53 Celebrities Who Were Abused People

53 Celebrities Who Were Abused

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List Criteria: Famous victims and survivors of abuse

List of celebrities who were abused, ranked by fame and popularity. Abuse comes in many forms. It can be physical, mental, sexual or a combination of horrors. Sadly, several famous people have been molested and abused, physically and verbally. Many of them speak of their past so that other victims can feel empowered to move past their experiences. If you are a victim of abuse and you need someone to talk to, call the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Who is the most famous celebrity who has been abused? Rihanna tops our list. Rihanna was involved in a very public incident of domestic abuse at the hand of her boyfriend, abuser Chris Brown. Photos that were released after the incident showed Rihanna's face bruised and swollen. The incident occurred the night before the Grammy awards and both singers cancelled their appearances at the awards show.

Tyler Perry was a victim of multiple forms of abuse. He discussed the incidents and how he got over them in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Perry says, “I think that everyone who's been abused, there is a string to the puppet master, and they're holding you hostage to your behaviors and what you do. At some point, you have to be responsible for them. What I started to do is untie the strings and chase them down to where they came from. And I was able to free myself and understand that even though these things happened to me, it was not me.”

What do you think is the best way for people to move on after they have been abused? What would you say to the abusers who mistreated these celebrities? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  1. Rihanna was the victim of domestic abuse at the hand of then boyfriend Chris Brown. Brutal photos were released just after the incident showing the pop star with a swollen and bruised face.

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    • Age: age 27
    • Birthplace: Saint Michael Parish, Barbados
    • Profession: Fashion designer, Songwriter, Actor, Music artist, Singer
    • Credits: Battleship, Home, Styled to Rock, Styled to Rock
  2. Halle Berry grew up with an abusive father.  The Oscar winner discussed her difficult past with James Lipton on his show "Inside the Actor's Studio."

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    • Age: age 49
    • Birthplace: USA, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Model, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: X-Men, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Cloud Atlas, + more
  3. Charlize Theron grew up with an abusive father who would frequently state that he was going to kill the whole family.  Theron's mother shot her father in self defense after he came home drunk and agitated one night.

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    • Age: age 40
    • Birthplace: South Africa, Benoni, Gauteng
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Film Producer, Model, Actor, Film Director
    • Credits: Arrested Development, Prometheus, The Italian Job, The Devil's Advocate, Snow White and the Huntsman, + more
  4. Madonna was raped on a New York rooftop when she was just 19.  She also suffered mental and physical abuse from her ex-husband Sean Penn throughout their four year marriage.

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    • Age: age 57
    • Birthplace: Bay City, Michigan, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Screenwriter, + more
    • Credits: A League of Their Own, Dick Tracy, Die Another Day, Vision Quest, Evita, + more
  5. Drew Barrymore suffered child abuse and neglect from her father John Barrymore.  Drew, growing up a child star, was also introduced to drugs, alcohol, and sex at an early age.

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    • Age: age 40
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, Culver City, California
    • Profession: Television producer, Film Producer, Model, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Scream, Donnie Darko, Batman Forever, The Wedding Singer, + more
  6. Shakira suffered domestic abuse from an old boyfriend.  The Colombian singer has become a symbol of women's empowerment across the globe.

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    • Age: age 38
    • Birthplace: Barranquilla, Colombia
    • Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Model, + more
    • Credits: The Voice, Love in the Time of Cholera, Shakira: Live and Off the Record, El Club de Los Tigritos, Shakira: Laundry Service - Washed and Dried, + more
  7. Pamela Anderson stated that he ex-husband Tommy Lee was mentally and physically abusive to her and her children.  Anderson and Lee divorced in 1998.

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    • Age: age 48
    • Birthplace: Ladysmith, Canada
    • Profession: Activist, Television director, Nude Glamour Model, Television producer, Model, + more
    • Credits: Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Home Improvement, Scary Movie 3, Scooby-Doo, Baywatch, + more
  8. Oprah Winfrey suffered from sexual abuse as a child in Milwaukee.  The talk show host as been vocal about her experience and she has helped many other victims move past their horrific pasts.

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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Profession: Businessperson, Journalist, Television producer, Film Producer, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Princess and the Frog, The Color Purple, Ocean's Thirteen, Bee Movie, The Butler, + more
  9. Christina Aguilera was emotionally and physically abused by her father growing up. The singer has been estranged from her father for over 10 years.

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    • Age: age 35
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Singer-songwriter, Film Producer, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Shark Tale, The Voice, Get Him to the Greek, Burlesque, MMC, + more
  10. Marilyn Monroe was passed around the foster care system as a child and she suffered sexual abuse from the men in her life.  Monroe is one of the first public figures to discuss her experience with abuse in public.

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    • Age: Died at 36 (1926-1962)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Actor, Singer, Showgirl
    • Credits: Some Like It Hot, All About Eve, The Misfits, The Seven Year Itch, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, + more
  11. Bill Clinton's step father Roger Clinton was abusive and struggled with alcoholism. Clinton said that growing up he never let anyone know what was going on at home. It was like he was living two parallel lives.

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    • Age: age 69
    • Birthplace: Hope, Arkansas, USA
    • Profession: Statesman, Politician, Author, Lawyer, Teacher
    • Credits: The Arsenio Hall Show, Killer At Large, Wordplay, Bill Clinton: His Life, Swing State, + more
  12. Kate Moss and her boyfriend Pete Doherty frequently abused drugs and each other during throughout their dysfunctional relationship.  Moss is now engaged to musician Jamie Hince of the Kills.

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    • Age: age 41
    • Birthplace: Croydon, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Model, Actor
    • Credits: Blackadder: Back & Forth, Inferno!, The 4 Dreams of Miss X
  13. Christina Applegate was a victim of dating violence. The "Married with Children" actress can be seen in the upcoming comedy "Anchorman 2.

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    • Age: age 44
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, Hollywood, California
    • Profession: Television producer, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Mars Attacks!, Married... with Children, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, The Sweetest Thing, + more
  14. Tyler Perry suffered from physical abuse at the hand of his own father and sexual abuse from several adults that were present in his childhood.  Perry bravely discussed his past in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: USA, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • Profession: Television director, Theatre Director, Songwriter, Television producer, Film Producer, + more
    • Credits: Star Trek, Gone Girl, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Big Happy Family, Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion, + more
  15. Actress Gabrielle Union was raped at gunpoint at the age of 19.  Union bravely discussed the incident in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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    • Age: age 43
    • Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America
    • Profession: Advocate, Model, Actor, Voice acting
    • Credits: 10 Things I Hate About You, Bring It On, Bad Boys II, She's All That, Love & Basketball, + more
  16. Teri Hatcher was sexually abused by her uncle.  Hatcher said she tried to block out the abuse, but in an interview with Vanity Fair, the "Desperate Housewives" star revealed that she came forward in order to make sure that her uncle got put away.

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    • Age: age 51
    • Birthplace: USA, California, Palo Alto
    • Profession: Actor, Voice acting, Writer, Presenter, Cheerleader
    • Credits: Desperate Housewives, Coraline, Tomorrow Never Dies, Spy Kids, Soapdish, + more
  17. Farrah Fawcett was the victim of domestic violence.  Fawcett passed away after losing her battle with cancer in 2009.

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    • Age: Died at 62 (1947-2009)
    • Birthplace: Corpus Christi, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Model, Actor, Artist
    • Credits: Logan's Run, Charlie's Angels, The Cannonball Run, The Apostle, Myra Breckinridge, + more
  18. Rose McGowan was a victim of religious manipulation and abuse.  She grew up in a cult that promoted "free love" which she later fled to avoid sexual abuse.

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    • Age: age 42
    • Birthplace: Florence, Italy
    • Profession: Actor, Singer
    • Credits: Scream, Charmed, Machete, Planet Terror, Death Proof, + more
  19. Julianne Hough was mentally and physically abused as a child during dance training.  Hough says that the abuse only worsened as she hit puberty and was sexualized.

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    • Age: age 27
    • Birthplace: Orem, Utah, United States of America
    • Profession: Songwriter, Actor, Singer, Dancer
    • Credits: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Rock of Ages, Footloose, Safe Haven, Dancing with the Stars, + more
  20. Roseanne Barr suffered from childhood sexual abuse.  The comedienne also had a very dysfunctional relationship with her ex-husband Tom Arnold.

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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America
    • Profession: Television director, Businessperson, Television producer, Actor, Author, + more
    • Credits: Roseanne, Home on the Range, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Look Who's Talking Too, She-Devil, + more
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