Breaking up is rather difficult, whether you’re famous or not. And the situation is even more complicated if you’ve got children. Deciding who the children will live with, as well as determining which parent will have most of the financial responsibility, is never an easy task. And when you’re a celebrity, it’s not uncommon that huge payouts are part of a divorce in which children are involved.
Since money and love are two of the things that seem to get people riled up pretty easily, it’s no surprise that some celebrity custody battles can get ugly. It’s interesting and kind of sad that two people who once had such affection for each other can turn into mortal enemies when it comes to who gets the house or who becomes the primary custodial parent. Fortunately, some of these former couples have been able to put their differences aside, after their emotional outbursts, for the sake of the kids. But that doesn’t mean that some of these custody proceedings haven’t gotten brutal, and some have even gone on for way longer than they should have.
These 10 celebrities, who are known for entertaining us, were anything but amused when engaging in these legal challenges concerning the custody of their children. However, the custody battles were interesting to many of us, to say the least.
10. Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch
Kelly Rutherford, who is known for her roles on Melrose Place and Gossip Girl, was faced with some real drama when she and her husband, Daniel Giersch, split. The couple decided to end their marriage when Kelly was pregnant with their daughter Helena, and after her daughter’s birth, she and Giersch entered into a legal battle that got pretty serious. Giersch and Rutherford also have a son, Hermes, and when Daniel’s visa was revoked, a judge in Los Angeles ruled that the former couple’s two children had to live with their father in France. Rutherford has publicly disclosed her anger and hurt concerning the ruling, and has appeared on a number of talk shows to talk about the intricacies of child custody.
9. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee
Pamela Anderson has long been known as a bombshell that gets a lot of guys’ attention. But it seems that there was a time when she asked the courts to give some extra attention to her ex-husband Tommy Lee, whenever he spent time with their two sons, Brandon and Dylan. Anderson accused Lee of abusing alcohol, and stated that he was “angry and unstable”. She was concerned that he would cause harm to their sons and to himself. However, a judge in California denied Anderson’s request, stating that she didn’t see any evidence that would suggest Tommy Lee needed monitoring during visitation. Fortunately, in recent years, the two have been getting along pretty well as friends, and their children are now teenagers.
8. Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards
Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards were married for three years. In 2005, Denise Richards filed for divorce, claiming that Charlie Sheen cheated on her. She also stated that her then-husband was addicted to porn and prostitutes, and that he was abusive. Those are pretty heavy accusations, so Richards asked the court to issue an emergency court order. The order would stop Charlie Sheen from seeing his two daughters with Richards. Denise asserted that a serious issue in the home due to Sheen’s reckless lifestyle could affect the children negatively. This custody battle got a lot of media attention in the past, but the two have been on good terms for a few years now. Sheen even bought a home for Denise and his two daughters to live in.
7. Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches
Dwyane Wade and Siohvaughn Funches were high school sweethearts, and were married for a time. The demise of their love was just as brutal as the custody battle that came after the divorce. Siovaughn received “regular parenting time” every other weekend for the former couple’s two sons in Miami. She was also court-approved to see the boys several times throughout the year, such as Mother’s Day. Wade, however, was awarded full custody of his children. The allegations that came with this battle were messy (to say the least). There have been speculations that Siohvaughn is an unfit mother, and further accusations that Wade started dating his now-wife, actress Gabrielle Union, while he and Funches were still legally married. There haven’t been many mentions of the custody battle in the news lately, which could be an indication that the family arrangement is finally working out well.
6. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
After the Pop Princess and her backup dancer husband decided to call it quits on their marriage, Britney Spears was awarded physical custody of the pair’s two sons. However, Kevin Federline accused Britney of abusing alcohol and drugs while the boys were in her care. In 2007, Spears lost custody of her sons when she was pulled over and caught driving without a license. Chances are Federline’s previous accusations about Spears’ substance abuse helped the judge make the decision to take away primary custody. It’s no secret that Britney has been in the news over the years for possible mental instability. But she seems to be getting things back on track with her long-standing performance stint in Vegas. She’s been cited spending more quality time with her boys these days, as well.
5. Halle Berry and Gabriel Aubry
The stunning actress and Revlon spokesperson has a daughter named Nahla, with her ex-boyfriend, model Gabriel Aubry. The couple broke up in 2010, and a judge ordered Halle to pay Gabriel child support for Nahla in the amount of $20,000 per month. It would seem that this amount would indicate that Aubry has sole custody of Nahla, but he and Halle have joint custody. Berry is now married to actor Olivier Martinez, who had a widely publicized physical altercation with Aubry. Halle requested that she and Nahla move to France, where Martinez is from, perhaps to get away from the drama. However, her request was denied in court.
4. Usher and Tameka Foster
R&B superstar Usher, and his ex-wife and former stylist Tameka Foster got divorced in 2009. However, the custody battle over their two sons was alive and well long after their marriage. The in-court fighting lasted for years, and both parties made some pretty serious accusations, including a history of violent behavior and infidelity during the marriage. Whether or not all of these claims are true is debatable, and the former couple are likely the only ones who know what truly happened. But when the smoke cleared, Usher was granted primary custody of their children. The two have since decided to be civil, and Usher served as a source of moral support for Foster when she lost her son from a previous relationship due to a jet ski accident.
3. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger were definitely seen as a power couple in Hollywood. They have a daughter together, and were seemingly living in wedded bliss until things started to go downhill. After they decided to divorce, the two entered into one of the most bitter custody battles the media has ever followed. Kim Basinger was given primary custody of their daughter, Ireland, in 2000. Four years later, Alec was awarded joint custody, and insisted in court that Basinger was trying to keep him from seeing Ireland. Then there was that phone call in 2007, in which Baldwin left a pretty nasty message for his daughter after she missed one of his phone calls. This led to Baldwin being prohibited from seeing his daughter at all. The custody ordeal cost Baldwin $3 million, and lasted for seven years. Alec Baldwin has since apologized to his daughter and family, and is seemingly back on good terms with her.
2. Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown
When one of the greatest voices of our time married one of R&B’s bad boys in 1992, many were skeptical. The marriage lasted until 2007. The pair were a constant fixture in the media for their alleged drug use and legal troubles, even though Houston continued to make her mark in the music industry with timeless hits. Houston and Brown were known for getting into arguments with each other, and in 2003, Brown was arrested for allegedly hitting Houston. However, no battle between the two was as complicated as the one for the custody of their daughter, Bobbi Kristina. After a series of court proceedings, Houston was awarded both physical and legal custody of Bobbi Kristina in 2007.
1. Michael Jackson and Deborah Rowe
Debbie Rowe likely couldn’t have imagined the constant media attention she’d get when she married the King of Pop and had two children with him. The former nurse will likely always be known as the mother of Michael Jackson’s kids. The pair got married in 1996 and divorced in 1999. At this time, Rowe voluntarily gave up all legal rights to the children she and Jackson had together-a son named Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr., and a daughter named Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson. But she began a legal battle to get visitation rights in 2003, when Jackson was accused of child molestation. Three years later, a private settlement was reached. The child visitation agreement allegedly stayed in place until Jackson’s untimely death in 2009.
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