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GMA fails to ask porn star suing Charlie Sheen: Why would he pay $3,500 to have dinner with you?

22

November

capri-anderson.jpgSimply mentioning the lawsuit and interviews "porn actress" Capri Anderson has initiated to allege an assault by TV star Charlie Sheen is playing her game, I know.

She's a woman at the center of the most embarrassing recent incident featuring TV's highest-paid star; after his October meltdown in a New York hotel room went public, a payoff or lawsuit was inevitable.

Still, I was amazed and disappointed at how Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos seemed to leave his journalism instincts in his office while interviewing Andrews, in a largely sympathetic exchange that felt an awful lot like a multi-platform agreement was keeping him from asking obvious questions.

Given the week of Thanksgiving is a traditionally slow news week, I guess it makes sense that ABC would leverage their big get interview across several shows, featuring Andrews on GMA this morning and Nightline at night.

As an odd bonus, disappeared MSNBC anchor Ashley Banfield is the reporter on the story -- a long way from her career-making turn covering the 9/11 attacks behind her trademark thick glasses.

capri-anderson-gma.jpgAnderson (real name: Christina Walsh) starts her GMA turn by saying her agent got her a gig attending dinner with Sheen for $3,500, no sex required. Stephanopoulos doesn't ask the obvious question: Why would the biggest star on television pay a porn actress $3,500 to spend the evening with him? Doesn't it seem likely he would expect sex?

She later says, after getting physical with Sheen, she stopped when he put his hands around her neck. Anderson says she didn't mention the assault, forced imprisonment and threats against her life when police arrived at the hotel room, because she was embarrassed at being around the police in her underwear.  A porn actress was embarrassed being nude around other people?

She also implied he snorted drugs and used racial slurs. Pretty much the worst allegations you could make about a popular celebrity in a prime time sitcom. And ABC seems to be enabling the allegations with a minimum of tough questions or vetting (to his credit, Stephanopoulos did ask Anderson several times, skeptically, about whether she went to his room for sex).

Again, the obvious question for Anderson emerges: Sheen's manager says this is a business transaction that went wrong, and the lawsuit sounds like another attempt to get money from a wealthy star. How will you convince a court to take your word over Sheen's?

If Anderson really is an assault victim who didn't think to press charges until weeks later, she may have a tough time proving it in court. If not, ABC's velvet-gloved interview didn't move anyone closer to  finding out what really happened.

[Last modified: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:38am]

    

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