Parenting celebrities: Behind the glamour the likes of Jackson 5 live bask in, tales of abuse and sadness are never too far

Parenting celebrities: Behind the glamour the likes of Jackson 5 live bask in, tales of abuse and sadness are never too far


Although famous entertainers shined on the stage and the silver screen, the secret life they led behind closed doors was full of anger, resentment and betrayal. Sadly, due to their life choices and their narcissistic tendencies, their children suffered from neglect, abandonment and abuse. Don’t let those dazzling smiles fool you? We’re here to reveal the dark secrets of 19 celebrity parents who should have never been allowed to raise children.

Marlon Brando and Anna Kashfi

Although Marlon Brando had numerous partners in his lifetime, his marriage to Anna Kashfi was as volatile as they come. When filing for divorce, their son Christian was the subject of a brutal custody battle which his father eventually won. Because Brando’s father had been abusive, the actor felt a great need to protect his son, however, with his successful career he often travelled, leaving Christian to be raised by nannies.

When Anna discovered that Brando was in France filming a movie, she kidnapped her son from school and smuggled him over the Mexican border where she had people waiting to shelter him. Sadly, those people had sinister intentions as they hid the boy away where no one could find him. After hiring private investigators, Brando could only sit and wait. After weeks, Christian was found emaciated and riddled with pneumonia, living in a tent.

Judy Garland

While beloved actress Judy Garland was considered a legend by her fans, her addiction to pills and her erratic behaviour was a nightmare for her daughter Liza Minnelli. As a child, Minnelli was acutely aware of her mother’s dependence on pills and would often replace them with sugar as a precautionary measure. Aside from curbing her addiction, Liza also acted as her mother’s personal assistant following her from set to set and location to location.

Because she spent so much time watching her mom in the spotlight, Minnelli decided she too wanted to entertain so at age 18, her mother allowed her to perform a song after her set at the Palladium in London. After winning over the audience with a phenomenal performance, Liza was thrilled. Her mom, on the other hand, began looking at her daughter as if she were competition. Her jealousy only escalated from there.

Joe and Katherine Jackson

To their fans, The Jackson Five seemed cheerful and free-spirited, however, at home, they were stifled and abused. Both Joe and Katherine Jackson were extreme in their parenting style. Katherine was obsessed with making sure her home and her children were clean, often scrubbing the kids down with rubbing alcohol to “purify” them.

Joe was a strict disciplinarian who used a strap to beat his children when he felt they were out of line. Aside from the physical abuse, Joe was also a big fan of criticising his kids. When he learned Michael was insecure about the size of his nose, instead of building him up, he gave him the nickname Big Nose. The boys were not allowed to have friends over or go out to play. Instead, Joe forced them to practice for a gruelling five hours every day after school.

Brigitte Bardot

Bombshell Brigitte Bardot was only 24 years old when she found out she was pregnant with partner Jacques Charrier. Although she had no desire to become a mother, Jacques convinced her to keep the baby and become his bride. Once their son, Nicolas, was born, things only got worse. Their marriage began to crumble and the press went on the attack calling her a bad mother.

When Jacques was called to army duty for two years in Nice, Bardot was so bitter to be left alone raising their child that she eventually filed for divorce and granted Jacques full custody of Nicolas. As if abandoning her child wasn’t hurtful enough, years later she wrote a tell-all autobiography in which she referred to her baby as a “tumour” and detailed her attempts to terminate the pregnancy herself. Bardot made it very clear to the world that her son was never wanted.

Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore

Ryan O’Neal and Joanna Moore were only married for four years but in that time they had two children, Tatum and Griffin, who grew up surrounded by drugs and alcohol. Both parents had addictions, and the more drugs they did, the more tempestuous their relationship became. When they finally divorced, Joanna got custody, however, her addictions became so severe that the children were living in squalor and being abused by her lover.

Ryan was no better. Because of his drug habit, he often had sketchy dealers lurking around his property. On one occasion, when a dealer found Tatum home alone, he pinned her down and molested her. When the young girl told her father, he placed the blame on her and continued paying the predator. Distraught and alone, Tatum attempted suicide by cutting her wrists. After her failed attempt, instead of consoling his daughter, he criticised her technique.

Jon Voight

The relationship between Angelina Jolie and her father Jon Voight has been strained since she learned of his infidelity as a child. Voight cut off all communication with his children when he walked out on their mother Marcheline Bertrand in the mid-1970s. In an effort to heal old wounds, Jolie has made attempts to reconnect with her dad but every time she does, he hurts her once again.

Her father has given interviews where he has criticised her marriages, accused her of having “serious mental problems”, and has been critical of her work both on and off the screen. Although they briefly reconnected during the filming of Tomb Raider, Voight ruined things once again when Jolie was leaving for a UN mission. He handed his daughter a letter wherein he viciously attacked her character after verbally telling her, “This is my truth, this is unchanging”.

Lana Turner

Actress Lana Turner and her 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane were involved in one of the biggest scandals to hit Hollywood in 1958. Lana’s gangster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato was found stabbed to death in the actress’s kitchen and her young daughter confessed that she did it. When Cheryl admitted that she had stabbed Johnny because he was attacking her mother, the judge ruled her actions to be justified. Even so, the Hollywood gossip mill suspected there was more to the story.

Rumours began to circulate. The most prevalent belief was that Lana had actually done the deed but she had her daughter confess because a child would receive a lighter sentence. Others thought there was something more sinister going on. They believed that Lana had caught Johnny molesting her daughter and murdered him out of rage. No matter the circumstances, Cheryl was traumatized for life.

  • A Tell report / Agencies
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