The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SHOWBIZ -

ties that this is not so.

Stars in prison, for in­stance, usu­ally have their own cell. Such is the as­sump­tion that Suther­land, when in­ter­viewed about his prison ex­pe­ri­ence for his DUI of­fence, com­plained that he was sad­dled with a cell­mate for the first two to three weeks of his seven-week stay de­spite be­ing “told” that he would have his own cell.

Lo­han’s 14 days in jail was spent in a pri­vate cell. Ac­cord­ing to Sher­iff Steve Whit­more of the Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Lo­han had to be iso­lated from the gen­eral prison pop­u­la­tion for se­cu­rity rea­sons.

Car in­surance com­pa­nies and lawyers are the ones squeez­ing the most out of celebrity “en­dorse­ments” for their ser­vices.

It is wor­ry­ing when a large num­ber of them claim to have in­sured or rep­re­sented the celebri­ties in their DUI cases and are ad­ver­tis­ing their ser­vices to on­line read­ers next to top 10 lists of celebrity DUI ac­ci­dents they have com­piled.

Celebrity mis­deeds of­ten re­ceive the Hollywood treat­ment and in do­ing so, much of the sting of what they have done is taken out.

Ac­tress Wi­nona Ry­der’s shoplift­ing spree at high-fashion store Saks Fifth Av­enue in 2001 was worked into jokes on en­ter­tain­ment and late-night talk shows, giv­ing the im­pres­sion that it was yet an­other crazy thing celebri­ties do.

Ca­reer-wise, Ry­der has been rel­a­tively quiet for a few years since the in­ci­dent but has grad­u­ally been back in the lime­light since 2006. She will ap­pear in a lead­ing role in an up­com­ing film by ac­claimed di­rec­tor Ron Howard. In 2001, ac­tress Wi­nona Ry­der was caught shoplift­ing at the Saks Fifth Av­enue store in Bev­erly Hills, Cal­i­for­nia.

Look­ing at the way many celebri­ties lead charmed lives, it is some­times easy for com­mon folks to for­get that the same does not ap­ply to them.

In real life, folks run the very real risk of los­ing their jobs and their rep­u­ta­tion if they are found guilty of of­fences such as drunk­driv­ing, drug-tak­ing and shoplift­ing.

Un­like celebri­ties, com­mon folks may not be able to bounce back af­ter a few years, and for the vast ma­jor­ity, the like­li­hood that we will be able to turn up our noses at a job be­cause we are in­de­pen­dently wealthy is rather slim. There re­ally is no up-side to em­u­lat­ing celebrity mis­deeds. n In this col­umn, writer Hau Boon Lai pon­ders the lives, loves and lib­er­ties of celebri­ties.

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