The Real Reason Judd Nelson Hasn't Seen Rob Lowe In 2 Decades - Exclusive

1985 was a heck of a year for Judd Nelson. A lot of actors have whole careers without even sniffing an iconic film. Nelson starred in two that year: The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. At the age of 26, he rocketed to overnight fame. However, it wasn't just because he was so good in a seminal John Hughes classic. Nelson was also squad goals before "squads" were even a thing. 

The newly minted star, along with Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy, were dubbed the "Brat Pack." It was Hollywood's '80s youth movement — a precocious and perhaps derisive dubbing, a play on Frank Sinatra's "Rat Pack." The tabloid press was love-hate smitten and followed the group's every move and youthful misstep. 

In 1988, that misstep happened for Lowe. A sex tape featuring the actor and what turned out to be an underage girl surfaced. Since then, the actor has been repeatedly repentant and has remade himself on many popular shows. During a Sirius XM interview in 2019 he said, "It got me sober, sober got me married. I've been married 29 years and I have two great sons. I don't think any of that happens without going through that scandal." 

So, in more ways than one, life got in the way of the group of famous friends. Nelson sat down with Nicki Swift to talk about his relationship with his old peeps.

Judd Nelson explains why the 'Brat Pack' broke up

Keeping in touch is hard enough for anyone but Judd Nelson told Nicki Swift that the Brat Pack was sort of just a media invention in the first place. "I'm in touch with [Anthony] Michael Hall and a little bit with Ally [Sheedy]. But it's hard to know who was in that group. They put us together in a group, a club, a gang, who knows what the hell it was? I don't know who's in it."

Nelson also said fading friendships are just the nature of show business. "I wish I were in touch with more of them, but it's a ruse this thing, it's a family," he mused, contracting himself on purpose. "It's really because when the project's done, everyone goes off to wherever they live. I lived in New York and you go off and work on other projects. So, I really lost touch with a lot of those people."

But what of Nelson's most famous friends, Emilio Estevez and Rob Lowe? Nelson said the disconnect there is "not for lack of trying." He shared, "You just go down different paths. I miss Emilio, who's a really great, great guy. I've not seen Rob since before he had kids. And it's not that we don't get along. It just doesn't happen." It seems time just got in the way. "It's so long ago. It's so funny. It's like that's over 20 years and we lived in the same town," he lamented.