4 Famous People Convicted of Perjury

Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images for Live Nation
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images for Live Nation

Baseball fans got a mild surprise last week when news broke that former pitcher Roger Clemens was being indicted for perjury for allegedly lying during a 2008 Congressional hearing on performance-enhancing drug use. The Rocket is hardly the first celebrity to run into trouble for perjury, though. Take a look at these other famous folks who ran afoul of the law for perjuring themselves.

1. Lil' Kim

Lil' Kim
Maury Phillips, Getty Images

In 2001 rapper Lil' Kim witnessed a heated gunfight outside New York radio station Hot 97's studios. The shootout between Kim's entourage and the rival rap group Capone-N-Noreago included over two dozen shots fired. When a federal grand jury called Lil' Kim to testify about what she had seen during the firefight, she claimed not to have noticed her manager and another member of her entourage at the scene.

The false testimony might have worked if not for security camera footage that showed one of the men in question actually holding a door open for Kim. In 2005 she was convicted of three counts of perjury and one of conspiracy in connection to her fabricated testimony. She received a sentence of one year and a day in prison and a $5,000 fine. Lil' Kim ended up only serving 10 months of the sentence at the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia before being released.

2. Marion Jones

Marion Jones
Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

Jones cemented her claim to being the world's fastest woman at the 2000 Olympics, but her fall from grace was nearly as quick as her time in the 100 meters. Jones' association with users and distributors of performance-enhancing drugs quickly began raising eyebrows among track enthusiasts, but she remained adamant that she had dominated the running world without any chemical help.

Unfortunately for Jones, she maintained this stance even when interviewed by federal agents, who were investigating the infamous BALCO steroids case. Big mistake. In the face of mounting evidence that she had used PEDs, Jones pleaded guilty to two charges of perjury in 2007 and admitted that she had used the designer steroid The Clear. As part of her plea bargain, Jones received a sentence of six months imprisonment and two years of probation.

3. Mark Fuhrman

Murder in Brentwood cover
Amazon

Anyone who watched the O.J. Simpson murder trial remembers Mark Fuhrman, the LAPD detective who provided key testimony in the unsuccessful prosecution of the football star. One of the key sticking points in the trial was whether or not the detective had habitually used a variety of racial slurs with colleagues and suspects. Fuhrman vehemently denied these charges, but Simpson's defense team was able to turn up multiple witnesses and a tape of Fuhrman spewing hateful slurs.

Not only did Fuhrman's poor choice of words severely damage the prosecution's efforts, they got Fuhrman into some pretty hot water, too. Following the Simpson trial the state attorney general filed perjury charges against Fuhrman for his lying over the use of racial slurs throughout the trial. In 1996 Fuhrman entered a plea of no contest to the charges and received a sentence of three years probation and a $200 fine.

Although Fuhrman didn't spend time in prison, his status as a convicted felon meant he could no longer serve as a police officer. Oddly, his perjury conviction means that he is the only person to be convicted of a crime in connection with the infamous case.

4. Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer
Indranil Mukherjee, AFP/Getty Images

Archer's name might not be too familiar to American readers, but he was quite a godsend for the British tabloids throughout the 80s and 90s. Archer, a longtime Member of Parliament, developed quite a successful side career as a novelist; his 1979 book Kane and Abel even reached the top spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Throughout the early 1980s, Archer rose through the Conservative Party hierarchy, but his political career came to a screeching halt in 1986 when News of the World published a story detailing how Archer had paid a prostitute £2,000 to go abroad. Rival paper the Daily Star explained that the payment stemmed from Archer's former paid relationship with the prostitute in question. Archer in turn sued the Daily Star for libel and explained that he was simply being philanthropic by helping out a down-on-her-luck prostitute with some travel funding. The story sounded odd, but nevertheless Archer won the case and a £500,000 award.

Archer came out of the libel trial relatively unscathed politically, but when he received the nod to be the Conservative candidate in the 2000 London mayoral election, News of the World published a story about how Archer had perjured himself in the 1987 trial. Former friends who had supported Archer's version of events at the earlier trial changed their stories, and he was eventually found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice in 2001. Thus, the political bigwig and bestselling author spent two full years in an English jail.

London Calling: The Clash Is the Subject of a New Exhibition at the Museum of London

The Clash, YouTube
The Clash, YouTube

On September 21, 1979, when British punk legends The Clash tried to amp up the crowd at The Palladium in New York, security guards pushed fans back into their seats.

According to guitar-makers Fender, this frustrated Clash bassist Paul Simonon so much that he smashed his cherished Fender Precision bass on the stage, creating possibly the most famous rock ’n’ roll photo opportunity of all time—which would also serve as the cover art for the Clash's groundbreaking third album, London Calling.

To celebrate this December’s 40th anniversary of its release, the Museum of London has curated a free exhibition that features many of the band’s belongings, images, music, and even Simonon’s surprisingly well-preserved broken bass.

It’s not the only iconic instrument on display—you can also see Mick Jones’s 1950s Gibson ES-295, which he used to record the album and the music video for its titular track, and Joe Strummer’s white 1950s Fender Esquire from the same era. And, if you look closely at Topper Headon’s drumsticks, you’ll notice that they’re stamped with the words “Topper’s Boppers.” According to NME, it’s the only item of Headon’s that’s still around from the London Calling days.

The exhibit also includes sketches from artist Ray Lowry that depict scenes from the London Calling tour, photos taken by Pennie Smith (who snapped the London Calling cover image), a doodle-heavy track listing for the four-sided double album written by Jones, and many other items.

And, of course, any rock ’n’ roll display wouldn’t be complete without at least one leather jacket—the Museum of London is showcasing Simonon’s jacket from the late '70s.

If you’re a little farther than a train ride away from London, there’s time to make some travel plans: The exhibit is open until April 19, 2020.

[h/t NME]

11 Great Gifts for Retro Gaming Fans

No Starch Press/Amazon
No Starch Press/Amazon

Video games are more realistic, expansive, and ambitious than ever, but there’s one thing that most modern titles can’t offer: a hit of nostalgia. If you’re shopping for the retro gaming enthusiast in your life, check out these 11 gift suggestions that promise to level up their holiday season.

1. Pac-Man Ghost Light Table Lamp; $30

The Pac-Man Ghost Light Table Lamp is pictured
Paladone/Amazon

Liven up a stagnant work area or nightstand with this cool LED lamp in the likeness of Pac-Man’s ghost nemesis. It can flash in a variety of different colors, and at a compact 8 inches tall, you can buy more than one to haunt your living space.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Street Fighter II Home Arcade; $245

Street Fighter II Arcade Cabinet.
ARCADE1UP/Amazon

Relive the sweaty palms and raw fingertips of your youth with this Street Fighter II arcade cabinet from Arcade1Up. The entire package is true to its classic arcade roots, with era-appropriate artwork adorning the outside and buttons and joysticks that look like they were transported right out of a '90s Pizza Hut. But this cabinet comes with a bonus: Instead of just getting Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, it also plays Street Fighter ll: The New Challengers and Street Fighter ll Turbo. If you're not in the mood for competitive play, the company also offers a retro Star Wars arcade cabinet, featuring games based on A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Level One Donkey Kong T-Shirt; $41

A Level One 'Donkey Kong' T-shirt is pictured
80sTees.com

Show off your love of arcade gaming with this cool design that depicts Mario’s earliest challenge: navigating the barrel-tossing rage of a giant ape.

Buy It: 80sTees.com

4. Playstation Coasters; $12

A set of four Playstation coasters is pictured
Paladone/Amazon

Keep beverage stains off your gaming-adjacent furniture with this set of four coasters depicting classic Playstation controller buttons.

Buy It: Amazon

5. SEGA Genesis Mini-Console: $79

Sega Mini Classic System.
Sega/Amazon

Flash back to the Genesis era with this retro console that features over 40 games from SEGA’s heyday, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Earthworm Jim, and Virtua Fighter. The system also features a port of the arcade version of Tetris, which never actually made its way to the original Genesis.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Sock It to Me Retro Gaming Socks; $11

Sock It to Me Retro Gaming Socks are pictured
Sock It To Me/Amazon

Keep it professional in a suit but game on underneath with these dress socks featuring iconic game controllers from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.

Buy It: Amazon

7. The Game Console: A Photographic History from Atari to Xbox; $19


No Starch Press/Amazon

Take in a photographic history of gaming consoles, from the vintage devices of the ‘70s like the Magnavox Odyssey on through Nintendo’s reign and the emergence of Sony and Microsoft. In all, 86 consoles are on display, ending with the era of the PS4 and Wii U.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Nintendo Super Mario Bowser Vs. Mario 3-Pack Diorama; $26

A Nintendo Super Mario and Bowser diorama is pictured
World of Nintendo/Amazon

Let other people display fine art. You can show off this diorama depicting the biggest rivalry in retro gaming between Mario and Bowser. You'll also get a Bob-Omb figurine, just in case you want to recreate one of the duo's video game battles.

Buy It: Amazon

9. Playstation Wallet; $25

A Playstation wallet is pictured
SONY PlayStation/Amazon

Keep your cards and cash in one place with this Playstation-shaped wallet. There's even a button-snap opening in the shape of the system's disc tray.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Pong Shirt; $38

A 'Pong' T-shirt is pictured
80sTees.com

Go so retro that Millennials won’t even know what you’re referencing with this nod to the popular game Pong.

Buy It: 80sTees.com

11. The Legend of Zelda Ugly Christmas Sweater; $39

Legend of Zelda Ugly Christmas Sweater
Nintendo/Amazon

It may call itself ugly, but those pixelated images of Link from Legend of Zelda are nothing but gorgeous to retro gamers. There's also a Mario version, if the portly Italian plumber is more your style.

Buy It: Amazon

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