11 Celebrities With Terrible Histories and Backgrounds

With their costly picture shoots, unending attention, and seemingly perfect lives, celebrities make it simple to forget that they are also humans. Despite their sparkling exteriors, many superstars have had awful pasts and have gone on to lead independent lives, just like the vast majority of individuals. Everyone has an interesting tale to tell, and the famous people on this list are no different.

1. Trevor Noah

Source: Invision/AP

Noah was born in Johannesburg, where his very existence was a crime. Interracial relationships were illegal under Apartheid and his parents were a white Swiss father and a black South African mother.
“In the streets my father couldn’t walk with us… He would walk on the other side of the road and wave at me… And my mom could walk with me but every time the police went by she would drop me… I felt like a bag of weed,” he shared.

2. Dylan McDermott

Source: Getty

At the age of 5, McDermott was kicked out of his house by John Sponza, his mother’s gangster boyfriend. A moment later, he heard a gunshot and his mother was found dead with a bullet in hear head. While Sponza was the obvious suspect, the case was classified as an accidental shooting.
Dylan never gave up on seeking justice, and despite Sponza’s own shooting death in 1972, he got the case reopened in 2011. Sponza was posthumously convicted in 2012.

3. Keanu Reeves

Source: ZUMA Press

  • At the age of 3, his father left their family.
  • At the age of 23, his closest friend River Phoenix died of a drug overdose.
  • Eight month into his girlfriend Jennifer’s pregnancy – their child died.
  • 18 months later, Jennifer would die in a car accident.
  • “Grief changes shape, but it never ends.” – K. R.

4. Rose McGowan

Source: Invision/AP

McGowan was part of a sex slave cult as a child. From birth, her family was part of a religious sect in Italy known as The Children of God, which practiced a “free love belief”.
Even as a child Rose became uncomfortable when she realized that the only role women played was to sexually serve the men. Eventually, the McGowan family left the cult after it began to advocate sex between adults and children.

5. Robert Downey Jr.

Source: Getty

RDJ was given his first film role by his father, at age 5. He was given his first marijuana, also by his father, at age 6.

6. Mackenzie Phillips

Source: Getty

The actress, best known for her roles in American Graffiti and One Day at a Time, revealed a painful secret in her 2009 memoir. Mackenzie tells about how she was sexually violated at age 18 while passed out from excessive drug use.
Her assailant was a person she had strong personal and professional ties to, so the behavior continued for years, describing the relationship as “consensual” by age 29.
Who was it the she was entangled it? Her father, the Mamas and the Papas founder, John Phillips.

7. Madonna

Source: Flickr/Chris Weger

Shortly after Madonna moved to New York City in the late seventies, a seemingly nice man told her she could come to his apartment to make a phone call. He then forced her to the roof of his building at knife point, and raped her.

8. Pamela Anderson

Source: Getty

Pamela recently revealed that she had been molested by a female babysitter from the time she was 6, and raped by a 25-year-old man when she was only 12. As if that wasn’t enough, Anderson was also gang raped by her boyfriend and six of his friends when she was a teen.

9. Oprah Winfrey

Source: Wireimage

Winfrey was beaten and raped as a child. She was once beaten until she was bleeding by her grandmother just because she was playing with water. And then she was beaten again for getting blood on her dress.
When she was 9 years old, she was raped and molested while staying with her mother, which resulted in pregnancy. The baby died two weeks after she gave birth.

10. Drew Barrymore

Source: Variety/Getty Images

  • Began nightclubbing, drinking and smoking cigarettes at age 9.
  • Started smoking pot at 10.
  • Snorting cocaine at 12.
  • Was checked into rehab at 13 where she stayed for 18 months.
  • Became emancipated and moved into her own flat at 15.
  • Went on to make millions as an influential and generous actress and spokeswoman.

11. Tyler Perry

Source: Getty

The actor suffered severe abuse during his childhood. His father physically abused him, and he was sexually abused by several other adults. He describes his childhood as a “living hell”.
He had to use the power of his mind to escape: “Every time somebody was doing something to me that was awful and terrible, I could go to this park in my mind until it was over.”
Share this article