Celeb parents as child abusers

by Jim Longworth

Celeb parents as child abusers

With the passing of Michael Jackson last week we are reminded of his alleged pedophilia.

There were stories of how he slept with young boys at his Neverland ranch, and it is a fact that he paid the parents of one boy $20 million dollars to drop a civil suit. But we also remember Jackson as the man who dangled his newborn baby over a balcony just to appease the paparazzi. Sadly, the late Mr. Jackson was not alone in his dubious parenting skills. Today, our nation is replete with high-profile moms and dads who will do or say anything to stay in the public eye, and that includes using their kids toward that end. And though no physical harm is brought to the children of these fame-seeking celebs, using offspring in that manner is still a form of child abuse. This new breed of publicity-hungry actors, politicians and musicians are particularly obnoxious because first they trot out their kids for whatever purpose, then they protest that the media is being intrusive. It’s enough to make you want to strangle these folks, but, then, that would constitute celebrity abuse. 

Anyway, celebrity parents were not always so inclined to leverage their children for fame. Just the opposite. In the good old days, famous people kept their children away from the spotlight, perhaps as a backlash to the Lindberg baby kidnapping which dominated the news of its day. Years later, following the assassination of John Kennedy, celebrity moms and dads were served up a real model of parenting decorum in the slain president’s widow Jackie. She shielded her son and daughter from the glare and scrutiny of media hounds until they were adults, and able to fend for themselves. Many film and TV stars followed Jackie’s example, and were careful about how they exposed their kids to the limelight. Variety show hosts like Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Bing Crosby would always showcase their family members during a holiday TV special, but hardly any other time of the year. Not so today. Lindsay Lohan’s mom just couldn’t stand being upstaged by her famous daughter, so she masterminded a reality show that exposed her youngest child to the same intrusive scrutiny that had ultimately been so destructive for Lindsay. Denise Richards, an idiot of major proportions, decided to turn the cameras on her children too. It wasn’t enough that she had put them through a high-profile divorce — she also decided to have their every move documented for all to see. And speaking of divorce, how about those stalwarts of good parenting, Jon and Kate? After putting her kids on display, Kate explained to CNN last week that in divorcing Jon, she just “wanted what’s best for the children.” Hey airhead, what’s best for the kids is not having to live out their lives on TV! Elizabeth Edwards also caught my ire for having made similar statements. First she said that she wanted to shield the children from having to deal with John’s indiscretions, then she went on an extended press tour to tell the world everything about her family’s problems.

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