Twink, Mel Gibson and the wonders of what people do in rage

This is Adele King (left, pictured with her daughter):

Adele King (aka Twink) is an Irish entertainer who has, for time immemorial, been a regular fixture on the theater stages of Dublin. She has sung, danced and acted her way through shows ranging from the likes of The Vagina Monologues to the Christmas pantomimes. I saw her once, when I was about six years old at the Point Depot in Dublin, and she sang a rendition of Send In The Clowns which brought the house down.

This is Mel Gibson (pictured with his ex-girlfriend, model Oksana Grigorieva):

Gibson is one of Hollywood’s most sucessful actors/producers/directors. He has produced such iconic films as Braveheart and Passion of the Christ, as well as the truly incredible Apocolypto – about the end of Mayan civilisation in Mexico, which was, I believe, one of the most impressive movies of the 2000s.

Mel Gibson and Adele King have many things in common, I’m sure. One of these, however, sticks out like a sore thumb. Both of them have been recorded on the telephone in anger, saying things which they would probably later regret.

In 2004, King’s marriage to her husband, David Agnew, ended. In 2006, Agnew (then aged 45) had a child with the clarinetist Ruth Hickey (then aged 29). Later that year, a recording appeared on YouTube of a hostile answering machine message King left to her ex-husband, presumably soon after the child was born. In it she insulted both the child and its mother and used coarse and abusive language. She also threatened Agnew with denial of contact with his children if any pictures of his new family appeared in the papers:

On the 10th of July 2010, recordings of telephone conversation between Mel Gibson and his former ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva (the mother of his child) surfaced on the internet. During the coarse of the conversation, he was nothing but violently abusive, telling Grigorieva: “You’re a f**king mentally deprived idiot. You’re a f**king using whore. I own you.” He also threatened to kill her.

The difference between King and Gibson is very distinct. While she is clearly motivated by an instinct to defend and protect her daughters from upset, Gibson seems to be motivated by nothing more than a selfish desire to be satisfied and a need to make others as miserable as he is. He used the terms ‘nigger’ and ‘wet-back’ (a pejorative term for Latinos) during the recorded conversation, and now civil rights groups are calling for a boycott of his movies.

But, either way, it is clear that neither of these people would ordinarily behave like this. The actress Whoopi Goldberg, a good friend of Gibson for many years, has come out in his defence saying: “I don’t like what he did here, but I know Mel and I know he’s not a racist.”

Ozzy Osbourne, one of television’s fixtures for much of the 2000s with his show The Osbournes very nearly murdered his wife Sharon in a drunken rage nearly twenty years ago. She did not record the incident, or indeed, if she did, she has never revealed it. But I wonder, would we be anything like as likely to accept him as the love-able, doddery old rocker he is now portrayed as, had such a recording made its way into the public eye.

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