Celebrity domestic violence is not only not new, but seems to be on the rise. In 2009, the year singer Chris Brown assaulted pop-star Rhianna, 18 celebrity couples made headlines because of involvement in domestic violence. In 2012, the number climbed to 31 couples. By the end of July in 2013, 17 couples had already been reported to be engaged in abusive and violent relationships (perpetrating and/or surviving). In total, I identified 118 celebrity couples between January 2009 and July 2013.
According to Lisa, the argument started because Gilliam wanted her to empty her bank account and give him her money. She refused, and claims Gilliam attacked her, pulling her hair, throwing her to the ground, and choking her. She says he even threatened to shoot her. (TMZ)
Why does Celebrity Domestic Violence Matter?
As a sociology PhD student, my current research is a content analysis of online coverage of celebrities and sports figures making headlines for perpetrating domestic violence. As part of my research I am analyzing the framing of domestic violence, gender, and race. How does race and status influence reporting on violent relationships? What are the messages about masculinity and femininity embedded in our conversations about this social problem? By changing the way we report on these relationships, can we create social change?
Related Blog Post:
A message to the media on reporting on Domestic Violence