10 Stars Who Were Kidnapped
Despite all of the glitz and glam of Hollywood, there is a dark underbelly to fame — namely, you attract all the crazies! Many celebrities have extensive security teams, and it’s no wonder. This list takes a look at some stars who have come face to face with scary kidnapping situations.
10. Victoria Beckham
While she wasn’t actually abducted, there have been many close calls that were luckily foiled by the authorities. Back in 2000, Scotland Yard removed Victoria and her family from their home once a plot to kidnap her and her child were discovered. Later that same year, while rehearsing for the Brit Awards, a red dot appeared on Victoria’s chest. Everyone panicked and police later speculated that the would-be assassin fled through a security door. The Beckham family continues to receive threats and further plans have been obstructed by police so that fortunately everyone has remained safe.
9. Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch is known for his fantastic portrayals in flicks like Star Trek: Into Darkness, and the television series Sherlock, but while travelling in South Africa Cumberbatch found himself in a situation that would stay with him forever. When stopping to change a flat tire, the celeb and his three companions were bound and loaded into the car of a kidnapper. Cumberbatch stated that he thought it was the end, but the robbers inexplicably released their prisoners a short time later. The A-list actor experienced a new lease on life and is eternally grateful. This year he’ll appear in a number of projects including Magik and Doctor Strange.
8. Shin Sang-Ok and Choi Eun-hee
North Korea’s late dictator Kim Jong-il was a film fanatic, so much so that in 1977 he kidnapped South Korean film director Shin Sang-Ok and his ex-wife, actress Choi Eun-hee. The couple were forced into making socialist propaganda films produced by Jong-il, most notably Pulgasari. They spent 8 years in captivity before escaping to the American Embassy in Austria where they were attending a film festival.
7. Frank Sinatra Jr.
The son of the most famous crooner of all time was blindfolded, thrown into a trunk of a car, and kidnapped for ransom after dining at a restaurant in Lake Tahoe. Frank Sinatra was forced to pay $240,000 for the safe return of his son. The kidnappers were eventually found, arrested, and forced to return the money. And while it all seemed to end well, many fans speculated that the whole thing was a publicity stunt to help out Frank Sinatra Jr.’s career.
6. Alex Band
Similar to Frank Sinatra Jr., this musician was kidnapped at the same time he was attempting to re-establish his career in the biz. Alex was relaunching his band The Calling with a new group of guys in 2013 when he was kidnapped and assaulted. He received a spinal fracture and some broken teeth, but in spite of this, many questioned the authenticity of his story. He maintains that it’s not a hoax and that he didn’t abduct or beat himself up. The court of public opinion is still out on this one as no one was ever charged with the crime.
5. Cindy Birdsong
Back in 1969, Supreme’s singer, Cindy Birdsong was kidnapped from her apartment. The perpetrator was waiting for the celeb in her apartment, and when she returned home with two companions, the kidnapper bound her friends and loaded her into her own car. Luckily, Birdsong was able to get out of the car and escaped onto the freeway. Her kidnapper turned himself in four days later.
4. Russell Crowe
Australian actor, Russell Crowe, was the target of a kidnapping plot by al-Qaeda. The kidnapping was part of a larger terrorist plan to “culturally destabilize” the United States. The FBI and the Secret Service gave Crowe protection during the ordeal, but remained quite tight lipped as to exactly what was happening. Crowe stated that he “never fully understood what in the f*ck was going on.” No doubt, considering he’s not even American! This year we will be able to catch him in the American film, The Nice Guys though.
3. Thomas “Fats” Waller
As a prodigy during the Jazz Age, Fats Waller was kidnapped as a birthday present for notorious mobster, Al Capone. After playing a show at the Sherman Hotel in 1926, he was taken at gunpoint and forced into a limousine that took him to another saloon. Instead of being murdered, the musician was seated before a piano and ordered to play. At a break in his performance, the loudest applause was coming from none other than Al Capone himself. After the 3-day fiesta, Fats Waller was released with a few thousand dollars in tips in his pockets and a story no one would believe!
2. Steven Spielberg
Back in 1998, police arrested a 31-year-old man outside the Spielberg residence while Spielberg was in Ireland filming Saving Private Ryan. The stalker was carrying what police described as a “rape kit.” The box contained handcuffs, duct tape, and a box cutter. The man had become obsessed with Steven and his plan was to enter his home, bind him, and rape him. Spielberg appeared in court to face his fears and convict the crazed fan, “I didn’t want this individual to put me or my family through the anguish, the nightmares I’ve had because of this,” Spielberg stated. The perpetrator received 25 years to life as this was not his first offense.
1. Jeremy London
Jeremy London was the star of Mallrats and Party of Five, and while your brain is busy filling up with nostalgia for the early ‘90s, you may be surprised to learn that in 2010 the actor was kidnapped! In an extremely bizarre tale, after helping London change a flat tire, several men decided to kidnap him. They drove around and forced him to do ecstasy and methamphetamine before ditching him and stealing his car. The story was so strange that even the actor’s mother and twin brother doubted its legitimacy due to London’s past drug use. But in 2011, one of the abductors pleaded guilty and proved London’s account of the events. In 2016, we’ll catch him in a number of projects including Girl in Woods.