Monday, February 1, 2010

Celebrity Criminals

Sometimes people commit crimes. And sometimes those people are...celebrities.

Roman Polanski

It's Roman Polanksi! The elfin Semitic Mumia Abu-Jamal. Somehow, Roman Polanski's justifications for having committed statutory rape back in 1977 always remind me of Uncle Leo's excuse for shoplifting in Brentano's.
  • "I'm an old man. I get confused."
  • "I'm from Europe. I get confused."
  • "It wasn't me--it was Borat!"
Recently, Roman's wife came out in defense of his behavior, saying that the 70s were a, "crazy time." The seventies. They were like Apocalypse Now! set to Donna Summer. Rape or be raped, man.

Poor put upon Roman. I happen to have an excerpt from his recent arraignment.

Roman: "Can I please be out on bail now?"

Judge: "Um...well...I'll allow it. But you have to stay in the slightly smaller chalet for house arrest, okay?"

Roman: "That's not fair! The bigger one has the ice cream maker!"

Judge: "Sorry, Roman, but sometimes there are consequences for your actions."

Roman: "No fair!"

Judge: "No pouting! Or I'll take away the sprinkles that Jack and Anjelica sent over."

Phil Spector

As a huge Wall of Sound fan I was a little loath to put him on the list. But how could I not? The gun toting former producer and long time creepy recluse killed a 40something B-movie blonde in 2003. With a laundry list of evidence against him, he still pled not guilty. I have to wonder what his attorneys were thinking.

"OK, our client is found dead with a woman in a room and he's the only other person there. How do we make this go away?"

"We argue that at least he didn't shoot an A-list celebrity? And that's not a meaningless statement--he's come close at least three times."

"Five if you count making all the Ramones play at gunpoint as three separate potential deaths."

"No good--they haven't downgraded killing former starlets or D-listers to a misdemeanor in California. Yet."

"We could argue that our client is so loathsome that twenty minutes alone with him are enough to put any sane woman on the ledge."

"It could work. Hell, I had to put down the bottle of Tylenol several times during the last conference call with Phil."

Michael Jackson

No, Michael didn't kill anyone, but his trial redefined media circus. Think of all the celebs in attendance who were brought because the prosecution wanted to establish that he'd molested before. None of them took the bait, though.

Macauley: "Michael's not a perv, and I'm offended that anyone would think that. He's been nothing but good to me. Like on his honeymoon, when Lisa Marie was pissed and didn't want to go with him to Oahu because of that whole I, Michael, take thee Bubbles business? He totally let me go with him."

Emmanuel Lewis: "I'm afraid I can't be of any help. I haven't really seen him since the year I finally hit puberty."

Wade Robson: "I haven't seen him since the night of the great sleepover in FAO Schwartz."

Winona Ryder

Yeah, another non-lethal crime. Here's some stuff that I bet you didn't know that Winona kept'oed, from the set of some of her films.

Star Trek (She played Spock's Mommy.) The Vulcan merkins.

Girl Interrupted. A jar containing Billy Bob's life fluids. Also, Angelina's vial of Billy Bob's blood.

Autumn in New York. The whole enchilada? She basically stole Julia Roberts' rightful place. (A rom com playing opposite Richard Gere, I mean, come on.)

Little Women. Beth's pathos. I knew there was a reason, apart from my stone cold soul, why I didn't cry harder when Claire Danes kicked it.

Edward Scissorhands. Tell me you didn't cry when she and Anthony Michael Hall sold Edward down the river. I'd expect this from Anthony, the Mark McGuire of the acting world, but from Winona? I was shocked.

Robert Blake

Robert Blake, of In Cold Blood and Baretta, was found not guilty but most people think he killed his wife. His story is that they went to a restaurant together, had dinner, and then got into the car to leave, whereupon he realized he forgot his gun and went back for it. When he came back, he found her shot.

Blake's conversation with the cops?

Cop: "You have the right to remain..."

Blake: "Okay come on. Come on! She was like that when I got there!"

Cop: "Anything you say or do..."

Blake: "Um...we both reached for the gun, the gun, the gun?"

And scene. In looking over this post, I realize I could have renamed it Creepy Old Dudes (plus Winona). In honor of the creepy old man of the century, I'm going to dedicate it to the memory of J.D. Salinger. I always felt vaguely guilty about not liking Catcher in the Rye more, being as I'm supposed to be so literary and all that. But the thing I liked most was the title (it always reminded me of biting into a thick sandwich, mmm, rye). Oh well. RIP, Mr. Salinger.