17 Famous Men Who “Dated” Teens And Got Away With It
Musical legend Prince began an allegedly platonic relationship with Mayte Garcia when she was only 16. After her mom slipped him a tape of her belly dancing, he invited her backstage and later back to his hotel room. Both parties denied having a sexual relationship until she was 19, but Prince later claimed he knew she’d be his wife upon meeting her, and Mayte says that “He never denied that the occasional impure thought crossed his mind, but he was too wise and decent to take advantage of a 16-year-old girl.”
While they at first corresponded from afar, Prince became her legal guardian when she was 17. She then moved in with him and danced on his tour. At 19, Mayte says that Prince told her it was time to go on birth control, and they began a sexual relationship. The two wed in 1996, when Mayte was 22, and broke up in 2000.
Eighties star Rick Springfield (the singer of “Jessie’s Girl”) dated Linda Blair (the kid from The Exorcist) when he was 25 and she was only 15. In fact, he proudly wrote about the fact in his autobiography: “I am her first lover, and she is an enthusiastic learner… We share a love of dogs and sex —separately, not in combination. Most of the time, we don’t leave the apartment. She’s invited to premieres and Hollywood parties, and we go as a couple, blindly and innocently to the media slaughter. We’re actually really shocked by the incensed articles in both teen and regular press about our affair. Either we have zero understanding of what makes the press tick, or it’s a really slow month for news.”
“Great Balls of Fire” singer Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin once removed (so the daughter of his cousin) Myra Gale Brown in 1957, when he was 22. A year later, at 14, Brown had already given birth to their first child (who died when Brown was only 17). After 13 years of marriage, the cousins divorced in 1970. Brown, then 26, accused Lewis of “every type of physical and mental abuse imaginable.”
Comedian Dane Cook began dating his now-fiancée Kelsi Taylor when she was around 17* and he was around 45. They had met at a game night at his house and started up a friendship while Taylor was still a minor, which later became a romantic relationship.
Michael Jackson met Brooke Shields when she was 13 and he was 20. He claimed they were dating and later called Shields “one of the loves of my life,” though Shields has denied that their relationship was ever romantic.
Brad Pitt was reportedly 27 when he first began dating 17-year-old Juliette Lewis, though they had met on the set of Too Young to Die? when Lewis was only 16. The two dated for three years.
Pitt previously dated Christina Applegate from 1988–1989, when he was in his mid-20s and she was only 17. He’d also reportedly dated Shalane McCall when she was around 15/16 and he was in his mid-20s.
R&B singer Michel’le was only 17 when she began a relationship with Dr. Dre (who was almost six years older than her). They later got married and had a child, though they eventually split and Michel’le accused Dre of beating her so badly that she had to get plastic surgery on her nose to repair the damage.
The Knack frontman Doug Fieger wrote “My Sharona” about then-teenager Sharona Alperin. According to Alperin, she was “about 16 or 17” when she met the singer, who was nine years older than her. Within two months, he’d confessed his love for her, though she states they didn’t get together until a year later because she was dating someone else at the time. Fieger and Alperin then dated for four years.
The song features lyrics such as “I always get it up, for the touch of the younger kind” — when asked about her reaction to the lyrics years later, Alperin said, “I don’t know how I ever felt. I was certainly caught up in the middle of it, it wasn’t as scandalous and salacious as it would be interpreted now. Now you can’t really say those things, but then he was basically saying he got hot for younger girls — specifically me.”
The Fifth Element director Luc Besson was 29 when he met 12-year-old Maïwenn Le Besco. The two allegedly began a romantic relationship when she was 15, and by 16, the two were married and expecting a child. Léon (starring a young Natalie Portman as a 12-year-old with a romantic interest in an older man) was apparently based on this relationship. The two split a few years later.
Multiple women have alleged that they slept with David Bowie when they were teenagers and he was an adult, including Lori Mattix, who has said she had sex with Bowie at 15 (and had a threesome with fellow “baby groupie” and 15-year-old Sable Starr that same night). Bowie had first propositioned her when she was 14.
Speaking of Starr — she had previously slept with Spirit guitarist Randy California when she was only 12.
And at 13, she began a sexual relationship with 23-year-old Iggy Pop, which Iggy sang about in the song “Look Away,” saying, “I slept with Sable when she was 13, her parents were too rich to do anything.”
Marvin Gaye met his second wife Jan when she was only 17 — they immediately started up a relationship, despite the fact that he was 34. There is also speculation that the mother of his first son was not his first wife, Anna Gordy, but actually her 15-year-old niece Denise.
Chuck Berry was 33 years old when he was arrested for transporting 14-year-old Janice Escalanti for “immoral purposes” in 1959 — she alleged that he had raped her 14 times while she traveled with him over two weeks. While his initial trial suffered from racism, causing a retrial (where he was again convicted), Berry himself admitted to transporting the teenager over state lines (though he said he thought she was in her 20s) and of taking photos of Escalanti and sharing hotel rooms with her, but denied any sexual interactions happened.
Cher has said that she and Warren Beatty dated after he almost hit her with his car when she was only 16 and he was in his mid-20s.
Shortly after, still 16, she met Sonny (who was a decade older than her) and moved in with him, though their relationship reportedly took a while to turn romantic. By the time Cher was 18, though, they were married and pregnant.
And finally, singer Justin Gaston dated Miley Cyrus when she was only 15 and he was 20. Though Justin initially denied they were dating, Cyrus confirmed it (though stopped short of confirming they were “in a relationship”). The two broke up when Cyrus was 16, after she left to film The Last Song.