Rich and powerful celebrities attract bogus lawsuits so ridiculous, they deserve a reality show of their own. Just kidding — America has enough of those. Understandably, celebs would fight tooth and nail to dispute dubious paternity claims against them. But as the cliché goes, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In the following cases, there’s lots of fire. There’s so much fire, in fact, that the fire caught fire.
Destiny’s illegitimate child
Matthew Knowles isn’t just Beyoncé’s father. He is also the father of, apparently, several other children (and we’re not talking about Solange, Beyoncé’s less popular sister).
In 2010, Alexsandra Wright made the first known paternity case against Knowles. She claimed that her son Nixon Alexander is Knowles’ own. So far, so normal. But what else did Beyoncé’s father do wrong besides making her baby mama go through hoops before admitting that he’s the baby daddy? We’ll tell you: not paying child support.
According to Alexsandra, she had to resort to buying food for her son using food stamps because his dad wasn’t making payments. Again, this is still very much in the tradition of celebrity deadbeat dads.
In 2014, a new paternity suit emerged against Knowles, filed by lingerie model/realtor TaQoya Branscomb. Unluckily for Branscomb, Knowles’ income was already in decline at the time. For one, he stopped being Beyoncé’s manager in 2011 and was most likely splitting assets with ex Tina Knowles during their then-ongoing divorce.
Clearly, Knowles didn’t like it and, therefore, didn’t put a ring on it — which we realize is a Beyoncé lyric that has nothing to do with any of this.
P(ay up). Diddy
Millionaire rapper/mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs was probably not thrilled when his ex, the late Kim Porter, asked the Manhattan Family Court to order Diddy to acknowledge their son, Christian. He was also probably not overjoyed at having to pay millions of dollars in retroactive child support.
Diddy and Kim would have an on-again, off-again relationship following that paternity spat. Diddy would eventually acknowledge paternity and pay Kim a whopping $4.5 million in child support for Christian’s college fees, medical fees, live-in nanny, summer camp, insurance, and more.
The artist formerly known as Puff Daddy would face more paternity cases, another of which involved Sarah Chapman and a child named Chance. Like Diddy’s then-girlfriend Kim, Sarah also had to go to court to get Diddy to acknowledge paternity. He eventually did, which sealed the deal for Kim — she would no longer put up with the bad boy.
Being a father is a tough job
The late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a deadbeat dad. If you really want to hear about it, read his daughter’s account of what transpired. If you want the CliffsNotes version, read the next two paragraphs.
In the ’70s, Steve was just a regular tech nerd who was in a relationship with his childhood sweetheart Chrisann Brennan. They had a baby, but Steve denied it was his. That’s probably because at the time, he was only 23 and had not yet co-founded what would become the world’s most famous and expensive fruit.
He didn’t just deny paternity; he also denied his little swimmers’ capacity to procreate. That’s right, he claimed to be sterile just so he wouldn’t have to pay child support. But Lisa Brennan, who would later write a memoir with huge chunks of it about her struggle to be acknowledged by her late father, was a Jobs.
Mel gives in
Mel Gibson, who you might know as a guy who occasionally stirs up controversy, has also denied fathering certain children. In 2009, he famously demanded that his then-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva get a DNA test to prove that the child she was carrying was his.
And it was his. Mel and Oksana then went on to publicly dispute custody of their child Lucia when they finally split.
In 2011, they reached an agreement: Mel will pay Oksana $750,000 in three installments over five years. Moreover, Oksana and their child can live in Mel’s Sherman Oaks rental home. But when Lucia turns 18, the home will be sold, with the proceeds going to a trust fund named after her.
These daddies have more issues than Vogue. And it’s usually up to family law attorneys like us to make sure these issues are dealt with privately, fairly, and without the fanfare that accompanies celebrities. For matters that concern establishing paternity in Seattle, we’re the team to call.