Le Scandale! The Stories of Winona Ryder and Mel Gibson (Link and Transcript)

There’s a new episode of my podcast out! Listen to it on iTunes here. If you’re not sure you want to put in all that effort to download a podcast you might not even like, you can read the transcript of the episode below. But, trust me it’s way better listening to it. If you do decide to download, please subscribe, rate, and review. It really helps! Thanks! 

LesDeux

Hello and welcome back for another episode of Les Deux You Remember This? where we look back on all the stories from Hollywood’s best worst decade. The early 2000’s. A time in history when America found out that with a trust fund, a sex tape, and a dream, you too, could become a star. As always, I’m your host, Dara Laine.

2 episodes ago, we talked with guest Gabi Conti about the mental health issues of both Britney and Lindsay. Much of their bad behavior can be at least be partially attributed to an emotional breakdown and addiction issues. This week, we’ll discuss two different stories in which other celebrities blamed their bad behavior on the same problems. Is a breakdown or substance abuse an excuse for committing an a-moral offense? And how long must someone atone for these sins before they are absolved? But… does everyone and their damaged hair deserve a comeback?

These are all the questions we’ll touch upon in this episode, entitled “Stranger Things: The Story of Winona Ryder’s Comeback and also The Story of How Weird it Is that Mel Gibson was Allowed to Be in Daddy’s Home 2” …alternative title…  “Girl, Interrupted: The Story of Winona Ryder and also the story of the Female Cop Who Was Interrupted by Mel GIbson when he Called Her Sugar Tits.”

We’ll begin with Winona’s story that dates us back to December 12, 2001. Almost 3 months to the day after 9/11.

As Alex Pappademas of GQ put it: “Historians will remember it as the first major celebrity-bad-behavior story of the post-9/11 era, a sign that it was okay for us, as a society, to be preoccupied with stupid bullshit again”

Perhaps that is true for some, but I think that sells a lot of people too short. I have long taken pride in my ability to have enough extra leg room in my brain to preoccupy myself with both stupid bullshit and important bullshit.

So on to the stupid bullshit that has many shades of important bullshit as it relates to how we treat women and those suffering from mental illness and/or addiction issues. Uh kay?

On this day in December, Winona stepped into Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills carrying a large bag. On the surveillance cameras, security noticed Winona walking through the store, putting different items in her bag. She went into a dressing room and cut off security tags with a pair of scissors. As she attempted to leave, she was apprehended.

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When they searched her bag they found several items including: a pharmacies worth of pain killers and other meds,

a cashmere Marc Jacobs sweater worth $760, various Frederic Fekkai hair adornments worth about $600 and several pairs of socks, including a cashmere pair from Donna Karan worth $80,

The grand total came out to $5,560.

Let’s be real. This was a lady who wanted to get caught. And also, I’m guessing a very amateur thief. It’s understandable. All those formative years when you’re supposed to learn petty shoplifting techniques she was busy acting in Lucas and Great Balls of Fire.

I, personally, have never shoplifted, but even I know the ropes. 1. Never steal CDs from a Strawberries. You will never get away with it. 2. If you’re stealing a thong from a Rave in the mall, take a bunch of clothes in with you hiding the thong between items, put on the thong over your own underwear, put your pants back on, leave the store quickly and go to the candy store for a baby bottle pop to toast your victory. And for more brazen and experienced shoplifters, hit up a JCPenney, go to the rack of returns that are waiting to be retagged and returned to the shelves. Take a pair of flair cordaroy hip huggers plus a couple other items. Put on the cords in the dressing room, put your old raggedy pants back on the hanger, then light up a cigarette as you walk your smug ass out the mall like you’re Blu Cantrell.

But if you just wanna get caught, bring a pair crafting shears from home and try to get away with pilfering cashmere for a Saks.

During the trial, Winona’s defense team first tried to make the case that Winona didn’t know what that she was stealing. That she just thought that her assistant would come back to do it. A security guard testified that after they had caught her she told them  she was just doing research for a role. So far this is sounding like Jodi Arias trying to get out of trouble.

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And the trial was a spectacle of Arias proportions, with people scrutinizing Winona’s appearance like they did Jodi’s. If you can imagine, in 2001, tabloids were ruthless in their judgement of the way women looked, something we never have to worry about today.

Here’s one story put out by The Drudge Report on October 30, 2002 during her trial:

The Drudge:

XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED OCT 30, 2002 20:52:41 ET XXXXX

PANTIES ON PARADE: WINONA GOES TO COURT IN SEE-THROUGH FROCK

Winona Ryder had trouble with her briefs at a Los Angeles court today.  

The Hollywood star turned up for her shoplifting trial in a see-through party dress, shocking witnesses.

Let the evidence show:

Ryder presented to jurors how her bra is black and her panties are white.

The see-through caused a complete commotion inside of the courtroom, with one lawyer staring transfixed at Ryder’s brassiere.

“What was she thinking?!” asked one observer. “Judge Judy would have ordered her home to change in to more appropriate court attire.”

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The judgement of her taste wasn’t limited to the media. At one point during the trial, her defense picked up one of the hair clips, waved it over her head and exclaimed, “can you even imagine her wearing this?!”

Apparently that rock solid argument didn’t work, because after the jury deliberated for one day, they found Winona guilt of 2 of the 3 felony counts against her.

During her sentencing, the judge let Winona have it, saying “”You have disappointed many people who have been entertained and inspired by your talent,” Judge Elden Fox told her. He went on to say that he had been unable to explain to his 16-year-old son, Ryan, why someone who earned so much ($6m a film) should shoplift: “You are the only person that’s going to be able to answer my son’s question.”

Please God, someone explain this to Ryan!

Does this Judge require all of his guilty defendants to explain to Ryan why they did what they did or it just Winona? Poor Ryan must be so delicate and simple that he requires a personal sit down or hand written letter detailing the thought process behind every non-violent criminals transgressions. He gets home from a hard day at Harvard-Westlake, fixes himself a glass of milk and pours over the many personal apology letters trying to understand why good people do bad things! Why a rich woman who wants for nothing could steal from things she doesn’t need from a high end department store! Why Ryan Whhhyyyy???

Well probably because she needed help. After she broke her arm on the set of Adam Sandler’s Mr. Deeds she started taking pain medication, which, sidebar, what a film to get a low key pill addiction over. She had been over medicating herself, as she put it, for about three weeks. On top of it, she was run down from a lifetime of fame and scrutiny. As she put it:

““Psychologically, I must have been at a place where I just wanted to stop,” she said. “I won’t get into what happened, but it wasn’t what people think. And it wasn’t like the crime of the century! But it allowed me time that I really needed, where I went back to San Francisco and got back into things that … I just had other interests, frankly.”

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After she got 36 months of probation and 408 hours of community service, Winona went to San Francisco and did some soul searching. Eventually she tried to get back into the business, but had a slow go of it for a while.

Another fallen star that has spent time trying to earn… or weasel his way back into show business is famed anti-semite Mel Gibson.

One hot July evening in 2006, Mel Gibson was pulled over as he sped down the Pacific Coast Highway.

As the officers arrested him Mel said to the male officer ““Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world,” before asking her: “Are you a Jew?”

And to the female, “”What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?”

But this, of course, pales in comparison to things he said on tape to his now ex Oksana Griegorieva. To which he says, “”You look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n*****, it will be your fault.”

And “”I am going to come and burn the fucking house down… but you will blow me first.”

Also caught on tape was Oksana saying “What kind of man is that who would hit a woman when she is holding a child in her hands, hitting her twice in the face?” to which he replies “”You know what, you fucking deserved it.”

Cool dude!

So why do I make the comparison between Mel and Winona. Well, after over a decade both have made a comeback- Winona on Stranger Things and Mel in Daddy’s Home 2. Mel likes to complain about how hard it was for him to be accepted again, how unfair it was. But, though Mel’s come back didn’t stick for a while with the public he was given many chances by his peers in Hollywood. Remember the fucking Beaver? That was in 2011, barely 5 years after his DUI and a mere year after being caught on tape saying racist and sexist things to his wife, not to mention committing the crime of domestic assault.

Winona on the other hand, wasn’t given many legitimate opportunities besides a small part in black swan and a voice role in Frankenweenie. Her big comeback didn’t come for about 15 years after her indiscretion. Why was Mel afforded so many opportunities to make a comeback happen while Winona wasn’t?  Oooooh I think you know.

But what really annoys me about the difference between the two of their stories, is while Winona went away for a bit to collect herself and reflect on her life, and then came back to hollywood with a sense of humility, Mel came back with a chip on his shoulder. As if he’s been owed this the whole time. On the graham Norton show, he compares the last ten years trying to become relevant again to digging ditches, which he says with a sort of manic bitterness. Or maybe everything he says with that mangey beard of his sounds manic and bitter.

On Variety’s playback podcast, he says

“Ten years have gone by,” Gibson stated. “I’m feeling good. I’m sober, all of that kind of stuff, and for me it’s a dim thing in the past. But others bring it up, which kind of I find annoying, because I don’t understand why after 10 years it’s any kind of issue. Surely if I was really what they say I was, some kind of hater, there’d be evidence of actions somewhere. There never has been.”

“I’ve never discriminated against anyone or done anything that sort of supports that reputation,” the actor/director said. “And for one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair.”

Wahhhh it’s so unfair!!! And of course, he makes no mention of all the things he said and did to his ex girlfriend. But, great, your sober now. Though was alcohol really the blame for all of this? I don’t believe that alcohol makes you a racist. You mean to tell me all those thoughts that he has when he’s hammered don’t exist when he’s sober?

He says there’s no actions of his prejudice outside this incident, though there’s plenty of interviews where he has more awful things to say, particularly about gay people. There’s also evidence in his movie Passion of the Christ that many people considered to be anti-semitic. There’s also the fact that his father is an outspoken Holocaust denier. If we’ve learned anything from South Pacific is you have to be carefully taught to be prejudiced from your terrible parents!

And I submit my final piece of evidence a little anecdote from Winona Ryder from an interview with GQ in 2010:

“I remember, like, fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk. I was with my friend, who’s gay. He made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish. He said something about ‘oven dodgers,’ but I didn’t get it. I’d never heard that before. It was just this weird, weird moment. I was like, ‘He’s anti-Semitic and he’s homophobic.’ No one believed me!

We believe you Winona. And we’re ready for you now…

Les Deux You Remember This? Is researched, written, narrated, and Edited by me Dara Laine. If you aren’t already, please subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and review. You can follow the pod on Instagram and iTunes. And please, if you like the podcast, share it, tell your friends! It’s true what they say: takes a village to make me famous. If you have any questions, comments, or show suggestions please email lesdeuxyourememberthis@gmail.com.

So you’re invited to come back next week. We’ve got a table, and I’ve put you on the list, for Les Deux You Remember This?

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The Feud of Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan

Check out the latest episode of my podcast! Please rate/review/subscribe!!

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Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan Podcast

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Yes, I only ever post here if I have a new podcast. But, I think you’ll really like this podcast if you liked my blog. It’s called Les Deux You Remember This? and it’s about Hollywood in the early 2000’s. Les Deux is completely researched and written, and the first episode is about the feud of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

Please subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating and review!!! Thanks, boos.

Wine and Whine, Ep 9: Sosie Bacon

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In this episode we whine with this year’s Miss Golden Globe, Sosie Bacon while we drink some Pinot Grigio she stole from her parents’ wine cellar. 

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Expect to hear:

Golden Globes stories!

Us breaking down whether or not we’ve dated sociopaths!

Kathryn working through her patchy history with dead dogs!

And then more talk of people with anti-social personality disorders!

Find us on iTunes and Stitcher! Rate/Subscribe!

Twitter: @wineandwhinepod

@KathrynG

@DaraLaine

and follow our guest @realsosiebacon but please do not hold that Twitter handle against her, it was an accident.

Instagram: @wineandwhinepodcast

and @SosieBacon

Oscar Best Picture Challenge: “American Hustle”

Last year during Oscar season, the only nominated picture I saw was Argo. Though it was fun making Oscar predictions based on an affinity for an actor’s hair color or previous movies that they’ve made, I’ve decided to challenge myself and see each Best Picture nominee before the winners are announced, then give you a little review!

So, luckily, I had already seen one of the movies during Christmas, American Hustle. Even luckier, I did not sneak wine into the theater on this one occasion, so I can recall the beginning, middle, and end to an extent. Here is my review:

american-hustle-poster-636-380Great breasts, both male and female, throughout the film, from all parties. Special mention to Amy’s side and middle breasts. Hair. The other half of that guy’s face from Boardwalk Empire. I could have done without the entire first hour of the movie. Louie CK can just play himself in every movie if he wants, I’m fine with it. Jennifer Lawrence, who? Amy Adams is the unsung hero in my book, do you remember that she was in Drop Dead Gorgeous? Carmine’s wife was pretty legit. Nail polish. Am I the only one who is afraid of David O’Russell based on the stories the actors tell about him on late night shows? The 60’s, who? The 70’s is the unsung hero of all the decades in my book. Disco and perms and whatnot? That was the point of the film, correct?

Overall, the American Hustle was nice to look at, especially the breasts belonging to all parties, male and female.

Agree? Disagree? (Only tell me if you agree, this is my blog, don’t be rude).

Wine and Whine, Ep. 5: Kathryn Gallagher

Well, we had to take a week off from W&W, but now we’re back with a little shake up:

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Dara is now joined by new co-host, Kathryn Gallagher!

Why did Gabi leave?

Is Dara impossible to work with?

Was she sent to live on a farm full of other podcasters she could play with?

Did Gabi decide to take a crack at a second career and is now too busy taking night classes in mortuary sciences at the local community college?

You’ll have to listen to find out!

Meanwhile, WINE: Friexenet cava WHINE: Kathryn Gallagher

Tweet us at @wineandwhinepod, @kathryng, and @daralaine and tell us what you think of Wine and Whine 2.0 (#WW2).

Happy Friday, Gwyneth Paltrow!

That goop article you’ve been slaving over can wait until Monday, so put down your hemp seed detox smoothie and pick up a cold glass of Sauv Blah because it’s the weekend, Gwyneth!
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I’m excited, too!

BTW Gwyney, you fill out a snake skin bikini like a dream.

I’m working today, but I started my weekend festivities yesterday at a party celebrating the opening of a Warby Parker store in The Standard Hotel in West Hollywood. Was it worth staying out so late when I had to wake up so early for work the next day? Well, I got a free canvas tote bag containing a one-size-fits-not-me pair of slippers, so you be the judge (and duh. Of course it was worth it because all women inexplicably love free tote bags that we pack our lunch in once and then never use again).

Plus Mischa Barton was there. It was coolish to have Mischa Barton at that party, but maybe not cool to be Mischa Barton at that party. Like I said, free tote bag, but basically the event was just a bunch of hipsters in affordable glasses and skinny ties standing next to a pool. And wasn’t it just The OC’s 10 year anniversary? Surely there’s some Buzzfeed article about it floating around that might give her popularity a little resurgance granting her access to cooler parties. Or maybe she could just stay home. I’m not a fan of hers or anything so I don’t know her substance abuse history like I do Lindsay Lohan’s or Laurie Forman’s from That 70’s Show (RIP), but she definitely feels like someone who shouldn’t be drinking. Regardless, being in her presence is just cool enough to my hipper East Coast relatives that when they point out that I could be a secretary in New Hampshire too, I can counter with the lie that I live a fabulous LA lifestyle.

Plus, I can’t be a secretary in glamourous Beverly Hills in New Hampshire, can I? Uh-no.

Baby’s First Hollywood Pool Party

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All my life, I’ve been the kind of person who clings tightly to her principles and convictions.

I am also the kind of person whose principles and convictions can be bought with blended margaritas and movie theater style nachos.

Do I consider myself a feminist? Absolutely. Will I speak up and defend myself or a fellow woman when I see a sexist injustice occurring? I believe it’s my duty. Am I so poor that I will throw all of this away so I can get my buzz on foh’ free at a Beverly Hills pool party? Within reason. But mostly yes.

The dissolution of my moral compass began when my roommate and I were invited to a pool party celebrating the birthday of Jesse from that Super Bowl GoDaddy commercial:

2349077637I’ve talked about it before, but if you’ll allow me to mount this high horse again, the commercial was sexist because it perpetuated the idea that women are supposed to be beautiful and men are supposed to be smart. Also it had a fat guy making out with a hot girl. What hope do us averages have of finding a man on our level if the media keeps telling boys and Kevin James that they are entitled to a woman who is 80% boobs and legs??

So, despite my reservations, I still wanted to go to the party because the poor kid was just in a GoDaddy commercial, not a Spike TV show. And I was promised free booze.

My friends and I arrived before Jesse got there, and after being handed a free(!!!) margarita, we were informed that they were filming a documentary on Jesse. The producer wanted a very specific shot of Jesse when he entered the party. He handed my girlfriends and me an armful Hawaiian leis and told us to go up to Jesse one-by-one and ask, “can I lei you?” Okay, so obviously this dude had no idea that this group of women included one who had read Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Living History. 

This request made me thoroughly uncomfortable, but it all happened so fast! I suddenly found myself doing an awkward Target Lady-esque shuffle, mumbled a “here you go” and threw the lei around his neck like I was doing a county fair horse shoe toss.

I felt like an idiot, but I just gave it to Jesus and prayed that if this documentary ever surfaced that my future moms Amy and Tina wouldn’t recognize me thanks to my giant mosquito sunglasses.

I drank another Jesse-rita and felt better.

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A few minutes later, the same guy asked if we would rub Jesse down with sunblock. To this I replied, “feminism!” and moon walked on my cork wedge heels back to the margarita bar. Listen, am I being a little over sensitive? Maybe. But there would never be a pool party thrown in honor of an overweight, 25 year-old woman just because she was in one popular  commercial. How about this? If any hot man reading can tell me he was once asked by a producer to rub down Nikki Blonsky with some SPF at a pool party put together by her publicist then I will just delete this post.

Anyway, as my blood blended with the Jesse-ritas, I realized what a surreal situation I had put myself in. I’m 90% sure that the house we were at is also rented out to shoot porn. I’m also 90% sure that most of the guests at the party have shot a porn in that house. Please don’t misunderstand, though, this was not a trashy party. It was an absolute who’s who of Hollywood extras. There were some big G-list stars too: the cook from 2 Broke Girls, the nerdy guy with the Jew-fro from Glee (I can say that because we have the same last name), and most exciting, Yolanda Foster’s ex-husband Mohamed.

I only ever left my spot on my beach chair to get more nachos or to go to the bathroom (if I looked a little harder I bet I would have found a cocaine dispenser next to the hand soap), but it was a real trip, and it was certainly worth going to.

Next stop, the Playboy Mansion!

Feminism!

Should We Be More Worried About Quvenzhane Wallis?

I think I’m doing enough worrying for all of us, but what will become of Q. Wallis and her puppy purse?

Ok, apparently this dog purse is a thing. She has a different one for every event. All is already lost, see ya later.

 

Wait, though.

What was in that purse, anyway? A Lip Smackers chapstick and a baggy full of dry Cheerios? Could her mother not hold on to that, or was her purse too full of her daughter’s money that she’ll hold on to until she’s 18 or legally emancipated, which ever comes first?

I apologize for all the questions, but I don’t think any of us, including that child’s mother, are looking out for this girl.

We’re all realistic about Honey Boo Boo and where that is headed, but just because Q isn’t swilling Go-Go Juice and snorting pixie sticks at her mother’s behest, that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to end up the same way (being exploited by Dr. Drew).

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Have we all just forgotten Tatum O’Neal? She’s not just that awful lady who shoe-shames Carrie on that one episode of Sex and the City. She’s Tatum O’Neal, 10 year old Oscar winner for Paper Moon. By 12, she was with Melanie Griffith having hash fueled orgies in Paris. That’s a pretty quick turn around. Grant it, I’m pretty sure since Drew Barrymore left rehab you’re not allowed to give 10 year olds cocaine and a Manhattan for a job well done at the Spy Kids wrap party, but I still don’t trust Q Wallis around those Hollywood vultures.

Even if she never touched a bottle of Go-Go Juice her entire life, I still don’t have high hopes for her as an adult. You can’t nominate a 9 year old for an Oscar and not expect her to be the kind of person who throws Quinoa salad at her assistant because she forgot to ask for chickpeas on the side. By 9, you’re beginning to enter your character building years where you develop a sense of humor or other pleasing personality traits that distract from how crooked your teeth are. Q has an Oscar nomination. That’s her compensatory personality trait. She can basically just stop developing and maturing as a human being right now. She probably has already dropped those “please” and “thank you’s” from her vocabulary all together. She can just say “HUNGRY” and bang her Austin Film Critics Association Award on the table until some PA magically appears with a Happy Meal. Someone should have told her that making muscle arms when they say your name at the Oscars is unseemly and doesn’t display a lot of humility. Instead, Giuliana Rancic goes on and on about how adorable it was sealing her fate as a future high maintenance, disagreeable grown-up child actor.

Maybe I’m worrying for nothing. Or maybe Elle Fanning is offering Q her first frozen pina colada at The Rainforest Cafe while we sit idly by thinking nothing’s wrong.