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June 11, 2008 Slideshows » News

The 20 Worst Fathers in History 

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When celebrating Father's Day, be glad you weren't sired by one of these men. Some of them were absentee dads, and the rest should have been. And if your dad actually is listed here ... we're so, so sorry.
OF 20
Lot: This biblical figure was the original bad dad, and doubled up George Washington by being the grandfather of TWO nations. After Lot drunkenly slept with each of his daughters, their offspring became the patriarchs of Moab and Ammon. This is the earliest and creepiest example of "two chicks at the same time."
Ryan O'Neal: the Michael Jordan of bad Hollywood parents, O'Neal beat the teeth out of son Griffin's head -- and that's not among his top three offenses (he shot at Griffin once, too). What puts O'Neal over the top are anecdotes like forcing daughter Tatum to snort cocaine so she'd lose weight. When a depressed Tatum tried to slit her wrists, he simply told her she'd cut the wrong way. Yikes.
Byron Keith Perkins: Career criminal Perkins was granted temporary release from prison so he could donate a kidney to his son, Destin. Destin needed the transplant to save his life. Byron needed to skip the country and go to Puerto Vallarta. Guess whose interests won out? Rumors that Perkins later sold the kidney for drug money are unconfirmed.
Shawn Kemp: most famous from his NBA stint in Seattle, Sports Illustrated made him the poster child for deadbeat athlete dads. The Reign Man sired nine kids out of wedlock with seven different women. This put him behind Evander Holyfield (nine kids!) but first in our hearts. Besides, that's a lot of "World's Best Dad" mugs he has coming to him from all across the country.
Peter the Great: M.S. Anderson's book about Peter says that his abuse of son Alexis gave the boy "an increasing tendency, notable even in the Russia of that age, to heavy drinking." When you're drinking too heavily for Tsarist Russia, you know you've got problems. It's even worse when your dad tells you he's going to "cut you off like a gangrened limb," and then has you tortured and killed. But Pedro Grande is only the second-worst Russian pops ever!
Sam Grizzle: You might see poker pro Grizzle on shows like NBC's Poker After Dark, but you won't see the degenerate planning for his kid's future. Fellow pro Todd Brunson tells a story where a $20,000-in-debt Grizzle, with a newborn and facing eviction, begged Brunson for a loan so he could make money gambling to pay his bills. Miraculously, he did, winning $50K -- but then got drunk, went back to the tables and was broke 12 hours later.
Bruce McMahan: Dating has certain rules. Many, like "don't date someone less than half your age plus 7 years," are flexible. The rule "don't marry your daughter, and for the love of God don't do so while married to another woman," is not so malleable. But the millionaire flouted evolution, logic and ethics, doing so anyway.
Bing Crosby: Born in Tacoma, the crooner was among the first true multimedia stars in America. But his true calling was mental and physical cruelty, as son Gary revealed in his tell-all memoir "Going My Way." Gary was the lone surviving son -- Lindsay and Dennis, scarred by the old man, both shot themselves in the head.
Michael Jackson: If you didn't know about those persistent allegations of pedophilia, you'd think a man-child would make an OK dad. Toys! Games! A damn ranch with chimps! But then, you'd think a man-child would know better than to hang his infant son off of a balcony. At least he didn't toss him at a photographer.
Darth Vader: "Hey, dad ... do you want to have a catch?" [Deep Breathing] "Of course, son." [Light saber sound] "Aigh! You just cut off my fucking hand!" [Pause] "My bad."
Marvin Gaye Sr.: It's all about making the effort. Marvin Jr. made the effort, reaching out to his dad by presenting him with a $1 million check (dad rebuffed him, implying singing pop music meant he'd lost his soul) and by dedicating songs to him (no reply). The only effort pops made was shooting Marvin Jr. to death, robbing him of life and robbing us all of years of makeout music.
Karl Malone: It's always worse with hypocrisy. Other NBA players leave the mailman in the dust, spreading-seed wise (he only has three kids out of wedlock, two the product of an extramarital affair). But he did knock up NFL prospect Demetrius Bell's mom when she was just 13, and Malone was a college sophomore. Malone has still never spoken with Bell.
Woody Allen: Describing his relationship to Soon-Yi, Allen has said: "It's got a more paternal feeling to it." What a profound insight! If only there were some possible explanation for why that is! Bad dad, Woody. Bad, bad dad.
Ivan the Terrible: Gold medalist in the Asshole Russian Dads event comes Ivan, a man so upset by his pregnant daughter-in-law's "immodest clothing" that he beat her until she miscarried. But wait, tovarisch! as they say in Tsarist game shows, there's more. After arguing with his son, Old Ivan cracked Young Ivan's skull with a pointed staff, ending his days. Do svidanya, Father of the Year award.
Joe Simpson: Dad to Jessica and Ashlee, showbiz dad Joe registers high on the creepy meter with these comments to Us Weekly. "Jessica never tries to be sexy. She just is sexy. If you put her in a T-shirt or you put her in a bustier, she's sexy in both. She's got double D's! You can't cover those suckers up!" No, but you can cover your mouth up, Joe. And should.
Alec Baldwin: Who knows if Alec Baldwin's show business dad behavior extends beyond the crazed voicemail the actor left for his daughter (who is, as Baldwin noted, either 12 or 11 years old, he's not sure)? But the threatening message, where he calls her "a rude, thoughtless little pig" and threatens to "straighten [her ass out" in person is Hall of Fame problem patriarchy material.
Pete Doherty: The drug-addled sometime robber and occasional sexer-up of Kate Moss has, contrary to sound evolution, managed to breed twice. One kid he sees occasionally. The other he neither sees nor speaks of regularly. Says Doherty of the kid with whom he has no relationship: "Poor little fucker." From your crack-smoking lips to God's ears, Pete.
King Laius: Oedipus' pops started that whole daughter-was-his-sister and son-was-his-brother mess. If he hadn't thrown his infant son out and ordered a servant to kill him, daddy's little boy would never have ended up schtupping mommy. Hence, Lauis was responsible for a shamed Oedipus plucking out his own eyes, a time when (quoth Sophocles) "bloody eyeballs bedewed his beard with slimy beads."
Josef Fritzl: Very possibly the worst father of all time, Fritzl's the Austrian who imprisoned his daughter for 24 years, forcing her to bear him seven children -- some of whom he held captive in the basement with her. He's on a whole different level of "Bad Father." In fact, the only reason we're not ending with him is that's impossible to make the case even a little bit funny. Moving on ...
Jack Torrence: Sure, the character that defined Jack Nicholson's career terrorized his wife and son, cackling insanely while hunting them down and killing them. But consider his good points. He redefined the line "Here's Johnny!" Also, he gave us this line from a University of Michigan research paper: "The Torrence family's dysfunction, beyond that of Jack being an axe-murderer, stems from Jack's introversion." Yeah, dad, if you'd just come out of your shell more ... OH GOD NOT THE AXE PUT IT DOWN PUT IT [thunk].
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Lot: This biblical figure was the original bad dad, and doubled up George Washington by being the grandfather of TWO nations. After Lot drunkenly slept with each of his daughters, their offspring became the patriarchs of Moab and Ammon. This is the earliest and creepiest example of "two chicks at the same time."


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