Being famous isn’t all fun and games, after all, as many celebrities can attest to with their troubling tales of childhood abuse, drug addiction, and other extremely difficult circumstances. While these public figures now lead successful and fulfilling lives, these celebrities were once very different people – and it’s important not to forget that fact just because they are now some of the most well-known people on the planet. Here are famous celebrities with heartbreaking pasts.
1) Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe is one of the most iconic celebrities of all time and yet, she had a pretty heartbreaking past. Born Norma Jeane Baker in 1926, she was abandoned by her parents at an early age and grew up in foster homes with five different families before being moved to an orphanage. When she was 16, Marilyn married Jim Dougherty, but they divorced when he went off to serve in World War II. Not long after, Marilyn became a model and later moved on to acting where she skyrocketed to fame as the blonde bombshell. In 1962 , Marilyn Monroe died of a drug overdose at the age of 36.
2) Lady Gaga
Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in Manhattan, New York on March 28th, 1986, she attended a Catholic girls’ school before enrolling at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was signed to Def Jam Records after a friend posted her singing on MySpace. Her debut album The Fame (2008) is one of the best-selling albums of all time and she has won six Grammy Awards. In 2009, Gaga’s second album was released. The Fame Monster (2009). The album contained the international hits Bad Romance, Telephone and Alejandro. With both albums Gaga achieved worldwide record sales of 27 million copies. She then went on tour with Kanye West as part of their Watch the Throne Tour (2011), providing vocals for two songs from West’s three-song set list.
3) Oprah Winfrey
The indisputable fact is that Oprah Winfrey is one of the most famous celebrities in the world. She is a television host and producer as well as a businesswoman. Her most notable work has been on her talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which has aired for 25 seasons and counting.
When she was just 13-years-old, she was sent to live with her father in Tennessee but he abused her. She became pregnant at 14 and gave birth to a baby boy whom she placed up for adoption. She then experienced three violent rapes before the age of 17. Despite all this trauma, she refused to give up hope or let it break her.
4) Jennifer Lopez
She was born in the Bronx, New York, to her Puerto Rican mother Guadalupe Rodriguez and Jewish father David Lopez. Her parents divorced when she was three years old and she moved with her mother to the Dominican Republic where they lived until she was seven years old when they returned to New York. In 1994 Jennifer married Ojani Noa but later divorced him in 1997. In 2004 she married actor Marc Anthony with whom she had twins Emme and Max. In July 2014, the couple divorced. Jennifer has also experienced physical abuse from an ex-boyfriend which led to a protection order.
Her celebrity career skyrocketed after the release of her first album on 1990, On the 6 that sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Beyonce Knowles is a famous celebrity with a heartbreaking past. She is an African-American singer, actor and entrepreneur. Beyonce has a net worth of $265 million dollars. Beyonce began her career as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child before going on to have a hugely successful solo career. Beyonce had two children with rapper Jay-Z, daughter Blue Ivy Carter (born January 7 2012) and son Sir Carter (born July 2017). Beyonce is one of the most influential entertainers around today with over 300 million records sold throughout her career!
6) Brad Pitt
He has received multiple awards and nominations including an Academy Award as well as having been nominated for three Emmy Awards. His first leading role in a major film was in Thelma & Louise, which he starred alongside Geena Davis. He has also produced several of his films, including Legends of the Fall and Seven Years in Tibet. In recent years, Brad has focused on producing more than acting, with Mystic River being one of his last lead roles in a movie.
Brad’s childhood was difficult because he had a troubled relationship with his father growing up.
Her mother is Monica Braithwaite and her father is Ronald Fenty. When she was five years old, she moved to the United States with her mother and younger brother because of an abusive relationship between her mother and father. In 2005, she auditioned for American Idol where she sang Pon De Replay by Shakira. She won the competition at age 19 and released her first album Music of the Sun in August 2006 followed by A Girl Like Me in April 2007. She has become a fashion icon after being signed to Puma as their spokesperson in 2008 then Dolce & Gabbana’s new ambassador in 2013.
8) Leonardo DiCaprio
Leonardo DiCaprio is best known for his roles in films such as Titanic, The Revenant, Gangs of New York and Catch Me If You Can. But there’s a lot more to the actor than what you see on the silver screen. Born in Hollywood, California to parents George and Irmelin DiCaprio, Leonardo was an only child who grew up in luxurious surroundings thanks to his father’s success as a movie producer. It all came crashing down when DiCaprio was just 16 years old when his dad left home and later passed away from AIDS complications. His mother faced depression after this and struggled with addiction which impacted her parenting skills – Leo would often take care of himself while she was out partying with her friends.