When Al Gore's large-faced son was arrested last month for flooring a Prius full of weed and pills down a California highway, we thought two things: First, that sounds like a swell time, and second, that his parents are going to have his ass.
But, Albert Gore III is hardly the first celebrity relative to embarrass his more important, less frequently arrested family members. Let's see how the newcomer measures up against these notable drunk/stupid/greedy/lazy celebrity relatives.
#10. AL GORE III (Deadbeat Son of Al Gore, Jr.)
Back in December 2003, the impressionable 23-year-old Gore was pulled over for driving without headlights and promptly arrested for possession of marijuana. OK, it's a little weed; no big deal. We all make mistakes when we're young and then go on to ... Oh my God! This shithead got caught again? Last month, the younger Al Gore was infamously arrested for the exact same offense, only this time he threw in a little speeding and some pills. The real embarrassment for Big Al and Tipper isn't that Little Al was getting stoned, it's that he was stupid enough to get caught doing something everyone else his age in America does. Twice. Still, this clown's antics pale in comparison to those of the following elite deadbeats.
SHAME-O-METER (a 1 to 5 scale of shame): 1
#9. BILLY CARTER (Deadbeat Brother of Former Pres. Jimmy Carter)
Jimmy Carter's younger, more redneck brother Billy sullied Carter's already-pretty-sullied presidency with suave moves like urinating on an airport runway in full view of the press. Billy's most successful venture-other than his sketchy, government-investigated involvement with a crew of Libyan businessmen-was the launch of the unsuccessful Billy Beer, which tasted like deer piss, but on the bright side, featured the president's idiot brother on the box. Surprisingly, Billy would later come out as an alcoholic, but not before making it clear to the American public that their president shared the same genes as a man you wouldn't let within 500 yards of a child.
#8. LEON HENDRIX (Deadbeat Brother of Jimi Hendrix)
Best known for getting screwed out of his late brother's estate, Leon Hendrix was in jail for stealing a fur coat at the time of Jimi's death in 1970. Although he was granted a temporary release to get some face time at the funeral, Leon still came up short. Even after his father died in 2003, Leon inherited only a single gold record. Ouch. Recently, the not-doing-so-hot Leon discovered that he could make a modest chunk of cash off his storied last name. He took up the guitar and released the 2005 collection of audio feces, Keeper of the Flame, which shamelessly touts the opening track, Jimi and Me. One minor note regarding Leon's sanity/willingness to exploit his dead brother: He claims he had a vision in which Jimi appeared to him in a purple flame and encouraged him to take up the guitar. And, well, that's not true.
#7. NOELLE BUSH (Deadbeat Daughter of Gov. Jeb Bush)
Noelle Bush, the crack-smoking daughter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and niece of Pres. George W. Bush, was first caught breaking the law for unsuccessfully trying to fill a XANAX prescription under a false name. Things really turned to shit for her-and her mortified father-when she was sentenced to check into an Orlando rehab facility. While there, Noelle was caught stealing prescription pills from the nurse's office and hiding crack in her shoe, for which she served 10 days in jail. One positive thing did come out of Noelle's ordeal: The president, as he so often does, issued her a folksy nickname: "Crackie."
#6. PETER GRAF (Deadbeat Father of Steffi Graf)
Before he forced toddler Steffi into tennis, Peter Graf worked (predictably) as a used car salesman. By the time Steffi turned pro at age 13, Peter had total control; the domineering father rarely let her attend Tour social events, much less have anything resembling a normal life (e.g., driving around stoned in your Prius). If that dynamic isn't creepy enough, Peter was convicted of tax evasion in 1995. In typical used car-salesman fashion, he had mishandled Steffi's fortune and was forced to serve a 25-month prison term that included mandatory treatment for his alcoholism. Peter gets extra points for the 1990 episode in which a nude model he had an affair with accused him (falsely) of fathering her child. Needless to say, you don't see Peter spending a lot of quality time with Steffi and Andre Agassi's young kids.