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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/18/2010

The worst celebrity dads?

By Liz Kelly

Lindsay and Michael Lohan pose for photogs in 2002. (Getty Images)

To paraphrase Keanu Reeves in "Parenthood," you need a license to buy a dog or to drive a car, but any [expletive] can be a father.

Lists of rocking celebrity dads abound. We can all agree that it would indeed be kind of cool to have a pop like the hands-on Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp; dads who seem to be perpetually (and positively) present in their kids' lives.

But because we just can't approach this weekend's Hallmark holiday Father's Day with anything approaching rosiness, today we offer a list of celebrity pops who could stand to work on their parenting skills.They may not be utterly deserving of the title of worst celebrity dad, but for various reasons, all are contenders.

Michael Lohan: This guy has been a thorn in the side of daughter Lindsay (and the rest of the Lohan clan) from the get-go. Not only was he 50 percent responsible for shoving his kid into show biz at a young age, he has time and again (via Twitter, leaking items to the tabloids and disingenuous interviews) betrayed his daughter's privacy. Sure, Lindsay may be one troubled cookie herself, but it doesn't help to have a pop who shows up at your apartment with paparazzi in tow to stage an "intervention."

Jesse James: The guy professes to be a family man, but actions speak louder than words. Not only did he (admittedly) cheat on wife Sandra Bullock, but did so while in the process of adopting an infant with his now soon-to-be-ex.

Joe Jackson: In his memoir, "Moonwalk," Michael Jackson opened up about the alleged physical and emotional abuse he suffered courtesy of Papa Joe. In a new Vanity Fair article, author Nancy Griffin recounts one of Michael's childhood memories: His masked dad sneaking into his room via the window in the middle of the night. Supposedly Joe was trying to teach terrified Michael a lesson about leaving his window unlocked. And, since Michael's death a year ago, Papa Joe has been consistently in the news blaming everyone from concert promoters to his wife, Katherine, for his son's death.

David Hasselhoff: Any guy who would get this wasted around his kids has some serious boundary issues. Enough said.

Jude Law: Not only did he cheat on then-fiance Sienna Miller with his children's nanny (Law has three children with ex Sadie Frost), he (according to some reports) blamed Miller for driving him into the arms of another woman, saying: "I told you I was unhappy. I told you I needed you to be there for me. Why didn't you listen to me?" Then, as the result of a fling with model Samantha Burke, Law fathered a child. He disputed the claim until a September 2009 paternity test proved he was indeed the father of Burke's child. Then Law waited a baffling six months before his first meeting with daughter Sophia. What's even more baffling? Law and Miller are back together.

Who would you include on your list of bad celeb dads? Add your nominees below...

By Liz Kelly  | June 18, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Celebrity Life Lessons  
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"one of Michael's childhood memories: His masked dad sneaking into his room via the window in the middle of the night. Supposedly Joe was trying to teach terrified Michael a lesson about leaving his window unlocked".

That poor little boy. Michael Jackson was denied the opportunity to grow up into anything resembling a normal human being. I hope he is at peace now, and I hope his father rots in h* ll.

The other fathers mentioned here are pure amateurs compared to Joe Jackson.

Jude Law and Sienna Miller deserve each other.

Posted by: newengland1 | June 18, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

What an amazingly depressing post. While my first instinct was to argue that the worst celebrity dads are those who have no interest in their children whatsoever, I reconsidered and offer you these prize dads.

* Bing Crosby: Child abuser (assuming you believe son Gary's tales).

* John Phillips: Intimate relationship with daughter Mackenzie. 'Nuff said.

* Joe Simpson: Let's make inappropriate comments about my daughter's body.

* Aaron Spelling: Nothing like having your last message to your daughter be to cut her out of your will. Nice legacy, pops.

Compared to them, Ryan O'Neal (hit on his daughter at a funeral) doesn't seem quite so bad. (C'mon! It was a mistake! He didn't realize it was her!)

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | June 18, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Billy Ray Cyrus. OK, so he's not as bad as some, but he's not as good as others, either.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Murphy denied parentage of his child with Mel B.

Alec Baldwin called his daughter a rude, thoughtless little pig.

Woody Allen married the woman who had essentially been his step daughter.

Posted by: sarahabc | June 18, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

John Lennon was a terrible father to Julian. He was making up for with Sean, but then (of course) he was killed. I often say that Lennon was an amazing songwriter, but I wouldn't have wanted to be related to him.

Posted by: MarylandJ | June 18, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

You forgot Robert Downeys dad. Teaching his kid to take a hit off a bong at 10 years old. Plus, who can forget I can't ermover her name but Mommy Dearest. Joan Crawford.

Posted by: rlsrd | June 18, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Going waaaay back, there was Jackie Coogan's father, who so looted his son's earnings that California passed a law to protect child actors from financial exploitation.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Not sure why on a holiday to honor fathers you would select to highlight fatherhood in a negative light. Why not spotlight some the best of the best dads in Hollywood and beyond.

Posted by: desprice | June 18, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Liz, you have posted a completely useless "article." For one thing, Jude Law did acknoweledge he had fathered a child, just a day or 2 before Samantha came forth in July. The reason for the paternity test is a no-brainer...he acknowledged and said he would fully support the child, but the paternity test was only to confirm...why would he take someone's word after all? That would be about the most unwise thing to do in that situation, I think you'd agree.
Secondly, him having an affair doesn't make him a "bad dad"....otherwise, you should include a much longer list of dad's here. Jude has done nothing to harm his children, and is indeed a very involved and attentive father. He will be to Sophia, too, when logistics and her age allow for her to travel and be with him.

Posted by: Cynthia8 | June 18, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Hey wow, Jude Lawe's publicist reads Celebritology!

Posted by: northgs | June 18, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I'd say Hollywood types in general don't make great family people. Although being an insecure egocentric is not required for Hollywood success, it is an element in all too many cases. People like Roy Rogers made a conscious decision to keep their families away from Hollywood, and this was probably one of the reasons.

Posted by: reddragon1 | June 18, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

How about Richard Heene and the whole balloon boy hoax? Making half the country worry about his son and then getting all the kids to lie about it on national TV, thats pretty despicable.

Posted by: ozpunk | June 18, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Hey wow, Jude Lawe's publicist reads Celebritology!

Posted by: northgs"

Um, not quite, just a person with half a brain who doesn't get off on people being character assassinated by mindless twits. Got anything more?

Posted by: Cynthia8 | June 18, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

ozpunk, nicely played!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | June 18, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"just a person with half a brain who doesn't get off on people being character assassinated by mindless twits."

Then what on earth are you doing here, my dear?

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | June 18, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Jude Law eats babies for breakfast. He bathes in virgin's blood. He makes ritual Satanic human sacrifices of orphans.

Posted by: lolyla | June 18, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, did you hear that Jude Law just signed on to play Bruno Hauptmann in a movie about the Lindbergh Baby?

Posted by: newengland1 | June 18, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Also, I heard that Vanity Fair plans to re-publish an old interview with Jude Law in which he admits eating babies for breakfast. Also, he told the interviewer that he never recycles and his favorite meal is panda stew with a side of fried piping plover eggs.

Posted by: newengland1 | June 18, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

His name escapes me, but Liz Hurley's babydaddy is pretty crummy. He insisted he wasn't the baby's father & demanded a paternity test.

Posted by: weaselB | June 18, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Jon Gosselin...bad daddy to 8..when does he ever have the time to tear himself away from his jailbait girlfriends to see his children?

Posted by: sarahbonnie1 | June 18, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

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