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International Forgiveness Day: 3 Celebs We Should Forgive & 3 We Shouldn't

Jennifer Decker Jennifer Decker
August 7th, 2011 11:00am EDT

Today is International Forgiveness Day.  Here at Starpulse we thought it would be a good time to take a hard look at some of our most scandalous celebrities, and the troubles they’ve gotten into, and see if we can find it in our hearts to forgive them.  

But as the Roman philosopher Seneca said, “To forgive all is as inhuman as to forgive none,” so it was impossible to be completely charitable.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Forgivability Rating: 7/10


No, it’s never all right to cheat on your spouse.  It’s a betrayal of love that earns most people a “I’m an untrustworthy person” forehead tattoo--one of those that everyone can see, even if it’s not visible.  And this recent scandal wasn’t the first (or last) accusation of infidelity the former Governator has faced over the years.

Ex-wife Maria Shriver stood by her husband throughout the years though, saying that she loved him and accepted his flaws, and her support lasted right up until this one came forward.  The discovery of a 14-year-old lovechild was the last straw, apparently.

As questionable as Arnold’s conquests were, it appears that Arnold did find ways to spend time with his illegitimate child.  The child was never told Arnold was his daddy, but Arnold attended his baptism (with Shriver), taught him how to play golf, and supported him financially.  Arnold may have wronged his wife, but from all appearances, he did right by his son the best that he could in secret.  Because of that, we think Arnold lands on the right side of the forgiveness scale.

Besides, he’s the friggin’ Terminator.

Chris Brown
Forgivablity Rating: 4/10


We all know that Chris Brown assaulted ex-girlfriend, and fellow pop star, Rihanna in 2009.  The image of her beaten and bloodied face is a hard one to get out of our minds.  And we know a 4/10 on the forgiveness scale might seem a bit high for someone who beat their girlfriend bloody and threatened to kill her, but considering that even Rihanna seems to want to be friends now, we’re going to give him a little leeway.  Not too much, though...

Even though he and his mother told Larry King that he had no history of violence, that’s not what Rihanna told police right after the incident.  His recent violent outburst ‘Good Morning America’ didn’t help make the singer seem any more stable either, and even the D-listers on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ were said to have avoided him when he performed on the show last season.  

While we’re hoping for the best, we’re not convinced this is the last we’ll here on Brown’s temper.  We’ll be withholding our forgiveness for now.

Chris Brown

Amy Winehouse
Forgivability Rating: 9/10


The recent, tragic death of Amy Winehouse has forced us all to take a closer look at the singer’s life, and the many troubles that haunted her throughout it.  It’s easy to remember the outbursts, the video of her allegedly smoking crack, the bloody ballet slippers... but what most people tend to forget is that Winehouse was sick. Drugs can turn strong, beautiful and talented people into crazies, and Winehouse had another illness on top of that; in multiple interviews, Winehouse had admitted to suffering from Bipolar disorder.

Could she have gotten help?  Could she have turned herself around?  Probably.  But should we continue to blame her and dismiss her as another talented person who wasted her live?  We don’t think so.  When we live in a world that treats drug addiction as a criminal issue (not the health issue that it is) and misunderstands mental illness, placing a stigma on the heads of those who suffer from it, recovery is not as simple as that.

Unfortunately, Amy never did figure out how to overcome her demons.  Now, all we have left is her stunning music.  Let’s forgive, and remember her by that, not her troubled life.

Amy Winehouse

Charlie Sheen
Forgivability Rating: 3/10


No list like this would be complete without Charlie Sheen, especially given the insanity recently.  The “Bi-Winning” actor isn’t a stranger to controversy.  It started with the 1995 admission of being one of Heidi Fleiss’ patrons, then the 1996 assault of porn star and then girlfriend Brittany Ashland, and later, ex-wife Denise Richards’ accusations of excessive gambling and porn addiction in 2006... and through it all, we shrugged and let it go.

Then last year Brooke Mueller called 911 claiming Charlie was threatening her with a knife.  Later, he trashed a room at the Plaza Hotel in New York, leaving a terrified porn star/actress locked in a bathroom in fear.  Four moths after that a 36 hour bender landed him in the hospital.  But in spite of all his antics, it took him belittling ‘Two And A Half Men’ creator Chuck Lorre for him to finally start to see consequences for his actions.

The rest is so recent it’s still fresh: the insane press flurry, drinking “tiger’s blood”, the "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option Show", and so on...

Okay, yes, we are forgiving Winehouse because she was sick, and drugs and mental illness are a health care issue, but while Winehouse is gone, Charlie is not.  It’s possible for him to get better, but it’s not going to happen if people keep enabling him.  We’re glad to see that coming to an end, and we’re not going to stand in the way by telling him it’s all okay.

Sorry, Charlie.  It’s tough love time.

Charlie Sheen

Shia LaBeouf
Forgivability Rating: 8/10


Compared to Charlie Sheen, Shia LaBeouf looks about as much like a bad boy as a grade school kid who just learned his first curse word.  But there is enough going on with him that even Harrison Ford found time to call him a “f--ing idiot”.

Sure there have been a couple of brawls and arrests, one of them for loitering at a Walgreens (what a badass!), but mostly LaBeouf’s troubles have stemmed from his mouth.  He’s dissed ‘Indiana Jones’, called Micheal Bay difficult to work with, and most damningly, bragged about hooking up with co-star Megan Fox while she was still with husband Brian Austin Green.

He might be a Grade A Moron, admitting to kind of liking his bad boy image, but when considering forgiving him, we couldn’t overlook one thing: he’s a young man acting like a lot of dumb young me do.  He’s just in the spotlight as he does it.  

As even he said, “"I just turned 25, and I’m learning how to edit myself and say 'no comment' now."  We hope he’s a good student, and we’ll give him a pass.  For now, anyway.

Shia LaBeouf

Mel Gibson
Forgivability Rating: 1/10


Where do we even start with Mel?  He probably deserved a 0 on the Forgiveness Scale, except that it’s difficult not to hope there’s a decent person underneath all the insanity.  Then again, there were homophobic and anti-semetic remarks, sexist and violent behavior, and those utterly insane and terrifying phone recordings.  Mel not only threatened and beat his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, but he also allegedly hit their infant child while she was in Oksana’s hands.

Again we revisit the drug abuse and bipolar issue with him, and we’ve forgiven Amy Winehouse, but Mel has gone even farther off the deep end than Charlie Sheen has.  At this point, we’re not even sure how he could begin to redeem himself.  Sure, he can apologize, lay low, make some more movies, and hope for the best... but all that hatred and anger inside him is coming from somewhere, and it’s not the sort of thing people just get over.

Mel needs to do some serious work on himself, and maybe some day he’ll be worthy of forgiveness, but right now?  Right now he’s not even worthy of respect.

Mel and Oksana

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