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Gadhafi, Galliano and Sheen: What's With Them?

Mar 1, 2011 – 2:32 PM
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Mara Gay

Mara Gay Contributor

They're three men who have converged in the current news cycle: One rambles about goddesses and porn stars, another spews anti-Semitic rants, and the third claims the people he is bombing "love me."

Although actor Charlie Sheen, fashion designer John Galliano and Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi have enjoyed levels of success and fame unfathomable to most people, their recent antics -- from allegedly shouting racist insults in a Paris bar (Galliano) to denying the existence of anti-government protests in Libya (Gadhafi) -- could cost them dearly. But is there something wrong with the men, psychologically?

Charlie Sheen, John Galliano and Moammar Gadhafi
X17 I AP
Actor Charlie Sheen, left, fashion designer John Galliano, center, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have been dominating the news lately with their outbursts.
Possibly, some experts say. "These are people with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. They have an extreme need to feel important, to be admired, to think that they are, you know, amazing," John Ryder, a New York psychologist, told AOL News in a phone interview today. Ryder, who is not treating any of the men, said notoriety and power often worsen any personality disorders that already may be present. Sheen, Gadhafi and Galliano "are in position to take this power and run with it," he said. "But you have a lot of people just like them that run corporations or are in government or politics. Their egos are just through the roof."

Here's what the professionals have to say about the three men's erratic behavior:

Charlie Sheen

The 45-year-old actor was suspended from his $2-million-per-episode gig on CBS' "Two and a Half Men" after unleashing an offensive tirade against the show's creator and then launching into a series of outlandish ramblings about having "tiger blood" and "Adonis DNA."

But Sheen, who has openly struggled with substance abuse and addiction in the past but says he is now clean, isn't slowing down. Instead, the star, who is now living with two 24-year-old women he calls his "goddesses," has embarked on a publicity tour, insisting that he is misunderstood. "I am grandiose because I live a grandiose life, and I'm tired of being 'Aw, shucks. No, that's not me,'" he told NBC's "Today" show in a segment that aired this morning. "I'm 45 years old, and I'm not interested in people treating me like a 12-year-old."

New York psychologist Jeffrey Gardere says Sheen looks like someone who may be narcissistic and in the throes of a nervous breakdown. "He's saying he's a big boy, and we're not the boss of him and he can live his life any way he wants to. But he seems oblivious as to how it affects those around him, which is part of that narcissism," Gardere, who is not treating Sheen, said in a phone interview today. "He seems like a very charming guy and a very bright guy, but he's not even aware that he may be having some sort of a nervous breakdown."

Kevin Kulic, a Manhattan psychologist, agreed. He said TV networks shouldn't be interviewing Sheen but insisting that he seek professional help immediately. "He's been on what, five, six outlets? No one should be interviewing him," Kulic said. "When you have a swelled sense of yourself and endless amounts of money, you get treated as if everything you do is OK. But he needs help."

John Galliano

The British fashion designer was fired from Christian Dior today after allegedly calling a Jewish woman "a dirty Jew face" and a whore, then threatening her boyfriend in a Paris bar. "F---ing Asian b-----d," Galliano reportedly told the man, "I'll kill you." A video of the designer unleashing similarly offensive rants at a woman he thought to be Jewish has emerged as well. "I love Hitler," Galliano can be heard saying on the tape. "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f---ing gassed."

Without treating Galliano, experts say it's impossible to know whether he truly believes the offensive rhetoric or has a problem with substance abuse and cannot control his behavior. Either way, Gardere says, the former head fashion designer of Christian Dior has a problem.

"Any kind of anti-Semitism or racism is kind of a mental health issue anyway because many of those beliefs are not based in reality," Gardere said. "Most of us have the ethics and self-awareness to stop and realize that what we're saying is illogical and offensive. But when you have a mental health issue or a drug abuse issue, that filtering part of the brain starts to fall away."

But Kulic said it was possible Galliano could simply be an intolerant person who may or may not have a substance abuse problem to boot. "He looks like he's suffering from being a racist and an alcoholic," he said.

Moammar Gadhafi

The Libyan leader is waging a violent struggle to maintain control over his country amid a swelling tide of anti-government protests that threatens to topple his 41-year-old regime. But Gadhafi offered an altogether different take on recent events in the North African nation to reporters. "They love me. All my people with me, they love me," he said. "They will die to protect me, my people," he said Monday in an interview with ABC, the BBC and the Sunday Times of London. Gadhafi, according to ABC's Christiane Amanpour, also denied the existence of any protests whatsoever and blamed the violence on al-Qaida.

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Ryder says Gadhafi could have a personality disorder but might simply have an overdeveloped ego. "Gadhafi is at this point extremely invested in his personal views and will defend them and likely die with them," Ryder said. "He will probably go down in flames like [former Iraqi President] Saddam Hussein, who to the end said, 'I was right, you were all wrong. I must defend my perspective at all costs.'"

Gardere said some of the leader's thinking has been clearly delusional and has probably gone unchecked because people around Gadhafi have reason to fear him. "Over the years he's probably had some mental deterioration. Who's going to check him and say, 'Moammar, you're a little delusional'?" Gardere said. The psychologist, who has not treated Gadhafi, said it appears as though the leader cannot face rejection by his people and is living in his own fantasy world.

"I think for him to see that he has been rejected by so many is too much for him to bear psychologically and has pushed him over the edge."
Filed under: Nation, World, Entertainment, Health, AOL Original, Arab World Unrest
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