The Troubled Children Of These Classic Hollywood Stars

This article mentions drug addiction, domestic abuse allegations, and an eating disorder.

It's easy to imagine that a life in Hollywood would mean a road paved in gold. The comforts of wealth and fame would presumably wipe away many stressors that hit the average person. Wouldn't growing up in an environment of access and wealth mean an easier, more successful life?

This certainly might be the case for some children of Hollywood. We've seen A-listers' kids tap into creative ventures and take advantage of what their parents offered them. Look at Dan Levy, Eugene Levy's son, who became famous in his own right thanks to the popularity of the series "Schitt's Creek," or Lily-Rose Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, who's a major hit in the French and American film industries.

But there are other cases where Hollywood kids simply couldn't live up to their parents' careers, creating havoc and stress for their well-known families instead. Some trash-talked their famous parents while others brought unwanted attention to the family. Still others have had troubles into their adult lives, made all the more difficult when the spotlight's on them, thanks to their celebrity folks. 

Cameron Douglas spent time in prison

Cameron Douglas, son to actor Michael Douglas and producer Diandra Luker, struggled with a drug addiction and went to prison for the sale of drugs. His grandfather was the famous Hollywood icon Kirk Douglas, so the Hollywood lineage went way back. Despite the access and privilege of such a pedigree, Cameron's addiction flipped his entire life upside down. "The addiction really started to wreak havoc on my life in my mid-20s," he told Variety. "At that point, I had a burgeoning movie career and a pretty successful DJ career... Then I started injecting cocaine and it literally chewed my life to pieces in a short period of time."

Cameron explained that he was working on a movie shortly after he began doing heroin, but when he depleted his supply, he became "dope sick" while filming. His father stepped in and said he would help, but Cameron rejected the offer. "My loyalty was to my addiction," he added.

In 2009, he was arrested "for possession of crystal meth," according to The New York Times, serving a nearly 8-year prison sentence. Cameron was released in 2016, and four years later, he published his memoir, "Long Way Home," to share the rocky trajectory of his adult years. Was the famous Douglas family worried about Cameron's tell-all book? "I'm sure they were concerned, but the irony is that it was my father who was really pushing me to write this book," he told Variety, in the hope that he could help others.

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).

Charlie Sheen's ongoing antics

Charlie Sheen, born to actors Martin and Janet Sheen and sibling to actor ​​Emilio Estévez, has long been a topic of conversation for his antics and behaviors. It's difficult to pinpoint one or two episodes in his life of addiction and acting out. In 1990, he went to rehab, as USA Today reports, only to go through other turbulent events. His then-fiance (actor Kelly Preston) was shot in the arm, and accounts are fuzzy as to who was responsible. He was shortly after linked to the famous madam Heidi Fleiss for his solicitation of prostitution, and later in his life, he told The Guardian he'd slept with over 5,000 different people. Sheen was later diagnosed with HIV.

In addition to news about Charlie Sheen's drug addiction, he also made headlines for physically abusing then-girlfriend Brittany Ashland. Later, when he divorced Denise Richards, she also claimed physical and verbal abuse, per USA Today. Sheen was arrested on similar charges in 2009 when he and then-wife Brooke Mueller got into a dispute. His behavior took a major professional toll, unsurprisingly. 

In 2011, he sued Warner Bros. Studio and Chuck Lorre after he was fired from "Two and a Half Men." Warner Bros. wrote to Sheen's lawyers in a lengthy letter (obtained by TMZ): "Your client has been engaged in dangerously self-destructive conduct and appears to be very ill." In October 2014, he was sued after he allegedly physically attacked a dental technician, and that's not even the end of it. Where does this leave him? With a lot of amends, no doubt.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Christian Brando's tragic story

Christian Brando had a turbulent life from the start. His parents, Hollywood actors Marlon Brando and Anna Kashfi, made headlines over their volatile custody battle for him, The Hollywood Reporter notes. When he was 13, Christian started a fire in his school dormitory and was then abducted. It was his mother who orchestrated the kidnapping while Christian was in his father's custody. A source said the event was so distressing to Christian that he began purchasing guns out of a deep fear of another abduction, according to The Guardian.

In high school, Christian began using drugs and subsequently dropped out. While he stayed close with his father, and was given a home by "The Godfather" star, he also found his dad's fame overwhelming. "It's a very heavy load, to be called Christian Brando," producer Carmine De Benedittis said.

Things got deadly on May 16, 1990, when Christian's half-sister, Cheyenne Brando, told him that Dag Drollet, her boyfriend and the father of her unborn child, had been physically abusive. Christian got into an altercation and shot Dag, who died. Christian claimed that it was an accident, but this was later proven false, so he was sentenced to prison for 10 years but only had to stay four and a half (via The Washington Post). Following his release, Christian suffered from addiction and was charged after physically abusing his then-wife, Deborah Presley. In 2005, Christian faced homelessness, and later developed double pneumonia and died at 49.

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).

Stephanie Bongiovi's overdose

Jon Bon Jovi and his wife, Dorothea Hurley, welcomed their first child, Stephanie Bongiovi, on May 31, 1993, according to Closer Weekly. The couple had three more children, all sons, after Stephanie. 

When she was a 19-year-old student at Hamilton College in upstate New York, Stephanie overdosed on heroin. Thankfully, her friend Ian Grant called 911 (according to the Daily News). The New York State 911 Good Samaritan Law had just been passed; prior to that, people could have faced legal consequences for drug possession, which meant that individuals were reluctant to call for help in overdose cases. Per the New York State Department of Health, the "Good Samaritan Law allows people to call 911 without fear of arrest if they are having a drug or alcohol overdose that requires emergency medical care or if they witness someone overdosing."

Bon Jovi spoke to Metro about the experience and the form of heroin used at the time. "It wasn't what you see in the movies," he said, referring to intravenous use. "It's a pill form that these kids have access to. It was the first and hopefully the last time." Earlier in the interview, he said that Stephanie was doing well: ​​"She's healthy. The greatest gift that I have is that I have her. We'll get through this. It was a shock for everybody and hopefully we learn from these life lessons."

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).

Tallulah Willis 'punished' herself for not looking like Demi Moore

Tallulah Willis, daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, spoke up about her struggle with addiction and an eating disorder. On Instagram in July 2017, Tallulah posted a throwback photo. "3 years ago I was a malnourished string bean with aches that echoed throughout my soul," she began. "However the internal cries to tend my most blistered and deep wounds repeatedly fell on deaf ears. ... Self annihilation fueled with medicating left me a shell, and the world on mute."

Tallulah spoke about her battle with addiction on "Red Table Talk" with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones while joined by mom Demi Moore and sister Rumer Willis. Tallulah recounted how her younger sister, Scout Willis, came into her room one morning. "I had taken a bunch of codeine and I had done a bunch of cocaine that morning, and Scout couldn't wake me up," she said. "I had no regard for my life, I had no care," Tallulah later said.

In an equally vulnerable Instagram post from May 2021, Tallulah wrote: "I punished myself for not looking like my mom, after being told I was [Bruce Willis'] twin since birth — I resented the resemblance as I believed wholly my 'masculine' face was the sole reason for my unlovability — FALSE!" She then shared all of the useful things she does to practice self care and offered a message of hope for her followers.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Theodora Richards vandalizes a convent in New York City

Model Theodora Richards, daughter of musician and actor Keith Richards and model Patti Hansen, faced charges in New York City for drug possession and vandalism in 2011. She was caught by police while drawing "T hearts A" on the side of a convent, the Independent notes. Police found on her person both marijuana and the opiate hydrocodone, typically used as a painkiller.

"I hope I don't get in trouble for this," she allegedly said to the police at the time. She didn't, really, get in trouble. A judge dismissed the case so long as Theodora completed two community service days, the Independent reported. At the time, one of her dad's lawyers stated that Theodora had no issues with drug use, saying that she was "as clean as the snow."

However, a few years later, in 2015, the Daily News reported that Theodora enrolled in a 30-day treatment program for drug use at the Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut. Her visit was reportedly a success. "She was in there for drugs," a source told the outlet. "At the start her mood varied day to day, then she came out seeming really happy and big spirits." The source also mentioned that Theodora was kind and chill at the center and made no reference to her famous family or the fact that her dad was a member of the Rolling Stones. She preferred to keep a low profile.

Weston Coppola Cage tried to turn his life around

Nicolas Cage, nephew to director Francis Ford Coppola, welcomed son Weston Coppola Cage with Christina Fulton in 1990. Weston apparently met Nikki Williams in rehab, and they married in April 2011, but by July of that year, Weston and his wife were arrested on charges of domestic violence. Later, Weston called the incident "a huge misunderstanding" on Facebook and blamed it on alcohol. He claimed Williams was at risk of self harm, so he intervened to restrain her (via ABC News). Weston later announced that they were getting a divorce.

Weston then married Danielle Cage and they welcomed a son, Lucian Augustus, in 2015. He told People that his son inspired him to get sober. "It got to the point where people thought I was digging my grave," Weston said. "Lucian's saved both of our lives, and we are very blessed to have him. It's just a very joyous time right now." They later welcomed son Sorin. After he and Danielle divorced, Weston married Hila Aronian, and the couple are parents to twin girls Cyress and Venice.

In 2017, Weston was charged with a "DUI and two counts of hit and run" by the Los Angeles City Attorney, according to TMZ, with a blood alcohol level that registered at .15. For the record, operating a vehicle in California with a blood alcohol level of .08% or more is illegal. Police reports from the time stated that Weston hit traffic signs, mailboxes, and parked cars, eventually ramming his vehicle into a tree.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Redmond O'Neal's ongoing struggles

Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal's son, Redmond O'Neal, went on "a week-long crime spree" in May 2018, per Radar, and was arrested for attempted murder. He physically assaulted five different men and robbed a 7-Eleven store while in the Venice Beach area. In jail, Redmond was examined by Dr. Annette Ermshar, who noted that Redmond had reportedly been hearing voices. He had three diagnoses that could only be exacerbated by alcohol and drug abuse — bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and schizophrenia — and he was not competent for a trial in fall 2019. Redmond was moved from jail to a state hospital. 

Redmond had allegedly been in rehab several times, beginning in his teenage years, according to a later publication by Radar. He was also arrested in 2008 and again in 2011 for drug possession. Following the 2011 arrest, Redmond was ordered to complete a 5-year probationary period and one year of treatment. In 2015, he was sentenced to prison after his probation violations, but was released in 2016.

After Farrah Fawcett's death, Redmond's dad, Ryan O'Neal, claimed to Vanity Fair, "He's been in 13 rehabs. He's had a terrible life," revealing the sad details of his son's story and explaining, "This is not a privileged guy. He never had any money; he never had a car... He got arrested in prison with heroin in his pocket!" Ryan also told People, "[Redmond] never recovered from the loss of his mother" (via The Hollywood Reporter).

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).

Indio Downey has his dad's support

Robert Downey Jr. has spoken openly about his journey with addiction and recovery and later opened up about a similar struggle faced by his son, Indio Downey, whom he shares with ex-wife Deborah Falconer. In 2014, when Indio was 20, he was arrested "on suspicion of cocaine and drug-paraphernalia possession," the Los Angeles Times reported. 

Robert told Vanity Fair, "He's his mother's son and my son, and he's come up the chasm much quicker than we did. But that's typical in the Information Age; things get accelerated. You're confronted with histories and predispositions and influences and feelings and unspoken traumas or needs that weren't met, and all of a sudden you're three miles into the woods." The "Iron Man" star continued, "Can you help someone get out of those woods? Yes, you can. By not getting lost looking for them."

Indio entered rehab after his arrest, and he has a family that sympathizes with the situation. "Robert clearly understands the struggle, and while of course this relapse was very upsetting to him, he is very proud of his son," a source told People. "Indio truly wants to stay clean, and no matter what, his dad will be right there with him." In his interview with Vanity Fair, Robert noted the likely argument for the genetic component of addiction, realizing that since he suffered from drug and alcohol dependency, it's unsurprising that his child did, too. 

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).

Jaycee Chan was sentenced to time in jail

Actor Jackie Chan was embroiled in scandal in China thanks to his son, Jaycee Chan. In 2015, Jaycee faced Beijing's Dongcheng District Court after being arrested for "providing a shelter for others to abuse drugs," with over 100g of marijuana discovered in his home (according to the BBC). Jaycee, who was 32 at the time, pleaded guilty.

In addition to his six-month prison sentence, Jaycee had to pay the equivalent of over $300 U.S. dollars, per Page Six. "I violated the law," he said in court. "I deserve to be punished. When I return to society, I won't do it again." The high-profile arrest was significant in China since it showed that the country's severe stance on drug use didn't exclude celebrities or their families.

China has famously practiced stricter laws toward drug use and, as CNN notes, attributes increased drug activity in the country to places like the United States and Canada. Liu Yuejin, who served as the China National Narcotics Control Commission deputy director, said in 2018 that rates of marijuana use continue to rise in the country. "In two years, we have found increasing cannabis trafficked from North America to China," he said, mentioning "few cannabis abusers in China." In light of these facts, strict protocol for Jaycee might not come as a huge surprise.

Chet Hanks speaks up about his addiction

Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson's eldest son, Chet Hanks, admitted to his struggle with drug use. On Instagram, he spoke about getting help and why he was away from social media. "I know, like, my name's been in the media about me like going missing or getting kidnapped or something," Chet said (via the Los Angeles Times). "I just want to let you all know, I've been in rehab ... and I'm doing pretty damn good."

He went on in another video: "A couple months ago I was selling coke, doing coke until I couldn't even snort it up my nose anymore because it was so clogged. I even smoked crack. If I can change, you can change. There is a solution." Chet indicated that having famous parents made his highly-publicized struggle with substances more challenging.

This wasn't the only headline-making event for Chet. In 2021, his ex-girlfriend, Kiana Parker, sued him for $1 million dollars on the allegations that he "mentally and physically abused" her, according to USA Today. Kiana alleged that Chet had made murder-suicide threats in their Texas home. She said, "I had my 9-year-old twins in the house with us. It was around 3 a.m. and I waited until he went to sleep and took my girls to the house with my mom." Chet also made allegations of domestic abuse from Kiana. As TMZ notes, Kiana denied these charges.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support at their website.

Montana Fishburne had a strained relationship with her father

Montana Fishburne, daughter to actor Laurence Fishburne, was arrested in 2009 for "alleged prostitution," according to E! News, and while she was sentenced to 15 days in jail, she got out on community service and two years' probation. In 2010, she became an adult film star and spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the experience and her family's reaction.

"I did talk to my father," Montana said. "He told me he was embarrassed by me. My mom just says, 'I love you.' We don't talk about it every day. She wants me to be happy and doesn't want me to get dragged into the dark side of porn." When speaking of the "dark side," Montana was referring to drug use. She admitted that she was inspired by another celebrity: "I was impressed with Kim Kardashian's success after her tape was released by Vivid and decided to call the company to see if I could arrange a meeting," she said, noting that her plan was successful. Montana said she wanted, like Kardashian, to use her sex tape for advancing her career and being viewed positively.

In 2010, after the release of her first film, Montana was arrested for breaking into the home of her boyfriend's ex-girlfriend, according to TMZ, where she allegedly physically assaulted her. Montana was charged with battery and "assault with a deadly weapon." In terms of her film career, it seems like Montana has not starred in another adult film, per her IMDb, since 2010.

Hayley Hasselhoff was arrested for a DUI

Hayley Hasselhoff, daughter of David Hasselhoff, was arrested in 2017 after passing out on a Los Angeles freeway, according to TMZ. Police got to the vehicle and found Hayley asleep at the wheel, her foot resting on the brake. She was arrested for a DUI and her blood alcohol level was .14, according to a later publication by TMZ. Hayley had to install an ignition interlock device, otherwise known as a breathalyzer, in her vehicle. The outlet also reported, "[Hayley] got 3 years probation, and was ordered to pay a $390 fine ... and she must complete a 90 day alcohol program."

But Hayley moved on from this event and made headlines for other reasons. In 2021, she was the first plus-sized model to grace the cover of Europe's "Playboy." While speaking with Tamron Hall, Hayley said that she had to use her own lingerie since the magazine had nothing ready in her size. "You know, there's still a long way to go when it comes to availability for fashion," she said, explaining, "When it came down to actually fitting my figure in this lingerie, it's all me. It came from my wardrobe." This was nothing new to Hayley. "At the end of the day, I'm so used to it," she said. "And it's sad to say that I'm used to coming onto set and sometimes not having the right pieces [available] because of my size." So she's using her platform now to speak about this inequality.