Stars who got arrested abroad

WNBA star Brittney Griner pleads guilty to all drug charges in Russian court appearance

Stars Insider

08/07/22 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Celebrity arrests

In our own countries, it seems celebrities are impervious to the law—or they have enough money to skirt past it. In foreign countries, however, things get a little tricky. 

On March 5 the Russian Federal Customs Service announced that WNBA Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner—who plays on Russian team UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA off-season—had been arrested in Russia on February 17. They allegedly found vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage at an airport near Moscow, and a criminal case was opened against her, the charges of which have a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Griner has now been detained for over four months, and at a closed-door preliminary hearing at the court in Moscow on June 27, her detention was extended for another six, AP News reports. Griner is in an ongoing trial that began July 1. During the second hearing on July 7, she plead guilty to all the charges brought against her. Griner said that although she recognized that she had broken Russian laws, she had not done so intentionally. 

Tensions surrounding the case are high because the US State Department reclassified her as wrongfully detained in May and shifted oversight of her case to its special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. Griner herself made an appeal to President Joe Biden in a letter passed to the White House through her representatives on July 4. ″As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever," she wrote. 

Being arrested abroad has many complications, and some treaties between countries can apparently be disregarded without penalty. Check out the gallery to learn more about the White House's response to Griner's pleas, as well as other stars that have been arrested while abroad.

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