Yet another celebrity’s image crashes and burns with the revelations about Tiger Woods’ affairs. The rule in crisis communications is to get all the bad news out at once. Drip, drip, drip is not going to work because the news media will grab on to a hot story like a dog with a bone. In his situation, the bad news is so broad and torturous, that all the bad news may never get out.
But the point of this blog is not to discuss the merits of his communications and whether he miscalculated in trying to cover up the truth. This is the question: is he really sorry about his “transgressions,” as he calls them?
In truth, are celebrity mea cupas, like Tiger’s, really authentic? When celebrities get caught in illicit affairs, taking drugs, or beating their wives, they rush to the spotlight, often with wife in tow, to profoundly apologize for their misdeeds. They can’t believe the hurt they’ve caused their families and adoring fans.
This is my take on it: what they are really apologizing for is getting caught. Is it likely Tiger, or Eliot Spitzer, or LeBron James would have stopped their affairs if they hadn’t been outed? Were they sorry about being unfaithful while enjoying themselves behind closed doors?