16 Ludicrous Stories About Steven Seagal

The 1980s and '90s were a golden age for American action films. The genre launched the careers of icons like Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mel Gibson, along with a whole pantheon of popular B-listers such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and an intriguing martial-arts-instructor-turned-movie-star named Steven Seagal.   

Seagal's fighting style was aikido (he was the first foreigner to operate an aikido dojo in Japan), which focuses on blocks, parries, throws, and other defensive moves, so his action scenes were unlike anything in American movies at the time. And so was Seagal himself. It wasn't long before some truly wild Steven Seagal stories emerged, and he developed a reputation as one of the industry's strangest and most difficult-to-work-with stars.

There are many nutty things about Steven Seagal, and this list looks at some of the weirdest and most troubling stories that have emerged over the years. From his obscure music career to his new status as "Serbian citizen Steven Seagal" and the fact that he's a living god (no lie!), there's a reason he's continued to fascinate us over the years. 

  • He Had His Own Reality Television Show, Where He Was A 'Real' Lawman
    Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

    He Had His Own Reality Television Show, Where He Was A 'Real' Lawman

    From 2009 to 2014, Seagal had his own reality show, Steven Seagal: Lawman. On this show, he played a cop, and would introduce himself as a “deputy sheriff.” (In fact, he was a member of Louisiana's reserve volunteers, with his position of “deputy chief” being “purely ceremonial,” according to the Los Angeles Times.)

    During one arrest, Steven drove a SWAT tank through the front wall of notorious cock-fighting master criminal Jesus Llovera's compound. Llovera's alleged crime was keeping 115 chickens on his property to use in illegal fights. 

    Llovera's puppy was killed during the raid, and the 115 chickens were euthanized.  

  • When It Comes To His Musical Lyrics, He Doesn't Hold Back

    Seagal released an album in 2005 called Songs from the Crystal Cave. He describes its sound as "outsider country-meets-world music-meets-aikido." Somehow, he convinced Lady Saw and Stevie Wonder to appear on the album. In the liner notes, Seagal is listed as performing vocals, rhythm & lead guitar, drums, percussion, and clay pot.

    Seagal co-wrote most of the music and lyrics for the record. Some noteworthy examples from the record include:

    • "My philosophy's from outer space"
    • "I could ruin your livelihood / I could kill you I would / With the messiest sh*t you ever heard / I could trash your lip, mutate ya / You might lose your wife I might destroy your life"
    • "The last school I know would f*ck you for money / Hey man this is freedom of the press / Who you mean feedin' the f*ckers for free? / Hey man this is our constitution and you know the fifth f*ckin amendment / You turn this piece of paper into a weapon of mass destruction our forefathers would be rollin' over in their graves"
    • "Girl what you really want all night / Me want the buddy, make me feel nice / Boy what you really want all night / Me want the poonani, see for make nice / She want the buddy / Him want the poonani / And me know it nice"
  • He Experienced A Bathroom Accident When A Judo Legend Choked Him Out
    Photo: Marked for Death / Warner Bros.

    He Experienced A Bathroom Accident When A Judo Legend Choked Him Out

    According to some accounts, as Seagal's star rose high in the Hollywood sky, he began to believe his own hype. Apparently, at the height of his fame, he once claimed to be immune to a judo chokehold. To prove this claim, he convinced stuntman and martial arts legend Gene LeBell to choke him. LeBell obliged

    As it turns out, Seagal was not immune to a judo chokehold. Although Seagal denies this happened, LeBell stated that he choked Seagal until he passed out and defecated in his pants. 

  • He Attached His Name To A Nutraceutical Energy Drink
    Photo: Amazon

    He Attached His Name To A Nutraceutical Energy Drink

    You can add "master herbologist" to Steven Seagal's increasingly dynamic resume. In 2005, he launched an energy drink. Or, rather, a nutraceutical beverage called Lightning Bolt. It's best to let the product's press release speak for itself:

    Maintaining an unrelenting schedule that would tire younger entrepreneurs, the 54-year-old Seagal has just completed two movies, Into the Sun and Submerged. His album, Songs from the Crystal Cave, released earlier this year, has already hit the pop charts in Europe. Lightning Bolt Energy Drink(TM) is the result of Seagal's travels in Asia in search of the botanicals believed to keep many locals disease-free for life. Seagal says he discovered the benefits of Asian Cordyceps (one of the most rare and treasured botanicals used in Chinese and Tibetan medicine for thousands of years) while researching immune builders in Asia. It promotes energy, vitality and longevity. Other unique ingredients of the drink include the Tibetan Goji Berry, a powerful anti-oxidant and a juice concentrate with a patented process that contains naturally occurring policosanols. Policosanols have been shown in clinical studies to lower cholesterol.

    Lightning Bolt is the first energy drink made from 100% natural juice... "I have traveled the world creating this drink; there is none better that I know," says Seagal, who frequented Tibet and Japan in the 1960s and 1970s while learning Buddhism, martial arts and herbology. "I have included in this drink everything I could to strengthen the body."

    As of 2015, Lightning Bolt was discontinued

  • He Is A Citizen Of Russia And Serbia

    In January 2016, months before making headlines for being ordained a Russian citizen by Vladimir Putin, Seagal was granted citizenship in Serbia. While this may sound random to those in the United States, the announcement probably sounded perfectly naturally to many Serbs. In addition to being a hugely popular musician in the country, Seagal has trained Serbian special forces in aikido, met with the country's president and other top officials, and hopes to one day open a dojo in Belgrade

    A passionate defender of the character of the Serbian people, Seagal has vowed to do all he can to promote a positive international image of Serbia, to combat what he feels are unfair prejudices based on the country's role in the Balkan conflict

  • He's Friends With Russian President Vladimir Putin, Who Made Seagal A Russian Citizen

    Seagal was probably open to the idea of becoming a Russian citizen because of Russia being run by his kindred spirit, Vladimir Putin. As Claire Suddath wrote in Bloomberg in 2013, before the modern czar himself granted Seagal citizenship, 

    As it turns out, Seagal and Putin pal around quite a bit. The actor has dined with the Russian leader, gone with him to sporting events, and attended state functions. The two “have long been friends and regularly meet each other,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Russian Itar-Tass News Agency in March...

    In Russia, C-list action stars are adored without irony, and Putin and Seagal seem to have bonded over, among other tough-guy traits, a shared affinity for martial arts.

    The friendship helped get Seagal involved in the war on terror. When US lawmakers traveled to Russia to investigate the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing, Seagal escorted them to their meetings. According to Representative Dana Rohrabacher, “Seagal opened some doors."

    Seagal praised Putin's annexation of Crimea, and appeared at a 100,000-person strong motorcycle rally in Sevastopol, Crimea, in support of Putin.