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TODAY

Sunday, September 22

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Maybe it's the mid-summer heat. Maybe they think their wealth and power renders them untouchable. Maybe they're just as human as the rest of us. I'm talking about celebrities behaving badly, of course.

Mel Gibson

The actor and Oscar-winning director was pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway on June 28, at about 2:30 in the morning. Breathalyzer results later revealed that his blood alcohol level was 0.12; California's legal limit is .08. Originally, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said Gibson was arrested and booked "without incident," and released several hours later. Website TMZ, however, soon posted part of the police report, proving otherwise. Gibson allegedly refused to get in the squad car and tried to run before the deputy caught and cuffed him. The entire series of events was audiotaped, and police also videotaped Gibson when he arrived at the station. Neither of those tapes has been made public as of today. Apparently, Gibson began swearing immediately and didn't let up for several hours. Some of his choice quotes appear below. (Feel free to assume that abbreviated words are variations of the f-word.)

"My life is f'ed."
"You mother f'er. I'm going to eff you."
"F'ing Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." (to deputy) "Are you a Jew?"
(to sergeant behind the video camera) "What the eff do you think you're doing?"
(to female sergeant) "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

That last one is my favorite. Gibson has been accused of anti-Semitism before (most notably because of his controversial picture The Passion of the Christ, which I wrote about briefly here), as well as being anti-woman and homophobic. But this vitriol seemed, for many people, to solidify this viewpoint.

Gibson immediately began backpedaling, issuing an apology that day in which he said, "I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said, and I apologize to anyone who I have offended." The following weekend, Gibson began rehab treatment for alcoholism. He released a second apology on August 2, the day he was formally charged with a misdemeanor DUI. "I'm not just asking for forgiveness," the release said. "I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing."

The aftermath and fallout was huge. Even though several people stood by Mel, ABC dropped Gibson's planned Holocaust project, and several people — including Barbara Walters — called for a boycott of his films. The potential long-term effects on his career aren't yet known. Gibson will never have to worry about going broke; he financed The Passion with his own money, and it made millions last year. But as for his "good name," well, we'll just have to wait and see. Also, not to downplay the heinousness of what he said or the spin that followed it, but why isn't anyone concentrating on the drunk driving aspect of this story? Even if he was suicidal as some insist, HE COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE ELSE. And Gibson has had previous infractions, including being charged for "impaired driving" in Toronto more than 20 years ago. Just another thing to blame on Canada.

Lindsey Lohan

Teen queen (and Vanity Fair cover girl) La Lohan has it tough, y'all. The 20-year-old actress has to work long, hot days and nights on her current movie set, Georgia Rule, AND keep up a busy social calendar at the same time. It's no wonder she was briefly hospitalized early on July 26 for being "overheated and dehydrated." Lohan was given a B-12 shot and recovered well enough to go out to dinner and hit Chateau Marmont several hours later. Lohan's on-set behavior on previous pictures, most notably Herbie: Fully Loaded, was questionable, with missed days excused as "asthma attacks" or "exhaustion." This time, however, CEO James G. Robinson, called out her behavior in a letter made public a few days after he sent it to Lohan and her "representatives."

Since the commencement of principal photography of Georgia Rule, you have frequently failed to arrive on time to the set. Today, you did not show for work (all day). I am now being told that you don't plan to come to work tomorrow because you are "not feeling well." You and your representatives have told us that your various late arrivals and absences from the set have been the result of illness; today we were told it was "heat exhaustion." We are well aware that your ongoing all night heavy partying is the real reason for your so-called "exhaustion." We refuse to accept bogus excuses for your behavior.

Robinson didn't pull any punches, calling her "a spoiled child" and implied legal action if she didn't shape up. Lohan went to the set the next day. Dina Lohan, Lindsay's mother and publicist (who is currently being sued for fraud), defended her daughter/client against that mean old man from Morgan Creek. "I don't think it was a smart thing to do to a young girl," she argued. "Lindsay was in 105 (degree weather) saying, 'Mommy, I feel sick; like I am going to faint.' She took herself to the hospital. She has asthma and in extreme cold or heat you can't breathe."

Lohan used celebrity starf'er and gossip columnist Perez Hilton as mouthpiece to present her new work ethic and bemoan the paparazzi. How long will Lohan be on track? We'll have to wait and see on this as well.

Peter Cook

Who? He's Christie Brinkley's fourth husband, a former model as well. Cook had an affair with Diana Bianchi, his 19-year-old female assistant at his architecture firm, which started when she was "right at the limit" of the age of consent (the age of consent in New York is 17). The story came out when Bianchi's stepfather, a cop, approached Brinkley at a high school graduation at which she was speaking. He had previously approached Cook several times telling him to back off Bianchi, but Cook refused. Brinkley took her two children and left Cook. Later, another woman came forward, saying when she was nineteen ten years ago, she, too, had had an affair with Cook, whom she worked for as well. Same as it ever was.

Jeffrey Epstein

Who?, part two. He's a New York billionaire financier who allegedly has a taste for "younger and younger" girls. I'll just provide a link to the affidavit on The Smoking Gun and let you leaf through the document yourself — if you can manage to read page after page after page of the same scenario he reportedly used, which included massage and…um, toys. Or perhaps you might wonder why The New York Times has not written a single word about the scandal (information via Jossip.com). Note: This investigation took place last year, but the document was only recently made public.

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About the Author(s)

As a child, Dee Stiffler was only allowed to watch one hour of television a day. She usually chose Sesame Street. Today, she overcompensates by knowing far too much about the WB's lineup as well as pop culture in general. Email her at pop@gapersblock.com.

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