Celebrity Lows in 2006: the Drunk, the Dirty and the Panty-Free

Ah, celebrity lows ... so many to choose from, but we're trying to be selective.

Here's the best of the bunch, from the drunk to the dirty to the downright disgusting:

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Kramer Goes Krazy

“Seinfeld” star Michael Richards offends the black community by using the "n-word" and referencing lynching in an on-stage rant against black men who were heckling him at an L.A. comedy club.

On Nov. 20, he appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman," delivered a heartfelt apology and denied being a racist. But many say "sorry" doesn't cut it.

'Stupid Ramblings of a Drunkard'

Mel Gibson had a similar episode in July, blaming an alcoholic haze for his tirade against Jews after a police officer stopped him for drunken driving.

Gibson told the arresting officer: "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and asked him, "Are you a Jew?"

The actor pleaded no contest to charges of drunken driving on Aug. 17 under a deal in which he will serve three years' probation, pay a fine and attend alcohol rehabilitation classes. Just like with Richards, many felt his apology and offer to meet with Jewish community leaders weren't good enough.

Driving: Not So 'Simple'

On-again friends Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton also got busted for DUI in 2006. Richie was caught driving against traffic on the highway after allegedly smoking pot and taking Vicodin. Hilton claims she only had one margarita the night she was nabbed.

I Didn't Do It ... but if I Did ...

News Corp., the parent company of FOXNews.com, responded to public outrage and yanked “If I Did It,” O.J. Simpson’s book and planned TV special about how he would have killed his ex-wife and her friend … if he did it. A few weeks later, News Corp. fired Judith Regan, who planned to publish Simpson's book.

A Blurry 'View'

In November, Danny DeVito appeared on "The View" after a late night out drinking limoncellos with George Clooney, slurring his speech, bashing President Bush and copping to shagging his wife Rhea Perlman in the White House. Oddly, he appeared sober only hours earlier on "FOX and Friends."

Follow-up scandal: "View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell, discussing the DeVito incident, describes Chinese people talking about it as using the words “ching chong” -- a common slur against Asian Americans. Rosie apologized, but some groups weren't satisfied.

Dissed and Almost Dis-Missed

Donald Trump came oh-so-close to "firing" Miss USA Tara Conner after reports circulated that she'd taken part in underage drinking and using drugs. But The Donald decided that everyone deserves a second chance, and Conner tearfully said he had a "heart of gold" for forgiving her.

Follow-up scandal: O'Donnell tells "The View" audience that Trump's pardoning of Miss USA was nothing but a PR stunt. Trump lashes back, criticizing Rosie's appearance and threatening to sue her for saying he went bankrupt.

Celebrity Faux Pas

Gwyneth Paltrow offended many Americans when she was quoted as saying British people have better dinner conversations (she denied making the statement) … Faith Hill appeared outraged when “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood beat her in her Country Music Award category (Hill says she was only joking) ... Clay Aiken put his hand across Kelly Ripa's mouth while co-hosting "Live With Regis and Kelly," leading a disgusted Ripa to exclaim "I don't know where that hand has been."

Divorce Gets 'Real'

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline ... Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown ... Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro. It seems like every couple that ever had a reality show together kicked the bucket this year (following in the footsteps of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson).

But there were several other notable celeb splits in the non-reality TV world: Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock, who literally had more weddings than they did months as a married couple; Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney; Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe, who fell prey to the famous “Oscar curse,” getting separated only months after she won her Best Actress Oscar; Chad Lowe and two-time Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, who can also blame Oscar for their divorce, and Oscar-nominated Kate Hudson and Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson.

And Finally ... She Did It Again ... and Again ... and Again ....

From driving with her baby in her lap to her false-eyelashes-falling-out Matt Lauer interview to her panty-free adventures with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan to her divorce from Kevin Federline, Britney Spears had quite a year.

Spears may have been a hit on the Internet (she was yet again the most-searched term on Yahoo!, globally) -- but so was "Snakes On a Plane," and we all know how well that did at the box office.

Stay tuned for 2007's celebrity malfunctions!

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