Celebrity Arrests: How the Mighty Have Fallen
April 26, 2005
Celebrity scandal and arrests have always been a favorite focus of public scrutiny. We love
to see the mighty fall, the powerful crumble and
the beautiful get caught with heroin. It's like the sweet froth on a cappuccino or the thrill of not getting pregnant despite lack
of condom. I may not be wildly rich, but at least the cops aren't busting down my door when I'm trying to play my bongos naked high on pot. Just
ask Matthew McConaughey.
This being one of my pet topics (along with eating disorders), I've already discussed a number of the fallen famous elsewhere on sweatpantserection.
The Coreys, Eddie Furlong, Robert Downey Jr., George Michael, Bobby Brown, the Diff'rent Strokes cast and Pee-wee have been featured in some form
or another. Make it a scavenger hunt and see if you can find them all!
I'm adding to the list. Some recent, some not so much; the following is a compilation of (more of) my favorite follies and celebrity oopsies.
Ms. Lyonne has made very recent headlines indeed. On April 19, 2005, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest after she failed to appear in court
to face charges of allegedly ripping down a mirror in her neighbors' apartment and "threatening to molest their dog." We thought it was bad that
Michael Jackson molests boys; now Natasha Lyonne wants to defile your dog.
Known mostly for her indie film work, Natasha is the less cute and less popular Chloe Sevigny. Most notably, she's appeared in Party Monster,
The Slums of Beverly Hills, American Pie 1 and 2 and Detroit Rock City. Now she wants to be a dog rapist. Isn't fame
and money enough???
Natasha was previously arrested in 2002 when she crashed her car while driving drunk in Miami. The arresting officer was not swayed by her pleas of
"But I'm a celebrity!" Perhaps if she would have screamed "But I'm a Cheerleader!" she would have gotten somewhere.
Poor Tracey Gold. It's not enough that her battle with anorexia and bulimia during the Growing Pains years received wide publicity, now she's gone
and rolled her SUV while driving under the influence. Carol Seaver certainly would not have approved.
It goes to show that just because you play a brainy do-gooder on a family sitcom, doesn't mean you'll take the lessons to heart.
Tracey's TV brother, Kirk Cameron, is another story. He's the
father of six and a leader of a Christian cult. She can't possibly stay sober when faced with this daunting comparison.
A little before midnight on September 2, 2004, Tracey was driving her husband and their three kids home in their GMC Yukon. She lost
control; the vehicle flipped and skidded down an embankment. Two of her sons and her husband received minor injuries. Tracey
and her four-month-old son, Aiden, were unhurt. God is always kindest to drunks and babies.
Tracey owned up to her guilt and was sentenced to 240 hours of community service. Hopefully Kirk is praying for her. She'll need the support.
A celebrity by circumstance, Tonya Harding is best known for her involvement in the Nancy Kerrigan knee-clubbing scandal at the 1994 US Olympic figure skating trials.
Nancy was assaulted by a man associated with Harding and her ex-husband, Jeff Gilooly. We can all still hear Nancy's plaintive cries of
"Why? Why? Why?" ringing in our ears.
from Portland, OR, Tonya wanted to win gold under the glittery lights of the Olympic rink no matter what. Nothing would stop her -- especially
not Nancy Kerrigan, the "privileged" skater from Massachusetts. Despite Nancy's injury, both women made it to the Lillehammer games. Nancy placed
second, taking home the silver medal. Tonya placed a dismal eighth. Cheaters never prosper, kids. (That is, unless you happen to work for the
Bush administration). Tonya's ex-husband, Jeff Gilooly pleaded guilty to racketeering in connection with the January 1994 attack.
Tonya herself was never officially charged, however she later pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to hinder prosecution. In June she was stripped of her 1994 national
championship title and banned from competitive figure skating for life. In September of that year, the world became privy to the full-frontal glory
of Tonya and Jeff's wedding night porn. Puke.
From tonyaharding.com: "For good or bad,
Tonya Harding has been the most influential person in Figure Skating history,
and in all sports history, second only to Mohammad Ali. There are all kinds of websites pushing
the wonderful accomplishments of their namesakes but with Tonya's rebellious spirit, her website is dedicated to desires and dreams"
My sports knowledge is pretty limited. However, I know enough to be at least a little bit suspect of this claim. In trying to be open minded,
I am willing to give it the benefit of doubt. Thus, if by "influential" they mean white trash saboteur, then maybe I'll let it slide. As for the second half of her website's statement, hmmm, let's see:
Mohammad Ali...Tonya Harding...Mohammad Ali... Nope, it's not clicking for me. Oh, and in case you're wondering, there is no mention of Ms.
Kerrigan on Tonya's website.
Since crashing and burning in the figure skating world, Ms. Harding's aspirations have become more modest. She participated in
FOX's Celebrity Boxing in 2002 (in the company of other "celebrities" such as Todd Bridges/Willis Jackson, Vanilla Ice and Barry
Williams aka Greg Brady). Tonya came away victorious after pummeling Paula Jones (of Bill Clinton-affair-having fame). Perhaps now that she's a
big, brutish boxer, she can challenge Mohammad Ali himself to a match. Ms. Harding could actually turn out to be the most influential person
in sports history if she can bring down her competition. She's proven herself exceptional at bringing down the competition.
Tonya Harding got off relatively easy in the Nancy Kerrigan debacle; she was not so lucky in 2003. She was arrested and charged in a
drunken driving incident after crashing her pickup truck (of course it was a pickup) into a ditch.
You can't blame that on a broken skate lace.
Lastly, getting back to those dreams and desires mentioned on her website: What does
Tonya dream and desire today?
"It would be having enough money to go hunting and fishing and go to the big four-wheel-drive mud bogs," she says. "And every once
in a while put on a really pretty dress and go to dinner at a place like Applebee's or something."
Rick Allen became Def Leppard's drummer in the early 80's. I normally leave any discussion of "boy topics" like shitty heavy metal
and groupie sex to Dan; however, Rick is of special mention. Rick lost his left arm in a car accident in 1984.
The docs tried to reattach the limb without success. Would he ever play
the drums again (sob)? Well, Rick, he was what some folks call a "survivor." He realized that, with a specially outfitted drum kit, he could play the beats his left hand
would have with his foot. From thence, he was known as THUNDER GOD. Muahahahahaha.
Rick does not like people to treat him any differently than they would a person with two normal arms. The cops did just that when he was arrested in 1995
for spousal abuse. FOR BEATING HIS WIFE WITH HIS ONE REMAINING ARM. You have to wonder...a man with only one fist to swing...wouldn't that be
a lot easier to overcome than someone with two? Rick was sentenced to probation, domestic violence counseling and mandatory AA meetings.
It's good that his handicap isn't keeping him from living a normal life. Even the deformed can develop alcohol dependence.
Since we're talking about shitty hair bands, I may as well slip in a reference to Tawny Kitaen's arrest for husband-battering in 2002.
Tawny made her initial claim to fame as Debbie, Tom Hanks' betrothed in Bachelor Party in 1984. Following this, she posed provocatively
for Ratt's Out of the Cellar album cover. Tawny did not find her heavy metal groove until she hooked up with Whitesnake in 1987.
Best known as the writhing slut on the car hood in their Here I Go Again video, she also appeared in the follow-up video, Is This Love.
She married Whitesnake lead singer, David Coverdale, in 1989. Unfortunately, it was not Mr. Coverdale whom Tawny abused; she
divorced him in 1991. (And they would have had such beautiful, if not hairy, children).
Tawny was charged with battery after allegedly kicking her six-foot-six, 214-pound professional baseball-playing second husband, Chuck Finley, with
her high heels. Given Chuck's stature, it's obvious that he was gravely threatened by the beast-like power of a raging Tawny. I would live in fear if I
was him. Tawny spent a few days in an Orange County jail before being released. Her husband filed for divorce and obtained a temporary restraining
order. Tawny entered rehab for her addiction to prescription pain killers. She later slapped back with a $12 million dollar lawsuit claiming her broke his promise
to "support her forever and ever." Tawny plea bargained with a judge in 2002. She was ordered to stay away from Chuck, from their home and donate
$500 to a battered women's shelter. (Wouldn't a men's shelter have been more appropriate? Do those even exist?) Charges were later dismissed
after she made a public apology on Howard Stern's show in 2003. Howard has the power to heal.
Of late, Tawny is back on the circuit giving advice to women who want to land hair rocker boyfriends. She is quoted in Blender magazine,
"I made David Coverdale wait about three months. I made Tommy Lee wait about four weeks. That's quick for me! Look, the way you get these guys
is, you don't sleep with them. The girls that give it up quickly are called groupies."
I think she might be the new Oprah.