I find it fascinating to hear about celebrity relatives who are down on their luck. It just goes to show that there are all types in this world when some of the richest and most successful are closely related to people who end up barely scraping by or on the wrong side of the law. It also illustrates that not everyone is willing to share their wealth, and in many cases there are good reasons for that. There’s Mark Wahlberg’s sister, who spent time in jail last year for shooting at her boyfriend, Tobey Maguire’s grandfather, who relies on Social Security, and Woody Harrelson’s dad, who died in prison where he was serving two life sentences for murder.
Compared to those examples, this one is relatively mild. 18 year-old Macy Clinton*, the niece of former president Bill Clinton, is using food stamps to get by after she lost her job at Old Navy. Macy is the daughter of Bill’s troubled brother, Roger, who made headlines for a 1985 cocaine conviction. Roger hasn’t seen Macy since she was 8. He promised to attend her graduation last year but was a no-show. He’s also not giving her any support at all despite promising to set up a $20,000 trust fund for her. Ironically, Macy’s uncle may have reduced the amount of time she’s eligible for assistance by passing the welfare reform act 14 years ago. I doubt he thought that any of his relatives would ever have to rely on it.
They last met when she was 8, but they’ve spoken many times on the phone – the last time when he agreed to come to Gaineboro, Tenn, to see her receive her diploma at Jackson County High School.
Macy’s bitter disappointment over his no-show made the teen determined to make it on her own and work and save for cosmetology school.
“I got a job at Old Navy and an apartment of my own with a rommate,” she said. “I hoped I wouldn’t have to ask my dad for anything again.”
But after Christmas, Old Navy cut Macy’s hours back.
“I suddenly found myself with $300 in bills, plus payments for rent, car insurance and phone,” she said. “I put it off as long as I could – but by February, I had no choice but to apply for food stamps.
Macy said she called her dad, leaving a message saying she desperately needed his help.
“But he never called me back,” she said, brushing back tears.
Macy’s mom Martha said that if Roger had kept another promise, Macy would be starting out in life on solid ground.
“Years ago Roger agreed to set up a trust fund and fund it every year so that when Macy turned 18 she would have a nest egg of around $20,000,” Martha told the Enquirer.
“But since she turned 18, we’ve heard nothing about it.”
[From The National Enquirer, print edition, April 19, 2010]
This is just a case of a young person out of a job and is sadly all too common lately. It sounds like she’s trying her best and isn’t on any substances, although it’s hard to tell. Macy’s predicament sounds like an honest one and doesn’t compare to some of the massive self-inflicted problems of other celebrity relatives. There’s another Presidential niece, Jeb Bush’s daughter Noelle, who had a crack addiction and was busted for a fake prescription. There’s also Al Gore’s son, who was busted for pot and pill possession in two separate traffic violation incidents. Cracked.com has a list of the top deadbeat celebrity relatives and at number one is a Kennedy relation, Michael Skakel, who killed a girl when he was in his teens and then fled the country, escaping prosecution for 27 years.
Macy’s dad Roger is also on Cracked’s list. They note that Time reported that Roger, who served a year in federal prison for a 1985 cocaine conviction and was later pardoned by his brother, was once suspected of conspiring with the mafia. “According to TIME, the family of a Gambino crime family soldier handed a $50,000 check to one of Roger’s companies in 1999, just months after Roger sought leniency from the U.S. Parole Commission for the mobster, who was serving a 45-year sentence for heroin trafficking. That’s probably just a coincidence, though.” Maybe Macy is better off relying on food stamps than asking her dad for help until she can get back on her feet. She probably doesn’t have a relationship with her other famous relatives and it’s doubtful she’ll get an invite to her cousin Chelsea’s lavish wedding.
*Note: Macy’s birth year makes her at least 19, but the Enquirer says she’s 18.