4 Ridiculous Times Celebrities Feuded With Normal People
According to something we read once upon a time, celebrities are people. Which means they're as prone to getting into petty mudslinging arguments as the rest of us. Most of the time, these arguments are with other celebrities or media personalities. Other times, though ...
Guy Fieri vs. His Neighbors
As we've previously discussed, Guy Fieri has a love of helping people as deep and cavernous as his love of flame decals, frosted tips, and the Shrek soundtrack. However, because a lot of people focus on the latter stuff, the guy is forever having to come up with ways of signalling that he's gone legit.
In 2014, Fieri announced that he was not only entering the wine business, but was also in the process of building a tasting room at his home in Sonoma County, California, where customers could come along and try out his goods. Except his neighbors had no taste for bold flavors and even bolder business ideas, and soon his home was surrounded by a mob holding "No to Guy Fieri" placards.
Fieri agreed to abide by over 76 conditions imposed by the local zoning board in order to demonstrate that he really, really didn't want any trouble. They weren't convinced, and a public hearing was convened to settle the issue once and for all. In one corner, Guy Fieri. In the other, his neighbors, who turned up with placards and, we kid you not, blue ribbons tied to their arms in a show of solidarity for impeaching the mayor of Flavortown.
Over a hundred locals turned up to voice their opposition to Fieri's tasting room, and the comments that other residents left read like random quotes from every snobby rich villain in an '80s comedy:
-- This project will be detrimental to my health, welfare, and comfort.
-- A race car was fired up next door by the applicant's staff with no warning. The noise very nearly seriously injured one of my show horses. This has happened a couple of times.
-- My family lived across the street from the applicant's residence. Guests would be loud, leave trash, and trample landscaping. All we could do was sell and move.
The result was a unanimous vote against Fieri, and he was forced to bottle up the plans for his tasting room. (He still started up his own vineyard and wine brand, though.) As for the locals, they went home and celebrated, convinced that they'd done a truly good thing to help their area -- where, incidentally, residents are booked for DUIs at a higher rate than the wine-supping tourists they'd so valiantly fought to repel.
Elon Musk vs. That Rescue Diver
In June 2018, the world was fixated on the plight of the Wild Boars -- a youth soccer team from Thailand who had gotten themselves trapped inside a flooded cave. An international rescue force comprising of expert divers (one of whom died) and other qualified professionals was soon assembled and lending assistance in whatever way they could to save the boys before the water claimed them or their oxygen supply ran out.
Enter Elon Musk and His Amazing Fantabulous Miniature Submarine.
In the midst of this life-or-death situation, renowned internet drama doofus Musk showed up and offered to lend the team a mini-sub. The government took one look at it and immediately turned him down, on account of how the sub -- with its long, wide, rigid shape -- would've immediately gotten trapped inside the tight underwater passages of the cave. Shortly after, the boys were saved by a team of government divers.
In an interview conducted after the rescue, Vern Unsworth -- who was credited by the operation with helping to put the whole thing together -- gave an interview to CNN in which he called the mini-sub a publicity "stunt." In response to this fairly mild (and valid) criticism, Musk called Unsworth a "pedo" before his millions of Twitter followers.
With the threat of a lawsuit looming large, Elon subsequently apologized to Unsworth ... Then followed up by not only doubling down on his original allegation, but also adding a whole bunch of ridiculously specific (fake) details.
"I suggest that you call people you know in Thailand, find out what's actually going on and stop defending child rapists, you f*****g asshole. He's an old, single white guy from England who's been traveling to or living in Thailand for 30 to 40 years, mostly Pattaya Beach, until moving to Chiang Rai for a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time ... As for this alleged threat of a lawsuit ... I f*****g hope he sues me."
Annnnd Unsworth sued him.
Despite his "COME AT ME, PED-BRO!" attitude, Musk immediately tried to get the lawsuit dropped, on account of how his allegations were only an "imaginative insult" that he repeated countless times because he's a complete dingus. The court rejected this argument, which means that Elon is going to see the inside of a courtroom very, very soon. There, he'll no doubt present a well-researched case against Unsworth that blows the naysayers (like us) out of the cave.
Rand Paul Got His Butt Stomped Over Lawn Care
In 2017, walking libertarian meme Rand Paul was attacked in his front yard by longtime neighbor Rene Boucher. The assault, which broke six of Paul's ribs, was quickly branded by conservative media outlets as a politically motivated attack by a "left-wing extremist," "an avowed socialist," and (really) "an antifa thug."
The reality of the situation is much, much, simpler and much, much, dumber. It was a fight between two old suburbanites over lawn maintenance etiquette.
In the months preceding the incident, Boucher and Paul had verbally sparred over how Paul would frequently skirt their shared property line by stacking brush directly next to Boucher's yard, or by cutting his lawn in such a way that the clippings would blanket Bocuher's lawn. Boucher asked Paul to stop, and even went to the local homeowner's association for assistance when he wouldn't quit (a request that went nowhere).
Boucher was a powder keg ready to blow. So when he walked into his yard on November 3 and saw Paul spraying clippings over his lawn again, he Hulked out and tackled him to the ground. Paul has since been awarded over $580,000 in damages, while Boucher served a 30-day prison sentence, paid a $10,000 fine, and did 100 hours of community service, which we'll assume didn't involve landscaping work.
James Woods Got So Mad About A Twitter Troll That He Pursued Him Into And Beyond The Grave
Over the years, actor James Woods has carved out a career playing trash bags leaking garbage water. As it turns out, he wasn't acting so much as taking a paycheck to pay semi-accurate versions of himself, except without the bits about tossing out toxic theories like conspiracy confetti. He currently enjoys as much cultural relevance as other '90s throwback conservatives, like Kevin "The Worst Hercules" Sorbo and Dean "The Worst Superman" Cain.
In July 2015, Woods was being his usual self on Twitter when an anonymous poster with the handle "Able List" accused him of being a cocaine addict. Instead of muting or blocking him, Woods immediately flipped and hit Able List with a $10 million lawsuit alleging reputational damage. Just think of how much Woods would've sued for if he'd been accused of, say, running a sex dungeon in the basement of a pizza parlor.
Able List's lawyers sought to have the lawsuit dismissed, but their defense of the phrase "cocaine addict" being "a constitutionally protected political insult" didn't persuade the judge. An appeal was then filed against the judge's decision to let the lawsuit go ahead -- an appeal that was later dropped after Able List died.
As expected, Woods behaved like a total gentleman and called the deceased "slime" who hopefully "died screaming name in agony," before threatening to pursue any other wannabee libelers into the ground.
This isn't the end of the story, however. After Woods had finishing tea-bagging someone's ghost, he filed a motion to force the dead man's attorney to release the name of his client, arguing that he no longer had a right to privacy, on account of being dead. The attorney shot back with a strongly worded argument about how this was a "merit-less" motion intended to "publicly harass and vilify a dead man and his family" -- an argument which failed to persuade the judge and ended with Woods obtaining Able List's real name.
We'd make a joke here about how Woods now plans to sue the dead guy's family for the damages he didn't get, but that actually seems like a possibility. In the words of Woods' attorney, the release of Able List's real name heralds "a significant step forward in our ability to recover the millions in damages caused by cowardly tweet." Hopefully this ends the same way it does in a James Woods movie: with him getting punched by a much better-looking and more likable actor.
Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!
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