Paternity Suit Aside, At Least Matthew Knowles Isn't as Bad as These Manager Dads

In news that was greeted with yawns outside of Houston - and not exactly shouted from the rooftops here - Matthew Knowles, father of Beyonce and Solange, has been slapped with a paternity suit by an actress in Los Angeles.

This obviously wouldn't be much of a story if not for his famous offspring, and fooling around on your wife isn't quite in the top tier of bad things you can do to your kids, especially when you look at some of the finer specimens in the "manager dad" department.

Joe Simpson

Talented Offspring: Jessica Simpson

Less Talented Offspring: Ashlee Simpson

List of Offenses: Exulting over his daughter's rack; leaking false rumors linking Jessica to other celebrities in order to raise her Q score; more or less treating his daughters like blonde ATMs.

The Verdict: The permatanned Joe looks like the love child of Ryan O'Neal and Shadoe Stevens, which would be perfectly fitting if he'd stayed in his original gig as a Baptist minister. Instead, he continues to negatively impact Jessica's career and personal life with his endless stream of bad advice while negatively impacting the rest of us by continuing to insist Ashlee can sing.

Wilbur Rimes

Talented Offspring: LeAnn

List of Offenses: Sued - along with her former manager - by LeAnn for embezzling roughly $14 million of her earnings; Daddy countersued, calling his little girl a "spoiled brat."

The Verdict: The two settled the lawsuit in 2002, making this the most amicable resolution on the list. We suppose if LeAnn has forgiven him, we should probably follow suit. Besides, you know how much money it costs to raise kids? Wilbur just did what every parent wishes they could and tried to recoup some of those "food and shelter" expenses.

"Papa" John Phillips

Talented Offspring: Mackenzie, Chyna, Bijou

Less Talented Offspring: Jeffrey, Tamerlane

List of Offenses: Allegedly engaged in a ten-year incestuous affair with daughter Mackenzie, this after introducing her to cocaine at the age of ten; also co-wrote "Kokomo."

The Verdict: While he was never Mackenzie's manager, we feel his case deserves inclusion. If even a quarter of what his daughter accuses him of is true, then Papa John makes us wish space travel was commonplace, because we can think of few people more deserving of being blown out of an airlock.

Joe Jackson

Talented Offspring: Rebbie, Jermaine, Michael, Janet

Less Talented Offspring: Tito, LaToya, Randy

List of Offenses: Physical abuse, including whippings and shoving his sons into walls, insisting his children refer to him as "Joseph," allowing the release of the Victory album

The Verdict: Unfortunately, as with many allegations of childhood abuse, the charges against Jackson have been muddied somewhat by backpedaling and contradictory accounts. What can't be denied, however, is the physical evidence. Specifically, would a normal, loving upbringing produce so many plastic surgery disasters?

Murry Wilson

Talented Offspring: Brian, Carl

Less Talented Offspring: Dennis

List of Offenses: Merciless verbal and physical abuse of his sons; selling the Beach Boys' publishing company against the band's wishes (and for a pittance); leaving the 'A' out of his first name.

The Verdict: An unsuccessful songwriter, Murry was the Marv Marinovich of the music industry, physically torturing and remorselessly driving his sons in their music career until they eventually fired him as their manager (in 1964). Even after that, he continued to show up at recording sessions to harangue the band. His death in 1973 came too late to prevent Brian and Dennis from sinking into drug and alcohol dependency.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar