Parents to young celebrities often find themselves torn between the roles of advisor and manager. The line can get blurred fairly quickly when a ton of money, fame and spotlight are at stake. Often, celebrity parents are celebrities themselves, which causes even more conflict of interest. Good intentioned advice and guidance often turn into ridiculously bad ideas and public embarrassment; sometimes complete career sabotage. The truth is, there is no handbook on how to be a good parent to a famous child. Some of these parents (probably) did their best, but their best fell short…way short.
Obsessively controlling, money-hungry or just plain “not cut out for Hollywood”, we’ve seen it all. Throw in alcohol and drug problems and you have an even bigger case of dumb-dumb parenting. Who could forget the slew of bad decisions that Ozzy Osbourne made with his kids, most of them broadcast publicly on their reality TV show The Osbournes in the early 2000’s? Or the atrocities that Dina and Michael Lohan concocted during Lindsay Lohan’s heyday? Those two were totally, totally nuts. Kris Kardashian was, and still is, Hollywood’s smartest/dumbest parent. Her marketing skills are clearly on point, but she’d sell her kids out for a new Gucci handbag with no hesitation.
Being a parent doesn’t always equate to good decision-making skills. These guys missed the mark- big time. Let’s take a look at who makes our list of 15 Dumb Parents Who Are Bringing Their Celebrity Kids Down.
15. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise was once a doting and dedicated father to daughter Suri. In the aftermath of his (quite public) divorce from Katie Holmes in 2012, things seemed to take a turn. Amid speculations that Katie left Tom due to his involvement with Scientology, the father/daughter duo became somewhat estranged. Suri, now 10 years old, is old enough to be affected by her father’s extremely hands-off parenting approach. Tom often goes MIA for stretches of time without seeing Suri. In 2015, it was reported that Tom hadn’t seen his daughter for more than 2 years. Like a true deadbeat dad, he has claimed that he calls his daughter often, as if that is enough to maintain a relationship. The bitterness seems to stem from Tom’s devotion to Scientology. According to reports, he was furious that Katie spoke out against the religion. Some have questioned if he has abandoned his daughter because she is no longer affiliated with his religion. All roads lead to: dumb parent. Way to go, Tom.
14. Dina Lohan
Dina Lohan, mother to famed Lindsay Lohan, demonstrated some pretty dumb behaviour back in the early 2000’s when Lindsay was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Her offenses? Being overly obsessed with Lindsay’s career. Dina, as Lindsay’s mom-ager, controlled every little detail of her daughter’s life, from wardrobe to acting roles. Unfortunately, mother didn’t know best. Instead of providing a positive example for her spawn, Dina was fixated on fame and money, and stopped at nothing to be in the spotlight. Many people speculated that she was exploiting her daughters (Lindsay and little sister Ali) to acquire a following of her own. The results of her interference? Not great. Lindsay’s career tanked, she ended up in rehab and was recently tied into reports of domestic violence and abuse at the hand of her ex-fiancé Egor Tarabasov. Dina has also been mysteriously under the radar, save for her appearances in Lindsay’s 2014 reality TV special, Lindsay.
13. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne
Oh yes, these two! Ozzy and Sharon make this list effortlessly. Their kids, Kelly and Jack, both had addiction troubles in their early teens. Could it be that the too-cool-for-school parents misdirected their energies on fame instead of on providing a stable upbringing for their little people? It seems that way. Raised in the shadow of their extremely famous (and famously troubled) father, the kids didn’t have much exposure to normalcy. Not to mention, the majority of their teen years were recorded for the highly popular reality TV show, The Osbournes, which likely blurred the lines between reality and entertainment. The good news is that the kids have managed to clean up their acts and step away from their previous dependence issues. Kelly has dabbled in a singing and clothing design career. Jack started his own design label, Tier1-D, and enjoys a low-key life with his wife and kids. Sharon and Ozzy are working on their marriage after news hit last summer that Ozzy had been having an affair.
12. Hulk Hogan and Linda Bollea
Despite their split in 2009, famous parents Hulk Hogan and Linda Bollea managed to fail epically in the parenting department. Their two children, Brooke and Nick, flirted with a chance at their own careers back in the day, but their dreams were quickly shattered. They were at their peak celebrity-levels when their family’s reality show, Hogan Knows Best, aired on VH1 from 2005-2007. If you can recall from the show, Brooke was working on becoming a singer, and Nick was trying to establish a professional race car driving career. With the right amount of parental support (or even supervision would’ve been a step up), these kids could’ve been headed towards success. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t work out that way. Brooke had to deal with a very embarrassing affair between her dad and her best friend (great move, Hulk). Nick had his share of woes which included crashing cars, felony charges for gravely injuring crash victim John Graziano, and a total of 8 months of incarceration. Linda and Hulk both moved on from each other to date/marry people less than half their ages. Gross.
11. Jon Gosselin
Remember this world-class douchebag? He, along with ex-wife and equally dumb parent Kate, enjoyed TV fame in 2007 when their reality show Jon and Kate Plus 8 became a huge hit on TLC. The show chronicled the family’s day-to-day dealings while raising their 8 children. At first, they seemed like a super likeable team who had parenting down pat. Little by little, however, the picture became murky. In 2009, Jon hit the rails and became the most photographed train wreck human in the media. He spent his days drinking, urinating in public, drinking some more, cheating on his wife, smoking drugs and wearing horrible Ed Hardy t-shirts. Kate quickly divorced his ass and TLC renamed their show Kate Plus 8. Kate now has sole custody of the kids, although she seems more concerned with getting manicures and hair extensions these days. Jon seems to have lost his money and his dignity. It was reported that he’s been working any odd job he can find, from being a prep cook to DJing at a local bar. Poor kids.
10. Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup
Possibly the founders of dumb parenting, Macaulay Culkin‘s dad Kit, and mom Patricia made some epically bad decisions back in the 90’s when their son was Hollywood’s golden boy. Little Macaulay became super famous for his role as Kevin in the beloved Home Alone franchise. His dad, Kit, became super crazy at about the same time. Taking on a very aggressive manager role, Culkin Sr. forced a young Macaulay into countless acting gigs, trying to maximize profits and popularity. Macaulay developed a questionable friendship with Michael Jackson and began spending a lot of time at the Neverland Ranch. He later spoke out about his troubled childhood, alleging that his father was physically and emotionally abusive. Macaulay had a rough period where he took drugs and partied pretty hard. He is now retired from acting and seems to be enjoying a more low-key life; he is involved in underground music and stays out of the spotlight. He is estranged from his parents.
9. Jaid Barrymore
Here’s another old school entry from the vault of bad parenting. Jaid Barrymore, mother to famed actress Drew Barrymore, exposed her daughter to the very adult side of Hollywood at a very young age. Hailing from a family of actors, the Barrymores enjoyed being the center of attention at celebrity events. Jaid reportedly showed her daughter the ropes of partying when she was just 9 years old. Drew developed a drinking problem before becoming a teen, and started taking cocaine at age thirteen. Her 1989 autobiography, Little Girl Lost, recounts her experiences as a young Hollywood party girl. She went to rehab at the tender age of fourteen, and has spent most of her life estranged from her mother. The codependent relationship that the two shared has been a cross that Drew has had to bear for most of her life. She has publicly spoken out about how dysfunctional her mother’s parenting style was.
8. David Hasselhoff
David Hasselhoff ‘s drinking problem has been at the forefront of his bad parenting episodes. Sadly, the Hoff’s addiction resulted in some pretty upsetting incidences for his two daughters, Taylor-Ann and Hayley. Who could forget the homemade video of Hasselhoff trying to eat a cheeseburger off the floor while completely inebriated; his young daughter filming and urging him to stop drinking in the background. This incident shed light on Hasselhoff’s obvious issues with alcoholism, but it took him a few years to get his addiction under control for once and for all. Two years after the video went public, his daughter had to call 911 when he had an alcohol-related seizure and was unresponsive. His ex-wife Pamela, the girls’ mother, also struggled with alcohol issues and spent 90 days in jail for driving under the influence in 2009. Sadly, his daughter, Hayley, seems to have followed in her parents’ footsteps. She was charged with a DUI in 2013.
7. Michael Lohan
Poor LiLo. Both of her parents have made the list. Michael Lohan falls into the bad parenting category with ease. A former Wall Street trader, Michael gave up his career in favour of selling out his daughter full-time. In the mid-2000’s, Michael focused his attentions on publicly bashing his daughter, selling tape recordings of their conversations and being an all-around shitty person. He famously engaged in too much partying; alcohol and cocaine were regular indulgences for the dad of six. He’s had a slew of legal problems, ranging from violating probation, domestic violence and robbery. He spent a year in jail and has had many fines and probationary conditions. It’s unclear what the status of Lindsay and Michael’s relationship is, present day. The two flip-flopped between putting up with each other to not speaking at all and dissing each other in the tabloids for quite a few years.
6. Britney Spears
Admittedly, Britney Spears has redeemed herself in the past few years, but she is a former dumb parent, and still deserves a spot on our list. Let’s take a journey back to 2007, when she lost custody of her two children to Kevin Federline. Can that sink in a little? She was actually deemed a worse parent that K-Fed. That’s pretty low. Britney had a hard time caring for herself back in the day, and it’s no surprise that she was not ready to be a model parent for her two wee ones. She reportedly took drugs and walked around the house naked, while her little tots were hanging out, likely being watched by nannies and babysitters. Little by little, Britney cleaned up her act and was able to secure visitation hours with her sons. Since then, she has made a significant change in the way she conducts herself. She seems to have no time for partying anymore, and has focused her energies on health, fitness and being a positive role model for her boys. Yeah! A happy ending.
5. Kate Moss
Kate Moss proves that you can have a successful career and still be a deadbeat parent. Rising to fame in the 90’s as a popular model for Calvin Klein, Kate maintained her supermodel status for over two decades. Her drug habits, however, have caused her some trouble with work contracts, and have equally affected her ability to care for her daughter, 14-year-old Lily Grace. Kate famously missed her daughter’s third birthday, due to being in rehab. Among other stupid things she’s done while high? Well, let’s see. She had to be escorted from an EasyJet flight for disruptive behaviour when the flight attendants refused to serve her alcohol. She was photographed doing lines of cocaine with ex-boyfriend, rocker Pete Doherty. She was dropped by fashion house H&M in 2005 amidst drug allegations. Overall, Kate hasn’t made the best decisions, for herself, or her child. Apparently, Kate Moss has cleaned up her act and her career seems to have recovered.
4. Charlie Sheen
It’s no surprise that notorious bad decision-maker, Charlie Sheen, has provided unfit parenting for his five children (born from three different baby mommas, FYI). His biggest offenses? Doing drugs with strippers in hotel rooms, messing up his professional relationships due to dependence issues, alleged domestic violence against a slew of women and generally being a douchebag. He seems to have lived a life of self-destruction from the very beginning. Born into an already-famous family, Charlie Sheen (born Carlos Irwin Estevez) is the son of Martin Sheen and Janet Templeton. He lived the life of a drug-addicted star for many, many years, until his health demanded that he slow down a little bit. In 2015, Sheen announced that he is HIV-positive in an interview with Matt Lauer. Most recently, he has been caught up battles with his ex-wives over child support payments, and is under investigation for threatening to kill his ex-fiancée Scottine Ross.
3. Nancy Dow
Nancy Dow, mom to our beloved Jen, is one of the most cray-cray parents on this list. She died last May, but that doesn’t exempt her from being called-out for her atrocious parenting. The mother and daughter were estranged for close to a decade due to Nancy’s antics to gain notoriety by riding her daughters coattails. First, she gave an interview to a tabloid magazine that Jen was unhappy about. Instead of apologizing or trying to mend the relationship, Nancy decided it would be a good idea to publish a very private memoir about her relationship with Jen, called From Mother and Daughter to Friends. Gross! When Jen divorced from Brad Pitt in 2005, she slowly began to mend her damaged relationship with her mother. They were able to create a fairly positive bond and remained in each others’ lives until Nancy’s death.
2. Pamela Anderson
Pamela Anderson’s sons might be growing up quickly, but that doesn’t erase the bad parenting she subjected them to when they were kids. Spawns of her relationship to Tommy Lee, her sons Brandon and Dylan, grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when Pam was behaving particularly badly. From selecting terrible men to share her life with (cue: Tommy Lee and Kid Rock) to her sex tape controversy, Pamela was anything but a positive role model for her boys. She reportedly let her sons see her completely nude when they were tweens, and famously said that children should be allowed to experiment with drugs and alcohol. She posed nude at age 46, something that could’ve been avoided to protect her boys from ridicule and shame. Her biggest offense has been trying desperately to find a father figure for her boys, while looking in all the wrong places.
1. Courtney Love
Courtney Love, the famed widow of Kurt Cobain, has been anything but a positive role model for youth. Their daughter, Frances Bean, was born in 1992, less than two years before Kurt’s suicide, and smack dab in the middle of Courtney’s peak drug use. Heroin junkie rock star girl, Courtney reportedly used drugs throughout her pregnancy. Despite denying these allegations, she did lose custody of her daughter some years later when she was arrested for possession of OxyContin. It seems that her daughter, now 23, has not adopted her parents love of partying. She has kept a low-profile and stayed out of the spotlight. The mother and daughter were estranged for most of Frances’ life, but now seem to have a pretty good relationship with each other. Frances is engaged to Eeries singer, Isaiah Silva.