The Untold Truth Of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Kids

Jean-Claude Van Damme — whose real last name is Van Varenberg — has had a (mostly) impressive career as a professional martial artist and an actor. Since the late ’70s, the Muscles from Brussels, as he’s known, has starred in over 70 films and counting. His love life, however, hasn’t been as stellar.

JCVD repeatedly made headlines with his alleged infidelities, makeups, and breakups and has been married a total of five times. First, he said “I do” to Maria Rodriguez from 1980 to 1984. Then, he wed Cynthia Derderian in 1985, but they got divorced after just three months.

His third marriage to Gladys Portugues lasted from 1987 to 1992 (although the two joined the illustrious crowd of celebs who married each other twice when they re-tied the knot in 1999). He was also hitched to Darcy LaPier from 1994 to 1997. 

During all this time, JCVD had three children: Kristopher and Bianca Van Varenberg with Portugues and Nicholas Van Varenberg with LaPier. But if you think being the kid of a movie star is easy — think again. While all three have experienced ups and down with their father, Kristopher and Bianca have sure had a lot more ups than Nicholas. This is the untold truth of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s kids.

Jean-Claude Van Damme and his fourth wife, Darcy LaPier, had a difficult relationship, to say the least. LaPier filed for divorce three times over the course of their marriage and when their son was born in 1995, Van Damme reportedly questioned if Nicholas was his child, according to Celebrity Net Worth. 

LaPier called it quits for real in 1997 and things only got worse for JCVD when LaPier claimed that she was “too afraid” to be with her husband on account of his alleged “physical and mental abuse,” as well as an addiction to cocaine. As a result, Van Damme seemingly lost all access to his young son. 

Without revealing the specifics of the custody arrangement, the action star told The Sun [via Contact Music] in 2009, “The custody case is very painful. The legal system in California is crazy. For me not to see my kid is a disaster.” 

Clearly, Nicholas Van Varenberg suffered the effects of his parents’ messy divorce, but it wasn’t all for nothing, as he became the inspiration his dad needed to turn his life around. JCVD’s career hit rock bottom and he retracted from the spotlight, but eventually found the motivation for a comeback thanks to Nicholas. As he also told The Sun, “The only way I can bring my son back is to be successful again as they were saying to him, ‘Your father is a loser.’” Since then, JCVD has appeared in over 20 films.

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