Vanessa Hudgens and her boyfriend, actor and singer Austin Butler, went on a super romantic trip to Sedona, Arizona, around Valentine’s Day to see all the gorgeous red rocks in the New Age spiritual capital. They were so inspired, they decided to carve their names (inside a heart, natch) into the storied rocks. Um, big mistake.
Her followers immediately saw the destruction of protected land and tipped off the media, which in turn alerted the authorities.
Vanessa was charged with a misdemeanor for defacing nature on U.S. Forest Service territory. The criminal offense resulted in a fine of $1,000; money that was given to the volunteer group Friends of the Forest to restore the face of Bell Rock (probably by sanding). This arrangement was approved by a federal magistrate in Flagstaff on April 19.
But given the circumstances, we have to say that Vanessa got off pretty easy. Defacing protected land can be punished by a fine of up to $5,000 and six months in jail, so she could have experienced far worse repercussions for her romantic act.
“She was caught in the act because she publicized it and she’s famous,” Coconino National Forest Service spokesman Brady Smith said. “I’m sure there are others who are not famous and publicized it and we’ve never known.”
Yikes. Next time, Vanessa, maybe just arrange an airplane banner?