Famous People Who Endured Traumatic Childhoods

The following celebrities all suffered significant childhood trauma :

NICKI MINAG : She was born in the Caribbean and soon afterwards her parents moved to America leaving Nicki to live with her grandmother. However, at the age of five she moved back with her parents. Her father developed an addiction to crack cocaine and was reportedly physically and emotionally abusive towards Nicki. Reputedly, Nicki particularly came to fear that her father would seriously harm, or even kill, her mother. This fear proved not to be unfounded when her father set fire to the family home with Nicki’s mother still inside it (thankfully, however, her mother escaped from the burning house physically unharmed).

OPRAH WINFREY : Oprah Winfrey’s parents split up when she was still extremely young and she was mainly brought up by her grandmother until she was six years old. It was then that her grandmother became ill so she went to live with her mother. At nine years of age she was raped by a family member and, over subsequent years, was sexually abused by a number of relatives. In an attempt to cope with her myriad traumatic experiences, she sought solace in drugs and alcohol. Her mother then found she could no longer cope with bringing up Oprah and, as a consequence, sent her to live with her father. At fourteen years of age, Oprah gave birth to a boy who, tragically, did not survive.

EMINEM : Eminen’s (born Marshall Bruce Mathers III) father left the family when he was still a baby. Following this, he and his mother frequently moved locations (living in public housing or with relatives) making it hard for Marshall to settle anywhere and necessitating his attendance at many different schools in which he was frequently bullied. Marshall’s mother was prone to paranoia and developed an addiction to prescription drugs both of which difficulties impaired her ability to properly take care of her son.

DREW BARRYMORE : Drew Barrymore achieved great fame at the age of six years old by appearing as a character in the film E.T. Her parents divorced when she was nine years old. By eleven years of age she was drinking alcohol and she soon graduated onto marijuana and cocaine. She went into rehab at the age of fourteen and soon afterwards attempted suicide which led to an 18 month stay in an institution.

JIM CAREY : Jim Carey was born into a middle-class family but, when Jim was 12 years old, his father lost his job. This led to severe financial difficulties and the whole family were forced to move into inadequate housing and take jobs in a factory. On top of having to work long, stressful and exhausting hours at the factory, Jim was also obliged to act as a carer for his mother who was suffering from a serious, long-term medical condition. Worse still, the family then became homeless, presenting them with no option other than to sleep in an old VW van. Desperate for money, Jim started to work in comedy clubs at the age of 16.

MARK WAHLBERG : Mark Wahlberg’s parents got divorced when he was just eleven years of age and he subsequently moved to and fro between the two parental homes. At thirteen years old he started taking drugs and he subsequently became addicted to cocaine. Around this age, too, he started, frequently, to get in trouble with the police and became well-known to them. At sixteen years of age he was charged with the attempted murder of a Vietnamese man and spent two years in a correctional facility.


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David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

About David Hosier MSc

Holder of MSc and post graduate teaching diploma in psychology. Highly experienced in education. Founder of childhoodtraumarecovery.com. Survivor of severe childhood trauma.

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