Celebrities Who Took the Stand In Prominent Criminal Cases (Don’t Worry, They Didn’t End up in Jail!)
Many celebrities have testified in unlikely criminal trials against criminals, such as Tyra Banks and Alec Baldwin to deal with their own stalkers. While celebrities have been in court for personal and civil reasons, some were involved in criminal trials. Many celebrity cases are settled before a testimony is given while others have stood witness in cases resolved before the celebrity testified. This list has celebrities who took the oath to testify accurately in front of a judge and jury of peers.
Ashton Kutcher testified on May 29, 2019 against suspected serial killer Michael Gargiulo, who was charged with the violent stabbing death of Ashley Ellerin in 2001. On the night of her murder, Ellerin had planned a first date with Ashton for dinner and drinks. When he showed up at her Hollywood bungalow several hours later, the lights were on, but she didn’t answer the door upon knocking and he presumed she was out with friends.
Gwyneth Paltrow testified in 2016, against Dante Soiu, a man who stalked her for over 17 years. She was terrified by Soiu’s constant presence and bought a guard dog to protect her family, training it to attack perceived threats. He sent over 60 letters to the actress including graphic ones about wanting to use a scalpel to “cut out sin” from her body, as well as gifts and “indecently graphic material.”
Lindsay Lohan (Parent Trap, Mean Girls) is no stranger to criminal courts, but Lohan testified in the much publicized “Bling Ring” case in 2009, involving a teenager gang who broke into the homes of Hollywood celebrities over one year, stealing photos, clothing and jewellery. In 2010, Lohan testified to a grand jury, stating she felt unsafe in her home and had not returned to her house as she was nervous. After trails, the offenders received probation, community service and jail time.
Supermodel and TV host Tyra Banks appeared in court in 2009 to testify against an admirer who threatened to kill her TV producer in a studio. Brady Green, the suspect brought Banks more than a dozen roses, but when refused entry to her set, he threatened to kill the producer. Banks feared for the safety of her family and crew and and hid in her dressing room that entire day. Green was sentenced for stalking, and given one year on probation.
Though George Clooney was to testify in the indecent trial of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2012, the star actually appeared in Italian court in 2010, and testified against three defendants for criminal fraud involving unauthorized use of his name and image in launching a fashion line. Clooney testified never having seen the defendant and that his signature was forged along with doctored photos. The three men were convicted and sentenced to jail.
Rachel Bilson (The O.C. and Hart of Dixie) is among celebrities who testified against the “Bling Ring” after her home was burglarized by pop-culture obsessed teenagers. Bilson testified to a grand jury that she was out of town when the burglary occurred, but that she was horrified to see her house in total disarray when she returned. The stolen items included, her grandmother’s jewelry, her mother’s engagement ring, both irreplaceable family heirlooms.
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