Soap Opera Stars That Got In Trouble With The Law

Soap opera stars are known for acting out intensely dramatic and nearly unbelievable storylines all the time, so in that respect, it's not too surprising to learn that a few of them are a little dramatic themselves. In fact, quite a number of our favorite soap stars have been arrested for different crimes.

For example, a few different names and faces have been arrested for DUIs, including "Vampire Diaries" star Zach Roerig, who was stopped by police back in May 2020 after driving a vehicle without a front license plate (via People). Others have been arrested for interpersonal issues, such as when "The Young and the Restless" actor Brenda Dickson served three months in prison for refusing to vacate her apartment following a contentious divorce.

While a number of the stars on this list have been arrested for alcohol-related offenses, that's not all that these legally questionable stars have gotten up to. Here are the soap opera stars who have gotten in trouble with the law — or at least the ones we know about.

Brenda Dickson spent three months in prison in Hawaii

Brenda Dickson starred as Jill Abbot on "The Young and the Restless" from 1973 to 1980 and also from 1983 to 1987. Fans of the soap were stunned when news surfaced that Dickson had been arrested in Hawaii. She was arrested on February 6, 2007, for civil contempt of court order following her divorce (via Soap Central).

Dickson was previously married to lawyer Jan Weinberg between 1997 and 2006, and they lived in Hawaii together. Dickson had hoped to be awarded the pair's apartment in Los Angeles and $14,000 a month in alimony as part of the settlement, but Judge Darryl Choy ruled that Dickson didn't need spousal support and the pair would sell their home and split the money (per The Honolulu Advertiser).

Despite that ruling, Dickson refused to leave their condo in Los Angeles, and Weinberg later said he was unable to sell it because she wouldn't vacate the premises. Dickson was found in contempt of court and she was arrested in Hawaii until she chose to follow the judge's orders. As noted by Yahoo! Life, Dickson was in jail for three months.

Tyler Christopher was in jail for public intoxication

Many soap fans are more than familiar with the name and face of Tyler Christopher, who starred on both "General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives." He was arrested in November 2019 for public intoxication and was held behind bars for $225 cash and a $1,000 bond. It's believed that Christopher was arrested while celebrating his 47th birthday (per TMZ).

TMZ shared the details of Christopher's arrest. An Uber driver called authorities after the actor passed out and soiled himself in the car. He was also apparently drinking while in the car before he passed out. This was the ninth phone call that police had received about Christopher being intoxicated, and police had held him for excessive drinking only days before this arrest.

Christopher ultimately pleaded guilty and was ordered to pay $220 and additional court fees. According to Indy Star, his 16-day jail sentence was suspended as long as he made the payments.

Casey Allen Moss tried to punch a bartender

"Days of Our Lives" star Casey Allen Moss made headlines in October 2015 when he was arrested at a hotel bar in Scottsdale, Arizona. Per AZCentral, Moss was arrested after midnight when he attempted to get into a physical altercation with a bartender working at the hotel.

Moss was drinking at the W Hotel when the offense occurred. Witnesses explained that Moss became angry after he was told he could no longer drink, and he tried to physically assault the bartender serving him. As a friend tried to hold him back, Moss swung at the bartender but missed; he then pushed someone else who worked at the hotel before being restrained by a bouncer. The staff called the police and held Moss until the authorities arrived and arrested him (per AZCentral). Moss was ultimately charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest (via People).

Zach Roerig was arrested for a DUI

In May 2020, "Vampire Diaries" star Zach Roerig was stopped and booked for driving under the influence. People reported that Roerig was initially stopped in his hometown in Ohio because the car he was driving didn't have a front license plate, and the arresting authorities soon realized the conditions under which Roerig was operating the vehicle. The actor faced a first-degree misdemeanor, which is the highest the state has.

TMZ noted that Roerig was allegedly so inebriated that his speech was slurred and his eyes were bloodshot. He reportedly told the police that he was too drunk to complete the sobriety test the officers conducted.

This wasn't Roerig's first experience with legal matters. In 2013, he won custody of his then 2-year-old daughter after a court battle with a woman named Alanna Turner, who was in federal prison at the time (via The Daily Mail).

British star Leslie Grantham served 10 years for murder

Fans of the British soap opera "EastEnders" are more than familiar with the character "Dirty" Den Watts, who was played by Leslie Grantham for years. What fans of the soap might not be as familiar with is Watts' criminal history, which includes serving 10 years for murder.

As reported by The Daily Mail, Grantham was 19 years old when he robbed taxi driver Felix Reese in December 1966. Grantham brandished a pistol and told Reese to give him his money. The men fought, and Reese was shot in the head. Grantham took off running and was eventually arrested and convicted of murder in April 1967. He was transferred between a number of prisons over the next decade and eventually took up acting at Leyhill in Gloucestershire.

Grantham was able to build his professional life following his time in prison by attending acting school at London's Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He again had trouble with the law after he was caught exposing himself to an undercover reporter in 2004 (via The Daily Mail).

Lori Loughlin was embroiled in a massive college admissions scandal

Perhaps one of the most famous legal cases a soap opera star has been wrapped up in is Lori Loughlin's 2019 college admissions scandal, which has since been dubbed the Varsity Blues scandal. Loughlin (who starred in "The Edge of Night") and her husband Mossimo Giannulli took part in the scandal, allegedly paying $500,000 in bribes so that their daughters Olivia Jade and Bella could attend the University of Southern California. The pair ultimately pleaded guilty to fraud, and Loughlin received a sentence of two months in prison before being released in December 2020 (per Us Weekly).

A source told Us Weekly that Loughlin wanted to "put the past behind her" following her release from prison, and to that end made a point of paying tuition for all four years of college for two unnamed students. As Us Weekly noted, the amount Loughlin committed totaled over the $500,000 she and Giannulli were accused of using to bribe college officials in the first place.

Jensen Buchanan almost killed a man while driving

Jensen Buchanan enjoyed a long career in soap operas, including roles on "One Life to Live" and "Another World," in addition to stints on "General Hospital" and "As the World Turns." Many were surprised when Buchanan was arrested after nearly killing a man in 2016.

As reported by the Santa Maria Times, Buchanan was driving on the wrong side of the road with a 0.34 blood alcohol content level when she hit another driver and almost killed him. She received a sentence of one year in jail and five years probation. Bradley Asolas, the man she hit, suffered a number of serious injuries. The outlet noted that he "lost more than half of his heart function, sustained a ruptured spleen, shattered pelvis, lacerations in his liver, and pulmonary embolism" and he and his family were forced to move from their home, as Asolas lost the ability to use the stairs.

Buchanan was sent back to jail in January 2018 after she allegedly violated her probation. 

Freddie Smith admitted to driving under the influence

In 2014, "Days of Our Lives" star Freddie Smith was arrested for vehicular assault and driving under the influence (per Star Beacon). Smith pleaded guilty to the charges and admitted to the judge that he fell asleep behind the wheel ahead of the car crash that seriously injured his girlfriend. Smith attributed falling asleep to his state of intoxication and faced up to two years in jail and the suspension of his driver's license.

Authorities revealed that Smith's blood alcohol content level was 0.093, and the Star Beacon noted that the legal limit is 0.08 in the state of Ohio. Both Smith and his girlfriend Alyssa Tabit were injured after Smith crossed the centerline and flipped the car, and Us Weekly reported that Tabit was trapped in the car until she could be rescued. 

Fellow "Days" co-star Molly Burnett updated fans of the soap star about his condition on her Facebook page soon after the crash. She wrote, "They were in a serious car accident last night, but were able to receive medical help immediately. Freddie was released from the hospital, and Alyssa will be in surgery for a few more hours" (via Us Weekly).

Sean Kanan had his own DUI in 2007

Sean Kanan, who starred in "General Hospital" and "The Bold and the Beautiful," was arrested for driving under the influence in August 2007. As relayed by The Hollywood Reporter, Kanan was arrested for a misdemeanor DUI as well as having a blood alcohol content level over the California state limit of 0.08%. 

Kanan was able to post his bail of $30,000 and was released from jail soon after his arrest. He later encountered problems stemming from the initial arrest when a warrant was issued for a second arrest after he failed to appear in court; his publicist later stated that he was fully complying with authorities (per She Knows). On top of that, the publicist explained that Kanan had not even realized a warrant had been issued. "Mr. Kanan is complying with the orders of the court," his attorney said. "He has been busy working. There was a miscommunication and the warrant was recalled and quashed this morning."

Jessica Morris bit someone

In September 2019, "One Life to Live" actor Jessica Morris made headlines for a major reason: she was accused of biting the lip off the man she was dating (who just happened to be married at the time). As reported by TMZ, Morris bit the lip of Rib Hillis after the two got into a fight seemingly because Hillis was married to "Dancing with the Stars" dancer Elena Grinenko. 

Hillis later reported that the fight became physical, and he ended up in the hospital after Morris bit his lip. A nurse at the hospital reported the incident to the police, and Morris was ultimately charged with felony domestic violence with great bodily injury. Hillis added that he didn't intend to get Morris arrested and that he "just wants everyone to heal and get on with their lives." Morris turned herself in to authorities following the report made by the nurse (via Soap Central).

Aiden Turner was accused of domestic violence

In 2013, "All My Children" star Aiden Turner found himself in hot water when he was arrested for alleged domestic violence. Per The Daily Mail, Turner was accused of throwing a remote control at his girlfriend at the time, hitting her in the face and giving her a black eye. 

Despite those claims, Turner's lawyer was able to arrange a plea deal for his client that resulted in Turner pleading no-contest to disturbing the peace in exchange for the dropping of the domestic violence charges (via TMZ). He was also sentenced to 52 weeks of domestic violence counseling. Additionally, after a year without any further incidents, Turner's initial charge reverted to an infraction.

TMZ also shared emotional footage that their camera team captured of Turner following his release from jail. In the footage, Turner appears to hope to make things right, and tells his girlfriend, "I love you, monkey."

Sean Young was arrested at an Oscars party

Sean Young is known for her breakthrough role in the movie "Blade Runner" and also her time on "The Young and the Restless," which began when she signed up to play Meggie McClaine in 2010. Unfortunately, Young is also memorable for her numerous run-ins with the legal system.

In August 2018, Young was accused of stealing two laptops from the production company that had recently fired her from a film project. Young ultimately issued a statement explaining that she had taken the computers by mistake; as she put it, she "gathered what I believed to be my property but later discovered I was mistaken" (via USA Today).

This wasn't the first time authorities had to contend with Young. In 2012 the actor was arrested at a party following the year's Academy Awards. According to CBS News, Young attempted to enter the party without an invitation and was subdued by security before authorities arrived.