Worst Celebrity Parents of the Decade
Filed under: Opinions
Parenting is hard. Being a celebrity parent is also hard -- screw up and the world knows all about it. Still, that's no excuse for some of the bizarre antics we've seen in the past few years. Here are 10 parents that we think could use a little parenting of their own.
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Anne Heche once told the world that she was God and/or an alien being called Celestia. But hey, nobody's perfect. Heche and her ex-husband Coleman Laffoon (which might be the greatest name ever) make this list because they were so incapable of behaving themselves around their child that a judge forced them to hire a "parenting plan coordinator" for $375 an hour. Oh, and she publicly bashed her ex on national television. Or maybe that was Celestia.
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Travis Barker is the drummer for Blink-182; one of their biggest hits was a song called "What's My Age Again?" Judging by Barker's behavior and that of his ex-wife Shanna Moakler, the answer would appear to be 12 -- at least emotionally. In 2009, the no-longer-happy couple engaged in a war of words over the care of their children. So what? Lots of couples disagree. Well, these two did it via Twitter: @ShannaMoakler Your uncle is a CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTER and you will NOT agree to keep him away from the kids. Therefore, i put u on blast. (Oh no! Not blast! Don't put me on blast!) Gossip columnist/parenting expert Perez Hilton advised Barker and Moakler that they should try talking about kid-related issues "over the phone or in person." When someone who makes his living drawing genitals on celebrity photos is making more sense than you are, it's time to pay attention.
8. The Lohans
Lindsay Lohan's problems have been on display for some time. If you were her parents, would you want to expose your other children to that world? You would if you were Dina and Michael Lohan. Dina decided to put her daughter Ali Lohan on the same career path as big sis Lindsay -- and air the experience as a reality show called "Living Lohan" on the E! Network. While filling in for Regis Philbin, Anderson Cooper told Kelly Ripa the following: "I cannot believe I'm wasting a minute of my life watching these horrific people." The rest of the country must have felt the same way, because the show was canceled after only nine episodes. As for papa Michael, he has never met a microphone he didn't like. He gives regular interviews to just about anyone, and even released an audio recording of a phone conversation with his ex-wife Dina where they discussed the fact that Lindsay was cutting herself. To clarify: A father gave a tape of a private phone call that revealed personal details about his daughter to a gossip Web site. Nice.
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Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards had a very public and messy divorce, and many of their issues revolved around the children. Again, this is not unusual. But at least try to keep things private. Highlights of their years-long sniping include a court order that "Sheen cannot see the ex-couple's two daughters, Sam and Lola, outside of the presence of two nannies, who must be approved by Richards," and Charlie paying for his daughter's vaccination with nickels. To make things even better, Denise decided to put her children on a reality show, at which point it started to look like Charlie might be the better parent. When that happens, it's time to look out the window and check for winged swine.
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It's a testament to how bad some of the other parents on this list are that Richard and Mayumi Heene only made it to number 6. OK, maybe it's not fair to judge someone until you've walked (or floated) a mile in their shoes. But what kind of parents come up with the Balloon Boy hoax? "OK kids, we're all going to pretend that one of you got stuck in a balloon, let the world freak out, and lie about the whole thing on national television. But it'll all be worth it when we get our very own reality show!" The Heenes eventually pled guilty in order to avoid having mama Mayumi deported. Well, as long as they were sorry.
5. Nadya "Octomom" Suleman
It is possible that Nadya "Octomom" Suleman will be a good mother to all 14 of her children. It is also possible that one day we will all have jet packs and fly around like birds. We want to be fair, but it's hard to do that with a woman who had six children and decided to have more, via IVF, despite the fact that she was unemployed and living at home with her parents. Suleman has said that she implanted the remaining six harvested embryos because she couldn't bear to have them destroyed. Here's an idea. Don't harvest them in the first place. Then you won't have to make those tough decisions.
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Jon and Kate Gosselin had it all. A hit television show. The love of millions of Americans. Eight kids. But living your life on TV took its toll on Jon and Kate, who eventually melted down in ways that rival even the mighty Lohans. Kate was accused of being a egomaniacal money grubber, while Jon began working his way through a string of sketchy women and declaring his love for the Jews. (No, really.) And oh yeah, those eight kids? Anyone remember them? Kate repeatedly claimed that living life on the low-end of the entertainment world was for them; she needed to do the show in order to support her large family. Well, of course. Ever thought about getting a real job?
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3. David Hasselhoff
Is it possible that anyone is a worse parent than David Hasselhoff? Actually, yes. He isn't number one on our list. Still, it was hard to top a guy who was drunker than any human being should ever be, and let his daughter film the experience. Watching The Hoff in all his drunken glory is actually more painful than a "Baywatch" marathon.
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On the list of "things you should never do," marrying your own daughter is definitely up there. Woody Allen and Mia Farrow dated for 12 years. In 1992, Mia Farrow discovered a pile of nude photos that Allen had taken of Soon-Yi Farrow Previn, Farrow's adopted daughter from her previous marriage to André Previn. Soon-Yi was 19 at the time, Allen was 57. While the Woodster was never officially related to Soon-Yi, one has to wonder how someone decides that it would be a good idea to become romantically involved with the adopted daughter of the woman you are dating. (Adding to the creepiness factor, Allen actually explained his relationship with Soon-Yi by telling Time magazine, "The heart wants what it wants.") During a custody battle between Allen and Farrow over their own adopted children, a judge called Allen's behavior with Soon-Yi "grossly inappropriate." If we were making a list of Understatements of the Decade, that would be in the top 10.
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When you make a list, somebody has to be number one. And while a lot of the behavior here is pretty bad, having an incestuous affair with your own daughter for 10 years has to take the top spot. According to Mackenzie Phillips, her father "injected her with cocaine and heroin" and raped her the night before she got married. The affair continued until Mackenzie became pregnant and was unsure if her own father was the father of her baby. (She had an abortion.) Some family members don't believe Mackenzie, others do. Since there appears to be no reason for her to make something like this up, we give the top spot on our list to John Phillips.
Bonus: Celebrity Parents Who Gave Their Kids Weird Names
Does giving your children an unusual name equal "bad parenting"? Probably not. On the other hand, is there a reason to guarantee that your child will be mercilessly teased on the playground? Here are some head-scratchers from the past decade.
Sparrow Midnight Madden (Nicole Richie and Joel Madden): In theory, Nicole will get all of Lionel Richie's money someday. So maybe Sparrow will be able to afford a bodyguard to keep bullies from picking on him at school.
Bronx Mowgli Wentz (Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz): They seem like decent parents, but neither one hails from the Boogie Down borough. Even if they did, it's a poor choice for a first name. And the kid can't even fall back on his middle name: Mowgli. Really?
Kal-El Cage (Nicolas Cage and Alice Kim): For the uninitiated, Kal-El is Superman's Kryptonian name. But why not just name the kid after his human alter ego, Clark Kent?
Pilot Inspektor Riesgraf-Lee (Jason Lee and Beth Riesgraf): The name is based on a song title (Grandaddy's "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot") but really, there's no excuse for this sort of thing. It's just mean.
Jermajesty Jackson (Jermaine Jackson and Alejandra Oiaza): A member of the Jackson family doing something weird? Go figure.
Audio Science Clayton (Shannyn Sossamon and Dallas Clayton): Maybe he could be a DJ. He's already got the name for it.