HAVING a rich and famous sibling doesn’t always make for an easy life – as many a star’s family member knows.
This weekend, it was revealed Cheryl’s brother Andrew Tweedy was living in a tent and relying on handouts to get by, after splitting from his girlfriend.
The 41-year-old, who has struggled with alcohol addiction, said he was at the “lowest I’ve been”, despite his famous sister forking out £20,000 for rehab to help him in the past.
“I’ve been begging here for more than three months and it’s something that has really broken my heart,” he said.
“With the family I’ve got, I shouldn’t be here. It’s horrible.”
Andrew – who has a long history of violent crime – is not the only star sibling to go off the rails.
From Gordon Ramsay’s brother battling drug addiction to Mariah Carey’s former sex worker sister, here are the family members whose lives are a million miles away from their showbiz siblings.
Gordon Ramsay’s brother – drug addict
The TV chef has spoken out about how he tried and failed to help his younger brother beat his lifelong addiction to drugs.
Ronnie, 53, began taking drugs as a teenager and has had periods of homelessness throughout his life. In 2007, he was arrested in Indonesia for possession of heroin.
Speaking in a 2017 documentary, Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine, the Hell’s Kitchen star said watching Ronnie’s spiral into addiction changed his attitude to drugs early on.
He said: “I have been very anti-drugs from very early on in my life, having to watch my brother f*** his life up going from coke to heroin.
He also recalled having to buy drugs to get Ronnie to attend the funeral of their dad, Gordon Senior.
“I went to a dealer’s house once and I had to take my little brother to a s***hole of a flat to get a fix to get him to our father’s funeral,” he said.
“That was f***ing grim, and that was a big shock for me to see how far he had gone.”
Madonna’s brother – homeless and alcoholic
The Queen of Pop has amassed a £620m fortune but older brother Anthony Ciccone’s life spiralled out of control through his addiction to alcohol.
After being fired from his job on the family vineyard, for passing out after drinking from the vats, he ended up sleeping rough, sleeping under a bridge in Michigan and surviving temperatures of -30c.
Despite repeated offers of help from his family, Anthony, 65, accused his megastar sister of not caring about his plight.
“Madonna doesn’t give a s**t if I’m dead or alive,” he said in 2013.
“She lives in her own world. I never loved her in the first place, she never loved me. We never loved each other.”
He finally sought help from a revolutionary rehab facility for homeless addicts, which allows residents to drink alcohol while slowly cutting down.
The family took him in after the treatment, in 2017, and said he was “back home” and “recovering.”
Meghan Markle’s brother – homeless
Meghan’s brother Tom Markle was left homeless and penniless after a split from his fiance last year.
The 54-year-old said he was sick of his sister devoting herself to charities when her own family was in dire need.
He was forced to move in with his elderly mum after his life “fell apart” and he says his mental health has declined since Meghan met Prince Harry.
He added: “Being associated with Meghan has nearly destroyed me.
“I am homeless and could have been under a bridge with a cardboard sign begging for money. But thankfully my Mum has taken me in.
“Mentally, this has been a f***ing nightmare ever since Meghan got together with Harry.”
Tom’s fortunes have since improved – as he stars in this year’s Aussie version of Celebrity Big Brother.
Mariah Carey’s sister – former sex worker
The Dream Lover singer – worth £230m – has a long term rift with both her older sister Alison and brother Morgan.
Alison, a former prostitute who is HIV positive, has made disturbing allegations against her mother, Patricia, in the past, claiming she was made to sit in a paedophile’s car as a child, and was sexually assaulted.
Last year, the 58-year-old filed a lawsuit against Patricia, accusing her mum of forcing her to perform sex acts on strangers when she was just 10 years old and she also alleged she was made to watch other children being abused and even stabbed in “satanic rituals.”
Patricia has never responded to the allegations and was not able to be contacted.
Alison, who has battled drug addiction, had previously claimed she was struggling to pay rent and feed her four children.
In her memoir, Mariah accused Alison of trying to pimp her out when she was 12, and throwing a cup of hot water over her – which Alison denies.
Mariah, 51, has previously claimed that she has “forgiveness in my heart” for her siblings but has no plans to meet them.
She added: “Here’s the thing: They have been ruthlessly just heartless in terms of dealing with me as a human being for most of my life. I never would have spoken about my family at all had they not done it first.”
Christopher Nolan’s brother – ‘contract killer’ plot
Interstellar director Christopher Nolan’s brother, Matthew, was allegedly part of a terrifying contract-killer plot in Costa Rica, in 2005.
The Costa Rican authorities alleged the Brit has been hired by jeweller Robert Breska to kill his accountant, Robert Cohen, after £5 million was stolen from him.
Matthew was accused of using bogus identification and of hiring a hotel bellboy to kidnap, torture, and murder Cohen.
The bellboy was convicted of Cohen’s kidnapping and murder, but Matthew absconded to the US before being charged.
In 2009, he was arrested by the FBI after appearing in court in Chicago for an unrelated bankruptcy case but a judge ruled he could not be extradited because of insufficient evidence by the Costa Rican authorities.
He was later convicted of trying to escape from jail after attempting to break out from a Chicago prison using 31 feet of rope made from bedsheets, a razor hidden in a mattress, a metal clip that could unlock handcuffs, and a harness.
Reese Witherspoon’s brother – sexual assault
The Hollywood star’s older brother, John Draper Witherspoon, was accused of aggravated burglary and sexual battery in October 2002.
Witherspoon’s neighbour in Nashville, Tennessee, accused him of entering her home through an unlocked door when she was asleep and sexually assaulting her while she was still drowsy.
John, who was battling alcohol issues at the time, was sentenced to probation for the incident.
But Reese, 45, has remained close to her brother and in April she posted a picture of the two of them to celebrate National Siblings Day.
She wrote: “My biggest supporter and cheering section since day one. I love you, Big Bro!”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s stepbrother – petty criminal
Leonardo DiCaprio’s stepbrother, Adam Farrar, has had a long struggle with drug addiction and petty theft.
A former actor himself, Adam’s addiction led to a series of robberies from supermarkets and, in 2016, he went on the run after stealing £800 worth of goods from a store.
He claims his famous step-brother turned his back on him after his arrests, despite the pair being close when they were growing up.
A source told the Sun, “Farrar has struggled before with drugs and although he makes promises to get clean, he gets caught up in something else. Leo is sympathetic but this is the latest in a long line of offences and he’s at the end of his tether.”
In November 2016, Farrar told the Daily Mail, “[DiCaprio and I] were once so close. I loved him and I still do. But we’ve not spoken in a couple of years.”
He added, “I was arrested five or six times for petty theft, shoplifting from supermarkets, trying to support an opiate addiction of half a gram to a gram a day.
“Leo and I never had an argument. But he started surrounding himself with people that didn’t want me around. He’s the biggest star in the world and there’s me, messed up on drugs. I was slowly shut out of his world.”
Although he claimed to be off drugs since 2013, he and partner Charity Moore lost custody of daughter Normandie, 15, in 2014 over their addiction. She is being raised by Leo’s mum and stepdad.
Dave’s brother – murder
Rapper Dave – real name David Omoregie – won the Mercury Prize in 2020 for his debut album Psychodrama and went on to appear on Netflix’s Top Boy.
But his older brother Christopher Omoregie was jailed for the brutal stabbing of Sofyen Belamouadden, in London’s Victoria Station in 2010.
In an attack described as “ferocious and merciless” the 15-year-old schoolboy was kicked, punched and stabbed nine times by a gang of 20 teenagers.
Omoregie, then 18, was convicted of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 18 years.
Londoner Dave caused controversy by including his brother’s voice on the opening track of Psychodrama before rapping that he is “the only person I ever f***ing idolised” and “my hero”.
He also asked the question: “Is it survival of the fittest or is he a killer?” but Sofyen’s mum slammed the track as “disgusting”.
Cheryl’s older brother living in a tent and begging for handouts on the streets
Original posted at www.the-sun.com