Thursday, 10 December 2009

The world's biggest intervention

He may have starred in three of America's most popular shows, but David Hasselhoff still has his fair share of demons. After almost three decades of stardom he's amassed several generations of fans, and now his ex-wife is calling on them to help instigate a public intervention.

In the eighties he boasted a nice line in snug jeans and a pithily sarcastic Trans-Am. In the nineties he traded in the gay car for a bevy of ex-Playboy bunnies and spent his summers running up and down Malibu Pier in an equally snug pair of red shorts. Now, in the noughties, he sits on the judging panel of America's Got Talent, where the outfits may be roomier (at last) but his sidekicks shift a lot fewer calendars. Half-naked Piers Morgan anyone? Didn't think so.

Although AGT regularly wins the ratings war, David's own battle with the bottle is proving a lot less successful. His drinking problem first became public news when he got kicked out of Wimbledon in the summer of 2006 for being drunk and abusive, weeks later he was thrown off a British Airways flight. Of course, the papers lapped it up because nothing sells quite like a celebrity in full-blown meltdown.

Things took a more serious turn last week when the 57-year old was hospitalised after getting hammered at home. A disturbing recording was even released of his daughter Hayley's panicked 911 call to the emergency services - almost as disturbing as the recordings that Hasselhoff has released over the years.

Following the lead set by Candy Spelling, David's gracefully aging ex-wife Pamela Bach has done what any concerned family member would do - she's gone public: "The despair—feeling hopeless and unable to believe that things can ever change with David's alcoholism over the years—has affected our whole family. We want our lives to be different, but nothing we have done has brought about change."

Most interventions involve a handful of aggrieved relatives and some bitter recriminations, whereas this is an international call for "David's fans, supporters and handlers" to "save this wonderful man's life". I suppose it's nice that Pamela's been able to move past the ugliness of their divorce, when she accused him of breaking her nose (although the photos suggest it was more of a surgical procedure) and calling her a "bitch", "whore" and a "slut".

If David does decide to get some much-needed help, at least he can be sure that he can afford the treatment. His latest innovative moneymaking venture is a personalised greeting card service. For just $15 you could order an exclusive Hasselhoff Christmas card featuring a shirtless Hoff posing in an open Santa coat and holding a surf-board. As if the picture wasn't enough of an incentive, David promises fans "You choose the name and write the message (nothing too naughty!) and it will appear in an exact replica of my handwriting..." It's enough to make anyone hit the bottle.

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