Chrissy Teigen Confesses to Federal Crimes: Opening Rihanna's Mail

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on October 06, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It happens all the time, doesn't it? You move into some celebrity's old mansion, and you're still getting their old fan mail and Bugatti bills. But just because the last A-list tenants were lazy changing their address doesn't mean you can just start opening and reading their mail.

At least, that's what someone should tell Chrissy Teigen, who gleefully admitted to Ellen DeGeneres that she's been opening and reading Rihanna's mail since moving into her former house. So are federal agents about to show up and put Teigen in cuffs?

Accidental Mail Theft

Here's Teigen, blissfully unaware that opening someone else's mail is a federal crime:

Some other fun facts: Rihanna apparently gets quite a bit of fan mail, more than Teigen; she owes the luxury car manufacturer Bugatti $18 (Rental fee? Final lease payment? Interest?); and Teigen apparently tried to bring Rihanna's old bills to the Grammy's but husband John Legend told her "no" in no uncertain terms.

Ellen tries to help by pointing out that opening someone else's mail is illegal, and no, it doesn't matter if it's delivered to your house. To be fair to Teigen, the federal statute banning obstruction of correspondence isn't the easiest read (emphasis added):

Whoever takes any letter, postal card, or package out of any post office or any authorized depository for mail matter, or from any letter or mail carrier, or which has been in any post office or authorized depository, or in the custody of any letter or mail carrier, before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to obstruct the correspondence, or to pry into the business or secrets of another, or opens, secretes, embezzles, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Sorry, Chrissy, you could be looking at quite a stretch in federal prison. Too bad Ellen didn't have a chance to give you the best legal advice: don't confess.

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