Celebs Who Had Alleged Love Children We Only Found Out About After They Died

The following article contains references to substance misuse, suicide, and sexual assault. 

Being the progeny of the rich and famous undoubtedly comes with innumerable perks and privileges. As we've seen with the rise of the frequently derided "nepo baby," celeb kids are often given unprecedented advantages and access to career opportunities that ordinary people can only dream of. But imagine waking up one day, having led a humble and ordinary life, and suddenly finding out that you are the offspring of someone famous. 

Many celebs have discovered that they have love children, their kids only meeting them decades later as adolescents or adults — and certainly with a huge barrage of questions in tow. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for instance, fathered a love child with his housekeeper and went on to bond with him after his identity was made public. Similarly, Liv Tyler only found out that Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler was her dad when she was 11. However, as wonderful as it may sound to find out one's parent is a Hollywood icon or a rockstar, there is a darker side to unearthing A-list parentage.

In many cases, love children discover their lineage too late, long after their celeb parents have died. Moreover, being someone of uncertain parentage raises questions as to under what circumstances they were conceived and, indeed, why their true lineage was kept a secret. Let's find out which celebs had alleged love children we only found out about after they died.

Hughie Green was the real father of Paula Yates

British TV host Paula Yates rose to fame presenting the music-themed shows "The Big Breakfast" and "The Tube" in the '80s and '90s. But she was just as famous for her personal life as she was for her ostentatious TV personality.

In the last few years of her life, she was embroiled in a love triangle with her husband, Bob Geldof, and her lover, INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. By 1995, she had left a heartbroken Geldof and moved in with Hutchence, per The Irish Independent. But in November 1997, tragedy struck when Hutchence died in an apparent suicide. Just one month later, an already distraught Yates would get the shock of a lifetime when she discovered that the man who raised her wasn't her father; a DNA test concluded that her biological dad was Hughie Green, a British game show host. "I'm horrified," she told The Sun (via the BBC) after hearing the news. "I thought I was at the darkest point in my life – now this." 

Tragically, Green had died a few months earlier, so Yates never got to meet her birth father. As the Irish Times notes, rumors about Green fathering Yates first arose during his funeral, with one observer noting, "within a month Paula lost her future and her past." In 2000, Yates died of a drug overdose, aged 41.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

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Did Frank Sinatra father Ronan Farrow?

It was long believed that Ronan Farrow was the sole biological child of Woody Allen. The controversial filmmaker welcomed Ronan (then named Satchel) with Mia Farrow in 1987. Ronan is estranged from Allen, with whom he has an acrimonious relationship (largely due to Allen's romantic pursuit of Ronan's sister Soon-Yi Previn). However, doubt has arisen as to whether Ronan is actually Allen's child.

Mia's first marriage was to Frank Sinatra. Although the couple split up in 1968, Mia has said that they continued seeing each other decades later. In a 2013 interview with Vanity Fair, she was asked whether Sinatra could be Ronan's father. "Possibly," she replied, adding that Sinatra was the love of her life. "He came back, over and over and over and over," she divulged. "I mean, we never really split up."

Ronan does indeed bear a striking resemblance to Old Blue Eyes. Larry King, who was friends with Sinatra, agreed that he could possibly have fathered Ronan. "The only thing to it is that he has the same color eyes; they're not Woody Allen's eyes," he told New York Daily News. Likewise, Allen said he was uncertain as to Ronan's parentage. "I think he is [mine], but I wouldn't bet my life on it," he told Vulture. However, Sinatra's friends have said it would have been impossible for the ailing singer to conceive a child in the late '80s, per People. Without a DNA test, this one remains a mystery.

Orson Welles was allegedly Michael Lindsay-Hogg's dad

Those who enjoyed the Beatles' "Get Back" docuseries on Disney+ will know the name Michael Lindsay-Hogg. The imposing American filmmaker watching over the band as they struggle to find a collaborative rhythm, Lindsay-Hogg bears a striking resemblance to Orson Welles, namely via his stature and rich voice. It should come as less of a surprise, then, that Welles may be his biological father.

Lindsay-Hogg grew up believing that his father was British aristocrat Edward Lindsay-Hogg, per The Spectator. However, he soon learnt that his mom, the actor Geraldine Fitzgerald, worked with Orson Welles around the time of his conception. Although Fitzgerald denied that she had an affair with the esteemed director, Lindsay-Hogg later began a relationship with the designer Gloria Vanderbilt, who told him that Welles was indeed his father (Fitzgerald had apparently confessed the truth to her years earlier). As The New York Times notes, Lindsay-Hogg first met Welles as a teenager and worked with him in the theater. He would flit in and out of his life, his discreet yet apparent presence confusing the teen.

Subsequently, Lindsay-Hogg decided to have a DNA test, per The Guardian. The news was welcomed by Welles' daughter, Chris Welles Feder, who said that she had long suspected that Lindsay-Hogg is her half-brother, as the two often played together as children. "If it does turn out that Michael is my half-brother, it would be delightful," she said. According to Geni, the results of the DNA test were inconclusive.

Clark Gable allegedly assaulted and impregnated Loretta Young

Seen as a debonair charmer throughout his career in the golden age of Hollywood, Clark Gable was adored by his legions of fans. But few knew that Gable allegedly harbored a dark side. In 1935, actor Loretta Young became pregnant with Clark Gable's child when filming the movie "The Call of the Wild," per The Telegraph. Unmarried and aged just 22, Young concocted an elaborate ruse in order to keep her baby. She claimed that she was unwell and needed to recuperate for several months; a year after the birth of her daughter, Judy Lewis, Young "adopted" her. But there was just one problem: Lewis looked a great deal like Gable. It was later established that Lewis was indeed Gable's child, something that remained a secret throughout the star's lifetime.

Lewis was 15 when she first met her father. "He took my face in his hands and kissed me on the forehead," she told The Telegraph. "I had no idea why he was showing me so much affection... As I realized later, he was saying goodbye. I never saw him again."

However, there is doubt as to whether Lewis was conceived through a consensual encounter. In 1998, Young heard the term "date rape" on "Larry King Live" and asked her daughter-in-law what it meant, per BuzzFeed News. After learning its meaning, Young alleged that Gable had date raped her. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Heath Ledger allegedly fathered a child when he was 17

Numerous revelations have come out about Heath Ledger since his untimely death in 2008. Among these is the claim that he may have fathered a love child. Although "The Dark Knight" star became a dad at a young age, welcoming daughter Matilda when he was 25, there are claims that he may have had another child when he was just 17.

In March 2008, two months after Heath died, his uncle, Haydn Ledger, claimed that the late star had a secret 11-year-old daughter. This was the supposed result of Heath's affair with a 25-year-old woman when he was still in school, per The Sydney Morning Herald. "There is a very real possibility that Heath was the father," Haydn claimed. He also told People that rumors of a love child had been floating around for years. The allegations arose following a dispute over the late star's estate, with Heath's ex-partner, Michelle Williams, contesting the will he devised years before the birth of the couple's daughter. 

The mother of Heath's alleged love child, who chose to remain anonymous, told the Daily Mail that she did not want her daughter to have a DNA test. She also refused to confirm or deny whether the actor could be the father of her child. "I'm not answering anything," she said. "I think it's very, very rude that I'm being posed all of this. I really do. I can't talk about anything."

Margot Fonteyn said she miscarried Rudolf Nureyev's child

Ballet icons Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev were frequent dance partners throughout the 1960s. English ballerina Fonteyn was renowned for her work within The Royal Ballet, while the charismatic Nureyev found fame in his native Soviet Union before defecting in 1961, per Time

Fonteyn apparently told fellow ballerinas that she not only slept with her dance partner, but became pregnant with his child. In 2005, over a decade after both dancers' deaths, fellow ballerina Avril Bergen claimed in a "South Bank Show" documentary (via Contact Music) that she heard Fonteyn and Nureyev discussing the loss of their love child. "[Margot] and Nureyev had sex together a few times," Bergen said. "Unfortunately she lost their baby." Meanwhile, the documentary's director, Tony Palmer, claimed that Nureyev was undoubtedly the love of Fonteyn's life and they both wanted children.

However, others have said it was unlikely that Nureyev had sex with Fonteyn, or fathered the child she sadly lost. Although Nureyev was bisexual, he is generally believed to have preferred relationships with men, per The New Yorker. The outlet notes that while there had long been rumors about Nureyev having an intimate dalliance with Fonteyn, any affair was more likely to be a fantasy concocted by a besotted Fonteyn. "I don't think he awakened in her any sexual thing," explained choreographer Sir Frederick Ashton, who was director of The Royal Ballet in the '60s, per Express. "You always love the person you dance with for that moment."

Jimi Hendrix allegedly had two love children

Throughout his all too brief lifetime, Jimi Hendrix was believed to have been childless. However, following his untimely death in 1970, two individuals came forward claiming to be his love children. In 1972, Diane Carpenter, one of Hendrix's former lovers, claimed that the iconic guitarist was the father of her 4-year-old daughter, Tamika Laurice James, as Rolling Stone reports. When confronted by Carpenter, Hendrix neither confirmed nor denied that he was Tamika's father, but his attempts to undergo DNA testing were thwarted by his frequent touring commitments. Following Hendrix's death, Carpenter claimed that her daughter was the rightful heir to the musician's estate, which was worth $400,000 (around $2.8 million in 2023). However, the absence of a DNA test meant that the estate went entirely to Hendrix's estranged father.

Similarly, in 1994, a Swedish man purported to be the son of Hendrix. According to a Rolling Stone report, James Henrik Daniel Sundquist was born a year before Hendrix died, the result of a supposed affair between his mom, Eva Sundquist, and the guitarist when he was touring Sweden. Subsequently, he sued the Hendrix estate after a Swedish court determined that he was the musician's biological son (he did not, however, undergo DNA testing). "I just feel I've been treated unfairly," James, who later changed his name to Hendrix Jr., said. "I want people to know that I am not a fake." According to Seattle Pi, neither of Hendrix's alleged love children ended up inheriting any money from his estate.

John Lennon allegedly fathered a child in Germany

Since John Lennon's tragic passing in 1980, there has been much speculation and intrigue surrounding the late Beatle's private life. The musician's famous offspring are Julian and Sean Lennon, born to his wives Cynthia and Yoko Ono respectively. Both of his sons have followed their father's footsteps into the realm of music, with Sean having collaborated with everyone from Miley Cyrus to Lana Del Rey. But there are claims that he also spawned a secret John Lennon progeny.

There has long been a connection between the Beatles and Germany, where the band first made their mark on the international stage at the turn of the '60s, per the Los Angeles Times. Subsequently, it's been rumored that John fathered a daughter when the Beatles returned to Germany years later, this time as world renowned superstars. 

In 1998, the BBC reported that an anonymous German woman, who was born in Hamburg in 1965, had "John Winston Lennon" named as her father on her birth certificate. The document also listed the father's occupation as a musician. The Beatle's uncle, Charlie, claimed that the woman was indeed John's love child and that his nephew often visited her when she was a youngster. "She reckons she does remember him a little – but it is very little," Charlie said. "She has no recollection of him as a Beatle." However, little else is known about this alleged mystery love child, only adding to the continuing enigma surrounding the late musician's life.

Jack Worthington may be JFK's love child

John F. Kennedy wasn't exactly known as a faithful husband. Throughout his lifetime, rumor had it he had affairs with numerous women. Subsequently, he allegedly fathered a secret love child, the identity of whom wasn't made public until 45 years after he died.

In 2008, Vanity Fair did a profile on Jack Worthington, who purported to be the son of JFK. Jack first learnt of his alleged lineage when his father began suffering from a genetic lung issue, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. Fearful that he may have inherited the condition, Jack asked his mom, Mary Evelyn Worthington, if he should get tested; she told him he needn't worry because his real father was John F. Kennedy. According to Jack, through supposed family ties to Lyndon B. Johnson, Mary Evelyn allegedly met Kennedy when he was campaigning in the early '60s. "I thought it was always odd," Jack reflected. "She saved a Life magazine with [a cover story on Kennedy's] inauguration ball. And she saved a cover of Look with J.F.K.'s visage." The outlet notes that Jack does bear an apparent resemblance to the late president.

Under the supervision of Vanity Fair, he agreed to undergo DNA testing. However, the results were inconclusive, attributable to the use of a 50-year-old hair follicle. In a later interview with ABC News, Jack said that he did not want to undergo further DNA testing, but was standing by his mom's claims that JFK is his father.