Do you give second chances, whether it's to loved ones or famous celebrities who blew it? Whether it’s a career bumble or a relationship mistake, plenty of people will need a second chance at some point in their lives – and most are likely to get at least one. But what happens if the second chance doesn’t work out either? For every celebrity that’s turned their life around, there seems to be more celebrities who blew it. Check out these celebrities who didn’t take their opportunity to turn things around, and what you can learn from their mistakes.
Did you watch The Passion of the Christ? It turned into a massive movie, and not least because actor Mel Gibson was accused of homophobia and anti-Semitic overtones when creating it. He apologised, and it seemed he’d managed to put the issue behind him – until he was recorded racially abusing his ex-wife. And then in 2006, was arrested for drunk-driving, and told the police officer that Jews were responsible for all the wars. It seems he didn’t learn his lesson in the first place – and by continuing the same behaviour, he made his apologies worthless. I can’t see Mel being given another chance! He's one of the biggest celebrities who blew it in a huge way.
Captain of Chelsea football team, Captain of England, and a very highly-rated footballer, defender John Terry didn’t need to do much to gain respect. But it seems he also didn’t learn how little he needs to do to learn it. His career has been marred by constant controversies, from parking in disabled bays and being paid for undercover tours to sleeping with team-mates' girlfriends. Most recently, John was accused of using racist language in a football match, and taken to court. Although cleared by the Judge, the Football Association still saw fit to punish the defender, and he resigned from his Captaincy as a result. He might be an outstanding footballer, but his reputation management skills could do with some work!
This was taught to me at school, and it’s stayed with me ever since. In 1941, Hitler sent his troops into Russia with the aim of securing Moscow. He appeared to be well-armed, with experienced troops and confident generals, but the fierce Russian defense stopped the German army outside Moscow. Numerous Russian counter-offences wore down the army, and they only just managed to escape. Did Hitler learn? No. A year later he sent more troops to attack Stalingrad, but again the troops were hit with a counter-attack, and street-fighting killed a large number. The troops wanted to retreat, but Hitler refused – leaving hundreds of thousands of men to be killed or captured by the Russians. Stalingrad was one of the most decisive points in the war, and Hitler’s refusal to retreat and replan when necessary are largely blamed for his failure.
Who could forget the OJ Simpson trial?! Largely thought to be one of the most infamous, Simpson was acquitted of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman in 1995. Polls afterwards showed that the vast majority of people believed he was responsible for the murders, and Simpson was taken to a civil trial, where he was found guilty of wrongful killing. Still, guilty or not, Simpson was free and had avoided jail. At least until he was involved in an armed robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas in 2007. This time he was found guilty, and sentenced to 33 years in jail.
Chris Brown and Rihanna were one cute celebrity couple; at least until 2009 when Chris assaulted Rihanna. Rihanna was hospitalised, photographs of her injuries circulated, and Brown’s career hit the floor. His commercial deals were cancelled, radio stations wouldn’t play his songs and he faced a trial for battery. It seemed a miracle when his PR team stepped up and tried to rebuild his career, leading to numerous public apologies and explanations for his behaviour, along with Rihanna’s forgiveness, and his career seemed to take off once more. Chris could have forgotten the whole thing. But he didn’t. Instead, he got the face of a battered woman – looking almost identical to Rihanna’s injury pictures – tattooed on the side of his neck. His PR team claimed it was a sugar skull, and nothing to do with Rihanna or violence, but the pictures speak for themselves, and Chris’ career is embroiled in controversy once more.
You could say Joey Barton has been lucky. After being convicted of violence twice, and kicked out of Manchester City for attacking a team-mate, the footballer managed to convince Premier League side Queens Park Rangers to take a chance on him. It appeared to be going well, and his violent past was rarely mentioned – until the last game of the 2011-2012 season, where Barton attacked three City players, was sent off and had to be forcefully removed from the field. He earned himself a 12-match ban, QPR management stated they’d never play him again, and his career looked finished. He’s now playing in the French Ligue 1, for Marseille. Let’s hope he can forget the violence this time, or his career in football will certainly be over, and his reputation might not be salvageable.
Who didn’t love Iron Mike? Tyson set the boxing world on fire, having held three heavyweight titles by the time he was 20 years old, and he’s widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. But he couldn’t escape the controversy around his career, either. In 1992, he was convicted of the rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington in a hotel room. He served his time, and even pulled of a big comeback the boxing world. Until he fought Evander Holyfield, that was. Holyfield won the first game, and Tyson was quickly disqualified in the second. Why? For biting off part of Holyfield’s ear. Yuck. There were no more second chances for Tyson, and his boxing license was rescinded in 1997.
Lohan’s career seemed to start very brightly, with the actress working as a model from aged three, and securing the role of twins in Disney’s 1998 The Parent Trap. In 2003, she had a big role in Freaky Friday, and in 2004 finally became a household name after starring in Mean Girls. So what went wrong? Well, in 2006 she was hospitalised for "overheating and dehydration" while filming Georgia Rule. She was going through a break-up at the time, and the studio producer James Robinson branded her irresponsible and unprofessional, revealing that she was frequently late and stating that the whole crew knew her late-night partying was to blame. From then on, not much went right. Her PR quickly publicised her attendance at AA, and a 30-day stay at an addiction centre, before securing her a role in Poor Things. It seemed everything was looking up – until Lindsay was arrested for drunk-driving after losing control of her car. She spent 45 days in a treatment centre, with Poor Things on hold to wait for her, before being released with a SCRAM sobriety monitor. Just before she was due to start filming again, Lindsay refused an alcohol test and was arrested, where she was found to be carrying cocaine and above the legal drunk-driving limit. She was arrested for driving on a suspended license, as well as carrying cocaine and drunk-driving, and soon began her third treatment trip, this time for three months. She was replaced on Poor Things, cancelled promotional trips for her new film I Know Who Killed Me, and sentenced to 10 days community service. Most recently, Lohan has been in the press for stealing a necklace, leading to 35 days of house arrest, and 400 hours of community service. She also posed nude for Playboy in February 2012, and played Elizabeth Taylor in upcoming series Liz & Dick. Let’s hope she can stay on the right road this time.
It seems celebrities find it easier to get second chances than the rest of us, but with their slip-ups being made so public, finding new jobs and picking yourself up can be much more difficult in public. Whether you think this lot deserved their numerous chances or not, one thing is for sure – there is plenty that can be learnt from their catastrophic career and relationship mistakes! Would you give these celebrities who blew it another chance?
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