Troubled Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines actor and former “hey! that kid!” Nick Stahl was picked up in Hollywood yesterday (Dec. 27) and charged with lewd conduct. Stahl was reportedly arrested for touching himself as he watched a ‘mature’ film in a private booth.
So he was toying with the ol’ John Connor. Reprogramming the cyborg. Rising the machines. Wait…these aren’t working, are they?
2012 has not been a good year for the 33-year-old Stahl. His marriage broke-up early in the the year, spurring a custody battle over daughter Margo. Said custody battle became more of a custody walk-in-the-park for Stahl’s wife when he disappeared in May. Stahl was reportedly seen on Skid Row, drunk and high (he struggles with addiction). When he resurfaced and checked into rehab, he promptly checked himself out, heading to a friend’s apartment before promptly disappearing again — this time for over a month.
But now Stahl is reportedly trying to get well, seeking support from AA and reconciling with family members. And what he probably didn’t need was a bust for roughing up his little “man without a face” in a public place.
Y’know what, readers? While I have no stake in Nick Stahl’s success or wellness, I have strong opinions on this latest bust, his latest stumble. And said opinions are not about the downward momentum of former child stars. Said opinions are not about addiction being a disease that feeds and feeds on self-sabotage. Said opinions aren’t even about the fact that maybe someone should’ve arrested him nine years ago when he helped perpetrate T3 against an innocent viewing public.
Said opinions—actually opinion, singular—focus on the absurdity of arresting people for masturbating in places built for watching porn.
In my somewhat unlikely and accidental quest to become MamaPop’s Celeb Wank-Yanker Ace Reporter, this summer I wrote about Fred Willard’s arrest for lewd conduct in an adult theater. And I stand by what I said then, spending any resources on cases like Willard’s or Stahl’s is asinine. And more importantly (boy, was I smart that day!) ”He didn’t harm anyone. If you want to tackle the very existence of publicly consumed porn, that’s a different debate.”
I mean, what do we care if Nick Stahl wiped out a few Resistance Officers while watching an uprising? IN A PRIVATE VIEWING BOOTH AT A PORN EMPORIUM? It wasn’t a phone booth, a booth at Chuck E. Cheese, or at the foot of a portrait of John Wilkes Booth. It was a booth specifically constructed to afford adults a private moment while watching people simulate sex in such a way that the person watching it will…well, will jerk off in a booth.
With TMZ reporting that the same squad that busted Willard at the Tiki Theater in July busted Stahl last night, I have to question the LAPD’s priorities. Were they looking sex trafficked teen girls? Or, I dunno, STASHES OF ASSAULT WEAPONS? Or were they just looking for the latest celeb to rap on the knuckles for knuckle child abandonment?
So I’m not mad at Nick Stahl. Nor do I think this incident, in and of itself, is a bad sign about his recovery. But I do think that if Stahl wasn’t watching Sperminator 3: Rise of the Machines, I quit blogging forever.