There was one word that was used to describe Amy Adams in the early 2000s, and it wasn’t “talented,” “intelligent,” or “interesting.” No, the young actress was always just “nice” — nothing more, nothing less. And for some time, it seemed that “nice” was all Amy would ever be, though her own childhood was the furthest thing from it.

You may not expect Amy Adams, the actress who played the wide-eyed ingenue for most of her career, to have had a rocky childhood. But she is more than her girl-next-door image, and she’s finally opened up about the struggles she faced on her way to the top.

Before you could find her in whatever movie was the talk of Hollywood, Amy Adams was struggling to find her place in the world. Everyone from family to teachers to executives tried defining her in one way or another.

Born August 20, 1974, in Vicenza, Italy, Amy grew up used to calling multiple places home. Her father was stationed with the U.S. Army in Italy, and as one of seven children, she was taught that family always came first.

Her family eventually settled in Castle Rock, Colorado, after Amy’s father retired from the Army. For years, her father sang in nightclubs and restaurants, and she has fond memories of drinking Shirley Temples while watching him perform.

Amy started to picture herself up on the stage, but her responsibilities to her family didn’t give her much time to daydream. Still, the family made the most of their financial burdens by writing plays and skits in which Amy was the star. 

From a young age, Amy felt pressure associated with her family’s religion. “I’m afraid I will always feel the weight of a lie,” she said when describing the effects of her Mormon upbringing. Still, there are some aspects of Mormonism she values.

“[Growing up Mormon] had more of an impact on my values than my beliefs,” she said. Her family put kindness and togetherness first, which Amy still prioritizes today. But even with this in mind, her family fell on hard times.

In 1985, her parents divorced and left the church. Her life of family skits and Shirley Temples was over. Singing and performing were pleasant distractions, but she soon realized that something beyond her family issues was wrong.

Even those who willingly live in the spotlight can suffer under its harsh light, and after her family broke apart, Amy started suffering from social anxiety. School, friends, and even family life were more difficult to deal with than ever before.

She hoped high school would be easier, but her academic struggles made activities like choir the only highlights of her day. Amy’s problems only worsened over time, and it was clear that anxiety wasn’t the only reason why.

When she finally reached out for help, she was shocked to discover the source of many of her struggles: ADHD. Finally, her academic issues made sense. She was prescribed Ritalin, which she takes to this day. 

Her diagnosis helped her get her academics back on track, but her social anxiety was still very much alive. What helped, she knew, was performing…so she refocused her attention onto her most beloved hobby.

Musical theater, she knew, would be her way out. As she danced through pulled muscles and acted her heart out in regional theater productions, she struggled to keep her dream alive. She started to hope for an even bigger future…

Her focus shifted from the theater to the big screen. So when she auditioned for the 1999 film Drop Dead Gorgeous starring Kirstie Alley and Kirsten Dunst, she hoped desperately for that fateful phone call…

Still, when her phone rang, and she was offered a supporting role in the film, she was stunned. This was her first credited film role, and her portrayal of a promiscuous cheerleader led co-star Kirstie Alley to give her a crucial piece of advice.

The established star advised the ingenue to move to L.A. to seriously pursue a film career. Most people would have been thrilled to receive praise and encouragement from such a big star, but after moving to L.A., Amy felt something else entirely.

Amy’s time in LA was anything but glamorous. She described this period of her life as “dark” and “bleak,” and she often considered moving back home. She hoped her role in Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can would be her break-out.

But despite her well-received performance, Amy was unemployed for almost a year afterward. Her determination was waning. If she could star in one of the biggest movies of the year and still not find success, maybe the whole “acting thing” just wasn’t in the cards.

So when she signed on to do an independent film called Junebug, she spent her free time researching employment opportunities in other fields. She felt she had to prepare herself for Junebug’s inevitable failure…

Ironically, the indie film ended up launching her career. She received her first Oscar nomination for her performance, and from then on, her career was seemingly unstoppable. But even after Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, she still wasn’t exactly an A-list celebrity.

See, her upbeat, optimistic nature meant she often portrayed the upbeat, optimistic supporting role. It wasn’t until she secured the role of the dangerously naive Sister James in the movie Doubt that Amy’s luck changed.

Her character in Doubt was innocent without being sickly sweet, a fine line that brought depth to Amy’s performance. In order to successfully portray such a unique character, Amy did not need to dig deep to understand how Sister James felt.

Amy used her background with divorce, religious pressures, anxiety, and ADHD to make her character more than just another naive woman. Her performance blew away any doubt in her acting ability — she was finally seen as a star.

Amy’s roles in The Fighter, The Master, and American Hustle solidified her as an acting force to be reckoned with. Fifteen years before these movies premiered, the thought of a dark, sultry, or even crass Amy Adams wouldn’t have crossed moviegoers’ minds…  

But Amy’s own struggle-filled background brings intensity to even the most innocent of characters, and with a gritty role in HBO’s Sharp Objects currently earning her wild praise, Amy’s star-power won’t dim anytime soon.

If she hits another wall, Amy can no doubt turn to fellow actress Anne Hathaway to help navigate the ups and downs of life and Hollywood. She’s checked off nearly every professional ambition a young actress can have. Yet, she found herself longing for something more.

People

Besides blockbuster roles in action flicks, comedies, and dramas, Anne reached the acting apex when she snagged an Oscar for her part as Fantine in Les Miserables. However, she felt she couldn’t really enjoy that success unless she had people to share it with.

Twitter

Simply put, Anne always wanted a family. The first step for her, of course, was to find a man she really loved. Believe it or not, her romantic pursuit got off to a very rocky start.

The actress’ first serious beau was a real estate developer named Raffaello Follieri. Handsome, charming, and Italian, he seemed like the perfect guy. But that image fell to pieces when the news dropped one big bombshell.

Raffaello was found guilty of a huge real estate scam, which ended up defrauding everyone from Vatican officials to the Clinton family. While the Italian went behind bars, a shellshocked Anne retreated from the spotlight.

New York Daily News

Understandably, Anne took a break from serious dating after that relationship. Could she find a significant other who wasn’t a secret felon? She hoped her luck would even out next time around.

The Blemish

It’s safe to say that Anne soon hit the jackpot. She fell head over heels for businessman Adam Shulman, and they tied the knot in 2012. Fans couldn’t help but wonder: would this Oscar-winner become a mom?

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Many reporters suspected the couple was headed that way. They got a dog — a classic precursor to a new baby. Still, anyone holding their breath for an Anne or Adam Jr. ended up gravely disappointed.

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While Anne didn’t bring any kids into the world right after her marriage, she did show that she really cared about children. She became a public advocate for children’s health on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign. That was just the beginning.

Yahoo

In between movie projects, the actress traveled abroad. But rather than hang out at glitzy resorts, she worked to empower girls and promote education in third-world countries. Anne connected with a lot of kids back home, too.

Anne visited with patients at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which put a big smile on all their faces. The actress’ commitment was admirable, but it left many wondering why she didn’t start a family of her own.

E! News

Was she worried about her career? True, many other big stars had taken a hit when they introduced kids into the equation. But when Anne didn’t appear in any feature films in 2017, some fans got quite worried.

Cosmopolitan

But they shouldn’t have sweat it. In private, Anne was dealing with a pregnancy, which resulted in a beautiful baby boy! She and Adam were delighted to bring Jonathan into the world, but kept him out of the public eye.

It’s understandable why a huge star like Anne would want to preserve her son’s privacy. However, she broke her own rule a couple years later. The actress took to Instagram with a colossal piece of news.

Mashable

Sporting a sizable baby bump, Anne posted a selfie with the caption, “It’s not for a movie… #2.” Though this update shocked fans by its own merit, the actress went on to describe a personal struggle of her own.

People

It turned out that Anne’s family situation wasn’t always an easy one. All those years, when many people assumed she wasn’t interested in becoming a mother, she was grappling with a serious medical issue.

Mentioning that she struggled with infertility, the actress admitted, “Pease know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies. Sending you extra love.” So all those years, Anne must’ve feared she’d never get pregnant.

YouTube

However, she took a gamble and put her faith in fertility treatments. Though there was still a bit of a stigma against such measures, Anne knew deep down that it was worth the risk.

Bloomberg

And when she discovered she was pregnant — not once, but twice — Anne could barely process the joy. While still careful to protect her kids from paparazzi, she wanted to share the good news with fans and other hopeful moms.

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Their response was nothing short of jubilant. “Genovia will have another heir!” quipped one excited Princess Diaries fanatic. They were all glad for a happy ending, as they’d seen before just how hard it can be to balance fame and motherhood.

Even Jessica Simpson struggled to keep her personal life at arm’s length from rabid, critical fans. See, when it comes to the pop music industry, she’s just about done it all. But her road to the top started in much more humble circumstances.

NBC New York

Simpson’s dad was a Baptist youth minister, so she began singing in her church’s choir. When she was 11, however, she realized she would need to branch out if she wanted to make it as a vocalist.

People

Soon after, she found herself auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Club with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Justin Timberlake. While Simpson didn’t make the final cut, the experience filled her with confidence.

Reader’s Digest

She would go on to sign with a Christian music label, but her debut record was never released. Her talent was obvious, however, and caught the eye of someone else…

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Tommy Mottola, head of Columbia Records, signed Simpson to a contract. He claimed that she not only brought a fresh face to the industry but had better vocal talent than Britney Spears.

Billboard

Once Simpson released her first album, Sweet Kisses, her career took off. Dating Nick Lachey of 98 Degrees only helped confirm her superstar status. But the celebrity lifestyle is never completely easy.

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Simpson and Lachey would get married and famously star on their own MTV show, but the relationship wouldn’t last. The couple separated in 2005, with Simpson reportedly paying her ex $12 million.

Simpson would have several high profile romances before meeting former NFL tight end Eric Johnson in May 2010. They would get engaged a few months later, prompting a change in Jessica’s career.

Page Six

In 2012, Simpson added another job to her resume: mother. The couple would go on to have three children, but even experience can’t make being a celebrity mom any easier.

Jessica Simpson/ Instagram

In fact, Simpson garnered controversy for what seemed like a simple parenting choice. The entire scenario started ordinarily enough, with the proud mom sharing a picture on Instagram.

Jessica Simpson/Twitter

The image showed Simpson’s oldest child, Maxwell, enjoying a day at the hair salon. But there was a problem with this girls’ day out that made other parents feel uneasy.

Jessica Simpson/ Instagram

Maxwell was getting her hair dyed. Before long, countless comments started appearing on the photo. While some loved the image, others were saying a seven year old shouldn’t be getting her hair dyed.

Jessica Simpson/ Instagram

Simpson tried to explain that Maxwell simply wanted purple hair like her favorite Descendants 3 character, Mal, but it was too late. The Internet had already passed its judgement.

Access Online

Another celebrity noticed the mob mentality, however, and felt the need to step in. Not only was she also a Hollywood mom, but she had expertise in another topic as well.

It was Pink! The artist definitely knows a thing or two about extreme hair styles, so she was quick to come to Simpson’s defense. But she did it in an unusual way.

The artist shared an Instagram photo of her own and, like Simpson’s, it highlighted a mother-daughter day. In this case, Pink and her daughter Willow were taking part in a special activity.

Entertainment Tonight

Pink was dying Willow’s blonde hair a bright shade of teal! But her support for Simpson didn’t end with the photo; there was a pointed caption, too.

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“I heard people were bummed on Jessica Simpson for letting her seven year old get her hair colored,” Pink commented. “So we thought we’d share what we did yesterday.”

But no post is complete without hashtags, so Pink added a few including, “#BlueHairDontCare”, “#GetYourOwnKids” and, #IllDyeYourHairTooLosers.” But there was one final act of defiance.

Allure

Pink’s final hashtag simply read, “#OhLookMaNoComments.” The message was clear: people would have to go somewhere else to provide unsolicited parenting advice.

But Pink has dealt with parenting controversy before. And, given her propensity for pushing boundaries, she’s unafraid to use her social media channels in an unconventional way.

Among the sea of celebrities on Instagram, Pink’s openness on social media stands out, especially when it comes to her family. Of course, this has also opened her up to trolls who endlessly criticize her parenting skills.   

She has posted many down-to-earth photos of her kids, from them enjoying happy taco nights to cozy days in pillow forts. These posts are usually greeted by supportive fans who enjoy seeing the behind- the-scenes pics of Pink’s life. Others are not quite so supportive. 

Many sweet family photos, including one of Pink breastfeeding her daughter and one of her husband riding on a dirt bike with his son, have garnered significant backlash from people who want to voice their opinion about Pink’s parenting skills. 

The backlash seemed to come to a head when she posted a picture of her children at the beach. Instagrammers were quick to point out, and criticize, that her son was partially nude, therefore making the photo “inappropriate.” 

This was the last straw for Pink. “There’s something seriously wrong with a lot of you out there,” she began before launching into a lengthy response aimed towards her haters. She then deleted the photo, but her rebellion against the haters wasn’t over.

She announced on Ellen that she would no longer post photos of her children online. With the controversy she stirred up on a daily basis, it was no surprise that Pink decided to stop posting about her kids. For the most part, she stuck to her guns.

But she has recently posted more subtle photos of her family while they enjoyed the European portion of her Beautiful Trauma tour. She couldn’t have known, despite her subtle Instagram posts, that she’d soon encounter one of her biggest controversies yet.

It all started when her family embarked upon the Berlin leg of her tour. As her Instagram posts implied, the trip began normally enough: The family did the kind of sightseeing many tourists do in international cities.

However, the trouble really started once she posted the photos of her family sightseeing. They went to a restaurant where Pink could show off her bartending skills, and they visited some historic Berlin landmarks…including the Holocaust Memorial.

This particular photo showed her kids running through the Holocaust Memorial. Of course, the combination of Pink’s young children plus the historically-tense subject of the Holocaust was fodder to Pink’s internet trolls, who were ready to attack.

Her children were called “disrespectful” for running through the memorial. “This is one of the most sacred pieces of ground on the planet. It should be treated as such,” someone commented. And it only got worse. 

One person even wrote that Pink needs to “Teach [her] children to respect everyone,” and that in the past she has only done so when she “can make money off of it.” Such harsh comments begged the question: Would Pink respond to the hate? 

Some people were not only criticizing her parenting skills, but even her behavior as a Jewish person. For some, the decision about what to do would have been easy: If she was to quietly delete the photo, the backlash would have disappeared…

…but Pink isn’t one to do something quietly. In response to the backlash, she wrote: “These two children are in actuality Jewish, as am I and the entirety of my mother’s family…to me [this photo] is a celebration of life after death.” 

Despite the aggressive backlash, the comments were also overflowing with support from fans. One person wrote how “[Pink] can honor and celebrate her history however she wants,” while another simply commented that “Kids make sad places better.” 

Even the designer of the Holocaust Memorial has spoken on how people should behave when they visit. “A memorial is an everyday occurrence, it is not sacred ground,” he said, debunking the claims of some haters who slammed Pink for allowing her kids to run around a “gravesite.”  

More times than not, Pink is able to brush off the hate…and deliver a scathing burn or, at the very least, a memorable last word. “Please keep your hatred and judgement to yourselves,” she said simply in response to the backlash.

Pink’s not the only celeb mom in the hot seat. Once you become a mom, there are certain activities that may need to take a back seat to new responsibilities. Kim Kardashian learned to spray tan a little less after her first child, North, ended up with bronzer on her mouth post-breastfeeding!

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You might think there’s nothing that can stop a powerful and imposing athlete like Serena Williams, but think again! During one Twitter rant, Williams admitted her frustration with trying to figure out her child’s stroller!

When it’s early in the morning and you have multiple little ones sprinting around the kitchen demanding breakfast, it’s easy to mix up names every now and then. Jennifer Garner admits her memory has floundered on more than one occasion!

Modern Family star Julie Bowen mastered the skill of driving while pumping milk after having twins, and it led to an embarrassing situation one afternoon. While in bumper-to-bumper traffic, officers approached her vehicle while the pump was still attached to her!

When the Younger star Hillary Duff brought her two-year-old son Luca into the ornament section of Bloomingdale’s, she quickly learned he might be better off away from breakable items. He wasn’t as well-behaved as she’d believed!

No matter how hard you try to stick to a rigid diet, you have to take what you can get sometimes. Carrie Underwood has admitted that plenty of her “meals” have consisted of leftover food her kids didn’t finish. Bon appetit!

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No matter who they have as parents, most kids hate when their moms or dads try to act “cool.”Reese Witherspoon’s kids are all in their teens and especially dislike her use of words like “lit” and her rapping along to Drake.

While many Hollywood moms might try to act as if their lives are perfect, Chrissy Teigen’s fans know just how blunt she can be about motherhood. One candid bit of info she shared was that she fell asleep with her breast pump on!

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It’s hard to keep your thoughts in order when you’re required to remember a million things. Khloe Kardashian learned this when she tweeted about her baby’s one-month birthday only to realize she made a mistake about the date!

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Finding time to be intimate with your spouse when you have a full house can be impossible. Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard were having a little alone time when both of their daughters raided the room! Luckily they played it off like smooth criminals.

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Kids can be temperamental, and Blake Lively and hubby Ryan Reynolds know this all too well. In fact, they candidly expressed on social media that living with their kids’ mood swings was similar to spending time with a substance abuser. Yikes!

While planning a road trip with her daughter Wyatt,Mila Kunis made sure she was over-prepared for any sort of emergency. However, immediately after pulling out of the driveway, she gasped when she realized she never buckled Wyatt in!

In an interview with People magazine, Christina Applegate admitted she sometimes just stands in her home amidst the chaos of her kids and thinks, “I’m not doing any of this right!” Rest assured there are millions of moms thinking the same exact thing.

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Any parent will tell you it’s hard to go back to work after having a kid. For actress Olivia Wilde, becoming a mom came with an overwhelming desire to ditch the fast-paced Hollywood life to play “endless rounds of Itsy Bitsy Spider” with her young one.

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Even though she’s fulfilled by her career, Halle Berry admitted feeling the pangs of guilt for spending way too much time away from her kids while working on different projects.

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Kids have a special ability to push parents to the brink of madness sometimes. Back in 2013, Nicole Richie tweeted about one tension-filled morning where she and her husband Joel Madden had gotten into five different fights before nine in the morning due to their kids.

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There was one time this superstar was so frazzled she only time for either showering or feeding her baby! Her hubby swooped in at the last second, the baby ate, and Tyra Banks got to bathe!

When country singer Kelly Clarkson first shared photos of her child Remy on Twitter in 2016, she attached the quote, “Meet Remy, our newest edition to the family!” But, “edition” should have been spelled “addition.” Whoops, mommy brain!

Obviously women are strongly urged to avoid alcohol during pregnancy, and The Hills star Heidi Pratt was no exception. After 10 months of sobriety, she admitted to being completely deseperate to get back to drinking wine.

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Whether you’re a celebrity mom or not, raising kids is no walk in the park. The big difference with children who grow up in Hollywood is the way they spend cash as they get older. Some of them are really, really good at it…

1. Koraun Mayweather: For what it’s worth, a quick scroll through Koraun’s Instagram account shows that he and his controversial dad have a great surface-level relationship. But it also reveals how he likes to spend his old man’s money…

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Yep, Koraun’s Instagram is the equivalent of a dirty magazine for car enthusiasts. Post after post shows the 18-year-old posing with cars worth well over $100,000. Hey, when your dad gets punched in the face for a living, it comes with perks.

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2. Lily-Rose Depp: It’s unlikely this starlet will be remembered solely as “the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.” The 18-year-old has put together her own impressive resume already. Still, she’s had some interesting investments…

Lily-Rose’s fans scratched their heads after her father spent $7,000 on a couch owned by the Kardashians for her. Even more: after the hefty purchase, the leather couch reportedly just went into storage!

Bravo TV

3. Reginae Carter: Gaskets across the planet blew when word came out that big-time rapper Lil’ Wayne spent $150,000 on diamond teeth. But that was nothing compared to what he shelled out for his daughter, Reginae.

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All you really need to know was that one episode of MTV’s My Super Sweet Sixteen—a show focused on really spoiled teenagers—featured Reginae. On top of a party with a $500,000 price tag, her parents gifted her a couple of cars that’d make Koraun Mayweather jealous.

MTV

4. Barron Hilton: Brother to Paris Hilton and heir to the Hilton family fortune, Barron—the baby in the center of this retro family pic—has put together quite a luxurious (and expensive) lifestyle, according to his Instagram. As a kid, though?

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While his sister flaunted her family’s money in front of cameras, Barron’s expenses came in a much more tragic fashion. Once, he drunkenly drove and struck a gas station clerk. The ensuing lawsuit cost the Hilton family $5 million.

The Sun

5. Sofia Richie: Speaking of Paris… while Lionel Richie’s daughter, Nicole Richie, gallivanted around with the Hilton heiress, it was his second daughter, Sofia, who might have been even worse with her dad’s wallet.

Sofia’s done quite well for herself and she has her own successful modeling career, but Instagram posts show her living like a princess thanks to that “Stuck On You” money. All her posts show the envy-inducing vacations and luxury transportation she takes.

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6. Brandon Lee: With a mom like Pamela Anderson and a dad like Tommy Lee, Brandon could’ve spent his life poolside, waited on by only the best butlers. But while he’s pursuing a career of his own, he’s proven that he likes spending some of his parents’ money…

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Between private jets and photo-worthy vacations, Brandon sure knows how to spend some coin. Apparently, he knows how to waste it, too, a fact embodied by this Champagne bath. Sure, why not?

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7. Chet Hanks: The son of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Chet didn’t spend Pop’s cash on luxury cars, trips, or the couches of reality TV stars. Instead, he used that Toy Story money for something quite tragic: drugs.

Exactly how much of the Hanks’ fortune Chet spent on cocaine is a mystery, but it must have been a lot because he reportedly did an insane amount of it. Since then, those who know him say he’s out of rehab and doing well. Good luck, Chet!

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8. The Willis girls: To say Rumer, Tallulah, and Scout Willis were under pressure and scrutiny as children would be an understatement. With Bruce Willis and Demi Moore as parents, it must have been freezing in that enormous shadow. But now?

No doubt about it, the sisters (Scout and Tallulah pictured here with mom Demi) turned out all right! But they were all known to be big partiers. While they’ve reportedly conquered their addictions, some say a good amount of money went into going out on the town.

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9. Robert Cavalli: Make no mistake, Roberto Cavalli knows how to make a fortune on fashion. His high-end clothing, perfumes, and leathers have padded his bank account since the ’70s, after all. His youngest son, Robert, on the other hand, sure knows how to spend it.

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Robert’s Instagram could easily be mistaken for a travel guide: the man loves hopping aboard a private plane and ending up somewhere luxurious. And who can blame him? They do say you should spend your money on experiences…

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10. Cazzie David: With his work on Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David made his fortune thanks to some of the best comedy chops around. Judging by Instagram, his oldest daughter, Cazzie, likes spending some of that dough.

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You can guess two things about Cazzie: she loves her dad… and she loves the beach. As she slowly builds her own acting and writing resume, though, you’ve got to figure that Seinfeld money lets her practically live her whole life with a coconut drink in her hand.

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