The A-list stars who found themselves in the headlines for the worst possible reasons

Ashton Kutcher, 35

Before Ashton became a Hollywood star, his girlfriend Ashley Ellerin was brutally murdered.

On 21 February 2001, Ashton postponed a date with aspiring model and student Ashley, 22.

He arranged to visit her home later that evening.

When he knocked on her door at 10.45pm there was no answer, but he saw what he thought was red wine on the floor.

Unknown to Ashton, it was blood – Ashley was lying dead just out of his view, having been stabbed 35 times.

Alleged serial killer Michael Gargiulo, now 37, was charged with Ashley‘s murder – along with two others – in 2008 and is currently in jail awaiting trial.

Ashton‘s expected to testify in court, although no date has yet been set. 

 

Matthew Broderick, 51

Sarah Jessica Parker‘s husband Matthew accidentally killed Anna Gallagher, 30, and her mother Margaret Doherty, 63, in a 1987 car crash in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

The actor was in his car with his then-girlfriend, actress Jennifer Grey, when it swerved into
the wrong lane and hit an oncoming vehicle.

Matthew spent a month in hospital, but because of memory loss he was unable to explain what had happened.

He was convicted of careless driving and fined £106.

The victims’ family were outraged, but met with him in 2003 to gain a sense of closure.

Jennifer, then 27, was about to get her big break in Dirty Dancing, but after the accident she turned her back on Hollywood.

My head was never the same and my ambition was never the same,’  she later explained.

 

Jennifer Hudson, 32

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer was left devastated when her mother Darnell Donerson, 57, brother Jason, 29, and nephew Julian King, seven, were shot dead by her former brother-
in-law William Balfour, 32, in October 2008.

Jennifer‘s sister Julia, who was estranged from Balfour, had refused to get back together with him, so he murdered her family in revenge after she left for work one morning.

Balfour, who denied all the charges, was sentenced to life in prison after Jennifer testified at his trial.

Afterwards she spent three months out of the public eye grieving, before making her comeback
with a performance at the 2009 Grammy Awards.

 

Gianni Versace, 50

The fashion world was plunged into mourning when the designer was gunned down on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion in 1997.

Returning from a morning walk, Gianni was shot dead by 27-year-old Andrew Cunanan,
who fled the scene of the crime and then killed himself on a boat eight days later, using the
same gun.

Cunanan had previously murdered at least four other men and featured on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list before his death.

Police have never discovered a motive for the murder.

 

OJ Simpson, 66

In one of the most notorious crimes ever to rock La La Land, American footballer turned actor Simpson was accused of the 1994 murders of his second wife Nicole Brown, 35, and her friend Ronald Goldman, 25.

His lawyer was Kris Jenner‘s first husband Robert Kardashian.

Simpson was found not guilty in 1995, but in 1997 a civil court ordered him to pay £24 million to the Goldman family for the wrongful deaths’ of Nicole and Ronald.

In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping and is now in jail in Nevada.

 

Sharon Tate, 26

Sharon Tate, actress and wife of film director Roman Polanski, was brutally killed by the Manson Family in 1969.

Eight months pregnant with a son, she was murdered along with four friends.

Despite begging for her baby’s life, she was stabbed 16 times and found with a rope around her neck while Roman was away working.

The word PIG’ was found scrawled in her blood on the door of her home.

Psychopath Charles Manson, who led the Manson Family commune, was charged with Sharon‘s murder, along with four of his followers’.

They were all found guilty and sentenced to death in 1971, although it was later changed to life imprisonment.

Now aged 79, Manson, is still considered too dangerous to be released.

 

Dylan McDermott, 52

Forty-five years after his mother was violently killed, Hollywood heartthrob Dylan solved the mystery of her murder.

Aged just five, he was outside his family home in Connecticut after being kicked out by his mother’s boyfriend, a gangster and heroin addict called John Sponza, when he heard shouting and a gunshot.

His mother was found dead of what police classed an accidental shooting’, with Sponza claiming she’d killed herself.

In 2011, Golden Globe winner and Hostages star Dylan requested the case be reopened, despite main suspect Sponza being dead.

Detectives found that a police cover-up had taken place in order to protect Sponza, with a source revealing he’d been a police informant.

More than four decades after her death, Dylan finally got justice for his mother.

 

Phil Spector, 74

Hours after model Lana Clarkson, 40, met legendary music producer Spector in LA in 2003, she was dead in the hallway of his luxurious mansion.

After the pair returned to his home for a nightcap, a shot was heard.

Spector then left the house by the back door carrying a gun.

He was quoted as saying: I think I just shot her,’ and claimed her death was an accidental suicide’ after she’d kissed the gun’.

Spector stood trial in 2007, but the jury couldn’t reach a unanimous decision.

He was re-tried in 2009 and found guilty of murder.

He’s currently serving 19 years to life in prison.

 

Jill Dando, 37

The mystery behind Crimewatch presenter Jill‘s shocking murder remains unsolved today, more than 14 years after her death.

In April 1999, Jill arrived at her home in West London and was killed by a single shot to the head, the trigger pulled by an unknown assassin.

Jill‘s body was discovered soon after by a neighbour and she was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

A month later, Barry George – who lived half a mile away from Jill – was arrested and charged with her murder.

He had a history of sexual offences.

Now 53, he was initially found guilty at his trial and sentenced to life imprisonment.

But after eight years in prison and three appeals, his conviction was quashed and he walked free.

 

Oscar Pistorius, 27

A romantic Valentine’s Day ended in bloodshed when South African model Reeva Steenkamp, 29, was found shot dead at the home of her boyfriend, Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar, in February 2013.

Reeva‘s body lay slumped in a blood-spattered bathroom after she’d been shot three times through the locked door.

Pistorius claimed he shot her by mistake, believing her to be an intruder in his luxury home.

He was charged with murder and will stand trial this spring.

 

Tupac Shakur, 25

Hip-hop warfare claimed the life of US rapper Tupac, who was gunned down in 1996 in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.

Tupac was en route to a nightclub with friends when a white Cadillac pulled up next to his car.

Shots were fired and one hit him in the right lung.

He died in hospital the next day.

His body was cremated and his ashes were mixed with marijuana and smoked by Outlawz, the
hip-hop group he founded.

No one’s ever been convicted of Tupac‘s murder.

The finger has been pointed at rival rapper Notorious BIG, who was himself murdered in a drive-by shooting in 1997.

See the celebrities who’ve done the crime and paid the time in this week’s Now magazine dated 20 January 2014 – download the digital edition now

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