Happy Independence Day! In honor of the national holiday, we have rounded up some of the stars who have taken to the courts to declare their independence. Whether it was to skirt around those pesky child labor laws or to get rid of mom and dad, these stars have have sought their independence and won:
Drew Barrymore: She may be one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today, but in her mid teens the star's hard partying lifestyle had taken its toll. With the help of her mom, Jade Barrymore, the actress was taking in the club lifestyle by the of ten. By the age of 15, she had already gone through rehab and was looking to restart her acting career. To help her on her way, Drew headed to the courts to become emancipated from her parents. She told "60 Minutes" in 2009 of her decision, "I did what I had to do to get [emancipated], which was play by the rules and re-figure out my life and disconnect myself from the people I knew and the lifestyle I knew and prove I was a responsible citizen with a good head on my shoulders."
Macaulay Culkin: He was the biggest star in Hollywood at the age of ten. His career was only lukewarm when he declared his independence from his parents at the age of fourteen. The "Home Alone" star decided to take a break from Hollywood and his famous family after his parents drug him and his siblings into a very public custody battle. He told Larry King of his emancipation, "When I was put in a position where I could take control of my own life and my own destiny and make decisions that were solely for my benefit and not for anyone else to make money or anything like that, I did."
Corey Feldman: He was a mega-star of the eighties with hit movies including "The Goonies", "The Lost Boys" and "Stand By Me". It was the disappearance of his income that caused the star to file for emancipation from his parents at the age of fifteen. He told "ABC News", "I got legally emancipated by going to the [Screen Actors Guild] producers pension, health and welfare plan myself at 14 years old and saying, 'What were my earnings, and what's left?" The answer was that he only had about $40,000 of the $1 million he had earned left on account. As a result of the alleged mismanagement, he won his independence from his parents a year later.
Aaron Carter: He may be the younger brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, but he grew up quickly in the pop-star lifestyle. After releasing his first single at the age of ten, Aaron was on the fast track to stardom. By sixteen a few years of hard partying and his parents messy divorce had taken their toll so he filed for emancipation. At the time he alleged that his mom had taken over $100k of his earnings. Six years later, the real financial damage became public when it came out that he owed over $1 million in unpaid taxes due to the mismanagement of his money. Now he works to try to protect other young stars from being taken advantage of saying, "I'm working on passing a law to protect young people from their parents. Children cannot be held responsible [for their finances]. I'm going to use myself as an example."
Michelle Williams: Not all celebrity-parent splits are acrimonious. Actress Michelle Williams became emancipated from her parents at the age of 15 to skirt those pesky child labor laws. She said of the decision, "There was a notion that it makes you more appealing because you don't have to pay for a teacher or guardian on set, and you can work the same number of hours as an adult. It got me "Dawson's Creek." All of the other kids were 18 , and I was 16 when I got the show. I don't think I would have been hired had I been a minor."
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