How to Make a Public Apology

Public scandal threatening your legacy? Make an apology and get back in the world's good graces.

You will need

  • Intimate atmosphere
  • Contrite look
  • References to children
  • Addiction (optional)

Step 1 Get intimate Make your public apology in an intimate atmosphere, not at a huge press conference — a short speech or an interview with one reporter whose questions you can answer with a lot of emotion and very few facts.

Step 2 Look the part Make sure you look sorry, with bags under your red eyes from sleepless nights spent crying and your head slightly bowed with the weight of your crime.

Step 3 Know your audience Ready to speak? First, apologize to anyone you let down — family, friends, the public, and your chosen deity. Save a special apology for the children — merely mentioning the next generation implies a future in which people will have forgotten what you did.

Step 4 Don't go overboard Discuss how sorry you are — both for your actions and for how much they bothered people. Remember: you’re a bad person, but half the crime is that the public found out.

Step 5 Plan your escape Tell the world how you plan to get help. If you suffer from an addiction, discuss your plans to enter treatment immediately. If you’re just a scumbag, mention that you’ll be taking some time away from the public eye to focus on developing at least a basic sense of right and wrong.

Step 6 Get on with it To wrap it up, reiterate how sorry you, are and appeal to the paparazzi to leave your family alone — it’s not their fault that you’re a jerk. Then, thank everyone for their time, walk away, and write the memoir that’ll resurrect your fame before long.