We are a pretty forgiving society when it's convenient. So what if Halle Berry has a habit of hit and run mayhem? She showed her rack in Swordfish. If we're fond enough of your music, movies or boobs, you can get busted committing what's known as an "atrocity" when done by someone who isn't cool. If we like you, all you have to do is sit back and wait for our short attention spans to take over, and the good will to return. For instance, you probably forgot about the time ...
7Dr. Dre Kicked the Shit Out of a Woman
Dr. Dre burst onto the scene in 1989 as part of N.W.A, a group of plucky young musicians sponsored by NorthWest Airlines . They were rapping about getting amorous with bitches (sometimes spelled with a z), being gangsta and how much they wanted to kill the police.
Spouting the lyrical equivalent to stories from Sodom and Gomorrah, it shouldn't have come as a surprise that some members of the group might have poor social skills.
Dee Barnes was a rapper who hosted a TV show about rap. She probably read periodicals on the subject as well. After interviewing former N.W.A member, Ice Cube, in 1990, the rest of N.W.A decided that they were going to kick the shit out of her because they have a strict "interview Ice Cube and get the shit kicked out of you" policy.
It's all in the N.W.A. Constitution.
When Dre found her at a record release party shortly after the interview, he "picked her up" and "began slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall near the stairway" as his bodyguard held off the crowd. After Dre tried and failed to throw her down the stairs, he began kicking her in the ribs before chasing her into the women's bathroom and donkey punching her a few times for good measure.
Dee Barnes, seen here violating every crucial rule of journalism school by interviewing members of N.W.A.
Of course that's Barnes's side of the story. Members of N.W.A. poignantly defended Dre's actions, saying "bitch deserved it" and "bitch had it coming" before retiring to the parlor to enjoy some tea.
Dee Barnes tried to sue the shit out of Dr. Dre to the tune of $22.75 million. Using his skills as a physician, Dre cut that down to a fine, 240 hours of community service, two years probation and an anti-violence PSA. Dre's career barely suffered. He went on to release the monstrously successful The Chronic, which has sold 4.5 million copies to date, and create Eminem in a Detroit lab (the two joked about the Dee Barnes incident in a joint track).
"Remember that time you tried to throw a woman down a flight of stairs? That sure was wacky."
Today, Dre pretty much enjoys Jay Leno levels of mainstream acceptance. Perhaps you enjoyed him in this recent Dr. Pepper commercial which, regrettably, did not feature Dre promising to slap the shit... out of your thirst!
Not So Lucky - Ike Turner:
"Bitch deserved it."
Turner was one of the earliest influences on Rock 'n' Roll and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame along with his ex-wife Tina. His legacy these days isn't so much as a great musician, however, as it is the pop culture butt of every joke about spousal abuse since the mid 80s.
This is thanks to Tina's revelations of his long years of domestic abuse. Turner denied he did anything wrong for years until finally admitting that sure, he punched her sometimes, but he never beat her.
No soft drink ad for you, Ike.
6Tim Allen Dealt Mess Loads of Cocaine, Ratted Out All His Colleagues
There once was a time when Tim Allen was actually a very successful stand-up comedian that people willingly paid to see. One insipid yet popular sitcom and some Christmas movies later he now appears in films that make Uwe Boll look like Martin Scorsese. But while he was building his fame in the stand-up community in the late 70s, he did end up hitting a little bit of a road bump.
Allen was in an airport, minding his own business, looking to get from point A to point B just like everybody else. Unlike anybody else in the airport at the time, however, Allen was trying to take with him a staggering 1.4-pounds of cocaine, which our street connections tell us is enough to get high forever.
He was caught when drug-sniffing dogs at every airport within a 100 mile radius started going berserk, and life imprisonment loomed. He snitched on every single drug dealer he knew, which reduced his sentence to a mere 3 to 7 years, and he was released 28 months later.
Regardless of the arrest, that's an awesome porn 'stache.
Allen went on to be a huge star as a stand-up comedian, and by the mid-90s he was an A-list celebrity (nobody really knows why yet). At the pinnacle of his success he starred in the Pixar film Toy Story (with its second sequel coming next year). Making the jump from coke dealer to family movie actor is something very few have done successfully.
Not So Lucky - Timothy Leary
Writer and drug advocate Leary was caught crossing the US/Mexican border back in 1965 with marijuana in the trunk. He was convicted under the Marihuana Tax Act--which you know was serious because they spelled it with an H--and sentenced to 30 years in prison plus a psych evaluation, because only dopes do drugs, kids. After getting that conviction overturned, he was sentenced to 20 years for being caught with less than a half ounce of pot.
Leary escaped prison, fled the country, was labeled the most dangerous man in America and was eventually extradited back to the US and held on $5 million bail. He was sent to Folsom Prison where he was neighbors with Charles Manson and faced up to 95 years before being released a couple years later because the man didn't want to seem square.