This week, Oprah Winfrey interviewed former champion cyclist Lance Armstrong. According to The Washington Post, he confessed at long last to using performance-enhancing drugs.
Winfrey said that although Armstrong had admitted to doping, she found him to be hesitant when it came to showing actual remorse. "He did not come clean in the manner I expected," she said.
And so it goes with celebrity apologies. Some are sincerely tendered with much attendant tear-streaked hyperventilation, while others drip with such unambiguous, tar-thick contempt that they actually make matters worse. Indeed, celebrity apologies are like snowflakes — no two are alike. But they all make for fascinating, compelling viewing.
Read ahead to see 10 examples of memorable apologies from politicians, athletes, actors, and more.
In 1998, former president Bill Clinton became embroiled in an embarrassing scandal. He had been involved in an extramarital relationship with 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which became the subject of impeachment proceedings.
A few weeks after the scandal broke, the former president gave an address at the National Prayer Breakfast at the White House, where he took the opportunity to speak about the scandal. "I don't think there is a fancy way to say that I have sinned," he said.
Actor and director Mel Gibson was arrested for driving under the influence in July 2006. According to the arresting officer, the actor got took the opportunity to launch into a drunken, obscenity-laced tirade about "the Jews."
A few days after the incident, he sprang into damage-control mode and issued an apology. "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," he said.
Eliot Spitzer was attorney general of New York State for eight years, and the conventional wisdom was that he would go far. He was elected governor and sworn in in 2007, but his term lasted just over one year, as he was forced to resign in the wake of a prostitution scandal in March 2008.
The disgraced governor took to the airwaves to announce his resignation and tender his apology. "I apologize first, and most importantly, to my family," he said. "I apologize to the public, whom I promised better … I have disappointed and failed
Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers of all time, and certainly one of the most famous. He enjoyed a squeaky-clean image for most of his career, but that evaporated in late 2009, when news broke that he had been involved in an extramarital affair.
After dropping off the radar for a few months, he returned to the spotlight in February 2010 to hold a press conference. "I was unfaithful," he said. "I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was not acceptable, and I am the only person to blame."
Larry Craig was a U.S. senator from Idaho who was arrested for alleged lewd conduct after an incident in the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport men's bathroom. He had been suspected of attempting to solicit sexual activity from a man in one of the stalls, and the man turned out to be an undercover cop.
Craig entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, but denied any wrongdoing and characterized the plea as a mistake made without the benefit of legal counsel. "I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in hopes of making it go away," he said in a press conference two months after the incident. "That was a mistake, and I deeply regret it."
See the full list: Famous Celebrity Apologies
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