Halle Berry
instagram | Halle Berry

19 Celebrities Who Had Very Difficult Childhoods 

Thanks to the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and famous, it’s easy to assume that all celebrities grow up that way. 

But, as it turns out, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

So many celebs have grown up with the same issues many of us have faced: poverty, dysfunction, sexual assault, and more. Here, 19 celebs share about their very difficult childhood

TW: Some of the content in this contains descriptions of violence, death, and sexual assault. 

Demi Moore

Demi Moore
Instagram | Demi Moore

As a daughter of alcoholic parents, Demi experienced a childhood that was far from easy. She was only 12 when her mother attempted suicide for the first time.

"I remember using my fingers, the small fingers of a child, to dig the pills my mother had tried to swallow, out of her mouth," Moore wrote in her memoir, Inside Out.

Ashley Judd

The actress's alleged sexual assault from Harvey Weinstein wasn't the only difficult thing she has endured.

Growing up with a mother who was struggling to become a singer meant that the family faced financial hardship and the children were often left alone for long periods of time.

Hilary Swank

Hilary Swank
Giphy |

Not a million-dollar baby. Instead, Swank grew up so poor that she and her mother were forced to live out of their car. "I felt like such an outsider. I didn’t feel like I fit in," she has said about her high school days.

Charlize Theron

The actress saw things no child should ever face: her mother being forced to kill her father. This happened after her father, in a drunken rage, fired bullets into the room where Charlize and her mother were hiding.

Dylan McDermott

Dylan McDermott
Giphy | Wolf Entertainment

The "American Horror Story" actor was forced to become "an adult fast" due to the horrors he experienced as a kid. This included his mother being murdered in 1967 and being robbed by an intruder when he was only 11.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey
youtube | ABC

While most sixteen-year-olds are out with their friends, the comedian lived out of a Volkswagen camper van with his family. He even quit school at 16 so he could work full-time to help support his family.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj
Giphy |

The rapper's early years were plagued by fear. "All of my young and teenage early years we lived in fear that my mother would be killed by my father," she said in an interview in 2011.

Drew Barrymoore

Drew Barrymore and her mother
instagram | Drew Barrymore

The star's childhood is about as difficult as it gets. She was only 13 years old when her mother sent her to a rehab institution. Since she was so angry over this, she became legally emancipated from her parents at only 15.

Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg
Giphy | 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

As the youngest of nine children, the actor did what he could to survive. After he dropped out of school at 14, he found himself in a bad crowd that included violence, stealing, and substance abuse.

Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester
instagram | Leighton Meester

The Gossip Girl star's life was rocky from the start. That's because she was born in the prison where her mother, Constance Meester, was serving time for drug trafficking. Things have been rocky between them ever since.

Eminem

Eminem
Giphy | Eminem

Listen to any of his early rap lyrics and you'll know that the rapper's childhood was marked by poverty and disfunction.

A lot of this stemmed from Eminem's father abandoning the family when he was a baby, followed by the bullying he endured in school.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah
Giphy |

Oprah's life is truly one of from rags to riches. Since her mother had her at 18, they grew up extremely poor. She also faced horrifying sexual assault at a young age. All of this forced her to grow up a lot quicker than her peers.

Ariel Winter

Ariel Winter
instagram | Ariel Winter

The Modern Family star was only 14 when she filed a restraining order against her mother, Crystal Workman, for allegedly being physically and verbally abusive. "I spent the first 14 years of my life in isolation and it wasn't great," Ariel told LaPalme Magazine.

Naomi Watts

Naomi Watts
Giphy |

By the time the actress was 14, she had changed schools nine different times. This instability came fro the fact that her dad was the road manager for Pink Floyd. But when he tragicaly died from a drug overdose when she was seven, the family struggled financially.

Taylor Momsen

Taylor Momsen
instagram | Taylor Momsen

The Gossip Girl alum has never been mum about her parents forcing her to work in modeling and acting from a young age. After feeling "miserable" for many years, she became legally emanciapted from her parents.

Tyler Perry

Being the victim of his father's brutal beatings caused the actor and producer to create a refuge in his mind. "I'm there in this park running and playing, and it was such a good day," he revealed to Oprah. "So, every time somebody was doing something to me that was horrible, that was awful, I could go to this park in my mind until it was over."

Christina Aguilera

Christina Augilera
instagram | Xtina

The singer's early life was anything but perfect. Since her father was a sergeant in the U.S. Army, the family often had to relocate. Sadly, her father was also aggressive with her mother, which led her mother to escape to a different city with her daughters.

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf
Giphy | A24

If you're not a fan of the actor, you at least may feel some sympathy for him after hearing about his childhood.

According to The Telegraph, he grew up in extreme poverty where his family traveled and sold hot dogs to make ends meet.

Halle Berry

Halle Berry
instagram | Halle Berry

Looking at her, you probably wouldn't think that Halle had a bad childhood.

But she did. Her father beat up her mother in front of the kids until he left the family when the actress was four.

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