Trump's Biden Investigation, Alec Baldwin's Suicide Message: Calls That Set Alarm Bells Ringing
President Donald Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over a phone call where he asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for help to investigate Joe Biden. A look at other calls that set alarm bells ringing.
Scott Morrison-Donald Trump
In early October, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison defended his controversial phone call with Trump. The New York Times reported that Trump had sought Australia’s help with an investigation into the origins of Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. Morrison termed the call as a “simple granting of a very reasonable request” to a “trusted and respected ally”. The phone call thrust Australia into the centre of the highly political investigation against Trump.
AC Cowlings was OJ Simpson’s close friend and figured prominently in the latter’s trial for the murders of Simpson’s former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. During the infamous car chase that captivated America, Cowlings was driving the white Ford Bronco. While speaking to the police in an attempt to get them to back off, Cowlings said Simpson had a gun to his head. The chase was covered on TV, interrupting the coverage of the 1994 NBA Finals and was viewed by 95 million people in the US alone. The chase ended with Simpson surrendering to the police.
One of the most famous scandals in American history that led to the downfall of an American president was triggered by a phone call. Security guard Frank Wills was stationed at the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex. On June 17, 1972, while doing his rounds, Wills found duct tape on door locks. Suspecting a breakin, he called the police, which led to five men being arrested. Investigations showed that the men were connected to President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, and they had been caught wiretapping phones and stealing documents. Nixon tried to cover up the crimes, but eventually resigned on August 9, 1974.
In 2010, a phone conversation between Mel Gibson and his girlfriend Oksana Grigoreva came to light in which the actor was threatening Grigoreva. In the phone call, Gibson was heard saying that if Grigoreva was “raped by a pack of ni*g**s”, she would be to blame. The scandal hit Gibson’s career who pleaded guilty to misdemeanour battery and was given 36 months informal probation, community service, fines and domestic violence counselling.
Alec Baldwin was in the middle of a bitter divorce with his then wife Kim Basinger, which also involved a custody battle for their daughter, Ireland. On April 11, 2007, Baldwin left an irate voicemail for Basinger in which he called his 11-year-old daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig”. Baldwin had to apologise for losing his composure and chalked it down to stress caused due to the divorce. In another voicemail, Baldwin said he contemplated suicide. “I spoke to a lot of professionals, who helped me. If I committed suicide, [ex-wife Kim Basinger’s side] would have considered that a victory. Destroying me was their avowed goal.”