put his Charlie Murphy slapping ass in jail for life. Thanks to Dave Chappelle, who appears in half of the google images when you search "Rick James," James became charming and hilarious again and people mostly forgot about all that torture business and that abhorrent video he made with Eddie Murphy.
Not So Lucky - Phil Spector:
"I'm not even going to try to win this trial."
Celebrity murderer du jour, Spector was once a famed record producer. However, it later came to light that he had a habit, spanning a good 30 years, of inviting women to his house and then "sort of" shooting at them when they tried to leave. Sort of became "point blank" in 2003, when Spector shot Lana Clarkson by putting the gun in her mouth.
Though the first trial ended in a mistrial, the second go round ended with a conviction and Spector getting 19 years to think about what he did... and maybe get a haircut.
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