Bad behavior

Last week Charlie Sheen was hospitalized after New York City police found the actor naked in a ritzy hotel suite, where he reportedly had a porn star cowering in a closet, fearing for her life.

According to reports, Sheen was riding out a major cocaine binge, but instead of arresting the TV star, police let his ex-wife Denise Richards (who was staying in a nearby suite) accompany him to the hospital.

Now, although there’s been some chatter about Sheen returning to rehab, it’s more than likely that he’ll just return to a soundstage and crank out another mediocre episode of Two and a Half Men.

I’m not sure what pisses me off more—that his show is still on the air, or that Sheen not only thrives amid controversy, but actually seems to get more popular while his female counterparts in stupidity, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, are mocked and pilloried.

Truthfully, Lohan and Paris don’t deserve much better, but surely, there is a double standard when it comes to men and women behaving badly.

In August, Las Vegas police busted Hilton on charges of felony cocaine possession (among the heiress’ more entertaining excuses: “I thought it was gum!”). Then, a former Girls Gone Wild employee further tarnished Hilton’s reputation. In an excerpt from his book Flash!: Bars, Boobs and Busted,Ryan Simkin alleges that Hilton once smuggled several eight-balls’ worth of cocaine to Europe using an old Camel cigarette box.

That she put in her vagina. Reportedly, of course.

Meanwhile, Hilton’s former nightclubbing companion Lohan is fresh off a parole violation and is now spending her days and nights at the Betty Ford Center, where she must, reportedly, announce on a daily basis, “My name is Lindsay Lohan, and I’m an alcoholic.”

Reaction to both women has been typical. The celebrity news shows worked up a frenzy, and tabloids gloated over all the sordid details—Lohan arranged and sold a $10,000 paparazzi shot of herself outfitted only in a bikini and her SCRAM ankle bracelet!—all the while wondering if either star’s image will ever recover.

I never thought I’d actually say or write this, let alone think it.

Leave Paris and Lindsay alone.

Hilton and Lohan are entitled and spoiled, but frankly, the bashing—and speculating—is getting old.

Very few people seem to be worried about Sheen’s reputation or whether he’ll ever work in Hollywood again. That’s likely because we all know the actor—like Russell Crowe, Kiefer Sutherland, et al.—will not only work, he’ll prosper.

Mel Gibson may have lost out on that cameo in The Hangover 2, but there’s no doubt the foul-mouthed, allegedly abusive actor will, despite his current timeout for bad behavior, eventually snag bigger and better roles.

Which is not to say that Hilton and Lohan won’t do the same. They’ll just have a much rougher go at it.

Lohan may be a narcissistic addict, but she’s more talented than the narcissistic addict that is Sheen, and yet the only gig she’s got on the horizon is a biopic about porn star Linda Lovelace.

And maybe the world doesn’t need another Hilton movie (The Hottie & the Nottie, anyone?), but it doesn’t need another episode of Two and a Half Men, either, but that’s not stopping anyone from throwing $1.25 million at Sheen every time he mugs for the camera.

Kanye West allegedly bares all in an X-rated cell-phone pic? Yawn. The top to Hilton’s Indian-princess costume falls off during a Halloween party? Slut.

Hollywood’s bad girls may be stupid, shallow and in dire need of real punishment, but they’re no worse than the bad boys we repeatedly celebrate and reward. It’s time to stop expecting that they play by a different set of rules.