In June 2008, Oscar-winning actress and noted drug enthusiast Tatum O’Neal was arrested for trying to buy crack cocaine on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Since she claimed to have been sober for years, O’Neal told officers immediately after the bust that she was only buying drugs to research a film role. A few days after the arrest, she explained away the whole fracas by saying it was grief over losing her beloved dog to cancer that made her do it.
After engaging in a drunken high-speed chase through Santa Monica in a stolen SUV (as you do), when the cops catch you and find cocaine in your pants pocket, don’t say, “I’m wearing someone else’s pants.” Especially if you’re already on probation for a DUI from two months earlier. In July 2007, Lindsay Lohan offered precisely this excuse. No one believed it then; no one believes it now.
If you’re a Republican running for president on a family values platform, it helps to not have been married three times, especially if you cheated on both of your ex-wives and divorced them while they were recovering from cancer or multiple sclerosis. But if you’re Newt Gingrich, just soothe voters by explaining it was patriotism that made you do those things. Gingrich explained, “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
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During her performance on Saturday Night Live in October 2004, the words of Simpson’s song were heard—and yet her mouth remained shut. Could it be that the greatest chanteuse of our time was lip-synching? Well, duh. It’s a poorly kept secret in the entertainment industry that many artists lip-synch during “live” performances, some more than others. But Simpson had several creative excuses: Acid reflux disease made her vocal chords swell. It was the first time she’d done it, she swore! Also, it was the drummer’s fault for pushing the wrong button.
Sheen trashed a suite and threatened a prostitute at New York’s Plaza Hotel in October 2010, but it was definitely not copious amounts of cocaine that made him do it. According to his publicist, “Charlie had an adverse allergic reaction” to prescription medication. The publicist did not, however, reveal exactly which prescription drug has a label that reads “WARNING—MAY CAUSE VANDALISTIC TENDENCIES AND VIOLENCE TOWARD HOOKERS.”
Imagine how it looked when Rekers, the cofounder of the conservative Family Research Council and a prominent anti-gay activist, was discovered returning from a European vacation in May 2010 accompanied by a hunky, barely legal boy toy? But Rekers set the record straight by claiming that his companion wasn’t a paid escort; he was just a helper Rekers had hired to carry his luggage—a helper he found on Rentboy.com, a gay cruising site. Well, Rekers denied knowing about his “baggage handler’s” day job, but he assured followers that he did spend the two weeks teaching the young man about the gospel of Jesus Christ. So that’s what they call it these days.
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Richie was arrested after driving the wrong way down a Los Angeles freeway while she was high on marijuana and Vicodin. In an effort to explain why she had a prescription for the painkiller, she told friends that it was for menstrual cramps. As for why she had the marijuana, a substance that is actually illegal (unlike Vicodin), Richie had no comment.
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After she was arrested for shoplifting about $5000 worth of merchandise from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue store, Ryder claimed that it was all a misunderstanding and that she was simply preparing for an upcoming role. The cops, prosecutors, and jury didn’t buy her excuse, and the rest of the world is still waiting on that Winona Ryder–leads-a-shoplifting-ring movie that she promised us.
In 2007, Kardashian was picked up for driving under the influence. She served a grueling three hours in jail and was getting on with life when she went on Ryan Seacrest’s radio show to talk about the ordeal, saying that the anniversary of her father’s death had caused her to spiral out of control. Except many people found it hard not to notice that Khloé was arrested in March, while her father died in September.
Few people were surprised when, in February 2009, Sylvester Stallone was arrested in Australia with almost fifty vials of human growth hormone (HGH). Obviously a sixty-year-old man doesn’t get ripped up the natural way, but he claimed that the HGH and testosterone, used by bodybuilders and athletes as illicit steroids, were prescribed for a “legitimate medical condition.” He didn’t specify what condition that was, but HGH is usually prescribed for cases of severe hormonal imbalances or for children with profoundly stunted growth, neither of which seem to apply to Sly.