The unemployed single mom turned heroic activist famously portrayed by Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich, was arrested for "drunk-boating" this past weekend! Don't you hate it when seemingly awesome people get caught doing decidedly non-awesome things? Brockovich apologized for her boating DUI, and I don't think this should totally "take away" from all the great work she has done, but all the same, it's too bad.
Also? She gets points for being sorry, but not for what is a pretty sorry excuse:
"At no time was the boat away from the dock and there was no public safety risk," starts her public statement. Um, well, that's great that she wasn't, like, speedboating around a bunch of swimmers or something, but I'm pretty sure accidents can happen at docks. And accidents + water, no matter where they occur, are scary and dangerous.
Here's the rest of Brockovich's statement:
That being said, I take drunk driving very seriously, this was clearly a big mistake, I know better, and I am very sorry. After a day in the sun and with nothing to eat it appears that a couple of drinks had a greater impact than I had realized.
Hmm. I appreciate that she's apologizing, and not in a "I'm sorry if I offended anyone" BS politician way of apologizing. However! Bookending her official statement with that "no public safety risk" line and her ultra lame "hot sun/no food" excuse really diminishes the power of her apology.
I understand that nobody is perfect, and I'm sure I've been in boats (and cars for that matter) in my life with people over the limit. I'm not saying that Brockovich should be locked away with no key, though I do hope she -- like all drunk drivers -- gets charged to the full extent of the law. I'm also not saying that she's a terrible person, or that this makes her one. BUT when you're a public figure, and you get caught doing something not only illegal but dangerous, you should really own up and apologize like you mean it. Don't give lame excuses that send the wrong message.
Brockovich was, apparently, intoxicated enough that a game warden could tell just by watching her try to moor her boat. Come on! It's reckless to drive a boat when you've been drinking; it's even MORE reckless (not less) when you know you haven't eaten all day!
Does this make you feel any differently about Erin Brockovich?
Image via Clark County Detention Center