By Stephanie DuBois
What do supermodels Janice Dickinson and Naomi Campbell
, reality TV star Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth and rocker Courtney Love
have in common? They all seem to be determined to vie for the title Queen of Mean. These ladies are card-carrying, banner-waving divas, proud of the divastation left behind in their wake. In fact, they seem to be functioning under the delusion that meanness justifies the end.
The self-proclaimed "World's First Supermodel," Janice Dickinson is now offering her notoriously caustic critiques in her new Oxygen reality show, "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency." As though she's somehow convinced herself that brutal honesty is just the toughest kind of love, Dickinson was quoted saying, "There's no sugarcoating in this agency. If the kids don't get the honest-to-god truth from me - they're going to get it from (others)." Audiences got the first taste of Dickinson's penchant for ripping into pretty young things when she was a judge on Tyra Banks' "America's Next Top Model." After she was fired from the show for letting just a little too much of her inner biatch out.
"I was just telling the truth and saving these girls from going out there and being told they're too short, too fat, their skin's not good enough," she later told one interviewer. "I'd rather be an honest b----h than some a---kissing, sugarcoating, namby-pamby, wiping---s $#%@&*#@%. I made the show number one in 52 countries. And then I got the sack, and the UPN executives replaced me with Twiggy. No one in America knows who Twiggy is. There's no way anyone could fill my shoes. There's no way."
The 52-year-old Dickinson proved the cream doesn't always rise to the top, particularly when it's sour, when she went on to appear on the reality show, "The Surreal Life" with Omarosa, Bronson Pinchot and supermodel Caprice. Dickinson later ran down her personal opinions of her "Surreal Life" co-stars. Of Omarosa, she declared, "She's toxic. I thought it was Mr. Ed at first. Behind the scenes I lent her my hair and makeup guys, you know, to help her out. And after she said disgusting things about my children and accused me of freebasing in the bathroom-which I wasn't-she came to me behind the scenes and asked if I hated her. And I was like, um, yeah."
In the last episode, Dickinson recalled, "There was this blowout and none of the cast members stuck up for me." Gee, wonder why? "None of them had any backbone as far as I'm concerned. Well you know what? $%*& you all, then!"
In her autobiography, "No Lifeguard on Duty," Dickinson revealed her anger issues stemmed from incest in the home as a child. "That's what led me to a life of alcohol and drug abuse until a few years ago. I've had a tough life. I've walked some of the hardest pavements in the world to become a model - and that's why I'm entitled to say the things I do."
The one thing that can be said for Dickinson thus far is that her assaults - however hostile - remain verbal. Supermodel Naomi Campbell, on the other hand, evidently believes in communicating her anger physically. The 36-year-old diva, who was arrested earlier this month for causing a scene outside her former boyfriend's house in London, had to appear in court just the month before on charges of assaulting her former housekeeper with a cell phone. Campbell has denied the former employee's claims and the case has been adjourned until Sept. 27. But in the meantime two more employees came out of the woodwork to accuse Campbell of similar abuses. A former maid, Gaby Gibson, alleges that Campbell struck her while searching for a pair of jeans; and Amanda Brack, a former assistant, is suing the model for assault, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.
Now, one might say, 'Oh, they're just jumping on the bandwagon." But it's a bandwagon Campbell's kept full for a few years now. Back in 2000, Campbell pleaded guilty for hitting her former personal assistant, Georgina Galani, in the head with a telephone (Hmm, her personal weapon of choice?). Then in 2003, ex-administrative assistant, Simone Craig, alleged Campbell struck her and tossed a phone at her during an argument. The very next year, Campbell reportedly slapped her maid, Millicent Burke, across the face during a fight in her Park Avenue apartment. Campbell has been ordered to take anger management classes, but thus far she hasn't proven to be a stellar student.
Aside from never being able to darken Janice Dickinson's door again, former "The Apprentice" contestant, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth took her "woman we love to hate" act to such heights she earned full induction into the Reality TV Hall of Shame. While on "The Apprentice," Omarosa managed to alienate everyone on the show with her arrogant, condescending ways, often getting into downright nasty arguments with her teammates. Even the Donald himself, as in Trump, called her "rude" before finally firing her for not doing her work.
Several weeks after the firing, Omarosa tried to stretch her 15 minutes of fame by crying racism, alleging her "Apprentice" teammate Ereka Vetrini had called her the "N-word," which all parties have denied. As mentioned earlier, her subsequent appearance on VH1's "The Surreal Life," only cemented everyone's belief that Omarosa's penchant for bitchiness was no act. A TV Guide survey last summer voted her the most hated reality show contestant of all time. And while she was able to ride that spotted horse to the bank for awhile with appearances here and there and some Burger King commercials, she reportedly lost an ad for Clairol Herbal Essence shampoo because of criticism from customers and Ereka Vetrini.
A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but Courtney Love by any other name would still be hateful to those who've crossed her - or sometimes just her path. Love is still under probation for pleading no contest last year to misdemeanor assault stemming from an attack on musician Kristin King at Love's ex-boyfriend's house in 2004. King's subsequent lawsuit claimed Love poured whiskey on her and the alcohol bottle struck her left cheekbone and temple, that Love then threw a lit candle at King, jumped on top of her and dug her fingernails into King's left forearm and bicep. Then allegedly, yanked King by the hair, backhanded her, chipping one of her teeth, and as a parting gift, pinched her breast leaving a bruise. Whew!
Love was sentenced to three years probation, a year of anger management and drug treatment, and 100 hours of community service in addition to being ordered to pay a $1,000 fine, undergo random drug testing and attend three Narcotics Anonymous meetings a week.
One could arguably blame Love's meanness on her very public substance abuse problems, which more than likely stem from her troubled, abusive childhood, written about in her mother's memoir. But at some point even celebrities have to take responsibility for perpetuating the cycle of anger - regardless from whence it stems.
One thing's painfully clear. All the looks, fame and money in the world can't bring peace of mind nor soothe the savage breast. But a little bit of grace might help.