10 Celebrities Whose Parents Showed No Interest (Until After They Were Famous)

Some of the parents’ rationale was not necessarily suspect; often, they merely wanted to reconcile with their estranged child.

kevin hart family

It’s a terribly sad scenario when a parent rejects their own child. Issues with loss and abandonment can plague the affected child for life. This is a problem that unfortunately affects so many people all over the world. But the situation is made sadder when said parent sees their kid’s face in a magazine or on a TV screen years later and seeks to make amends with dubious intentions.

Inevitably, this leads their offspring to question their motives. Though a number of the parents in this list had dishonorable motivations, some of the parents’ rationale was not necessarily suspect; often, they merely wanted to reconcile with their estranged child. For these 10 celebs, their parents showed little interest until fame and fortune entered their lives.

10 Eminem

Eminem grew up in poverty and was raised by a single mom. His dad, Marshall Bruce Mathers Jr., walked out on the family when Eminem was just a boy. But one day, Mathers Jr. discovered that his son was a world famous superstar and subsequently tried to get in touch.

In 2001, he contacted a tabloid newspaper and wrote a letter begging his son to welcome him into his life. But Eminem wasn’t interested, stating that he himself had sent numerous letters to his dad that had been ignored.

9 Keanu Reeves

There has been much tragedy in the life of Keanu Reeves. When he was 3-years-old, his dad, Samuel, abandoned him, leaving his mom to raise him on her own. At the height of his son’s fame in the ’90s, Samuel tried to get in touch with Keanu, who wanted nothing to do with him.

8 Britney Spears

As we learnt from the Framing Britney Spears documentary, Britney’s dad, James, was largely uninterested in his daughter until she became famous.

When Britney began struggling with personal crises in the late 2000s, James was granted a controversial conservatorship of his daughter and has total control of her finances, which has led to the #FreeBritney movement.

7 Quentin Tarantino

Like many of the others in this list, Quentin Tarantino was raised by a single mom. In fact, his dad, Tony, left before he was even born and Quentin has said that he’s never met him.

But once his son became a world famous movie director, Tony tried to make a name for himself as an actor. This infuriated Quentin, who said, “He wanted to be an actor… Now he’s an actor only because he has my last name.”

6 Adele

The British singer, who has sold millions of albums, was raised in a modest home by her single mom, Penny. She has praised Penny for raising her so well after her dad, Marc, left when Adele was 2-years-old. However, she did occasionally visit her father when she was a kid, but he was frequently drunk.

Despite this troubled relationship, the now successful singer was ready to reconcile with her dad. At least that was the case, until she found out that he had been secretly giving private information to tabloids and selling her childhood photos to them. Inevitably, this infuriated Adele, who never wants to see him again.

5 Mischa Barton

The star of The O.C. has always had a fraught relationship with her mom. This discord culminated in Barton suing her mother in 2015, claiming that she was “scheming” and had been secretly siphoning her royalties.

According to the lawsuit, it was “the tragic tale of a greedy stage mother posing as a talent manager who, instead of acting in the best interest of her daughter/client, schemed to defraud her unsuspecting victim.”

4 Kevin Hart

Throughout Kevin Hart’s childhood, his father, Henry Witherspoon, spent time in and out of jail due to drug addiction. Subsequently, he was absent from his life. But in 2018, after his son had become an immensely successful comedian and movie star, Henry got in touch with Kevin.

Unlike some of the other stars in this list, Hart welcomed his father back into his life. He told People, “I can’t go back in the past and fix this or fix that. I can only move forward, and I can only love you today and and tell you to enjoy this part of your life.”

3 Jay-Z

Jay-Z has alluded to a strained relationship with his father in his lyrics. Named after his father, Adnis Reeves, the song “Adnis” includes the lyrics, “Letter to my dad that I never wrote/ Speeches I prepared that I never spoke.”

In a revealing interview with Oprah in 2009, the rapper spoke candidly about his father, who showed up many years later when Jay-Z had become a world famous superstar. “He showed up. And I gave him the real conversation. I told him how I felt the day he left,” the rapper explained. “He was saying stuff like “Man, you knew where I was.” I’m like, “I was a kid! Do you realize how wrong you were? It was your responsibility to see me.” He finally accepted that.”

2 Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse’s short life was filled with tragedy. In the Oscar-winning documentary, Amy, it is revealed that the songstress’ father, Mitch, was absent during her childhood. However, once Amy started to become famous, he re-entered her life and began accompanying her to events and even helped organize her final show in Belgrade, one that his ailing daughter was far too unwell to professionally fulfil.

However, Mitch refutes the documentary’s claims that he forced Amy to perform in what was ultimately a catastrophic concert. “It’s a ridiculous suggestion that she was being forced to do anything, especially for money” he told NME.

1 Mariah Carey

Sadly, Mariah Carey had a toxic relationship with her mother when she was growing up and stated that she subjected her to significant neglect as a child. This was only worsened by Mariah’s fame, as her mom grew jealous of her own daughter.

“Jealousy comes with the territory when you are famous. But when it comes from your own mother, it is very painful,” she wrote in her memoir, adding that her mom once said to her, “You should only hope that you could be half the singer that I am.” She stated that her mom’s interest in her was never unconditional and that she was only ever interested in “asking for money or favors” after she became famous.

Next: 10 Former Hollywood Bad Boys Who Are Dads Now


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About The Author

Antonia Georgiou
(51 Articles Published)

Antonia is a writer based in London, UK. She is a massive film and TV nerd who is always quick to offer random trivia about her favourite media. A graduate of Queen Mary University and UCL, her other passions include fashion, cats, books, and vegan food.

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