Thursday, April 05, 2012

Beard's Tell All Misses The Mark

When Playwright William Congreve wrote, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,” he may have been talking about Amanda Beard.

Olympic medalist Amanda Beard
In addition to training for her fifth U.S. Olympic swim team and a trip to the 2012 London Olympics, the 30-year old Beard is hyping a new autobiography, “In the Water They Can’t See You Cry.” In 1996, she grabbed the nation’s attention as a doe-eyed 14-year old Olympic gold medalist who clutched a teddy bear on the medal stand. Later, she gained additional exposure on the cover of men’s magazines like FHM and Playboy.

Now, she’s selling her new book; billed as a behind-the-scenes, no-holds-barred look at the real Amanda Beard. The details are not always pretty. She documents a life filled with depression, bulimia, self-mutilation and shattered relationships, in the hope – she says – of helping women who are facing similar struggles.

"I looked back on some of the things that I went through throughout my life, and I just know there are so many women and young women and athletes that are going through the same things that I went through," said Beard. “I felt like they could really take a lot from my story. You shouldn't be embarrassed of emotions and things that you're going through and dealing with. There is a way to work through things and come out on the other side and be successful and happy."

Unfortunately, Beard’s attempt at self-help quickly degenerates into sensationalism, name-dropping and serial buck passing.  

Enter former beau Carl Edwards.

Beard dated the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver for less than a year in 2005 and 2006. During that brief period of time, they reigned as NASCAR’s most-photographed couple; the auto racing equivalent of Tom Brady and Giselle Bundchen. Edwards and Beard juggled their relationship and respective careers for a few months before things cooled, as relationships between career-oriented 20-somethings often do.

At the time of their split, Beard said only that Edwards was, “too intense” for her liking. Edwards said nothing. Now, however, the seven-time Olympic medalist paints Edwards as an egocentric, domineering straight-arrow who caused their relationship to end “severely and permanently.” 

She says the Roush Fenway Racing driver was “adamant that his way was the only right one,” and that their relationship was based entirely on Edwards’ likes and needs. “He never asked me what I might like to do,” writes Beard. “He only wanted to be on Carl time. He couldn’t imagine any other kind of time.” 

What’s that, you say? A relationship between two career-oriented young people broke apart half a decade ago, and one party still blames the other? Shocking. 

You say the aggrieved party is dredging up old grudges to spice up her autobiography and boost sales? Unheard of.

Beard’s tell-all book is at times an interesting read, filled with first-hand warnings about the pitfalls of early fame. While not a talented writer, Beard charts an interesting course through the rigors of drug abuse, mental illness and broken relationships, giving hope to those who may be wandering the same unfortunate path she once followed. 

However, an insistence on blaming others for her myriad mistakes removes much of the luster from her story. Unwittingly, Beard portrays herself as shallow, immature, self-centered and whiny. And by trashing people like Edwards, she succeeds only in demeaning herself. 

"I did a really good job of… putting on such a fake face when I was out in public, or around certain people," writes Beard.

After reading her book, one wonders if that “fake face” remains.


  1. Anonymous1:47 PM

    "Beard portrays herself as shallow, immature, self-centered and whiny." You think.... With all her issues she still has the nerve to blame everyone but herself. She just needs the money, that's all.

  2. Anonymous2:10 PM

    Her problems were Carl's fault. Mikey's problems were Dale's fault. One book is touching, the other trash.

  3. Anonymous2:15 PM

    I guess maybe Carl's not the freckel face boy he likes everyone to believe he is.. To me there's her side, his side and the truth. If NASCAR fans are so one sided to believe Carl s the perfect gentleman then shame on us!

    But comments like Beard made only make some of his actions more clear as to the type of person he really is.

  4. Anonymous2:24 PM

    I agree, it's sad that her important, and potentially helpful message is sullied by trashing others. Would she have talked about the race car driver if he had been Joe Schmo at East Podunk Speedway? Doubt it. Is it news that Carl is intense? Um, no.

  5. Dave so your saying that she couldn't be telling the truth? I'm sorry I may not believe all of what she is saying but Carl has come off time to time in his career as fake and a little arrogant. So while Amanda's story may not be 100% true I would bet my bottom dollar that there are truths in her statements. Jmo

    1. No, I never said that at all. Re-read the story, if necessary.

  6. This is my problem with the Nascar media as a whole. You guys and gals cover up for these drivers in away no other press corp would in the 21st century. I do not hate Carl Edwards but when the guy talks, you can feel the conceitedness coming out of him. She spent time with the guy and is sharing what happened. You defending him is why Nascar needs a less Southern press corp. They need some Northerners who will call these guys out.

    1. "You defending him is why Nascar needs a less Southern press corp." Dude, I'm from VERMONT! LOL!!

      I'm not defending Carl, or calling Amanda Beard a liar. I have no way of knowing what their relationship was like behind closed doors. Honestly, I have no dog in the fight, either way. I am simply sharing my impressions of her book, and how she portrays herself and others. Read the book, then tell me if you agree.

  7. Anonymous2:55 PM

    I can see Carl being like this. He likes to play the good clean guy, but things like what happened with Kenseth shows he isn't all the cameras show...there is alot more to this guy!!

  8. While Amanda Beard is probably embellishing her side of the relationship, I don't find parts of her story that hard to believe. Over the years we've heard various drivers talk about Carl as "Eddie Haskel". Even his own teammates talked about how they were never going to be friends with Carl. I'm sure Carl has matured dramatically since then, bur I think its ignorant to blanketly dismiss Beard's account of their relationship.

  9. Anonymous3:52 PM

    I am a girl and all I have to say is I find it odd that she holds such negative feelings (so much so that she put it in a book) over a 2-3 month relationship that she,herself, states was glad ended.

    I could understand and respect her thoughts if they had been together for a long time and her assessment of him was based on months of dating Carl Edwards but this just appears to be a name dropping, smear campaign from a very insecure girl against those who may not have thought the world revolved around her.

    I am not saying Carl is perfect because I can picture him acting the way she says he did I just question her validity. To me adding this high profile athlete's name to her list of people that wronged her is just a way for people to buy the book.

  10. Dipship4:00 PM

    Ya Mr Moody, Quit covering up for Jeremy...!
    The problem with the media (news, stick and ball) today is they cover for themselves...and they'er from way up yonder....

  11. Dipship4:07 PM

    She's even hotter in this 2nd story...atleast you got a picture without that lonely dude she was with! Man... I can't wait for the 3rd part of this saga to come out.

  12. Anonymous4:11 PM

    depression ,drug abuse, self mutilation. And she says carl was the bad one. Good luck selling this must read.

  13. I'm going to give Amanda the benefit of the doubt and agree with her point of view regarding Carl. It's probably true about a lot of Nascar drivers, athletes and celebrities. Many significant others accept the fact that their lives will revolve around the "star" in the relationship in exchange for the security it brings. Others simply can't live that way and that's okay. My question is why did it take her the better part of a year to realize this wasn't going to be to her liking? Two, three, maybe, four or five dates should have been enough to figure out what the relationship was going to be like. So, there must have been some parts of Carl that she really liked to keep her hanging on that long.

  14. Wink Dinkler8:53 PM

    How dare anyone speak bad of a driver. She better watch herself or she might find herself with a $150,000 fine and a lifetime ban from any drivers pants.

    (There do you like that one better?)

  15. Anonymous1:33 AM

    Maybe there is more to the story than she is STILL be angry this many years later, it doesn't jive......

    Doug from NJ

  16. Given Edwards' periodic bursts of on-track savagery, Beard's tell-all looks accurate.

  17. Anonymous1:00 PM

    What a absolute C