When you’re a famous celebrity, a big part of staying in the spotlight is managing public perception. It’s bad enough when you make mistakes with your own career by getting caught up in personal demons, but when your family does it, there’s something about that which often makes both the celebrity and the family look bad. It’s not necessarily the fault of celebs that their kids act irrationally, but that doesn’t change the fact that the public can sometimes unfairly hold the rich and famous to a higher standard.
Frequently, it’s no one’s fault. Sometimes, the kids of celebrities are simply way too young to realize each and every embarrassing moment. It’s just something little kids do. As you read on, you’ll realize some of these moments are actually pretty cute.
But, celebrities don’t have the right to exclusively complain. Many famous actors and musicians aren’t doing their own families any favors. From blowing their ridiculous amounts of money to acting out, sometimes even just using their fame as a way to embarrass their kids, it’s tough to be the son, daughter, or relative of someone famous. You don’t have the same laundry list of issues most people do, but your problems are completely unique.
We’ve compiled 20 instances where famous families haven’t done each other any favors. In 10 cases, the family members embarrassed their famous parents and in 10 cases, the famous parents embarrassed their unsuspecting families. Some are cute, some are not. It just goes to show that being famous or being related to someone who is, does not mean your life comes without trouble.
20 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Hulk Hogan
In 2007, when Nick Hogan (Nick Bollea being his given name) crashed a car while under the influence and severely injured his friend, it was not a good look for Hulk Hogan. Nick was too young to drive and a young man named John Graziano, wound up severely brain damaged. It got worse when the Hulkster would visit Nick during his sentence and audio recordings leaked that shed light on the fact Nick was not a good kid.
Hulk Hogan was still doing well for himself in the wrestling industry at that time and Nick and Brooke (Hulk’s daughter) simply had to stay out of trouble. Nick squandered a golden opportunity and made Hulk look like a pretty terrible father. The family has been looked at as highly dysfunctional since.
19 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Nick Hogan
Hulk Hogan isn’t exactly a prince either. Sure, Nick and Brooke haven’t helped his cause, but Terry Bollea (Hulk Hogan) has no trouble making a fool of himself and hurting his own family name.
Hulk Hogan has gotten in hot water for being unfaithful, for making racist remarks, for having a s*x tape and potentially almost as bad for making some incredibly bad movies and television shows that any child would be embarrassed to share their dad was a part of. Anyone who was involved with The Nanny or Thunder in Paradise has to feel shame. Overall, the Hogans are not exactly the family model you want to try and emulate.
18 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Nicole Richie
Lionel Richie is one of the most famous singer/songwriters in music history. With hits like “Hello” and “Dancing on the Ceiling” he was influential during the 1980’s and still performs today. His daughter, Nicole Richie, didn’t seem to get that gene. Instead, Nicole made a name for herself on a reality show with Paris Hilton and basically made money doing nothing that involved any real talent. While she seems to have been past that stage now, Nicole was, at one time, one of Hollywood’s most notorious party girls. She has been charged with heroin possession, as well as convictions for drunk driving.
Lionel should be a prouder papa these days as Nicole is married, has two kids, and seems to be making something out of being a mother with a more respectable career.
17 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Brooklyn Beckham
This entry isn’t terribly distasteful or damaging, but when you’re 16, your social life is about as important as it gets. In 2015, then 16-year-old Brooklyn Beckham, oldest son of soccer star David Beckham and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, had to sit in the audience at the James Corden show and listen as David talked about being the chaperone on Brooklyn’s first date. If once wasn’t enough, David later went on Jimmy Kimmel’s show and discussed how much Brooklyn tried to avoid having David around he and his classmates. He would do things like ask his dad to park around the corner when picking him up at school. Of course, David understood that this was just a phase, so he respected Brooklyn’s wishes by screaming “I love you!” to his son in public and posting embarrassing kid/parent photos of their family together on Twitter.
16 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Martin Sheen
Charlie basically tossed his status as the highest paid television actor in history out the window. He made insane public comments about his boss, got in trouble for assaulting his wife, and went on drunken media blitzes that were often so incoherent that you wondered if Charlie was trying to create his own unique language. Last we’d heard was that Charlie was so financially broke that he had to ask both ex-wives to lower their requests for child support. Also, he was living back at home with his parents. It’s hard not to have this look embarrassing for everyone. Thank goodness Martin still has Emilio Estevez to carry on the family name. Oh, hey, never mind.
15 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Jessica Simpson
The Simpson parents have never been exactly normal. Recently divorced and having fought over their daughter’s fortune, it was when her parents were together that Jessica Simpson was likely most embarrassed.
In 2004, when Jessica was still a major star in front of the camera and behind a microphone, her father, Joe, famously went public complimenting his daughter’s wonderful breast size. Not to be outdone, he went into detail describing what made Jessica so sexy. It’s kind of creepy when your father talks about how you look just as good in a t-shirt or a bustier and that when you have breasts the size of his daughters, there’s really nothing you can do to make her not look sexy. I’m sure coming from someone else, Jessica might have found that flattering. I’m sure Joe’s wife was fond of his statements as well.
14 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas is a highly respected actor in Hollywood. His son, Cameron Douglas, was a well-known convict who spent five years in jail after a string of drug-related charges. Of course, jail didn’t seem to slow Cameron down as he admitted to having had drugs smuggled into prison, and he got additional time added to his sentence.
In August of 2016, Cameron was released after almost seven years behind bars and Michael, being the loving father that he is, admitted to being disappointed but also felt that Cameron was being made an example of, thanks to his last name. Cameron wrote an essay over his disappointment that the justice system felt it more appropriate to lock him up and throw away the key than to help him seek treatment for his issues.
13 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Lourdes Leon
Madonna was risque before risque was cool. In the 1980’s, she built a career on not only being a good singer but also by being controversial. Even in the latter half of her life, she’s only calmed down a little. She’s now got a daughter named Lourdes and Lourdes is constantly trying to calm the waters of Madonna’s often strange behavior.
In 2011, Madonna attended the Vanity Fair Oscars party wearing basically a black leotard and some lace. At the time, Madonna would have been 52 years old. She probably still looked good, but thrusting your “assets” to a bunch of photographers with your daughter in the audience is potentially more than Lourdes was ready for. She pleaded with her mom to take some of her own advice and start acting like an adult.
12 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Julie Bowen
Modern Family star, Julie Bowen, has three sons and she’s admitted to finding it difficult when they were young to finding time to fit everything in. One of her shortcuts was breast pumping while driving. She describes the task as just another way to get through the day. She would just pop it on and start driving. She got so used to doing it that she would forget she was even wearing it.
Bowen describes an incident where she was once pulled over by a police officer and she forgot she still had the pump attached to her breast. She rolled down the window to talk to the officer only to realize as he approached that she was still wearing it. She immediately panicked and frantically asked the officer to stay away. I’m sure the officer was confused and Bowen was extremely embarrassed.
11 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Coco Arquette
This entry is something almost every parent has done. Most of the time, however, it’s not in front of a couple million people. Coco Arquette is the daughter of Courteney Cox. One time, Coco decided to completely change her toy collection when during an interview, mom told the world her daughter was infatuated with Barbie dolls. Courteney immediately felt guilty because right after the interview, Coco decided that she was far too embarrassed to still love Barbies and that all of a sudden, Barbies were no longer cool.
I guess if you run the risk of all your friends telling you that they saw your mom on television saying you loved Barbies, you might find the easiest way to avoid explaining your love for dolls is to just get rid of them altogether.
10 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Nicolas Cage
Weston Cage is the son of actor Nicolas Cage. Nicolas hasn’t exactly done a good job of not embarrassing himself with some of the more recent movie roles he’s taken, the obscene amounts of money he’s squandered, or even the domestic abuse charges that have been laid against him, but he’s not quite reached the level of low Weston has.
Weston has a history of mental instability and drug abuse on his record and was jailed on domestic violence charges back in 2011. There was an incident where, after a workout session with a personal trainer, Weston became livid that the trainer wouldn’t let him order a certain item off the menu at the Farmer’s Kitchen. The argument ended in Weston being beaten up by the trainer and strapped to a stretcher out of concern for his own mental health before going to the hospital for treatment.
9 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Zoe Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz is considered one of the sexiest men in the world. For years, he’s been the envy of men and the desire of women everywhere. Now that isn’t always easy if you’re Lenny’s daughter. So, when Zoe had finally seen enough, she decided to make a meme out of her dad’s willingness to be sexy in public.
After Katy Perry used the 2015 Super Bowl as a platform to rub up against Zoe’s dad, Zoe went straight to social media and posted a Photoshopped image of Perry and Lenny being a bit too comfortable. Posting a photo of herself underneath the suggestive moment, Zoe simply said “Dad?” My guess is Zoe was having some fun with it, but Lenny probably thought better of it next time the opportunity arose.
8 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Michael Jordan
It’s probably difficult being the son of a famous celebrity. It’s probably EVEN MORE difficult when your father is considered one of the best basketball players to ever play the game. Marcus Jordan is Michael Jordan’s son. He wanted to play basketball, but instead, at the age of 21, he wound up in an Omaha parking lot, handcuffed by police allegedly having a drunken argument with two women. When questioned and restrained by the police, Marcus made their jobs difficult. He was booked for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of justice.
There were other instances. He made a big deal about refusing to wear a pair of Jordan’s as a basketball recruit (it was later worked out). He also blew $50,000 in Las Vegas when he was underage. And, there was the time when he “accidentally” Tweeted a picture of his p*nis, which he later says was not his. I think Michael wishes Marcus could fly a bit more under the radar.
7 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Jaden Smith
The embarrassment that goes back and forth in the Smith family is pretty legendary. But, most of it is actually in good fun or only embarrassing to other people and not the Smiths themselves. For example, Will Smith has had to deal with questions about Jaden’s wanting to emancipate at the age of 15. He had to deal with more questions about Jaden being the face of Louis Vuitton’s Ladies wear campaign. At every turn, Will Smith is supportive and loving.
What does he get? Jaden complains that his father spends too much time kissing and hugging him in public. He’s stated publicly that he doesn’t feel his dad respects the right time and place to be affectionate. Talk about not having a true understanding of the word embarrassing and not returning the favor.
6 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Laurence Fishburne
When you go around and spend almost $1 million trying to buy up every possible copy of a p*rn video your daughter makes when she’s just barely 18, you know you’ve gone way past being embarrassed and into the realm of disaster. That’s what happened to Laurence Fishburne when his daughter, Montana Fishburne, decided to act in an adult movie and it was set to be released on DVD.
Laurence Fishburne has had to deal with all sorts of issues with Montana. From her faking a suicide after he was forced to hire a private investigator to follow her and her citing Kim Kardashian as a role model for which she’d like to emulate her career, it’s pretty dark in the Fishburne household. It’s no surprise that Laurence doesn’t want much to do with her.
5 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Kelly Osbourne
Fathers and daughters don’t often see eye to eye, especially when it comes to fashion. If you ever want to see a dad get overly protective, just tell him his daughter is going to leave the house with her thong showing.
Ozzy Osbourne took this problem for fathers to new heights and in the process, completely embarrassed his daughter, Kelly. When she was a teen, her dad saw that she was wearing a thong under her jeans. Clearly, that didn’t sit well because Ozzy wrestled her down to the floor and cut the underwear right off of her. To boot, he did this right in front of Kelly’s friends. Kelly describes how she lost it and burst into tears, but that the only thing worse was how her mom, Sharon, just laughed the entire time and wasn’t at all surprised by Ozzy’s behavior.
4 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: Jonathan Ross
Talk show host Jonathan Ross has three grown children. But, this is a story about when one of those kids was still very little and the family went out to a fancy LA restaurant. He describes the restaurant as the hippest and most desirable location in LA. Someone was even able to find them a high chair.
He went to go and pay the cheque and he came back to a daughter that had done a poo with such explosive force it had escaped the diaper, rolled down the chair, and onto the table. It even made a mess on the floor around where they were sitting. He described it as literally walking into a s*** storm. The once very friendly and posh restaurant was quite frantic and needless to say, Ross was quite embarrassed.
3 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Sasha and Malia Obama
It might not be as big an issue as it was, but when Barack Obama was President of the United States, there was very little he could do that wasn’t completely embarrassing for his daughters, Sasha and Malia. From having 15 cars show up to any event or from the pure bedlam of security guards that went with them to everything, it was hard to escape the shadow of being the President’s kids.
One specific example had to do with Barack’s habit of singing on YouTube. Michelle Obama was asked what the kids think of their father’s talents by Jay Leno and she answered very quickly. “Oh no, anything we do is highly embarrassing,” she said. “They just want us to be very quiet. Very quiet.”
2 Parents Embarrassed By Their Kids: T.D. Jakes
Paster and renowned author, T.D. Jakes, was badly embarrassed when his stepson, Jermaine Jakes, was arrested during an undercover s*x sting in Dallas. Apparently, Jermaine exposed himself and, of course, did a lot more than that in front of an undercover police officer. The police were investigating citizen complaints of s*xual activity at the park and as such, they were there trying to get a better idea of what was going on.
The incident took place just a few blocks from Pastor T.D. Jakes’ 30,000-member church, The Potter’s House. Of course, we’ve all heard the rumors about being a “pastor’s kid.” I guess this is one of those times that the rumor was worse than one might want to imagine. It’ll be something T.D. Jakes can share on one of his many appearances on Dr. Phil.
1 Kids Embarrassed By Their Parents: Rihanna
Rihanna is probably known as one of the coolest female musicians going. She’s also been known to have some very famous personal relationships. But perhaps, when your mother decides to joke to the world that you hooked up with Ashton Kutcher, it’s a bit embarrassing and perhaps requires a bit of image cleanup.
Rihanna’s mother, Monica Braithwaite, made a joke about her alleged romance with Ashton Kutcher in 2012. It required Rihanna to head straight to Twitter and make sure her fans understood that it wasn’t the most appropriate time and place to “joke” about such things. I’m not completely sure why she was so taken aback. It’s not like Rihanna hasn’t done worse things to her own career in terms of her personal life and the way it affects her professional career.