Celeb Kids Who Trashed Their Famous Parents

The following article includes allegations of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as mentions of drug use and addiction.

Every family has its secrets, but only some know what it's like to have their personal struggles splashed all over the covers of tabloids. This media focus can be very difficult for celebrities to deal with, of course, but it can be even more difficult for the children of those celebrities, who had no choice in being thrust into the limelight.

As Zoë Kravitz put it in Elle: "It's funny, because to everyone else, it's like, 'What are they like?' And I don't have anyone else to compare them to." Even though the actor insisted that her parents, Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, tried to give her a normal childhood full of chores and early bedtimes, she admitted that there were also "a bunch of extraordinary parts" like "being surrounded by extraordinary people, going to extraordinary places." Zoë pointed out the fact that even mundane and simple tasks had an extra level associated with them, saying, "Also, people recognizing your father or your mom when you're just going to get ice cream — it's bizarre."

While Zoë had rosy memories of growing up with famous parents, many other celeb kids have openly slammed their own family members, blaming them for the struggles they've faced throughout their lives. 

Chet Hanks

Although Tom Hanks has been nicknamed "America's Dad" for his lovable persona, the actor's real-life son, Chet Hanks, has had a slightly more rocky time in the public eye. Over the years, he's come under scrutiny for his use of slurs, fake Jamaican accent, and anti-vax rants. The musician also made headlines in 2022 when he took a not-so-subtle shot at his dad.

On his YouTube channel, Chet revealed that while there were "a lot of advantages" to being the child of a celebrity, it was still a "weird" experience. "I was just the son of somebody famous so I hadn't even done anything to deserve any sort of recognition and that created a lot of contempt," he explained. The musician also insisted that "he didn't have a strong male role model" to reassure him that the people who "hated" on him were simply jealous. "You have all these things that they want so they are trying to throw their shade at you," he revealed. Viewers quickly interpreted that anecdote as a criticism of Tom as a father — and it's not the first time that their relationship has been publicly questioned. One ex-girlfriend previously told Radar Online that Chet had been financially cut off from his parents because of his drinking and drug use.

Tom called his son "brave" for opening up about his struggles with sobriety in 2015, however, telling ET,  "As a parent, you love your kids unconditionally. You support them every step of the way."

Christina Crawford

After Joan Crawford died, it was revealed that the Hollywood star had cut two of her adopted children, Christopher and Christina, out of her will for "reasons which are well known to them." Christina then released a tell-all memoir called "Mommie Dearest," which accused her late mother of physical and mental abuse. It was later made into a notoriously campy movie, which starred Faye Dunaway and won several Razzies.

"We didn't have a language for it," Christina told The Guardian in 2019, reflecting on the backlash she received for her depiction of child abuse. "We didn't have laws for it. We didn't have a social context for it, and we had shame. A tremendous amount of shame, coupled with fear. It wasn't easy." She also claimed that her mother "would have been in jail" if she was alive today. "She would've been hauled off to jail for attempted murder," Christina insisted, recalling one incident where police were called to the house. "What is the excuse for that?"

Although they seemed to reconcile in Joan's later years, the relationship was never fixed. "Towards the end, she didn't have any work," Christina explained. "She was an alcoholic. She was ill. She was drug-addicted. And I think she just wasn't playing with a full deck." Christina moved back to California and fell out of touch with her ill mother again, before finally receiving the news that Joan had died.

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.

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O'Neal may have starred in the film "Paper Moon" alongside her father, Ryan O'Neal, but their relationship off-camera was far from perfect. The Oscar-winning child star has written books about both her parents over the years, accusing them of being unfit to have children and abandoning her to a life of drugs.

Ryan apparently resented her record-breaking success at the Academy Awards, where she won best supporting actress at only 9 years old. "The feeling I most associate with winning an Oscar is an overwhelming sadness at being abandoned by my parents — both of them, for my mother remained silent — one more time," Tatum wrote in her 2004 memoir, later telling Larry King that Ryan apparently punched her in the face after the nominations were announced, although she blocked it out of her memory.

"It is a sad day when malicious lies are told in order to become a 'best seller,'" Ryan declared in response to the book, as NBC reported. Although they've tried to repair their relationship over the years, it seems to be an uphill battle. "He has a lot of anger. I don't think he likes me," Tatum told The Guardian in 2011. "I choose to be around people who see me as the person I've become, and that's not the way he sees me. I don't think he sees me in a positive light."

Kate and Oliver Hudson

Kate and Oliver Hudson grew up around some of the biggest stars in the world, thanks to their mother Goldie Hawn. But the famous siblings have been open about the fact that they consider their stepdad, Kurt Russell, to be more of a father to them than their biological dad, Bill Hudson, who told the Daily Mail that they were "no longer a part of my life" after Oliver made a Father's Day post captioned "Happy abandonment day."

"I would ask them to stop using the Hudson name," Bill declared in 2015, calling the Instagram post a "malicious, vicious, premeditated attack" and blaming Hawn for turning Oliver against him. "He is dead to me now. As is Kate," the musician added, publicly cutting off both children. "I am mourning their loss even though they are still walking this earth."

Kate spoke with "Today" about her father in 2021, admitting that their bitter relationship was "a 41-year-old issue" rather than a new development. "I think that estrangement is unfortunately quite common," the actor reflected. "I think it's important for people to talk about that, too, if they can't reconnect or if it's too challenging, that it's OK, right?" She also insisted that "the love has never ever gone anywhere," despite her family's challenges.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston has admitted to having a strained relationship with her late mother, the actor Nancy Dow. The pair were estranged for years after Dow published a book in 1999 about raising Aniston, "From Mother and Daughter to Friends," without asking her daughter's permission. "I knew that this person was giving me an example of what I'd never want to be, and I will never ever be that," Aniston reflected in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, describing how her mother "sat comfortably in victimhood" throughout her childhood. "I think it's toxic, and it erodes your insides and your soul," the "Friends" star added.

She also told Elle that her mother put a lot of pressure on her to look attractive. "She was from this world of, 'Honey, take better care of yourself,' or 'Honey, put your face on,' or all of those odd sound bites that I can remember from my childhood," Aniston recalled, noting that Dow, a former model, wasn't trying to make her daughter self-conscious. "My mom said those things because she really loved me," the actor observed. "It wasn't her trying to be a b***h or knowing she would be making some deep wounds that I would then spend a lot of money to undo."

Aniston also acknowledged that her mom probably had a difficult time as "a single mom in the '80s" and that affected their relationship. "I think she was just holding on and doing the best she could," she concluded.

Frances Bean Cobain

Although Frances Bean Cobain has made up with her rockstar mother, Courtney Love, over the years, she has admitted to being "so f**king bitter and angry and upset and resentful for a really long time" over her mother's drug addictions.

"Some kids were like, 'f**k I didn't do my essay,' and I'd be like, 'f**k I had to call the paramedics to get my mom's stomach pumped last night,'" she told RuPaul on the podcast "What's The Tee," per InTouch. "Just a different set of priorities." Cobain also called Love a "really good person," even if she could be "highly self-destructive" during tough times.

The pair had an unlikely go-between during Cobain's difficult teenage years, the actor Edward Norton, who Love called a "force of good" in 2010. "I have the greatest respect for Edward," she told the New York Daily News, who reported that Cobain had been granted a restraining order against Love following a violent altercation. "I should have never gotten mad at her. I love her so much," the musician insisted at the time, vowing that she would be reunited with her daughter soon.

If you or anyone you know is struggling 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).

Brody Jenner

Although Brody Jenner was introduced to the public as part of a big happy family on "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," he's been candid about feeling distant from stepmom Kris Jenner and her daughters. "Kris and I don't speak. We just don't speak," Brody told The Mirror in 2015, insisting the famous "momager" was "just busy" and there had been no big falling out. "Anyway, I have a mother who I speak to. I don't need two of them."

When he appeared on "The Hills: New Beginnings" in 2019, the reality star was equally frank about his feelings toward Caitlyn Jenner, who was "never really around," according to Brody. "I didn't really grow up with my dad," he confessed, per ET. "When he started, you know, obviously with the family, the Kardashian family and all of that, I didn't really see much of him." He also revealed that Caitlyn hadn't come to his graduation or the majority of his birthdays, later writing that he had only seen her about "half a dozen times between the ages eight and 25."

"Eventually we started to become closer. And then all of a sudden it was like ... I was just getting to know Bruce and then Bruce became Caitlyn," Brody recalled on "The Hills." The reality star expressed support for Caitlyn and her journey with transitioning, but added that she was "off living her life" now. "And what I've learned is to not expect too much from her," he noted.

The Jacksons

In a 1993 interview with Oprah, Michael Jackson shocked the world by revealing that his father, Joe Jackson, had tormented him throughout his childhood. Michael alleged that when he and his brothers became stars as The Jackson 5, their self-appointed manager, Joe, would target him for beatings and call him ugly. "I don't know if I was his golden child or whatever it was," Michael reflected. "He was very hard. Just a look would scare you."

In a BBC interview with Louis Theroux, Joe admitted that he used to hit Michael as a punishment, but objected to the term "beating" and insisted it wasn't accurate. "I whipped him with a switch and a belt. I never beat him," the former manager declared. "You beat someone with a stick." In response to Michael saying that he "regurgitates" from fear in his father's presence, Joe snapped: "He regurgitates all the way to the bank. That's right."

The King of Pop's sister, La Toya Jackson, later accused Joe of abuse, too. "There wasn't just physical abuse," she told Regis and Kathie Lee in a 1991 interview, per The Sun. "There was also mental abuse, which is very disturbing, and also sexual abuse." She alleged that it had begun when she was 11, after her sister, Rebbie Jackson, had left home. "I've been embarrassed all my life to ever talk about it, to mention it," La Toya continued, insisting that the whole family had been "living a lie."

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.

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).

Mackenzie Phillips

Out of all the sad stories in the entertainment industry, Mackenzie Phillips might have one of the most tragic. In 2009, the "One Day at a Time" actor wrote a book about her father, John Phillips, the frontman of The Mamas and The Papas, which detailed the years-long sexual abuse she received from him. "My father was not a bad man. He was kind of a testament to what drugs and alcohol — in huge quantities — can do to a person's priorities. Their motives," Mackenzie told Oprah in a subsequent interview, although she called their relationship "an abuse of power" on his part. "I don't hate him. I understand that he was a very tortured man, and he sort of passed that torture down to me."

The actor also revealed that the sexual abuse began when she was a teenager and lasted for decades, although she stopped it after getting pregnant. Facing the "implications" of not knowing who the father was, Mackenzie had an abortion, which was paid for by John, and never let him anywhere near her again. 

In an interview with Erica Diamond, Mackenzie later clarified her opinions about what occurred between her and her dad: "There is no such thing as consensual sex between a father and a daughter." Mackenzie also spoke about how the long-term trauma led to her struggling with drug addiction and described how "angry" she was at her father when he died in 2001.

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).

If you or anyone you know is struggling 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).

Lindsay Lohan

Although Michael and Dina Lohan have both become famous due to their daughter, Lindsay Lohan has publicly admitted how turbulent her family life has been. In 2010, she spoke to Vanity Fair about former Wall Street trader Michael and how he had put their family "through so much hell," accusing her father of "death threats" and physical violence. "I grew up really fast just because of the situations I was subjected to because of my father," Lindsay reflected. She also claimed that Michael's endless interviews with the press about her were a "cry for attention" and that his accusations of drug use were hypocritical. "I feel sorry for him," she continued.

After pictures emerged of her fighting with her fiancé, Egor Tarabasov, in 2016, Lindsay told the Daily Mail that her family had prepared her for a life of difficult relationships. "I've become my mother," she observed. The actor also explained why she wasn't currently talking to Michael, pointing out that he was "known for talking to the press and selling stories" about his famous daughter. "Who does that? Some of the stuff he's done proves to me he doesn't care about me," Lindsay added. 

The actor seemingly had her own clash with Dina that same year too, per Page Six, posting and then deleting an enigmatic Instagram caption: "Sometimes it sucks when your mom isn't there for you."

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has had a rocky relationship with her father, the actor Jon Voight, ever since childhood. "I didn't feel that close to my father," she revealed on a podcast, per E! News. "I felt more of my mother's daughter."

In 2002, Voight brought their dispute to rock-bottom, when he publicly accused his daughter of having "serious emotional problems." As he told E! News, the star had been estranged from Voight for months and hadn't let him meet her first child, Maddox, whose adoption he had announced to reporters without Jolie's permission. "It's a great pain that I haven't been able to see the baby," he declared. "I want to tell Angie that I love her and I want her to get the help she needs." In response, Jolie legally dropped "Voight" from her name, according to Entertainment Weekly. "I don't want to make public the reasons for my bad relationship with my father. I will only say that like every child ... I would have loved to have had a warm and loving relationship with our dad," Jolie told The Hollywood Reporter, per E! News, adding that her relationship with Voight wasn't "healthy."

By 2017, however, the pair had reconciled. "Through grandchildren now we're finding a new relationship and it's very, very nice," Jolie shared, although she admitted that they "don't really talk politics well" thanks to Voight's support of Donald Trump. "Through art is a way we've been able to talk. It's a common language."