15 Child Stars Whose Boundaries Were Totally Violated While They Were Growing Up In The Public Eye

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Recently, old clips of Justin Bieber resurfaced showing several instances where the pop star was asked incredibly inappropriate questions throughout his teenage years. Multiple times he expressed discomfort and said he felt “violated.”

Closeup of Justin

This started a larger conversation as people reflect and reexamine times child and teen stars have been treated inappropriately by the industry, interviewers, the press, and even fans. Here are some instances:


Britney Spears was 17 years old when Ivo Niehe asked her whether or not she had breast implants on a televised interview.

Watch the full moment here:

View this video on YouTube

Iros / youtube.com


Marcus Scribner was 18 years old when he was on The Wendy Williams Show and she asked him if he was a virgin.

Wendy asking Marcus if he's a virgin

Watch the moment here at the 6:35 mark:

View this video on YouTube

Fox / youtube.com


An NSFW subreddit claimed that it would open on Millie Bobby Brown’s 18th Birthday and counted down the days to it.

The group had over 6000 members and a Reddit user explained that the subreddit was “to post sexual pictures of her the day she turns 18. It’s a sub solely dedicated to sexual pictures of Millie, who is currently a minor, until next week but they have a sub prepared already with thousands of subscribers.”


There was also a countdown by the media to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s 18th birthday because they would be “legal adults.”

In a Reddit thread about the Millie Bobby Brown Reddit group, someone recalled that for Mary-Kate and Ashley “Radio talk show hosts had countdowns for it, there was TV spots for it.”


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were 17 years old when Oprah asked them what size they were during a conversation about their rumored eating disorders.

Oprah interrupting Ashley to ask her what size she is

Watch the moment here at the 2:20 mark:

View this video on YouTube

CBS / youtube.com


Brooke Shields was 12 years old when she played a child sex worker in Pretty Baby, which also included a nude scene of her. Her mother, who was her manager at the time, received a lot of backlash for letting her take the role.

When Brooke went to Cannes Film Festival, the film caused an uproar, and someone trying to cut Brooke’s hair with scissors had to be restrained. She expressed how traumatic this was, saying, “I had never seen frenzy like that. It was so obscene but absurd. I couldn’t identify with it…the magnitude of the attention was really scary.”


Lindsay Lohan was 17 years old when she hosted SNL and they did a whole Harry Potter sketch centered around characters ogling at her breasts.

Watch the full sketch here:

View this video on YouTube

NBC / youtube.com


Britney Spears was 19 years old when she hosted SNL in 2000 and many of the sketches included sexual jokes about her.

Watch one of the skits here:

View this video on YouTube

NBC / youtube.com


Finn Wolfhard shared that when he was just 13 years old a group of eager, adult Stranger Things fans followed him back to his condo when he was filming It.

Stranger Things had just come out, and I was by myself. As I walked faster, they walked faster,” he recalled. “I was getting a bit antsy by the time I got to the door. Suddenly, they were like, ‘Hey, dude, can we get a selfie?’”

“And I was like, ‘No you can’t have a selfie! How about don’t follow children?'”


During Ariel Winter’s acting career, she said her mother had her dress in outfits that sexualized her.

Ariel claimed her mom put her in “the smallest miniskirts, sailor suits, low-cut things, the shortest dresses you’ve ever seen. People thought I was 24 when I was 12. If there was going to be a nude scene when I was that age, my mother would have a thousand percent said yes.”


Shirley Temple’s mother Gertrude put her daughter in the industry when she was a toddler. Her first credited role was in War Babies at 3 years old. It was a sexually suggestive short where children impersonate adults, and in her autobiography, Shirley described it as “a cynical exploitation of our childish innocence.”

Shirley Temple

In her memoir, she also cited several instances of sexual harassment by studio leads during her childhood career.

Young Shirley Temple


Alyson Stoner wrote in an essay that at the age of 6, she had to audition for scenes depicting sexual violence and that it took an emotional toll on her.

She added that many companies made her work more hours than are legal for a minor, that set conditions were inappropriate and hazardous, and that she also experienced sexual harassment.


Joe Jonas said that The Jonas Brothers’ level of stardom was sometimes frightening.

He recounted a meet-and-greet in Spain where 100,000 people showed up and chased them through the mall, and another incident in South America where a hotel staff member snuck their kid into his room.


In Jennette McCurdy’s memoir, she writes about how when she was a child star on Nickelodeon, someone she refers to as ‘The Creator’ encouraged her to drink alcohol at dinner.

She declined and he told her the kids on iCarly were too wholesome and that the Victorious cast drank often. Jennette says she took a sip to please him and that he made her wear his coat and then massaged her shoulders which made her uncomfortable.


And Bhad Bhabie — aka Danielle Bregoli — expressed discomfort with how such a large, older audience subscribed to her Onlyfans when she launched her account just days after her 18th birthday.

She claimed to have made over a million dollars in her first night on the platform and said she made $52 million within the first year of launching her account. When asked if she believed that people who subscribed right away should be in jail, she agreed.

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