A Shocking Investigation Into the Wahlbergs’ Troubling Past
- May 4, 2023
A Struggling Mother
Economically challenged, the family faced difficulties and relied on welfare for survival. In a Today Show interview, Alma explained how she had to get creative when it came to providing food for her family. She had to come up with unique meals, such as English muffin pizzas. This sometimes meant having to cut corners and using welfare butter and cheese to make ends meet. Nevertheless, Alma never relented, and her family appreciated her consistent efforts.
Alma was only 18 years old when she had her first child, and she feels that she grew up alongside her nine children. In an interview with TODAY’s digital series, Through Mom’s Eyes, Alma shared that she was constantly learning as she raised her kids. She strived to give them the love that she always longed for but never received. Alma’s tough-love approach to parenting may not have been favored by her children at the time, but she always made sure to let them know that she supported them, no matter what. As a result, her children grew up to be there for her when she needed them.
Mark’s siblings and their way of life became one of the most startling aspects of the Wahlberg family’s past. It emerged that Mark’s older brothers had been involved in drugs and crime at a young age, and this adversely influenced Mark’s behaviors, leading to substance abuse and poor choices. Despite this, Mark spent a disproportionate amount of time with his older siblings, and he looked up to them. Due to the lack of proper guidance, Mark started using drugs before he was 13 years old. Over time, these circumstances took a toll on Mark and his siblings, leading to strained relationships.
In an interview with The Guardian, Mark Wahlberg described his childhood as “violent and turbulent.” He revealed that he was involved in gang activity from a young age and that he started using drugs at the age of 13. Wahlberg also described how he was frequently in trouble with the law and spent time in juvenile detention centers.
Donnie Wahlberg also had a troubled childhood. In an interview with People, he revealed that he was frequently involved in fights and that he dropped out of high school in the ninth grade. He also revealed that he had struggled with substance abuse issues for many years.
The brothers’ troubled pasts continued into their high school years. Mark Wahlberg attended Copley Square High School in Boston but dropped out in the ninth grade. Donnie Wahlberg attended William Monroe Trotter School in Boston but dropped out in the ninth grade as well. Mark’s life took a turn for the worse after he dropped out of high school. He joined a gang and accumulated almost 25 incident reports with the Boston police. At just 15 years old, a civil action lawsuit was filed against him for harassing a group of Black kids.
At 16, Mark committed a violent assault on a man for no reason other than hatred. At the time, Wahlberg claimed to be high on PCP. He attempted to steal a few cases of beer from the men, and when they resisted, he knocked Thanh Lam unconscious with a wooden stick before punching Hoa (“Johnny”) Trinh. Wahlberg was charged with attempted murder but pleaded guilty to assault and served 45 days in jail.
The incident left Trinh permanently blind in one eye, and Wahlberg has since apologized for his actions and sought pardon for his crimes. However, the incident remains a dark mark on his past and has led to ongoing criticism of his behavior. Wahlberg was initially charged with attempted murder, but the charges were later reduced to assault. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to two years in prison, though he only served 45 days.
Mark Wahlberg was not the only Wahlberg sibling to have had a brush with the law. Three of his brothers have also served time, and one of his sisters has been in prison multiple times. Donnie Wahlberg, Mark’s brother, even recounted how one of their older brothers attempted to rob a police officer’s house.
According to Donnie, their older brother was often in trouble with the police and spent most of his life in prison. However, he also credited a Boston police officer who arrested him with helping save his life.
In 1995, Donnie Wahlberg was charged with arson in Kentucky. Reports revealed that Donnie was upset after being kicked out of the hotel bar and decided to set a towel on fire in his hotel room. Unfortunately, this caused significant damage to the hotel room, leading to his arrest and a charge of arson. As a result, he was given two years of probation for the offense. Another incident involving Donnie Wahlberg occurred in 2009 when he was arrested for disorderly conduct at a hotel in New York City. According to reports, Wahlberg was involved in a fight with hotel staff and was subsequently arrested. The incident is another example of the Wahlberg family’s involvement in violent behavior.
Aside from their own individual incidents, the Wahlberg family has also faced criticism for their business ventures. In 2011, the family opened a hamburger restaurant in Boston called Wahlburgers. While the restaurant has been successful, it has also faced criticism for appropriating the culture of the working-class Boston neighborhood where the Wahlberg brothers grew up. Critics have argued that the restaurant is a prime example of gentrification and that the family is profiting off of their working-class roots. In response, the Wahlberg brothers have argued that the restaurant is a celebration of their family and their roots in Boston.
The Wahlberg family has also faced criticism for their connections to controversial figures. In 2015, it was revealed that Mark Wahlberg had requested a pardon for his 1988 assault case. The request was met with significant criticism, with many arguing that Wahlberg had not shown sufficient remorse for his actions.
It was revealed that Wahlberg had a friendship with former Boston police officer Richard DesLauriers, who had been involved in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing. DesLauriers had also been involved in a controversial shooting in 1995, in which he shot and killed an unarmed man. The Wahlberg family’s connections to DesLauriers and other controversial figures have raised questions about their values and beliefs.
Mark Wahlberg once aspired to be like the guys he met while locked up. But it wasn’t what he wanted after all. He earned his stripes and realized that he had ended up in the worst place possible and never wanted to return. After his release, Mark turned to his local priest for guidance and support, seeking to better his life by leaving the gang he had become a part of.
At the age of 42, almost three decades after dropping out, Mark finally fulfilled his diploma requirements by taking online courses. Mark can now proudly call himself a high school graduate, but he’s also aware of how his life could have been different. In a letter to the Huffington Post in 2013, Mark stated that most high school dropouts do not end up enjoying a successful career in Hollywood and that he knows how fortunate he is.
Mark Wahlberg had a criminal record that he worked tirelessly to overcome. He eventually sought a full pardon for his felony to help him pursue his dream of getting a concessionaire’s license in California. He hoped to use his license to drive trucks with Wahlburgers and also volunteer with at-risk youths.
Surprisingly, Wahlberg also garnered support from his victim, who also advocated for the pardon. Despite this, the petition got criticism from others who thought Mark had not sufficiently taken responsibility for his actions. Sadly, the petition was closed in 2016 after Mark failed to follow up with the parole board. In retrospect, Mark expressed regret about even applying for the pardon. In his opinion, he didn’t need a piece of paper to acknowledge the 28 years he spent righting his wrongs.
Mark Wahlberg does not want to erase his past despite its wrongdoing. Instead, he sees himself as an example of how people can transform and redeem themselves. In his words, he wants people to remember his past life to show that change is possible. Even Johnny Trinh, the victim of Mark’s assault, has spoken out to forgive him, saying that he acknowledged that the actor was young and reckless. Trinh, who lost his eyesight during the Vietnam War, was not blinded by the attack, as some previously believed. He expressed that everyone deserves a second chance and that he had forgiven Mark.
Mark Wahlberg’s life took a sudden turn on September 2, 2003. The same day his first daughter, Ella Rae, was born, he received devastating news: his sister Deborah had passed away unexpectedly while being treated for a kidney stone. She had suffered a fatal heart attack during the procedure. According to a source, Mark’s happy moment turned into a moment of sadness, and every year on his daughter’s birthday, he’s reminded of the bittersweet incident. The event shows how one moment can change lives forever, highlighting the importance of cherishing life and those we hold dear.
Deborah Wahlberg’s sudden death was painful for the entire Wahlberg family, particularly their mother, Alma. Mark Wahlberg mentioned that it devastated her so much that she lost her identity for some time. “No parent should have to lose a child,” the actor stated in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. However, the Wahlburgers restaurant and family TV show served as a source of comfort, helping Alma cope with her grief. In 2019, Mark revealed that the establishment had given his mother a fresh start and a new lease on life, making her happier.
Alma Wahlberg continued to grapple with sorrow after the death of her firstborn, Deborah. Her second-oldest daughter, Michelle, has been a constant source of distress for several years, repeatedly in and out of jail on drug charges.
In 2008, Michelle’s life took a tragic turn when an altercation with her live-in boyfriend led her to pick up a gun and shoot in his direction four times. As she sat behind bars, her brothers distanced themselves from her, leaving her feeling abandoned. In a 2008 interview, she tearfully expressed, “I cry myself to sleep every night thinking, ‘How can my brothers let me rot here in jail?'”
Michelle found herself in trouble with the law repeatedly, struggling with addiction and legal issues. In 2008, an altercation with her live-in boyfriend resulted in Michelle firing a gun in his direction, leading to her incarceration. Although she claimed that she did not intend to hit him, her siblings distanced themselves from her.
In a 2008 interview with the National Enquirer, Michelle, a waitress at the time, expressed feeling abandoned by her family. Despite their wealth, they did not help her during her legal battle. Furthermore, two years later, she made a feud she had with her family public, which didn’t sit well with her mother, Alma. Unfortunately, Michelle passed away in 2019, and the reason for her death remains unknown. The Wahlberg family did not release an official statement on the matter, leaving the public to speculate.
Amidst the Wahlberg family’s dark past and struggles, Donnie remembers a time of joy and togetherness. In an interview with Closer Weekly, the actor and rapper shared that his favorite childhood memory was Christmas time. And it wasn’t just his favorite, but also everyone else’s, including his brother Mark’s.
Donnie fondly recalls how whoever woke up first on Christmas morning would excitedly wake the other kids to open presents and enjoy the day’s festivities together. The memory serves as a reminder of the importance of cherished moments with loved ones and how they can bring light to even the darkest of times.
Growing up below the poverty line, the Wahlberg children didn’t always receive lavish gifts or have much material wealth. But despite this, the excitement and joy they experienced during Christmas made up for it. Donnie Wahlberg shared that every Christmas, all nine siblings would gather at the top of the stairs, eagerly waiting for their parents to give the green light to open presents. Despite not having much, the act of being together and experiencing the holiday’s magic as a family was more than enough.
Mark Wahlberg’s successful career in Hollywood could have gone in a completely different direction. At the age of 13, Mark was selected to join a boyband that later became known as “New Kids on the Block,” following in his brother Donnie’s footsteps.
The band, previously named “Nynuk,” consisted of young members Jordan Knight and Danny Wood, alongside Mark. However, at the time, Mark was already dabbling in drugs and crime and had little interest in being part of a boyband. He dropped out just a few months later and was replaced by Joey McIntyre.
Although the iconic Calvin Klein campaign helped launch her career, Kate Moss later revealed that she regretted her involvement. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she admitted to experiencing a nervous breakdown during the photoshoots.
“It didn’t feel like me at all. I felt really bad about straddling this buff guy. I didn’t like it,” Moss explained, referring to working with Mark Wahlberg and photographer Herb Ritts. Moss described feeling overwhelmed and unable to get out of bed for two weeks, even needing to be prescribed Valium to cope with her anxiety.
Despite the success of “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, the band’s sophomore album was not well-received. Rolling Stone magazine readers even voted Mark Wahlberg the “Worst Singer of the Year” in 1992, seemingly putting an end to his music career aspirations.
However, Mark had already started to gain popularity as a Calvin Klein model and knew there was more to his talent and appeal. He pivoted to acting, pursuing a different dream at the age of 22. Mark’s perseverance paid off, and he quickly made waves in Hollywood, starring in films such as “Boogie Nights,” “The Fighter,” and “Ted.” From music to movies, Mark is a testament to the importance of pivoting and exploring new passions in life.
Mark Wahlberg shed his Marky Mark moniker and pursued an acting career. In 1994, he landed his debut role in the movie “Renaissance Man,” acting alongside Danny DeVito. It was evident that he had found his calling. The following year, Mark’s performance in “The Basketball Diaries” alongside Leonardo DiCaprio drew the attention of film critics.
Mark continued to make waves in Hollywood, including another collaboration with DiCaprio in the 2006 film, “The Departed,” which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Despite feeling immensely proud of the role, Mark initially turned it down multiple times before ultimately accepting the part.
In a 2018 interview with GQ Magazine, Mark Wahlberg revealed that he declined to work with iconic director Martin Scorsese multiple times. Despite the opportunity to collaborate with such a legendary filmmaker, Mark was uninterested in another supporting role and hesitant to work alongside actors like Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Interestingly enough, it was Mark’s agent who misled Scorsese about his interest in the project. When Scorsese personally reached out to persuade him, Mark still initially declined. However, after a period of reflection and a rewrite of his character’s storyline, he ultimately committed to the film.
Martin Scorsese was ecstatic to work with Mark Wahlberg on the film “The Departed,” but despite his enthusiasm, Mark initially turned down the director’s offer. In a conversation filled with silence, Scorsese eventually accepted Mark’s decision. However, Mark’s agent and Scorsese agreed that a particular character, Staff Sargent Sean Dignam, was perfect for the actor. They ultimately convinced Mark to take on the role.
During discussions with Scorsese, Mark shared his ideas about improvisation and having creative freedom with the character. Scorsese appreciated Mark’s input and agreed to give him the space he needed. With this new agreement, Mark finally accepted the role, ultimately delivering a powerful and memorable performance.
Mark Wahlberg has served as an executive producer for several HBO series, four of which have gained significant popularity. The most famous of these productions is “Entourage,” with “Boardwalk Empire” in second place. Since its debut in 2004, it has been widely known that the series was loosely based on Mark and his friends’ experiences in Hollywood. However, Mark has never confirmed which storylines are real, stating that “deny until you die” is his motto.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mark mentioned that his experiences in Hollywood in the ’90s were far darker and edgier than anything shown on “Entourage.” Nonetheless, the show’s success attests to Mark’s creative talent and ability to transform real-life experiences into compelling entertainment.
While Mark Wahlberg and Eminem are now on good terms, with Eminem even appearing on “Entourage” and almost being cast in “The Fighter,” the two had serious beef for almost a decade. The tension started in 1999 when they made an appearance on MTV’s “TRL.” Mark, who had moved on from his Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch days, asked producers not to reference the group during the show. However, Eminem couldn’t resist the temptation.
When Mark joined Eminem and Carson Daly on stage, something was clearly off, and Eminem proceeded to reference Mark’s past as a rapper. From there, the feud continued for years, with Eminem referencing Mark in several songs. However, after a chance meeting at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards, the two finally made peace, putting their differences aside.
After an appearance on a TV show where Eminem called them a “big fun bunch,” Mark Wahlberg called the rapper an “a**hole” under his breath, causing tension between the two. This led to sporadic trading of disses over the next ten years. However, the two finally reconciled in 2010. In a 2018 interview with GQ, Mark admitted to being a hater, stating that Eminem was a better rapper than him and that he had never told anyone before.
Mark Wahlberg has admitted to passing up on a few notable roles throughout his career. In 2013, he revealed that he turned down a role in J.J. Abrams’s “Star Trek” because he had trouble understanding the space jargon in the script.
Additionally, reports suggest that Mark and Joaquin Phoenix were both considered for the lead roles in “Brokeback Mountain.” However, Mark declined the part due to the on-screen romance with Phoenix, which made him uncomfortable.
Mark Wahlberg has a history of passing on potentially iconic roles, as he reportedly did with the lead role in the cult classic Donnie Darko. He disagreed with the director’s vision and believed that the character needed a lisp, leading to his departure from the project. Jake Gyllenhaal ultimately replaced him, and the film became a beloved favorite among fans, ranking on IMDb’s top 250 list. However, Wahlberg’s career didn’t suffer as he had back-to-back blockbuster hits the same year with The Perfect Storm and Planet of the Apes.
In the ’90s, Donnie Wahlberg was a prominent figure in the boy band scene. But like his younger brother Mark, Donnie wanted more out of life. He eventually made his Hollywood debut in 1996, starring in “Bullet” alongside Tupac Shakur and Mickey Rourke. In 1999, he gained attention for his role as a patient of Bruce Willis’ character in “The Sixth Sense.” This role proved to be a turning point in Donnie’s career, and it was clear that he had the potential to become a successful actor. Since 2010, Donnie has been starring in the drama series “Blue Bloods” and is currently the executive producer of the TNT reality show “Boston’s Finest.”
Donnie Wahlberg’s current flame may be Jenny McCarthy, but she’s not his first love. He met his first wife, sound engineer Kimberly Fey, in their early twenties, and after eight years of dating, they tied the knot in 1999. The couple has two sons, 28-year-old Xavier and 20-year-old Elijah. Unfortunately, their love story came to an end when Fey filed for divorce in 2008, citing irreconcilable differences. Rumors circulated that Donnie had cheated on Fey with model Michelle Tomlinson. Despite their split, Donnie and Fey remain committed to co-parenting their children and providing them with a nurturing environment.
Donnie’s affair with model Michelle Tomlinson had significant consequences. Donnie and Michelle’s relationship lasted for five years, during which Donnie was still married to Kimberly Fey. Michelle’s public announcement of her pregnancy didn’t sit well with Fey, leading to further strain on their relationship. Donnie reportedly broke up with Michelle after accusing her of deliberately getting pregnant to trap him into marriage. A source told the National Enquirer, “Donnie accused Michelle of deliberately getting pregnant because she knew his divorce was coming through, and she thought she could trap him into marriage.” As a result, Donnie left Michelle to raise their child on her own.
Jenny McCarthy, a former Playboy Bunny, had just gone through a very public breakup with Jim Carrey and was afraid that true love was not in the cards for her, especially as a single mom. Similarly, Donnie Wahlberg, a divorced dad of two (now three), wasn’t actively seeking anything special. However, as the saying goes, true love often happens when we least expect it. Donnie and Jenny first met on the set of Andy Cohen’s “Watch What Happens Live” in 2012, and the chemistry between them was undeniable. What started as a casual friendship quickly turned into a budding romance, and the couple tied the knot in 2014.
Cohen recognized the chemistry between the two and even encouraged Donnie to ask Jenny out, but he didn’t make a move. It wasn’t until Jenny invited Donnie to be a guest on her show, “The Jenny McCarthy Show,” that things finally took off for the couple. Jenny shared with New York’s 95.5 PLJ radio that she had gone a year without dating anybody and wasn’t sure if she was ready, but she gave him her phone number anyway. Donnie took two weeks to call her, but when he finally did, they hit it off right away. From there, their love blossomed, and they tied the knot in 2014.
Despite some skeptics who believed that Donnie Wahlberg and Jenny McCarthy’s public displays of affection were just for show, the actor surprised everyone by proposing just a year after they started dating. Donnie enlisted the help of McCarthy’s son, Evan, to pop the question. According to McCarthy, she and Donnie were sitting together when he went into another room. Evan then appeared with a card that said, “Will,” followed by another card that said, “You.” She immediately knew what was happening and started to cry. Donnie then emerged with a yellow sapphire ring and got down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage.
Donnie Wahlberg’s proposal to Jenny McCarthy was nothing short of adorable. As Jenny sat with Donnie, Evan, Jenny’s son, came out with a card that read ‘Marry’ (spelled ‘Mary’). Following that, Evan’s shirt read ‘Me?’, and Donnie emerged with a yellow sapphire ring. Donnie then asked the magical question, “Will you marry me?” to which Jenny replied with an enthusiastic “Yes!” The moment was poignant, and Evan exclaimed, “I have another dad!” making everyone cry with joy.
Mark Wahlberg’s Enduring Relationship with Rhea Durham
Donnie Wahlberg isn’t the only Wahlberg brother to find his soulmate. Mark Wahlberg, his younger brother, began dating model Rhea Durham back in 2001. Though the couple might not have adhered to traditional relationship rules, their love has thrived throughout the years. In 2003, Mark and Rhea welcomed their first child, daughter Ella Rae. They went on to have three more children, sons Michael and Brenden in 2006 and 2008, and a daughter, Grace, in 2010. Despite raising a family together, the couple didn’t make it official until they tied the knot in 2009.
Mark and Rhea tied the knot in an intimate and romantic ceremony in a Catholic church in Beverly Hills. The couple exchanged vows in the company of only their children and a select few family members. Mark adorned a dark suit, while Rhea wore a stunning strapless dress with silver embroidery. “She looked like a princess and beyond stunning. Mark looked ecstatic,” an eyewitness revealed to People magazine at the time. It was a beautiful moment for the couple, and it was evident how much they truly loved and valued each other.
Mark Wahlberg has attributed much of his success to his wife, Rhea Durham. He told The Sun in 2008, “I owe a lot to my wife. She has helped me become the man that I am and created a beautiful life for our children and me.” Mark also emphasized the importance of being with the right woman, especially when raising children. “You need the right woman in your life and that feeling that you’re going to be together for a long time. That’s especially important if you’re going to have children.”
Mark might be tattoo-free today, but this wasn’t always the case. In fact, the Lone Survivor star used to have multiple tattoos that covered his entire body. He revealed to James Corden that he had around eight or nine tattoos, which spanned across his arms, neck, stomach, back, and leg. Mark knew he wanted to remove his tattoos before filming his 2010 movie, The Fighter. However, dermatologists had doubts about the possibility of getting them removed. Nevertheless, the determined actor managed to complete a five-year tattoo removal process in just seven months. The process was no doubt painful, but Mark’s commitment to improving his image was unwavering.
It’s no secret that Mark is a fitness enthusiast. He even has his own pre-workout supplement and a personal gym in an airplane hangar, complete with a boxing ring, state-of-the-art equipment, and sound system. To maintain his physique, Mark follows a grueling schedule that he shared with his social media followers. He starts his day at an incredulous 2:30 a.m., takes an hour and a half shower, and completes multiple workouts. It’s a schedule that’s not for the faint-hearted, but Mark’s commitment to living a healthy lifestyle is admirable.
Fans of the reality series “Wahlburgers” got to meet the mastermind behind the operation – Paul Wahlberg. As the fifth of nine children, Paul always harbored the desire to become a chef, which he pursued wholeheartedly.
He trained in many renowned restaurants, including The Charles Hotel and Bridgman’s, where he held the position of Executive Chef for nine years. The reality series, which aired for ten seasons, didn’t phase Paul. In fact, he didn’t understand all the attention. In 2019, he said, “I think I’m as dull as dull comes. I don’t know how it makes for quality television.” Nonetheless, Paul’s devotion and expertise in the culinary field are evident in “Wahlburgers” and his highly successful restaurants.
Tracey Wahlberg is a person who prefers to stay out of the limelight. Despite being well-known in her community for her philanthropic work and activism, Tracey remains humble and grounded. She prefers to let her deeds speak for themselves, rather than seeking attention or recognition. As a caption to this Instagram post, Donnie wrote, “My sister – what an amazing human being she is. She stays out of the ‘spotlight’, and may give me an eye roll for posting this, but she shines brighter than any star in the sky.”
The Other Wahlberg Siblings Living Out of the Spotlight
While the reality series “Wahlburgers” gave fans an insight into the lives of the three Wahlberg brothers, there are still other siblings who prefer to live out of the limelight. Arthur, who is Alma’s third child and first son, made a few film appearances in movies such as “10” and “Patriots Day.” However, he now spends his days remodeling homes. Then there’s James, who was born a year after Paul. Unlike the rest of his siblings, James has stayed away from the entertainment industry. Instead, he serves as the Executive Director for Mark’s charity, the Youth Foundation.
Though they might not be as well-known as their celebrity siblings, Arthur and James show that there’s more to life than the spotlight. They have found success in their respective fields and continue to make their own unique contributions to society.