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.

winona shoplifting

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.

winona 1

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.”

winona clothes

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.”

court illustration

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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Life Hack: Kidnapping

Here’s a quick life hack (I have a very loose grasp on the definition of “life hack”):

Consider giving your roommate or a family member an approved photo of yourself in case of your unfortunate disappearance at the hands of, no doubt, some male deviant. If your emergency contact doesn’t have a photo they can quickly hand over to the press or to the screen printer, then your “Find Samantha” t-shirts will end up with some random Huey, Duey, and Luey kissy-faced picture that was pulled from your personal Instagram account.

Like what if some journalist published this on LAist.com?

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Me as Hipster Ariel on Halloween taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror is not exactly the kind narrative I’d like to have portrayed to the world.

Now this picture:

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Aren’t I sweet? I’m wearing matching jammies with a mom who loves me very much! Don’t you want to find me??? My hair is freshly dyed, my face is looking vuuury thin, this is this is the sort of picture you want to use!

Listen, if you’re fighting for your life in the trunk of an old Honda Civic,wouldn’t you at least like the peace of mind that you have full creative control over your disappearance?

Freshly Pressed

Yesterday, one of my blog posts, Am I an Adult? was featured on WordPress.com’s “Freshly Pressed” page. Since it has brought me a bunch of new followers over night, I thought I should reintroduce myself. I know you could just scroll back and read some old posts, but I never give up an opportunity to coerce strangers into following me on Twitter.

So me. Here are the most important bullet points to get you up to speed:

  • I moved to LA from New Hampshire about 9 months ago to become a comedic actress/writer.
  • If I wasn’t a comedian I’d be a Special Victims Unit criminal psychologist, B.D. Wong-style. Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 9.22.44 PM
  • My 3 favorite things are Connie Britton, inter species friendships, and that thing on TV shows where wayward children call their foster parents “Mom” and “Dad” for the first time.
  • If you think Amanda Knox did it then you can let yourself out.
  • Related: “Foxy Knoxy’s The Mandy Project” is the most clever thing I’ve ever come up with.

Alright, I think that covers it.

Next, follow me on everything:

Twitter: @daralaine

Instagram: @daralaine

Tumblr: brunchforeverymeal

Facebook: brunchforeverymeal 

Youtube: daralaine

My Podcast: Wine and Whine 

Here’s another post of mine that was Freshly Pressed a little over a year ago, 3 Reasons Why Being Single is (Probably) Better than Dating a Serial Killer. 

Okay, cool. That’s it. Thanks for following!

Amanda Knox Has a Boyfriend and I Don’t…

…now, let’s find out the “why” of it…

Tuesday night I live tweeted CNN’s Chris Cuomo interview with Amanda Knox. Here’s what ensued:

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 8.59.41 AMStill true.

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 8.59.53 AM Cuoms was being really uncool.

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 9.00.05 AM“WELL THE THEORY IS THAT YOU’RE A BIG SLUT/MURDERER, HOW COULD THEY COME UP WITH THAT IF YOU’RE NOT A BIG SLUT/MURDERER?” – Chris Cuomo and his Bachelor of Science degree in journalism
Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 9.00.18 AM …..things got a little femi-nasty.

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 9.00.28 AM#tryingtohelp

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 9.00.39 AM Ya know, if it weren’t for the murder and 4 years in prison, Amanda’s trip abroad would basically be an adorable romantic comedy of errors, where a young woman experiences her sexual awakening abroad. Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 9.00.49 AMSoups on, and I’m stirring up trouble.

Screen shot 2013-05-09 at 9.01.00 AM Do you need a deposit slip so you can take that advice to the bank?

So, this is where I’m at right now.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!!! @daralaine

5 Clues That You Might be a 55 Year-Old Divorcee

I have come to terms with the fact that I am, at heart, a 55 year-old divorcee with adult children too busy to visit me. And I don’t know if you know this, but it’s a huge week for middle aged ladies. Between closing arguments for the Jodi Arias trial starting tomorrow, Amanda Knox’s new book, and back-to-back all new episodes of SVU and Nashville on tonight, I’m just white knuckling it until it’s a socially acceptable time for me to start funneling Ramona Pinot Grigio into my gullet.

WWCBDHow do I know that my spirit is that of a woman with a declining estrogen count and a medicine cabinet full of Prolia? Well, there are some clues:

  1. My lifelong crush on Tom Selleck is now taking a back seat to my new flame: the medical examiner for the Jodi Arias trial. screen-shot-2013-04-25-at-1-11-50-pm
  2. I have come dangerously, dangerously close to calling into Nancy Grace’s show. BUT IN MY DEFENSE!!! I have some really good observations that I don’t think anyone else has thought about!
  3. I also know the first and middle names of both Nancy Grace’s twin children.
  4. As much as I miss Stabler, I think Olivia Benson and Amanda Rollins are the Cagney and Lacey of our time. cagney-and-lacey-pic-bbc-image-1-581892946
  5. Whenever she’s at a juice bar, Mama looooves to add a fiber boost! She’s also no stranger to the Metamucil Apple Crisp Fiber Wafers! I’m Mama!

Speaking of menopausal women, I’d just like to say that Gwyneth Paltrow should be ashamed of herself for allowing her mother to hawk osteoporosis pills on national television. Apparently those Will & Grace residual checks aren’t enough to pay the rent, but you’d think Gwyn could anonymously sell one of her Master Cleanse stained t-shirts on ebay and give her mother the proceeds so she can live out her retirement with dignity.

How dare you turn your back on your mother, Gwyn! Ms. Danner is too classy for this.

gwyneth_paltrow_and_mother_blythe_dannerLook at her! That bitch is regal!

Buy This: The Gift of Fear

If you’ve been following this blog since its inception, you know that I used do some product reviews of things I liked. I stopped for a while until I just realized that I could potentially be getting free stuff in exchange for advertising.

So, small businesses and marketing departments, please send me your free wine, Luna Bars, Dove body wash, hand made Etsy headbands…. just whatever crap you got lying around in the back, and I will write about it. But, no Diva Cups; I repeat, I DON’T WANT ANY DIVA CUPS.

So, my first review is for a book that I think can save your life and the lives of thousands:

734736_f260If you like any flavor of Law and Order and practical tips on how to not get murdered, The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker is the book for you.

Basically, the book is about trusting your intuition and it teaches you how to consciously predict whether someone is a violent threat to you. The first couple chapters are about how women can protect themselves from men before an attack happens, and Gavin uses real stories to illustrate his points. It is both exhilarating and terrifying, and maybe don’t read this right before bed.

He says:

“At core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will murder them.”

– Gav-Gav de Becker

Basically, Gavin just gets women, and he kind of goes on this adorable feminist rant for a couple paragraphs, and full disclosure, I am in love with him. Just don’t make the same mistake I did and look at his picture at the end of the book. There’s no harm in pretending that Ryan Gosling is advocating for your personal safety.

I hope I didn’t lose the male readers, because the rest of the book is about violence that can happen to anyone and how to predict/prevent it, so basically mass shootings, stalkers, how to fire a crazy person, etc. The information is both incredibly timely, yet only includes references that date back prior to about 1997, so get ready for some pre-9/11, OJ Simpson nostalgia.

Seriously, get this book, it’s both practical and fascinating, and you don’t have to be me to like it.

Now, ‘scuse me while I get back to spending 7 hours watching the Jodi Arias trial.

Who Wore It Best: Psychopath Edition

While trying to find a live-stream of the Jodi Arias trial on my computer so I could multi-task packing for LA and enjoying the exploitation of a murder victim and his family, I stumbled upon this little nugget:

jodiWell, well, well, looks like even female murderers aren’t immune to objectification.

IN THAT CASE:

whoworeitbestI don’t knoooow, those pink handcuffs are a nice touch. When exactly did the Handcuffs for Delicate Lady Criminals line come out?

Free Lucy Elizabeth: The Saddest Nancy Grace Twin

Poor, little Lucy Elizabeth seems to have figured out that she rode the vagina water slide into a cruel universe that would bestow upon her half the DNA of Nancy Grace and half the DNA of a man who would marry Nancy Grace. Meanwhile, her brother, John David, takes in the sights and sounds of Legoland, blissfully unaware that his mother is not just “mommy,” she’s Nancy Grace. And she stands by the theory that Amanda Knox is guilty.

Lucy Elizabeth knows, and she carries that burden for the both of them.

Stay strong, Lucy Elizabeth. Let John David enjoy his ignorance for just a little longer. He’ll know soon enough.

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Advice to Men on How to Not Get Murdered

The only thing that comes close to my love for SVU is my love for true crime stories. I wish everyone would watch them because you learn so much about how to not get murdered. Like, I know not to go to unpopulated places at night, and at any given moment, I can name you three different objects in the room that I could use as a weapon. Sure, you live in an almost constant state of fear, or as I like to call it, “alertness,” but you are not dead and free to watch more 20/20 Investigates. Add some wine, and that, my friends, is called living.

My newest Nancy Grace level obsession is the Jodi Arias death penalty trial. To give you a quick run-down, Jodi was dating this guy, Travis Alexander, for about a year on-and-off. After they had broken up, they continued to have sex, until the day Jodi killed Travis. She traveled to his house in Arizona from her house in California, where they did the do, took naked pictures of each other, and then at some point Jodi stabbed him 27 times, slit his throat, and shot him in the face twice.

jodi-arias-600

First, she said that ninjas broke in and attacked them, but she escaped. Now, she’s saying that he was an abusive pedophile and she killed him in self-defense, but I’m pretty sure she’s a pathological liar and he never hit her. My theory is that he quickly became aware that he wasn’t interested in committing to her, but he kept her as a back-up when he wanted sex and companionship. He gave her mixed messages about his feelings, so she thought that she just had to be patient and work to win him back (which never happens). One day, she finally realized it’s never happening and that he had been using her all along, so she killed him.

Up until the murder part, this sort of thing happens all the time.

Her defense is trying to say that no one would go back to a partner that didn’t care about them unless they had some sort of battered woman’s syndrome from physical abuse. Some “expert lawyer” panelists on HLN are even saying that this makes sense! Do these idiots even watch Girls?! You don’t have to abuse anyone to make them keep coming back to you like a desperate lunatic, all you have to do is not text them for a week. And that is no justification for murder! If they let this lady off, it just sets a precedent that you can kill someone in self-defense for attacking your heart.

Now, what can you learn from this, boys? First, if someone is really into you and it’s not mutual, you should move along and let them be because they might kill you. If that’s not an option, at least pick your emotional murder victim carefully. If someone exhibits the warning signs of craziness, don’t mess with them. Getting murdered and having your phone sex sessions played in open court can’t possibly be worth the gas-station-bathroom-crazy-person-sex she is offering.

I mean, look at how dead she is behind the eyes. That is a lady you don’t screw with!

ImageProcessor She should be put away for those bangs alone! Heeeeey!

3 Reasons Why Being Single is (Probably) Better than Dating a Serial Killer

Joran Van der Sloot, convicted lady murderer, has gotten a woman pregnant –CONSENTUALLY– from a jail in Lima. Good GOD, ladies! Get your shit together! You know what should be a dealbreaker? Being a murderer. Another dealbreaker: extorting money from the parents of a girl you murdered.

I thought we were passed this by now! I will give this lady the benefit of the doubt and assume that Sex and the City hasn’t made it to Lima yet, and she must not know that she can be Single and Fabulous –exclamation point! Or at the very least, be Single and Not Dating a World Famous Serial Killer–exclamation point!  

To this lady: here’s proof that being a spinster –nay– a bachelorette, cannot be as bad as dating a psychopath…

Guys, it’s a sperm bank!

1. If you really, really want a baby right now (your prerogative, ma’am!) you can stay single and take a quick trip to the sperm bank, turkey baster in hand. That way, you can still have a baby AND that baby could be filled with Sexy Italian Architect DNA or Adorable Jewish Doctaaah genes instead of Dutch psychopath juice. Talk about having and eating cake!

2. Anderson Cooper did a show on women who marry men in jail, and you should have seen the shade he was throwing in these ladies’ directions. Do you really want to walk around knowing that Anderson Cooper is judging you? Girl, you need to drop this act asap because you’re about one news cycle away from being on his Ridiculist.

3. Marrying a murderer is not full of the same hijinks that Mike Myers would have you believe. Remember, in So I Married an Axe Murderer {SPOILER ALERT} at the 11th hour it’s revealed that Harriet is not actually a murderer, so if you were thinking “if Mike Myers can make it work, so can I,” your theory is now null and void.

It’s just something to think about while you wait for the package I’ve sent you which includes the  Sex and the City Complete Series box set, a wine of the month club membership, and this book:

Joran, who?!