Children of celebrities, especially those involved in legal disputes or accused of crimes, can suffer lifelong consequences, even if their parents were not involved in legal matters (like lawsuits or criminal accusations). But to compound the fact of their celebrity with legal issues, it can have serious consequences.
There are so many examples of children of celebrities who have had their lives impacted by alcohol and substance abuse issues that it behooves us to do our very, very best as lawyers and as the public to insulate them from such damage. It is not their fault that their parents were/are celebrities. Certainly they receive certain benefits, financial and otherwise which many would wish to have, but aside from all the benefits, there’s one word that many think of when they learn that someone’s parent is famous: “target.”
Weston Cage was committed to a rehab center for substance abuse. But, that was after he was arrested for domestic violence.
Yes, it is easy to judge. It is very easy to say that they had everything one could ask for and that they chose to forfeit that by their own behavior. But then, why is it so common? Why are they often in the news for the negative turns in their life? Perhaps it’s because those around them see them as a target or an opportunity? Perhaps it may be something as simple as an opportunity to be around someone famous?
Even worse, it might be a target or opportunity for someone to find a way to profit. And when they have been burned and abandoned by perceived friends, alcohol and substance abuse are often outlets to which they, just like many others, turn.
Yes, we can blame the parents. Perhaps the parents should have shielded and protected their children better. But often, celebrities are average people who turn into celebrities. Rarely is it the case that someone is a celebrity from birth (although that certainly may be the case with royalty for instance).
There’s also is a giant learning curve for celebs. By the time they learn, the exposure to the public may already be complete. In fact, public exposure may be what helps many celebs become successful. Think of the many reality TV stars and athletes (who can only play at a top level for a very few years-even the exceptions are lucky to play as long as 10-15 years).
Robert Downey Jr.'s son Indio was arrested for cocaine possession.
So what can we, the public, do? First and foremost, perhaps give them a break. While most people will think the sons and daughters of celebrities do not need a break, in fact they may very well need a break more than anyone. Yes, it is hard to imagine being in their shoes. But isn’t that what we should all do? Not just for the children of celebrities, or for anyone we meet: If we all could see and feel what it’s like to be in another shoes, wouldn’t that make us more sensitive and help us understand the other person better? And wouldn’t it make us more empathetic? And wouldn’t that make the world just a little better?