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Famous Parents, Addicted Kids

Being an A-lister's kid certainly has its perks. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) all these advantages, addiction finds these offspring—much like it found their parents.

  • Sean Stewart

    You know things are bad when Rod Stewart thinks you’ve gone too far. The son of the iconic rocker followed his father's hard-partying footsteps from an early age, supposedly starting to drink at the age of 13. By the time he turned 19, Sean was using heroin every day, causing Rod to cut off his son’s monthly allowance of more than $9,000. After getting clean in early 2008, Stewart attempted to make a career of his newfound sobriety by appearing at Sober Day conventions and as a cast member of Celebrity Rehab. “I was sober before coming on the show, so the hope was to serve as an inspiration to others,” Stewart said at the time. Unfortunately, his success was short-lived, with Stewart returning to rehab later that year and relapsing again in 2009. He's allegedly been clean since then, but a series of embarrassing public displays and arrests have kept his name in the news for all the wrong reasons.

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  • Jack Osbourne

    The reality star and son of rocker Ozzy Osbourne managed to avoid any arrests for his drug use, but his sudden burst to A-list stardom on The Osbournes led to him smoking pot and getting drunk in bars by the age of 13. Osbourne moved onto prescription drugs the following year before a suicide attempt eventually led him to rehab in April 2003, aged 17. “When I was in treatment, they said, ‘There’s no reason why you should be sitting here, because everything you say you’ve done and have done has killed people, has pretty much killed most people that would do it,’” Osbourne has said. Apart from accidentally taking a vodka shot, Osbourne has been clean and sober since his stint in rehab. Since then, he has been getting his rushes through extreme sports, documenting his adventures, naturally, through several reality shows. He's also taken a stab at directing a music video for his father and announced last October that he and fiancee Lisa Stelly are expecting their first child.

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  • Nicole Richie

    The adopted daughter of musician Lionel Richie and former yin to Paris Hilton’s yang on The Simple Life, Richie used cocaine and heroin extensively as a teenager, long before her rise to reality show fame. In 2003, she was arrested for possession of heroin and driving with a suspended license. “I got so much so fast that nothing really excited me anymore,” Richie has said. “I kind of took matters into my own hands and was creating drama in a very dangerous way.” A DUI arrest in 2006 led to a jail stint that was shorter than most TV movies, but Richie has allegedly been off heroin for eight years and cocaine for over 13 years. Now married to Good Charlotte rocker Joel Madden, she gave birth to their first child in 2009. Last summer, she announced plans to serve as a mentor on NBC design competition Fashion Star, and recently inked a contact to release a fashion line with QVC.

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  • Victoria Sellers

    The daughter of legendary British actor and comic Peter Sellers, this socialite’s drug-related run-ins with the law spanned nearly two decades, beginning in 1985 when she stole $80,000 from a drug dealer in New Jersey. Numerous other drug arrests, a spread in Playboy, and a highly unsuccessful stand-up comedy career kept her in the headlines throughout the rest of the '80s and early '90s. In 2001, she released a sex advice video with former Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss. “I did drugs because I didn’t really like myself, and I didn’t like myself because I was doing drugs,” she once said. “It was crazy. I kept going around in circles.” Sellers retreated from the limelight soon after and found success as a jewelry designer, but was arrested and deported in 2006 for living illegally in the US for more than four years. However, apart from an occasional joint, she's allegedly not touched drugs for nearly a decade. “I used to go out every night, but now I hardly go out at all and I feel better for it,” she has claimed

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  • Bobbi Kristina Houston

    The daughter of notorious druggie couple Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston has sadly seemingly followed her parents' path. At the age of 14, photos that made it onto the internet seemed to show Kristina smoking pot and drinking. Then the National Enquirer published photos this past March that showed her allegedly snorting cocaine, with slanderous quotes from a former boyfriend. “It’s really not what it looks like,” she said on her Twitter account. “People will do anything for money which is extremely sad, and I’m very hurt by this.” Kristina has tried to distance herself from the incident in recent months, releasing a home video of her covering Adele’s “Someone Like You” in September.

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  • Cameron Douglas

    The son of Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas was no stranger to drug-related arrests and became the first big entertainment news story of the decade when he faced a possible life sentence for drug trafficking crystal meth and cocaine out of a NYC hotel room. The initial sentencing in July 2009 called for house arrest, but the aspiring actor and DJ was put behind bars when his girlfriend smuggled him heroin concealed in an electric toothbrush. “If I would be so fortunate as to have another chance, I would never squander that opportunity,” Douglas said at his sentencing. He received an almost ideal five-year sentence for his crime in April 2010, but was arrested last October for possessing drugs in his jail cell. He is scheduled to be sentenced in December and could face as many as 20 extra years behind bars.

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  • Kelly Osbourne

    The sassy, foul-mouthed daughter of rocker Ozzy Osbourne also burst to fame on The Osbournes. But while she leveraged her time on the show into a career as an actress, musician, and current host of E!’s Fashion Police with Joan Rivers, she fell prey to the same drug issues as her brother. A photo of Osbourne scoring drugs in Los Angeles led to a rehab stint in 2004 for an addiction to painkillers. She relapsed and returned to rehab in 2005, but a third and final rehab stint in 2009 proved to be the charm. “I knew if I didn’t get help, I would die,” Osbourne has said. “I’m getting a second chance (at my career), and I want to be present for it.” Supposedly clean from drugs since then, Osbourne’s 2009 appearance on Dancing With the Stars redeemed her to the American public. She's since appeared on several TV shows, and co-hosted the Miss USA competition earlier this year. Yet she still takes exception to Hollywood’s treatment of her. “I took more hell for being fat than I did for being an absolute raging drug addict,” she once said. “I will never understand that.” 

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  • Theodora Richards

    The elder daughter of Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards (right, in black) had been successfully establishing a career beyond her father’s name, modeling for a Tommy Hilfiger ad campaign and appearing on the cover of British Elle and Glamour. However, she was busted for graffiti tagging a New York City nunnery last March. In the aftermath of the incident, police found a stash of pot and more than eight painkillers on her, the latter of which she admitted not having a prescription for. She bravely rejected a deal to plead guilty to disorderly conduct, but ultimately received a slap on the wrist when she was sentenced to just two days of community service. Richards has not publicly commented on her arrest.

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  • Peaches Geldof

    Daughter of Bob Geldof—the lead singer of Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats—Peaches is a British model who has a long and well-documented history of drug use. She was caught on tape buying drugs from Amy Winehouse’s alleged dealer in May 2008, before collapsing in her apartment during an alleged heroin overdose just two months later. Nude pictures that were reportedly drug-fueled led to her being dropped as the face of Miss Ultimo lingerie in 2010, and another tape of Geldof buying marijuana on the street was recorded last April. Yet she drew the line last September when bruises on her arms were linked to drug use, blaming the marks on a long-standing bout with psoriasis. “It’s about time people stopped thinking the worst of me,” she said at the time. 

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  • Samantha Ronson

    The stepdaughter of Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones, Ronson (left) first rose to prominence for her DJ’ing career and later becoming Ellen Degeneres to Lindsay Lohan’s Anne Heche. Long after breaking up with Lohan, Ronson found herself in her own drug related troubles after being arrested for drunk driving last August, when her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit. She's reportedly been partying well beyond her DJ duties in recent months, to the point that notorious wild child Lohan has allegedly distanced herself from the DJ. Ronson has not publicly commented on her arrest. 

    McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer currently residing in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Time Out New YorkThe Huffington Post, abcnews.com and usopen.org, among others. He has also written about Carré Otis and Celebrity Rehab, among other topics, for The Fix. 

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By McCarton Ackerman 12/05/11

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