'Blue Bloods' Star Donnie Wahlberg Once Faced 20 Years of Jail Time Over Crime He Denied
"Blue Bloods" star Donnie Wahlberg is one of the multi-talented personalities in Hollywood. However, a past crime he denied committing marred his stellar reputation in the industry. See how he dealt with the crisis.
Renowned actor Donnie Wahlberg grabbed the world's attention through the hit TV series "Blue Bloods," portraying seasoned police and Iraqi war veteran. Danny Reagan.
The 52-year-old TV actor has been happily married to his wife, actress, and model Jenny McCarthy since 2014. Both have grown-up children from their previous relationships.
Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan in the 2010 TV series "Blue Bloods." | Photo: Getty Images
DONNIE WAHLBERG CAREER BEFORE ACTING
Before he could achieve fame on TV, the 52-year-old actor first gained prominence as one of the founding members of the late 1990s R&B boy band New Kids On The Block.
It's been years since Donnie had a major musical project. But his recent appearance on the celebrity singing competition "The Masked Singer" quenched his fans' thirst.
He let the crowd watch him sing once more, though behind a mask. His appearance in the competition left his wife Jenny - who happens to be the show's judge- speechless over his performance.
Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block and Flavor Flav perform at the 1991 American Music Awards on January 28, 1991. | Photo: Getty Images
Jenny admitted about not recognizing Donnie's voice and that her husband outwitted her. She said Donnie told her he was filming "Blue Bloods." The actress, who laughed at the situation, said:
"First is he tricked me! He would actually facetime me from The Masked Singer set dressed as Danny Raegan and say, 'I'm on set of Blue Bloods.'"
During the competition, Wahlberg dressed as a character named Cluedle-Doo. He said his wife probably had trouble figuring out he was under the costume since he performed differently.
Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy attend the "Blue Bloods" screening during PaleyFest NY 2017 on October 16, 2017 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
THE SINGER'S TROUBLED PAST
Donnie had no regrets about singing on stage as it evoked memories of his boyband days. However, he had an unforgettable moment in his life that tainted his reputation as an entertainer.
In 1991, police charged him with first-degree arson after a fire that reportedly broke out in the Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, where he and his bandmates were staying.
The "Saw 2" actor allegedly poured flammable liquid on a rug on the hotel's ninth floor and set it ablaze. Fortunately, the hotel's fire department had no injuries reported.
Donnie Wahlberg attends the AOL Build Speaker Series on June 9, 2016 at AOL Studios, New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
DENYING THE ACCUSATIONS
Donnie, who faced jail time, said that being charged with arson was absurd. Arson convictions carry a prison sentence of 20 years to life. The veteran actor stated:
"The charge of arson is really ridiculous. In no way, shape, or form did I break the law."
He also denied starting the reports stated against him. The "Band of Brothers" actor also denied several allegations, including pouring liquid and lighting matches.
Donnie Wahlberg pictured with a serious look on his face in the 2010 TV drama "Blue Bloods." | Photo: Getty Images
FINALLY SETTLING THE CASE
Donnie settled the case despite the allegations thrown at him, wherein he bailed $5,000 in exchange for freedom. The Louisville, Kentucky Fire Department ultimately dismissed his case after the actor cooperated with them.
Besides being a renowned singer and actor, Donnie is also a devoted family man.
One of the consequences the R&B crooner made was his involvement in community service. He made public service announcements on substance abuse, drunken driving, and fire safety, the reasons why the fire department dropped his charges.
Donnie Wahlberg attends Jenny McCarthy's SiriusXM show on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. | Photo: Getty Images
APPRECIATING THE FANS' SUPPORT
After overcoming the arson charges, Donnie has moved on from the past. He seemed inactive in his involvement in the New Kids On The Block band as he has focused on his acting career.
Since leaving the boy band, he remains grateful for the fans, also called "Blockheads." He shared on Instagram a time-lapse video thanking the fans for the tireless support.
The clip showcased what looked like a digital photo frame panning through photos of Donnie with his NKOTB fans over the years. Several fans sent their appreciation to the singer as well.
Donnie Wahlberg performs onstage for the New Kids On The Block's 30th anniversary of the song "Hangin Tough" at The Apollo Theater on October 7, 2018 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
A PAINFUL GOODBYE TO HIS MOTHER
Besides being a renowned singer and actor, Donnie is also a devoted family man. Early this year, he mourned the death of his beloved mother, Alma. His mother was 78.
Besides Donnie, Alma had eight other children, Michelle, Paul, Arthur, Jim, Tracey, Robert, Mark, and Debbie. Their father, Alma's ex-husband, Donald, passed away in 2008.
The grieving actor took to social media his feelings and wrote a lengthy tribute to his late mother. In his gratitude to Alma, Donnie thanked her for bringing and raising him.
Alma Wahlberg and Donnie attend the grand opening of Wahlburgers on October 24, 2011 at the Hingham Shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts.| Photo: Getty Images
Donnie described Alma as "the most loving human being" and "the epitome of the word grace." Donnie said he was his late mom's favorite child among his siblings.
Mark, an actor like Donnie, also mourned their mother's death. The actor also expressed his sadness on the internet and described the family matriarch as his angel.
Alma was a celebrity in her own right with the family reality show "Wahlburgers" from 2014 to 2019. The show followed their work at their restaurant in Boston with the same name.
Mark Wahlberg and his mother, Alma attends the "Shooter" premiere at Loews Theatre Boston Common in Massachusetts on March 15, 2007. | Photo: Getty Images
In 2019, Donnie grew emotional when reflecting on how the series strengthened their family's relationship. The reality show also helped them cope with years of grief.
Before their parents' deaths, they lost their sister Debbie in 2003. She passed away from a heart attack and septic shock while in a hospital for a kidney stones operation.
Mark said that their mom fell into depression after their sister's death. He said it was a whirlwind of emotions as his daughter, Ella, was born when Debbie passed away.
Mark and Donnie Wahlberg attend the Los Angeles Lakers vs Boston Celtics game at the Staples Center on December 30, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images
The Wahlberg family series also helped the siblings reconnect as they have been busy with their respective lives. Donnie, who used to be close to Mark and Paul, admitted their brotherhood dwindled over time.
Donnie used to work as the music producer to Mark's hip-hop band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. The duo collaborated on several songs, but the pair's bond weakened as time passed.
Mark and Paul Wahlberg at The Wahlburgers Peachtree VIP Media Event on January 27, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. | Photo: Getty Images
Donnie expressed gratitude for how the reality show put him and his brothers together in some scene. It pushed them all to make an effort to renew their relationship.
Since the series ended, Donnie went on to act for "Blue Bloods" while Mark has appeared in several movies. Their brother, Paul, has focused on managing their restaurant.
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