Whatever really happened between Keith Richards and his dad’s ashes in ’02 — i.e., he snorted a small portion with a line of cocaine or he used them to fertilize a tree — no one but no one believes Richards’ manager’s claim that the snorting story was uttered in jest. (Even if it was.)
Just as everyone presumes that Richards’ rep issued the denial because she heard from alarmed Disney publicist Dennis Rice (or from some lackey in the Disney pipeline) and was told that dad-snorting wouldn’t go over with the family-fare donkeys who support the Pirates of the Carribbean films in the greatest numbers, and that the whole thing needed to be spun into oblivion.
But the really ridiculous comment in this L.A. Times/Sheigh Crabtree reaction piece is the one in which Rice says, “Keith won’t be doing a lot of publicity for this movie.” In other words, he’s a loose cannon and his press chats on behalf of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End are going to severely restricted if not eliminated. What did Disney marketers expect when Richards was hired to play Johnny Depp‘s pirate dad? That he’d comport himself like Dick Van Dyke?