BG Note: This blind item was posted on a public board by someone claiming to be a child star. We have no way of validating the veracity of their statement. We have left the item unedited.
[Reddit] I am a minor in the entertainment industry. While certainly not a J Law or Swift, I am in the public eye. I still live with my family.
Recently (I don’t want to say how recent), I’ve found success, and am now making more money than my parents combined. This doesn’t sit well with them. They aren’t poor but also aren’t rich, I would consider us an “Upper Middle Class” family not counting my income. As time has gone on and I’ve found more success and as such made more money, they have become increasingly bitter about it. Last week my father stopped just being bitter.
My father created my bank accounts when I was young. He’s my parent so I never saw any reason to not trust him, until now. Five days ago my father closed my accounts and transferred all of my money to himself. I told him that was illegal but he said he’s my legal guardian and has the right to decide if I’m mature enough to handle my own money or not. He told me my recent purchase of a new three thousand dollar TV (which was for the family living room) was proof I wasn’t capable of being responsible with that amount of money, and so he was going to watch over it for me until I was of age. My mother is, if not complicit, in denial. She refuses to talk with me about it and tells me I don’t know what I’m talking about.
Since my father took the money, he’s been getting a lot of nice things, including a very expensive new watch, a new couch set for his space, and as of this morning a new, fairly expensive car, and I know he didn’t have enough on his own for any of those. I don’t know about the watch or car but I found a copy of the delivery slip that said “No returns or refunds” which he had signed. It was $15,000 alone.
I know the best course of action is to get the police involved but there are two problems with that. For one, while not critical, having this known to the public would do a lot more harm. I know that may seem ridiculous but if at all possible I want to keep this from getting out there, which is why I’m on Reddit anonymously. Grasping at straws, I know.
The problem that’s a lot more pressing, is that anyone who could side with me won’t. We have a family lawyer who I’ve been acquainted with and have the contact information for, but they’re a family friend with my parents and I’ve never personally needed their services so I can’t see them helping me against my parents. Especially considering I now have nothing to pay them with. I do have a manager, and they were the first person I called. We met at their office four days ago and without actually saying it, they told me in painfully clear terms that if I wanted any more of a career I would accept that my father has only my best interests at heart, and would drop it. I am NOT accusing my manager of anything to be clear here, but there’s no denying they have no interest in helping me, whatever their reasons may be.
The only person helping me is my close friend who’s my age, but all they can do is help me think up a solution. It was their suggestion to come here though, because we have no idea what the best course of action is.
There’s another major hitch, that being while i should have more money coming in next week, it would have been transferred straight to my bank account. Seeing as that doesn’t exist anymore I have no idea if I’ll even be able to get any of that money. I tried asking my manager about this but was given a “don’t you worry about that dear,” type of response and nothing more.
BG Notes: The child lives in California and is 16. The child could be male or female and could be an actor or singer.
Similar: Child Star’s Dad Causing Problems
[Optional] Your advice to the child?
She/he should reach out to Corey Feldman,Drew Barrymore, or Macaulay Culkin. I’m sure they’d be willing to help.
I don’t think this is Millie Bobby Brown, because she’s only 14 and British. Maddie Zeigler seems like the best guess. She’s 16 and her family is upper middle class from Pittsburgh.
At first I thought it could possibly be Millie Bobby Brown, but she’s not 16, she’s only 14! Maybe one of the other kids from Stranger Things? Sadie Sink is 16 and comes across as a bright kid – heck, that Reddit post was extremely well written.
Whomever this is, they need help. Firstly get rid of their manager (seems like they’re only interested in their ‘cut’) and get a lawyer that can help sort the thieving toad of a dad out!
Seek out Paul Peterson to help you. He is an expert at getting you set up with the right people who will work for you, not your parents and will have no dog in the hunt= (No financial interest in you outside of their salaries.- They could be pro-bono- “free”). Good luck and call Mr. Paul Peterson immediately!!!!!!
How sad. Definitely get rid of the managers, immediately. They are in cahoots with your parents and are probably behaving illegally.
Is 16 old enough to open a bank account without the parent’s permission? Speak to production company about payroll services. Have the parent’s already re-directed payment?
Anonymous call to courts so a guardian ad litem is assigned. Money should be in a trust, and parents shouldn’t be part of trust. consult other successful management. You may need all new representation at this point.
Child: Sadie sink – Stranger things – currently 16 years old – has siblings which explain the reason of the “family” livingroom tv purchase.
[Optional] I know there are child actor laws that require company to set aside 15% into a trust. I reccomend get a lawyer to act in YOUR interest not another manager to manage your money. Keep your manager just for landing jobs, Your current manager doesnt want to piss off “daddy” because he/she still wants to be employed and get their % pay.
North West? ????
These poor kids! This is why they get emancipated early. Why get your kids into showbiz if you’re going to be jealous? Most of these parents use their kids as cash cows, or pimp them out or try to live vicariously through them. It’s a MESS!!! Good luck!
She’s 16 and recently broke into the spotlight.
Advice: Recognise that your parents might not always have your best interests at heart. Money creates issues in families, and while you might want to help pay for the cost of living for your parents as you are able to, it is not rightfully their money.
Gaten Matarazzo maybe
Is this the kid who plays Young Sheldon? I looked him up, and his father is in the industry – but he’s a Tony nominee, and his mom is a theater producer, I don’t see them hurting for money. Not sure. Whoever, it is, I really hope this kid gets the legal help he needs, ASAP.
I would ask if the close friend has a trusted advisor who could help the actor find a good attorney for at least a consultation. California has the Coogan Act which helps protect child actors and keep the majority of their earnings by adulthood. This is tricky when parents are involved, but maybe consider emancipation. These suggestions may raise publicity, but honestly the manager sounds like typical Weinstein Hollywood and dear Dad doesn’t have his/her best interest in mind. God bless…
Gaten Matarazzo from Stranger Things
He’s 16 years old and found recent fame.
Optional: Find a child advocate and/or look up what it takes to get an emancipation in your state. You seem very articulate and smart so it shouldn’t be much work for you to present your case even without a lawyer. Family courts are designed for anyone to pursue a case regardless of financial health so even without money, you could bring a case in front of a judge for emancipation.
Millie Bobby Brown? That’s not good. Find someone who you can trust or is there a way to lock or freeze the account?
I don’t know who this is, but this is AWFUL. Some parents just shouldn’t have kids. I hope their parents get found out and charged, I don’t see how this could be damaging to the child’s reputation. Name and shame!!!
Millie Bobby Brown
Actually, the picture is now starting to make me think this is about Jacob Sartorious, or however you spell it…
Maddie zeiglers dad…kurt zeigler
I think this is a female because of the “don’t you worry about that dear” comment. My first thought was Millie Bobbie Brown because her dad is reportedly kinda wrapped up in fame and money, but she’s 14, not 16.
A 16 year old child in Hollyweird should be able to consult an attorney besides the family lawyer. Most lawyers will give a free consult and if there’s a case, and the lawyer believes that it’s winnable, he might defer his fees until the case is resolved. Kid has a bad…
Kid seems to have a bad manager. Manager should represent the child not daddy.
Millie Bobby Brown
firefly nights says
Time to get emancipated and to form clear boundaries with your parents. Find a new manager too (your current one is complicit).
I find it strange that your parents wouldn’t just be thrilled that you are doing well and are able to provide for yourself. Most parents would love that!
My advice: Find a lawyer (a really really good top-notch lawyer) that has no ties to your family. Best of luck to you kid.
You’d be surprised how many parents take advantage of their kids money.
Trust me, I know.
By the writing and a few details I caught onto the first minors that came to mind were some kids from The Andi Mack show.
I just checked out the reddit post and I’d say the kid already got some pretty good advice. Hopefully it works out for him.
extra paws says
Milly Bobby Brown
Please contact Paul Peterson at A Minor Consideration. Hopefully he can help you.
Yes, Paul Peterson is a great choice. He’s done great work with kids in Hollywood.
extra paws says
after writing my comment, I wrote Paul Peterson. He wrote me back, asking for details so I sent him the blind. He’s on the lookout for this person to contact him. Please call him. Don’t try to handle this by yourself.
was going to come back to post this but glad you did and included the link…Paul Peterson (the donna reed show) has been doinng this for many years hopefully he can help this young person at least get the paychecks that haven’t come in since “dad” closed the accounts
Jenna Ortega? I know she’s 16 and lives California. She lives near me and I know her parents have good jobs but aren’t considered rich.
Millie Bobbie Brown?
My advice is to find out who is a great lawyer in the area, who is also discreet. They CAN get their own lawyer and the first consultation is free. She needs advice that is objective and geared only towards his or her own interest. (OK, yes, this is coming from a lawyer but I think it’s still always a good idea to know all your options)
Maybe that Moana actress? She’s 16.
There is an industry group “A Minor Consideration” that focuses on child actors. Maybe they have a pro bono lawyer or accountant who could audit the account. If the theft gets worse she sadly may need emancipation.
Chloe Moretz? She’s not 16, she’s 18ish I think.
Find a different manager, one who will look out for her money and not let others abuse it.
I’m the parent of a child who will likely out earn me in a decade or so; I hope so and I hope he doesn’t think he owes me a thing.
Good parents are not jealous of their kids, they expect them to make more money, be happier, be more successful.
Anything less than that is not a good parent.
She’s 21, definitely old enough to handle her own money.
If the manager called her a “dear” that makes me think this is about a young woman. Hope she changes managers and has future earnings put directly into a trust fund that only she has access to. Stealing from your kids is lowest of the low..
This could be any kid in Hollywood. There are advocate groups in Hollywood that do just this sort of thing, by sticking up for the minors and getting them legal help, etc.
Millie Bobby Brown (Upper Middle Class is a very British term)
Milly Bobby Brown is a great guess but Upper Middle Class is not at all a “very British term” – it’s also used in the States and Canada
“Upper Middle Class” is a common term used in Canada and the US.
Millie Bobby Brown
Say something to the producers, the director, the older cast members. There are a ton of people in the business who have gone through this and know what to do. The Jackie Coogan laws were enacted for a reason.
I have no idea who this is but I wish them the best. I would be super-pissed if this were me.
My advice: There are some banks that will let you have your own checking account at 16. I think BOA does. If there are any adults that you work with that you trust, ask them for help. And there is an organization (non-profit) called A Minor Consideration that was started by former child actors to help minors in the acting profession. Reach out to them and see if they can help you.
Or maybe MBB?
Call the bank & dispute the charges… open up a new account in only your name
He’s from a well off family that is also well connected in the Entertainment industry and philanthropy.
Don’t know who but sounds like a female (“dear”). Advice: use their legal rights, file for Emancipation of a Minor (frees under 18 from control of parents), search for a reputable lawyer in their state who specialises in this area, ideally contact someone whom they have successfully represented for testimonial / advice / support, start collating as much info as possible and make that appointment. There are some snakes out there and some of them happen to be parents!
I don’t know who the child is, but dear, if you are 16 years old, it’s time to declare yourself an emancipated minor. (I did this when I was 16 simply by completing a form at the DMV while getting my first California driver’s license.) From there, you can open your own bank account, and have your pay directed to the new account. Your folks won’t be able to touch it. The drawback is, now that you would legally be an adult, they could kick you out of their house.
I don’t know who you are, but get yourself to a lawyer straight away and get some advice on what can be done to protect your earnings.
No, I wouldn’t call the police… first. Call Social Services. This is child abuse, pure and simple. From the sounds of it, both parents could be thrown in jail. If the actor is in a union, and he should be, there might be a pro bono lawyer that I’m sure would LOVE to take over this case.
The state of California loves to throw the book at parents when clear abuse and/or neglect is shown. Sadly, I know from personal experience. (Both my parents.)
No clue on the child, but my heart…
I think there’s more to this story. There are laws in place to protect minor entertainers and their assets. ‘The California Child Actors Law’ (aka “The Coogan Law”) and the organization ‘Child Actors Supporting Themselves’ (CAST) helps child entertainers/athletes protect & manage their money. It’s not as easy as it once was to get away w/ this and there’s much more vigilance in preventing it. Which makes me wonder what details are being left out (think Amanda Bynes).
And I would find a new attorney, file for emancipation. Contact the child actor org started by Paul Peterson, take back your power!
My advice to the child is emancipation!
Skyler James sandak
Time to file for emancipation and get a new manager.
I have no idea who the star is, but I’m sure they’re female given the fact they used JLaw and Swift as comparisons. I would advise the star to research emancipation and the Coogan Law, which requires the minor’s employers to set aside 15% of their earnings on a trust. California law does not allow withdrawals from the trust until the minor turns 18.
What about legal emancipation? If your parents are stealing from you, and your manager is uninterested in finding a solution, then perhaps that’s the only way forward. I’d also consider changing managers. Sounds like that person is only interested in getting their own cut and don’t care too much about what’s best for you. Why would you want to continue working with someone like that?
Millie Bobby Brown
I have no clue as to who the actor is but if it’s true, it’s totally illegal for the parent to take the funds.
As of 4 Jan 2004, the “Coogan Bill” says that , money earned and accumulated under a contract under the code remains the sole legal property of the minor child.
And the studios are mandated to put 15% of any income in a trust to protect the child’s interest.
I’d refer the child to a decent entertainment attorney who can stop the parents from robbing the child blind.
Consult your own lawyer.
From Wiki: “The California Child Actor’s Bill (also known as Coogan Act or Coogan Bill) is a law applicable to child performers, designed to safeguard a portion of their earnings for when they enter adulthood.
“The original Bill was passed in 1939 by the State of California in response to the plight of Jackie Coogan, who earned millions of dollars as a successful child actor only to discover, upon reaching adulthood, that his mother and stepfather had spent almost…
Go to either some kind of legal aid or call the prosecutor’s office. I think it’s called the Coogan law that a parent cannot take more than 10% of their child’s income. It sounds as if you could use a new manager. DO NOT tell your manager that you are seeking council from the authorities. You have the right and I don’t see why any “scandal” should badly reflect on you. You’re the one working for that money-not stealing it from a kid.
Not sure who but this person HAS to get the law involved! The father is stealing money and the manager is probably getting a large slice of that. FIRE the manager and get the law involved NOW before it’s too late.
Millie Bobby Brown
Try to get a Child Advocate (or CASA?) through Family Court. He/she is obligated to “be on your side” and you don’t have to pay him/her. He/she can advise as to how to proceed. I would try mediation. Some kind of Trust needs to be established where you get a percentage for spending money and the rest stays in the Trust until you are 18 or 21 (actually, I would advise 25 or 30). You, your parents and the mediator can decide how much , if any, your parents should get in spending money.
CASA’s are only assigned to children who are removed from a parental home through abuse or neglect.
Maddie Ziegler? I’m assuming whoever wrote this is female because they compared themselves to other female celebrities.
I’m also gonna throw Billie Eilish or Jenna Ortega in there too.
Millie Bobby Brown
Don’t know who it is, but the wording…very smart child.
new lawyer, who will explain them what ” emancipation of minors” is. and no worry, if there is any sight for money there are plenty lawyers who will wait for their paycheck.
You have to care for You, otherwise You will end broke, like Gary Coleman.
Get your own lawyer, kid. Just because your are underage does not mean they don’t have to account for your spent money.
Millie Bobby Brown, maybe?
Whoever it is, CA’s Coogan Law (named for child actor Jackie Coogan, whose parents took all his earnings) requires employers to set 15% of the money directly into a trust for the kid, not to an account that the parents can reach, and also at its heart is intended to prevent this very thing. That kid needs legal advice pronto, and may end up having to be emancipated.
I can’t believe that it would affect their career. Ariel Winter went through it very publicly.
A kid from Stranger Things.
sue de nim says
I don’t know who this is but I’m not surprised. The things people will do for money including apparently stealing their own children’s money ?
Child: Sadie Sink from Stranger Things? I just can’t imagine any other child actor gaining a considerable amount of money recently other than from that show.
[Optional] Your advice to the child? Petition for emancipation. Your dad is basically a thief, your mom is complicit, and they won’t stop, maybe not even by the time you’re 18. You’re articulate, clearly able to provide for yourself and your dad’s current purchases with your money should give the judge enough reason to grant your…
lulus mom says
Get an attorney… not the family friend. Ask other “child” actors for who to call and advice. Ask the money be set up in a trust, under your name, with an allowance to you monthly. Tell your manager, they work for you. If you’re getting big, or are big, get another manager. They are not talking to you appropriately.
Tell your dad you could sue him. Sorry, but you can. This has happened before and they are the ones who will have a bad name. Not you.
Lastly, file for emancipation.
No idea who but I would file for legal emancipation ASAP and start saving to move out.
The California Child Actor’s Law: This law requires a child actor’s employer to set aside 15% of the earnings in a trust (often called a Coogan Account), and codifies issues such as schooling, work hours and time off.
15% isn’t a lot but it’s still a law.
There HAS to be an organization or group that can counsel and get this kid the help they need. Kids are vulnerable able and Hollywood has known about parents taking kids $$ for ages.
Someone please help this kid out before they are totally broke. That father sounds like a nightmare.
I believe this is illegal. I believe there is a law that states parents are only allowed to take up to a specific percentage and the remainder must be put in an account until the child is a certain age. The child could emancipate. But, that would be public. Not sure why they want to keep it private….worry about getting jobs? Based on all the adults’ reactions around the child, my gut says there’s more to this story but who knows…
That manager needs to go to prison. Dad does too.
Millie Bobby Brown?
she’s 14…so I don’t think its her