Fame and fortune can really get into someone’s head, even to a person who’s considered level-headed and fair. It’s no coincidence that there’s been a copious amount of films centered around this phenomenon, whereby the protagonist succumbs to the seductive call of money and changes into a horrific monster.
That’s one of the many, many reasons why tabloids do so well and why paparazzi seem to come in droves. Many celebrities have been corrupted by dollar signs and adoring fans. Plus, the public has an insatiable appetite for drama. Lucky for them, there’s plenty of it to be consumed voraciously. Celebrities can’t help themselves.
But this article doesn’t just focus on “celebrity drama.” That’s too broad. No, we’re going to talk about a specific type of celebrity drama; the one that destroys not just the celebrities themselves, but their families as well. Here are the top 15 examples of how fame and fortune destroyed famous families.
15 Nick Carter And His Messed Up Family
Everyone loves the Backstreet Boys. Everyone. They just won’t admit it. Everyone also loves Dr. Phil. Well, Backstreet Boy Nick Carter came clean about his family on an episode of Dr. Phil. He talked about his drug addictions (which began at age 15 with marijuana before he turned to Vicodin and Ecstasy) and how drug addiction has plagued his family (three out of five siblings suffer from it). In fact, his sister, Leslie, died from a drug overdose in 2012.
While that’s horrific, Nick ended up not going to Leslie’s funeral. But the catch is that he wanted to. “I started to get blamed by the rest of the family. They were blaming me for the death,” Nick said in the episode.
That’s cold. Nick has also described his relationship with his family as “toxic.” It doesn’t help that Nick’s family tries to “use” his fame. A source told RadarOnline, “It’s never like, ‘We love you. We care about you.’ It’s always been like, ‘We need this and we need that’.”
This is especially the case when you take into account how his family treats Nick and his wife Lauren Kitt. In a Tweet, Nick said, “Wish my mother would stop sending hurtful and hateful emails to me and my wife. Can’t people just be happy for me? Or leave me alone. #hurt.” We guess fame and fortune doesn’t always affect the celebrities…but can all the more affect a celebrity’s family.
14 Drew Barrymore: Victim Since Before Her First Birthday
Drew Barrymore’s relationship with her family, the Barrymore acting dynasty, has been through hell and back again from as early as before she was 1! She’s described, in the Guardian’s words, as “being put to work” in a dog food commercial when she was 11 months old, developing a drinking problem at age 11, becoming addicted to drugs at 12, cutting her wrists at 13, and emancipating herself at 14. It’s no surprise that Drew recalls her youth as a time when she “didn’t really have parents,” according to More. Heck, by the age of eight, Drew called herself a “party girl,” going out with her mother, Jaid, and Jaid’s friends five times a week.
Even though Drew and her mother had gotten back on somewhat good terms in 2013, those terms were ephemeral. In Marie Claire, Drew said, “We can’t really be in each other’s lives at this point.” As of 2015, she and her mother have been estranged.
13 Kate Hudson Is Dead To Her Dad
It’s pretty intense when a father says this about his children, “I had five birth children and I now consider myself a father of three. I no longer recognize Oliver and Kate as my own… [Oliver] is dead to me now. As is Kate.”
Wow! The quote was from Bill Hudson and was speaking about his estranged offspring, Kate and Oliver Hudson. But we guess that this isn’t that surprising, seeing as Kate had told Vanity Fair that her father doesn’t know her “from a hole in the wall.” She continued in the same interview by saying this about Kurt Russell, “But I don’t care. I have a dad.”
Much of the drama can be found in Bill’s 2011 memoir entitled 2 Versions: The Other Side of Family and Family, which tells the story about his marriage to actress Goldie Hawn and what happened to their family in the wake of their divorce.
12 Madonna Doesn’t Care About Her Brother
We may not hear much from Madonna these days (and thank goodness for that!), but she’s still one of the richest performers in the world. And yet, one of her brothers, Anthony Ciccone, is living a completely different life, one that can be easily described as destitute. As of 2014, Anthony was not only living in a garage but was suffering from four broken ribs and a fractured ankle. And Madonna didn’t care.
Most of Madonna’s family have been trying to save Anthony, but Madonna still refuses to do so—an opinion that she shares with her half-brother Mario. Anthony even told the Enquirer that Madonna wouldn’t care if he were dead. “I doubt she’d even recognize me,” he says.
While fame probably helped in transforming Madonna into a colossal b*tch, she was apparently always that way. “She remains true to form,” said Anthony in 2011.
11 Justin Bieber Is A Jerk To His Grandparents
A lot of people don’t like Justin Bieber. That’s not really news. Plus, “don’t like” might be kinda underselling it. There’s a plethora of reasons why people despise him. Well, we’re now going to give them yet another thing to add to their “Why I Hate Justin Bieber” list.
This one has to do with Justin’s “relationship” with his paternal grandparents. Despite Biebs being a pretty rich dude, his grandparents live in near poverty. According to his grandfather, George, who suffered a work-related injury and whose wife is now forced to make ends meet by working a factory shift, Justin doesn’t care. “It’s like we now live on different planets,” George said to the New York Daily News.
Plus, Justin has apparently failed to visit George or his wife in years. And the only presents that Justin has given them are a TV and some money as a Christmas gift. What’s crazy is that Justin’s maternal grandparents thrive off of Justin’s riches. They’ve been given houses, cars, luxury holidays and “anything they want,” says George. “But for us, nothing.”
10 Eminem Throwing Serious Shade At His Mom And Kim
Marshal Mathers, better known by, well, basically everything else except his actual name, including Eminem and his alter ego Slim Shady, is notoriously regarded as one hell of a provocative dude, offending anyone and everyone that he decides to pencil into his rhymes. Robert Everett-Green said it best in a Globe and Mail editorial, “Being offensive is Eminem’s job description.”
Family-wise, the controversial figure has been at odds with his mother almost since the beginning of his infamous career, one that led to her (early on, mind you) suing him $10 million in 1999 for alleged slander on The Slim Shady LP, for which she only received $1,600 in damages by 2001. The release of her book My Son Marshall, My Son Eminem, didn’t ease relations. Sure, Eminem may have apologized to his mother, as well as reiterated his love for her in his 2014 song “Headlights,” but we think their relationship is too far gone to be saved.
And all this doesn’t even include his twice-married, twice-divorced ex-wife Kimberly Scott. Eminem and Kim married in 1999, divorced in 2001, remarried in January 2006, and then filed for divorce in early April, as reported by Rolling Stone. Amidst all that back and forth, Eminem thought it would be a great idea to write a song called “Kim” wherein he not only rapped about killing her, but referenced her actual attempted suicide (even though he changed the method) on July 7, 2000, as well as the fictional scenario in the song where Kim murders her husband and stepson.
Of course, this led to Kim suing Eminem for defamation. And that’s not even mentioning the song “97 Bonnie & Clyde,” said to be part two of “Kim,” wherein Eminem rapped about him and his daughter, Hailie, disposing of Kim’s dead body.
9 Lindsay Lohan And Her Parents
Getting into the spotlight at three years old can definitely mess with your brain. It all began when Lindsay Lohan’s parents shoved her into 60 television spots and 100 print ads for big-name businesses like Toys "R" Us before getting her in Disney’s 1998 remake of The Parent Trap as the lead role.
Lindsay was so innocent then. Things started to get crazy, though, as soon as she starred in the hit movie Meal Girls, the 24th highest grossing film of 2004. As Lindsay began acting out, she became the target of paparazzi around the globe (and rightly so). But this also pulled her family into the negative limelight. It was through Lindsay’s crazy exploits and escapades that shed light on her father, Michael, with his countless prison scandals (he’s served three years in prison for insider trading, charged with attempted assault on his wife’s brother, Matt Sullivan, and got a DUI).
Michael was so unpredictable and hard to deal with that from 2007 to 2009, Lindsay had to cut off all contact with him.
As for Lindsay’s mother, Dina, she was recently arrested and charged with DWI with a blood alcohol level of .20! We guess craziness does run in the family.
8 Alec Baldwin, Basinger, And The 7-Year Battle
All of the craziness in Alec Baldwin’s family life can be traced to the day he met actress Kim Basinger on the set of The Marrying Man in 1990. Not only did they both marry and then divorce (as most celebrities do), but they had a daughter together named Ireland, which only complicated things.
You can read about Alec’s excruciating seven-year battle of trying to keep Ireland in his life by reading his 2008 book, A Promise To Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce. The worst of this is that all of the craziness culminated to him calling his daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig” in an angry voicemail message to Basinger after she failed to answer another arranged call.
When TMV released the recording, Alec actually contemplated suicide, which he admitted in Playboy. Later, Alec told TV Guide that he was glad he didn’t end his life because Basinger would’ve considered it a legal victory. Wow!
7 Hogan Does Not Know Best
It’s ironic, but completely understandable that Hulk Hogan’s decision to create a reality show (VH1’s Hogan Knows Best) to help his family ended up doing the exact opposite.
While the show was incredibly successful, the damage that was done as a result of the camera perpetually being shoved in their faces 24/7 was irreparable. A big part of the problem was that Hogan’s wife, Linda, suffered from an ego-boost overload due to the success of the reality TV show, which soon led to a divorce. The split was not only ugly, but was broadcast across the globe which would later mess with his head. Plus, everyone got to see him hit rock bottom when he lost 70% of the couple’s liquid assets in the court settlement.
The blow was so devastating that Hulk almost committed suicide. And that’s not even mentioning what happened to their son, Nick, or what Nick did to his friend, US Marine and Iraqi War vet John Graziano. You know, the time when Nick, being an idiot, crashed his car (with John in the passenger seat) into a tree. John sustained heavy damage and would soon be bedridden for the rest of his life.
6 The Jackson Bye
The Jackson family has been squabbling for years and years...decades even. There’s so much drama that someone could write a freakin’ book about it (well, someone already has—just check out La Toya Jackson’s autobiography, La Toya: Growing Up in the Jackson Family). Because there’s so much to cover, we’re just going to focus on the latest that’s come from the fight over the late Michael Jackson’s fortune.
Recently, the family matriarch, Katherine Jackson, filed court papers alleging her nephew, Trent, for having abused and bullied her, even stealing cash and keeping her famous kids away from her.
While this is terrible, a source came forward and said that Trent is actually being bullied, and not just by Katherine but by the Jackson family. As the source says, “greedy family [members] believe they need to get rid of Trent…so that they can get their hands on the money,” as reported by Page Six.
5 Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, And Their 5 Million Children
Everyone on the planet knows about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s “adorable” relationship—one that began on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, led to their portmanteau “Brangelina,” and to everyone’s surprise, their eventual divorce in September 2016.
The split was initiated by Jolie “for the health of the family,” as well as irreconcilable differences. In US Weekly, it was revealed that they’d “fight over their schedules and politics” when they were still married. The worst of it was probably when the FBI got involved, investing Brad and alleged child abuse, which was later closed.
Nope. We lied. The worst was something Brad revealed in USA Today this April, saying that the divorce had been “very, very jarring for the kids” and that he worries about how they have been “subjected” to media narratives.
4 Britney Spears, Federline, Her Kids (And Daddy)
Britney Spears is a mess! Beyond her obvious sin of subjecting us to her “singing” over the years, ever since she became famous, Britney’s personal life has been pretty much a sad, sad joke. All we need to mention is the shaving-head-mental-breakdown fiasco of '07. But the worst is probably the things she’s done to her child, like the time when she drove with her son, Sean, on her lap.
In a CNN report, it was revealed that Spears lost physical custody of her children to her ex-husband Kevin Federline in 2007. Even though the reasons were never shared with the public, one can only imagine why. Yes, she may have refused to relinquish custody of her sons, but after being hospitalized, Britney’s visitation rights were suspended at an emergency court hearing before Federline was given sole physical and legal custody.
The relationship with her father isn’t that great either. One of which was only exacerbated when the court placed her under the full conservatorship of her father James Spears (and attorney Andrew Wallet), as reported on Fox News.
3 Blurred Morals: Robin Thicke, Paula…And Julian
Sure, you can make the claim (and rightly so) that Robin Thicke was already famous by the time he and his then-beloved wife, Paula Patton, first met (way back in 1991) because of Robin’s father, Alan Thicke.
But others can counter that all of the negativity began in their relationship of 20 plus years right after Robin really made it big...like big as in B-I-G. Remember the song “Blurred Lines” from his sixth album? Of course you do. It was after that and the infamous VMA concert with Miley Cyrus when things started getting ugly.
When Robin and Paula first shockingly separated after nine years of marriage, it looked as though everything was amicable. Just look at Robin’s not-so-subtle “Lost Without U” song and his unambiguous seventh studio album, Paula.
But not long afterwards, E! News confirmed that Robin was being investigated for allegedly physically abusing his son Julian, and that Paula had filed an emergency order, blocking Robin’s visits. Soon, Paula was granted temporary sole custody due to Robin allegedly having a history of domestic violence, which was only worsened when Robin received a temporary restraining order from Patton and Julian.
2 Jon - Kate Minus 8
The only reality about starring in reality TV is that it’s going to mess up your real life. That’s pretty much what happened to Jonathan Gosselin and his then-wife, Kate, who both starred in the reality TV show Jon & Kate Plus 8 with their eight...yes...eight children.
It didn’t take long until reality TV got the better of them. After a few seasons, Jon and Kate decided to call it quits on their marriage. Kate’s reason for the split is the most intense, saying that her husband’s activities had left her with “no choice but to file legal procedures in order to protect” herself and the children.
What’s fun is that the show was later renamed to Kate Plus 8, with Jon continuing to appear, while less frequently. Even after their divorce, both Jon and Kate continued to make headlines because of their messy fight over the custody of their children (which Kate won). Jon, as a result, has been estranged to some of his kids, especially Collin, whom Jon hasn’t seen in two years.
1 Mel Gibson Strikes Again: Oksana Grigorieva
Mel has said (and done) a lot of crap to people...even the women in his life. But that wasn’t always the case. When he and his soon-to-be wife Robyn Moore met in the 1970's, Mel was relatively unknown and everything seemed fine. But soon, things started getting extremely rocky, which should be noted happened during Mel’s heyday. Soon, they separated on July 29, 2006 after 26 years of marriage.
It didn’t take long before Mel got together with Oksana Grigorieva (whom he had a child with in 2009). But the “honeymoon” stage didn’t last that long because in April 2010, they’d already split and by June 21, Grigorieva had filed a restraining order against him to keep him away from her and their child.
In just a month’s time, the LA County Sheriff’s Department launched a domestic violence investigation. Then, in July, audio recordings were posted on the internet of Mel saying atrocious things to Grigorieva.
Sources: Rolling Stone, TV Guide, USA Today, US Weekly, The Guardian, New York Daily News