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Dark And Troubled Past / Real Life

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  • Joseph Merrick, "The Elephant Man", never told Treves a single detail about his family, even that his mother was dead, because the whole family situation was a Dark And Troubled Mess. Dead mother, a classic case of Survivor Guilt over his dead four-year-old brother, crippled sister, abusive father, Wicked Stepmother, and step-siblings who were, as he put it, "more handsome". This may actually have been the source of the misnomer "John" — his father was also named Joseph, and he may have wanted to separate himself as far from that as he could, possibly out of paranoia of having to go back home.
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  • Kelsey Grammer: His entire life has been one tragedy after another. His father was murdered. His sister was murdered. Two half-brothers were killed in a diving accident. His longtime friend and Frasier producer David Angell was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Another longtime friend was murdered in an inheritance scheme. He was abused by two ex-wives, one of whom attempted suicide while pregnant and killed their unborn child. Seriously, someone give this man a hug.
  • Russell Brand. Childhood Bulimia? Check. Traumatic incidents involving a tutor, and then a babysitter? Check. Self-harm? Check. Mother with cancer that reappeared four times? Check. Evil stepfather? Check. Bipolar disorder? Check. Misguided attempt by his father at bonding, involving a trip to Thailand and prostitutes? CHECK.
  • Axl Rose: read the biography "Guns And Roses: The Band That Time Forgot" for the full details. Needless to say, it's no wonder he's such a Jerkass sometimes.
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  • Richard O'Brien. Born abnormally small, bullied at school, and then growing up genderqueer in what amounted to a conservative country town in the 1950s/60s...ouch. And then his baby flopped in cinemas.
  • Janice Dickinson, one of the world's first supermodels. She was thoroughly traumatized and damaged not just by her father's emotional and physical abuse of her, but also his sexual abuse of one of her sisters. And then in 2015 she claimed that in 1982, she was one of the victims of Bill Cosby's date rapes.
  • Charles Bukowski, a German-American novelist and poet. His childhood was a long episode of school fights, child abuse and social rejection. This depression later bolstered his rage as he grew, and gave him much of his voice and material for his writings.
  • James Ellroy's mother was murdered and raped when he was a child. The case was never solved. He then grew obsessed with the "Black Dahlia murder case" after this and developed clinical depression. He abused alcohol and drugs along with carrying out some petty crimes in his youth before turning things around to become a writer. It's no wonder his worldview is pessimistic, even nihilist according to some.
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  • Scott Hall suffers from PTSD as a result of killing a man in self-defense, developed a serious drug and alcohol addiction to treat it, had most of his friends abandon him because of it, and is in a serious amount of pain constantly
  • Edgar Allan Poe. His biological father left, his biological mother died of tuberculosis along with his brother and both loves of his life, and his foster dad was an abusive jerk. No wonder he wrote what he did.
  • Michael Jordan had to watch his friend drown trying to save him when he was a teenager, and then had his father murdered later during his career.
  • Manu Bennett was a bullying victim, then lost his mother and brother in a car accident. He stated in an interview that he found peace through acting.
  • Charisma Carpenter had an attempted rape experience, as she and two of her friends were the final victims of a serial rapist back in 1991. She retrieved a flashlight the rapist (a cop-it had helped him evade capture) foolishly engraved with his name, which had been left behind when he fled after being fended off by her friends. It turned out to be the key evidence leading to his arrest and later conviction. She suffered from emotional trauma as a result.
  • Tyler Perry was constantly beaten by his father, Emmitt Brown Sr., to the point that he once attempted suicide to get away from him, and was molested by a friend's mother and three other men as a child. He changed his name from Emmitt Brown Jr. to Tyler Perry, and eventually discovered that Emmitt Brown Sr. actually wasn't his biological father.
  • Evan Rachel Wood revealed that she's been raped twice in her past, and suffers from these experiences. In 2018 she gave testimony before a US Senate subcommittee about this in support of a proposed law.
  • Tim Allen lost his father as a teenager to a drunk driver, and during his early career struggled with drug use, to the point where he almost got jailed for life following a cocaine bust in 1978. His past would come back to haunt him during the peak of his career with a DUI bust in 1997, though he managed to get clean afterward.
  • Abigail Breslin stated in 2017 that she'd been raped by a partner of hers in the past, has been diagnosed with PTSD, and advocates for other sexual assault victims as a result.
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