Celebs Who Cut Their Kids Out Of Their Wills

The following references child abuse.

Some celebrities' kids live off the success of their parents, whether they work in the same business or not. They grow up with the privilege of having that financial stability, and some go on to make a fortune for themselves. However, some of these kids grow up only to discover that they have been cut out of their parents' wills and won't be receiving a single penny as inheritance.

While it may seem petty on the surface, there are a number of valid reasons why a very famous person might decide to remove their offspring from their will. For starters, the kid may already be more than comfortable, and a sudden financial windfall would just be gilding the lily. As Simon Cowell told Esquire in 2013 (via E! News), "I'm going to leave my money to somebody. A charity, probably—kids and dogs. I don't believe in passing on from one generation to another."

On the flip side, there could be deep-rooted issues behind the scenes, and bequeathing a hefty pile of cash to their children may not be an option. And, of course, there are times when kids aren't included in the inheritance plan because everything's going to a second or fifth wife. Whatever the reason may be, these celebrities opted against putting their children in their wills.

Mickey Rooney's will sparked a battle over his remains

At the age of 93, Mickey Rooney died on April 6, 2014. However, his remains weren't laid to rest for a period of time because of the drama between his wife, Jan Chamberlain, and his lawyer, Michael Augustine, whom he had chosen to handle his estate after his death. Someone close to the family told Radar, "Mickey's lawyers claim this is what he would have wanted, but Jan knows him best and he wanted to be next to his mom. But the lawyers don't trust each other, in essence. They're going to court and slapping a restraining order on the body."

After battling in court, The Guardian shared a statement from Rooney's lawyer that indicated how things played out. Augustine stated, "We are deeply gratified that Mr. Rooney's final wishes have been ratified ... I know that he would have been pleased with the outcome." This meant they would be able to have the funeral Rooney had told his lawyer he wanted.

The drama didn't just come from choosing where to bury Rooney, but from his will as well. As reported by The Guardian, Rooney's will was filed mere days before his passing. He made the decision to cut out his children and leave his $18,000 estate to his stepson, Mark, thanking him for having been the one to care for him during his last days.

David Cassidy only left money to his son

On November 21, 2017, David Cassidy died at the age of 67. The music and TV star left behind two children, one of them being "Arrow" star Katie Cassidy. In 2009, the father-daughter duo chatted with People about show business and their dynamic. After noting that Katie grew up with her mother and stepfather, David shared, "Because I didn't raise her, I didn't have to parent her. I'm always here and totally nonjudgmental." Katie added, "It's nice when your dad can be your friend."

Their dynamic seemed to be a tricky one. Months before his death, David told People that he and Katie had drifted apart. When he died, The Blast reported that he'd made the decision to leave everything to his son, Beau Cassidy. Per the AP, the will read, "It is my specific intent not to provide any benefits hereunder to Katherine Evelyn Cassidy and/or any descendant of Katherine Evelyn Cassidy." 

Katie still paid her respects via Twitter. In a since-deleted post, she wrote, "Words cant express the solace our family's received from all the love & support during this trying time. My father's last words were 'So much wasted time.' This will be a daily reminder for me."

Joan Crawford severed ties with two of her children

When the legendary film star Joan Crawford died on May 10, 1977, two of her four children did not receive a single cent per her request. She stated in her will, "It is my intention to make no provision herein for my son Christopher or my daughter Christina for reasons which are well known to them."

It's no secret that there was a great deal of tension between the "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" actor and her kids — especially Christina Crawford. In a 1976 interview with Vanity Fair, Joan made it clear that she was not thrilled about Christina's memoir, "Mommie Dearest." "I think she's using my name strictly to make money. I suppose she doesn't think that I'm going to leave her enough," the actor said. "I prefer to cut off people who want to hurt me, rather than to continue to give them power over me to go on inflicting pain."

In 2008, Christina opened up to The Guardian about her fraught relationship with her mother and the abuse she suffered as a child. In the end, for her it wasn't about the money, but about using her platform to help others. "The reason I am reissuing it [her book] is because it remains one of the only real, authentic stories of family abuse, and it is important it is continually available," she said.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

Jerry Lewis left everything to his second wife

Jerry Lewis married his first wife, Patti Palmer, in 1944 and they had six sons together: Gary, Joseph, Scott, Ronald, Anthony, and Christopher Joseph. Nearly forty years later, he married SanDee Pitnick and the two adopted Danielle Sarah. In a 2016 interview with Inside Edition, he shared that he struggled to accept that he would one day no longer be around for Pitnick or their daughter. "I'm not going to hold them, I'm not going to love on them," he said. 

Lewis' relationship with his daughter seemed to be better than with his sons. As he once told Inside Edition, "I don't have to do anything for her to love me. She loves me already."

O n August 20, 2017, Lewis died at the age of 91. His estate was valued at $90 million, and his six children from his first marriage were not to inherit anything. Per Inside Edition, Lewis' will stated, "I have intentionally excluded Gary, Ronald, Anthony, Christopher, Scott, and Joseph and their descendants as beneficiaries of my estate, it being my intention that they receive no benefits." Pitnick and daughter Danielle were the sole beneficiaries of his estate.

​Marlon Brando left his adopted daughter out of his will

If Marlon Brando, his three wives, bevy of children, and longterm partners had a show, it could've been called "Cheaper by the Brando's Dozen." A large sum of money, drama over a loan, an unexpected adjustment to a will, and a kid getting left out of an inheritance may sound like something out of a soap opera, but it was Petra Brando-Corval's reality. Brando-Corval is the daughter of one of Marlon's assistants, and the actor adopted her when she was a teenager.

On July 1, 2004, Marlon Brando died, leaving behind an estate of almost $22 million. It was expected the money would be split between all of his 10 living children, but things took a turn when, according to The Age, the actor made changes two weeks before his passing. The will read, "I intentionally and with full knowledge of the consequences do not provide in my will or in my living trust for Cheyenne's issue or for Petra Brando-Corval, or for any of Petra's issue. All provisions of my will shall be interpreted as though Petra had predeceased me." The will also excluded the son of Cheyenne Brando, Marlon's daughter who died in 1995. 

In the 2000s, Brando-Corval's mother, Caroline Barrett, got into a legal battle with Marlon regarding a dispute over a loan. Per the Los Angeles Times, the case was settled days before Marlon death. 

Tony Curtis' kids didn't make the final cut

Being a nepotism baby doesn't guarantee a hearty inheritance — and Jamie Lee Curtis is living proof of that. Her father, Tony Curtis, passed away in 2010 and left his money to his sixth wife, Jill Vandenberg Curtis. Tony changed his will shortly before his death.

In 2011, daughter Allegra Curtis told Inside Edition that the kids were stunned by the sudden amendment to her father's will. "I believe he was influenced, and we all know who he was influenced by. I don't need to say her name," Allegra said. "I felt like I didn't have the right to exist, and he loved me very much, and I loved him. That's why I believe it didn't come from him." She who shall not be named was Jill. However, Jill insisted to Inside Edition that she had no such influence. "Tony could have a difficult relationship with his kids, but that really was between them and their dad, it had nothing to do with me," she said. 

According to Forbes, Kelly Lee Curtis sued Jill over her father's trust, accusing her of forcing Tony's will to go a certain way. Nothing ever came of the lawsuit, and Jamie Lee Curtis never got involved.

Richard Harrison left his estate to Rick Harrison

In June 2018, Rick Harrison announced the death of his father, Richard Harrison. "He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool 'Old Man' as my dad. That I got to share him with so many others and they got to see what a great family man he was is something I am grateful to have experienced with him," Rick wrote on Instagram.

The Harrison family had been in the public eye since the beginning of "Pawn Stars," sharing their various dynamics and the way in which their business and family combined. Harrison's original will included his wife, JoAnne Rhue, and their children. However, everything changed a year before his death when he removed son Christopher Harrison. Per The Blast (via EW), the latest version included a statement that read, "I would like to express my love and affection for [Christopher Harrison]; however for the purposes of this Will, I have intentionally and with full knowledge failed to provide for him and his issue." Richard's will did not give a reason why he chose to exclude Christopher.