9 Reality TV criminals

Is Americans' craving for trash-TV fame causing a crime spree? The Salahis are just the latest hopefuls to get in trouble with the law

Although the White House gatecrashers Michaele and Tariq Salahi insist they were invited to last week's state dinner, the Secret Service is reportedly considering criminal charges against the socialite couple, who staged the stunt as part of their audition for the upcoming reality TV show, Real Housewives of D.C. If they do face prosecution, they'll hardly be the first of their kind to flout the law. A recent Philadelphia Inquirer report took reality TV producers to task for exploiting the unstable and irresponsibly triggering amorality: "Outrageous behavior isn't just a prerequisite, it's the goal." Here's a rap sheet of reality TV's most notorious criminals.

Richard Heene: A former contestant on ABC's Wife Swap, Heene pleaded guilty in November to charges relating to his “balloon boy” hoax. Court documents indicated that Heene faked the stunt, which provoked accusations of child abuse, to “make the Heene family more marketable for future media interests.” (Watch Richard Heene and his family appear on "Wife Swap".)

Rod Blagojevich: The disgraced former governor of Illinois, currently awaiting trial on charges of federal corruption, is soon to be a contestant on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice". Blagojevich had originally been slated to star in the same network's I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here last summer, but his wife appeared instead. (Watch Rod Blagojevich and his wife Patti appear on the "Today" show.)

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Tom DeLay: The former House Republican majority leader was indicted in 2005 for accepting unlawful campaign contributions, but made his comeback on the dance floor this fall in ABC's Dancing with the Stars. (Watch Tom DeLay do the samba on "Dancing with the Stars".)

Adam Jasinski: The winner of the ninth season of CBS' Big Brother was arrested on federal drug-dealing charges in October. Jasinski allegedly spent part of his $500,000 winnings on painkillers to sell illegally. He was busted after agreeing to sell 2,000 pills to a DEA official. (Watch Adam Jasinski picked the winner on the "Big Brother 9" finale.)

Danielle Staub: It emerged in June that Staub, one of Bravo's Real Housewives of New Jersey, was prosecuted in 1986 for extortion and cocaine possession. Then a high-class prostitute, Staub was sentenced to five years probation after co-operating with prosecutors. (Watch Danielle Staub admit she likes New Jersey stereotypes.)

Ryan Jenkins: The former contestant on VH1's Megan Wants a Millionaire was found dead in a Canadian motel in August, apparently by his own hand, following the discovery of his wife's mutilated corpse. (Watch a report about Ryan Jenkins fleeing to Canada to escape police.)

Brian Randone: In an eerie—and depressing—parallel to the Ryan Jenkins case, Brian Randone, a former contestant on FOX TV's The Sexiest Bachelor in America, is currently awaiting trial for the torture and murder of his porn star girlfriend in September. (Watch a promotional video of Brian Randone's porn star girlfriend.)

Saaphyri Windsor: The winner of the first season of VH1's Charm School was sentenced to three years in prison in February for charges relating to identity theft. (Watch Saaphyri Windsor talk about selling her own line of lip balm.)

Justin Sebik: the New Jersey native was famously kicked out of Big Brother in 2001 for threatening a fellow contestant with a knife. Sebik had been arrested five times before even appearing on the show, and has since faced charges for domestic assault and fraud. (Watch Justin Sebik's infamous knife incident that got him evicted from "Big Brother 2".)



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