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article imageOp-Ed: Celebrities behaving outrageously

By Alexander Baron     Aug 24, 2013 in Entertainment
Some people think jokes about rape are funny. Some think urinating on people from a great height is too. Neither party is laughing now.
The name Chris Fountain may not be familiar to you but he is - or was - an actor who had a bit part in the soap Coronation Street. He has now been given the push after appearing as a masked rapper doing what rappers do worst. No, not using the dreaded N word, that is reserved for black rappers.
Here is the edited version - fill in the bleeps yourself. And here is another rap by Mr Fountain, at least until it is deleted, either by YouTube or the poster.
Offensive though that particular rap may be, it is only words. Drinking alcohol to excess can often lead to outrageous words or outrageous behaviour, including driving while over the limit. Back in the 1970s, David Cassidy recorded a song called How Can I Be Sure? This week that question was answered for him: when a state trooper tells you he can smell alcohol on your breath. Cassidy was arrested near the New York state capital and has been released on a $2,500 bond. Because he has a prior conviction for driving under the influence, he faces felony charges. Oh dear.
When cricket international Monty Panesar had one drink too many in a Brighton night club he is said to have tried it on with women, which led to his being asked to leave. He did so without fuss, but instead of driving back to his hotel he did something only marginally less dangerous, he urinated from the promenade above the venue onto the doormen below. Fortunately for him these often muscular gentlemen do not appear to have administered summary justice, but unfortunately, the police were about, though rather than being arrested he was given a fixed penalty notice for being drunk and disorderly, but in any sport worthy of the name, this sort of behaviour will rightly result in a tough sanction by the governing body.
Outrageous though a cricketer's behaviour may be, the sport with the worst reputation remains soccer, and there is no shortage of its not-so-finest making headlines for all the wrong reasons this month, as usual. One of the worst is repeat offender Nile Ranger.
That name may not be well known outside of the world of professional football, but it is becoming increasingly well known to the legal profession, and for all the wrong reasons. Earlier this year, Ranger was being paid (can it be called earning?) £7,000 a day with Newcastle United, not bad for a 22 year old who talents appear to be limited to using his feet and his fists. In April he was convicted of common assault, and sentenced to community service; the previous month the club "released" him, and he has since taken an almighty dip in earnings, to £30 a day until he can find another club, according to the Daily Mail. All the same, rather than complete this punishment he opted to pay a £5,000 fine.
Curiously, what the Daily Mail does not mention is that Ranger is currently on bail for rape. What is perhaps even more extraordinary is that he has been signed by Swindon Town with that court case pending. It would not be proper to comment further on the current case, but what can be said is that Ranger keeps putting himself in the kind of positions he should have learned to avoid.
At the age of 15, he served time in a young offenders' institution following his conviction for participating in a street robbery (mugging). Okay, we were all young and stupid once, but his talent was soon recognised, and in October 2010 he made his Premier League debut. From here on he could and should have put his past behind him. Alas...
In August the following year he was arrested on suspicion of a serious assault, and before being cleared he was charged with being drunk and disorderly - which might have led to his bail being revoked. And it goes on. As things stand he will face trial in October; hopefully he can stay out of trouble in the meantime. The case against him does not appear to be that strong or he would almost certainly not have been granted bail, but if he is convicted, he will be dropped by Swindon, and will almost certainly never play Premier League soccer again.
Finally, another sporting celebrity was back in the news this week when Oscar Pistorius appeared in a South African courtroom where a date was set for his trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. The full indictment has been published, and the state is making a double pronged attack, namely with its assertion that even if he did not believe he was shooting Miss Steenkamp that he had no right to shoot through the door attempting to kill the unidentified individual who had apparently broken into his house to use his toilet. A bizarre scenario indeed.
The latest hearing was low key and there was no controversy; don't expect more of the same when he stands trial in March next year.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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