Article Thumbnail

The Nine Celebrity Jurors Who Caused the Most Courtroom Drama

Supermodel Gigi Hadid brought even more attention to an already high-profile rape case against Harvey Weinstein — but she’s not the first star to (almost) serve

Maybe for the first time in her adult life, Gigi Hadid, 24, was dismissed. As one of 206 New Yorkers called to the Manhattan Supreme Court for potential jury duty this week, the supermodel brought even more attention to an already high-profile rape case against Harvey Weinstein.

For a moment, it looked like Hadid might actually help hand down Weinstein’s ruling. Asked if she’d ever met a member of defense or prosecution, Gigi rose her hand. According to the New York Daily News, Hadid responded into a microphone, “I have met the defendant.” She rose her hand again when Judge James Burke asked if the jury pool knew any potential witnesses. After acknowledging Trump accuser Salma Hayek and musician Ryan Beatty, Hadid said, “I think I’m still able to keep an open mind to the facts.”

Hadid is far from the first celebrity summoned for jury duty, although few are assigned cases against fellow celebrities. Most high-profile jurors are immediately dismissed for being a distraction. Still, from Donald Trump to Hadid’s friend Taylor Swift, the stars are just like us: never exempt from that pesky legal obligation.

Unless they can find a way out of it — like, say, running for president.

Donald Trump

Trump wanted to be president of the United States but refused to honor his civic duty. In 2015, Trump missed five summonses and accumulated a $250 fine before he finally reported for jury duty. He was eventually dismissed, but there’s still no word on former Saturday Night Live cast member Bobby Moynihan, who was reportedly in the same jury pool.

Donald is not the only Trump to visit the courthouse. The New York Times reported in 2008 that Ivana and Ivanka Trump have also been jurors. Though the boys Eric Trump in 2018 and Donald Jr. last year got off for the first time since their dad was elected. No word on Tiffany.

Oprah Winfrey

Everybody gets a jury summons, including Oprah. But not everyone serves on a murder trial, then discusses it on their hit talk show.

In 2004, Oprah was one of 12 jurors who convicted a Chicago man of murder. The What I Know for Sure author knew she absolutely did not want to serve and was the only juror to raise their hand to say they would hold it against the defendant if he didn’t testify. The judge later pressed Oprah, who retracted her statement and admitted she would give a verdict based on the evidence presented in court.

Such is the power of Oprah that she spun her $17.20 daily juror salary into content for her then $493,151 daily talk show salary. Several of her fellow jurors appeared on the show, while Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow waited backstage.

Taylor Swift

A thousand Swifties march to Taylor Swift’s orders every day, so imagine actually serving alongside her. In 2016, Swift skipped the MTV Music Video Awards for jury duty in Nashville. Dismissed almost immediately, what she really did was offer an impromptu, free meet-and-greet for her fellow Tennesseans.

It wasn’t an entirely joyous occasion for Swift, who was let go from an aggravated rape and kidnapping trial amid her own sexual assault case against radio host David Mueller. Swift famously won her trial, but still hasn’t received the $1 she’s owed.

Samuel L. Jackson

When you can’t get out of jury duty because of a work obligation, make it everyone’s obligation. In 2015, Samuel L. Jackson was dismissed as a prospective juror after writing to the judge, claiming his service would infringe on the finances of the entire cast and crew.

Tom Hanks

A 2013 domestic violence case came to an abrupt halt after a member of the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office thanked Tom Hanks for his jury service. The defense quickly argued for prosecutorial misconduct and a plea deal was cut. Hey, Tom, stop being so nice. You’re fucking with the law.

Brad Pitt

On his 51st birthday, in 2014, Brad Pitt reported to the L.A. courthouse. According to the Daily Mail, the court decided he’d be too distracting during trial and was dismissed. It’s true: Oklahoes do be distracting.

The Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood star was previously called in 2003 and somehow wasn’t sent home. He wore a juror badge and had a Subway sandwich for lunch with other potential jurors — a man of the people! (Honestly, day one of jury duty sounds great: a free footlong, exposure to juicy legal drama and spending the day talking shit? Sign me up.)

Anna Kendrick

No one has documented their time as a juror quite like Anna Kendrick. The actress live-tweeted her 2015 case. There’s little else to say. Just read the tweets.

Kelly Clarkson

The talk show host responded to Kendrick’s tweet with her own jury duty experience. “Happened to me 2 &then since we were there we had 2 b witnesses to two 18 yr olds getting married #poordecisionpartyfortwo,” the singer tweeted. Sounds like “A Moment Like This” is one Clarkson won’t forget.