Peaky Blinders’ Paul Anderson Blames Drug Arrest on Wanting to “Please Fans”

Peaky Blinders actor Paul Anderson has pleaded guilty to four charges of drug possession, and has been ordered by a court in London to pay £1,345 (around $1,500) in fines.

Anderson was arrested on Boxing Day (December 26th) after being found in possession of several drugs, including crack cocaine, amphetamines, and two prescription substances, diazepam and pregabalin.

According to The Daily Mail, Anderson was caught after attending a pub near his home, which contacted local law enforcement after its manager noticed “crack cocaine fumes coming from the disabled toilet after the actor walked out.” Law enforcement then found Anderson with a young man and a 17-month-old baby, and brought the actor to the police station, where the substances were discovered.

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Though Anderson pleaded guilty to all four charges, his lawyer said that drug use is not typical for him. “You will recognize the defendant from a very intense part that he has played in a recent television program,” the lawyer reportedly told the court, referring to Anderson’s Peaky Blinders character, Arthur Shelby. “He is often recognized and does his best to please fans of the show by slipping into character.”

Continuing, the lawyer explained that after Anderson was recognized by on Boxing Day, he “tried to play up for these people. And because of the lifestyle he leads people often give him inducements.” Ultimately, this allegedly resulted in Anderson’s drug-use that night. “He has found himself in an unfortunate position and should have had the strength to say no.”


Reportedly, Anderson only spoke at the court to enter his pleas and confirm his identity and address.

Peaky Blinders premiered in 2013 and concluded in 2022 after a six-season run. There’s been talk of a feature-length film for the series, which reportedly will start production in mid-2024. It’s uncertain how, if at all, Anderson’s charges will impact the project.