Tag Archive | Oprah Winfrey

Celebrity Victims of Abuse

Celebrity Victims of Abuse

by Linda Irene



Domestic violence comes in many forms—emotional, verbal, sexual or physical. It can be against a man, woman or child. Some of the richest, most famous and most powerful people in the world have been affected by domestic abuse.


Domestic violence is no laughing matter. Anyone affected by abuse has had their self-esteem and self-confidence stolen from them. They spend many years trying to overcome, rebuild and restore some sense purpose and meaning to their lives. People of celebrity are not immune. Below is just a partial list of those whose lives have been affected by abuse. The most recent is that of Janay Palmer–Mrs. Ray Rice.


Victims of abuse not only stay with their abusers, they typically defend them and their behavior. If you, or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship know this: A leopard does not change his spots. You cannot change him or her. You can only change yourself and your reaction to him/her. The more you try to ‘understand’ and forgive, the longer you perpetuate the situation. The only hope you have of salvaging the relationship, if that is what you want, is to make the abuser accountable. It’s called tough love. Tough love is not only for wayward teens. It’s for wayward spouses, etc. as well. Get the support of others, including pastors, counselors and others who are experienced with effectively handling abuse cases, to stand with you, guide and direct you. First and foremost, do whatever it takes to keep yourself and your children safe.


  1. Janay Palmer RiceRay Ricewas let go by the Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a video was released that appears to showthe running back punching his then-fiancée, knocking her out. (espn)
  2. Diane Lane– In 2004, actress Diane Lane was alleged to have been the victim of domestic abuse after accusing her husband John Brolin of attacking her. As is often the case, she later dropped charges against him.
  3. Former President Bill Clinton – According to his autobiography, he experienced frequent violent outbursts by his stepfather, Roger, from the time he was 8 years old until he was 15, when he warned Roger never to hit his mother or half-brother ever again.
  4. Halle Berry – In 2004 she admitted to having been hit so hard by one of her ex-boyfriends that she lost the hearing in her right ear. She also revealed that her mother had also been a victim of domestic abuse.
  5. Madonna – Charged her then husband, Sean Penn with domestic violence in 1988.
  6. Mariah Carey – In 2009 Carey admitted she had been the victim of emotional and mental abuse.
  7. Rihanna – Was assaulted by Chris Brown with visible bruises on her face. Brown revealed his mother had been physically abused by his stepfather.
  8. Whitney Houston – Bobby Brown was arrested in 2003 for misdemeanor battery.
  9. Pamela Anderson – Tommy Lee, the Mötley Crüe member, served 4 months in jail for domestic abuse against Anderson.
  10. Phil Hartman – The former Saturday Night Livestar was murdered by his wife, Brynn, as he lay sleeping in their LA home in 1998. Brynn later shot herself.
  11. Tina Turner – Her husband Ike is portrayed in the film, What’s Love Got To Do With It, as a violent, controlling sociopath. The singer suffered severe beatings, rape and had cigarettes stubbed out on her body. (weinbergerlawgroup)
  12. Robin Givens – Givens has spoken openly about her abusive relationship with boxer Mike Tyson.
  13. Charlize Theron – Theron lived with an abusive, alcoholic father who threatened to kill her and her mother. When Charlize was 15, her mother, Gerda, shot and killed her father in self-defense.
  14. Nicole Brown – Nicole Brown was found murdered at her home in 1994. All eyes turned to her ex-husband O.J. Simpson, who had pleaded no contest to domestic violence in 1989.
  15. LaToya Jackson – Jackson married her manager Jack Gordon in 1987. LaToya later claimed the abusive marriage hit rock bottom after Gordon beat her unconscious and left her for dead. They divorced in 1997. LaToya urges other women, “If he hits you once, I promise you, he will hit you again, so please walk away.” (com)
  16. Tyler Perry – In 2009, Perry recounted a horrific list of beatings and  sexual molestations by a number of adults, male and female.
  17. Oprah Winfrey – In 1986, while doing a show with sexual abuse victims and their molesters, Winfrey revealed to her audience that she had been raped by a relative when she was 9 years old, which continued until she was 13. In an interview with David Letterman, Winfrey said, “Anybody who has been verbally or physically abused will spend a great deal of their life rebuilding their esteem.” (ABCNews)