Child Star Sues Mum

Hollywood legal system claims another parent

by Willow Green |
Published on

Child star** Jena Malone**, star of Kevin Costner's latest baseball pic For The Love of the Game and last year's Stepmom, is suing her mother. With echoes of preteen silent star Jackie Coogan, 14 year-old Jena (pictured below, far left) alleges that her mother has mismanaged her earnings to the tune of $1m, spending her college fund and leaving her with tax debts of $20,000. CNN reports that lawyers acting on behalf of Malone recently filed papers against 36 year-old Debbie Malone at Los Angeles Superior Court, with a court date earmarked for November 24.

The issue of child actors earnings in Hollywood has always been a hot potato, even though the Jackie Coogan case prompted legislation in California back in 1939 requiring that 15% of all earnings be set aside for the actor until they are of age. Coogan, who shot to fame in the Charlie Chaplin hit The Kid, was left penniless thanks to his mother's spending, even though he had earned millions before he reached 18 years of age.

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