15 celebrities who were victims of abuse

15 celebrities who were victims of abuse

Let's be honest, we all crave for celebrity gossip, whether we like to admit it or not. We love to see and know about everything happening in their lives - staying in their giant beachside villas, driving their supercars, going to A-list parties. 

Also, read: 10 Celebrities who killed their loved ones and shocked fans

What we don't get to hear often is how these celebrities reached that level and the struggles they went through. Plenty of celebrities have had their fair share of problems, having faced some serious abuse, whether it occurred in their childhood or later on in their lives. 

Here are 15 celebrities who faced abuse in their lives. 

#15 Richard Nixon

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Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, has the ignominy of also being the only president to resign from office. While his reign in the Oval Office was characterized by some major wins, including reinitiating diplomatic relations with China and presiding of the Apollo 11 mission that successfully put a man on the moon, he will undoubtedly be remembered most for the Watergate scandal that forced him to resign.

But what's lesser known about Nixon is the abuse he suffered as a child, something he rarely ever talked about. In Richard Nixon: A Psychobiographyit was written that he had suffered from deprivation and physical abuse as a child. It was also reported that he was so threatened by the birth of his younger brother, that he apparently tried to drown him when he was just six or seven-years-old.

#14 Kate Moss

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Kate Moss became one of the world's first supermodels and is known for her role in size zero fashion. Named in 2007 in TIME magazine's list of 100 most influential people, she eventually began to face trouble for various drug allegations.

Her relationship with Pete Doherty was popular for its dysfunctionality, with Doherty claiming that Moss was a jealous “nasty old rag” with a violent temper, and claims she once kicked him in the head; Moss has said the same about him. The couple was also known to abuse drugs such as cocaine, with Doherty having battled drug addiction for years and having had numerous run-ins with the police for drug offenses.

#13 Christina Aguilera

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Known as the 'Pop Princess,' Aguilera has earned five Grammy Awards and sold over 39.9 million records in the United States and 100 million records worldwide. In 2009, the singer came clean about the suffering she had to endure at the hands of her violent father.

She admitted that her army sergeant father made life hell for her family and she, therefore, had to use music as an escape from the trauma of beatings. She says she never felt safe as a child and her mother recalls a time when she found Christina, just aged four, with blood pouring from her face; the reason? She had apparently made 'too much noise' when her dad wanted to take a nap.

#12 Pamela Anderson

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Best known for her role in Baywatch, and V.I.P, Anderson is a prominent activist, supporting various AIDS and Cannabis trusts. She is also an outspoken supporter of PETA.

In some explosive documents filed by Anderson at a Los Angeles court, she claimed that her former husband Tommy Lee mentally and physically abused her and her children. She even alleges an incident where he allegedly dangled his son in front of his "temperamental" 130lb rottweiler. She also claimed that Lee severely beat her as she breastfed her sons and made their children watch disturbing television images of the World Trade Center attacks as well as violent programmes and videos.

#11 Drew Barrymore

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One of Hollywood's most talented actors, Barrymore came clean about her turbulent childhood marked by drug and alcohol abuse in her autobiography Little Girl Lost. Having grown up as a child star, she talked about her dysfunctional upbringing and sex-addiction in her younger years. She even wrote, "I had my first drink at age nine, began smoking marijuana at ten and at 12 took up cocaine". 

Her father was an alcoholic who abandoned Drew and her mother when Drew was just a baby and shuffled in and out of jail on various drug charges. Though she admits to eventually repairing the relationship with her father,  she described her relationship with her mother as being 'in a to-be-continued phase', claiming she felt forced by her mother to keep acting.

#10 Charlize Theron

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Known for her roles in films such as The Devil's Advocate, North Country, and Hancock, Theron worked her way up to the very pinnacle of Hollywood. However, her childhood was less than exemplary and she was a victim of constant abuse.

At the age of 15, she witnessed her mother, Gerda Maritz, shoot and kill her abusive, alcoholic father, Charles Theron, while acting in self-defense. Her father had apparently come home completely drunk and yelled, “Tonight I’m going to kill you both with the shotgun," which led to her mother grabbing her own handgun and shooting him. The actor admits because she was so traumatized by the events, she used to lie and say her father died in a car crash, rather than rehash her painful past.

#9 Halle Berry

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Most famous for her role in the romantic drama Monster's Ball which saw her win an Academy Award, Berry had a difficult childhood.

She claims she has been estranged from her father since childhood, noting in 1992: "I haven't heard from him since [he left]. Maybe he's not alive." This was because he was very abusive to both her mother and herself. Berry recalled witnessing her mother being beaten daily, kicked down the stairs and even being hit in the head with a wine bottle.

#8 Rihanna

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The Umbrella hit-maker is currently one of the biggest pop-icons in the world and one of the best-selling artists of all time. However, the eight-time Grammy winner hit headlines for all wrong reasons in 2009 when it emerged that her then-boyfriend Chris Brown had physically assaulted her.

Leaked photographs showed Rihanna carrying visible injuries and Brown was arrested and charged with assault and for making criminal threats. Brown has since come out various times to publicly apologize and take responsibility for his actions, claiming he even went through a 52-week program of domestic violence counseling.

#7 Madonna

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Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. However, the singer, who also holds the record for being the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all-time, had some difficult times with abuse.

She revealed in a candid interview that in her first year in New York when she was just 20, she was raped on the rooftop of a building at knifepoint and also had her apartment broken into several times. She admitted not reporting the incident to the cops, instead 'internalizing' the brutality. She also claimed to have suffered mental and physical abuse from her first husband Sean Penn during their four years of marriage.

#6 Shakira

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The Colombian singer is one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, having delivered various super-hits in her already stellar career. Though she's currently happily married to F.C. Barcelona star Gerard Pique, she was the victim of domestic abuse in her previous relationship. 

She revealed how her ex-boyfriend had asked her to 'shut her little mouth about him' during interviews, claiming he was very territorial and that he didn't like her doing videos with other men. But those days are long past, with Shakira now being a mother of two beautiful children with Pique and also a symbol of women's empowerment across the globe.

#5 Bill Clinton

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Being the 42nd President of the United States, it's quite sad that he will mostly be remembered for his affair with Monica Lewinsky and not for being the man who presided over the longest period of economic expansion in American history. A graduate of Yale, Clinton too suffered a difficult childhood.

His real father died in a car crash three months before he was born and it was written in his biography of how he grew increasingly disturbed by his stepfather's drinking and abusive behavior toward his mother and younger half-brother. Bill eventually snapped at the age of 14, telling his step-father, "If you want them, you'll have to go through me." Though the abuse stopped, the drinking continued, and the tension in the household always remained.

#4 Whitney Houston

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Houston is the most-awarded female act of all-time and has sold over 200 million records worldwide. The singer was tragically found dead in her bathtub in 2012, with a heart disease and cocaine listed as contributing factors; her relationship with ex-husband Bobby Brown would go some way in explaining the latter factor. 

The pair's marriage had been a tumultuous and dysfunctional one, with hard-core drugs being one of the prominent culprits. They also apparently got into fistfights with one another often, with police even responding to a domestic violence call in 2003, to find Houston with a bruised cheek and a cut lip. The pair eventually divorced in 2007.

#3 Marilyn Manson

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Known for his controversial stage personality, Manson is often viewed as a negative influence on young people. However, the singer is a victim of childhood sexual abuse; a fact he managed to work into the title of his album "Smells like Children".

When he was a kid, he was molested several times by a neighbor until he finally broke down and told his mom. It was said that one point, an older male friend of Marilyn ordered him to strip naked and crawl into a tight space. The man then pleasured himself by touching the younger helpless Marilyn. All these incidents scarred him, causing him to grow up as a quiet and introverted boy.

#2 Oprah Winfrey

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Winfrey has a lot of honors to her name, including being dubbed the 'Queen of All Media,' being the richest African-American and also the greatest black philanthropist in American history. Her difficult childhood included becoming pregnant at the age of 14 and then losing her son when he was just an infant.

She was first sexually abused when she was just 9. Then, while babysitting children, her 19-year-old cousin raped her, took her out for ice cream, and told her to keep it a secret. The next few years saw her face a lot more abuse from a family friend as well as an uncle, keeping them all a secret before eventually coming clean on her difficult past. 

#1 Marilyn Monroe

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One of the most popular sex-symbols to have ever lived, Monroe saw her fair share of controversies, including an alleged relationship with then-President John F. Kennedy. Her troubled private life received a lot of media attention, including her struggle with substance abuse, her depression, anxiety and her marriages with retired baseball star Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller.

She also became one of the first ever public figures to discuss her abuse in public when she came clean about the various instances of sexual abuse she had suffered in her life. She was first abused by lodger George Atkinson when she was just eight. She was also sexually abused by a friend's husband in 1937 and a cousin while living with a relative in 1938. Many believe that these were the main reasons for the mental health problems that Monroe faced later in her life.

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