Former bad boy Sean Penn may have become a serene family man, but there were plenty of raucous celebs to take his place. Herewith, a look at the battles of the network (and other) stars.
MARV ALBERT Allegation: The YESSS man sexually assaulted a hotel clerk Feb. 12 and gave her 18 unwanted back hickeys. Aftermath: He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, lost his NBC gig, was forced to undergo counseling, and became a cross-dressing, weave-wearing punchline. Spin: Go on the offensive. On talk shows, Albert labeled his accuser a liar.
VINCE NEIL Allegation: During a Long Island, N.Y., concert this fall, the Motley Crue frontman punched a rowdy fan in the face. Aftermath: Some gossip items, but no lawsuits from the pounding. Spin: Act righteous. ”He was…spitting and flipping me off and didn’t stop,” said Neil. ”So I took it into my own hands.”
CHRISTIAN SLATER Allegation: The Broken Arrow star, addled on cocaine, punched his girlfriend at an L.A. party and gave her male defender an unwanted stomach hickey. Aftermath: He pleaded no contest to battery and was sentenced to 90 days in jail (his lawyer has asked for a second hearing). Spin: Call it a fame thing. ”When you’re a celebrity, you start believing you can act off the screen any way you want,” Slater said in a statement issued to the press.
QUENTIN TARANTINO Allegation: He got medieval on Natural Born Killers producer Don Murphy at a Hollywood eatery. The director was apparently ticked about his portrayal in a book written by Murphy’s partner. Aftermath: Murphy filed a $5 million suit claiming he’s been unable to work since the Oct. 22 punch-out. Spin: Adopt a macho posture. On The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show, Tarantino boasted that he’d ”bitch-slapped” Murphy.
THE WU-TANG CLAN AND MANAGER JOHN GIBBONS Allegation: Members of the rap group beat up a record company staffer at an Aug. 29, Tinley Park, Ill., concert. Aftermath: A still pending $2 million lawsuit. Spin: Be dismissive. Their attorney called the alleged fracas ”much ado about nothing.”