If it seems like celebrity children have taken over the entertainment industry, you might not be wrong. Over the past few years, numerous aspiring stars have stepped into the spotlight — and a lot of them have famous parents. These up-and-coming stars have been labeled “nepotism babies” by the public, as many deem that they’ve had an unfair advantage while trying to make it in Hollywood. And while some of the stars say their famous families have actually only made things harder for them, others acknowledge their privilege.
Find out what these celebrity kids had to say…
1. Maude Apatow
Maude Apatow’s parents may be actress Leslie Mann and director Judd Apatow but she wants to pave her own way. While she says she was originally upset by the nepotism baby label, she wants to prove she can make it on her own merit.
“At first, I was sad. I try not to let it get to me because I obviously understand that I’m in such a lucky position. A lot of people [in a similar position] have proven themselves over the years, so I’ve got to keep going and make good work. It’s so early in my career, I don’t have much to show yet, but hopefully one day I’ll be really proud of the stuff I’ve done by myself,” she told Net-a-Porter.
2. Hailey Bieber
Hailey Bieber says she’s always wanted to do everything on her own, without her name being a factor in her success. While some may criticize her for getting an advantage from her famous family, she doesn’t let the negative comments of others impact her.
“It shouldn’t limit you because what I definitely believe is that nobody in the world, especially anybody that doesn’t know you, should have a negative impact on your path or the decision that you make,” Hailey said.
3. Ireland Baldwin
Hailey’s cousin Ireland Baldwin, who is the daughter of Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, says she fully understands she had things easy because of her parents. In fact, she says she probably wouldn’t be a model if not for them.
“I don’t think I ever would’ve been scouted as a model if it weren’t for who my parents are…You have a lot more to prove because you’re always going to have that comparison to your parents,” Ireland said on “Red Table Talk.”
4. Lily Rose Depp
Lily Rose Depp’s parents, Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, certainly helped their daughter in the early stages of her career, but she says it hasn’t been easy. After landing her first roles in films featuring her dad, “Tusk” and “Yoga Hosers,” she says she’s had to work even harder to prove she isn’t just the child of a famous person.
“It is obviously a really easy assumption to make to think that I would just have roles landing on my doorstep because of my name, but that’s an idea I’ve always kind of rejected. I’ve always been under the impression that I have to work twice as hard to prove to people that I’m not just here because it’s easy for me. I feel like you’re not what your name is. If you’re not right for something, they’re not just going to hire you because your name looks good on the post,” she told Australian Vogue.
5. Gwyneth Paltrow
As the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and director Bruce Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow says she’s had to work twice as hard as other actors. Despite her parents getting her foot in the door, she says people were constantly ready to tear her down, forcing her to do better.
“As the child of someone, you get access other people don’t have, so the playing field is not level in that way. However, I really do feel that once your foot is in the door, which you unfairly got in, then you almost have to work twice as hard and be twice as good. People are ready to pull you down and say, ‘You don’t belong there’ or ‘You are only there because of your dad or your mom,’” she said on Hailey Bieber’s YouTube show, “Who’s In My Bathroom?”
6. Elizabeth Olsen
Elizabeth Olsen has been inherently aware of nepotism her whole life, once explaining that at even as young as 10-years-old she knew she didn’t want to accept something she earned only because of her sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley. As she’s developed her own career, she says she’s always tried to do it on her own merit.
“Nepotism is a thing and I’m very aware of it. And of course, I’ve always wanted to do it alone,” she told Grazia UK.
7. Emma Roberts
As the niece of Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts acknowledges that people believe her career is based on nepotism. She disagrees, noting that if it were all about nepotism, she would have landed many more roles throughout her career.
“A lot of people think that, and they talk about nepotism, which I think is so ridiculous considering it’s obviously not true; because I’ve auditioned for so many things and never gotten the part. Also it’s like, you know, maybe someone can get you one part, but they can’t really get you 10 parts,” Emma once told Popeater.
8. Maya Hawke
Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke’s daughter Maya Hawke is aware that her family connections helped her get her foot in the door of the entertainment industry but she knows that if she doesn’t actually have the talent it takes to make it, it will all go away.
“I’m very grateful for the fact that [my parents] made it so easy for me to do the thing that I love. I think I’ll get a couple chances on their name and then if I suck, I’ll get kicked out of the kingdom. And that’s what should happen. So I’m just going to try not to suck,” she told People.
9. Lourdes Leon
Lourdes Leon may be Madonna’s eldest daughter but she says she’s paved her own way — despite what other people may assume. In fact, she wanted to be independent from her mom as soon as possible and following her high school graduation, she started paying rent at her own apartment and covered her own college tuition.
“People think I’m this talentless rich kid who’s had everything given to her, but I’m not,” she told Vogue.
10. Natasha Bure
“Fuller House” star Cameron Candice Bure’s daughter Natasha Bure is pursuing a career in acting like her mom but that hasn’t made it any easier for her. Despite appearing in projects alongside her mom, Natasha says that her mom’s star power actually makes it more difficult to land roles at times.
“A lot of people will kind of assume that if I get any job or work at all that it’s from her. Or it’s given to me or it’s handed to me, and it’s honestly quite literally the opposite. I work hard for everything that I do, and I’m out here like everyone else just grinding and trying to follow my dreams and make them come true. So I think that’s one misconception that’s a little bit frustrating to see,” Natasha told “Today.”
11. Destry Spielberg
Steven Spielberg’s daughter Destry Spielberg faced accusations of nepotism following the release of her short film “Let Me Go (The Right Way)” and while she acknowledges her advantage, she hopes she can use her fortunate position to help other creatives.
“I acknowledge that I was born with privilege! I own that through and through! I make it my mission to bring new talent into the industry [and] give opportunities to artists of all backgrounds. No one should be left out because of the connections they don’t have,” Destry tweeted.
12. Maile Masako Brady
Wayne Brady’s daughter Maile Masako Brady is just getting her start in the entertainment industry with a role on “The Bold and the Beautiful” and she’s already received the nepotism baby title. She says she doesn’t mind it though because she knows that it’s true.
“It’s not like it’s wrong? I’m an actress, I’m a singer. I basically do what my dad does, in a way. I’m very fortunate to have grown up around the arts and being given certain advantages. So I’m not going to be like, ‘Don’t make fun of me for the truth, that’s mean!’ It doesn’t make me feel bad — it’s just funny to me,” Maile told the Washington Post.
Fame and fortune doesn’t make family drama disappear. In fact, sometimes it can make it even worse. Unfortunately for some celebrities, there came a time when they had to cut off contact with relatives whether for better or for worse.
Read on to find out why these celebs and their families didn’t speak…even if it was temporary.
1. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber may have a great relationship with his mother Pattie nowadays but at one point, the pair didn’t speak for two years. Back in 2015, he admitted his relationship with his mom was “pretty nonexisting.” At that time, Justin said he was working on reconnecting with Pattie after their estrangement.
“I was distant because I was ashamed. I never wanted my mom to be disappointed in me and I knew she was. We spent some time not talking, so it takes time to rebuild that trust,” Justin told Billboard.
2. Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey detailed her rocky relationship with her mother Pat in her 2020 autobiography “The Meaning of Mariah Carey,” where she wrote that their “complicated journey together” had caused her “so much pain and confusion.” While she always wanted a loving relationship with her mother, she explained that she felt her mother had never been able to provide that for her. Mariah admitted that she ended up having to go through the “excruciatingly painful” process of removing certain people from her life, even though she cared for them.
“I had to stop making myself available to be hurt by them. It has been helpful. I have no doubt it is emotionally and physically safer for me not to have any contact with my [siblings]. The situation with Pat, on the other hand, is more complicated. I have reserved some room in my heart and life to hold her — but with boundaries. Creating boundaries with the woman who gave birth to me is not easy — it is a work in progress,” Mariah wrote.
3. Ariel Winter
Ariel Winter doesn’t have a relationship with her mother anymore following a years-long court battle. When the “Modern Family” actress was just 14, her guardianship was handed over to her older sister Shanelle. Her mother tried to regain custody during a two year court battle but Shanelle was eventually granted permanent guardianship and Ariel was eventually emancipated from her parents at age 17.
“I am now officially emancipated!!! I’m really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity. Most importantly I want to thank @shanelle_gray and my father for their special support regarding this matter, I really couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans who have supported me through all of my endeavors in life, and have encouraged me. Thank you for making my life so special! I can’t wait to embark on my new adventures,” Ariel later wrote in a tweet.
4. Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston was estranged from her mother Nancy Dow for many years and amid their challenging relationship, her mother published a tell-all book titled “Mother And Daughter To Friends: A Memoir.” While the pair were able to reconcile before Nancy’s passing, Jennifer still recalls the unpleasant aspects of their relationship.
“She was critical. She was very critical of me. Because she was a model, she was gorgeous, stunning. I wasn’t. I never was. I honestly still don’t think of myself in that sort of light, which is fine. She was also very unforgiving. She would hold grudges that I just found so petty. She had a temper. I can’t tolerate that. If I get upset, I will discuss [things]. I will never scream and get hysterical like that,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
Adele reportedly cut off contact with her father Mark Evans when she was a preteen, following her parent’s divorce. In a Grammys acceptance speech she even admitted that she didn’t love her father, calling her manager Jonathan the father-figure in her life. While Adele and her real father were estranged for many years, she says she finally made peace with him prior to his passing from cancer.
“I know he loved me, and we actually got our peace before he died. When he passed, I had this sort of physical reaction. That fear left my body,” Adele told Vogue.
6. Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera reportedly grew up with her grandparents and didn’t speak to her father for almost a decade. In 2009, Christina briefly allowed him back into her life, but quickly realized it was not the right choice at the time. The last she spoke of her father, she said she would be willing to reconcile — but hasn’t spoken about him since then.
“I let him back into my life briefly but I soon realized that he is not necessary in my life…I’ve talked about how rough things were for me and I’m sure he’s heard it. He can’t be thrilled about it. So maybe one day we can do lunch…Maybe it’s time,” Christina told Latina.
7. Ryan Lochte
Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte became estranged from his mother as an adult, revealing that he had to walk away from their relationship after she made very hurtful comments about his family. While he says he’s willing to forgive her, she isn’t willing to apologize, so he hasn’t spoken to her in years.
“Later on in life, when I told her that she was going to be a grandma, she said some very, very hurtful things that kind of ended our relationship…She just said some things to me and my wife. I can get over it but I just want an apology from her and she said that she’ll never apologize,” Ryan said during an interview with Graham Bensinger.
8. Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson has always been close with her mother Goldie Hawn but the same can’t be said for her relationship with her father Bill Hudson. He was not in her life growing up and, instead, she was raised by Goldie and her partner Kurt Russell. While Kate says she’s worked on forgiving her father throughout her life, he says that he has disowned her as well as her brother Oliver.
”I say to them now, ‘I set you free.’ I had five birth children and I now consider myself a father of three. I no longer recognize Oliver and Kate as my own. [Oliver] is dead to me now, as is Kate,” Bill once told DailyMail.
9. Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins has been estranged from his daughter Abigail for over two decades, which he says is okay with him. He shared he has no interest in reconciling the relationship between them at this point.
“You know, I did the best I could, but you know, okay, I think if somebody doesn’t want to be part of my life, fine. Go and do whatever you want. I wish her well and all that, but I don’t want to talk about my daughter. Those things are over,” he told The Telegraph.
Marriages in Hollywood are notoriously short-lived so it should come as no surprise that more than a few celebrities have been married multiple times. In fact, some stars have actually been married over four times throughout their lives. Larry King tied the knot eight times before his passing and Pamela Anderson has walked down the aisle on six occasions. And while most of their relationships may not have lasted, it’s clear they’ve never given up on finding true love.
Find out how many times these stars got married…
1. Nicolas Cage
Number of marriages: 5
Nicolas Cage has been married five times since first tying the knot with Patricia Arquette in April 1995. He later married Lisa Marie Presley in August 2002 and following their divorce in 2004, he wed Alice Kim that same year. He married Erika Koike in March 2019 but the couple split three months later, with Cage having sought an annulment just four days after they wed. In 2021, he tied the knot with his current wife Riko Shibata, who he says will be the last person he ever marries.
“I am a romantic, and when I’m in love, I want to give that person everything I can. It’s my expression of saying, ‘I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.’ And this is it for me. I mean, this is not happening again. This is it. This is it,” Nicolas told GQ.
2. Pamela Anderson
Number of marriages: 6
Pamela Anderson first tied the knot in 1995 when she married Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee. The pair split three years later and she didn’t get married again until 2006 when she walked down the aisle with Kid Rock. They broke up just a few months later. Not long after, she married Rick Salomon but had the marriage annulled less than six months later. Despite their split, they reunited and remarried in 2014, only to divorce a few months later. In early 2020, she secretly wed Jon Peters — although after their split two weeks later, she claimed their marriage hadn’t been legal. Then on Christmas Eve in 2020, she married bodyguard Dan Hayhurst but by 2022 they had gone their separate ways.
3. Martin Scorsese
Number of marriages: 5
Director Martin Scorsese first walked down the aisle in 1965 when he tied the knot with his wife Laraine Marie Brennan. After their split, he married Julia Cameron in 1976, but they broke up just a year later. He married Isabella Rosellini in 1979 and their marriage lasted until 1983. Two years later, he said “I do” with Barbara De Fina, whom he was married to until 1991. He is now married to Helen Morris, whom he wed in 1999.
4. Billy Bob Thornton
Number of marriages: 6
Billy Bob Thornton married his first wife Melissa Lee Gatlin in 1978 but their relationship only lasted until 1980. Six years later, he tied the knot with Toni Lawrence, whom he divorced in 1988. He then married Cynda Williams in 1990, whom he also split with after two years. He then walked down the aisle with Pietra Thornton in 1993 but the couple split in 1997. In one of his most high profile relationships, he was married to Angelina Jolie from 2000 to 2003. He is currently married to Connie Angland, whom he married in 2014 after over a decade of dating.
5. David Foster
Number of marriages: 5
David Foster was first married to B.J. Cook in 1972, remaining with the singer until 1981. The following year, he tied the knot with Rebecca Dyer but the couple split in 1986. He was also married to Linda Thompson from 1991 to 2005 and then walked down the aisle with “Real Housewives” star Yolanda Hadid in 2011. Following their split in 2017, he married his current wife, Katharine McPhee, in 2019.
6. James Cameron
Number of marriages: 5
Director James Cameron was married to his first wife Sharon Williams from 1978 to 1984. He married Gale Ann Hurd just a year later and the pair were married until 1989. That same year, he married Kathryn Bigelow. Following their divorce in 1991, he remained single for some time until he married Linda Hamilton in 1997. After they divorced a few years later, he married his current wife, Suzy Amis, in 2000.
7. Larry King
Number of marriages: 8
Over the course of his life, Larry King was married eight different times. He first tied the knot with his high school sweetheart Freda Miller in 1952, but their marriage was allegedly annulled by their parents. In 1961, he married Annette Kaye, although the couple was together for less than a year. Following their split, he married Alene Akins, whom he was married to until 1963. He went on to marry Mickey Sutphin in 1964 but they divorced two years later in 1967.
In 1968, he remarried Alene, remaining together until 1971. Five years later, he married Sharon Lepore. The pair were together until their split in 1983. He tied the knot with Julie Alexander in 1989 but they separated just a year later and then divorced in 1992. He went on to marry Shawn Southwick in 1997 and was in the middle of divorce proceedings when he died in 2021.
8. Mickey Rooney
Number of marriages: 8
Mickey Rooney married his first wife, actress Ava Gardner, in 1942. They divorced just a year later and he went on to marry Betty Jane Phillips in 1944. Following their divorce in 1949, he married Martha Vickers that same year. They divorced in 1951 and he went on to marry actress Elaine Mahnken in 1952. They divorced in 1958 and later that year, he tied the knot with actress Barbara Ann Thomason. Unfortunately, she was murdered in 1966 by a man she had been having an affair with. After her passing, he ended up marrying Barbara Ann’s best friend Marge Lane but they were together for just 100 days. In 1969, he married Carolyn Hocket but they went their separate ways in 1975. Three years later, he married Jan Chamberlin, and they remained married until his death in 2014, although they had separated in 2012.
9. George Foreman
Number of marriages: 5
Boxer George Foreman was first married to Adrienne Calhoun from 1971 to 1974 before tying the knot with Cynthia Lewis in 1977. They were together until 1979 before George married Sharon Goodson in 1981. Following their split just a year later, he walked down the aisle with Andrea Skeete in 1982. They were married up until 1985, the same year he married his current wife Mary Joan Martelly.
10. Gary Oldman
Number of marriages: 5
Gary Oldman first walked down the aisle when he married actress Lesley Manville in 1987. Following their split in 1990, he married Uma Thurman. The duo were together until 1992 when they divorced. In 1997, he married Donya Fiorentino with whom he remained married until 2001. Seven years later, he married Alexandra Edenborough but the couple split in 2015. He married his current wife Gisele Schmidt in 2017.
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