The shady side of Ricky Schroder

If there’s anyone used to the limelight, it’s Ricky Schroder. Over the course of four decades, the Staten Island-bred child star has had just about every career possible in Hollywood. He became a household name in an ’80s sitcom (see: Silver Spoons); landed a key role as a TV detective (see: NYPD Blue); guest-starred in a medical comedy (hello, Scrubs); and even became a war journalist, cameraman, writer, and executive producer with his Afghanistan-based docuseries, The Fighting Season. If there’s any clear measure of success, it’s the fact that his career lived long enough to find itself inside a Hallmark original movie, and he carried enough clout to make the endeavor a family affair. The star wrote 2013’s Our Wild Hearts with his now ex-wife, casting their children in the process.

With such a massive career, it’s no surprise that Schroder has occasionally found himself on the wrong side of the tabloids. Though he’s managed to avoid many of the common pitfalls of child stardom — think: DUIs, rehab, and financial ruin — and paint himself as a family man, his public image isn’t totally squeaky clean. Here’s the shady side of Ricky Schroder.

Ricky Schroder resents his early fame

You know what they say: don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Ricky Schroder apparently never got the memo. Though he’s expressed gratitude for landing some of his earlier roles, the star has slammed the very foundation of his sprawling career: his status as a teen heartthrob.

It’s no secret that Schroder’s run with the ’80s sitcom Silver Spoons helped transform him into the veritable Jonathan Taylor Thomas of Generation X. As a direct result, he’s amassed a reported $8 million net worth and impressively navigated the transition from child star to adult actor. He’s luckier than a large swath of his peers, who met tragic ends or floated away into obscurity despite their desperate attempts to stay relevant. Nonetheless, in an episode of OWN’s Where Are They Now, Schroder revealed that he resented his fame and the behavior of some of his most adoring fans.

“The whole thing with the screaming girls and stuff, I didn’t understand, and by the time I ended [Silver Spoons], I was 17, and so, you know, it was challenging for me,” he admitted. “I don’t know how anyone’s comfortable with that. I wasn’t comfortable with it.” Of course, resenting fame isn’t exactly the shadiest thing on this list, but bear with us. We’re just getting started.

The real reason Ricky Schroder's daughter blocked him on Instagram

In recent years, Ricky Schroder has painted himself as somewhat of a family man. The father of four regularly talks about his kids in interviews and shares family photos on social media. According to Your Teen, he’s even gone as far as writing a film — 2013’s Hallmark Original, Our Wild Hearts – for his daughter Cambrie, who pitched the idea when she was in middle school. Nonetheless, Cambrie still hit him with her Instagram banhammer and said some not-so-nice things to Daily Mail.

According to the tabloid, Cambrie blocked her father on Instagram after he took to the comments section and expressed his displeasure over the 20-something’s lack of clothing. The influencer then went on record to slam his parenting skills. “I grew up in a very abnormal situation. People might think it’s so beautiful and glamorous, but actors aren’t most of the time fully functioning humans,” she told DailyMailTV. “From my experience, a lot of actors need a lot of attention, and so I felt like my emotional needs growing up, were not fully understood or met. I felt isolated a lot of my life because other kids my age weren’t in the same situation.”

Though Cambrie is hardly the first kid to block a parent on social media, we’re guessing the tabloids made Thanksgiving very awkward that year. Let’s hope they’ve since reconciled.

Ricky Schroder's LAX incident

The same year Ricky Schroder appeared alongside his family on the Hallmark Movie Channel, he had some less-than-wholesome press. He was allegedly involved in an altercation at LAX, where an airport worker claimed she was assaulted by the actor over baggage limits. Hey, LAX can be infuriating, but how about complaining on Twitter instead of throwing your hands?

According to TMZ, the airport worker claimed she was “checking boarding passes” when the Silver Spoons actor tried to get through security with three bags. The limit was two, and where most of us would just wear some extra sweaters, complain, and pair down our luggage, Schroder apparently “slapped her hand” as she went to read his boarding pass.

Schroder’s perspective of the incident appears to be the exact opposite. While he might have accidentally hit her hand, his lawyer claimed it was only because he was lunging to grab the phone that she slapped out of his hand. When he fumbled for it, she reportedly started screaming, “Assault!” Police showed up at the scene, no arrests were made, no reports were filed, and witnesses allegedly could corroborate Schroder’s claims. The actor later told TMZ that the incident was a “complete misunderstanding.” As he said, “I apologize to you, Miss, if I hurt your feelings and I didn’t mean to.”

Some photos are better left off social media

Ricky Schroder considers himself a conservationist, but he still has a passion for hunting. In a 1993 interview with People, the star revealed that he was nine years old when he was introduced to the sport by his The Earthling co-star, William Holden. The pair “tracked rabbits together” while filming in Australia for three months. “I thought it was the neatest thing to eat something that I had killed,” he told the magazine.

Since then, Schroder has been living a relatively outdoorsy lifestyle, and his hunting hobby largely flew under the radar without criticism. It probably would have stayed that way had he not taken to Instagram to share his exploits. Though the actor’s posts largely consist of his dogs and the odd rifle or fishing pole, it was a massive shock to see him “carrying the bloodied leg of a dismembered elk,” according to Yahoo! Entertainment

The post was met with mass outrage before it was deleted as fans flooded the comments section to slam the actor. According to Yahoo! Entertainment, one claimed, “I respect you as an actor but on a human level you have disappointed me.” Another revealed that their “30 years of love” for Schroder was “gone in an instant,” which probably hurt his ego, but not as much as he hurt that elk.

The drama behind Ricky Schroder's NYPD Blue exit

Ricky Schroder managed to parlay a child acting career into serious roles, the most high profile being his spot on NYPD Blue, where he portrayed Detective Danny Sorenson. Though he ran with the series for nearly 60 episodes, it seems like his departure was somewhat of a sore spot — both for him and creators Steven Bochco and David Milch. From his perspective, the whole thing seems like a series of tragedies and petty drama.

In an interview with AV Club, Schroder admitted that he exited the program after a family death left him “too grief-stricken” to work, but there was “some sting involved.” On TV, this played out with his character’s sudden, off-screen death. Detective Sorenson was found unceremoniously rolled up in a rug in a parking lot, which Schroder didn’t think was “totally appropriate or fitting.” He was then replaced with fellow child actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who’s best known for his role as Zack Morris on Saved by the Bell. This, again, didn’t sit right with the Silver Spoons actor.

“I thought at the time that it was probably intentional that Bochco did that because he just wanted to make a point that I was replaceable,” he told AV Club. “He made his point, but we’re very different people and very different actors.” If we’re going by the internet’s opinion, Zack Morris is trash, anyway.

What's up with Ricky Schroder's divorce?

Ricky Schroder had a uniquely stable home life for years, a characteristic surprising for someone with such long-standing stardom. This appeared to come to an end in 2016, when according to Us Weekly, his wife Andrea filed for divorce just ahead of their 24th wedding anniversary. She cited irreconcilable differences.

Divorce happens, especially in Hollywood, but the real mystery is why the couple never actually finalized it. According to The Blast, it took three years of separation for a judge to scold the pair, warning them to finalize their split or “he will be forced to keep the two married.” They were given three options: appear in court and explain why their divorce was dragging on, file a “judgment package” (i.e., the final documents that would legally end their marriage), or dismiss the case.

It’s unclear which route the pair chose, but at the time of this writing, we couldn’t find any evidence of their legal split, though Schroder reportedly has a new girlfriend.

Ricky Schroder was arrested for felony domestic violence

It may have taken decades, but Ricky Schroder’s squeaky clean image as an ’80s teen heartthrob was finally tarnished in 2019 when he was arrested for felony domestic violence. So, what actually happened? According to TMZ, Schroder “punched his girlfriend in the face as she tried to leave their home.” According to his girlfriend, who was only identified as Jessica in an exclusive Extra interview, the entire thing was “totally blown out of proportion.”

Jessica claimed that the incident was a result of the pair working on “normal relational issues and nuances unique to [their] relationship.” They apparently wanted to call 911 for “help mediating” their argument, which in our unprofessional opinion, seems like a job better suited for a therapist. Schroder was reportedly the first to call, but hung up. Jessica called back. Law enforcement showed up and cuffed the Silver Spoons actor.

“Law enforcement had no good reason to arrest Ricky,” Jessica told Extra. “No charges were filed. It’s almost like they decided to take him out of an abundance of caution because that’s what’s expected.” Sadly, this wasn’t the last time the star would be booked for the same crime.

Two strikes and Ricky Schroder's out (on bail)

Schroder’s first arrest was not his last. In fact, he ended up being arrested for felony domestic violence twice in a single month. According to TMZ, this means that his victim — in this case, his alleged girlfriend — had “visible marks.” The second time around, AP reports that she was the one to dial 911 and claim that the actor punched her. She changed her story when officers arrived, alleging that she was accidentally punched when she “startled” a sleeping Schroder.

Schroder’s girlfriend echoed the same claim to Extra as she reportedly did to cops. In an exclusive statement, she detailed the pair’s reported “late-night argument” that ended with Schroder lying down in bed. “I followed and laid down behind him and when I touched him, he quickly reached behind himself trying to push me away and his elbow hit the side of my head hard,” she said. “I was angry and called 911. I completely regret that.”

The pair were allegedly woken up by officers about an hour later. AP reports that no charges were ever filed.

Ricky Schroder's family reportedly staged an intervention

It wasn’t the end of child stardom that spiraled Ricky Schroder into a path of partying and legal troubles. Rather, it was his divorce. According to ET, the actor’s family tried to “hold an intervention” for his constant partying following his 2019 arrests. According to the tabloid’s source, the NYPD Blue actor had been struggling since splitting from his long-time wife. “During his married life, his wife truly helped him hold it together but the last couple of years since their split he hasn’t been doing well,” the source claimed. “His nonstop partying has truly affected his everyday life, and his family wants nothing more than for him to get the help that he needs.”

Because of the sheer amount of alleged “red flags” (which we’re guessing includes arrests as well as some details not divulged to the press), Schroder’s family reportedly believed that an intervention was the only way the star would admit that he needed help. This intervention reportedly involved his children. “His family, including his ex-wife, will do anything to help Ricky, for both him and their children,” the source told ET. “They will never abandon him.”

It’s unclear if Schroder actually received treatment for those so-called red flags. As of this writing, we can’t find any information regarding a potential rehab stint, and his last project appeared to be a 2017 documentary that he produced. He hasn’t acted on screen since his divorce made headlines.

Ricky Schroder helped bail out Kyle Rittenhouse

In 2020, Ricky Schroder didn’t make headlines for his talent. Instead, he made headlines for his charitable causes, which drummed up a lot more controversy than the average act of philanthropy. According to TMZ, the former child star donated a reported $150,000 to Kyle Rittenhouse’s bail fund. If you’re not familiar, Rittenhouse was the teen jailed after fatally shooting two people and injuring a third during the widespread Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wis. ABC7 reports that the teen was charged with “first-degree intentional homicide, attempted homicide, reckless homicide, recklessly endangering safety and illegal possession of a firearm” and held on a $2 million bail.

Though MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell also donated to Rittenhouse’s fund, Schroder was the one who received death threats, probably because Lindell’s myriad of controversies make it a little less surprising. According to TMZ, the actor reported the threats to the cops, who went to Schroder’s house to comb through the negative social media posts. This included stuff like “Tbh thought he was dead. Would’ve been better,” and “This was a racist move pure and simple.” According to TMZ, cops determined that there were no credible threats, but they’re “monitoring the situation” just in case it escalates. Personally, we’d recommend a social media cleanse, but that’s just us.

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