When I think of my parents, I remember how fortunate I was to have a mother and father who consistently showed me love, support, and discipline. I often thank my lucky stars that I grew up in a safe house that was warm and loving.
Dismally, I meet people everyday that grew up in terrible households with parents who never had their proper interests at heart. Celebrities are not excluded from broken homes as well, and it is all too common to hear of child stars being taken advantage by the people who are supposed to love and protect them most: their very own parents.
1. Leighton Meester
Leighton Meester won her court battle against her mother, who took advantage of her and the money she made off of Gossip Girl and used it for herself instead of for her sick younger brother's medical expenses. Her mother also tried to claim that Meester promised her $10,000 for the rest of her life, but the judge threw out this claim.
2. Shirley Temple
We all know Shirley as the cute, curly-haired child star who could sing, act, and dance in film after film. Who would have thought that such a sweet, innocent kid could be taken advantage of by her very own parents.
Temple was just twenty two years old when she decided to retire. She discovered that she only had $44,000 in her bank account due to her parent's mismanagement. To put it into perspective, Shirley used to make $10,000 a week and had earned $3 million during her career overall.
3. Jena Malone
At the tender age of fourteen, this child star sued her mother for mismanaging her money. She had taken over $1 million dollars from her very own daughter, even living off her earnings and stealing from her college fun.
4. Ariel Winter
Ariel's mother Chrisoula Workman lost custody over her daughter after she had been reported for emotionally and physically abusing her, including slapping, pushing and starving her. Her adult sister Shanelle, who had been taken away from Chris at the age of twelve to live with her grandma, was given custody of Ariel and has been keeping her bank account safe and away from their mother.
5. Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore's mother seemed to be more interested in the party life that was available to her because of Drew's stardom than raising her daughter and setting proper boundaries. Drew had her first cigarette at the age of nine, drank at eleven, smoked weed at age twelve, and snorted cocaine at thirteen. Barrymore cut her wrists as a cry for attention at the age of fourteen; at fifteen, she completely emancipated from her parents and lived on her own in an apartment where she had to learn how to be an adult all by herself.
6. Aaron Carter
Carter fired his mother as his manager in 2003 and then became emancipated from her, as he discovered she was squandering his earnings, more than $100,000 to be exact. I don't blame him at all for wanting nothing to do with her.
7. Corey Feldman
Feldman filed for emancipation from his parents at the tender age of fifteen as they had used up so much of his money. With only $40,000 left in his account, Corey's father claimed that Corey owed him exactly that amount as managing Corey had taken him away from his main job, which supposedly caused him to lose money he could have been making there. Corey says:
“I knew how to read a contract by 10 years old, but I didn’t know what it meant for somebody to come in and tell me they loved me and kiss me goodnight. That’s a problem.”
8. Gary Coleman
Diff'rent Strokes actor Gary Coleman sued his parents for mishandling his multi-million dollar trust fund. He was given $1.3 million, and didn't speak to them for the twenty years up until his death in 2010. They were also not included in his will.
9. Macaulay Culkin
This child star was one of the biggest names of the 90s, especially thanks to the Home Alone series. Aged 15, Culkin sued his parents and removed them from the management of his $17 million trust fund.
10. Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan had a pretty rough upbringing, with reports suggesting her parents were in an a dangerous and abusive relationship. But she still stands up for them and the way they handled her problems. Here's a quote from her to Oprah about how she doesn't blame them...
"I don't think anything was intentionally done in that way. I hate what a bad rap people give my parents. Because they are just parents, really, at the end of the day trying to stand up for their daughter and themselves.
Nobody's perfect. I love my parents. And I'm not going to say that certain situation, I would have preferred to have been handled differently. Certain things I would have preferred to have been kept within my family, in private. But that's in the past."
Brainwashed or genuine sentiment?
While some stars were able to rise above the abuse and neglect and start their very own families, other child stars are still sorrowfully affected by their inconsistent and troubling pasts.
I hope that mom-agers and dad-agers can learn to look at their child as an innocent cherub who just want to be kids, and discontinue greedily treating their children as their personal piggy banks.