No one is ever going to tell you parenting is easy. It’s a big responsibility to care for and nurture a child, so, you would think that most people go into this decision with their eyes wide-open and are ready for all the responsibilities that come with being a parent. You’d think, but that’s seldom the case.
But because this is a list about celebrity fathers, those are the people we have chosen to focus on, and while there are some really great dads out there, there are also those who sadly miss the mark. From men who have had to go to court because they’ve skipped child support payments (some even racked upwards of half a million in back payments), to those who have said awful things about their child in the media, in some cases just to keep their own name relevant. These are some of the scenarios that deadbeat celebrity dads have found themselves in, but by far the worst of all are those fathers who have refused to acknowledge that they have a child.
Below are 17 Hollywood dads who really need to start taking some responsibility for not only their own actions but also the well-being of their children.
17 Brad Pitt’s Problem Could Have Ended His Marriage
I’m not one for believing every rumor that has ever been said about a celebrity, especially the claims about Brad Pitt that surfaced around the time he and Angelina Jolie were getting a divorce. A lot of it was untrue and according to The Telegraph, he was cleared of abuse in a child service investigation,
with relation to a plane incident involving his son, Maddox.
So, while some may be convinced that Pitt is a deadbeat dad, purely because of the things they have read about him in the press, this is one entry on the list which is going to be a lot harder to determine than some of the others. What I know comes from Pitt himself, because he revealed during an interview with GQ that he had struggled with alcohol and that it “became a problem."
He has since taken the necessary measures to ensure that he is sober, but did his drinking affect his children? It would be a jump to suggest it did, but it did seem to be the cause of his marriage falling apart.
16 Arnold Schwarzenegger Had A Love Child
Arnold Schwarzenegger may be a great dad to his son, Joseph Baena now, but for years he was not in his life because he reportedly did not know he was the father. The reason for this is because Schwarzenegger fathered Joseph after an affair with the family housekeeper, Mildred Baena. Schwarzenegger’s wife Maria Shriver, reportedly had no idea he had been unfaithful, and it was only in 2011 that she found out about her husband’s indiscretions. Schwarzenegger told 60 Minutes about his love child, stating
that it was not until Joseph, “started looking like me, that's when I kind of got it. I put things together.”
Although he never intended to hurt his other four children, Patrick, Katherine, Christina, and Christopher, by having an affair, his actions did result in his divorce from Shriver, and his four other children had to find out that they had another sibling they never knew about.
15 Skeet Ulrich Had His Day In Court
Skeet Ulrich is one heck of a handsome guy, but when it comes to being a father it seems that he falls short. I don’t say this because I know the ins and outs of Ulrich’s parenting techniques, but rather because he has previously made headlines for failing to pay child support. According to RadarOnline, in 2013,
Ulrich had to go to court for a contempt hearing after failing to pay his ex-wife, Georgina Cates, child support for their twins, Jakob Dylan and Naiia Rose.
The publication reported that Ulrich owed Gates $284,861.84 in support payments, and a source claimed that his failure to pay up had been ongoing for years. Let’s not pretend that we don’t all go through rough patches financially, and paying money when you may not have it is a hard ask, but then again, you shouldn’t have children if you cannot be responsible for them.
14 Jon Voight Questioned Angelina Jolie’s Mental Health
It’s no secret that there is no love lost between Angelina Jolie and her father, Jon Voight. In fact, if you didn’t know he was her father you would be forgiven for thinking that these two didn’t even know each other because they are rarely spotted in public together.
Voight reportedly left his wife, Marcheline Bertrand, when Jolie was not even a year old, but despite the split, he still remained a part of his daughter’s life.
But their relationship took a turn in 2002, after Jolie’s split from first-husband Billy Bob Thornton. Voight stated on Access Hollywood that his daughter had "serious mental problems” -- and if a family member made this claim about you publicly, you would probably also not want to speak to them for six years. The good news is that as of 2017, Voight and Jolie seem to be working to mend their broken relationship.
13 Michael Lohan Can’t Keep His Mouth Shut
Lindsay Lohan was exposed to stardom at a young age, but in her adult years, she became better known for her run-ins with the law and her substance abuse issues. No one can know for sure if it was the pressure of constantly living under the public eye, or the fact that she grew up too fast that contributed to her problems, but one thing we do know is that the actress' father, Michael Lohan, has always been there to give a comment to the press. And we mean always;
on her failed relationships, on whether or not she was rumored to be pregnant with ex Egor Tarabasov’s baby, and he has even read out the text messages she’s allegedly sent him.
You’d think he would stop speaking about his daughter, but riding on the coattails of Lindsay’s fame is the only reason anyone knows Michael’s name at all. The good news is within the last two years or so, Lindsay has lived a clean and happy life, and she has chosen to do that away from the public eye, so Michael doesn’t have much to talk about!
12 Dennis Rodman Couldn’t Pay Up Because He’s Broke (Allegedly)
Dennis Rodman is a bit of a strange character, but the reason he has found his way onto this list is that he has previously made headlines for failing to pay his baby mama and estranged wife, Michelle Moyer, child support.
In 2012, Rodman made headlines because he was unable to pay Michelle more than $800,000 in back child support for their two children,
a son, and a daughter, and according to TMZ, he had also failed to pay spousal support. But Rodman’s attorney responded to the lawsuit and revealed that the former NBA star was unable because he was allegedly “broke” and also “sick” -- which the lawyer later clarified was a reference to his struggle with alcoholism. Is this an excuse for his actions? We'll leave this for you to decide!
11 Charlie Sheen Is Allegedly Really Mean
Charlie Sheen is deserving of a spot on this list because of the absolutely awful thing he has said about his ex-wife, Denise Richards. You should not say anything about the mother of your children, but you should especially not be making public statements that include referring to her as a “washed up piglet,"
because what sort of message does this send to Sheen’s children when he shows absolutely no respect for their mother?!
However, this was not the first time that Sheen made headlines for such an ugly reason, and according to Salon, during Sheen’s divorce from Richards, she filed for a restraining order, stating, "I can no longer accept [Sheen's] abusive and threatening manner and must stop him from the cycle of his abuse toward me and our children and his continued threats of violence and statements." His ex-wife Brooke Mueller, has also been involved in bitter battles with him, including a restraining order in 2011, which saw their sons being removed from the actor's home.
10 Jeremy Bieber Is The Worst Dad
Justin Bieber’s father Jeremy Bieber, was not there for him when he was a kid. Bieber was raised by his mother, Pattie Mallette, who gave birth to him when she was aged 17. Pattie and Jeremy are reported to have split up when their son was just 13-months old and according to Daily Mail, Jeremy was allowed to visit his son if he refrained from prescription drugs and alcohol.
Also, you may remember the singer’s arrest in 2014, after a street race in Miami Beach, Florida. He was reportedly under the influence, and his dad had been with him (and is reported to have even facilitated the race) at the time. And then there are reports that Bieber and his father took marijuana on a private jet, and were reportedly verbally aggressive to the flight attendant.
The awful thing about this story is that Jeremy seemed to come back into his son's life after he was rich and famous.
And although it’s great for Biebs to know his father and actually have a relationship with him, we wonder if he contemplates the reasons for his father’s return to his life?
9 DMX Just Didn't Want To Fork Up The Cash
Rapper DMX, real name Earl Simmons, has fallen behind on his child support so many times that he has even been arrested for failing to fork out the cash. According to Billboard, in 2015, the rapper was arrested on a contempt charge for failing to pay his ex-wife, Tashera Simmons, and their four children $10,000 a month for child support (one of the reasons the couple split is because DMX fathered multiple children outside of his marriage). He is also reported to be serving three months in jail because of his failure to pay child support.
If you thought DMX had stopped making babies and therefore no longer has to worry about more child support, well, you’d be wrong. In 2016, he and girlfriend Desiree Lindstrom welcomed a baby boy, making it the rapper’s 15th child. And you can’t tell us that a single person can spend enough quality time with 15 children!
8 Evander Holyfield Failed To Pay Half A Million In Child Support
Evander Holyfield is a boxing legend, but he is also a celebrity dad who ended up in court over failed child support payments. According to TMZ, Holyfield owed $372,097.40 in support for his daughter, Emani Holyfield, but that problem didn’t go away and in 2012,
it was reported that he had failed to pay as much as $563,900,91, which suggests that he was skipping out on a lot of months.
This resulted in him being held in contempt and according to the publication, he was ordered to pay $2,950 a month to clear the debt. However, we should also note that Holyfield has a lot of children, and a lot of baby mamas (the last time we stopped counting he had 11 children from 8 different women) and had he been a little smarter about not getting women pregnant, then he may not have been in such dire financial straits.
7 Val Kilmer’s Ex-Wife Went After His Property For Child Support
Val Kilmer is yet another dad to make it on this list because he reportedly didn’t pay child support. Kilmer has two children with his ex-wife, Joanne Whalley,
who was forced to deal with a lawsuit after he fell behind on his child support payments.
According to TMZ, when Kilmer and Whalley divorced in 1996, after being married for eight years, he agreed to $27,500 a month for child maintenance of their two children. However, because Kilmer skipped out on child support payments, Whalley took a lien on his New Mexico property (which would prevent him from selling the ranch) to force the actor to meet payments. This was in 2011, but it wasn’t the first time that Kilmer had a lien taken out on him, and in 2007, it was reported that Whalley did the same thing -- however, the lien was removed in 2008 after the couple resolved their issue.
6 David Hasselhoff’s Daughters Witnessed His Problem
Unlike the other men on this list, David Hasselhoff is making headlines not because he is a bad dad, but because, according to his ex-wife, Pamela Bach Hasselhoff, he is an alcoholic. According to Daily Mail, Pamela previously revealed that it was her husband’s drinking that led to his downfall, and she is quoted as saying, “David is a falling-down drunk and I covered up for him for years. Alcoholism destroys you whether you are a regular Joe or the biggest star on the planet.”
Their divorce was ugly and it turned into a game of he-said, she-said, and in addition to Pamela reportedly stating that Hasselhoff once broke her nose during a drunken fight, she also reportedly claimed that when they were fighting, their daughters could hear. The site also notes that there was a video of Hasselhoff very intoxicated, with one of his teenage daughters begging him to stop drinking.
5 Karl Malone Never Took Responsibility For His Son
Karl Malone is a fantastic basketball player, but he is almost as well-known for his skills on the court as he is for his controversial personal life. And since this is a list of deadbeat dads, it makes sense that we focus on Malone and his relationship with his son, Demetress Bell. Malone fathered Bell when he was aged 20, and the mother of his child was just 13-years-old.
He was meant to be paying $125 weekly child support payment, but he allegedly contested these payments, even though he was already a successful NBA star.
But wait, it gets even worse, because Malone had no intention of mending his broken relationship with his son, and Complex magazine reports him as telling his son that it was “too late” to become a father (so basically he wasn’t even willing to try).
4 Eddie Murphy Was Involved In A Bitter Paternity Battle
The reason Eddie Murphy finds his name on his list is because he denied that he was the father of Melanie Brown’s child. Murphy and Brown, otherwise known as Scary Spice, had a brief relationship which resulted in the birth of their daughter, Angel, however,
Murphy refused to acknowledge that he could possibly be the little girl’s dad and what followed was a bitter paternity battle.
According to a report by Daily Mail, The National Enquirer had allegedly reported that Murphy claimed he was tricked into having a child, and that Brown had insisted she was on birth control. The site also said, "He says he will have to wait until Angel is older before he can get to know her without any interference from her mother."
Now, I’m not one to believe every rumor that has ever been written about a celeb, but if the reports about Murphy reportedly not wanting to see his daughter just because he is no fan of her mother are true, then that's awful!
3 Woody Allen Married His ‘StepDaughter’
Woody Allen is not your typical deadbeat dad because it’s not as though he forgot to pay child support or ended up abandoning his children, rather, what Allen is on this list for is something a bit creepier.
Anyone who knows anything about Allen will know that he fell in love with his “stepdaughter,” Soon-Yi Previn (who is 35 years his junior). The relationship is complicated, but Soon Yi is the adopted daughter of Mia Farrow, who in the late ‘80s was in a relationship with Allen.
We're not sure how exactly he started up a relationship with Soon-Yi while he was meant to be with Farrow, but fast forward two decades and the couple are still married -- they were married in 1997 -- so one could argue that what they have is true love...
2 Jermaine Dupri Was Sued For Lack Of Support
You may notice a bit of a pattern on this list when it comes to fathers and their lack of responsibility for their children, but Jermaine Dupri is yet another celebrity to have made headlines for failed child support payments. In 2011, it was reported that Dupri had failed to make payments to Sarai Jones.
He had previously been ordered by a judge to pay her $2,500 a month, as well as an additional $7,500 based on the results of a paternity test.
Dupri fathered a daughter with Jones, and according to Billboard, her lawyer said she wished to “work together to co-parent their beautiful baby girl.” While it is unfortunate that Dupri was skipping his payments, it should also be mentioned that at the time of the filing, he was suffering financially and had been trying to sell off his mansion because he owed the state almost half a million in back taxes for 2007.
1 Flavor Flav Doesn't Want You To Think Poorly Of Him
Flavor Flav is a celeb dad on this list who has actually spoken out against the reports in the media relating to his parenting skills, but first, you need to know why! According to TMZ,
Flav failed to pay Angie Parker, the mother of 3 of his children, as much as $111,186
and was facing the possibility of being put behind bars for 180 days. However, he avoided jail time by satisfying the judge in the case and making a payment to Parker. He also had this to say about the case: "No matter what's in the media, I am a good father to all 7 of my children. I'll never let my family do without! I do the best that I can with what I got and I try to make it work, and any man that doesn't take care of his kids is not a real man and he doesn't get good luck..." You have to hand it to him, at least he is trying his best!