Five Musicians Who Can Help Mel Gibson Reform His Image
Just in case you haven't heard the audio tapes of famed actor/ultra-religious headcase Mel Gibson unleashing slur-filled invective at his wife Oksana Grigorieva, you can listen to them here, but you've got to be warned, it is not even remotely safe for work unless you work in a Neo-Nazi biker bar.
Needless to say, Mel's image has taken a bit of a pounding over this. Americans won't just forget overnight that one of their most likable screen icons is a racist, abusive maniac. No, rehabilitating Mel's image is going to take finesse. Unlike the time he called a policewoman "Sugar Tits" and blamed all the world's wars on "the Jews," more than a simple apology will be expected from him.
Luckily, there are several personalities within the music community who've had experience threading their way down the delicate path of public forgiveness, and we feel they'd be in the prefect position to help Mel. That is, assuming he can take the first few baby steps himself - for instance, we hope he doesn't mind too much that a couple of them are black.
1. R. Kelly: A quick glance at the table of contents for R. Kelly's Wikipedia article will reveal a sub-section entitled "Additional child porn charges," so you know his image rehabilitation had to have been a bit of an uphill battle. Everybody knows R. Kelly loves underage girls, and despite the fact that he had more videotape of himself fooling around with underage chicks than Roman Polanski, nobody has ever been able to make charges stick to the man.
His first trial was thrown out due to the fact that the cops didn't have a search warrant when they found one of his many, many caches of child porn in his Florida home, and his second trial was a total fiasco which suffered several delays, rendered key evidence inadmissible, allowed him to plea-bargain 21 counts of sex with a minor down to much lesser charges, and eventually resulted in a Not Guilty verdict.
Today, go to any R. Kelly show, and it's obvious that all has been forgiven. His fans, love him as much as they ever did, and the females in particular would gladly make the walk of shame back to the parking garage in piss-scented clothes just for the chance to be with him. Everybody else tends to view him as an eccentric cousin, that crazy guy with the great voice who told that long-ass story about getting trapped in a closet that ended with a midget and a stuttering pimp chasing after a MacGuffin that may be a box of AIDS.
Lesson Mel Gibson Can Take From This: If charges get filed, try to have the trial somewhere where they let people get away with utterly horrific shit on a regular basis. R. Kelly's was in Cook County, but Los Angeles should work just fine.
2. Axl Rose: Sure, Axl gets a lot of flak for his many onstage tantrums and threats towards other celebrities which he never follows through on, but come on, underneath his toddler-like exterior beats the heart of a true romantic. His first marriage came to be when he showed up at girlfriend Erin Everly's house (no doubt completely sober), and said he had a gun in his car and if she didn't marry him, he was going to kill himself. Romance, table for two, please!
The marriage was brief, with Everly later claiming Rose abused her during and after their marriage. Wait a minute, the same Axl Rose who kept trying to contact her for an entire year after their marriage ended, sending her letters, flowers and caged birds? And what did she give him in return? A civil lawsuit claiming Rose abused her physically and emotionally. There's gratitude for you.
Axl's next girlfriend, Stephanie Seymour, also claimed he was abusive to her, going so far as to file a lawsuit against him and subpoenaing Everly to testify as to what a slap-happy lunatic Rose was. Not to be outdone, Rose filed suit right back, claiming it was in fact Seymour who was the abusive one.
Lesson Mel Gibson Can Take From This: Both of these lawsuits were settled out of court, so take note, Mel. Don't be stingy when it comes time to make the inevitable payout.