In case you missed it, former Saturday Night Live star Chris Kattan was arrested earlier this week for DUI after he crashed his car into a construction vehicle. The police suspect him of being under the influence of medications. If you watch the above video, you will see that Kattan could barely walk, let alone perform field sobriety tests. Based on the video, it is almost certain that his attorney will ultimately work out some sort of plea deal.
Until then however, Kattan has been busy tweeting. According to CNN, he tweeted:
“Those concerned or just adding gossip: I’m fine, passed all tests, released without bail, have drivers license, cop offered to drive me home”
And TMZ states that he tweeted, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all” in response to the negative reaction that he received as a result of the arrest.
When I checked Kattan’s twitter account, both tweets had been deleted.
As a general rule, defendants should not make statements about their case, whether on twitter, facebook or ANYWHERE except to their attorney. Otherwise, those statements can be used against them either as admissions, indications of guilt or lack of remorse.
It can be difficult, however, when the client is someone in the public eye, when it becomes as much a public relations problem as a legal one.
While I am a lawyer and have no P.R. experience, I think it is common sense that a celebrity like Kattan would be better served by either remaining silent or simply released a statement expressing regrets about the incident and that he is glad that no one was hurt. Such as statement might help to quell any animosity against him for his actions without doing any long-term damage to his career or reputation.
Instead, I feel that his tweets brand him as someone who thinks that this is just about himself and not about the people he could have injured or killed. He is a man in need of some counsel.