15 Broken Celeb Family Portraits That Prove How Ugly Divorce Is

"I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me." – Kurt Cobain

If only Cobain had kept that in mind when it came to bringing up his daughter, their lives would have had a different tale to tell. Divorces occur everywhere – it may be happening to your despotic boss, your nosy neighbour, your celebrity icon or even within your household. And not everyone can consciously uncouple – the majority of Hollywood splits are proof enough. Now whether we buy into it or not, a dispensable celebrity marriage is quite the money monster when it comes to making headlines. Divorces are ugly – they not only affect the two undergoing the break-up but also the fate their innocent kids that’s lain bare for the world to feast on while the adults are busy mudslinging in court, with millions of dollars in the line.

Often the lack of privacy in these high-profile cases makes it worse for the children involved – as if witnessing the loss of love between parents, adjusting between two households and the daily absence of one parent were not enough.

Separation between parents brings about massive changes into the lives of kids no matter what the age. And convincing a child of the perpetuity of divorce can be hard especially when his deepest belief is that somehow, or in some way, mum and dad would be back together. Here are 15 broken family portraits that prove how ugly divorce is.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Tom Cruise Has Not Seen Daughter Suri In Over Two Years


In an interview with Seventeen, Katie Holmes once admitted that it was her cherished childhood dream to one day marry Tom Cruise. And as fate would have, she did end up marrying her teenage crush but only to end up in a messy divorce five and a half years later, with the primary legal custody of their daughter, Suri, granted to her. However, according to HollywoodLife.com, even four years after their split, the couple harbours hard feelings for one another, as little Suri finds herself at the receiving end. If reports are true, Tom has not seen Suri in over two years and Katie is gearing up for another battle since she is not too happy with the $400,000 the American Made star is paying each year for child support.

14 "Angie Prefers The Nomadic Lifestyle" But Brad Wants Kids To Stay In L.A


They met on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005, and denied all subsequent rumours about their secret affair because Brad Pitt was still married to Jennifer Aniston back then. A year and a half later, things changed. Pitt and Aniston parted ways, and Brangelina was back in the headlines with a union that was to last the next 12 years. The couple have six children together, three biological and the rest adopted, all of whom suffered the divorce battle blow as their parents found it difficult to settle even for joint custody. According to InTouch Weekly, though the kids’ therapists suggested that they stay in LA (as Brad wants), a source told the publication, “Angie prefers their nomadic lifestyle.”

13 How Marc's Change Of Heart Led To A Bitter Custody War


This was one epic custody battle that lasted for two entire years, even though the divorce was reported to be rather civic. Marc Anthony had initially agreed to the primary custody of their twins going to J-Lo but apparently had a change of heart after he found out about his former wife’s affair with Casper Smart. What ensued was a bitter face off, with the kids thrown in to suffer the wrath of their parents. Finally, the pair were officially awarded joint legal custody of their twins in 2014, with Marc being allowed to see the kids for seven days a month and during holidays. Jennifer gets to keep them for the rest of the time, of course. The agreement also gives them joint responsibility over decisions affecting their children’s future.

12 "Daddy, Why Do You Have Tears In Your Eyes?"


Mariah Carrey “never thought” she’d divorce Nick Cannon. “I never thought I would have babies with someone and then get divorced,” the singer said after her split. However, Carrey does realise how ugly divorces can be for children. “For [my children], I wish it hadn’t happened that way.” For Nick Cannon too, the hardest part of splitting with Mariah was having to go long periods without seeing his kids. “There is nothing more painful than parting with or having to drop your children off. We try to be strong for them but sometimes emotion can overwhelm you,” he said. “So, one day, as my daughter was giving me a goodbye hug, my eyes welled up and she looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, why do you have tears in your eyes’?” he recalled, during an interview with Glamour magazine.

11 Ben Affleck Still Lives In The Guesthouse Behind Jen And The Kids


Their split has been one of the most amicable Hollywood has ever seen. One day after their 10th anniversary, the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, released a joint statement announcing their decision to part ways. Needless to say, it’s always super hard for kids when their parents divorce, but this couple has somewhat managed to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible for their three children. The 45-year-olds are parents to 12-year-old daughter Violet, nine-year-old daughter Seraphina and son Samuel, six. A source close to the couple reportedly told HollywoodLife.com, “Ben and Jen have done a lot of therapy together to get to this place…Ben still lives in the guest house behind Jen and the kids. He loves being close to the family, the kids love having dad around and Jen is OK with it too…”

10 Robin Wright: "Divorce...With Children, Is Devastating"


During their 13-year-marriage, Robin Wright and Sean Penn separated three times – to be exact – before finally calling it quits. If it was that difficult for the parents, we can only imagine the tough time their kids had to go through. In an interview with The Telegraph, UK, Wright, however accepted that they put up with each other longer for the sake of their children, daughter, Dylan Frances Penn, and Hopper Jack Penn, son. “Divorce in and of itself, and with children, is devastating. Worse than that… One of the reasons we got back together and broke up so much was trying to keep the family together. If you’ve got kids, it’s a family, and you try again, and you try again. We did that for a long time,” she recalled.

9 Gwyneth Paltrow And Chris Martin Try To Give Their Children A Complete Family


It took them two years to divorce, but even with their separation firmly in place, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin are bonded together by their children Apple and Moses. They made this arrangement to ensure that their kids feel loved and involved in a complete, functional family – even though they are not! Through the years of separation, the Iron Man actress and the Coldplay front man have come together for the happiness of their children, reuniting as family for holidays, birthdays and vacations. And, Paltrow has maintained, time and again, that she and Martin are still very close and love one another – though in a non-romantic way – which makes it easier to give their children the complete family they need.

8 Romain Dauriac Wants To Take Daughter To France, Far Away From Johansson


According to reports, even though Scarlett and Romain had been living apart for a while, the journalist was knocked by surprise when his wife sent him the divorce papers. The couple met through friends in Paris and tied the knot in 2014, just weeks after their daughter Rose Dorothy Dauriac was born. However, their marriage hit rock bottom early this year as an insider, close to the actress, told the Express, “She felt like they didn’t have much in common.” Reportedly, Dauriac had been struggling with Johansson’s crowded filming schedule ever since their estrangement, because it took Rose away for weeks at a time. As of now, the Avengers star seems set for a fierce custody battle over Rose because Dauriac’s lawyer has been very clear “[he] plans to petition the court to allow him and his daughter to move to France.”

7 Sheen's Ex Had To Step In To Look After His Kids With Brooke Mueller


After a nasty custody fight with his second wife Denise Richards, over their daughters Lola and Sam, Charlie Sheen seemed to have made a fresh start with third spouse Brooke Mueller. They had a set of twin sons, Bob and Max. “He’s a family man – now he has three daughters and two sons. He’s a wonderful father,” Sheen’s rep was quoted saying at that time. However, nine months after their sons were born, the Two And A Half Men star was arrested again for charges relating to domestic violence. The following year, both filed for divorce, requesting joint custody of their sons – even as Charlie and Brooke kept fleeting in and out of rehab for most parts. Eventually, Sheen’s ex-wife Richards was left caring for Mueller’s brood on several occasions when the biological parents were off battling their respective drug addiction.

6 Elin "Went Easy" On Woods For The Sake Of Their Children


Elin met Tiger Woods in 2001 while she was nannying for Swedish pro golfer, Jasper Parnevik, and they became an item in 2002. The couple tied the knot in 2004 and they announced the birth of their first daughter, Sam Alexis Woods, on June 18, 2007. All was going well in the Woods household as in September 2008, the golfer announced that his wife was pregnant again and they were expecting their second child in 2009. Their son, Charlie Axel, was born in February 2009. However, on Thanksgiving that year, Woods’s cheating scandal was unveiled and he was kicked out of his own house, leaving behind his two-year-old daughter and new-born son of nine months with an angry wife. Nevertheless, Nordegren is said to have gone easy on Woods during the custody battle for the sake of the children, agreeing on shared responsibility.

5 Jack Quaid: "The Way I Grew Up Wasn't Normal"


The Harry Met Sally actress, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid wed in 1991, only to call it quits in 2001, leaving behind their eight-year-old son, Jack, to suffer the consequences. Jack Quaid, who is now 25, too has grown up to be an actor like his famous parents, but has not quite been able to adjust himself to the idea of their divorce. In an interview, Jack revealed: “I acknowledge fully that the way I grew up was not normal.” Accepting that he was too young to comprehend the situation, he added: “My parents got divorced when I was eight. It was one of those weird ages [for kids when their parents] get divorced. You are old enough to know what’s going on but young enough to be kind of naïve about it.”

4 Rocco Was "Bored" Of Touring With Mum Madge


According to reports, Madonna and Guy Ritchie’s son Rocco was “bored” of touring with his mum and preferred staying with his father in the U.K. But Madge is not one to take things lying down, and a contentious case began. Despite a judge’s order that Ritchie return their 16-year-old son to his mother in New York, Rocco continued living with his dad until a New York judge ruled that Rocco would stay in London with his father and attend school. Madonna reacted to the settlement by posting a series of bizarre pictures on Instagram – including one of herself with the world “Bit**” scrawled across it and caption suggesting that, at times, this was what a “soccer mom” needed to be.

3 "Divorce Is Hard On A Kid, No Matter How You Cut It"


It was after nine years of marriage that Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger called it quits leaving the fate of their seven-year-old daughter Ireland hanging on a messy custody battle. The cutthroat fight made international headlines for four years as vicious accusations on both sides kept pouring in. However, Basinger now admits that going through a divorce did affect the way she raised her daughter. She told The Edit, “Divorce is hard on a kid, no matter how you cut it. And ours was very public and nasty.” She added, “I just wanted her (Ireland) to be free…I wanted her childhood to be full of love and light and animals and friends.” Baldwin too acknowledges how bitter separations can get and feels that manipulative family court lawyers make child custody duels much worse than they need to be.

2 Cobain And Love's Daughter Brought Up By "Nannies And Chauffeurs"


Now a visual artist and model, Frances Bean Cobain, is the only child of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain and Hole front woman Courtney Love. That she had a disturbed childhood because of her parents’ alleged divorce and her father’s untimely death, would be an understatement given the rumours that suggest her mother, Love, used [substance] during the pregnancy. Eventually Child Welfare Services launched an investigation questioning their parenting abilities and Frances was first removed from her parents’ custody when she was just two weeks old. She was subsequently raised by several nannies, aunts, paternal grandmother and for brief periods by her mother. In an interview with I-D magazine, Frances admitted: “Sometimes, I do think I wish our lives weren’t so hustle and bustle and tabloid…Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so much home alone and that it wasn’t about nannies and chauffeurs and all that stuff.”

1 Anthony Hopkins And Petronella Barker's Daughter Changed Her Last Name To Avoid Any Connection With The Actor


Petronella was Anthony Hopkin’s first wife and also the mother of his only child, Abigail. The iconic actor, who has often said that he is not good with maintaining relationships walked out on Petronella when Abigail was only four years old. Not to mention, he was a grave alcoholic during that period. Abigail was brought up by her mother and went she made her foray into acting at the age of 23, she changed her last name to Harrison to avoid being accused of using the famous association. She has not been in touch with her father much, as was evident when the Silence of the Lambs actor went on air to reveal, “I hardly ever hear from her. I guess we are estranged… I hope she is okay.”


Sources: Express.co.uk, Contactmusic.com, MailOnline.co.uk, People.com, Etonline.com, TheTelegraph.com

More in Entertainment