Gibson, Richards among famous in 2006 headlines



While I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions, this year I think guys everywhere can learn lessons from a few male celebrity tabloid fixtures about excuses. With their help we can resolve to avoid excuses in the coming year, and hopefully own up to our mistakes when they occur.

For instance, take Babyshambles front man and perennial disaster Pete Doherty, who found himself in the tabloids for his numerous drug-related court appearances this year. Turns out Pete’s excuse has been a crack and heroin addiction that’s been messing his recording schedule with the band, but which reportedly hasn’t hurt his relationship with fiancée, supermodel Kate Moss, herself the proud mommy of an addiction or two.

Perhaps Pete’s resolution should involve a commitment to (yet another) stint in rehab and a promise to hire a PR team capable of keeping him out of the public eye for a change.

Doherty’s future still looks a tad bleak — the singer is currently being questioned by police over the death of a man at an east London party he attended on Dec. 3. There is still that whole crack addiction thing ...

Still on the addiction front, Mel "I-can’t-make-a-movie-which-doesn’t-include-a-torture-scene" Gibson ran into trouble this year when he was picked up and booked for driving under the influence. A tanked celeb driving home from a bar and getting busted by the cops is nothing out of the ordinary. One who launches into an anti-Semitic tirade before police ... now that’s news.

Gibson blamed tequila for his rant, but his lesson is simple: if you think the thoughts (however vicious), keep ’em to yourself. Oh, and you might want to keep pumping out those Christian-friendly films, even corner the market, because opening weekend success of Apocalypto aside, Hollywood heavyweights tend to avoid working with Jew-blaming, liquor-guzzling nuts who use rehab as a shelter when their agave-fuelled rage gets out of control.

That same resolution could be shared by Michael Richards, Kramer of Seinfeld fame, who also ran into some racial issues recently when he repeatedly used the "N-word" to try to silence heckling fans during a stand-up gig at an L.A. comedy club. Richards naturally got skewered by the press and public and has since appeared on several African-American-hosted talk shows, apologized on the Late Show With David Letterman and hired heavyweight publicist Howard Rubenstein to clean up his act.

In the mother of all excuses, Richards even tried to draw parallels between the societal rage felt post-Hurricane Katrina and his racist tirade. Problem is, the damage has been done and Richards’ career — save on the KKK-friendly, neo-Nazi comedy club circuit — is probably toast.

One career that has (thankfully) flatlined before it even got off the ground was that of Britney Spears’ ex, Kevin Federline. This year, K-Fed tried to prove to the world that he could rap; instead saw his CD and concert ticket sales flop, and his marriage to the pop princess go up in flames. K-Fed-Ex’s resolution is one we can all use: Never use the success of a spouse’s career as an excuse to launch a related career of your own. And never rely on your rap skills to make a living. Put that at the top of the resolution list after "avoiding excuses."

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