Celebrity bad behaviour on the rise

Celebrity bad behaviour on the rise
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First Published: Wed, May 30 2007. 01 14 PM IST
Updated: Wed, May 30 2007. 01 14 PM IST
Los Angeles: Paris Hilton soon in prison, Nicole Richie charged again, Lindsay Lohan in detox after her arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence: landings are harsh for freewheeling Hollywood starlets.
After a weekend accident, Lohan was also charged with carrying “contraband” found in her wrecked car, police said. According to her press agent, she checked herself into detox, soon after.
Lohan, 20, is to appear in court on August 24. She faces jail time if convicted, although her unsullied police record could sway the judge, for the time being.
However, Hilton may not get that lucky, for sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving on a suspended license, she has apparently lost symapthy and favour with those who were till recently less harsh of her behaviour and antics.
The 26-year-old hotel heiress is to begin her sentence June 5, and will be eligible for a reduced sentence for good behaviour. While this may be a possibility, most people do want to see some action taken against her, for the feeling that “celebrities can get away with murder” is something most want refuted, especially through the long arm of the law.
Perhaps next to follow her behind bars will be good friend Nicole Richie, 25, whose trial for driving under the influence opens soon.
The adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie was sentenced on similar charges in 2003, and California law mandates jail time for recidivists.
Nothing is new under the sun in Hollywood, said Robert Thompson, a professor of popular culture at Syracuse University. “Celebrities behaving badly is certainly not an uncommon thing to find throughout history and it is certainly not going to fade away,” he said.
Actor Robert Downey Jr did time in the 1990s for drug use. Christian Slater spent two months in jail after an alcohol and heroin-fueled attack on his girlfriend in 1997. And while being arrested for driving under the influence in 2006, Mel Gibson launched into an anti-Semitic diatribe. “You have all the ingredients in some of these people that really kind of encourages this kind of behavior: lots of attention, often lots of financial resources, combined with being used to having people to defer to your every whim.”
However, the present rash of rogue behavior, including Britney Spears’ stint of shaving her head before checking into rehab, has a lot to do with the explosion of the celebrity press, experts agree.
Further, blogs dissect every move and gesture of celebrities, who do not have the right to a misstep. According to media analysts, the entertainment news arena is so competitive that nobody feels that they can get away with these things anymore.
Life in the fast lane is difficult for any American kid in their early 20s and being a celebrity only makes it worse. Kids are very badly educated about booze and drugs. What should be a wake-up call for all of these people is what happened to Lane Garrison.The actor formerly of the “Prison Break” series pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after a deadly road accident while he was under the influence of liquor.
There is sympathy for those who admit to being on the wrong side of law. Many feel they should then be given a second chance to alter their lifestyle and make more responsible choices.
Wonder if the same can be said about celebrities or rich kids in India. As this article goes into print, it seems that Sanjeev Nanda, the main accused in the 1989 BMW hit-and-run case will get away, with most witnesses turning hostile and the case turning weaker still.
Additional inputs from livemint
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First Published: Wed, May 30 2007. 01 14 PM IST