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Vanessa Hudgens' $1,000 fine is probably chump change for her, amirite?

Lisa Fogarty


Lisa Fogarty

Lisa Fogarty has written numerous articles for USA Today, The Stir, Opposing Views and other publications. She has covered everything from red carpet events to the discovery of toxic PCBs on school windows. She lives on Long Island, N.Y....

Vanessa Hudgens to pay up for vandalizing red rock wall, but was it an appropriate fine?

She did the deed, and now Vanessa Hudgens has agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for vandalizing a red rock wall during her trip to Sedona, Arizona, this year. I guess you could blame young love for her rash decision — the High School Musical actress carved a heart into the wall, and inside of that heart, "Vanessa + Austin," referring, of course, to her actor boyfriend Austin Butler. We'd love to say "aww," but Hudgens broke the law with her carving.

She must have assumed it was no biggie because she posted a photo of her red rock tribute on Instagram around Valentine's Day, where it caught the attention of a whole lot of people who weren't feeling the love. (Hudgens has kept a few photos from her trip on IG but has since removed the actual photo of her heart carving.) Her Instagram viewers were actually the ones who alerted the police to the matter and helped to call her out on it.

More: Zac Efron wants Vanessa Hudgens back, but why'd they break up anyway?

Hudgens was issued a citation for a misdemeanor offense: damaging a natural feature on U.S. Forest Service land. Sources say that Hudgens has already paid the $1,000 fine, which was used by Friends of the Forest, a volunteer group, to restore the rock wall and remove the amorous act of vandalism. Apparently, lots of people visit Sedona and try to leave their mark behind, but Hudgens couldn't have actually believed she would get away with it, right? I mean, Ms. Rizzo herself has more than 18 million followers. A whole lot of eyes are tracking her every move.

So Hudgens made a silly mistake. It should also be noted that she helped authorities find the exact location of the rock and cooperated fully with the investigation. It sounds like she may have gotten off easily for committing a federal crime — the punishment for damaging a natural feature is up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. For an actress worth $10 million, forking over $1K is the equivalent of sacrificing one designer clutch.

More: Vanessa Hudgens, Austin Butler's celebration of their love backfires

In a way, Hudgens provided a service — her mistake serves as a warning to anyone considering vandalizing public property to think twice about it. Even something as sweet as a Valentine's Day tribute can cost you. Somewhere out there, Zac Efron is shaking his head and thinking, This would have never happened if she was still my girl.

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