Celebrities Who Found Out They Have Long Lost Siblings

There's no doubt that the shocking revelation of a long lost sister or brother might sound like something ripped from a daytime soap opera or teen drama. In July 2018, Vulture even ranked the "The Many Secret Siblings of the CW's Teen Dramas," writing, "maybe the trope is meant as a metaphor for the way a person's knowledge of the world shifts as they grow older. After all, the trope confronts the idea that parents are people who had lives before their kids came along..."

And with the increasing popularity of genetic testing services like 23andMe, we can probably expect to hear more real life stories like the one from News.com.au, in which a woman received her results and was gobsmacked to discover she had not one but three half-siblings who she'd never known about. 

The following celebrities made similar headlines when they (or, in some cases, prying media outlets) discovered the existence of previously unknown half-sisters and half-brothers. 

For Cheryl Burke, some happy news out of tragedy

Dancing with the Stars professional dancer Cheryl Burke announced with great sadness on Instagram that her father had passed away in March 2018. A few months later, she took to the social media platform again to reveal that her father's death had brought some happy news too, in that she'd finally been able to meet a younger half-sister sister, Ina Burke, whom she had never previously known. 

"We recently met for the first time and it was such a surreal experience to walk into a room to meet and walk out feeling like we had known each other forever," Cheryl captioned the selfie with Ina (above right). "In her I see the same drive and passion that our dad had and there's clearly a major family resemblance. It may have taken 30 years to find each other, but I am so excited to have another sister for life." 

Cheryl revealed to People that while her father had previously told her about her sister's existence, it was only after his death that the two made contact. "My mom and dad separated and he basically went straight into the relationship and had Ina," Burke explained, adding, "My dad would be so happy. He really would be."

Demi Lovato revealed her secret sibling on the radio

From discussing her eating disorder to filming a documentary about her struggles with drug addiction, singer Demi Lovato has always been forthcoming about her private life. In March 2013, she shocked listeners of Long Island radio station WBLI's show "Dana & Jeffrey in the Morning" when, in response to a question about whether she had anything personal she'd like to share with her fans, she revealed that she had an older half-sister in addition to older sister Dallas Lovato and younger half-sister Madison De La Garza. As People reported at the time, the singer told the show's hosts, "I have an older sister I've never known my whole life, who's in her 30s ... She's my half-sister, but I talked to her for the very first time in my life around when I turned 20."

Lovato added that when she finally spoke to her mystery half-sis Amber Smith (above right), she asked, "'Why haven't you ever contacted me?' She said, 'Well, I never wanted you to think I wanted anything from you. So I've just been kind of waiting to see if you wanted a relationship.' I thought that was so incredible. So, I actually have three sisters."

Judging by a 2016 tweet from Dallas celebrating National Siblings Day and photos Amber posted of Demi with her kids, it would seem Demi's "long lost" half-sister has been fully accepted by the Lovato crew.  

Miley Cyrus' family is bigger than you knew

As the child of country star Billy Ray Cyrus and sister of rising singer Noah Cyrus, musician and former child star Miley Cyrus' family is pretty well-covered in the media. Except, that is, for her half-brother Christopher Cyrus, who is nearly the exact same age as Miley and whose existence was first discovered and reported by British newspaper The Sun in 2009. 

The Sun alleged that Miley had never publicly acknowledged Christopher's existence, and had only spoken to him five times in the 10 years previous to the article's publication. Christopher, who was born in 1992, was the product of a fling between Billy Ray and waitress Kristin Luckey before he got together with Miley's mom Tish. Of Miley and Billy Ray, Christopher told the paper, "I'm on good terms but I don't have a relationship with them really."

To this day, the greater Cyrus family has seemed to maintained its distance from Christopher and has avoided discussing him in the press.

Lindsay Lohan's half sister stirred up tabloid drama

Lindsay Lohan's father, Michael Lohan, took embarrassing parental behavior to the next level during a 2012 appearance on The Trisha Goddard Show. As TMZ reported, during the appearance, DNA test results confirmed that he had fathered a daughter in 1995 while he was still married to Lindsay's mom. Even worse for Lindsay, she received the news about her new half-sister, Ashley Horne (above right), while she was doing an interview for Good Morning America. As US Weekly described, ABC's Amy Robach told Lohan, "You allegedly have a new half-sister," to which Lohan replied, "I didn't even hear that, so thanks for the news."

Horn went on to make headlines in 2013 for claiming to In Touch Weekly that she had had $25,000 worth of plastic surgery to look more like her famous half-sister. A few months later, Ashley returned to The Trisha Goddard Show and retracted those remarks (via The Daily Mail). For her part, Lohan wanted nothing to do with her father's other children, telling him on her docuseries Lindsay (via In Touch Weekly), "I do not want to talk about your other random f–cking kids ... they're not my family and they never will be."

To date, it doesn't appear that Lindsay has forged any kind of relationship with her half-sister.

Patrick Schwarzenegger's half brother was a shocker

Actor and model Patrick Schwarzenegger (above left) seemingly found out around the same time as the rest of the world that he had a half-brother in 2011, when his father Arnold Schwarzenegger (above right) revealed that he had cheated on his longtime wife Maria Shriver with the couple's housekeeper in 1997. According to People, the affair produced a baby boy, Joseph Baena (above middle), and resulted in the dissolution of Shriver and Schwarzenegger's marriage when his true paternity came to light many years later. As of this writing, it seems that neither Patrick nor any of his three full siblings, Katherine, Christina, and Christopher, have appeared in public with Joseph or discussed their father's other son. 

During a 2012 appearance on 60 Minutes (Per People), Schwarzenegger Sr. admitted that he didn't realize Baena was his son for seven or eight years, until he "started looking like me, that's when I kind of got it. I put things together." These days, the pair are regularly spotted hanging out, and Arnold shared his thoughts on Joseph during a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, saying, "He's terrific and he totally understands the situation."

It goes beyond Solange for Beyoncé

In the early-2010s, the world learned that pop superstar Beyoncé had both a half-brother and a half-sister. First, news broke that her father Matthew Knowles had fathered a son, Nixon, with former actress Alexsandra Wright in 2010. According to The Daily Mail, the affair reportedly led to the dissolution of Knowles' 31-year-long marriage to Beyonce's mother, Tina Knowles in 2011 (coincidentally, as The Guardian reported, the singer also ended her professional relationship with her father the same year). In April 2014, Wright appeared on Inside Edition and claimed that she and Nixon had had to move into public housing because Knowles hadn't paid child support, telling the show, "I don't expect Beyoncé to take accountability. It's not her problem. It's not her situation."

In October 2014, another woman, TaQoya Branscomb, came forward to Inside Edition with paternity test results that confirmed Matthew Knowles had also fathered her four-year-old daughter, Koi. Branscomb revealed that she was also suing Matthew Knowles for child support. As of this writing, Beyonce has not spoken publicly about her two half-siblings or her father's custody battles. 

Katy Perry's half-sister makes a PSA of her own

When Katy Perry's father Keith Hudson appeared in a YouTube video in 2012 urging parents not to "close the door on [their] children," he may not have been expecting the reaction he got: Perry's long-lost older half-sister came out of the woodwork to slam him in the press.

Jodi Hudson vented her frustration to Star magazine during a November 2012 interview, saying (via Radar), "This man is preaching something he should have done himself. ... I broke down when I saw that video. She added, "He completely abandoned me when I was a child and has had almost nothing to do with me throughout my life," and described how she and Katy Perry (formerly Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson) had no relationship because of her father's actions. However, Jodi told the magazine, she didn't harbor resentment toward Katy, adding, "It is hurtful that I am kept a secret but I have nothing bad to say about her."

As of this writing, it seems Katy hasn't publicly uttered a peep on the matter.

Oprah Winfrey took her sibling-reveal into her own hands

It comes as no surprise that the Queen of All Media revealed her long lost half-sister's existence on her own terms. In 2011, Oprah Winfrey dropped a bombshell on audiences when she introduced and interviewed Patricia Lee on her show. Winfrey revealed that their mother had given Lee up for adoption in 1963 when Winfrey was nine and living with her father. Oprah herself had just found out about Lee's existence, though Lee had held on to the secret since 2007. 

During the episode, Oprah told her audience, "What's so extraordinary about Patricia ... is that [she's] known this secret since 2007 ... she never once thought to go to the press." Winfrey then turned to Lee, and said, "I didn't know if it was true or not true ... that you are my sister ... I had to meet you because I wanted to meet someone who had that kind of character."

The Daily Mail reported in 2014 that Winfrey had purchased a house in Wisconsin for Lee and was also giving her an allowance so that Lee could return to finish college. In 2017, Winfrey showed up to cheer Lee on at her graduation from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, posting a photo on Instagram (above) and writing, "My sister Pat ... had 1 big dream when I met her. To go to college and finish strong! Today that dream came true. Congratulations lil Sis."

Rihanna discovers three older half-siblings

Along with breaking the news about Miley Cyrus' estranged half-brother, British paper The Sun also revealed in 2011 that singer Rihanna supposedly has three half-siblings on her father's side.

One alleged half-sister, Kandy, described to the paper how she introduced herself to Rihanna's dad when Rihanna was just 15, and later hung out with the then-unknown singer. "We went to a local restaurant and had some photos taken with her. She was so funny, fooling around to make my daughters laugh," Kandy told the paper. She added, "I saw her a few times again after that initial meeting but it wasn't long after that she moved to the States to pursue her singing career and I didn't really hear much from her again." 

The Sun also reported on another older half-sister, Samantha, and an older half-brother, Jamie, who have allegedly "remained on good terms with their famous sibling."

Rihanna also has two full brothers, Rorrey and Rajad, both of whom she appears to be close with

Liv and Mia Tyler weren't always officially family

These days you can catch actress Liv Tyler (above right) and model Mia Tyler (above left) posting sweet photos of each other and their families on their Instagram accounts. But their sisterly bond wasn't always so clear cut. When Liv was just a child, her mother Bebe Buell had brought her up believing that rocker Todd Rundgren was her father. It wasn't until Liv was 8-years-old (according to her own account, although her mother claimed Liv was 11-years-old at the time) that she confronted her mother and learned the truth: Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was her real dad, and Mia Tyler was her long lost half-sister. 

Liv explained on The Jonathan Ross Show (via Hello!) that spotting real half-sister Mia Tyler at an Aerosmith concert was what triggered her doubts about her paternity, saying, "I kind of figured it out because he looked exactly like me, and I have a sister named Mia who is a year younger than me and I saw her standing at the side of the stage at a concert and I was literally like looking at my twin." 

Liv added, "[Mia] looked exactly like me and I looked at my mum and she had tears in her eyes and I kind of put it all together."

Janice Dickinson took the tabs along to meet her half-sister

In Sept. 2018, model and reality TV star Janice Dickinson (above left) invited DailyMailTV's cameras to record her and her two sisters' reunion with her long lost half-sister, Gloria 'Bunny' Dickinson (above right). Janice found out about Bunny's existence in 2017 after Bunny's nephew, who had "researched their family genealogy," discovered that Bunny's father had had another three daughters after his breakup with Bunny's mother. 

"The irony is when I used to watch [Janice Dickinson] on television I always felt a kind of kinship, without any reason to do that," Bunny told The Daily Mail. She reached out to her three sisters by mail and then by phone. Janice explained to the paper that she immediately felt a connection when she finally spoke with her half-sister, saying, "From the moment Bunny called me, I knew that she was my sister because the cadence of her voice, us Dickinson ladies are just tall Texan ravishing beauties ... I never knew. I didn't know my father had been married before, let alone had another child." 

After reuniting with Bunny in person, Dickinson described the feeling as "beautiful ... nothing equates to this feeling."