It's not easy to say "I'm sorry," especially when the whole world is watching. The public apology is often a last resort for scandal-ridden celebs, and pack a powerful punch.
Donald Sterling became the most hated man in America after a tape of him making vile racist comments leaked. His mealy-mouthed apology for the remarks (though he claims he does not know if the tape is "legitimate") didn't do much to help. The furthest Sterling would go is to apologize for "comments attributed to him" and add that they are "not reflective of his views, beliefs or feelings."