Earlier this summer, BabyGaga explored celebrity wills and what happens when children of the rich and famous get squeezed out of the money. It was such a juicy topic that we wanted to give you another taste; namely, 15 More Stars Who Cut Their Kids From Their Will.
In general, celebrity inheritances are fascinating because it shows what happens when a private discussion of money enters the public realm. As "commoners" we want to know all the details. Who gets the inheritance? Who didn't get it? What kind of money are we talking? When do they get the money? And why did those particular individuals get the money?
But where celebrity inheritances get really cringe-y and delightfully awkward is when we hear that the star's children did not receive an inheritance. What? What kind of evil devils are we dealing with here?
Did you hear about the Johnson and Johnson kids getting cut out of Daddy's will? Yeah, Johnson and Johnson as in the bandage people. The children of John Seward Johnson were left completely of his will. His final financial document gave his third wife his entire $400 million dollar fortune. That's cold. Ice cold. Like the kind of cold where you've-been- caught-in-a-snowstorm-and-you-arrive-home-shivering-wet-only-to-find-your-own-locks-have-been-changed, kind of cold. Don't worry--Johnson'sohnson's children went on to receive $160 million dollars after it was determined Johnson was not mentally competent when he signed his will.
But wills are not always that strange, and being cut out of the will doesn't necessarily mean there was bad family blood.
Some celebrities have a good reason for leaving their children with a small amount of money. Among those are Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, who has promised his money to charity by signing Bill Gate’s The Giving Pledge.
Still, other celebrities use their will as a punishment for bad behavior. Barron Hilton, the hotel chain entrepreneur, and grandfather of Paris Hilton, has indicated he won't be leaving money to his granddaughter. Do you think it was the tawdry Instagram photos, sex tape, or prison stint that got Paris disinherited? Egads. Yup. It's that kind of story that keeps us wanting to read more.
15 Aaron Spelling (Tori Spelling)
Aaron Spelling made his name as one of the most successful television producers of the 1980s and 1990s. He created hits such as The Love Boat and 90210.
When the TV mastermind died in 2006, he left behind a fortune estimated to be around $500 million. The majority of the money went to his widow, Candy Spelling. His children Tori and Randy, raised with an outrageously opulent lifestyle, received a mere $800,000 each. That’s less than .2 percent of Spelling’s fortune.
Interestingly enough, Spelling’s will was changed two months before he died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Hmm..
In the years since their father's death, both Randy and Tori have faced financial struggles. Recently, it was reported that Tori has resorted to stating in TV commercials for a psychic hotline to pay her bills. On the 90210 star's reality show, Tori and Dean, Tori made an interesting comment. She remarked that for all the money her father had, he didn’t seem to understand the value of it.
14 Barron Hilton
Hotel heir Barron Hilton, 89, is the grandfather to the infamous Paris Hilton. The Hilton brand was started by Barron's father, Conrad, but underwent enormous growth grew under his son's watchful eye. The octogenarian is reportedly worth $2.3 billion.
It doesn't seem “Partying Paris” will see much of it. Hilton intends to contribute 97 percent of his entire net worth, including all trusts, to the charity set up by his father. The charity assists homeless people and increases access to clean drinking water in Africa and Mexico.
According to a book about the Hilton family, Barron Hilton is embarrassed by his granddaughter's behavior and believes unlimited funds have led to her fanciful living and poor decisions.
13 Gloria Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt heir Gloria Vanderbilt did not raise son Anderson Cooper to be a slouch. From an early age, the designer told her son that he needed to make his own way in life. and that as an adult, he would not receive her financial support.
As a teenager, Cooper attended a private school, but from the age of nine worked in television and as a model. After attending Yale, Cooper struggled to break into journalism and resorted to forging a press badge in order to interview students in Myanmar. He sold the surreptitiously obtained news segments and snagged a job with Channel One.
Cooper has talked at length about his wealthy trust fund friends, and how unlimited money does more harm than good; some kids acted like brats, and others completely lacked the hungry drive to be successful.
It’s safe to say Cooper has done okay without mama's money. The gray fox has a primetime show with CNN and brings home a cool $11 million dollars a year.
12 Nigella Lawson
The sexy, celebrity chef attended Oxford College and got her start writing for The Sunday Times. Lawson has filmed episodes of Nigella Bites in her dimly-lit kitchen, clad only in a brief negligée. Her cookbooks have sold three million copies, and her cookware line, Living Kitchen, is valued around $10 million dollars. and the stars net worth is estimated to be around $15 million.
But Lawson is not sharing the fruits of her labor with her two children, 23-year-old Cosima, and 22-year-old Bruno. "I am determined that my children should have no financial security,” Lawson bluntly told the British magazine My Weekly. “It ruins people not having to earn money.”
11 50 Cent
In 2007, The rapper, actor, and businessman was ranked the second wealthiest rapper in the hip hop industry, behind Jay-Z. Otherwise known as Curtis Jackson, 50 Cent lives in a Farmington, Connecticut mansion once owned by ex-boxer Mike Tyson.
Jackson has two children, Marquise, 20, and Sire, 4. Marquise’s mom, Shaniqua Tompkins, sued Jackson for $50 million dollars, claiming Jackson neglected to adequately provide for her and her son. The case was dismissed by a judge.
Marquise’s mom, Shaniqua Tompkins, sued Jackson for $50 million dollars, claiming Jackson neglected to adequately provide for her and her son. The case was dismissed by a judge.
The trouble between the exes seems to have spilled over into Jackson’s relationship with his son. In a text message from five years ago, Jackson said, “My son just told me he want a Ferrari for his 16th birthday. I ain’t wit it ill get him a car but that he has to work for himself.”
In a very active timeline on the disintegrating relationship between the father and son, 50 Cent told Marquise he would disinherit him. “If I died today would it matter to you? I’m changing my will. It's a simple question.”
Whoa. Looks like Marquise will have to go it his own way to Get Rich or Die Tryin’.
10 Joan Crawford
Shortly before Joan Crawford’s 1977 death, the Hollywood actress changed her will. She opted to give two of her adopted children a small amount of money from her $2 million-dollar estate, and completely cut out her other two adopted children (insert catty “RAWR!” here).
The decision to change the will was made after daughter Christina’s sordid tell-all book, Mommie Dearest was released. At the reading of the will, Christina and Christopher (also at odds with Crawford) were told they had been cut, “for reasons which are well known to them.”
9 Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Academy Award winning actor of On the Waterfront, and famous for his smoldering portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire, amassed a fortune of over $21.6 million dollars. When he died in 2004, his will left certain family members high and dry.
Brando had at least sixteen children and thirty grandchildren. It’s not widely known who was included in Brando’s will, which was amended only thirteen days before his death, but what is common knowledge is who was cut. Adopted daughter Petra Brando-Carval was excluded from Brando’s estate, along with grandson Tuki Brando. Tuki is the son of Cheyenne, Brando’s daughter who after years of drug use, psychiatric problems, and an estranged relationship with her father, committed suicide in 1995.
8 Bob Marley
Hey Mon, what’s the problem?
The problem is that the One Love singer never made out a will at all. The musician knew his cancer was terminal, but he either didn’t take the time to draw up a will or as a devout Rastafarian, fell back on the belief that he was immortal.
Things got worse. When Marley's widow discovered that under Jamaican law she was only entitled to 10% of her husband's assets, she forged and pre-dated documents to gain control of his $30 million dollar estate.
The scheme was ultimately uncovered, but the legal snafu led to many other lawsuits which tied up Marly’s money for over 30 years. While I’m sure Marley didn’t mean to leave his 11 kids penniless, you do have to wonder if a lack of planning had his kids wondering “Is this love?”
7 John Lennon
When Beatles star John Lennon was tragically gunned down in 1980, he left behind a wife, an ex-wife, and two sons, Julian and Sean.
While divorcing his first wife, Cynthia, in 1968, John was notoriously stingy with spousal and child support, ultimately handing over a measly 75,000 £. In the same divorce documents, Lennon created a trust for his son, Julian. Per the agreement, Julian was to receive 250,000 £ on his twenty-first birthday, with one caveat: the money must be split with any other children born to Lennon. Wow.
To add to the cheekiness factor, Cynthia later claimed Julian only received 100,000 £ on his landmark birthday—a significant reduction in the original amount that was agreed upon by Lennon and Cynthia. She believed the number was diminished by John’s second wife, Yoko Ono.
After Lennon’s death, his will revealed that he had over a quarter of a billion dollars in wealth, and Julian was completely excluded from the will. Julian sued Ono, claiming she had controlled and influenced his father.
Sixteen years after his father’s death, the suit was settled. While the final figure is confidential, sources have placed the amount of money Julian received around 20 million pounds (approximately $26 million USD).
6 Tony Curtis
Movie star Tony Curtis is best known for his roles in the famous 1950s movies Sweet Smell of Success and Some Like it Hot. Curtis was married an outrageous six times and was the father of six children, including the actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
Five months before Curtis’s death in 2010, the 85-year-old rewrote his will. In it, he left everything to his sixth wife, the 39-year-old Jill Vandenberg. Mmm hmm.
Also in the will was this statement, written by the actor: “I acknowledge the existence of my children…and have intentionally and with full knowledge chosen not to provide for them.”
While there were no reports of strained or difficult relationships between the actor and his children, it is interesting that Curtis did two things. First, he chose to write a will, which is public information (rather than drawing up a trust, which remains private). Second, he shouts loud and clear that he has cut his children out of his fortune. Either he was ill-advised on his planning options, or he wanted the world to know how he felt. Strange.
5 James Brown
In 2006, James Brown—nicknamed the Godfather of Soul—died of heart failure. When Brown passed, he left behind an estate valued at approximately $100 million dollars. The will specified that the money should be split between two trusts: one to fund the education of his grandchildren and one for the education of poor children in South Carolina and George.
According to the New York Times post, Brown’s last will and testament stated that if he directly failed to provide or mention someone specifically, it was intentional. Nowhere in the will were Brown’s wife or children mentioned. They received nothing.
Ya know what? “I got the feelin” his wife and kids weren’t feeling so good when they heard the news.
4 Pierre Omidyar
Who is Pierre Omidyar? Does eBay ring a bell? Yes, Paris-born Omidyar founded eBay. While we can't be certain the tech giant, worth $8.5 billion dollars, won't be including his three kids in his will, he does seem busy spending down his wealth.
Omidyar is the founder of the philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network. Additionally, he is one of the largest contributors to organizations that stop human trafficking and recently donated $100 million dollars of his own money to combat “fake news”.
What money doesn’t filter to his own charitable organizations and small causes has been spoken for, as the billionaire has also signed Bill Gates The Giving Pledge.
3 John Seward Johnson
John Seward Johnson is from that Johnson Family. Ya know, the one synonymous for baby shampoo and bandages.
When Johnson died from prostate cancer in 1983, he left almost all of his money to Barbara Piasecka, his third wife, a former maid 42 years his junior. Johnson’ children cried foul, citing that Piasecka had been mean and abusive to their dad, and had“terrorized” him into changing his will to grant her all of his fortunes.
After three years and $10 million dollars in legal fees, a judge found that Johnson had not been mentally competent when he signed his will. Piasecka was ordered to pay Johnson’s kid $160 million of the $400 million dollar fortune.
2 Mickey Rooney
The actor, considered to be one of Hollywood’s highest paid of the 1930s and 1940s, did not die a wealthy man. When he passed away in 2014, Rooney had $14,000 in his bank account.
But that small amount was still enough to cause friction among Rooney’s family. The National Velvet actor disinherited his wife of 35 years! And, he left out all of his biological children.
Rooney’s children contested the will, saying it was amended only a few short weeks before their father’s death. After a short court battle, a judge sided his Rooney's wishes and his children walked away with nothing but heartache.
1 Ted Turner
Although the name might not be instantly recognizable, for certain you’ve heard of CNN, which Ted Turner started in 1980.
The 78-year-old entrepreneur is worth a cool 2.3 billion dollars. A noted environmentalist, back in 1997 Turner famously donated 1 billion dollars to the United Nations. Additionally, he has given $350 million dollars to conservation funds and $250 million to the Nuclear Threat Institute. Add to that a host of other organizations Turner where Turner has thrown a few million dollars, including Planned Parenthood and Children with AIDS. While it’s not explicitly known how Turner’s will is broken out, a little simple math shows that while his five children might not be excluded from the will, it does appear most of “The Mouth from the South’s” money is spoken for.
Sources: Express.co.uk, Huffington Post, Today.com, Trial and hiers.com, Trendgura, CBS News.