Apologizing can be difficult for anyone. However, those difficulties are certainly heightened when a person’s public image is at stake. Over the years, many celebrities have had to face this issue head on, and have often risked everything for the sake of coming clean. For some celebrities, these apologies have come after a long period of denial; for others they come almost immediately after a highly publicized mistake. While many celebrities have been able to move forward after their apologies, many others have been left picking up the pieces of their broken image. Although some have been far more sincere than others; here are the 10 biggest public celebrity apologies ever.
10. Mark McGwire
In 2010, former professional baseball player Mark McGwire made hundreds of headlines when he confessed that he had used steroids during his career. McGwire,whose apology came almost a decade after his retirement, stated: “It’s something I’m certainly not proud of. I’m certainly sorry for having done it. Someday, somehow, somewhere I knew I’d probably have to talk about this. I guess the steppingstone was being offered the hitting-coach job with the Cardinals. At that time, I said, ‘I need to come clean about this.’”
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9. Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson has had several negative run-ins with the media throughout his career. However, in 2006, when Gibson was pulled over for driving under the influence, he made a slew of anti-semitic comments that left the public shocked. After the incident, Gibson released an apology in which he stated: “I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law-enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.” However, many people were not sold on the apology, and the incident has continued to come up over the years.
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8. Michael Vick
In 2007, Michael Vick made national headlines when it was discovered that he had been involved in dog fighting which resulted in the death of many pit bulls. Vick who was eventually sentenced to jail time, issued an apology in which he stated: “”I take full responsibility for my actions. Not for one second will I sit right here and point the finger and try to blame anybody else for my actions or what I’ve done.” Although Vick’s reputation initially seemed irreparable, he has since redeemed himself and has taken all the proper steps to clear his name.
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7. Michael Richards
Best-known for his role as Kramer on the hit sitcom Seinfeld, Michael Richards is no stranger to a good joke. However, Richards took things too far during a stand up show in 2006 when he went on a racially charged rant in front of his audience. After the show, Richards appeared on the Late Show to apologize for his comments; however, the damage had already been done. In 2007 Richards announced that he would be retiring from stand up comedy.
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6. Chris Brown
Unfortunately for Chris Brown, he is not very familiar with public apologies. However, the incident that sparked his transition from pretty boy pop-star to R&B villain remains his most famous apology. In 2009, after physically assaulting his then girlfriend, Rihanna, the public found themselves instantly disgusted with Brown’s behavior. After the assault, Brown made very few public appearances until he finally released a video apology taking full responsibility for his actions. However, despite his best efforts, Brown has never been able to completely put the incident behind him.
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5. Marion Jones
Olympic athlete, Marion Jones, made a heartfelt and teary-eyed apology in 2007 when she confessed to using steroids during the 2000 Summer Olympics. Although her apology seemed sincere, it was weakened by Jones’ insistence that she had no way of knowing that the drugs her trainer suggested were illegal. As a result of her confession, Jones was asked to return the five medals she won during the 2000 Olympic games. She was also disqualified from participating in the 2008 Olympics.
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4. Bill Clinton
After months of denial, former United States president, Bill Clinton, finally admitted to having an affair with White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. Following his initial statement never having relations with Lewinsky, Clinton issued an apology in which he stated: “Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.”
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3. Kobe Bryant
In 2003, NBA superstar Kobe Bryant’s personal life was thrust into the spotlight when he was accused of sexually assaulting a 19 year-old woman in Colorado. The case was eventually settled out of court; however, Bryant, accompanied by his wife Vanessa, made a public apology stating: “First, I want to apologize directly to the young woman involved in this incident. I want to apologize to her for my behavior that night and for the consequences she has suffered in the past year. Although this year has been incredibly difficult for me personally, I can only imagine the pain she has had to endure… Although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognize now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.” Although Bryant did not admit to assaulting the woman, he did openly admit to cheating on his wife.
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2. Kanye West
After interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West issued a very public and very Kanye apology via social networking website, Twitter. West stated: “I’m sooooo sorry to Taylor Swift and her fans and her mom. I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said…I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment!” However, in true Kanye fashion, West’s apology did not fail to include final statement about Beyonce having one of the best videos of the decade.
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1. Tiger Woods
In 2010, golfer Tiger Woods permanently tarnished his image when he admitted to cheating on his now ex-wife, Elin Nordegren. During his public apology, Woods stated: “I have let my family down, and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.” Unfortunately for Woods, his behavior resulted personal and professional consequences.
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