We are all aware that celebrities are otherwise ordinary people who have had struggles of their own, especially those who have had to crawl their way to the top. It is only on very rare occasions that these celebrities have opened up about their painful experiences, but some of them have been quite extraordinarily revealing:
1. Charlize Theron
This Hollywood A-lister might have won you over with her remarkable performances and beautiful smile but you would have never guessed what she hid behind it. As a child, Charlize had to grow up with an alcoholic father who regularly threatened to physically abuse her and her mother Gerda. One day things escalated and Gerda shot and killed him when he began attacking her in a drunken rage. A judge ruled that Gerda was acting in self-defense and therefore did not have to face any charges. The actress has since put her troubled childhood behind and sought therapy to deal with her wounds. “I think both of us have dealt with that night really well. I think both of us still have to deal with the life that we had — and that’s what people don’t really realize. It’s not just about what happened one night,” Charlize told Howard Stern when asked how she and her mum dealt with the incident.
2. Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves has had to face a series of painful incidents since his childhood. When Reeves was barely three years old, his father who had previously served time in prison for heroin smuggling, abandoned the family home. Reeves somehow managed to put the pain aside and pursued a career in Hollywood. His dearest friend whom he was often seen with was the talented River Phoenix, who he and the world lost in 1993 to a drug overdose. The pair had apparently become very close friends after meeting on the set of I Love You to Death and the actor was distraught at the loss. In years to come, Reeves collected himself and continued to focus on his career. He was at his peak in 1999 when it was announced that he and his girlfriend Jennifer Syme were expecting their first child. Reeves was heartbroken once again when Syme lost the baby in the final stages of pregnancy. Apart from having to deal with the ruthless media attention after, Reeves had to also deal with the end of his relationship with Syme which has been greatly impacted by the loss of their child. To make matters worse, Syme passed away barely 18 months later in a car crash. Reeves has barely ever spoken about the incident and has always remained reluctant to talk about it at interviews. At one rare instance, he mentioned how he doesn’t think one could ever get over such a loss because at the end of the day “you are still alone”.
She is known as the Queen of Pop and is seen as the face of a whole era but what people don’t know is that she too like many women is a rape victim. At the time of the incident, Madonna was trying to make it in New York as an up-and-coming singer. In an open letter for Harpers Bazaar magazine, writing of the incident, she recollects that the city ‘wasn’t everything I thought it would be’. The artist was lured into an apartment block after a seemingly nice man said that she could use his telephone to make a call. “I was held up at gunpoint. Raped on the roof of a building I was dragged up to with a knife in my back,” she said. The singer then explained that she didn’t report the crime because in her eyes (at the time) it was ‘pointless’. “You’ve already been violated. It’s just not worth it. It’s too much humiliation,” she said, recollecting how she felt.
4. Pamela Anderson
The Baywatch star had a ‘hellish’ past of her own. Anderson in a recent interview revealed that she was sexually abused several times as a child. From the age of 6 to 10, she was molested by a female babysitter. Anderson was then raped by a 25-year-old man when she was 12 years old. You would pray it ended there but it didn’t, Anderson says that she was gang-raped by her high-school boyfriend and six of his friends when she was 14 years old. Apparently her boyfriend “thought it would be funny” and after the incident, Anderson says she simply wanted “off this earth”.
5. Jim Carrey
The man who made the world laugh has had to shed plenty of tears before. As a teenager, Carrey had to struggle with a life of poverty. Carrey’s father Percy had once been a successful accountant for many years but then he lost his job when Jim was only a child. The Carrey family’s lives changed dramatically after. With no steady income to support themselves, they ended up living out of a van. Things got worse in years to come and Jim dropped out of high school at the age of 15 to work as a janitor and earn some extra money to keep things afloat. He always wanted to be a comedian but his family struggled to support his dreams. It would take years before the Carrey family managed to get back on their feet and finally Jim was able to pursue his comedy and acting career. Rest is history.
This content was originally published here.