These stars’ family troubles made it all the way to attorneys.
Everyone finds themselves in the middle of family disputes every once in a while and when you’re a star, these issues can be a lot more serious! Unfortunately, it’s way more common than you would think for a celeb to end up in court fighting with their fam.
Stars like Rihanna, Dane Cook and Frank Ocean have all found themselves in the middle of legal battles with their kin. Most recently, Mariah Carey’s sister Alison tried to take her to court over accusations that she made in her memoir. While many stars have been able to move past their legal troubles, it’s yet to be seen what will happen between Mariah and Alison.
Find out why these stars faced off with their families in court…
Mariah Carey recently found herself in the midst of some legal trouble with her sister Alison, following the release of her memoir “The Meaning of Mariah Carey.” Alison alleges that Mariah intentionally inflicted “emotional distress” on her by including personal stories in the book. Alison disputes several of Mariah’s claims, including the incident where she is said to have given Mariah Valium and tried to “pimp her out.”
Alison is currently seeking $1.25 million in damages and reportedly offered to settle but has not heard back from Mariah’s legal team. Mariah has not yet publicly spoken out about the situation.
“Modern Family” actress Ariel Winter spent much of her teen years working to get emancipated from her parents. When she was 14, her guardianship was handed over to her older sister Shanelle, citing emotional and physical abuse at the hands of her mother. Over the course of the next two years, Ariel was at the center of legal proceedings as her mother attempted to regain custody. Then in 2014, Shanelle was granted permanent guardianship.
The following year, Ariel was officially emancipated from her parents, telling fans in a tweet, “I’m really lucky I have an amazing support system and lovely people in my life who have given me the support and guidance to have been given this wonderful opportunity. Most importantly I want to thank @shanelle_gray and my father for their special support regarding this matter, I really couldn’t have done it without them. Thank you to all of my family, friends, and fans who have supported me through all of my endeavors in life, and have encouraged me. Thank you for making my life so special! I can’t wait to embark on my new adventures.”
Back in 2011, Leighton Meester took her mother to court after she allegedly discovered that the money she had been sending to take care of her little brother’s medical expenses were being used by her mother for cosmetic procedures. Meanwhile, her mother claimed that Leighton had verbally promised to take care of her as well and that’s why she spent the cash.
While Leighton wasn’t suing her mother to recover money, she did want the judge to declare that there was no contract between her and her mother. A year later, Leighton won the legal battle.
Rihanna had to take her father Ronald Fenty to court back in 2019, all because of their last name. According to The Blast, Ronald used their trademarked last name to create an entertainment company, Fenty Entertainment, and solicit business on his behalf. He and a partner reportedly posed as Rihanna’s team and attempted to book a multimillion dollar tour in Latin America.
Rihanna is said to have sent cease and desist letters to her father but since they did not stop, she was forced to file a lawsuit. She reportedly wants an injunction against her father as well as damages. The trial has not yet occurred.
Frank Ocean was sued for $14.5 million by his estranged father Calvin Cooksey back in 2017, accusing his son of libeling him in a Tumblr post a year prior. In the post, Frank had told a story, claiming his father once called a transgender waitress a gay slur. Calvin, who denies any truth to the story, says the post cost him “future financial opportunities in the film and music industries.”
“I have never discriminated against anyone transgender or heterosexual or homosexual. The events that defendant describes… NEVER HAPPENED… The defendant is a scam artist, a fraud and a hypocrite who deceive[d] the LGBT community on June 21st, 2016 for the financial success of [Ocean’s album] Blonde,” Calvin wrote in an email to Rolling Stone.
Later that year, the case went to court in Los Angeles, where a judge ruled that Calvin failed to prove Frank defamed him at all.
Dane Cook had to send his brother Darryl McCauley to prison after he discovered that he had embezzled millions while he was working for him as his manager. Darryl served as Dane’s manager from the early 1990s until 1998, during which he and his wife stole $12 million. In court, Darryl pleaded guilty to larceny, embezzlement and forgery, among other charges.
He was sentenced to six years in prison and 16 years probation, while his wife got three years in prison and 13 years probation. They were also required to pay back the millions they stole.
LeAnn Rimes began her music career when she was just a preteen, leading her parents to be pretty involved in her business affairs. By 16, LeAnn wanted to take control of her own career and in doing so, filed a lawsuit against her father Wilbur, claiming he and his partner pocketed $7 million of her earnings. Several years later, LeAnn made amends with her father and settled the lawsuits.
“There’s so much more life ahead of me. To carry on a burden of hating someone. It’s just not worth it. I’ve never hated my dad. I just wanted a dad. I guess I just really disliked where he was in my life. I just wanted him to be my father,” LeAnn told ABC News.
Mischa Barton took her mother Nuala to court in 2015 in a lawsuit where she sued her for $25 million and called her “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.” Mischa also accused her of “exploitation and fraud, coupled with ongoing instances of bullying and verbal abuse.”
Then in 2016, Mischa asked the Los Angeles Superior Court to dismiss the accusations against her mother and drop all action causes for the case.
Former Disney star Billy Under sued his father and manager William back in 2015 after he reportedly “[mishandled] nearly $400K of his earnings.” William also reportedly spent over $100,000 of Billy’s money to take a woman on vacation and was gouging him for a 33.3% commission, over double the industry standard.
In the lawsuit, Billy asked for his dad to repay the money as well as damages. It’s unclear how the legal battle played out.
When Macaulay Culkin’s parents split when he was a teen, he found himself in the middle of a custody battle determining who would control his multimillion dollar fortune. Macaulay, who has since called his dad abusive, decided the best decision was to legally remove his parent’s names from his trust fund. He then found an executor who would look after his finances “just in case anyone wanted to stick their f—— pinkie in the pie.”
“It’s always misconstrued, that I ’emancipated’ myself from my parents… I just thought I was doing it cleanly — taking my father’s name off, taking my mom’s name off, so my opinion is unbiased. And when I did that, the whole thing kinda ended a lot faster,” Macaulay told Esquire.