Eric Roberts Took Credit for His Daughter Emma’s Success in Hollywood, and Their Relationship Has Never Recovered

Thu Mar 17 2022

Sometimes, Hollywood serves up several members of Hollywood’s elite from the same family line. Family legacies reign supreme in the entertainment business, especially because it’s an industry based on people knowing other people. It appears that the Roberts family – Eric, Julia, and Emma – is no exception. Yet still, their stories make us think about their climbs to the top.

Throughout history, women have taken steps back while the men around them take credit for their achievements. Unfortunately, in this family, there’s one person who is trying to take credit for the successes of the women around him – and it’s not looking good for him at all.

Was Eric Roberts Always a Family Man?

In short, he tried to seem like one, even though he wasn’t, that’s for sure. Actor Eric Roberts showed up for his daughter while she was growing up, and he certainly tried to take credit when she became something more than just a celebrity’s daughter. She was building her career in entertainment.

Eric Roberts broke onto the scene in a few breakout roles in the 1970s and 1980s. He started off hot, and made some big moves early in his career that he thought would follow him for generations to come. Well, that’s not quite how things ended up going.

Eric Roberts and His Ex, Kelly Cunningham, Welcomed Their Daughter Emma to the World

Emma never knew a life with her parents together. Eric Roberts and Kelly Cunningham divorced when Emma was just nine months old. She infrequently experienced both of her parents together, but quickly gained step family into her life, making her feel extra loved.

Emma’s parents were ultimately in a long term relationship that didn’t pan out, though their story might not be the most unique. Cunningham would move on to marry a bassist named Henri Perret, also known as Kelly Nickels. Through them, Emma gained a younger sibling.

Aunt Julia Has Always Been Around

Emma’s had someone who shows up for her consistently, and she found that through her aunt Julia. Aunt Julia has always been in the limelight, not long after her breakout role in Mystic Pizza blasted her off into a successful life in Hollywood.

When Emma was little, she was able to hang out and hide on set with her dad, but she really enjoyed going with her aunt Julia to her workplace. Something about seeing a woman she looked up to in a role she felt moved by, really resonated with her.

Eric’s Earliest Days in Entertainment

Eric Roberts had a breakout role that made all of the wheels turn for him. He, at one point, was seen to be Hollywood’s leading man. Everyone thought he was heading for super stardom, especially because he was working so much more than anyone else at the time.

He started off hot and fast, though he had no problem with burnout, it seems. He worked on a whopping number of films in a single year, and his number of film and television credits is absolutely astounding. Can you guess the magic number?

His Biggest Year Yet

Eric Roberts stole the show when he appeared in a whopping 74 films in a single year. That year, 2017, was filled with appearances in television shows and on the silver screen alike, primarily making appearances in assorted Lifetime films, usually ones that come in a series.

After his appearances in King of the Gypsies and Raggedy Man, there was an influx of opportunity available to the actor. However, he never quite reached the same level of success that his baby sister, Julia, had reached. He would live to resent her for this.

What Was Once a Close Sibling Relationship, Shifted Drastically

Sibling dynamics are always quite tricky to navigate, at least in some (ok, most) families. When it came to the relationship between Julia Roberts and her big brother Eric, things had gone relatively smoothly for a while. That is, until they had a difference in opinions.

When Eric’s relationship with Kelly Cunningham came to a close, custody proceedings with his ex caused a rift in his sibling relationship. Turns out, his sister Julia did not take his side in his custody battle. Instead, she sided with his ex Cunningham, and never managed to move past it.

He Managed to Remarry and Rebuild a Family

Eric Roberts met Eliza, an actress who appeared in films like National Lampoon’s Animal House, while sitting next to each other on a plane. Who would have thought that chance meeting would lead to a 20-plus year relationship? Probably not this former playboy.

Upon learning Roberts was an actor, Eliza asked if he had a favorite screenwriter, one he looked up to the most. Roberts replied that his favorite was David Rayfiel. Little did he know, Rayfiel was Eliza’s father. It seemed like divine intervention.

Enter, Emma Roberts

Little Emma Roberts rose to stardom through her appearances on Nickelodeon, a kids television network. It was only a matter of time before she ended up in show business, for several reasons. Not only was her father in the industry, but her grandmother was an acting coach.

Her father’s mother, acting coach Betty Lou Bredemus, as well as her aunts, Julia Roberts and Lisa Roberts Gillan, all encouraged her path into the world of acting. She used to spend a lot of her free time on set with her aunt Julia, so she had an inside look at the world of entertainment.

Emma’s Big Break

Emma’s big break into entertainment was actually beyond the Nickelodeon stage. She first appeared in the 2001 film Blow, playing Kristina Jung, the daughter of a cocaine smuggler, George Jung, as portrayed by Johnny Depp. It was her first-ever audition.

She was just nine years old when she portrayed Jung, and that soon launched her career. She appeared later that year in a 10-minute short bigLove, as well as an uncredited extra in her aunt’s production, American Sweethearts. This was just the beginning.

Life’s Better Unfabulous

After appearing in 2002’s Grand Champion, where Roberts played the main character’s younger sister, she finally landed a starring role for herself. In 2004, she began playing Addie Singer, a teenager with musical talents and a great support system around her.

Her time on Unfabulous would help her gain notoriety as an actress, not just a kid with connections in the entertainment industry. This family-friendly sitcom won several Teen Choice Awards and Young Artist’s Awards. Good for them!

She Gained Notoreity in Aquamarine

Though her role in Aquamarine wasn’t her first film role, it was one of the first where she was a main part of the storyline as a whole. She played Claire Brown, an orphan who is horrified of the water despite growing up by the sea, alongside singer JoJo and actress Sarah Paxton.

Emma and JoJo’s character, Hailey, are best friends who live in Baybridge, near Tampa, Florida. They are just soaking up their last days of summer, as well as their last days together before Hailey moves to Australia for her mom’s job, when they find a mermaid named Aquamarine at a local pool.

She Was a Leading Force in Scream Queens

After her time on Unfabulous came to a close, she wanted to do whatever she could to move away from the “tween” genre. Soon, she broke into other markets in her roles in films like It’s Kind of a Funny Story, Scream 4, and We’re the Millers.

In 2015, Roberts took on the role of Chanel Oberlin, the leader of a group filled with Chanels. I remember reading the script for the first time and I was literally laughing out loud. I had to put the script down, Roberts said of the show when discussing with the press.

Before Scream Queens, She Soared as a Recording Artist

Her character on Unfabulous, Addie Singer, was a talented songwriter and guitar player. She did well as a musician on her own as well, accomplishing enough to be able to record singles for feature films. She appeared on the soundtrack for Ice Princess.

Her next single appeared in a film she was actually in, Aquamarine. Though acting was her forte, Roberts always knew that she could fall back on a career in music. She had the talent and was able to put it to the test in case she wasn’t able to succeed otherwise.

Emma Was Accused of Domestic Abuse Charges

Emma Roberts has been accused of domestic abuse on more than one occasion against her romantic partners. She’s had the police called against her, with the initial charges coming to light in 2013. Her accusing partner was Evan Peters, whom she dated on and off for years.

No one ever expects a gorgeous young couple like them to be involved in a dispute such as this, but then again, it just goes to show that domestic violence has many faces. We truly never know what is going on behind closed doors. Hopefully, Roberts learned an important lesson from this.

Her Father Didn’t Skip a Beat in Taking Credit for Her Accomplishments

Eric Roberts wasn’t unlike any other man that is used to riding on the coattails of the women around him. Though he may have broken into entertainment first, he certainly is not the most successful of the family members. As it turned out, though, he wanted to take credit for it.

“If it wasn’t for me, there would be no Julia Roberts and no Emma Roberts as celebrities, as actresses, and I’m very proud of that,” he boldly proclaimed. “When Julia first came to New York, I went into William Morris and I said, ‘Which one of you is going to sign my sister Julia?’ “

Can You Guess What She’s Worth These Days?

Believe it or not, despite this cozy appearance in her fluffy pink bathrobe out in public, she’s got an estimated net worth of over $25 million. She might not typically hold herself to these standards, but it seems the paparazzi caught her when she wasn’t prim and proper.

She deserves to be cozy as much as the next guy. We really can’t blame her for wanting to be as cozy as she can get. She’s constantly in the limelight, so it’s only natural to want a break from it every now and then. If you’re worth $25 million, you can dress however you want.

Now, She’s a Mom Herself

Now, the actress and singer is a mom herself. She shared her pregnancy announcement with the world via a Vogue spread. She said she’s always wanted to be a mom.  “Ever since I was little, I wanted to have a baby, in theory. When I was a kid, I begged my mom to have another baby. The day she brought my sister home from the hospital, I remember holding her, wanting to dress and play with her.”

After Emma announced her pregnancy, she got into a public spat with her mother on social media. Her mother was undersandingly upset by Emma sharing the pregnancy news with world before sharing the information with her own mother. In that brief time, Emma had blocked her own mother on Instagram.

Eric Tried to Take His Family Down With Him

In a year totaling more film credits than any human would ever realistically be able to do (without having a mental breakdown, of course), Eric Roberts found himself struggling professionally and personally. His marriage wasn’t in its best place and he had been stressed beyond belief between projects.

While at one of his lowest points in life, he managed to try and sully his sister’s and daughter’s names. He made sure to speak badly of both of them while he was attempting to make himself look good; after his attempt to take credit for his daughter’s success, their relationship never recovered.

Celebrity Rehab

Eric Roberts found himself on the show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Dr. Drew Pinsky ran a reality show out of a rehab center in Los Angeles, treating some of Hollywood’s elite for their substance abuse problems and doing it for the world to see.

He was charged several times for cocaine possession and domestic abuse charges. Despite not having confirmation of what he was checked in for, he appears to need help rehabilitating both behaviors and substance usage issues he had been struggling with.

Aunt Julia and Little Emma Are Still Close as Ever

Julia Roberts and her niece, Emma, have a special relationship, made even stronger by Hollywood’s ties. Emma and Julia love each other so much that they didn’t mind how frequently they bump into one another on set. They’re lifelong besties by blood, and they get to work together too.

These two have always had a special bond. Julia had taken sides with her brother’s baby mama during custody proceedings over Emma, so aunt Julia always felt an extra sense of responsibility for her niece. This helped build a relationship that would never be tarnished.

The Siblings Reconnected

After years of a strained relationship, Eric and Julia were relatively estranged from each other. They had gone through consistent rifts that would often keep Eric from being able to not appear like a dangerous figure that would be willing to harm his sister.

The Roberts siblings were broken up when their parents were divorced. Upon their parents break up, Julia and their sister lived in Smyrna, Georgia, with their mother while Eric lived in Atlanta with their father. After years of separation combined with years of estrangement in adult life, they seemed to be able to move past it.

Eric Gets Busted

Eric Roberts has notoriously had several charges brought against him. Many of them were substance abuse charges, surrounded around possession, public intoxication, and so on. Unfortunately, his substance abuse issues often got in the way of how he interacted with the people in his life.

Eric was arrested several times throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and just when we thought he was done being such a rowdy man, he would go and one-up himself. He’d seemingly been working on himself for the last decade – he could still use an attitude adjustment it seems, though.

Eric and Julia’s Sibling Name-checked Them in Her Suicide Note

The Roberts siblings suffered loss together. In fact, one estranged sibling even decided to name her half siblings in the note she left when she chose to take her life. Specifically, sister Nancy Motes left seperate suicide notes labeled to three different groups – one of which included her sister specifically.

She wrote, “My mother and so-called ‘siblings’ get nothing but the memory of knowing that they are the ones responsible for driving me into the deepest depression I’ve ever been in.” Wow, that’s certainly a lot to chew on, wouldn’t you say?