Top Five (Modern) Male Celebrities Who Have Beaten their Wives or Girlfriends with Minimal Career Damage

by on 15/06/10 at 9:17 am

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5. Sean Connery: in an interview with Barbara Walters, Connery argued in favor of the necessity of hitting one’s wife in certain circumstances. There was a lot of controversy for a short while, but it has largely been forgotten. Walters got hate mail by fans worried the interview might ruin Connery’s chances of winning an Oscar that year for The Untouchables; he won the Oscar anyway.

4. O.J. Simpson: years before he was arrested for allegedly killing his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman, Simpson pled no-contest to a charge of spousal abuse. While “no contest” is not an admission of guilt (nor an assertion of innocence), it ain’t good. Small blip on the radar, didn’t affect his sponsorships and jobs.

3. Norman Mailer: Mailer stabbed Adele, one of his many wives. Caused some problems, but she lived and his career recovered.

2. Pablo Picasso: A “wife-beater” to some feminist critics.

1. Wesley Snipes: according to ex-girlfriend Halle Berry, he beat her so badly one time that she is now deaf in one ear. She never has publicly said that it was him, though, just that it was an ex. But we can tell from a basic chronological analysis that it was very likely Snipes.'

Ernest Hilbert

Ernest Hilbert is founder of E-Verse Radio.

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4 Responses to “Top Five (Modern) Male Celebrities Who Have Beaten their Wives or Girlfriends with Minimal Career Damage”


    Kurgarra u Galatur

    Jun 16th, 2010

    William S. Burroughs as William Tell, Joan Vollmer as applestand.

    Regarding ‘career damage’ – Pollock’s Oldsmobile crash with gf Ruth Kligman and Edith Metzger didn’t hurt the price of his paintings, but it sure shortened his career.


  2. Ernie

    Jun 17th, 2010

    Much of the interesting discussion on this post occurred over at FaceBook, so I’ll reproduce some of it here.

    Don’t forget Charlie Sheen, too.

    Oh, I’ll bet the list could go on and on . .

    I’ve never heard that Picasso hit his girlfriends or wives.

    I remember the Sean Connery interview. He never was my favorite Bond! LOL!

    Yes, and Ted Hughes forced Sylvia Plath to kill herself too. Not. Now, see? That’s how ugly rumor perpetuates. Picasso seems to have been capable of great emotional cruelty, also of great loyalty. Not physical brutality. A lot of people hold it against him that he wasn’t a bourgeois daddy & husband, but to spread the notion that he’s a wife-beater seems wrong, unless there’s proof–and I’ve never seen any.

    Here are some links that mention that Picasso physically abused his wives:
    I don’t understand why these various reports should be considered to be lies.

    From the Independent:

    Picasso was a sadist who abused his women — wives, lovers and muses alike; beating one until she was unconscious and taking pleasure in holding a lighting candle to the face of another. Promiscuous all his adult life, Picasso viewed women as sexual objects there to meet his sexual needs.

    I’ve been following this conversation and want to add Jackson Browne

    I didn’t realize it had been documented. I’ve read a lot of the Richardson bio and don’t recall him putting in the fact (which he mentions in the Guardian piece) that he beat his ladies. Maybe I missed it. Or maybe he left it out.

    Always interesting to see what people respond to on these lists. I think I’ve not seen such a response since the time I made an erroneous comment about Connie Francis!

    It’s an interesting list. Part of why I reacted to the Picasso thing is because of the number of times I’ve stood near people in front of spectacular Picassos and heard them say ridiculous things like “you can tell he hates women from the way he twists their bodies around.” I don’t think his behavior toward women should be swept under the rug, but I don’t think it’s particularly instructive in terms of his paintings.

    Indeed. That’s a ridiculous argument. One might as well say that a painter who was Picasso’s contemporary, Adolph Hitler, loved women because he painted them so much more naturalistically (ex: ). I guess Picasso hated the residents of Guernica too, given that they were so distorted in his painting.

    You can add Hendrix, too, unfortunately.

    I reviewed Richardson’s Sacred Masters, Sacred Monsters, and I was struck by his ability to be so one-sided with his subjects. It became clear early on that he worshiped some, like Picasso, and reviled others, like Dali’s Gala, largely due to his own interactions with them. I’d not be surprised to learn that Richardson papered over some of the uglier moments in Picasso’s life. Daisy, I agree with your thinking on this, and Bethany thank you for clarifying the issue.

    I love the Richardson bios, and hope he lives long enough to complete them, but yes, there’s a lot of picking and choosing in them. I don’t agree with his dismissal of the “Salon” Cubists for example–the Delauneys, etc.


  3. Ernie

    Jun 17th, 2010

    Burt Reynolds!


  4. Ernie

    Jun 17th, 2010

    Saw your post, via my friend Josh Mehigan, about famous folks who’ve beaten their wives with minimal career damage. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. A couple years ago I spent a day with the wife Mailer stabbed, Adele. Mailer’s stabbing of his wife with a dirty pen knife he’d found in the street is generally regarded as a colorful little anecdote in the life of a literary pugilist. But she’s still haunted by it decades later. Here’s the account of my visit with Adele:


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