15 Celebrity Child Support Battles That Got Ugly Real Quick

Becky Bracken | Aug 30, 2018 Celebrity Moms
15 Celebrity Child Support Battles That Got Ugly Real Quick
Image: Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
Mario Anzuoni/REUTERS

From the time of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, we've been captivated by the ups and downs of celebrity marriages. Glamorous, well-known people meeting, falling in love, getting married, and starting their families have been the subject of countless magazine articles and wall-to-wall tabloid coverage -- and fans just can't get enough. After the extravagant weddings end and the honeymoon photos have been released, these high-profile marriages can face real struggles that are costly in more ways than one. Because when these unions end, child support battles are almost guaranteed to follow that inevitably kick into high gear. And that, friends, is sadly where the real fireworks start.

According to a 2016 study , celebrity couples are twice as likely to divorce compared with the rest of the population. The reason many of these unions fail so often is simple: When a person has oodles of moola, it's easier to get out. Coincidentally (or maybe not), it's the money that also tends to drive divorcing celebrity couples into nasty battles over child support issues when kids are involved.

But oftentimes, it's just one of the parents in the situation who's rich and famous, leaving the other spouse to fight for what they think they (and their children) deserve.

The emotional tug-of-war parents endure fighting for their kids can really take a toll -- especially on children who are old enough to know what's going on. It's multiplied by a factor of 100 when millions of people have their own opinions on the outcome, not to mention the millions of dollars hanging in the balance. And once the lawyers and publicists get involved, the entire affair can easily devolve into all-out war.

Here are 15 celebrity child support battles that got real ugly, real quick.

  • BRITNEY SPEARS & KEVIN FEDERLINE

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    Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
    Steve Marcus/Files/REUTERS

    The marriage between Britney Spears and Kevin Federline might've only lasted two years, but the pop princess and backup-dancer-turned-DJ are still squabbling over child support payments more than decade after their split.

    As it stands, Britney pays K-Fed $20,000 per month in child support for their two sons, Sean Preston 12, and Jayden James, 11. But following her Las Vegas Piece of Me residency, her net worth increased dramatically, and Kevin wants his share -- seeking three times more per month in child support. (At one point, Kevin rejected a child support offer from Britney's camp.)

    Kevin and his lawyers want Britney to sit down for a deposition in the matter whereas Britney's team is telling them to pound sand. Recently, a judge ordered Britney to pay $110,000 to her ex for his "legal costs and fees" that definitely shows things are heating up.

    To be continued.

  • BRAD PITT & ANGELINA JOLIE 

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    Angelina Jolie Brad Pitt
    Andrew Kelly/File Photo/REUTERS

    Since their earth-shattering split in September 2016, things have gotten pretty nasty between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. (At the time, Angelina accused Brad of roughing up one of the kids, triggering a visit from Children and Family Services.)

    The two are fighting over the custody and child support payments for their six children: Maddox, Pax, Shiloh, Vivienne, Knox, and Zahara. Angelina says Brad hasn't paid "meaningful" child support, whereas Brad argues he's paid "easily millions" toward the kids' care since their split.

    Negotiations for a final settlement are still ongoing.

  • MAMA JUNE & SUGAR BEAR

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    Mama June and Sugar Bear
    Splash News

    It was heartbreaking when Mama June and Sugar Bear decided to split. Now, Mike "Sugar Bear" Thompson wants visitation rights to Alana "Honey Boo Boo" Thompson, which means he would likely have to start coughing up child support. But Sugar Bear's new wife, Jennifer, isn't happy about the possibility he'll have to pay Mama June child support and is refusing to use their savings, which she was planning on spending on their honeymoon. (She even demanded Sugar Bear take a DNA test to prove Honey Boo Boo is his.)

    Sugar Bear remains committed and vows to do whatever it takes to maintain a relationship with Honey Boo Boo. In the meantime, Mama June doesn't seem interested in making that happen until the child support situation is sorted out in court.

  • DEAN MCDERMOTT & MARY JO EUSTACE

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    Dean McDermott Mary Jo Eustace
    Tony DiMaio / Splash News; Joe Lester/Press Line Photos/Splash News

    Dean McDermott and Mary Jo Eustace were married for 13 years before he left her for Tori Spelling. (That was definitely a cheating scandal heard around the world.) They share a now 19-year-old son named Jack and were in the middle of adopting a daughter (Lola) before Dean removed himself from the process when they separated.

    Dean went on to have five kids with Tori and live an over-the-top reality TV lifestyle, all while Dean's child support payments for Jack reportedly dried up. In 2017, Mary Jo filed a court order to get Dean to cough up the money, but Tori reportedly started picking up the slack for her husband instead.

    Mary Jo also accused Dean of sending his son Jack a check for his rent money for his college apartment that bounced. (Yikes.)

  • JESSE WILLIAMS & ARYN DRAKE-LEE

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    Jesse Williams and Aryn Drake-Lee
    Tom Meinelt / Splash News

    Grey's Anatomy heartbreaker Jesse Williams met his former wife, Aryn Drake-Lee, when he was just a schoolteacher. The former couple, who share two children, Sadie and Maceo, seemingly started their messy battle in April 2017, after Jesse filed for divorce. That June, a court ordered Jesse to pay $50,000 per month -- on top of the $50,000 he was already paying in spousal support since January 2018. (The two share joint custody of the kids.)

    Recently, Jesse Williams filed an appeal to that decision and will likely continue fighting to pay Aryn less.

  • CHARLIE SHEEN & DENISE RICHARDS & BROOKE MUELLER

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    Denise Richards, Charlie Sheen, and Brooke Mueller
    Splash News; @ParisaMichelle/Splash News; Splash News

    Back in 2010, Charlie Sheen was the highest-paid actor on TV, earning an astounding $1.8 million per episode on Two and a Half Men. Now, Charlie claims he can no longer afford his child support payments to his two exes, Denise Richards and Brooke Muller, because he's been "blacklisted" from the entertainment business.

    (Charlie has two daughters, Sam, 14, and Lola, 13, with Denise, and twin sons Max and Bob, 9, with Brooke.)

    Each of the mothers were receiving $55,000 per month but will now have to settle for $25,000 after cutting a deal with Charlie. (He also agreed to give them both real estate and appear on a reality show with Denise -- likely The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills now that it's been confirmed she's joining.)

  • SHERRI SHEPHERD & LAMAR SALLY

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    Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally
    Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Steve Harvey Foundation

    After TV personality Sherri Shepherd and Lamar Sally split in 2014, there was the matter of their son, Lamar Sally Jr. (born via surrogate) to sort out. During their divorce proceedings, Lamar sought child support and won. Sherri later accused him of stealing $20,000 from her and using child support as a substitute for earning a living.

    Ultimately, the court ruled Sherri is the boy's legal parent, despite her not being his biological mother because the egg used during the surrogacy was from a donor -- and was ordered to pay a reported $4,000 a month in child support. In 2017, Lamar took Sherri back to court to get the child support amount increased, but the court denied the request.

    Sherri reportedly has no relationship with her son, who lives full-time with Lamar.
  • HALLE BERRY & GABRIEL AUBREY

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    Halle Berry Gabriel Aubrey
    Splash News

    When Oscar winner Halle Berry split from her ex, Canadian model Gabriel Aubrey, things were so tense at one point there was a physical altercation between Gabriel and Halle's new flame, Olivier Martinez, when he came to drop off their daughter, Nahla, following a visit.

    It's safe to say Gabriel and Halle took out all their animosity in court. She threatened to take Nahla to France, and he successfully won joint custody -- resulting in Halle having to pay him $16,000 per month in child support until Nahla turns 19 or graduates from high school.

  • MEL GIBSON & OKSANA GRIGORIEVA

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    When Mel Gibson and Russian pianist Oksana Grigorieva split, he agreed to pay her $15 million in child support for their daughter, Lucia, now 6, with the stipulation she would keep any recordings she had of him under wraps. Not only did Oksana release tapes of Mel sounding unhinged and all sorts of racist, but she also went on the Howard Stern Show to talk about their relationship.

    And it cost her.

    Instead of $15 million, Oksana only received $250,000 -- basically, a $14 million loss.

    Oksana filed for bankruptcy in 2014, with Mel letting her live in a house he owned rent-free until Lucia turned 18. But in August 2016, Mel agreed to pay her $30,000 per month in child support, with the understanding she would have to move out of his house.

  • EDDIE MURPHY & MEL B

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    Mel B and Eddie Murphy
    Splash News; Splash News

    As Mel B tells it, she and Eddie Murphy were planning to get pregnant with their daughter, Angel, until the funnyman left while she was pregnant -- ultimately denying the baby was his. Although the two only dated for seven months, once Eddie's paternity was confirmed -- and an acrimonious court battle was waged by Melanie and her hard-nosed lawyer, Gloria Allred -- a judge ordered him to pay $51,000 per month in child support until Angel turns 18.

    It was revealed Eddie isn't "interested" in a relationship with Angel and has no contact with the now 10-year-old.

  • MEL B & STEPHEN BELAFONTE

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    Stephen Belafonte and Mel B
    Splash News

    Speaking of Mel B, the former Spice Girl has been involved in a pretty nasty dispute with her ex-husband, Stephen Belafonte. The former couple, who married in 2007 before separating in 2016 (their divorce was finalized a year later), share a daughter, Madison, 6, and continue to make headlines for not so good reasons.

    Mel B alleged Stephen abused her -- both physically and emotionally -- and she recently entered treatment for PTSD. Through all the back and forth and mud-slinging, Mel B and Stephen reached a child custody agreement that includes child support for Mel's ex.

    "We split everything 50/50. In fact, my alimony and my child support is more then I had asked for," Stephen told Radar Online about their child custody battle. "I was dragged through the mud, but she didn’t show her evidence. She told these lies every time. She got to level all of these allegations at me, played the victim before all the truth came out. She couldn’t, because everything she said, including saying that I beat her and put her in the hospital for eight days, is a lie."

  • PAUL MCCARTNEY & HEATHER MILLS

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    Paul McCartney and Healther Mills
    Splash News

    Beloved Beatle Paul McCartney divorced Heather Mills in 2008, after four years of marriage. The former married couple share a daughter named Beatrice and waged an all-out war, both in the press and in court.

    Initially, Heather asked the court for an astonishing child support sum, which she didn't get. But she definitely didn't leave the marriage empty-handed. A judge ordered Paul to pay Heather a $48.7 million financial settlement and $70,000 in annual child support.

    When it was all said and done, Paul's ex was quite happy with the settlement.

  • MARC ANTHONY & DAYANARA TORRES

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    Marc Anthony Dayanara Torres
    Splash News

    Latin crooner Marc Anthony left Miss Universe Dayanara Torres in 2004, after four years of marriage and reconciliation. A week after their divorce was finalized, Marc started seeing Jennifer Lopez. (Ouch.)

    Dayanara took him to court and received $13,400 in child support for their two sons. By 2013, Marc's ex decided he could do better and asked for the amount to be raised to $123,426 per month because her lifestyle and needs had changed. The judge ruled Dayonara would get $26,800 per month plus $12,000 a year for travel expenses.

  • FRANCOIS HENRI-PINAULT & LINDA EVANGELISTA

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    Francois Henri-Pinault & Linda Evangelista
    Splash News; Splash News

    Supermodel Linda Evangelista was pregnant with Augustin, her son with French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault, in 2006 when he left her for his now-wife, Salma Hayek -- who coincidentally was pregnant with their daughter at the same time.

    No one knew Salma and Linda shared a baby-daddy until Linda took Fracois-Henri to court in 2014, accusing him of ignoring her son's needs while keeping Salma's daughter Valentina in high style. Linda was prepared to tell all the dirty details in court -- including his reported suggestion she get an abortion --  but it wasn't necessary. Francois quickly made her an undisclosed offer she couldn't refuse.

  • NAS & KELIS

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    Kelis and Nas
    Eric Thayer/REUTERS

    Kelis and Nas ended their rap royalty union in 2009 while she was pregnant with the couple's son, Knight, after five years of marriage. Kelis receives $8,000 a month in child support but has decided to take Nas back to court to up his payment to $25,000 per month.

    During an interview last spring, the songstress-turned chef also accused her ex of being abusive and unfaithful and called their marriage "tumultuous and toxic."

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