When searching for an example of the most dysfunctional celebrity dad for Father’s Day, there is a pretty wide field from which to choose. Famous dads don’t always know how to handle their fame, and the ones who are famous only through the celebrity of their children often act out their own family dramas in public. But who are some of most visible celebrity fathers who need to clean up their act by Father’s Day? Let’s take a look at Dads Gone Wild.
What can you say about Charlie Sheen, once promising actor who has managed to practically scuttle his own career and is at the age of 48 currently working toward his fourth marriage (to a former porn star)? (Huffington Post) Sheen, who became a grandfather last year (courtesy of grown daughter Cassandra Jade Estevez), is also the father of two young daughters with ex-wife and actress Denise Richards, as well as twin sons with ex-wife Brooke Mueller (from whom he had a tumultuous break-up and an alleged assault charge that landed him in jail on Christmas Day 2009). Sheen helped to cement his title as “Dysfunctional Dad of 2011” by inviting two young women to live with him and assist him in caring for his then two-year old sons. He dubbed them his “goddesses,” one of whom was a Penthouse and Hustler model and porn actress. (Leonard)
And who can forget Charlie Sheen’s award-worthy performance three years ago which led to his dismissal from the cast of Two and a Half Men? Sheen, the self-professed “warlock” with “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA” went on a rant for several months that resulted in bizarre videos posted by him on YouTube showing him smoking cigarettes through his nose, and then embarked on the “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option” tour. (biography.com) Yes, Sheen is definitely a candidate for Dysfunctional Dad, and unfortunately, if the past is any indication, we’re sure see more bizarre behavior from him as the years roll by, because some men just never grow up.
Apparently Michael Lohan, Sr. was sick of seeing daughter Lindsay garner all the publicity, so he has, for the past few years, done his utmost to seek the limelight, for all the wrong reasons. “Drug and alcohol abuse is a familiar commodity in the Lohan family, with Michael going in and out of prison.” (hollyscoop.com) Even Michael, Sr. has admitted that he is partly at fault for daughter Lindsay’s problems with drugs and alcohol. He blames the difficulties on his and his ex-wife Dina’s divorce. “It’s my fault and Dina’s fault. We put her in the middle of the divorce. Now it’s up to me and Dina to make this better.” (hollyscoop.com) But apparently, he isn’t trying that hard. With multiple stints in rehab and public fights with girlfriends, it’s no wonder that Michael Lohan has developed a reputation for trouble.
What list of celebrity dads who are poster boys for dysfunction could be complete without Ryan O’Neal? O’Neal has had very tenuous relationships with all of his children, including sons Patrick, Griffin and Redmond, and daughter Tatum. Tatum, in her autobiography, “A Paper Life,” alleged that she was molested by her father’s drug dealer; and son Griffin has alleged that he was plied with drugs by his father and was the recipient of numerous incidents of abuse. And if that weren’t enough, father Ryan admits that he didn’t even recognize his own daughter after attending long-time love Farrah Fawcett’s funeral and tried to hit on her. In his own words, he stated: “I had just put the casket in the hearse and I was watching it drive away when a beautiful blonde woman comes up and embraces me,” … “I said to her, ‘You have a drink on you? You have a car?’ She said, ‘Daddy, it’s me–Tatum!'” (Huffington Post) Hard to top that for a dysfunctional dad. Even O’Neal had the grace to admit, “It’s so sick.”
Fame is tough enough, but when your father tries living out his unrealized ambitions through your success, it’s even tougher. Joe Jackson, father of Michael, Germaine, Tito, et al, was a former Golden Gloves boxer and failed musician, who noticed his sons had a talent for music. His relentless pushing and promotion helped them become famous, but he was a strict disciplinarian who ran the family with an iron fist. “In 1993, son Michael spoke out against him … detailing the physical and mental abuse he endured from the hands of his father throughout his childhood. This issue split the Jackson siblings, many of whom claimed abuse and several of whom claimed it never occurred.” (biography.com)
Michael fired his father as his manager in 1979, and his brothers followed suit in 1983. It must have become even more obvious how Michael felt about his father when, after Michael’s death in 2009, his will specified that his mother be made guardian of his children and “Papa Joe” be left with nothing.
Frankly, I like Ozzie. I like his music and some of his sillier antics, but it can’t be easy being his child. Watching your father stumble around (on and off camera) like a stoned zombie can’t be easy. As the famous front-man for the English band Black Sabbath, and later in his solo career, Ozzy won fame for his anti-social behavior and gothic heavy metal music. But his personal problems have almost overshadowed his music career. Even Ozzy has admitted in his book I Am Ozzy that his escapades have been out of control. He has admitted to “nearly killing his wife Sharon during an alcohol-induced blackout, waking up after a bender in the middle of a busy highway, burning down his backyard, etc.” (Kirkus) Being Ozzie’s kid has got to be a horrifying roller coaster ride. It’s difficult to imagine enduring a life of “drunken mishaps, bodily dysfunctions and drug-induced mayhem over a 40-plus-year career-a résumé of anti-social atrocities comparable to any of rock ‘n’ roll’s most reckless outlaws.” (Kirkus) Wouldn’t you love to be a fly-on-the-wall at that Father’s Day celebration?
And now for our winner, Dad of the Century and star of the Trial of the Century, O.J. Simpson. Nothing says dysfunctional family like seeing your father on trial for murdering your mother. Despite his acquittal on the murder charge in 1995, many people thought the former football hero got away with murder. Apparently, so did a jury in the civil trial in which Simpson was hit with a $33 million judgment in 1997 for the wrongful deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Even so, Simpson still got to go on with his life and even attempted to publish a book about the murders entitled “If I Did It” in 2006. With a huge judgment hanging over his head from the civil verdict, a federal bankruptcy judge awarded the book’s rights and any proceeds to the family of Ronald Goldman.
The law, however, was not through with Simpson. In 2008, he was convicted of 12 counts of armed robbery and kidnapping when he and another man attempted to “reclaim” sports memorabilia in a Las Vegas hotel room at gunpoint. Despite numerous appeals, Simpson is still serving his sentence for the 2007 incident in the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. If any Father’s Day festivities are contemplated, they will have to be conducted in the visiting area of the prison, as O.J. is not yet eligible for parole.
Well, as always, money can’t buy happiness, or even class. So if you’re lucky enough to be able to spend this Father’s Day with your dad, give him a big hug and thank your lucky stars you’ll have the kind of Father’s Day that will keep you and the family out of the tabloids.
Charlie Sheen. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 10:30, May 22, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/charlie-sheen
Dekneef, Matt, “Michael Lohan: Dina and I are Why Lindsay is an Addict,” Hollyscoop, http://www.hollyscoop.com/lindsay-lohan/michael-lohan-dina-and-i-are-why-lindsay-addict.html
Hollyscoop Biography, “Michael Lohan,” http://www.hollyscoop.com/michael-lohan/biography
Huffington Post, “Ryan O’Neal: I Hit on My Daughter Tatum at Farrah’s Funeral,” Sept. 3. 2009 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/03/ryan-oneal-i-hit-on-my-da_n_249668.html ,
Huffington Post, “Charlie Sheen engaged to Porn Star Brett Rossi,” Feb. 16, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/16/charlie-sheen-engaged_n_4798078.html
Joseph Jackson. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 10:29, May 23, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/joseph-jackson-467150
Kirkus Reviews, I Am Ozzy, by Ozzy Osbourne and Chris Ayres, Jan. 25, 2010, https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/ozzy-osbourne/i-am-ozzy/
Leonard, Elizabeth, “Charlie Sheen’s Goddesses Don’t Compete for His Love,” People Magazine, Mar. 3, 2011, http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20470524,00.html
O.J. Simpson. (2014). The Biography.com website. Retrieved 10:20, May 23, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/oj-simpson