Celebrity parents are just like us, right? Well, maybe think again!
There are tons of famous parents who have normal personal lives, complete with a white picket fence and a handful of kiddos. But there are some celebrities who let the pressures of the spotlight affect their parenting abilities. The famous faces who made this list have all been accused of having little to no care or affection for their children, and the reasons are sure to shock you.
From celebs leaving their kids with the nannies to intentionally putting them in dangerous situations, these examples are proof that raising a family in Hollywood is no joke. It’s easy for mom and dad to get side-tracked by the business of their careers or the lure of partying and globetrotting. Many of these celebrity children have either fallen into the same lifestyle their parents are known for, or have done their best to distance themselves from their famous families.
Not all the parents on this list are downright horrible. Many of them just need to learn how to balance the pressures of Hollywood with child rearing. On the other hand, there are some celeb parents who have been guilty of shocking things (we’re looking at you, Ryan O’Neal). Which famous family are you most surprised to see on this list?
20 Angelina Jolie: The Truth About Brangelina
It seems like people either love or hate Angelina Jolie. The actress is famous for her large brood of kids, three of which she adopted and three of which are biologically hers.
Over the years, the actress has been accused of having kids for reasons other than the fact that she simply wants to be a mom. While some fans commend the star for raising awareness about adoption,
others have accused of her adopting children of colour simply to maintain her humanitarian image, implying that she thinks of her kids as nothing more than trophies.
She was also accused of getting pregnant with her first biological child, Shiloh, in order to “win” Brad Pitt away from his then-wife Jennifer Aniston. According to some fan theories, their twins were just a ploy for her salvage her public image following the Angie vs. Jen drama.
19 Tom Cruise: Scientology Got In The Way
Tom Cruise’s involvement in scientology is reportedly the main reason he has become an absentee father. The actor shares two adopted children, Isabella and Connor, with his ex-wife Nicole Kidman. However, upon their divorce in 2001, he reportedly began spending less and less time with his children. Their kids, now adults, supposedly have little to no contact with their famous parents.
In 2006, Tom welcomed his second daughter, Suri, with his then-wife Katie Holmes. The two seemed like a happy couple until they quietly divorced in 2012. Though neither celeb has given a reason for their separation, sources claim that Katie was getting worried about how Tom’s involvement in Scientology would affect their daughter’s upbringing.
Nowadays, Tom reportedly hasn’t seen Suri in more than four years. “Tom has moved on to the next phase of his life and he’s finishing up his latest movie,” a source told InTouch Weekly. “There’s no communication and they haven’t seen each other. Tom rarely talks about her.”
18 Mariah Carey: Always A Diva, Never A Mom
Mariah Carey has become infamous for her Diva-ish attitude, and evidently, its translated into her parenting skills.
The singer is known for acting distant towards her twin son and daughter, Moroccan and Monroe, who she shares with ex-husband Nick Cannon.
During one infamous incident, Mariah was photographed pushing her son away as she got her photo taken on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Mariah clearly has some strict priorities!
"I want them to still feel normal," Mariah has said about raising her kiddos in the spotlight. “So, if they don't like traveling around at some point, they won't have to travel around." She added, "But they love traveling. They love flying. If I keep them home for like five days, they're like, 'When are we going on an airplane?' They really love it." Good thing they’re able to keep up with their mom’s extravagant lifestyle!
17 Farrah Abraham: Tells Her Daughter She’s Not Good Enough
Farrah Abraham has risen to fame thanks to her appearances on 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, and the subsequent drama that has followed her around ever since. She has been criticized countless times for her questionable parenting skills (and behavior in general), but fans have never been more concerned for her 8-year old daughter Sophia than when they learned about the beauty routine Farrah forces her to do.
The reality star has admitted to waxing her then-3-year old’s Unibrow and also taking a “break” from her child, citing that the two of them have their “own lives.” Farrah, who has gone under the knife numerous times, has also said controversial things about supporting her daughter getting plastic surgery.
“You'll see that my daughter does value how I've done my look and invested in myself, and I feel like if [plastic surgery is] not harming her and making her look better, and keeping her healthy into her older years, I have no issues with that,” she once told Us Weekly after claiming Sophia was feeling “insecure” about losing her baby teeth.
16 Mama June: Chose A D-Bag Over Her Kids
“Mama June” Shannon is the redneck mama from Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, which focused on her youngest daughter, child beauty pageant competitor Alana, aka. Honey Boo Boo. Mama June also has three other daughters: Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, Jessica “Chubbs” Shannon, and Anna “Chickadee” Shannon.
The TV show itself was criticized for portraying the Southern family in a negative light, accusing it of perpetuating harmful stereotypes. But fans took specific offense with Mama June’s parenting, often accusing her of being a neglectful parent went it came to Alana’s obesity issues. There have also been accusations of physical and sexual harm along with alcoholism and substance use in the home.
However, things climaxed in 2014 when the reality show was canceled after reports surfaced that Mama June was dating a convicted predator, Mark Anthony McDaniel. Things got even worse when June’s eldest daughter alleged that McDaniel had assaulted her ten years earlier. Despite the controversy, June continued to date her so-called soul mate, proving that she is definitely not putting her children’s best interests first.
15 Jenelle Evans: She Doesn't Want Custody Back
Jenelle Evans is another highly criticized mom from Teen Mom. She first gained fame when she shared her story of becoming pregnant with her son Jace in high school on the reality show, but things quickly started going downhill. The show documented Jenelle’s downward spiral into substance use, partying, and a series of bad boyfriends. She eventually signed custody of Jace over to her mother Barbara, who’s been raising him ever since.
Rather than trying to clean up her act and get custody of her eldest son back, Jenelle has gone on to welcome two more children.
She shares 3-year old son Kaiser with her ex-boyfriend Nathan, and 1-year old daughter Ensley with her new husband, David.
However, the celeb has gotten tons of heat for the way she treats her children on-camera. One scene from last season showed Kaiser crying because he was hungry, and Jenelle and David responding by yelling (and not feeding him). Nathan’s mother has also accused Jenelle and her hubby of being physically and emotionally harmful to her kids. We guess it’s no wonder she still doesn’t have custody of Jace back.
14 Eddie Murphy: Denies His Kids Are Even His
No one would want Eddie Murphy as a dad after they do a bit of reading into his personal life! The actor has a whopping nine children, but he has struggled to step up to the plate when it comes to taking responsibility for them.
Eddie welcomed his first two sons in 1989 and 1990, both with different girlfriends. In 1993, he married Nicole Mitchell, with whom he shares five children. The couple eventually split in 2005, but the comedian wasted no time in welcoming his 8th child in 2007 with former Spice Girl Mel Brown.
However, the star’s public image took a hit when he initially denied paternity of their daughter Angel, though Mel was adamant to the media she was his. Though a DNA test eventually proved the child was his, sources have since said he has made little effort to have a relationship with his daughter. Eddie went one to welcome his youngest daughter, Izzy, with his model girlfriend Paige Butcher in 2012. At least he didn’t deny paternity this time around!
13 Nadya Suleman: Has Babies She Can’t Afford
Nadya Suleman, aka OctoMom, has become a figure in pop culture after she welcomed octuplets when she already had 6 children at home that she couldn’t afford. Seriously, when the news broke that an IVF doctor had gotten her pregnant with 8 embryos despite the fact that she was on welfare, it caught national attention.
The doctor who impregnated her eventually lost his medical license.
Nadya began appearing on talk shows and making endorsements, which was necessary given how much it was costing her to raise her family of 14. Many fans have been worried about the status of Nadya’s mental health. The star has been doing a lot to stay relevant (and keep the cash flowing) in recent years, including getting plastic surgery to look like Angelina Jolie and participating in an adult film.
Sources say that the mom’s household is chaotic and that she’s an unfit parent who’s obsessed with the idea of being a mom, but doesn’t really understand the realities that come with it.
12 Courtney Love: The Rock N' Roll Lifestyle Was Too Much
Courtney Love is the infamous wife of the late Kurt Cobain, with whom she had one daughter, 25-year old Frances Bean Cobain. Their child was only 2-years old when the Nirvana frontman took his own life. Since then, Courtney has maintained a rocky relationship with Frances. To say these two have a normal relationship would be an understatement.
The Hole singer was first accused of using substances while pregnant, leading her and Kurt to lose custody of their daughter only months after her birth. She struggled to maintain custody in the following years due to run-ins with the law and substance use. Courtney eventually did lose custody of Frances in 2009 after allegations of neglect, domestic violence, and erratic behavior. Courtney hasn’t held back from slamming her daughter online and in the media, which hasn’t helped to salvage her public image.
In recent years, it seems like Courtney and Frances have reached amicable terms. Then again, Court wasn’t even invited to her daughter’s wedding a few years back, so there definitely seems to be bad blood here.
11 Kate Gosselin: The Fame-Hungry Mama
Kate Gosselin and her now-ex-husband Jon Gosselin made headlines when they landed their own reality show after welcoming sextuplets (six kids at once!). They also had older twin daughters. However, fame eventually broke this family apart and it’s been a roller coaster ride ever since.
In 2009, the reality-star parents announced their divorce, and they’ve been butting heads ever since. Both parents accuse the other of harmful behavior and infidelity and have seemingly used their children as pawns during their drama. Kate continued on with the family’s reality show, and has reportedly kept her ex from seeing the kids in recent years.
However, nothing is more troubling that the allegations surrounding Kate. The star has gotten heat for the way she treats her kids on-camera before and has been investigated by CPS many times.
But fans became more concerned than ever when Kate announced she sent one of her sons, Collin, away to an institution for behavioral problems. Jon claims he was never consulted in the decision nor does he know where his son is staying. Many fans believe Kate is more consumed with chasing her dwindling fame versus the well-being of her kids.
10 Ben Affleck: Chose The Other Woman Over His Family
Ben Affleck’s image has been completely ruined in the past few years due to his disintegrating personal life. At one point, the actor was married to the lovely Jennifer Garner, with whom he shares three kids, daughters Violet and Seraphina and son Samuel. But Hollywood’s favorite couple eventually came to an end when she filed for divorce in 2015 citing rumors of infidelity on Ben’s part.
Several sources came out at the time claiming the actor had an affair with the family’s nanny. Though the power couple appeared to be trying to work out their issues, they eventually finalized their divorce in 2017. That same year, Ben went public with his relationship with TV produces Lindsey Shookus, who People magazine claimed was the woman he cheated on Jen with (for years, might we add!). It doesn’t help that multiple women accused Ben of harassment around the same time following the #MeToo campaign.
It’s no surprise that the public has largely sided with Jen and the kids in this situation, accusing Ben of breaking his family up. The actor has reportedly been spending less and less time with his children since the divorce went through, so it looks like he may only be getting more distant.
9 Dina Lohan: Exploited Her Daughter’s Success
Dina Lohan has long been blamed for the downward spiral of her daughter Lindsay Lohan, child-star-turned-Hollywood-washout. The mom-of-three and her now-ex-husband, Michael Lohan, reportedly did everything in their power to push their eldest daughter into stardom, but they did so by compromising her well being.
At the height of Lindsay’s success, Dina was regularly pictured partying with her underage daughter, who was clearly intoxicated. Sources say the mom did little to curb her daughter’s substance use and wild partying ways, which eventually climaxed in multiple run-ins with the law and the disintegration of Lindsay’s career and reputation.
In retrospect, Dina has admitted that she can see she played a part in Lindsay’s struggles.
However, given that she has no qualms about discussing her child’s issues on national TV, many fans still believe she’s more interested in exploiting her daughter’s fame rather than getting her help.
8 Charlie Sheen: Not Willing To Clean Up His Act
Charlie Sheen definitely doesn’t have a reputation for being the most reliable person around. So, it’s not surprising that the star has been accused of not caring about his five children, who he shares with three different women. The erratic actor first became a dad when his high school girlfriend gave birth to their daughter Cassandra. Sheen went on to welcome daughters Lola and Sam with his ex-wife Denise Richards, and twins sons Max and Bob with ex-wife Brooke Mueller.
However, since his divorce from Mueller in 2010, Sheen’s downward spiral meant he’s been absent from the majority of his kids’ lives.
The star has made headlines for his bizarre antics, and has been in and out of rehabs. After a public meltdown several years back, he confirmed he had been diagnosed with HIV. In 2011, both Sheen and Mueller lost custody of their sons due to substance use, and the twins were temporarily put in the custody of Richards. It appears like Sheen isn’t willing to clean up his act for the sake of his kids.
7 Woody Allen: He Married His Step Daughter
The fact that Woody Allen’s reputation has barely been tarnished after the drama in his personal life is absolutely shocking.
Back in the ‘80s, the director was in a long-term relationship with actress Mia Farrow. Mia had seven children of her own when she met Woody: three biological sons, three adopted daughters, and one adopted son. The couple adopted one child together, daughter Dylan, and also had a biological son together, Ronan. Woody also officially adopted two of Mia’s older sons, Dylan and Moses. He acted as a father figure towards all of Mia’s children.
However, things got creepy fast when Dylan accused her father of being inappropriate with her in 1992, leading Mia to leave Woody. Employees and the family doctor corroborated Dylan’s story. Woody has always denied the allegations. Things got even worse when Mia found inappropriate photos of her eldest daughter, Soo-Yin, in Woody’s possession. Despite the fact that Woody was a father figure to Soo-Yin for most of her life, the two were married in 1997. They adopted two children together.
6 Gwyneth Paltrow: Everything Is About Her Image
Actress, health fanatic, and Goop-founder Gwyneth Paltrow shares two children with her ex-husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin: daughter Apple and son Moses. The star has increasingly come under the microscope for her controversial parenting techniques and lifestyle advice,
leading many to accuse her of being obsessed with trying the latest (expensive) fads rather than just raising healthy, happy kids.
Of her strict parenting style, Gwyneth once said to Good Housekeeping, "Motherhood has taught me mindfulness. If you just parent on instinct, you'll screw your kid up for life. You have to be so mindful.” On being a working mom, she added, "I do feel so guilty and, like, What am I doing? but I also want them to know work is really fun for me — 'Hey, look what I get to do!' As opposed to feeling like, Oh, I'm a terrible mother. Because that really just doesn't get you anywhere. It doesn't get them anywhere.”
5 Alec Baldwin: No One Can Forget The Voicemail
Alec Baldwin might have the image of a happy family man nowadays, but he hasn’t always been a stand-up dad in the past.
The actor shares his eldest daughter, Ireland, with his ex-wife Kim Basinger. The couple’s divorce cumulated in a nasty custody battle that climaxed when Alec left an unflattering voicemail for his then-11-year old, in which he referred to her as a “rude, thoughtless little pig.” He has continued to blame Kim for the custody drama, accusing her of parental alienation.
The star is now re-married to yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas, with whom he shares three young children. However, many fans have yet to forget Alec’s infamous voicemail, and point out that it’s not fair to Ireland that he’s only now acting like a dad should be. As of November 2017, Alec and Hilaria are expecting their fourth child.
4 Nicole Kidman: Forgets Her Eldest Kids Exist
Just like her ex-husband Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman has also been slammed for her absentee parenting. The actress shares adopted children, Isabelle and Connor, with Cruise. However, now that her kids are all grown up, the actress reportedly has limited contact with them.
Many fans believe their rocky relationship is caused by the fact that Nicole started a family with her now-husband Keith Urban. Previously, the star had been open about her fertility struggles, making it clear her that she always wished to have children biologically. She got her wish when she welcomed her first biological daughter in 2008, and their second daughter via surrogate in 2010.
However, Nicole’s new family has evidently become a sore spot for her older children, who sources say feel that she abandoned them once she had her youngest two daughters.
It didn’t help when Nicole seemingly snubbed her eldest kids at the Golden Globes earlier this year, when she failed to mention them in her awards speech- though she thanked her hubby and their daughters. Some fans speculate the rift between Nicole and her kids may be due to their involvement in their father’s religion, Scientology.
3 Joe Simpson: He Creeps Everyone Out
It’s not so much that Joe Simpson lacks affection for his daughter Jessica and Ashlee; it’s that he shows the wrong type of affection. The famous father has shocked the public with his creepy comments about his daughters, leading many to believe this isn’t a typical father-daughter relationship.
For instance, he was actually once quoted saying: “Jessica never tries to be sexy. She just is sexy. She’s got double Ds- you can’t cover those suckers up!” It’s no surprise Jessica’s ex-hubby, Nick Lachey, said her weird relationship with her dad was partially to blame for their failed union.
Moreover, the media has accused Joe of piggyback riding on his daughter’s fame. Both he and his (now ex) wife pushed their daughter’s into stardom, and arguably helped them solidify their careers. But there have been accusations that they only did it for the fame and fortune, not for their girls’ best interests. To this day, Joe’s bizarre behavior continues to confound the public.
2 Kate Moss: Partied Away Her Daughter’s Childhood
Supermodel Kate Moss is a mom to only daughter Lila Grace, who she shares with her former boyfriend Jefferson Hack. The star was already 28 when she welcomed her daughter, but it seemed that she was ill-prepared for motherhood.
In the following years, the celeb struggled with substance use and was often photographed partying versus spending time with Lila. She became a regular at doing rehab stints, and even had to miss her daughter’s birthday one year while she was staying in a treatment center.
Many fans believed the iconic blonde would never be able to step up to the plate in the way her daughter deserved.
Luckily, in recent years, Kate has seemingly kissed her partying days goodbye. She has even said she believes her wild years will act as a good deterrence for Lila. Well, that’s one way to look on the bright side!
1 Ryan O’Neal: Introduced His Kids To Substances
Actor Ryan O’Neal is a dad to four children. He shares his oldest kids, Tatum and Griffin, with his ex-wife Joanna Moore and another son, Patrick, with his ex-wife Leigh Taylor-Young. Ryan also had a son, Redmond, with actress Farrah Fawcett, whom he was in a long-term relationship with from 1979-1997.
Ryan has been very open about the fact that he hasn’t been the world’s best father. The star has struggled with substance use alongside the mothers of his children. Ryan has been accused of using substances in front of his children and even encouraging them to do it with them. At one point, his 6-year old son Redmond threatened him with a knife to stop him from arguing with Farrah. He’s also been accused of sharing a bed with his eldest daughter Leigh (and not in the way a dad should be).
For years, Ryan was estranged from his four children. They have reportedly reconciled after Ryan was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012.
References: People Magazine, Us Weekly, Hollywood Life, Life & Style, Radar Online, Entertainment Tonight, Pop Sugar, Good Housekeeping