Levi Johnston belongs to that particular breed of Americans Cast Into the Public Eye. And as we know, once you are Cast Into the Public Eye, you are absolutely powerless: you are compelled to sell tell-alls and cameo in movies and host reality shows because that is what society does to you. For every Jackie O, characterized by her devotion to privacy, we'll raise you an Octomom. In a world where 98% of humanity seeks out celebrity, we always feel bad for those few thrust into the spotlight after, say, a night of unprocted slap-and-tickle in the back of a Camaro. And then they go on Tyra. And Larry King. And the Today show. And do a GQ shoot. And, obviously, hire a publicist.
The Lifer: Brian Gerard "Kato" Kaelin
Prior Career: Full-time houseguest, part-time actor, wit
Claim to Fame: Incoherent and generally irrelevant testimony in the trial of the century
Cash-In: In 1998, he did a "speaking tour" titled The Sixteenth Minute, talking about not being famous anymore. Then he was on a show called House Guest where he crashed at the homes of other D-listers that never aired, and one called Gimme My Reality Show, plus pay-per-view Strip Poker.
The Example: Monica Lewinsky
Prior Career: Student, White House Intern
Claim to Fame: Did have "Improper relationship" with that man, William Jefferson Clinton.
Cash-In: 20/20 interview, Tom Green Show, SNL. Short-lived handbag line. Ill-advised interview with The Daily Mail after the publication of Clinton's biography.
Redemption: Now an Adult, Lewinsky has obtained a Master's from the London School of Economics and seems to be keeping out of the public eye.
The Pro: Ashley Alexandra Dupre
Prior Career: Aspiring singer, waitress, escort.
Claim to Fame: Slept with Client 9.
Cash-In :Appeared on 20/20. Dupre has allegedly hired a manager to help pursue her music career, and is in talks to develop a Tila Tequila-style reality dating show.
The Exploiter: Larry Birkhead
Prior Career: Photographer
Claim to Fame: Is the father.
Cash-In: Protective of his daughter's privacy, Birkehad has apparently hired full-time camera crew to document every moment of father-daughter bonding for such news sources as Us, OK, Life & Style, E!, Access Hollywood, and Entertainment Tonight. Sometimes he chills with Paris Hilton and talks about starring in a reality show with his toddler.
The Villain: Heather Mills
Prior Career: Model, activist.
Claim to Fame: Nasty divorce.
Cash-In: While married to Sir Paul, appeared on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Post-divorce, called Stella McCartney "evil," gave hundreds of interviews, fired people, talked to press, threatened to sue press, appeared on Dancing with the Stars.
The Cautionary Tale: Jason Allen Alexander
Prior Career: Childhood friend, good old boy
Claim to Fame: What happened in Vegas, like most things that happen in Vegas, did not stay remotely near it.
Cash-In: Hired agent, entertained offers, appeared in British documentary, failed to strike while the iron was hot. There but for the grace of God goes Levi!
Psst! Your Handlers Are Showing, Levi [NYT]