Celebrities may have fame and fortune, but that doesn't make their uncomfortable family secrets go away. When "Desperate Housewives" star Teri Hatcher revealed her childhood sexual abuse by an uncle in this month's Vanity Fair, she joined a parade of Hollywood celebs with skeletons rattling in their family closets.
Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Mariah Carey and Woody Harrelson all have kin who ran afoul of the law — from bank robbery and a "self-defense" killing to sex offenses and murder for hire.
Maguire, the 30-year-old "Spider-Man" star, fights crime on the big screen, but his dad robbed a bank in April 1993 and was caught red-handed. Financially strapped after his sister died and left him to provide for her two kids, Vincent Maguire, then 38, hit the Coast Federal Savings Bank near his Reseda, Calif., home. Tobey's folks had split up, and he wasn't living with his father at the time.
The actor's unarmed pop botched the heist so badly (he fled on foot in broad daylight), he was caught within an hour. A neighbor saw him carry the sack of cash into his garage. He pleaded guilty and did about two years in a federal pen, court records show.
Tobey hinted at his troubled past in one interview. "All the people throughout my life who were naysayers pissed me off. But they've all given me a fervor — an angry ambition that cannot be stopped ..."
Theron won an Oscar for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in "Monster," but long before she played that role, she had a personal brush with homicide. When she was 15, growing up in South Africa, her mother fatally shot her father when he physically threatened them in a drunken rage. Cops ruled the killing self-defense, and the leggy beauty's mom wasn't charged with a crime. But the experience left a mark on Theron, 30.
"Sometimes, I think it was part of another life which happened to another person. Then suddenly it is so real and so vivid that if I think about it I will burst into tears, I will always carry it with me," she told interviewer Rich Cline in 2004.
Former "Cheers" regular Woody Harrelson's dad, Charles, is a convicted hit man who killed a federal judge at the behest of drug dealers in 1979, a Texas jury found. Woody's pop, who was also convicted of a contract murder in 1968, claims he was framed for the judge's death, but his appeals failed. He's serving a life sentence.
"I'm not saying my father is a saint, but I think he's innocent of that [judge's killing], yeah," Woody, 44, once told Barbara Walters.
Goody two shoes "Walk the Line" star Reese Witherspoon's older brother John Draper Witherspoon, 32, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to attend classes for addicts in Nashville for sexually assaulting a neighbor as she slept in 2002. He blamed booze for the incident.
And songbird Mariah Carey's older sister Alison Carey Scott, 44, who has battled drug addiction for years, was arrested twice last summer for prostitution in Suffolk County. She pleaded guilty and got probation.
And you thought your family was embarrassing. Now go give Uncle Seymour a hug.http://www.nydailynews.com/news/gossip/v-echo/story/402686p-341063c.html