With more than 130 million album sales as part of his band, Jon Bon Jovi is easily one of the most famous musicians in the world. However, there’s more to this man than just his talents. When he’s not rocking out on stage or recording hits in the studio, he’s at home with the people he loves.
Off the rails
Family means a great deal to Jon Bon Jovi, but his children have had their ups and downs over the years – to say the least. His daughter, in particular. When someone’s child goes off the rails, it can have a significant impact on their parents.
Jon and his wife, Dorothea, certainly struggled after their daughter, Stephanie, had trouble with illegal substances and the police. Thankfully, she’s grown up a lot since those difficult days.
The stress of the spotlight
It can’t be easy having a father as famous as Jon Bon Jovi. The man’s responsible for mega-hits like ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ and ‘You Give Love a Bad Name,’ as well as the diamond-certified album ‘Slippery When Wet.’ However, while his immense success has brought its benefits, it’s also put his family under a lot of pressure.
Life in the spotlight is challenging, whether you’re the star everyone’s talking about or the support network behind them. That stress takes its toll over time, which is perhaps why Stephanie struggled when she went to college.
An unforgettable phone call
There are some phone calls that parents never want to receive. Being told that your child has taken too many illegal substances is one of them. The incident happened back in 2012 when Stephanie – then 19 – was found unresponsive just before two in the morning.
A volunteer ambulance squad came to her aid and escorted her to the hospital where she received treatment. Although the incident could have been the end of her, Stephanie was fortunate enough to survive. However, if the family thought that was the end of her problems, they had another thing coming.
Trouble with the law
If Stephanie took too many illegal substances, that meant she was likely in possession of the stuff. Indeed, the police soon discovered contraband in her room, which is reportedly why they then arrested her. The rockstar’s daughter was charged with several misdemeanors, including possession of a controlled substance.
She wasn’t the only one who got in trouble that day, with another student also arrested for possession of these substances. It’s unclear whether or not this person supplied Stephanie with the stuff she used that night, or if she got it from someone else.
Avoiding her punishment
Thankfully, while it might have looked like Jon’s daughter was about to get in serious trouble for her crimes, she was let off lightly. It was all thanks to the Good Samaritan law which prohibits people from being prosecuted if they’ve had an excess of illegal substances.
Stephanie was saved by the very thing that nearly took away her life. Understandably, the terrifying experience was a huge wake-up call for the teenager who spent the following months learning to live without those substances. It was a challenge, but one she had to overcome.
When Bon Jovi learned about his daughter’s substance abuse issues, he was utterly shocked. He’d had no idea that she’d been doing this stuff behind his back, something which only made the pain worse. If he’d realized that Stephanie had been taking this stuff, he would have done everything in his power to help her.
The thought that he could have lost her to those substances was terrifying. That’s why he and his wife were with the teenager every step of the way as she attempted to overcome her addiction problems.
The road to recovery
Fortunately, their efforts were successful. While those first months were a bit tricky to overcome, each new day was a step in the right direction for Stephanie. It wasn’t long before that night seemed like another life, with Bon Jovi’s daughter basically a brand new woman.
It’s been nearly seven years since that traumatic moment, and the family is in a better place than ever before. While Stephanie regrets what she did as a student, she likely appreciates that it changed everything for the better. It showed her that her life was worth living.
The importance of family
Stephanie’s recovery probably wouldn’t have been so successful if it wasn’t for her family. Her loved ones were all there for her during this dark period in her life, and they helped her come out the other side. Family is something that Jon has always treasured, no matter how busy his career has kept him.
Although he’s on the road with his band a lot of the time, he values every moment that he gets to spend at home. If it weren’t for his wife and kids, the musician wouldn’t be happy.
In over his head
Although his family means everything to him now, Bon Jovi initially felt overwhelmed when he became a dad. It didn’t help that Stephanie was his first child, with the musician not entirely sure how to look after a little girl.
He didn’t grow up with sisters, so he wasn’t too familiar with how to care for a daughter. However, he soon learned how to be a good dad to her. By the time his sons Jesse, Jacob, and Romeo came along, Jon felt a lot more comfortable about being a father.
An inspiration like no other
Bon Jovi developed such a close bond with his daughter that she ended up inspiring one of his songs, ‘I Got the Girl.’ He wrote the song when she was seven as a way to celebrate all the joy that she’d brought him.
He admitted that raising a girl came with its challenges, but he embraced all the ups and downs they’d had together as part of their journey. The musician has performed the song at many of his concerts, usually while videos of Stephanie were playing in the background.
Dancing with her dad
Although Stephanie doesn’t go to all of her dad’s concerts, she’s been to a fair few over the years. When Bon Jovi debuted the ‘I Got the Girl,’ his daughter was there to celebrate the moment, and she even joined her father on stage.
The two danced together as the band performed the song, something that Stephanie repeated nearly two decades later when she was in her 20s. She was up there with Bon Jovi during the Vegas stop of their 2017 tour, and the experience left fans in awe of the pair’s relationship.
It was only a few months after Stephanie took to the stage in Las Vegas that she graduated from New School in New York City. The day was one that Bon Jovi and his daughter nearly didn’t see because of her problems with illegal substances.
That just made the occasion even more momentous for the musician’s family, though. They were incredibly grateful that Stephanie had been given a second chance to get through college and build a future for herself. Some people never get that opportunity when they have addiction problems.
Having graduated from college with a liberal arts degree, Stephanie perhaps has the closest bond to her father’s musical ambitions. However, she’s never given the impression that she wants to follow in Bon Jovi’s footsteps.
None of the rockstar’s children seem that interested in a career on the stage, although there’s a chance they could change their minds. Jacob and Romeo are still in high school, so they may not have settled on their future careers just yet. Could any of them really ever match their father’s incredible legacy though?
In business together
One person who definitely doesn’t seem to be interested in going down the musical route is Jesse. Stephanie’s younger brother and the eldest of Bon Jovi’s sons, he seems more keen on venturing down the business side of things.
The man, who’s in his mid-twenties, actually has a joint venture with his father which has seen them thrive in the food and drink industry. Jon might be known primarily for his band, but it seems his interests go beyond making music. That’s why he has a community restaurant over in Red Bank.
Last year, Bon Jovi and his son revealed their new drink, Hampton Water. A beverage that the singer refers to as “pink water,” it’s been a massive hit with people around the world. Who wouldn’t want to sit back with a glass or two of this stuff knowing that Jon Bon Jovi was responsible for its creation?
The drink was apparently inspired by all the times these two spent vacationing in the Hamptons, hence the name. Here’s hoping this is just the start of many exciting ventures for the father and son duo.
A sporting future
As for Bon Jovi’s other sons, it’ll probably be a few more years before he thinks about going into business with them. His third child, Jacob, is currently 17 and likely in his final year of high school. It’s unclear what the teenager plans to do once he graduates, although something sports-related may well be in his future.
The boy is a big fan of football, something which seems to run in the family. That’s according to his brother’s track record, anyway. When Jesse was at Notre Dame, he played for their college team.
All the time in the world
As the youngest child in the family, Romeo likely feels that he has a lot to live up to. After all, his siblings have achieved some amazing things in recent years. Of course, at 15 years old, the boy still has plenty of time to make a name for himself.
At the moment, he’s just enjoying all the benefits that come from being the son of Bon Jovi. He’s not too worried about what the future holds because he knows that he’ll always have his family to fall back on.
A job well done
Bon Jovi is incredibly proud of his kids, and he has every reason to be. While there might have been times when they stumbled, they’ve always managed to pick themselves up again. Part of that is down to the great job of parenting that he and his wife did.
Whenever Bon Jovi was busy with music, Dorothea was still there watching over the kids and teaching them how to be respectable people. She worked hard to keep Stephanie, Jessie, Jacob, and Romeo on the straight and narrow, and her dedication shows.
Waiting for love
Jon and Dorothea have been a team for decades now. However, while they might have been destined for one another, she was initially in a relationship with his best friend, Bobby. While they were in school, Bon Jovi had to deal with the fact that the girl he loved didn’t feel the same way about him.
However, after his friend split from Dorothea, Jon saw his chance. It wasn’t until the pair were in their 20s that they got together, but the wait was worthwhile. They’ve been devoted to one another almost ever since.
Their relationship hit a bump in the road when Bon Jovi’s career was in a slump. The singer ended things with his partner, unaware that Dorothea was the thing he needed most in his life. Luckily, he eventually came to his senses and apologized, desperate for the woman to give him a second chance.
She did, and that’s when they find themselves walking down the aisle in Las Vegas. Usually, when people get hitched in Sin City, they end up divorced within a year or two. However, this year marks their 30th anniversary.
A normal upbringing
Although money has never been an issue for Bon Jovi’s family, the singer has always tried to avoid letting fame and fortune influence his kids. He and his wife wanted to raise the children in as normal an environment as possible to ensure they grew up properly.
You see all the time how the celebrity lifestyle can impact kids once they’re older, and that’s not what these two wanted. They wished for Stephanie and her siblings to work hard and earn a good life, rather than being given everything on a silver platter.
Firmly in the past
It’s safe to say that Jon and Dorothea did an excellent job with their parenting. Stephanie’s substance abuse issues were a blip in the system, and they were a long time ago now. We doubt she’ll ever go through something like that again, especially after the scare she experienced the night she took too much.
Hopefully, none of her other siblings ever end up in that position. Given they saw firsthand how it affected their sister and parents, we don’t expect they’ll put their lives on the line like that.
Not everything is perfect
Thankfully, Stephanie’s ordeal seems to have been an isolated dark incident among the kids, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been any more dark incidents in the family. Not too long ago, Jon Bon Jovi himself went through what he called “the worst years of his life.”
It all started with the unexpected news that guitarist Richie Sambora was leaving the band after 30 years, made worse by a dispute Jon was having with his record label.
A complete shock
Jon was blindsided by the news that Richie was leaving the band, and called it a “shock.” He struggled to understand where that was coming from, but he knew it wasn’t about money, like many speculated.
“We had a number one album in America that week, and we were selling out every night,” he said. “There was never an argument, there was never a fight.” Recalling that time, he says there was a lot of darkness, and he felt like the weight of the world was on his shoulders.
A bad flashback
Being in that moment reminded him of another low, which happened after the release of his band’s third album, Slippery When Wet. Bon Jovi was hugely popular, but the back-to-back touring made Jon exhausted, and led him to a breakdown.
One day, when he was driving on his way to getting help from a psychologist, his pain was so deep that he thought about giving up right there and jumping out of the moving car. Gladly, he didn’t.
Jon has revealed that back then, he found release from his suffering with his acting work. On his newest low, he had just as much difficulties, but no professional release – so, how did he bounce back?
Apparently, being able to rely on his wife was the most important factor in his recovery. “It was not pretty. Without her, I’m not sure how I would have coped. She has been phenomenal,” he said to the press.
Trust and independence
He praised his wife and the trusting relationship they have developed throughout the decades, saying that nothing really matters as long as the couple is able to build trust and independence. “That’s true adoration. The rest of it is a cliche.”
The support from his family made Jon see the light at the end of the tunnel, and he could appreciate all that he’s accomplished. “I am proud to say that for my whole life, I’ve been with one band, one record label, and one wife.” Indeed, that’s not for many.
A straight-edge rockstar
While in hindsight it might seem obvious that a daughter of an international movie star would become of victim of substance abuse, it actually is quite the opposite. Jon never was attracted to those substances himself, which is probably one of the reasons he was so oblivious to his own daughter’s issues.
Jon merely trusted Stephanie, and didn’t know the signs to look out for. Jon is an example that just because you’re internationally famous doesn’t mean you have to dip into certain activities.
Headed down South
For now, Joh Bon Jovi has gone back on tour, travelling around the world. The tour is called ‘This House Is Not for Sale,’ and only the most devoted Bon Jovi fans will know exactly what that means.
Apparently, for his tour, Jon is headed down to South America and everyone is extremely excited. Fans have told him that they are waiting for him to get there so that they can have an amazing live at one of his concerts. Jon is headed for Brazil and Peru.
‘Livin on a prayer’
When Stephanie was in the hospital dealing with her substance issues, Jon was probably praying for her safety and health. Speaking of prayers, did you know that Jon originally was not a fan of his own song, ‘Livin’ On A Prayer?’
Apparently, the song was so different than anything he had ever heard or written before, that he didn’t really think anything of it. In fact, Jon was neither here nor there with his feelings about the song. When it was released, however, he realized it would go down as a classic.
Giving his fans a chance
Recently when performing the song he thought wouldn’t be a hit, Jon Bon Jovi asked if anyone in the audience would come up and sing it with him. He made very clear that he wanted someone who wouldn’t need the words, and could actually carry a tune.
Well, Michelle Korpalski rose to the challenge, and sang her heart out on stage. She even said it felt like an out of body experience. People were there and recorded the whole thing, which now can be found all over the internet. Bon Jovi knows how to treat his fans!
Staying out of the headlines
Thankfully, Stephanie had not been in the headlines lately, except for her college graduation. No news is good news, and we know Jon feels exactly the same way when it comes to his children.
His entire devotion to his family was based on the fact that he wanted his children to grow up just as anyone else would – this means not being in the media! So often we hear that substance abuse issues return over and over again, so we’re just really happy that the same cannot be said for Stephanie.