While they’re adored by millions, some celebrities had a rough time at school, and had to face bullying from other children and teens.
Discover the stories of a few celebrities who were bullied and decided to open up about the traumatic experiences. From Jennifer Lawrence to Tom Cruise, find out which major A-listers have had to face bullies in primary school, middle school or high school.
“I changed schools a lot when I was in elementary school because some girls were mean,” Lawrence told The Sun. However, the actress managed to move on from the experienced and learned to ignore people who continue to bully as adults:
“Don’t worry about the b*tches. That could be a good motto, because you come across people like that throughout your life.”
For many celebrities who were bullied, the situation went beyond a few incidents. Eva Mendes told The Daily Mail that she was harassed for years. “I became a victim of bullying. I was a gawky, skinny girl with big teeth, and that made me an easy target. I had two bullies and they tortured me all through junior high school”.
The singer and actor also had a rough time in school, because he wasn’t into the same things as most kids. He opened up to Ellen about his experiences: “I grew up in Tennessee, and if you didn’t play football, you were a sissy. I got slurs all the time because I was in music and art. I was an outcast in a lot of ways, but everything that you get picked on for or you feel makes you weird is essentially what’s going to make you sexy as an adult”.
“Getting picked on in school… it sticks with you for life and I don’t think I realized how deeply it affected me until I started to become more successful and suddenly there’s lots of pressure and you have to be a role model,” Gaga explained on The View. Many celebrities who were bullied have gotten involved in the cause, but the singer has her own foundation, the Born This Way Foundation, for empowering youth.
See also: Celebrities Who Were Teen Moms
Even though she went through a lot of negative experiences as a child, Jessica Alba managed to overcome a lot of obstacles. “I was bullied so badly my dad used to have to walk me into school so I didn’t get attacked. I’d eat my lunch in the nurses’ office so I didn’t have to sit with the other girls. Apart from my being mixed race, my parents didn’t have money so I never had the cute clothes or the cool backpack,” Jessica Alba explained to the Daily Mirror.
Many celebrities who were bullied had to face verbal abuse, but Christian Bale was actually physically assaulted repeatedly in school. “I took a beating from several boys for years. They put me through hell, punching and kicking me all the time,” the actor told People magazine.
She managed to find success as a pop star and fashion designer, but Victoria Beckham faced a lot of abuse in school. “They were literally picking things up out of puddles and throwing them at me, and I just stood there, on my own. No one was with me. I didn’t have any friends. People would push me around, say they were going to beat me up after school, chase me. It was miserable, my whole schooling, miserable”, Beckham told Elle magazine.
One of the biggest celebrities who were bullied, Tom Cruise had attended 15 different schools by the age of 14 and faced abuse in most of them. “I’m not the biggest guy, I never liked hitting someone, but I know if I don’t hit that guy hard he’s going to pick on me all year,” the actor told Parade magazine.
Don’t miss: Celebrities Falling on the Red Carpet
“Mad Men” star Christina Hendricks was also a victim of bullying. “I had the worst high school experience ever. I went to a very mean school and I was bullied like crazy”, she told the Daily Mirror.
After being raised in Germany, Sandra Bullock joined the list of celebrities who were bullied when she moved to the US. “I got my ass whooped a little bit… Kids are mean, and the sad thing is that I can still remember the first and last names of every one of those kids who were mean to me,” Bullock told The Huffington Post.