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Celebrities With Surprising Backstories

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It's not surprising when celebrities reveal they come from normal or privileged backgrounds, but when they had to overcome really bad situations to become big stars their backstory becomes inspirational.

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Some stars, like Charlize Theron or Joaquin Phoenix, don't like to talk about their past because it was so bad, and in Charlize's case I don't blame her for staying silent.

Charlize grew up with a father who physically and mentally abused her and her mother, and the abuse got so bad Charlize's mom killed the man in self defense when Charlize was 15 years old.

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As for Joaquin's backstory it's more embarrassing than horrifying- his family was part of a cult called “Children Of God”, who traveled across South America as missionaries.

The family changed their last name from Bottom to Phoenix after they left the cult, as a symbol of rebirth.

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And speaking of rebirth, young actress Leighton Meester was tied into her family's criminal activity from birth- because Leighton's mom Connie was pregnant with her when she, and three other family members, were arrested for smuggling 1,200 pounds of marijuana into the country.

Leighton's mom gave birth to her while in prison, and her aunt made the Ten Most Wanted list when she escaped from prison, making the crime that is Gossip Girl pale in comparison.

Read 33 Shocking Stories About Celebrities With Surprising Pasts here


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