OVER AMERICA Just when I thought I’d heard it all when it comes to America’s crazy gun laws, up popped a quite extraordinary and, to my mind, utterly appalling story from Texas today.
A man called Ezekiel Gilbert was acquitted by a jury in Bexar County of murdering an escort girl.
He shot her after she refused to have sex with him, or return the $150 in cash he had given her, supposedly for that purpose. The woman was paralysed in the shooting, and later died.
Under Texas law, people are allowed ‘to use deadly force to recover property during a night-time theft’.
Gilbert’s lawyers successfully argued that his actions were justified because he believed sex was included as part of his fee to the escort. If this had happened in Iran or Saudi Arabia, we’d all brand it a revolting medieval monstrosity. In America, it didn’t even make national news. over…’ This was, of course, at the height of the campaign in America to have me deported. Amazing how quickly you can go off someone… Last month, I met Katy Perry at a plush Vanity Fair party in Washington DC, and she told me, ‘You Brits are all the same — so damn confident.
‘Trouble is, I find that confidence irresistible. I love Brits… Well, not all of them — not Rasputin, obviously.’
‘Who’s Rasputin?’ I asked, feigning innocence. ‘You know who.’ And although she never actually said his name, of course I did. Today, her recently departed exhusband Russell Brand bounded into my CNN studio in New York, looking, well, exactly like Rasputin — very tall, with a jet-black beard and wild, almost demonic eyes.
I like Russell. He’s a fascinatingly complex character with a ferocious intelligence, and a quite extraordinary command of the English language for someone who bailed out of his state-school education aged 15 to pursue a life of scandalous drug and sex addiction.
Rasputin was a crazed Russian monk of equally ferocious intelligence and lust for women, who exerted a weird psycho-logical strangle- hold over the Russian Tsar Nicholas II after healing his son.
His suppor ters saw him as a saintly healer and prophet. His enemies saw him as a debauched religious charlatan obsessed with having sex with his followers. Eventually, Rasputin’s actions helped bring down the Tsar in the 1917 Russian Revolution, shortly before which he himself was stabbed, poisoned, shot, beaten and drowned by assassins — My movie career has had, until now, one glaring genre omission — zombies. I’ve been cast in a comedy, playing myself in Will Ferrell’s The Campaign — the biggest-grossing political satire in history. And chosen for a dramatic thriller, again playing myself in Denzel Washington’s Oscar-nominated Flight.
But until now, inexplicably, nobody in Hollywood has thought to themselves, ‘Hmm, I think Piers Morgan would be great for this film about violent, cannibalistic zombies.’ Fortunately, Brad Pitt clearly recognised this shocking gap in my CV too. I’m not saying I steal the show in his blockbuster World War Z, but Brad clearly thought my inclusion was vital to the success of the movie — so much so that I appear in the opening moments.
Cinemagoers can see me playing myself yet again, in my CNN studio in LA, hosting a heated debate on global warming. And saying the following words: ‘The planet is getting hotter, CO2 emissions have dramatically increased in the last 50 years…’ Daniel Day-Lewis may be the best character actor in the world. But even he can’t
play me better than I do.