Friday, January 31, 2014

Did Sharon Osbourne throw Leif Garrett under the bus?

As promised, this page is geared towards keeping children safe. That means all children, including those of certain privilege. Today’s blog is going in a different direction and will focus on something Sharon Osbourne recently said on “The Talk”. It is important to look at because everything we say and do can have a negative or positive impact on those around us, especially when what you say is aired throughout the world. Sharon Osbourne is the first one who should recognize that.

Congratulations to Jack Osbourne for breaking the cycle of addiction

What did Sharon Osbourne say that created such a whirlwind of controversy? She has been nailing Justin Bieber left and right. She joined in on the outrage that seems to have the entire country in an uproar. While doing that, she compared Bieber to Leif Garrett. That’s not so shocking considering every media outlet has been doing it. What created a small typhoon of backlash was when she said Leif Garrett was living under a bridge and saving a place for Bieber.

Sharon talks about being hard on Bieber

The comment was not justified in any way. Garrett is not and, as far as all sources go, has not ever lived under a bridge. When her co-panelist tried to clarify Sharon’s statement by saying that he’s not really living under a bridge, Sharon clearly stated that he was indeed in that living situation. Leif Garrett showed up on a subsequent “The Talk” show to dispute what she said.

Garrett looked directly in Mrs. Osbourne’s eyes when he asked her where she got the idea that he was living under a bridge. It was only then that she said she only meant it figuratively rather than literally. Leif Garrett has had serious drug problems in the past. He makes no bones about that fact. He has also never made bones about the fact that he had certain idols of his own back in those days. He wanted to be a rocker, not a bubblegum popper. He emulated those idols and behaved as he saw them behaving. That is not an excuse for using. It appears that he now understands that what he does is on his own shoulders, not the rest of the world. That does not negate the fact that children watch what the adults around them are doing and oftentimes fall into deadly traps because of it.

Leif could have been rude to Sharon because of her comments. He could have, but, that is not his style. He was, as always, a very gracious guest on the show. He was as polite as he could possibly be, yet he got his point across clearly and concisely. He appears to have truly beaten his addiction this time and deserves kudos for that. It has not been an easy fight for him. Good luck to Leif in his endeavors.

As for Sharon, please make sure that you look at how the limelight caused devastation in your own family before throwing someone else under the bus. Did you do that because you thought Leif was truly living under the bridge and would never know the difference?

Leif Garrett was a teen idol in the seventies. He was also one of the subjects that I studied while doing research for my newly released book, “Danny’s Grace”. The book in no way reflects Leif’s life other than the main character and Leif both had drug addiction problems and were teen idols. Other subjects that were studied prior to writing the book include Donny Osmond, David Cassidy, Shaun Cassidy, Andy Gibb, and Michael Jackson. These were all powerful presences of the time period. They were all young when they started their careers, they all fell victim to the fever of fame in one way or another. Some came out just fine, others have to live with poor decision making and bad adult role models, and some eventually died still a victim to the system we call the entertainment industry.

Screaming to deport Justin Bieber is silly because that will hardly fix the problem that we all help to create. There has to be an overhaul of the way parents allow their children to be handled when they are in the limelight. An overhaul in the industry and the way it conducts business with children is necessary too. Children who grow up in the limelight often die too soon. Anissa Jones, Dana Plato, and Michael Jackson were all plagued by their past super-stardom. Justin Bieber is just one more person for the public to play target practice with. Stop pointing the arrow at them and start changing the way business is conducted. These people are a fine example of what happens when it goes from “Awe, isn’t he cute?” to “You little slime ball, get out of my face.”

In closing this post, I would like to wish nothing but the best to Leif with his upcoming book, and any other sober ventures he takes. It certainly was not fun watching you nosedive into drug abuse, but it sure will be fun watching you come to a new place in your life where you have the knowledge of your past to keep you from falling back into the snake pit. Onward and upward!

The entire episode with Leif's Dispute (This video is probably only available for a limited time)

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