Did Russell Brand's Arrest Ruin His Green Card Chances?

Did Russell Brand's Arrest Ruin His Green Card Chances?-photo

Following Russell Brand's recent arrest, could the British star's immigration status be in jeopardy now?

The Get Him to the Greek actor allegedly got into a fight with a paparazzo at LAX on Friday after the photographer reportedly tried to stick his camera up the skirt of Russell's fiancee, Katy Perry. Russell was arrested for misdemeanor battery and released on $20,000 bail. 

Celebuzz exclusively spoke with Raed Gonzalez, a Houston-area lawyer from Garza & Associates who specialized in immigration law. According to Raed, Katy would still have to petition for Russell (who is British) to become an American citizen, since non-Americans are not automatically granted citizenship when marry an American.

Losing the ability to gain citizenship–or even to get a green card–could hurt Russell's burgeoning Hollywood career, which took off after her landed supporting role in 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Watch the trailer below.

Celebuzz also talked with Michael Wildes, a renowned immigration lawyer and former federal prosecutor from Wildes & Weinberg firm in New York, who was clear that Russell's case was "very serious." Michael says that is is important that Russell hires a good immigration lawyer in addition to a criminal lawyer, because often would-be citizens cop a plea deal in a criminal case only to discover that they've put their future citizenship into jeopardy.

"This is more serious because of his acclaim and notoriety," said Michael, "There's no hiding."

One thing that Michael and Raed both agree on is that Russell may need to apply for a waiver of his criminal charges in order to get the government to commit to giving him a green card. Waivers are not uncommon for non-Americans looking to live and work in the United States. Michael tells us that his father (famed lawyer Leon Wildes) applied for similar waivers for John Lennon in the 1970s. The former Beatle was prevented from getting his green card due to past criminal charges.

Watch John talk about the charges keeping him out of the US below.

"[Russell] may be historically in good company," says Michael, who was quick to stress that this was still a very serious case.

If the actor is worried about his status, he hasn't let the public seen him sweat. The comedian tweeted thanks to his fans for their "sweet messages" and then jokingly claimed that he is a "proficient criminal" thanks to the tips he picked up "in chokey."

Russell is expected to appear in court in October 15.

Do you think Russell may lose his chance to land citizenship? Share your thoughts in the comments below.



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  • guyAndTonyRGey

    russel brand is cool. period. people knew him before he got together with katy.

  • Tony

    I would have to agree with you guy. This guy is annoying and someone making a comparison between Russell Brand and John Lennon should result in said person getting kicked in the junk by SIr Paul McCartney. Lennon = Legend. Russell Brand = 13 minutes of fame remaining. Use them well.

  • Guy

    Who cares?!?!?!? Russell Brand will be out of sight and out of mind in a few short years anyway. Katy Perry is the only thing that keeps him in people's minds anyway. This guy is a 1 trick pony.

  • ohmwrecker

    Fingers crossed! The Lennon/Brand comparison is beyond tasteless.

  • lucas

    Given the circumstances of the case, Brand probably doesn't have anything to worry about. Unless someone can prove that the upskirt story was a total lie. But given that the paps are known to be harassing and such, no one will doubt the tale. So long as Brand has a clean record otherwise, this isn't likely to be as serious as these lawyers who don't know him, his case and aren't repping him are claiming.

  • faith

    That's ridiculous! Hope it's not true!