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Celebrities with Parental Issues

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 08: Writer/director Angelina Jolie (L) and actorJon Voight arrive at the premiere of FilmDistrict's 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' held at ArcLight Cinemas on December 8, 2011 in Hollywood, California.
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 08: Writer/director Angelina Jolie (L) and actorJon Voight arrive at the premiere of FilmDistrict's 'In the Land of Blood and Honey' held at ArcLight Cinemas on December 8, 2011 in Hollywood, California.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Why do we hear about so many stars having serious problems with their parents? A recent Globe article about Angelina Jolie and her dad Jon Voight is titled, “The Knife in Angelina’s Heart.” Angelina stopped talking to her dad years ago because he left her and her mother when Angelina was only two. This article reveals letters from her mom to a friend where she was pouring out her pain caused by Angelina’s dad’s cheating. Reports are that Angelina’s anger came back all over again as she read them. Recently, she has minimally allowed her father back in her life so he can see her children, but it seems that she will never forgive him for what he did to her mother and the family.

Remarkably, Brad Pitt’s first wife, Jennifer Anniston, has had serious parental issues as well, but with her mother. She appears to have an on again, off again relationship with her mother that is more off than it is on. The issues supposedly go all the way back to childhood (as most do). Her mother Nancy, a former model, reportedly criticized Jennifer as she was growing up, making fun of her looks and weight, and the spacing of her eyes. This caused her a lot of insecurity. Jennifer supposedly tried to reconcile with her mom several times, and then her mom broke all the trust by writing a tell-all book “From Mother and Daughter to Friends: A Memoir” in 1999. Reports say they are now talking again since her mom recently had a stroke, but that she is not inviting her mom to her wedding with Justin Theroux.

And although Beyonce’s father was her agent until 2011, she recently (on June 30) skipped her dad’s wedding to his new wife. Beyonce’s mother divorced him in 2009 after he fathered a child with another woman and denied it until DNA tests were performed, proving he was the father. Beyonce obviously has some unresolved issues with him.

And singer and judge on the XFactor, Demi Lovato, recently admitted on Good Morning America that she has been estranged from her father (who recently passed away with cancer) since 2007. Her parents split in 1994 and it appears that she tried for years to help him with what she calls “his mental illness and inability to function very well in society,” and finally gave up a few years ago. He had tried to reach out to her in recent years saying, “It’s not like I want anything from her, all I want is her love.”

Obviously since I am not their therapist, I don’t know all of the ins and outs of these family relationships, but I do know that unfinished business with parents can cause a lot of problems in a person’s future relationships, including a huge need for approval and attention. And the resulting need for approval often pushes a person to try harder to become a bigger star – often to their own detriment. Michael Jackson may be the best example of this. (See my article “Michael Jackson’s Childhood Issues Killed Him”.)

Not only do many people with serious unresolved issues with their families end up becoming rich and famous, but they are then less likely to ever resolve these issues. Once they are rich and famous, their friends and family become afraid to confront them, and they are less likely to reach out for therapy or any other kind of help.

When we feel unloved by a parent, whether or not it’s valid and regardless of the reason, it leaves a hole in us emotionally. We then transfer that need to feel loved to others, desperately feeling needy and often obsessive. But actually being loved by others, whether it’s a mate or fans, does not make the hole go away. In fact, the craving to be loved continues and often increases (as we devalue those who do love us). It’s never enough because the issues never get resolved. This need to feel loved (we bring from childhood) is a great motivator to climb the ladder of fame – to try to be loved by more and more people.

Most people, including celebrities end up writing the parent off and/or drowning their pain in drugs and alcohol and other bad behaviors. Instead, communication and confrontation is what is needed to get real resolution.

See my articles on “How to Resolve Parental Issues,” and “Celebrities Need to Resolve Parental Issues.”

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