These tests have hugely benefited both A-listers and regular people who have very little to do with stardom.
Today, thanks to the easy availability of at-home DNA testing kits, checking for paternity has become more precise, discreet, and hassle-free than ever before. Let’s look at 10 celebrities who were taken to court and made to take a paternity test by ex-lovers or money mongers.
1. Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy, one of the most distinguished comic stars, was entangled in a paternity suit after his short-lived relationship with former Spice Girl, Melanie Brown. They ended up in court when she claimed Murphy was the father of her daughter, Iris—and a well-timed DNA paternity test confirmed the same.
Despite his acknowledgment of fatherhood, Murphy has sought little interest in building a bond with his child and is yet to contact her. However, he still honors his responsibilities as her biological father and supports her financially. At the time of her birth, Murphy already had 7 children, and Iris was his 8th one.
2. Sean Astin
The beloved actor you might remember from Lord of the Rings, The Goonies, and Stranger Things had to take a DNA test, but not because someone claimed he was the father of their child. Instead, he wanted to figure out who was his own father. Astin's mother, late actress Patty Duke, had three partners who could potentially be his father.
In order to get to the bottom of it, Astin took a DNA test to determine the identity of his dad. "If you want to know who I am, John Astin is my father, Michael Tell is my biological father," the actor told People Magazine after learning the truth.
3. Keanu Reeves
Another celebrity caught in the courtroom wrangle for a paternity test is Keanu Reeves, famously known for starring in The Matrix. Even though Reeves made it clear that he’d never met Karen Sala, she continued to claim that he fathered a child with her. Shortly after that, he consented to the paternity test that made it clear he wasn’t the father.
But that didn’t stop Karen Sala. She not only labeled the test flawed but insisted that Reeves take a 2nd test. Over the years, she made claims of $3 million and $150,000 for spousal and child support.
4. Chris Rock
Chris Rock, the American comedian and actor, was a victim of false paternity claims by Georgia-based former actress Kali Bowyer. A DNA test ruled out Rock as the father of her 13-year-old child, and her fabricated story fell apart.
Following this untoward event, Chris Rock and his wife asked the attorney to go ahead with all legal remedies against her. They also apologized to her son for being exposed to all the media chaos—the last thing a 13-year-old would want.
Such fraud cases seem to make an appearance time and again for celebrities. If you find yourself in a similar predicament and don’t have a bloated budget, you can always opt for some of the cheapest DNA testing kits.
5. Kourtney Kardashian
In Kourtney’s case, the roles are slightly reversed. A paternity case has been filed on her by Michael Girgenti, a model she met during a photoshoot. He insisted that he was the biological father of her son, Mason Disick. Though the paternity test proved otherwise, he still harbors doubts about the accuracy of the test and believes that it had been fixed.
You can make sure your results are as accurate as possible by buying a DNA kit from a reputable company such as MyHeritage. With its DNA collection kit, you’ll get effective results in 3-4 weeks. Its strength lies in breaking down how closely you’re related to people in its expansive database. As far as paternity checks go, MyHeritage DNA is famed for its high accuracy. For all we know, Michael Girgenti would’ve probably been more convinced if he’d taken one of these paternity tests.
6. Justin Bieber
Back in 2011, when Justin Bieber had just started to make a name for himself, a woman named Mariah Yeater claimed that he fathered her 3-month-old child. She slapped a paternity lawsuit on him despite the pop sensation publicly voicing he’d never seen her. The DNA paternity test confirmed he wasn’t the father, and he later wrote a song titled Maria that condemned her defamatory claims.
Shortly following the paternity test, the news reported that Yeater had fabricated the whole story to make some quick cash. This was revealed by her ex-lover Robert Powell, who also happened to be in jail at the time.
7. Jude Law
Jude Law and Samantha Burke had a brief fling on the set of Sherlock Holmes in 2008. Their daughter Sophia was born shortly after that, and DNA tests established evidence that he was the father. He wanted to remain involved in the child’s life, and to that end, he meets his daughter once a year and is looking to support her financially until she turns 18.
Paternity tests aside, these days, you can go even further and trace your roots with DNA mapping sites and genealogy software. For example, software like AncestryDNA has over 6 million subscribers, which means the process of building a detailed family tree will not be as complicated as it was in kindergarten.
8. Steve Jobs
One of the greatest visionaries of our time, Steve Jobs, had a child with his high school sweetheart, Chris-Ann Brennan. However, Steve Jobs refused to believe he was the child’s father, and he repeatedly claimed he was infertile. Eventually, he conceded to the paternity test, and it confirmed that he was the father.
Jobs chose to remain uninvolved in the early days of his daughter’s childhood. They met only 8 years later in 1986 and started spending more time together.
A few years ago, Jay-Z came into the limelight after Rymir Satterthwaite claimed he was Jay-Z's illegitimate son. However, the rapper consistently denied Rymir’s claims, and it eventually snowballed into a prolonged paternity suit. To this day, Jay Z has refused to take the paternity test, and the case is being settled outside of court.
Satterthwaite said that he wouldn’t give up until Jay Z takes a paternity test and tells the world the truth. The case was pushed back into the court and went into trial in Philadelphia only recently. But Rymir may not be Jay-Z's only love child. There have been rumors that the rapper also has a secret daughter who lives in a house he bought for her in Maryland.
10. Michael Jordan
In a desperate attempt to cash in on his fame, Pamela Smith slapped a paternity case on NBA star Michael Jordan. She also pushed for a DNA test and child support. According to her, they met in the late 80s, but Jordan had no recollection of it.
The judge called her bluff when it came to the fore that she’d hired a publicist even before getting herself a lawyer. Following this revelation, the suit was thrown out of court, and Smith was ordered to pay Jordan’s legal bills.
Whether or not they turn out to be biological parents of the children in question, celebs frequently make their way into gossip columns when paternity cases go public. While some people resort to fraudulent methods to earn quick cash, like in the case of Michael Jordan, others are genuinely exercising their rights and ensuring their children get adequate support.
As we move away from the world of celebrities, we realize that unlike them, we have the choice to be discreet and as far away as possible from the scrutinizing public eye. All you need is an at-home DNA testing kit—a swift and affordable solution for confirming paternity. With these tests, you can get your DNA makeup checked, and the best part is that nobody has to know.