Celebs Who Have Horrible Relationships With Their Parents

Family dynamics are almost always complicated. Throw money and fame into the mix, and it's a recipe for disaster. Whether the problem is bungled career management, allegations of abuse, financial shenanigans, or courting the tabloids too much, when a celeb starts beefing with his or her parents, it can get ugly quick. While most stars strive to keep their dirty laundry secret, others put it all out there, writing songs and books about their parental strife, and in some cases, even dragging mom and dad into court. Here's a list of stars who seem to treat their parents horribly.

Lindsay Lohan

Tabloid tales about actress Lindsay Lohan and her parents waging war appear more often than Elvis and Tupac's secret island, and while Michael and Dina Lohan aren't in danger of winning any parent of the year awards, Lindsay certainly hasn't helped their public image.

In a 2010 Vanity Fair interview that discussed the "rocky patch" of her life, which included multiple DUIs, a jail stint, house arrest, and a slew of other public embarrassments, Lindsay framed her downward spiral as a reaction to the chaos her dad created in her life. "I grew up really fast just because of the situations I was subjected to because of my father," she said, alleging that his physical and emotional abuse put her "through so much hell." She also accused him of having a "chemical imbalance" from abusing drugs and claimed his continued interjection into her life only exacerbated her stress.

More recently, Lindsay softened her stance, telling Oprah, "I hate what a bad rap people give my parents. Because they are just parents, really, at the end of the day trying to stand up for their daughter and themselves." This came after the tabloid debacle in which Michael leaked a recorded phone call with Lindsay where she accuses her mother of abusing cocaine, so maybe when Lindsay talks about "people" giving her parents a bad rap, she shouldn't look much further than the mirror.

Then again, this is a family who has dished out social media shade, tried to cash in on tell-all books, or gone to the press to trash one another so many times, it's impossible to specifically place the blame on any one of them.

Macaulay Culkin

When some kids aim to express their displeasure with their parents, they pack a toy and a juice box in a bag and declare they're leaving home and never coming back, but Home Alone (1990) star Macaulay Culkin wasn't having any of that kid stuff when he filed for and won emancipation from his parents at just 15-years-old. Yeah, Kevin straight lawyered up on their butts. Granted, Macaulay's parents, Christopher "Kit" Culkin and Patricia Brentrup, were in the middle of an ugly custody battle at the time that was starting to look more and more like a money grab for Macaulay's earnings. Kit, in particular, took much of the heat since he'd been an outspoken and driving force behind Macaulay's career to the point of detriment, some alleged.

As if legally declaring, in essence, "I no longer want to be associated with you in any way," wasn't enough, Macaulay was still dogging his dad 11 years later when he wrote his "quasi-fictional" memoir, Junior, in which the main character has a tumultuous relationship with an abusive father. While promoting the book, Macaulay told New York Magazine, "I knew from a very early age that I better take notes on him," he says of his father. "Notes on how not to be, notes on how I don't want to be when I grow up."

Even after Kit suffered a massive stroke in 2014, the family remained adrift. "I don't consider him a son anymore," Kit told the Daily Mail, pretty much nailing the coffin shut on any potential reconciliation.

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino

This might come as a shock, but one of the stars of Jersey Shore—the one whose abs and personality share the same nickname—had a pretty ugly public feud with his dad. To be fair, his pops, Frank Sorrentino, seemingly started the whole thing by threatening to write a tell-all book and launching a website where he posted a series of profanity-laced videos in which he calls out "The Situation" for causing him all kinds of grief growing up. The website is gone, but the videos live on in all their discount Sopranos glory on YouTube. Frank tries so hard to come across like every New York Italian tough guy you've ever seen in a mob movie, but instead just looks like a parody version of that already exaggerated stereotype.

Instead of letting his dad completely embarrass himself and fade quickly into obscurity, what did "The Situation" do? He sued him, because that always makes everything better, right? Actually, somehow it did. Frank eventually relented and apologized to his son in settlement docs, claiming he'd been swindled by a con man who put him up to the whole thing, but why did he go along with this charade in the first place? Supposedly, the ugly scenario started after "The Situation" declined to give Frank some money, but who could blame him? After all, sonny worked hard going to the gym, tanning, doing laundry, and acting like a pretentious jerk on TV to earn that money.

Amanda Bynes

In 2013, actress Amanda Bynes was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold after an incident in which she set a fire in some lady's driveway. This was the grand finale to a few years' worth of bizarre social media antics and public behavior that included multiple car accidents and DUIs, throwing a bong out of a window, and wearing crazy wigs to court, so when someone's life was finally endangered, such as in the driveway fire we mentioned, Bynes was sent for evaluation. What does all of this have to do with her parents, you ask? Good question.

After it was deemed Bynes had a "lack of capacity to give consent for medical care," she was placed into psychiatric care. Her mother then dropped everything in her life to serve as temporary conservator to her 27-year-old kid. During this period, Bynes lived in various treatment facilities, then with her parents, until she spiraled out of control again in 2014, got another DUI, and was placed under another psychiatric hold. As the icing on the cake, Bynes went on her now defunct Twitter and accused her dad of sexually abusing her before quickly retracting that claim, saying "My dad never did any of those things [the] microchip in my brain made me say those things but he's the one that ordered them to microchip me."

And before anyone gets uncomfortable that we're making fun of someone with severe mental illness, keep in mind that both Bynes and her parents maintain that despite her involuntary psychiatric holds and stays in treatment facilities, she has never been diagnosed with mental illness. We're no psychiatrists over here, but if she isn't suffering from mental problems, that means she's just really awful, especially to her parents, right?

Kobe Bryant

Like "The Situation" and Culkin, basketball star Kobe Bryant also dragged his parents into court. Well, sort of. Actually, he sued an auction company his parents hired to sell some of his memorabilia, reported ESPN. The auction company then turned around and sued Kobe's mother, Pamela Bryant, since she told them she was the owner of the items and had allegedly already accepted a $450,000 advance toward the sale of the items. This all went down because Kobe's parents were reportedly trying to buy a house in Vegas.

Ultimately, they all settled. Kobe stopped the auction of "approximately 90 percent" of the memorabilia, leaving the remaining six items to the auction company, who believed it could fetch "more than $500,000 combined" for them, according to the company president's interview with ESPN. This leads us to believe Kobe at least didn't want his parents on the hook to have to return the advance they received. However, he could have guaranteed the same outcome by writing a check and not filing a lawsuit because his estimated net worth is north of a quarter billion dollars.

Ma and pa Bryant also had to issue a formal apology which read, in part, "We apologize for any misunderstanding and unintended pain we have caused our son and appreciate the financial support he has provided over the years." It sounds like every kid's dream—making their parents admit they were wrong, but by taking the position of the millionaire who still wants more, Kobe just looks like a brat.

Courtney Love

It's not hard to compile a list of people rocker Courtney Love doesn't get along with. She has famously feuded with everyone from former Nirvana bandmate Dave Grohl to her own daughter, though she's reportedly reconciled with the aforementioned enemies. When it comes to her parents, Love has no such plans.

Outspoken in the press about her upbringing, Love has claimed she was abandoned and forced to live in a chicken coop. In an interview with The Telegraph, she also alleges the distance from her mother was one-sided, claiming, "She came to my house, uninvited. This woman never cared about my band at all. But the minute I was mainstream movie star girl she came to LA. This woman couldn't stand me, threw me out of the house. I was emancipated at the age of 15, for 'parents' whereabouts unknown,' so she technically abandoned me."

Love's mother, Linda Carroll, has a different version of her child's youth. In her memoir, Her Mother's Daughter (via Seattle Weekly), Carroll admits to her faults as a parent, writing, "I could have done better with her. But I don't know if it would have made a difference...I didn't create her brain chemistry." Carroll is referring to her personal assessment that Love was a handful from a young age. Among other things, Carroll claims her daughter started fires, cut herself, experimented with drugs, and was prone to dangerous outbursts. At her wit's end, Carroll sent Love to boarding schools and behavioral centers until she was 16, at which point Love was emancipated and given a trust fund from part of a family inheritance.

Granted, Carroll also claims Jerry Garcia turned her on to LSD and says she moved her children all over the world in search of communal hippie living, so maybe trying to parse out the truth among the stories from two admitted burnouts is a huge waste of time. Moving on.

Bethenny Frankel

In her 2011 book, A Place of Yes, The Real Housewives of New York star Bethenny Frankel writes that on TV, she once referred to her childhood as being "raised in a cave, by animals." That seems harsh, right? Well, she doesn't stop there. Frankel also alleges she grew up at racetracks (her biological dad and stepfather were both horse trainers), was drinking by age 7, witnessed violent fights between her parents, and was exposed to many of her mother's inappropriate behaviors, including bulimia, to which she credits her own issues with food. She also claims her mom sold her baby pictures to the tabloids and spread lies about her.

Weirdly, Frankel's mom, Bernadette Birk, didn't take this too well. Already estranged from her daughter for years even before the book came out, Birk defended herself like she was sitting next to Andy Cohen in an exaggerated prom dress at one of those reunion shows. She told Hollywood Life, "My comment is the same as it was—I consider her to be demented and beyond help. Reconciliation is not up to her at all. She would never want to repair anything because then all of her lies would come out."

At the time of this writing, Frankel actually has reached out to Birk at the request of Frankel's 6-year-old daughter, Bryn. On her radio show, Real with Bethenny (via the Daily Mail), Frankel described an exchange with her mom as "not an excruciating conversation," so, you know, baby steps.

Tori Spelling

Tori and Candy Spelling have what is probably the most notorious celebrity family feud of all time. Although, according to Tori, there is no feud. She told People, "I love my mother. I've always loved her [and] no doubt she loves me. There's no feud. We simply never meshed...My mother is who she is. I've become who I am. At some point I realized those two just didn't go together."

That's an interesting quote, considering Tori has shaded her mom in the press on many occasions. Just to name a few: in her interview with Lenny, she basically said her mother never touched her as a child. In a picture of her laid up in the hospital posted to Instagram (via E! News), Tori cryptically captioned, "Sadly I've finally faced truth that 1 person will never be there 4 me #TrueTori." Many believed that person was her mom. Tori's strongest blow had to be when she told Us Magazine (via Fox News), just days after father Aaron Spelling's death, that her mother had "an alleged relationship with family friend Mark Abramson." Nope, sounds like "there's no feud" there, right?

Candy did not take all that lying down. In addition to essentially cutting Tori off from the family's massive fortune, which is estimated at $600 million dollars, Candy fired off a response about Tori's estrangement that probably ends all further discussion: "It was sad because that's what killed my husband actually. He just didn't want to live after that. You know, He had done everything...he could possibly do for his daughter and she wanted no part of him once he couldn't do anything for her." Wow. She went there. Boom. Mic drop. Candy with the K.O.


Probably the ultimate poster child for the "I Hate My Parents Club," Marshall "Eminem" Mathers wrote entire albums dedicated to trashing his mom, Debbie Nelson. Claiming she was an abusive, neglectful, drug addict his whole life, Eminem left little to the imagination about his true feelings in a song about her titled, "Kill You." He also wrote multiple dark and twisted tracks in which his ex-wife, Kim, is either dead, or he kills her, so maybe he just has issues with women?

Debbie says her own childhood wasn't a walk in the park. In an interview with MTV, she claims she suffered "physical abuse from her stepfather and mother" and endured multiple marriages to abusive men. She also denied the horrific household and drug abuse depicted in Eminem's songs, although her exes confirmed she "popped pills," and the state of Michigan once removed Eminem's younger brother, Nathan, from the house on suspicion of abuse.

We're not saying she was even close to being June Cleaver, but maybe Eminem didn't have to treat her like she was Carrie's mom. Even in his track "Headlights," an apparent mea culpa to Debbie, Eminem couldn't restrain his rage in the middle of what was supposed to be an apology: "Though far be it from you to be calm, our house was Vietnam / Desert Storm and both of us put together can form an atomic bomb equivalent to Chemical warfare." Not exactly the warm embrace of forgiveness right there.

Farrah Abraham

If Eminem is the posterchild for the "I Hate My Parents Club," then Farrah Abraham is his evil twin sister. Even casual viewers of Teen Mom can attest she's the kind of daughter any parent would dread—a rage monster who suddenly becomes wealthy, thus turning the entire parent-child dynamic upside down. You could literally choose any episode of the questionable reality show, and it will inevitably feature a scene in which Farrah screams at, berates, and curses out her mom, Debra, and/or her dad, who she only refers to by his first name, Michael. Actually, this compilation of disturbing Farrah moments serves as a great example of what we're talking about.

As if screaming in their faces on a daily basis wasn't enough, Farrah also throws her parents under the bus in the press. In a 2015 appearance on Brandi Glanville's podcast (via Us Magazine), Farrah alleged she was physically abused as a child, claiming "her parents used to beat her with a belt for acting out, leaving bruises and welts all over her body." Also, while on VH1's Couples Therapy, both Farrah and Debra admit to getting physical with one another to the extent that Farrah describes "beating the s*** out of my mom."

No one is immune to Farrah's wrath. She famously flipped out on a production crew when their shoes "scuffed her floor." But Debra gets it the worst. In the most recent season of Teen Mom as of this writing, Farrah has had Debra feeling so low, she even hinted at suicidal thoughts, telling a producer she wonders why she's even alive.