Stars Who Have Made The Wildest Claims About Their Kids
In sections entitled “Stars — They’re Just Like Us!” magazines like Us Weekly post pictures of celebrities performing mundane tasks like going grocery shopping, walking their dogs, or snacking (and in an example of mild schadenfreude, unflattering, mid-bite shots tend to be crowd pleasers). Other popular pics for this type of section include celebs spending time with their kids. And for the extra cynical among us thinking, “Yeah stars are just like us — except not at all,” this picture of The Rock brushing his daughter’s hair is adorable enough to melt even the coldest of hearts.
In fact, celebrities tend to be the most relatable when discussing their offspring. Sure, some stars tend to keep their children out of the spotlight and others have shared the seriously odd rules they make their kiddos follow. But when the rich and famous tout their kids’ accomplishments or tell funny anecdotes, we muse, “What parent hasn’t subtly bragged about their children, inadvertently embarrassed them, or bribed a college so they could gain admission?” Okay, scratch that last one. But sometimes, stars say things about their kids that cause us common folk to do a double take.
Give the little ones an iPad for the next few minutes and sip your favorite beverage, cause we’re about to spill the tea on celebrities who have made the wildest claims about their kids.
Kristen Bell was mom-shamed for revealing her daughter's diaper wearing
On her endearingly hilarious web series, Momsplaining, Kristen Bell discusses common parenting issues with both celebrity and non-celebrity moms. In a 2020 episode (which ironically began with addressing internet mom-shaming), the Frozen actor shared a story that was meant to highlight how every child is unique. Bell told guests Maya Rudolph and Casey Wilson that her older daughter was fully potty-trained at 21 months, but her younger daughter struggled with the milestone, revealing, “Currently, my youngest is five-and-a-half, still in diapers.”
Unfortunately, even generally beloved celebrities aren’t immune to internet trolls, and some expressed their disdain for Bell’s honest revelation. One (now-deleted) tweet read, “Why would @KristenBell relate this humiliating fact about her child, along with identifying details like her name?” The actor responded directly to this rhetorical question by tweeting, “I … dont think its humiliating if ur kid wears diapers late … My 5yr old wouldn’t be embarrassed even if she was in diapers during the day! She’s confident & goofy & doesn’t see anything about her beautiful unique self something to apologize for.”
Despite some backlash, good things emerged from The Good Place star’s claim about her daughter’s nighttime diaper wearing. Fans shared similar stories and thanked Bell for being so transparent about real parenting issues. Another bonus? Free publicity for Bell’s baby care line, Hello Bello. During a Zoom interview with Today’s Parent, Bell and her hubby, Dax Shepard, discussed Diapergate while simultaneously promoting Hello Bello’s “incredibly absorbent” diapers.
Is Kim Kardashian's daughter, North West, the next Bob Ross?
The name Kardashian isn’t exactly synonymous with words like authentic, so of course anything and everything that Kim Kardashian posts on social media is subject to scrutiny. In 2021, she shared a pic of a beautiful landscape painting on her Instagram Stories (via BuzzFeed) and captioned it, “My little artist North.” Even though the reality star received plenty of positive responses, several people refused to believe that then-7-year-old North West painted the picture.
One Twitter user wrote, “It’s Kim K so you have to take everything she says with a heavy spoonful of salt.” Others made countless Bob Ross jokes and created memes to troll the reality star, but Kardashian was so not having it. Per People, the mom-of-four slammed the nay-sayers with, “DON’T PLAY WITH ME WHEN IT COMES TO MY CHILDREN!!! My daughter and her best friend have been taking a serious oil painting class … North worked incredibly hard on her painting which took several weeks to complete … Please stop embarrassing yourselves with the negativity and allow every child to be GREAT!”
Kardashian continued to plead her case by posting a picture of then-husband Kanye West’s childhood artwork, and even got her friends involved by posting a similar-looking painting that was done by North’s bestie. And for anyone musing, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks,” various media outlets consulted art experts on the matter, who all agree that children are indeed capable of painting skillful works of art.
Ryan O'Neal claimed he shot at his son and tried flirting with his daughter
We’re going to make an educated guess and say that a #1 DAD mug probably won’t be found anywhere in Ryan O’Neal’s kitchen cabinets. The troubled actor has made headlines over the last few decades in part for his tumultuous relationships with his children. Griffin O’Neal claimed that his father “gave [him] cocaine” at 11 years old, and daughter Tatum O’Neal has accused the actor of abuse and neglect. Ryan admitted in a 2009 Vanity Fair interview, “I’m a hopeless father.”
The Love Story actor previously became involved in an altercation with son Griffin, age 42 at the time, in 2007. According to The Seattle Times, Ryan reportedly “fired a gun in self-defense to prevent his son from whacking him with a fireplace poker.” On an episode of Larry King Live, Griffin denied his father’s side of the story and insisted that Ryan was the aggressor in the shocking incident: “My dad is a very, very, very violent man.”
Two years later, Ryan made another wild claim about one of his children, saying that he didn’t recognize his estranged daughter at ex-girlfriend Farrah Fawcett’s funeral and tried to hit on her, admitting to Vanity Fair, “It’s so sick.” When the publication asked Tatum for a response, she confirmed, “That’s our relationship in a nutshell … It had been a few years since we’d seen each other, and he was always a ladies’ man.” Feeling any better about your own family yet?
Alicia Silverstone said her son loved being fed like a baby bird
The public has become somewhat immune to the media’s latest, shocking celebrity headline. But Alicia Silverstone managed to drop jaws in 2012, when she revealed how she fed her then-baby boy, Bear: she chewed some food, dropped her jaw, and then spit the contents into her son’s mouth. The star uploaded a since-removed video to her website, which featured this “baby bird” feeding ritual. And yeah, people were freaked out.
Silverstone defended the practice of pre-chewing and told ET (via US Weekly), “I can understand that it would make some people feel uncomfortable … I do want to let you know that this has been going on for thousands of years … and it’s natural.” The actor explained that she began the practice when Bear needed to wean from breastmilk to foods, but didn’t have teeth yet. We’re going to resist the urge to make a Clueless joke here, and point out that pureed baby food has been a thing for quite some time.
Jokes aside, Silverstone might have a point. Before humans had food processors, parents would pre-chew their baby’s food, per U.S News. While the scientific jury is still out on the possible hygienic risks of pre-mastication, the outlet notes, “It’s entirely plausible that this unconventional practice may turn out to be a free, simple and effective preventive measure against food allergy, asthma and/or certain autoimmune diseases. If it does, Alicia Silverstone will have earned herself a huge ‘I told you so.'”
George Clooney claimed his toddlers speak fluent Italian
When celebrities appear on talk shows, the conversation eventually reaches the “hilarious anecdote” portion that makes the star seem interesting and/or relatable. This George Clooney anecdote definitely falls into the interesting category. Relatable? Not so much. While promoting his movie, Midnight Sky, in 2020, the actor-director revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that his then-three-year-old twins, Alexander and Ella, had acquired a new skill: “We did a really dumb thing, which is, they speak fluent Italian … But I don’t speak Italian, and my wife doesn’t speak Italian, so we’ve … armed them with a language.”
The Ocean’s Eleven star went on to say (though he looked like he was only joking) that when he tells his children now to clean their room, they respond with “Eh! Papa stronzo!” which roughly translates to “Hey a**hole!” Kimmel roared with laughter at the imagery and marveled at the Clooney twins’ advanced language skills, saying, “My son … barely with the English.”
Clooney later repeated the claim on The Graham Norton Show: “My kids are clearly my wife’s children … they are three and they speak fluent Italian, and they are way ahead. My wife is a genius, and they’re brilliant kids. It is my job to dumb them down … I teach them horrible things.” That’s right — when the toddlers aren’t conversing in Romance languages, Clooney says they are pranking their mom, Amal Clooney, by spreading Nutella in their diapers and eating it. Parents of toddlers everywhere: “Now that’s relatable!”
Is Ronan Farrow the son of Frank Sinatra?
Complicated is a euphemism that could be used to describe Mia Farrow’s relationships. At 21, Farrow married 50-year-old Frank Sinatra. They divorced after two years, and the Rosemary’s Baby star later married Andre Previn. Together for nine years, the couple shared both biological and adopted children. After the split, Farrow began dating filmmaker Woody Allen and gave birth to their son, Ronan Farrow. The pair infamously broke up when Farrow found nude photographs of her adopted 21-year-old daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, in Allen’s apartment.
As Ronan matured, the public began to notice that the journalist bore a striking resemblance to Mia’s ex-husband, Sinatra. Meanwhile, his mother’s ongoing relationship with the Sinatra family led to whispers. When Vanity Fair asked if Ronan was Ol’ Blue Eyes’ son in 2013, Mia simply replied, “Possibly.” The interviewer noted that “no DNA tests have been done.”
Allen may be listed as Ronan’s father on the journalist’s birth certificate, but the two men have been estranged for a long time. Ronan firmly believes that the filmmaker is a sexual predator who molested his sister Dylan when she was 7 years old. And although the Sinatra family denied Mia’s paternal claim, Allen publicly claimed to Vulture that Mia was unfaithful to him during their relationship, adding, “I think he is [my son] but I wouldn’t bet my life on it.” For his part, Ronan injected some much-needed levity during the scandal when he wrote in a since-deleted tweet (via Mashable), “Listen we’re all possibly Frank Sinatra’s son.”
Matt Gaetz announced he had a secret son
Republican Matt Gaetz is a U.S. Representative for Florida, and in June 2020, announced that he was also a father. Kind of. It all began when Democratic Congressman Cedric Richmond spoke passionately about police reform and race at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, before being interrupted by Gaetz: “Are you suggesting that you’re certain none of us have non-white children?” The two went back and forth, leading Gaetz to shout, “You’re claiming you have more concern for my family than I do? Who in the hell do you think you are?”
The next day, Gaetz revealed on Twitter that he had a non-white son whom he had never spoken of publicly. Posting a picture of himself with Nestor Galban, then 19, he wrote, “We share no blood but he is my life … I am proud of him and raising him has been the best, most rewarding thing I’ve done in my life.” Gaetz explained to People that Nestor was the younger brother of his now-ex-girlfriend, whose mother had died. After arriving in the U.S. from Cuba at age 12, Nestor would live with Gaetz for the next six years.
As expected, people had strong opinions and lots of questions about Gaetz’s “I’m a secret dad” bombshell. Critics thought it was suspicious that Gaetz never formally adopted Nestor and accused him of exaggerating their relationship for political purposes. Others defended the MAGA supporter and praised him for raising Nestor and shielding the teen from the public eye.
Did Ivanka Trump really create 15 million jobs?
Ivanka Trump is undoubtedly the golden child of the Trump family, but as far as father-daughter relationships go, this one is… weird. Because they don’t make bleach for your brain (and remember guys, bleach doesn’t belong anywhere in your body), we can’t forget all of the inappropriate things Donald Trump has said about Ivanka. When the former POTUS isn’t being creepy about his eldest daughter, he’s bragging about her accomplishments, but (and here’s a shocker) they may have been exaggerated just a bit.
While at the White House, one of Ivanka’s nepotic roles included co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. In 2019, Donald told the Economic Club of New York, “She has now created 14 million jobs.” A month later, Mr. MAGA once again repeated the claim during a speech, and in 2020, he alleged in a televised phone conversation with various business leaders that Ivanka “created over 15 million jobs.”
Unsurprisingly, Donald’s claims were proven to be lies. First, the workforce had only added around 6.6 million jobs from 2016-2019. Second, a Vox article pointed out, “The workforce policy board Ivanka co-chairs works with private companies to get them to offer training opportunities to workers … the fruit of that effort has been companies offering more than 6.5 million training opportunities … a training opportunity is not the same thing as an actual job.” Sorry, Donald.
Thomas Markle called Duchess Meghan's letter 'a dagger to the heart'
Okay, so technically Thomas Markle is only a “celebrity” because of his famous daughter, but we couldn’t pass up detailing his claims about THAT letter. The drama unfolded gradually during Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement. Hounded by the press, the seemingly reclusive Tom controversially agreed to accept payment for a staged paparazzi shoot in an attempt to rehab his image. Sadly, this was the beginning of the end for this father-daughter relationship.
The former lighting director didn’t walk his daughter down the aisle in May 2018 due to health concerns (and scandal), admitted to Good Morning Britain that the photos were a “mistake” that June, and later claimed to The Sun that Meghan had totally shut him out of her life after the royal wedding. However, in 2019, close friends of the duchess alleged to People, “[Thomas has] never called; he’s never texted. It’s super-painful.” Another pal said, “After the wedding she wrote him a letter. She’s like, ‘Dad, I’m so heartbroken. I love you. I have one father. Please stop victimizing me through the media so we can repair our relationship.'”
A week after the People article hit newsstands, Thomas retaliated by allowing the Daily Mail to publish portions of Meghan’s private letter. Claiming that Meghan’s friends misrepresented the letter, he said that in his opinion, it was “a dagger to the heart” and “deeply hurtful.” Per BuzzFeed, Meghan took the Daily Mail to court in a privacy lawsuit and won the case in 2021.
Lori Loughlin claimed her daughters were accomplished crew recruits
If you grew up watching Full House, the thought of Aunt Becky committing a felony most likely never crossed your mind. So when actress Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, were arrested and charged with bribery and conspiracy to commit fraud in 2019 — proving that they really were willing to do anything for their kids — the TGIF generation was stunned.
Referred to as “Operation Varsity Blues” by the FBI, the college admissions investigation brought charges upon dozens of parents and university personnel. For their part, Loughlin and her husband used illegal means to secure admission to USC for daughters Olivia and Isabella Giannulli. In a nutshell, the couple claimed that both daughters were “recruits for the university’s crew team, even though neither participated in the sport” and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to an admissions consultant and athletic director (per Town & Country).
Much of the public was outraged by the scandal, and Loughlin and Giannulli were sentenced to complete jail sentences, community service, and pay hefty fines. Olivia and Isabella voluntarily left USC, but we doubt influencer Olivia misses her studies, as the YouTuber infamously told viewers in 2018 (via ET), “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend … I do want the experience of, like, game days, partying … I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” Olivia apologized for her comments following swift backlash, but to quote Aunt Becky’s niece, Stephanie: How rude!
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