It must seem like a bit of a Catch 22 situation for celebrity moms. When they have children, they want to carry on working but also want to be brilliant mothers. Many of them want to juggle their work with motherhood but the reality of that becomes untenable when the hours they work, and their commitments prove too much.
Hiring a nanny is the option that many celebrity moms choose, and a live-in nanny is obviously a more convenient option. But this woman (or man) is a human being. Any sense of mistreatment and they could go running to the press faster than you can say ‘loyalty bonus’.
10. Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck and Christine Ouzounian
Poor Jennifer Garner had her worst nightmare unfold in front of her when she was outshone by her nanny in the most humiliating way.
Her pretty nanny, Christine Ouzounian, had been looking after the couple’s three children, Violet, Seraphina, and Sam. However, it transpired that Ben had got very close to Christine and had been unfaithful to Jennifer with the nanny. The couple apparently met at hotels and Ms. Ouzounian said she was in love with the Hollywood star. The affair was reported to have been going on for a long time, without Jennifer’s knowledge. The nanny was pictured in many newspapers, looking cool and chic and unconcerned at the carnage unfolding around her.
The nanny seems to have traveled with Mr. Affleck and blended into the family because of her position of the nanny, which afforded her plenty of alone time with her boss.
This horrendous development in Jennifer’s life led to the separation between her and her actor husband. Jennifer denied it was a contributory factor, saying that she and Ben had been separated for months, but Christine was sacked as soon as the affair came to light. Ben and Jennifer had been married for ten years when the news broke.
9. Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman with Ryan Shawhughes
Ethan Hawke had married one of the most beautiful women in the world when he wed Uma Thurman. Men all over the world must have envied him. They seemed to have a successful marriage by Hollywood standards. However, things changed in the Hawke/Thurman household when Ryan Shawhughes was employed to care for the couple’s two children.
Ryan and Ethan began an affair which ended the marriage. To rub salt in the wound, Ethan and Ryan ended up getting married and having two children of their own. Although it may seem impossible to outshine Uma Thurman, Ms. Shawhughes seems to have found a way.
Ethan has defended his actions by saying that he does not believe infidelity should necessarily be the death sentence to a relationship, reported the Daily Mail.
He said that human beings are not designed to be monogamous and that love can still exist even if the partner is unfaithful. He claimed he was too young at 27, when he married Uma and should never have taken his wedding vows. Ms. Thurman appears to have taken her ‘forsaking all other’ wedding vow more seriously and left her husband to deal with the fallout and the nanny.
8. Heather Mills
Heather Mills has not always had the best press. The ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney, and mother of his daughter, Beatrice, was vilified in public by her ex-nanny.
Sara Trumble had considered Heather to be a friend when she worked for her, but this friendship turned sour as a result of Heather’s behaviour, according to her former nanny.
She was dismissed from her post by Heather and took the matter to an employment tribunal where all the former model’s dirty washing was aired for the public to see.
Apparently, Heather turned against Ms. Trumble after she returned from maternity leave. Whilst she was on leave Ms. Mills left abusive voice messages demanding to know when she would be back at work.
Ms. Trumble also claimed that Heather would send out her new boyfriend to greet Sir Paul McCartney when they were changing over the care of their daughter. The celebrity couple, when they were together used to return late from engagements, forcing Ms. Trumble to stay well beyond her normal hours of work. Sir Paul appeared to have no issue with Ms. Trumble, but Ms. Mills regularly humiliated her at work and in front of others, according to Ms. Trumble.
7. Lara Stone and David Walliams
Lara might not have been outshone by the nanny in David’s eyes during their marriage, but she may have been in baby Alfred’s eyes, after Lara admitted that she leaves her son with the nanny ‘for days’, the Telegraph reported.
Lara has always been refreshingly honest about her life, particularly with regard to her pregnancy and parenting. Lara’s upfront admission about her nanny’s importance in her life brought cries of admiration rather than criticism. Many saw it as an honest admission of the problems that many supermodels face but do not admit. Celebrities are terrified of being called bad mothers, but it’s a fact of life that working parents need to be away from their children, good for Lara for her transparency.
This ‘mummy shaming’ as it is called is a great cause for concern among celebrities. Many want to be seen to be ‘having it all’, combining a stellar career whilst being Mary Poppins at home. Lara simply pointed out, honestly, that the reality is far from like this and that celebrities struggle with motherhood and career just like less famous counterparts.
6. William and Kate – Maria Barello
Of course, no one could really outshine Kate Middleton but the nanny she chose for her children has definitely got her fair share of attention. She was photographed with Her Majesty the Queen and is regularly seen in shots with the royal babies. She keeps a low profile as much as she can, but the job she has can hardly tolerate anonymity.
From the moment she was employed, Maria Barello was in the headlines. She graduated from the most famous and prestigious nanny college in the world, Norland College, and sported the infamous brown uniform and hat that has been the trademark of graduates for decades. Maria is trained in martial arts in case she needs to defend her royal charges and has been trained in getting away from photographers, on foot and in a car. She knows how to avoid a kidnapping situation and how to drive under dangerous weather conditions.
Maria traveled with the Cambridges when they visited Australia, carrying a fetching kangaroo backpack, and she’s been seen in her uniform chatting with the Queen. Maria takes over from Jessie Webb, who cared for Prince William when he was a baby, according to the Daily Mail.
5. Prince William – Tiggy Legge Bourke
Diana, Princess of Wales is one of the most famous, beautiful and sadly missed ladies of all time. She devoted her life to her boys and only employed nannies because of her punishing royal schedule. She cherished her time with them and spent as long as she could with them.
However, when Charles and Diana divorced and split care of the boys, Charles employed a family friend, Alexandra ‘Tiggy’ Legge-Bourke as a nanny to the boys and Diana was apparently livid at how close she got to the boys, particularly to Harry. However, Tiggy provided some stability and fun for Diana’s boys and was there to soothe their broken hearts in 1997 after Diana’s death, according to the Daily Mail. The boys had fun with Tiggy and she encouraged their cheeky sides. They loved staying with Tiggy in her friendly, home and mucked in as if in a typical family home.
News stories abounded about Diana’s dislike of Tiggy, but Tiggy carried on doing her job and causing headlines. Her closeness with Harry continued and he is godfather to her child. Tiggy also attended Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle, after Harry had taken his fiancée to meet his former nanny in Wales.
4. Jessica Alba – wrote a book about hers
Jessica Alba obviously adored her nanny, and she wrote a book to celebrate her work. The book called ‘The Nanny Connie Way’ devotes its pages to the guidance and help that Connie gave Jessica during ten years of service. Connie helped Jessica when her babies were tiny, but Jessica remembered the support, love, and confidence that the nanny provided her with. Nanny Connie has also provided services for other high-profile clients, including Jessica Biel who promoted the book with Ms. Alba.
Jessica Alba admitted how hard she found motherhood to start with and how Nanny Connie helped to ease her into the role. She was also taught how important it was for her to look after herself so she could be of maximum benefit to the baby. Ms. Alba brought Nanny Connie back to look after her latest baby Hayes, nine years after she had provided her wisdom after the birth of baby Honor.
She publicly acknowledged and validates the work that nannies do and doesn’t try and play down Connie’s role. It is refreshing to hear a celebrity mother admitting how hard parenting is, and that very few of us manage to do it without help.
3. Robin Williams and Valerie Valadi with Marcia Garces
Valerie Valadi was married to actor Robin Williams in the early years of his career. She supported him through the tough times of establishing himself in Hollywood and watched as he became the great star we know him as.
However, Robin had an affair with the couple’s nanny, Marcia Garces, which broke down his marriage. Robin ended up marrying Marcia and she became the wife that was to enjoy the fruits of his later success. She was already pregnant with his child, Zelda when they married and they went on to have another child, Cody. Marcia acted as Robin’s personal assistant and helped to produce some of his later films. The couple developed a film company together and Ms. Garces was nominated for an Emmy for one of her productions about Robin Williams.
Robin remained close to Marcia throughout his life despite their divorce in 2008, caused by Robin’s relapse into drinking after 20 years of sobriety. She gained a substantial divorce settlement in the process, making her an independently wealthy woman in her own right. Williams remarried after his divorce from Garces and it was Susan Schneider who became his grieving widow.
2. Robert de Niro – stealing nanny
Grace Hightower and Robert de Niro hired a Polish nanny to care for their son Elliot. All seemed to be going well until the nanny, Lucyna Turyk-Wawrynowicz, aged 35 at the time, was charged with theft from Ms. Hightower.
Mr. De Niro and Ms. Hightower lived in a luxury apartment in New York and hired Ms. Turyk-Wawrynowicz as nanny and housekeeper. However, Ms. Hightower found some jewelry missing and reported missing items to the police. They arrested and charged Ms. Turyk-Wawrynowicz with theft and deported her back to Poland. In her flat, they found a pair of earrings belonging to Ms. Hightower which were worth $100,000, so she was charged with criminal possession as well as theft.
She was charged with stealing around $500,000 worth of jewelry and clothes and sentenced to three years in prison. She had previously worked for Candice Bergen, and the Rothschilds, and may have sent some of her loot back to her native land. The charges related back several years, so Ms. Hightower may not have been the only celebrity mum to lose her property.
Mr. De Niro’s daughter also had nanny issues, when hers sued her for not paying her enough overtime.
1. Madonna – injunction to stop hers spilling the beans
Madonna hired an Australian nanny to look after her adopted son, David whose heritage is in Malawi. Angela Jacobson cared for David while the superstar was working. Despite the fact that she loved her job, and the young boy, she was on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it became too much for her. She handed in her notice, and Madonna became so furious that she fired her during her notice period. Angela was at a wedding in Thailand when she discovered her employment had been terminated. Her friends began texting her and she found out that she was all over the newspapers.
Madonna also became embroiled in a legal battle with one former nanny, Melissa Dumas and had to take out an injunction to stop her spilling the beans on Madonna’s life with Guy Ritchie and baby David’s adoption, as well as the couple’s involvement with Kabbalah and an insight as to how the celebrity children behaved according to Just Jared.
Melissa tried to peddle an eighty page document to various publishing houses, detailing her experience with the superstar, but Madonna issued a successful injunction to stop her from revealing the information.