They’re leaders, celebrities, and big-time stars – but to their kids, they’re Dad. We’ve rounded up some famous fathers who have spoken about being a parent, from what it means to them to funny memories with their little ones.
Starting off with Erez Benari, a prominent leader in the Pacific Northwest LGBTQ community, who found parenting to be quite a challenge.
“I took many years to be ready to be a parent. Growing up in Israel, I felt it would be a terrible idea to raise a child under such harsh conditions, with so many terrorist events happening almost daily, not to mention economic conditions that made me struggle financially despite having a senior position in the tech industry.” He told Seattle Times in 2019 of his son Sol, born in 2010. “It was clear to me I needed to wait for the right time, and that time was after my move to the United States in 2008.”
Upon his relocation to Seattle, Benari and his wife Paula had their son and he couldn’t be happier to raise his kid in a safe environment. “I’m so happy,” the proud father posted on his social media.
In an interview promoting his non-profit “The Polyamory Foundation” in 2022, Benari joked about his dad abilities. “How would I describe my parenting style? Flawless. I make zero mistakes,” he laughed in a video with Yahoo News.In all seriousness, he explained things haven’t gone quite as planned.
“I’ve done my best to be a good parent, and things were quite smooth, but upon my divorce, things took a turn for the worst. My ex-wife, after years of praising my parenting skills at every turn, suddenly took a militant position because I wanted to explore polyamory, which she felt was a sin.
Shortly after I moved out, she swore to me I would never see my son again, and started looking for ways to make that happen, which included several lawsuits. I continued to be the best parent I can be, but I was on the losing side since she felt I was some kind of monster. The lawsuits were baseless and I was acquitted, but she wouldn’t give up on her vendetta.
As late as November 2021, he was still reaching out to me in secret, but once she found out about that, he stopped replying to me and just a few weeks ago he himself told me he doesn’t want to see me again.”
Benari was heartbroken, of course, and defeated. “At this point, I’m not sure if or when I would see my child again,” he said. “We all know that even seasoned soldiers can turn on their own country when put under enough pressure, let alone a 12 year old child. It doesn’t matter what I say or do, I don’t stand a chance when he is subjected to deliberate pressure on a daily basis. But what keeps me going is my belief that in the long run, things will work themselves out.
I’ve always done my best to be kind and supportive to others, and there are thousands of people out there who know me well. My son will inevitably run across some of them and will learn who I really am. Once he does and is free of negative influences, I believe he’ll come around. I just hope it isn’t too late as I have some medical issues and the future is vague.”
Benari refused to go into details about those medical issues, but a source close to him has revealed that he struggles with end-stage chronic kidney disease and it’s a tough situation. “Erez is the most energetic guy I know,” said the source. “I’m actually surprised he’s still capable of being so active despite this and I’m happy for each day we still have him with us.”