Top 10 2002 celebrity excuses

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2002 was the year that the celebrity mea culpa became an art form.
In fact, Whitney Houston’s recent interview with Diane Sawyer provided enough classic excuses to fill a top-10 list all by itself. However, we didn’t want to shortchange the creativity, ingenuity, and chutzpah of the many worthy stars who spent so much of the year explaining away their misdeeds.
So, in that giving spirit, offers the 10 best celebrity excuses of the year:
10) ”I’ve killed enough of the world’s trees.”
— Stephen King, on his planned retirement from publishing
9) ”People think it’s s—.”
— Guy Ritchie, telling Oxford students why his ”Swept Away,” starring wife Madonna, is going straight to video in England
8) ”Tom Sizemore is a popular and nice guy. An individual became unruly when asked to leave and was escorted out of Mr. Sizemore’s house. Subsequently, the individual asked me, Mr. Sizemore’s attorney, for money. This is a shakedown and we are confident that it will go away.”
— Robert Barta, attorney for Tom Sizemore, on the actor’s misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly assaulting a woman claiming to be his fiancee
7) ”All I needed was, like, five hours’ sleep.”
— Mariah Carey, on her hospitalization for ”exhaustion” last year
6) ”All I know is, I woke up and I am covered in cream.”
— R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, testifying that he couldn’t remember an alleged air-rage incident in which he was accused of overturning a breakfast cart, because of a blackout he blamed on a drink and a sleeping pill taken on an empty stomach; he was ultimately acquitted
5) ”Sometimes when I’m sleeping, you know, it’s, like, in the middle of the night I’m not, like, totally clear. I’m thinking I’m sleeping with my wife…. I’m not even attracted to you! I am 150 to 200 percent happy with the wife that I have.”
— ”Survivor: Thailand” castaway Ted Rogers Jr., apologizing to tribemate Ghandia Johnson, in response to her accusation that he was ”grinding” against her in her sleep
4) ”It was the goal of these people to eliminate me. This business would have worked except for these five or six guys. They wanted to kill Michael Ovitz. If they could have taken my wife and kids, they would have.”
— Former Hollywood power broker Michael Ovitz, blaming his fall from grace on what he called the industry’s ”gay mafia”
3) ”Crack is cheap. I make too much money to use crack. Crack is wack.”
— Whitney Houston, on why crack was absent from the otherwise lengthy list of drugs she admitted to having used
2) ”I made a terrible mistake. I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.”
— Michael Jackson, apologizing for dangling his baby outside a Berlin hotel window, several stories above a crowd of fans on the street
1) ”I was told that I should shoplift. The director said I should try it out.”
— Saks Fifth Avenue guard Colleen Rainey, testifying during Winona Ryder’s trial, quoting the actress’ explanation that she was preparing for a movie role.