The rise of TikTok has led to the rise of TikTok influencers, and one of the most popular is Addison Rae.
With 88.7 million TikTok followers and 39.9 million Instagram followers, it’s safe to say that 21-year-old Addison Rae is on top of the social media game. Unfortunately, her family has been making more headlines than her recently, specifically for her father’s alleged affair and her mother’s involvement with a famous rapper.
A Quick Breakdown of the Drama
Though Addison’s popularity has only increased throughout the past few years, her family life seems to be a mess and has been troublesome long before she became famous.
Addison has been open about how her father, Monty Lopez, was absent for a few years in her early childhood, leading her to refer to her mother, Sheri Easterling, as a “single mom.” Addison has also been vocal about how close she is with her mom, as she said in an appearance on Ellen in September 2020, “Being able to talk about [different things] with my mom too is so fun. And we definitely have awkward conversations, like, people are like, ‘How are you guys so close?’ And I’m just like, ‘It wasn’t always like that! We didn’t always know everything.’ Obviously because, like, moms and daughters there are boundaries and like things you don’t tell your mom, but now I’m like telling her everything.”
Monty and Sheri later reconciled, leading to the birth of Addison’s two younger brothers, Enzo, 14, and Lucas, 8. Addison’s family joined in on her fame during her Snapchat series, Addison Rae Goes Home, which documented Addison visiting her hometown in Louisiana after achieving viral fame. Similar to the D'Amelio sisters, Addison’s family gained followers from her fame.
This fame apparently went to her father’s head, as he made headlines in July 2022 for an alleged affair with 25-year-old influencer Renée Ash. Renée detailed the affair with In Touch Weekly, where she said, in part, “I know what happened, everyone around me knows the truth of what happened and if they wanted to talk to me, great. I don’t want to involve myself in their lives with all these false ideas any more than what they have.”
Renée said the relationship began in February and that she was “under the impression” that Monty and Sheri were only “together for public image and business.” A rep for Sheri would later confirm to People that Monty and Sheri have been "separated for a year" and that “Sheri and the boys have been living in Louisiana.”
Renée also clarified that Monty “assured her he was in the process of getting a divorce.” Though Monty and Sheri are separated, neither party has taken the legal steps towards getting a divorce, which bothered Renée.
Renée told Page Six, “Unfortunately, he misled me on his marriage, he lied to me. He told me that we were going to be together and have babies together.” She continued, “He even introduced me to his mom, his youngest brother, and I thought we had something real. He told me a story of his marriage that convinced me that they were apart and in the process of getting a divorce.”
After Renée’s story broke, Sheri wrote on her Instagram story, "Personal matters being brought public are always challenging and overwhelming for anyone involved. I will be OK.”
She continued, "My biggest concern is — and always will be — my children and their fragile hearts and minds. I will always do my best to try to protect them. My goal is to make sure that they feel secure and safe and know that everything will be okay. Thank you all for the love and support and kind messages. It means the world to me."
Though Monty has been the source of most of the drama, Sheri made headlines in April as Addison unfollowed her on Instagram and then again last month when she was linked to 26-year-old rapper Yung Gravy. The pair walked the red carpet at the MTV Video Music Awards (and showed some questionable PDA), and Yung Gravy said, "We met online. Yeah. We connected right away.”
He added, "I'm into MILFs and she's kind of the queen of MILFs, so I figured it was just a perfect match."
Following that, Monty posted a harsh rant to Instagram stories tagging Yung Gravy, mentioning his relationship with Addison, and calling Sheri "the leftovers".
Why Do We Enjoy Watching Families Fall Apart?
Let’s be honest: Our culture loves watching familial drama unfold. It’s why the royals make headlines whenever there’s a rift and why the Kardashians are so popular. Succession and Yellowstone wouldn’t be popular if they were about happy-go-lucky families. Game of Thrones is arguably the most popular show of the 2010s, and it was initially inspired by the War of the Roses, essentially a royal family feud that turned into a war.
As a culture, we find this type of drama interesting for the same reason we love watching trashy reality tv shows – to feel better about ourselves. Therapist Erin Asquith writes, “We have a morbid curiosity for drama as it allows one to escape from their own drama, their own life...This enables one to see that their drama is not too bad, helping one feel more at ease.”
This happens more often with rich and famous families (*cough* the Kardashians) because we subconsciously enjoy judging those “above us” acting inappropriately. Dr. Nancy Mramor, who studies the psychological effects of media, writes, “People get to shake their head and judge them in a way that makes them feel better about themselves.”
Dr. Mramor continues, “[We] like to watch people who are of a certain status behave beneath their status. When somebody’s aggressive instinct acts up, the superego likes to look down on it and say, ‘tsk tsk’."
It’s genuinely sad to watch Addison Rae’s family fall apart like this. Though her parents likely would’ve split if she hadn’t gotten famous because fame only magnifies problems that are already present, it wouldn’t have been all over the internet. While the internet is making fun of Addison’s parents for dating people close to her age, she’s watching her family fall apart in the public eye. It might be entertaining to watch this drama unfold, but it’s important to remember that these are real people going through real problems.
One of the many downsides of putting your family on social media or a reality show is that it puts a microscope on your family, magnifying their problems to the public. Though fame and fortune might be nice, they don’t make you immune from familial problems like infidelity, divorce, and drama. Addison Rae’s parents had problems before their daughter reached viral fame, but fame has made their drama public. Instead of grieving the loss of her parents’ marriage, Addison has to watch the internet ridicule her parents and share their every thoughts on her family life. It doesn’t matter what you think of Addison Rae, nobody deserves to go through that type of public scrutiny.
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