Reality Star Kids Who Disappeared From Hollywood

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The following article mentions drug addiction and sexual abuse. 

With the explosion of reality TV in the early 2000s, it's safe to say that a lot of kids grew up in front of the camera on a variety of different reality shows that often made whole families famous. Perhaps the best example of this is Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who launched into fame on their family's former E! show, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," which they began filming when Kendall was 11 and Kylie was just nine. Not only have both Jenners continued to do reality TV since then, but Kendall went on to become a supermodel and Kylie a makeup mogul.

The Jenners weren't the only kids whose stints on reality TV led to future success in the entertainment industry though since popular actor/singer/dancer Jojo Siwa started her career on the Lifetime reality series, "Dance Moms," as did her fellow actor/dancer Maddie Ziegler. Then there are the reality kids who still want another chance at filming their lives for TV, like "Don't Be Tardy's" Brielle and Ariana Biermann. According to People, the former "Real Housewives of Atlanta" stars were developing their own reality series in 2022 that would chronicle their move to Los Angeles.

However, not all of the young people who shared their adolescence with TV viewers felt the need to continue their lives in show business. In fact, many desired a more "normal life" after getting a taste of fame at a young age. So let's break down those reality star kids who disappeared from Hollywood.

The Jon & Kate Plus 8 toddlers are now average teens

Most of the Gosselin children started their reality TV careers as just toddlers on TLC's "Jon and Kate Plus 8," which debuted back in 2007. The series followed the lives of Jon and Kate Gosselin as parents of sextuplets and twins. While the show seemed innocent enough, it eventually led to a ton of drama, like Jon and Kate's nasty divorce, which resulted in the series becoming "Kate Plus 8" instead.

While "Kate Plus 8" ended in 2017, two of the sextuplets, Collin and Hannah, later received media attention for their decision to live with Jon. In 2022, for example, Hannah told ET, "I just feel like there was unfair treatment in my mom's house." In another interview with ET, Collin dished, "My mom had her own agenda." Yet, their lives with their dad in Pennsylvania still seem pretty normal, with Jon sharing photos of their first day of school and family vacations on social media.

The rest of the sextuplets, who are with Kate in North Carolina, appear to be just your average teens, too, now that the cameras aren't rolling. Kate has also shared them doing ordinary adolescent things like Go-Karting and celebrating getting their braces off. The twins, Cara and Mady, put TV fame behind them as well, moving to New York for college. Mady even once admitted, per In Touch, "College feels like a place to blend in ... I don't want everyone to know my name and my business."

Brooke Hogan started an AirBnB design business

Wrestling icon Hulk Hogan's daughter, Brooke Hogan, made a name for herself at age 16 on the family's 2005 Vh1 reality show, "Hogan Knows Best," which also helped launch her career as a pop star. While Hogan still continued to do reality TV with the 2008 spinoff, "Brooke Knows Best," she later went on to dabble in acting and wrestling before her career eventually fizzled out. 

When looking back at her time on reality TV in 2021, Hogan told Distractify, "I mean, it was this crazy concept of having cameras follow you around 24/7; it was so weird." It had also negatively impacted her family since it seemingly led to her parent's bitter divorce and her estrangement from her mother. However, being out of the spotlight may have done them some good, with Hogan pointing out, "I think slowly but surely our family is healing." She continued, "I don't think we're there yet, but I think it's still way better than it was."

These days, Hogan lives far away from Hollywood in Tennessee, where she launched her own business. She explained in a 2021 Instagram post, "I started an AirBnB design company in Nashville a few years ago, and it's doing really well! Built from the ground up by me and only me." While Hogan told Irvine Weekly in 2020 that she was still interested in making music, she dished, "You have to have a real job when the entertainment business doesn't work out."

The Pretty Wild girls became pretty tame

"Pretty Wild" may have aired over a decade ago, yet the E! reality show continues to fascinate people since its connection to Hollywood's infamous "bling ring," the group of teens who robbed celebrity homes. One of those teens happened to be Alexis Neiers, now Haines, who starred on the show alongside her friend, Tess Taylor, and her sister, Gabrielle Neiers. While the series was originally about the girls' attempt at stardom and their strange home-schooling, it eventually followed Haines' scandal. 

What fans probably didn't know was that Haines and Taylor were also dealing with intense drug addiction. Once the cameras stopped rolling, they both eventually got clean, with Haines now working as a drug counselor at the Oro House Recovery Center. Haines didn't completely leave show business either, though, since she hosts the podcast "Recovering From Reality" and appeared in the 2022 Netflix docuseries, "The Real Bling Ring: Hollywood Heist."

Taylor, however, moved to Wisconsin to seemingly distance herself from Hollywood. She was even annoyed to be mentioned in "Hollywood Heist," writing on Instagram, per Us Weekly, "I feel like I am wayyyy too involuntarily involved in this project." In another post, she explained, "I just want to live my quiet little life with my family." As for Neiers, she too sought a more private life after apparently regretting doing the show. Nevertheless, she dished on her sister's podcast (25:48), "If we could get through the humiliation of 'Pretty Wild,' then we can get through anything."

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)

Some of the Duggars work normal jobs

Despite the TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting" coming to an end in 2015, some of the Duggar children have remained in the headlines but not always for good reasons. We're, of course, talking about Josh Duggar, who went to prison in 2022 for child pornography, and Jana Duggar, who was arrested in 2021 for child endangerment. Then there's Jill, Jessa, Jinger, and Joy-Anna, who did their spin-off "Counting On" with their husbands until 2021. However, Jill and her husband left the show in 2017, telling People, "We just wanted more control of our own lives." The other older girls weren't as over fame, though, and currently have YouTube channels or podcasts.

The rest of the Duggars who grew up on "19 Kids and Counting" have seemingly left show business and have non-TV jobs in their native Arkansas. According to In Touch, John David, for example, has a career as a constable and pilot, while Joseph and Josiah work in real estate. Jeremiah is also a flight instructor, and James operates heavy machinery. Additionally, Jedidiah is now an entrepreneur after trying his hand at politics. 

The rest of the brood was a lot younger when their family was on TV, so they appear to be living as regular non-famous kids from the looks of the family's Instagram. They're still homeschooled, though, and in 2021, the six youngest took an educational trip across the U.S. Their parents posted, "We try to plan big "field trips" that will coincide with our studies."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Jessica Evans and Dieter Shmitz left Laguna Beach

If you're rewatching "Laguna Beach" on Netflix, then you're probably wondering what happened to Jessica Smith, the high school bestie of Kristin Cavallari. That's because, unlike Cavallari and most of the rest of the cast, Smith, who now goes by her married name, Evans, didn't pursue fame when the show ended in 2006. Instead, she told the "Real Life With Katie Casey" podcast, "I've always just wanted kids, and so I was going to school to be a teacher because I was like if I don't get married and have kids, I'll teach kids" (17:15).

Evans, however, didn't end up finishing school because she got pregnant with her first child in 2010. She eventually moved to Texas, where she now lives with her husband and four children and runs an Amazon storefront. Evans also isn't in touch with any of the former "Laguna Beach" cast either, dishing, "We just didn't connect anymore after high school" (13:05).

While Evans' Season 1 boyfriend, Dieter Schmitz, also chose a life outside the limelight, he's still close with his famous pals, Stephen Colletti and Lauren Conrad. In 2021, he even posted a photo with them on Instagram, writing, "Sure do love these peoples." Yet like Evans, Schmitz moved out of California and appears to currently live in Arizona after moving there in 2020 from Washington, D.C. He also traded in TV for the hospitality industry, and per Us Weekly, works for the Lore Group, where he designs hotels.

Talan Torriero moved to Nebraska

Talan Torriero was another former "Laguna Beach" cast member who eventually left California after losing notoriety when the show ended in 2006. He did, however, step back in the spotlight in 2022 after the "Laguna Beach" rewatch podcast stirred up people's interest in the series again. He explained to E!, "They are watching it through a new lens now that 'Back to the Beach' came out." Torriero then began making TikToks about the show, which have since gone viral. "I really try to give people insight into behind the scenes of the show or my life," he said. 

Torriero's life nowadays is in Nebraska, though, where he lives with his wife and two kids. He even told Us Weekly that it's "Quite a change," adding, "I could never imagine myself being an 18-year-old kid filming a reality show on the beach in Orange County living in Nebraska ... But I'm loving my life." He's not just making TikToks either since he told E! that he has a "normal old job" in marketing and is focused on building a new home. "I'm a normal dude," he said.

Yet that doesn't mean that Torriero didn't ever pursue fame, considering that he actually moved to Hollywood sooner than his other more famous "Laguna Beach" co-stars did, by actually leaving high school during Season 2. He dished, "I would literally drive down from LA to Laguna each week to film episodes of the show, all while pretending to be in high school."

Sebastian Oppenheim chose real estate over TV

Sebastian Oppenheim spent some of his teens being the hunk on the Bravo reality show "NYC Prep," which chronicled the lives of rich kids who went to prep school in New York City. Yet, once the cameras stopped rolling, Oppenheim left the city to have what seemed like a pretty normal undergrad experience at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, where he studied International Relations. He still was drawn to working in TV, though, since he told Daily Dish, "My main interest was broadcast journalism ... I felt that International Relations would be complimentary to my post-grad plans."

While "NYC Prep" didn't lead to an on-air career for Oppenheim, it did get him a gig as a production assistant on "Watch What Happens Live" in 2013. However, by 2015 his plans had changed because he revealed, "I'm currently working on getting my real estate license all while working on a few new passion projects." Those projects had apparently kept him involved in TV, with him dishing, "I recently produced [and] developed a pilot for a talk show concept."

However, from the looks of Oppenheim's Instagram, it appears he's now through with Hollywood for good. That's because, per his bio, he works as the head of real estate at Rove and lives in Philadelphia. Oppenheim is married to a TV star though since his wife is Food Network host Skyler Bouchard. She seemingly doesn't mind his reality TV past, posting on Instagram that she had binged watched "NYC Prep."

Briana Culberson prioritized health

Briana Culberson had appeared on her mother, Vicki Gunvalson's former show "The Real Housewives of Orange County" since its start in 2006 when she was just a teenager. However, once Culberson grew up and started a family of her own, she apparently was ready to put the series behind after moving to North Carolina in 2018. When it came to her departure from the show, her mother told ET, "She wanted to just have a break and be kind of incognito, keep the kids off camera." She added, "The unfortunate part about putting your kids on camera and yourself is the trolls come out."

Culberson still has a busy life off-camera as a mother of four and a full-time nurse. She's apparently still recognized by fans at work, too, telling "WWHL After Show," "Some people are a little shocked, and I have to remind them that this is my real job, and that's just something that my family did."

Culberson has also since moved to Illinois and seems to focusing on her health after getting diagnosed with Lupus in 2016. In 2022, she even shared on Instagram, "Our family is going through a transition in our lifestyle. Our four children are in the process of being diagnosed with the same medical condition, which will make sense out of the symptoms they've been having." Culberson now uses her Instagram to share nutrition tips and healthy recipes with her followers, writing in her bio that she's about a "Simple, clean lifestyle."

Honey Boo Boo wants to be a nurse

Alana Thompson, aka Honey Boo Boo, hasn't completely vanished from Hollywood, considering that she did appear on her mother, June Shannon's reality TV show, "Mama June: Road to Redemption" and "The Masked Singer" in 2021. Yet the former star of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" isn't chronicling her life on camera anymore either, now that she's a teenager. In fact, Thompson is pretty much your average high school student in Georgia, who, per Teen Vogue, just wants to do well in school so she can eventually become a prenatal nurse. She dished, "I want to make my money, and I also want to make straight A's, so I just try my hardest." 

Yet Thompson hasn't completely written off filming either since she admitted it's easier for her to make money that way. "I want to be able to support my kids when I do have kids," she said. But even though Thompson has stepped back from the spotlight a bit, she's still dealing with some of the downsides of fame. "I don't trust nobody really, so I don't have friends," she admitted. From the looks of her Instagram, she does have a supportive boyfriend she spends time with, even writing to him, "park dates with you are the best." 

Overall, it's safe to say that while finding reality TV stardom as a child probably does have its perks, it's not for everyone, which is why some of those kids are now spending their adulthood in obscurity.