Love means never having to say you’re sorry, or so the saying goes. There are just two problems with that old saw: anyone who’s ever been in love will tell you it’s a crock of bull, and nobody loves Mel Gibson enough for him to be able to skirt an apology.
The volatile actor and director appeared on The Tonight Show on Friday to wag chins with the ever inoffensive Jay Leno, and immediately brought up his most recent headline-making outburst, this one aimed at screenwriter Joe Ezsterhas. Much like Mel’s ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, Ezsterhas secretly taped the profanity-laced screaming rant and made it public.
Thing is, Gibson never actually admitted what he did was wrong. He explained his side of the story, complained about his privacy being invaded, took a few potshots at Ezsterhas and defended his anger. "Maybe you don’t know this about me but I’ve got a little bit of a temper," Glibson -err, Gibson -said.
As celebrity apologies go, that was one of the worst, if it was an apology at all. Here’s a look at a handful of the many other infamous celebrity mea culpas we’ve witnessed, and where they rank on the sincerity scale.
Alec Baldwin’s voicemail to his daughter, 2007
The 30 Rock star appeared on The View to talk about a voicemail he left for his then 11-year-old daughter, in which he called her a "rude, thoughtless little pig" and vowed to fly out to New York to straighten her out. Flanked by Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Walters, Baldwin was frank and convincing, even if he did pin some blame on the "tabloid media."
SINCERITY SCORE: 7 out of 10
Michael Richards uses the n-word, 2006
A grim-looking Richards appeared live by satellite on David Letterman’s show during pal Jerry Seinfeld’s appearance to deliver an uncomfortable but sincere apology. Doesn’t excuse what he did (lashing out at some hecklers with a racist tirade during a stand-up comedy show), but he did seem genuinely sorry, sad and angry at himself.
SINCERITY SCORE: 8 out of 10
Kanye West crashes Taylor Swift’s big moment, 2009
Imma let you finish, but Kanye West’s spotlight-stealing interruption of Taylor Swift’s acceptance of the best female video trophy at the MTV Video Music Awards was one of the rudest awards show moments of all time. Kanye later appeared on The Tonight Show with a so-so apology. "I’m just ashamed that my hurt caused someone else’s hurt."
SINCERITY SCORE: 6 out of 10
Hugh Grant caught with a prostitute, 1995
Grant’s skill for self-effacing levity on screen served him well in this classic celeb apology, when he appeared on The Tonight Show to plead stupidity to Jay Leno. "I did a bad thing, and there you have it," Grant said, remarking on his arrest for lewd conduct in a public place with prostitute Divine Brown. His career bounced back with scarcely a scratch.
SINCERITY SCORE: 7 out of 10
Mel Gibson arrested for drunk driving, 2006
Arrested for driving under the influence with an open bottle of tequila in his car, Gibson launched an anti- Semitic tirade at a Jewish police officer. His oddball post-scandal interview with Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America did him no favours, and we’re starting to wonder if ol’ Mel is capable of truly feeling sorry for anything.
SINCERITY SCORE: 2 out of 10