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Famous and fallible

It’s somewhat reassuring that rich, famous, shiny celebrities are as fallible as the rest of us.

But luckily for most of us, when we screw up the whole world isn’t watching.

The list of celebrity bloopers is seemingly endless. We round up a few choice moments from 2011.

From Terminator, to governator, to, um, adulterator
It’s a scientific fact (sort of) that 90% of all celebrity gossip involves someone famous being caught cheating on their partner. But that doesn’t make it any less of a scandal. And it doesn’t seem to matter how long ago the affair took place.

That’s what actor, former bodybuilder, former California governor and all-round Big Important Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger learnt when his wife Maria Shriver — a niece of John F Kennedy and therefore one of America’s sweethearts — discovered he had fathered a child during an extramarital affair, 14 years before. When confronted by Shriver, who had suspicions about Schwarzenegger’s relationship with a former employee, their housekeeper spilled the beans. The pair announced their divorce soon after. Proof, if any was needed, that even the rich and famous need to be careful about What the Butler Saw.

Demi no Moore
Being a high-profile celebrity on Twitter can be problematic. Along with the possibility that you will reveal your most inane thoughts and dodgy grasp of basic grammar, there is always the chance that your timeline will be scrutinised by fans and gossip magazines wanting insight into your personal life.

This became all too evident when actor Ashton Kutcher, the first celebrity to reach a million followers on the social networking site, was caught cheating on his wife, actress Demi Moore, who also had many Twitter followers.

When it was revealed that Kutcher had spent a debauched night at a hotel with a number of scantily-clad young women, and, soon after, that the couple were getting divorced, their timelines were examined for clues as to whether they had been having marital problems before the incident. Moore deleted her account, while Kutcher tweeted “I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi.” Moore has since reopened her account, and, oddly, still uses the handle @mrskutcher.

Holy matri-money
Never let it be said that celebrities cheapen the institution of marriage. Sometimes, they make it very, very expensive indeed. Kim Kardashian, famous for, well, nothing in particular, married boyfriend, basketball player Kris Humphries, in an over-the-top ceremony. The wedding was broadcast on the E! Entertainment TV channel, and scored the highest ratings in the channel’s history.

When the couple divorced a mere 72 days later, rumours started to spread that the whole marriage had been a publicity stunt and money-making exercise. The wedding had attracted a number of endorsements and Kardashian’s former publicist claimed that, despite the couple’s relationship problems and reluctance to get married, they had decided to go through with it to avoid breaking expensive contracts which would have cost them a fortune. The rest of the Kardashian Klan rallied around their sibling, defending her actions and asking that people respect their privacy.

Actor Daniel Craig recently mentioned the incident in an interview with GQ magazine. “You can’t buy your privacy back. ‘Ooh, I want to be alone. ‘F*ck you. We’ve been in your living room. We were at your birth. You filmed it for us and showed us the placenta, and now you want some privacy?” He added: “You see that and you think, ‘What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a f*cking idiot on television and then you’ll pay me millions?’ I’m not judging it … Well I am obviously.” His words, not ours.

Foul-mouthed fashionista

You’d think that high-profile celebrities would have learned to hold their tongues by now, especially when it comes to spouting politically incorrect and downright offensive views of the world. It proved disastrous for Mel Gibson’s career, but it seems that British designer John Galliano had to find this out for himself.

His illustrious fashion career had seen him leading legendary fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior, but all this came crashing down around him in February when he alleged hurled anti-Semitic insults at a couple in a Paris café. A video of a similar tirade, which had taken place a year earlier, soon surfaced.

Dior immediately suspended, and later dismissed, the designer and many celebrities announced that they would no longer wear his clothes. He was charged under French law with “public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity”, and, after a lengthy trial, was found guilty. He was ordered to pay a $8 500 fine.

Go jump off …
5fm DJ Gareth Cliff was reported to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCCSA) in September after allegedly making sexist comments during a 5fm broadcast. During an interview with Angela Larkan, a young woman who started an organisation that cares for Aids orphans, Cliff commended her work, and allegedly said that “girls of 22 usually do nothing but lie on their backs with their legs open”. Cliff’s manager Rina Broomberg denied that he had made the comments, saying: “No, no, I would have noticed and yelled at him”, which, rather unfortunately, was soon contradicted by Cliff himself. In a statement on his blog, he wrote “I made the comment that either ‘so many’ or ‘most’ 22-year-olds are more interested in lying with their legs open.”

He was later cleared of charges of hate speech, with the BCCSA deciding that he had been misquoted (he had not made a reference to girls or women). A storm in a teacup, perhaps, but certainly not good for his reputation, already built on controversial statements.

On the other hand, Darren
It didn’t take long for a racial slur, said “in anger” against a fellow Jacaranda 94.2 employee, to look like it would put an abrupt end to DJ and SuperSport presenter Darren Scott’s career.
Scott resigned from his job at the station, and took leave from the sports channel.

The incident took place, ironically, at a team-building function at a private game lodge, when an inebriated Scott was approached by colleague Africa Tshoaedi. Scott, angry about the fact that Tshoaedi had not paid back money he had borrowed, called him the k-word. Colleagues apparently tried to defuse the situation, but the damage had been done. Scott has since expressed remorse about the incident, and has said that there is no excuse for his behaviour, even commenting, as have many others, that even though he denies being a racist, the use of the word may be indicative of racist feelings that he needs to address.

As one viral tweet put it: If only Scott had called him a c*nt instead.

View more highlights of the year that was in our special report.

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Lisa Van Wyk
Lisa van Wyk is the arts editor, which somehow justifies her looking at pretty pictures all day, reading cool art and culture blogs and having the messiest desk in the office. She likes people who share her passion for art, music, food, wine, travel and all things Turkish. She can't ride a bike, but she can read ancient languages and totally understands the offside rule.

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