Celebrities Who Don't Speak To Their Parents

This article references domestic abuse.

It's tough for a celebrity to announce the end of a marriage or a relationship. And it can be even more challenging for these stars to open up about cutting ties with family, especially their parents. Unfortunately, we've heard too many stories about celebrities being taken advantage of by their parents after making it big. For example, country singer LeAnn Rimes sued her father, Wilbur Rimes, for stealing upwards of $7 million of her earnings. Thankfully, Rimes and her father mended their relationship a week before her wedding.

"The O.C." star Mischa Barton sued her mother, Nuala, who had allegedly stolen money and exploited Mischa's fame — including persuading her to purchase a nearly $8 million Beverly Hills home Mischa was not allowed to enter. In 2016, the actor dropped the lawsuit. She dedicated a touching Instagram post to her mother in May 2020, seemingly having moved on to a brighter chapter. "Words cannot easily express our relationship. This day I dedicate to this whip smart and tenacious woman. This industry isn't easy and mother/daughter relationships aren't easy!" Barton shared.

These stars managed to work through their hardships with their parents. Unfortunately, some famous families aren't willing or able to repair their strained relationships. It's tough to hear about stars not speaking to their parents, but certain behaviors were bad enough for the celebs to cut them out of their lives completely. 

Macaulay Culkin

Macaulay Culkin was thrust into Hollywood at a young age by his parents, Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup. In a 2001 interview with New York magazine, Culkin shared that he never wanted to lead a life in the spotlight. His relationship with his parents, who became his managers, was strained — especially his relationship with his father, who was constantly pushing him to do more and leeching off his success. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, in 1995, Culkin's parents split up and became involved in a bitter custody battle over the "Home Alone" actor and their six other children. Winning custody of the Culkin children meant the parents would continue profiting from their success. However, at age 16, Culkin "divorced" both his parents and emancipated himself. After learning that he was worth an estimated $50 million, he decided it was time he took control over his own money, per New York magazine. Culkin hasn't spoken to or seen his father since the trial. He mostly took a break from acting in 1994 after starring in "Richie Rich" and returned in 2003 with the movie "Party Monster."

In January 2018, Culkin shared grimmer details of his childhood with Marc Maron on his "WTF" podcast. The actor described his father as allegedly "jealous" of his son's career. "He was a bad, abusive man," Culkin stated, while also expressing love for his mother. In 2016, the star's father told the Daily Mail, "I don't consider him a son anymore." 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Kate Hudson

Kate Hudson's biological father has not been a part of her life since she was a toddler. According to Grazia, Hudson's mother, actor Goldie Hawn, was married to Kate's father Bill Hudson (of the band The Hudson Brothers) from 1976 to 1982. While together, the former couple welcomed Kate and her brother Oliver. Although Kate wasn't raised by her real father, Hawn eventually found love again in actor Kurt Russell. Russell told Conan O'Brien that he and Hawn began dating in 1983. Even though they have never married, they are highly regarded as having one of most celebrated Hollywood relationships.

In an interview with "Today" in January 2021, Kate called not speaking to her biological father a "41-year-old issue." She stated, "I think that estrangement is, unfortunately, quite common. And I think it's important for people to talk about that... If they can't reconnect or if it's too challenging, that's okay, right?" She added, "I have a stepfather who stepped in and played a huge, huge part in sharing what it is to have a dependable father figure in our life. But it doesn't take away the fact that we didn't know our dad."

Kate told Howard Stern in 2016 that she had forgiven her father. "I really do recognize whatever those issues are, are just something that he has to live with, and that must be painful for him, and so I forgive him," she shared. 

Heather Graham

According to the Daily Mail, Heather Graham was raised by a Catholic family with an FBI father and a mother who was a school teacher. She told the outlet that her parents threatened to send her off to become a nun. Instead, Graham appeared in "Drugstore Cowboy," which had the actor playing the role of a drug-addicted runaway, and "Boogie Nights," in which Graham portrayed a porn star. 

Graham told The Guardian in 1999, "My parents, they didn't really want to hear my point of view. I think they were willing to hear it, but they would just then tell me about how their point of view was right and mine was wrong." The actor left home after high school and eventually stopped speaking with her parents. She didn't care to dwell on the estrangement too much. Speaking with Cinema.com in 2001, Graham declined to talk about her mom and dad, worried that her words would be misconstrued.

In 2013, the actor's mom and dad allegedly told The Sun that they never pressured their daughter to become a nun and don't understand the reason behind their rift. Her father Jim believed that reports of Heather's "strict" upbringing were a narrative perpetuated by her or her publicist: "Like most other actors, there had to be some drama, strife and struggle," he said. Jim added, "Up until 'Boogie Nights,' we were a close, happy family. Then the movie came out, and everything changed. It is safe to say that movie destroyed our relationship — that film is the anniversary of when Heather decided to take a break from us."

Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera has had a turbulent relationship with her father, Fausto Aguilera, since she was a child. The songstress has spoken openly about the physical and emotional abuse her mother, Shelly Kearns, endured while married to Fausto. "...the greatest gift for me, as a child, was the day my parents got divorced," Christina told Us Weekly in 2011. 

In the March 2012 issue of Latina magazine (via HuffPost), Christina shared that she was willing to put their differences aside and meet Fausto. However, there's no word if the two ever faced one another. Us Weekly reported that in 2002, the pop star's father denied abusing his children, but he did admit to physically abusing their mother, stating, "I'm sorry to have ever raised a hand to my wife, but it was never brutal like Ike and Tina Turner."

The singer's experiences with her father made her the strong woman she is today. She told Cosmopolitan in 2018, "My dad was very dominant with my mom, and I always knew I was never going to let a man take advantage of me like that." She added, "I never wanted a man to tell me what I could and couldn't do, what I could and couldn't spend. I always knew I had to be the queen of my castle." During an interview with Billboard in September 2022, Aguilera shared that her song "No Es Que Te Extrañe" alludes to her estranged relationship with her father.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato is an open book. She has spoken candidly about her struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and has also talked about her abusive father, Patrick Lovato, who died in 2013 from cancer

In a video discussing their song "Father" from their 2015 album "Confident," Lovato admitted to having mixed feelings about their dad's death. "I was very conflicted when he passed because he was abusive. He was mean, but he wanted to be a good person, and he wanted to have his family. When my mom married my step-dad, he still had this huge heart where he would say, 'I'm so glad Eddie's taking care of you and doing the job that I wish I could do,'" they said. Lovato revealed that Patrick had a mental health issue that inhibited his role as a father. According to People, Lovato's mother, Dianna De La Garza, married Eddie De La Garza in 1995.

Lovato's mother touched upon her ex-husband's abusive ways in her 2018 memoir "Falling With Wings: A Mother's Story." "I thought I could change him, and I think victims of domestic abuse often feel the same way. You're not always going to be able to change someone, no matter how much you want to," Dianna said (via People). 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Adele

Ever since Adele's father, Mark Evans, abandoned her and her mother, Penny Adkins, when she was just a child, the songstress has had a strained relationship with him. Hopes of reconnecting turned sour when Evans spoke about Adele to the British press, with the singer telling Vogue in February 2012, "I was actually ready to start trying to have a relationship with him. He's f***ing blown it. He will never hear from me again."

However, Adele had a change of heart, telling Vogue that she visited her father before he died in May 2021 from bowel cancer. "I know he loved me, and we actually got our peace before he died. When he passed, I had this sort of physical reaction. That fear left my body," she shared. The "Someone Like You" singer offered similar remarks to British Vogue, adding that she played her album for him via Zoom the week prior to his death.

Although Evans would talk about his famous daughter, he did tell the Daily Mail in 2013, "I'm not interested in her celebrity status or her money, I just want my daughter back and I want to be a proper granddad to the little one." According to Page Six, it's unknown whether Evans had a chance to meet Adele's son, Angelo, whom she shares with ex-husband Simon Konecki.

Vanessa Lachey

Vanessa Lachey has been estranged from her mother for quite some time. The former MTV "Total Request Live" host's mom left her at a young age, and that played an integral part in how Lachey has promised to raise her three children, whom she shares with 98 Degrees boy band member Nick Lachey. She shared with People in 2021, "What I've taken out of it is how it's ultimately made me a better mom, a better wife, and hopefully a better person. I will never take my family for granted."

People reported that Vanessa's mother, Helen Bondoc, split from her father, Vincent Minnillo, when she was three. When Vanessa was nine, Bondoc left her daughter with Vincent and never returned. The last time Vanessa saw her mother was when she was 18 years old. The "NCIS: Hawai'i" star has thanked her husband for being her rock when feelings of insecurity or self-doubt arise. Nick shared, "One thing I've learned about my wife is that she's a fighter and so resilient. If nothing else, [her experience] gave her a real appreciation for how important her kids are to her."

The Lacheys wed in July 2011. At the time, Star magazine (via Radar) was able to locate Vanessa's mother, who said she had no clue her daughter had gotten married. "It would be nice to a have a relationship with her now, but I don't know how she'd feel if I called her," Bondoc said. In her People interview, Vanessa shared that she was open to speaking with her mother. 

Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter garnered fame after starring in "Modern Family," but her onscreen life was nothing close to what was happening in her real life. In an interview for The Hollywood Reporter in 2017, Winter shared details of being a young child actor thrust into the spotlight because of her mother, Crystal Workman. But it was more than just pushing Winter to take on roles. Winter claimed she was forced to dress in revealing clothing at a young age and had a diet that was "very, very restricted," among other disturbing allegations. Winter added, "People thought I was 24 when I was 12. If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes."

When the actor was 14, she took her mother to court with allegations of physical and emotional abuse. A years-long case for her guardianship was settled before it went to trial, with Winter's sister Shanelle Gray becoming her guardian in 2014. In 2015, Winter was emancipated before she turned 18, per People. The actor spoke with Ellen DeGeneres about the decision: "It has been very sad for me, but at the same time, it's been much better for me emotionally and physically to be on my own and have a better, safer household and support system." Winter has not spoken to her mother, who has used outlets like "Dr.Phil" and "Inside Edition" to talk publicly about their strained relationship. 

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Meghan Markle

When Meghan Markle joined the British royal family after her November 2017 engagement to Prince Harry, the tabloids attacked the "Suits" actor. Sadly, her own family took it upon themselves to make regular public comments about her and sell stories to the press. Markle's father, Thomas Markle, had been highly outspoken about the Duchess of Sussex, from criticizing Meghan for stepping down from her royal duties to wanting to take legal action to see Meghan and Prince Harry's two children, Archie and Lilibet. 

According to the Daily Mail, Meghan's relationship with her father became strained when he was caught staging photos with the paparazzi before his daughter wed Prince Harry in 2018. Meghan urged her parents not to discuss her relationship with Harry with the press. She told Oprah in March 2021, "I look at Archie, I think about this child... I genuinely can't imagine doing anything to intentionally cause pain to my child. I can't imagine it. So it's hard for me to reconcile that." 

In October 2021, Thomas spoke with "Good Morning Britain" about wanting to fix his relationship with Meghan for the sake of his grandchildren. He shared, "My message for the kids is that they have two loving families ... and eventually, they're going to grow up and they're going to want to know more about them." Thomas also added that he would continue to speak to the press until Meghan reached out to him. 

Ryan Lochte

Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte spoke openly about his family strife. Speaking with Graham Bensinger in September 2020, Lochte explained that after telling his mom she was about to become a grandmother a few years prior, she was unkind to him. Though he didn't share specifics about the rift, Lochte was okay with the outcome and felt that a separation from his mother was in his family's best interest.

Lochte, a 12-time Olympic medalist, revealed that his parents' divorce in 2011 first had the swimmer choosing his mother over his father. He shared, "At one point, we were all against someone, and then later on in life, it changed," meaning that he reconciled with his father and got over his anger so they could form healthy relationship. Lochte no longer speaks to his mother after their incident, stating, "She just said some things to me and my wife, but I mean, I can get over it, but I just want an apology from her. And she said that she'll never apologize." Lochte and his wife, Kayla Rae Reid, welcomed a son named Caiden in June 2017 and a daughter named Liv in June 2019, per People

Lochte told People that he was happy to reveal his uneasy relationship with his mom. He said, "It was hard. I just want people to know that just because I'm an Olympian, I don't have the easy way."

Abigail Hopkins

Actor Anthony Hopkins welcomed his only child, a daughter named Abigail Hopkins, with his first wife, Petronella Barker, in 1968. According to The Telegraph, before Hopkins and Barker ended their marriage in 1972, he also ended his connection to his young daughter. In a 2002 press interview for "Red Dragon" (via Philstar), Hopkins responded to an assumption that he was "self-possessed": "I may have screwed up a lot of my life, I may have hurt a few people, I'm not a very good husband, I'm not a good father," he said, in part.

In her interview with The Telegraph in 2006, Abigail shared that she infrequently saw her father when she was a child. She had a brief reunion with him when he cast her in cameos for "Remains of the Day" and "Shadowlands." Abigail made mention of an argument they had when she was 16, downplaying mental health struggles from her younger years. She was still open to having a relationship with her famous father, but only if it was mutual. 

In a 2018 interview with the Radio Times, the "Silence of the Lambs" actor had no intention of reconciling with his only daughter. "People break up. Families split, and you know, 'Get on with your life.' People make choices. I don't care one way or the other.'" Further explaining their estrangement, he told The Times (via People), "I've got no blame. People do what they do. And I don't understand it, and it doesn't bother me. I can't waste my time worrying about it. And I'm not cold, I'm just thinking, 'Oh well, that's the way it is.'"

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.

Brie Larson

"Captain Marvel" actor Brie Larson cemented her name in Hollywood when she won the Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture, drama, for her performance in 2015's "Room." Larson then won the best actress Oscar for the role. Her father, Sylvain Desaulnier, told the Daily Mail how proud he was of his daughter. "When she won the Golden Globe, it was like, 'Oh my God, she won.' So it's all a little surreal but now it seems inevitable." Although he praised his daughter's career, Larson had been estranged from her father for years.

Opening up about her nonexistent relationship with her father, Larson told Elle magazine in 2016 (via HuffPost), "When legally I didn't have to have visitation with him anymore, I jumped on it. As a kid I tried to understand him and understand the situation. But he didn't do himself any favors. I don't think he ever really wanted to be a parent." Larson added that her difficult situation with her father made her take on "volatile" roles.

Larson revealed that she hadn't spoken to her father in a long time. However, Desaulnier told a different story to the Daily Mail when he said, "There's no accuracy to what's been written. It's inaccurate," adding, "It's my daughter, and I love her to death."

Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan's feud with her mother, Susan Jordan, began after the "When Harry Met Sally" actor became involved with Dennis Quaid in 1990. According to the New York Post, Jordan became concerned about her daughter's relationship with Quaid when she suspected him of misusing drugs, which Ryan had denied. Jordan explained, "I had no idea why until months later I thought she might have thought I knew about this drug problem. Did she think, 'what is it going to look like if America's sweetheart is engaged to a drug addict?'"

Ryan did not invite her mother to her 1991 wedding to Quaid. However, as her mother said, Quaid entered rehab for his drug addiction before the two could wed (per The Telegraph). In July 2000, the couple split, with Susan telling the New York Post she hoped that meant she and her daughter could restore their relationship. "If she called me now, I would tell her that I love her. It would give me peace to know that she is leading a happy life," Jordan said.

According to Page Six, Jordan's 2001 autobiography, "The Immune Spirit: A Story of Love, Loss, and Healing," did not paint a pretty picture of her famous daughter, especially after allegedly wanting to make amends. It read, "The image [Meg] has of the innocent, dizzy girl-next-door could not be further from the truth. In real life, she's a cold-hearted, cruel manipulator." 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Bryce Hall

Social media star Bryce Hall penned a letter apologizing for getting arrested and charged with marijuana possession in Texas in May 2020. The essay, given to People, expressed Hall's desire to become a better person for his family and his 23 million followers on TikTok. Hall admitted that being in jail for a day was enough to convince him that it was time for a change. "I also thought about my father — someone who was never around and that I knew to be abusive and irresponsible." He added, "He spent time behind bars for unpaid child support and abuse; and as I sat in that cell, it made me feel just like my father. It was a mortifying and shameful experience."

In June 2017, Hall shared a satirical Father's Day Instagram post that showed the influencer hugging the air, meant to be his father. His caption partly read, "...thanks for being an abusive piece of s*** to my mother. Here's my fav pic of me and him." He shared another sarcastic sentiment on Twitter the following year. 

Hall was in more trouble in 2021. After a physical altercation at a restaurant, he stated to People: "The version of the story that is being portrayed is missing a lot of context and isn't who I am. It isn't who my mom — a single mother who has only love in her heart — raised me to be. When I was young, my dad abused me and my mom and was removed from the house. From that day forth, I swore that I will never become like my father."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.