Hit Me Charlie One More Time

If you wade into celebrities’ personal lives, you’re going to find some pretty gnarly stuff. Sham marriages, drug addictions, financial problems, plastic surgery they won’t admit to but everyone knows they had...and of course, problems with the law. And not just the run-of-the-mill DUI/drug charges/throwing phones at assistants. Unfortunately, many male celebrities have been exposed as having an unseemly habit of abusing women. So it turns out that the celeb whose acting/ directing/ singing/ hot bod you admired is far from perfect—in fact he’s actually a scumbag. Star scumbags put fans in a tough spot. We’re forced to choose between our morals and our genuine appreciation of their art, or at least their famous-ness. Since most of these abusive celebs continue to have successful careers, it would seem that we choose the art. Does it mean that we forgive them for their mistakes? Maybe yes, maybe no. But we definitely continue to support them, maybe even unwittingly rewarding them because of their infamy.  These stars have really crossed the line, but they seem to be at least on their way to absolution, if not already there… Related Stories: What You Missed at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards Eight Crazy Celebrity Exes Lohan vs. Sheen: Who’s Winning More?    
Chris Brown
Mike Tyson
Charlie Sheen
Dr. Dre
Rick James
Roman Polanski
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Chris Brown

Two years after punching the bejeezus out of his then-girlfriend Rihanna, Brown’s albums are selling like gangbusters and he rocked the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Sure, Jay-Z refused to applaud his performance, but considering that Brown’s punishment included only probation and no jail time, we’d say that he got off pretty easy. Even Rihanna herself has spoken about forgiving him and eased the parameters of her restraining order against him.
_Photo credit: PR Photos

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Mike Tyson

On the set of The Hangover Part II, star Zach Galifianakis allegedly got Mel Gibson fired because he refused to work with an abuser. We wouldn’t want to work with the Mel, the Mayor of Crazyville either, but we can’t help but see some hypocrisy here: Zach didn’t have a problem working with Mike Tyson, who was found guilty of raping Desiree Washington in 1992, during the first installment. Ex-wife Robin Givens also alleged that Tyson was physically abusive during their marriage. Tyson’s career has been rehabilitated, but whether he’s personally wised up is debatable: In a 2006 interview with Greta Van Susteren, he expressed anger at Washington and at being forever labeled a rapist, saying, “I just hate her guts. She put me in that state…now I really do want to rape her.” _Photo credit: PR Photos

Charlie Sheen

Sheen didn’t actually shoot Kelly Preston in the arm in 1990, as many people believe, but it sure sounds like his M.O. Denise Richards claims that Sheen beat her during their marriage, and on Christmas Day 2009, Sheen held a knife to wife Brooke Mueller’s throat and threatened to kill her. In Hollywood, that translates to being charged with a misdemeanor and spending a month in a rehab center in Malibu. (Winning!) Sheen continued to rake in $2 million per episode of Two and a Half Men until March 2011, when he publicly insulted the creator of the show. To reiterate: Prostitutes, cocaine, violence = look the other way. Snarky comments = fired.
_Photo credit: PR Photos

Dr. Dre

In 1990, hip-hop writer Dee Barnes interviewed rapper Ice Cube, who had been a member of Dre’s group N.W.A. The rest of the group felt that she had portrayed them negatively, so when Dre ran into Barnes at a party a year later, he sought to set the record straight. In front of a room full of witnesses, he repeatedly slammed Barnes into the site of a wall, tried to throw her down the stairs, kicked her in the ribs, and when she tried to escape, grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the back of the head—all while his bodyguard prevented the rest of the partygoers from intervening. Dre’s punishment? Community service. He gave the world Eminem and Snoop Dogg, so we’re square.
_Photo credit: PR Photos

Rick James

Yes, he’s a “Super Freak.” In 1991, James and his wife invited a woman to their home, where the three did massive amounts of cocaine, and then James forced the woman to have sex with his wife, tied her to a chair, and burned her with a crack pipe. While on bail for that incident, he and his wife invited a music executive to their hotel room where they beat her and held her hostage for twenty hours. Sounds like a typical vacation to us. James spent three years in state prison, but thanks to sketches on Chapelle’s Show, he’s remembered as “Rick James: Pop Culture Phenomenon,” and not “Rick James: Crazed Violent Crack Enthusiast.”
_Photo credit: PR Photos

Roman Polanski

Whoever handles Polanski’s PR deserves a raise. No one’s image has ever been more successfully rehabilitated. Polanski, who won an Academy Award in 2003 for directing The Pianist, is continually lauded as a genius, an auteur, a super-peachy guy. In 2009, a bunch of actors and directors even circulated an open petition in support of overturning the legal sentence that prevents Polanski from entering the United States. Sentence for what, you ask? For anally raping a thirteen-year-old girl. Yes. In 1977, Roman Polanski plied a teenager with sedatives and champagne, and then proceeded to rape her. This is not in dispute. He was sentenced to prison but fled the country before he could be taken to jail. So the lesson is this: It’s okay to rape a child if you’re a brilliant filmmaker and/or it happened a long time ago. Let’s let bygones be bygones!
_Photo credit: PR Photos

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