Does an unhappy childhood mark you for life? Not necessarily, and these celebrities are proof you can overcome a traumatic start in life and do well for yourself.
Let’s look at some the shocking childhood experiences of some of the most celebrated names in showbiz.
10 Woody Harrelson
The famous actor’s early life seems like a movie plot, for Woody Harrelson is the child of a professional killer. Many believe Harrelson Sr was involved in the JFK assassination, as he once claimed, and photographs put him in Dallas that day.
Fortunately, he wasn’t much around when Woody Harrelson was a kid, but that left his mother struggling to raise her three children independently.
They barely made it from one paycheck to another, but at least she gave them a good education making sure none followed in their father’s footsteps.
The rapper’s real name is Marshall Bruce Mathers III, and one of the reasons he never cared for his family name is that his father split when he was just a baby.
As a young boy, Eminem wrote many letters to his absent father, only to have them returned unopened.
His mother wasn’t very stable as she was a drug addict, frequently changing jobs and moving from one place to another, which did not allow Eminem to forge any real friendship.
8 Oprah Winfrey
Oprah has the answer to all the problems and is trusted by millions of followers. She had no answers for herself when she was a young girl. Her misfortune was being born to teenage parents hardly able to care for a child.
Oprah was sent to live with various relatives and was raped by one of them when she nine. The abuse continued as other family members sexually assaulted the little girl.
Unable to cope with her life of misery, Oprah turned to drugs and alcohol. When she was 14, she became pregnant, a pretty traumatic experience. Even worse, her baby was born prematurely and died after two weeks.
7 Missy Elliot
One of the best known American female rappers, Missy Elliot, spent most of her childhood in fear of her abusive father, Ronnie, a US marine who was very violent.
According to her, her father once threatened her with a gun. Can you imagine a little girl fond of singing refusing to go to a sleepover?
That’s because Missy Elliot was afraid her father might kill her mother while she was away. On top of that, she was sexually abused by a cousin when she was 8. Things took a turn for the better when she was 14.
Her mother decided they should flee, and although that meant living in extreme poverty for a while, at least they were safe.