People are said to have made lemonade out of lemons when they turn a bad situation into something good. That, or when they make a zesty beverage out of these zesty fruits.
In that regard, celebrities have plenty of opportunities to make pitchers upon pitchers of lemonade. Look no further than Kim Kardashian turning her short-lived romance with a baller into a money-making enterprise, Paris Hilton auctioning off her failed-engagement ring, or Beyoncé recording and naming an album Lemonade despite not having a single track in it about lemons.
We’ve looked into so many injury cases in our Renton law offices to know that, in most instances, making the most of a situation — whatever that entails — is best. In the case of the following celebs, the resulting “lemonades” were squeezed out of a risky kind of lemons — motorcycle accidents.
“Lifestyle blogger” made lemonade out of lemons — with actual water involved
Lemonade: Media coverage and lots of attention
The first thing that any thinking person who got into a motorcycle accident would do is get medical attention. If you’re an Instagram Influencer, that basic human reaction may not always apply. Your priority would probably be spinning a yarn about “triumphing against the odds,” coming up with apt hashtags, and posting a neat Instagram post.
That’s what lifestyle blogger Tiffany Mitchell did when she got into a motorcycle accident in 2019. She turned a negative (a possibly life-threatening accident) into a positive (an authentic backdrop for a photoshoot, media mileage, and new followers).
Lemon: A motorcycle accident that she used as an opportunity to promote a bottle of water
It’s worth noting that, during her accident, she endorsed not an insurance product, band-aids, or driving safety gear but...a bottle of water.
To be fair, she also threw in a “shout-out” to a tattoo company.
Little wonder the whole situation turned sour. She got called out for turning a serious accident into a photoshoot and for “glamorizing accidents.” Some even accused her of faking the incident to use as material for her Instagram account.
But like every “lifestyle blogger” drama, there are two sides and hundreds of comments to the story. What she saw as an opportunity to tell a powerful narrative accompanied by arty photos of herself splayed on the side of the road with a bottle of water prominently displayed, others saw as a brazen, shameless attempt to promote products.
If the accident had happened in Washington state, where one out of five motorcycle collisions results in serious injury or death, she probably would have faced a harsher lynch mob.
Creative juices sometimes flow out of tragic accidents
Lemonade: The movie Blade Runner
Model and actor Brian Kelly had a semi-successful career in Hollywood in the ’50s. A shift to a career as a film producer, however, allowed him to leave a lasting legacy to the film industry.
Although he wasn’t prolific, he was executive producer to several films including one of the most influential films of all time. Blade Runner is a smart and thought-provoking film that was ahead of its time. Never mind the fact that it bombed at the box office.
Lemon: What was primarily responsible for Mr. Kelly turning to film production was a motorcycle accident that left his right arm and leg paralyzed in 1970. The event ended his acting career, but he used the money he was paid from the settlement to fund films.
Unlike certain peddlers of bottled water brands, the late Mr. Kelly’s “lemonade” left an enduring cultural impact that influenced (in the traditional sense of the word) generations of film artists.
Character actor improves his character
Lemonade: Gary Busey becoming a changed man
It’s always delightful to hear of someone becoming a “changed man.” If the changed man in question is someone like the naughty character actor Gary Busey, who famously overcame his alcohol and drug addiction, becoming a changed man is an unqualified triumph.
His being a changed man did not cure the world of a single ill nor did it result in great art. But still, it’s a good entry to include in a volume of Chicken Soup for the Motorcycle Lovers’ Soul.
Lemon: Gary Busey almost losing his life in a motorcycle crash for not wearing a helmet
Mr. Busey, who is known for being against wear-a-helmet laws, got into a near-fatal motorcycle crash in 1988. His accident involved a bus, gravel and rocks, and a slick street.
His wasn’t a do-it-for-the-’gram type of accident, too, in which the prospect of endorsing a brand of beverage is an opportunity not to be missed. Gary suffered from severe head injuries, posttraumatic amnesia, and being in a vegetable state for a couple of weeks.
Being a bonafide motorcycle lover, Gary was not just any changed man. He was also a man who had to change Harleys. And if his touching People essay is to be believed, dealing with the accident has given him his life back.
Call legal professionals to avoid legal lemons
Motorcycle accidents as bad as Gary Busey’s can be fatal. But while they could turn into a TV movie, a viral social media moment, a heartwarming anecdote, or a self-help book, in a perfectly sane world, motorcycle accidents should become a lesson in safety.
For accidents in Washington State, call personal injury lawyers Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams to speed up your recovery of motorcycle accident claims.