Family Feuds: When Child Stars and Their Parents Collide in Court
Mischa Barton is the latest star to take her family to court – but she’s hardly the first.
In a recently filed lawsuit, The O.C. actress, 29, claims her mother, Nuala Barton, stole money to buy a $7.8 million home.
“Mischa was the bread and butter for her entire family,” a former associate of Barton’s told PEOPLE in 2013. “But her mom was running the show.”
Added the associate: “Like any momager situation, Mischa is paying the rent. They bought this huge house in California, which was probably a bit of a stretch for them.”
And Barton isn’t the only child star who’s claimed that her parents exploited her for her earnings. Here are five other stars who have clashed with their parents in court:
After a custody dispute between the Home Alone star‘s mother and father, 15-year-old Culkin sued his parents to remove them as legal guardians in control of his $17 million fortune. The family’s accountant, Billy Breitner, was ultimately put in charge of his finances until he turned 18.
In 1989, the Diff’rent Strokes star sued his then-business manager and parents, claiming they had misappropriated his money. His parents later countersued. In 1993, a court awarded Coleman nearly $1.3 million, which was quickly depleted by lawyer fees and bad investments.
When Leighton Meester‘s mother, Constance, needed financial help for Meester’s brother’s medical bills, Meester claimed she sent her mother $7,500 a month to help cover the costs. But when the Gossip Girl star allegedly discovered her mother was actually using the money for personal expenses, including cosmetic procedures, she sued her in 2011. Meester claims her mother threatened to sue her for $3 million if she didn’t raise the monthly allowance to $10,000. The judge ruled in favor of the actress.
In 1998, LeAnn Rimes filed a lawsuit against her father, Wilbur C. Rimes, and former co-manager Lyle Walker, claiming the two were responsible for spending more than $7 million of her earnings. After her father countersued, the father-daughter duo settled the case and reconciled.
Nickelodeon star Amanda Bynes sought legal emancipation from her parents before withdrawing her petition when she was in her late teens. At one time, Bynes wanted to live with her Nickelodeon producer Dan Schneider and his wife, Lisa Lillien. The actress has clashed with her parents over her hospitalization for mental illness issues this past year, but they have since seemingly reconciled.