Why Charlie Sheen Gets Off Easy

Why Charlie Sheen Gets Off Easy

Why Charlie Sheen Gets Off Easy

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Dec. 29 2009 5:07 PM

Why Charlie Sheen Gets Off Easy

Jessica Grose Jessica Grose

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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Charlie Sheen's wife, Brooke Mueller, called the cops on him Christmas Day and Sheen was charged with second-degree assault for choking her. The latest on this scandal is that Sheen allegedly threatened to have her killed . Considering what a big star Sheen is-he's on one of the most popular shows on TV-this scandal has had relatively little coverage, especially when you compare it to the Tiger Woods coverage. What gives?

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Scandals that aren’t out of tune with a celebrity’s image are often surprisingly easy to bounce back from: after images of Kate Moss snorting coke surfaced, her bookings fell, but, over time, they went up. Revelations that Michael Jordan had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling barely dented his appeal, since the story reinforced the image of him as a fierce competitor. But scandals that conflict with a person’s public image can wreak havoc.

Charlie Sheen's image has always been debauched-as Gawker's Foster Kamer points out, he's a known druggie, hooker enthusiast, conspiracy theorist, racist and wife beater, and yet, he continues to work consistently. It doesn't make his alleged treatment of his wife any less repulsive, but at least it explains why the outrage is low grade.

Photograph of Charlie Sheen by Aspen Police Department via Getty Images.