When Celebrities Hire Investigators For Family Law

June 1, 2020
Axis Geffen

Article written by Axis Geffen

What do Drake, Anna Nicole Smith, Calvin Klein, and Charlie Sheen have in common? Well, aside from being celebrities, they’ve also run into a domestic (or family law) problem at one time or another for which a private investigator was engaged.

Celebrities, much like everyday family law clients, run into a variety of problems in their personal lives that they don’t always want to see published or shared with the public. However, unlike the majority of everyday clients, celebrities often have people digging up information on them every day and many of their exploits immediately become headline news.

Overall, the concerns of a celebrity are often very similar to an everyday person but where the circumstance differs is that many celebrities have access to a lot more money, they rarely have people around them saying “no, you can’t do that”, and that combo can either lead to a celebrity making some very bad decisions, and sometimes with some very unreputable people or making some good decisions to protect or strengthen their case.

Some of the bad decisions that celebrities have made include (but are not limited to) having their love interest(s) or spouse(s) :

  • followed (by investigators, tipped off paparazzi, or even common fans;
  • spied on (using photos, video, or even by planting electronic bugs);
  • set up (having people hit on their spouse or entrap them into doing something they aren’t supposed to);
  • defamed (by slandering them directly or indirectly on social media);
  • assault (verbally, physically, directly or indirectly abusing them);
  • defrauded (by directly or indirectly stealing money or assets from them);
  • kidnapping or withholding their kids from their spouse;
  • and just about any crime, you can think of.

As you read through the list above, you may note several similarities between what you or a friend has experienced in a relationship, separation or divorce. Believe it or not, the bad decisions people make are often very similar to each other. This is because often those decisions are made from a less-rational, often frustrated and usually highly-emotional place.


Sadly, not everyone has a reliable voice of reason to calm them down or explain the liabilities involved with doing something like putting a GPS on their spouse’s vehicle. Also, there are a lot of people that simply can’t separate their emotional interests from common-sense when their angry or hurt, and there are plenty of less-than-reputable people willing to cash in on that pain and misery.

However, not everyone engages an investigator for a bad reason or with bad intent. Some of the good decisions that celebrities have made include (but are not limited to):

  • conducting background checks or due diligence on partners;
  • having surveillance legally conducted to determine facts;
  • having research conducted on themselves to protect themselves from possible problems that could haunt them in the future;
  • having information from questionable parties verified by legal means;
  • engaging counter-surveillance to protect against unwanted spying;
  • damage control (having a PI monitor their persona’s for potential threats to their brand or their families);
  • having a PI check their vehicle(s) for GPS trackers;
  • employing executive protection to oversee the safety of their loved ones, etc.

It may surprise you to see some of the options on the list above because frankly, the good reasons and results of a PI rarely get the same publicity. It’s just not as big a story to say “Celebrity avoids the potential problem by exercising due diligence and consulting their reputable lawyer”.

At the end of the day, celebrities are people just like you and me, and whether we realize or not, they are subject to the same laws and liabilities that we are. For every story that you read in the paper there are dozens of stories that never made it because celebrities engaged a reputable investigator and an experienced legal team early on.