The dark side of the Bon Jovi family

The dark side of the Bon Jovi family: From his sister’s drug overdose to his father’s mental health battles – is Jake Bongiovi looking for stability by proposing to Millie Bobby Brown?

  • READ MORE: Meet the in-laws! From Millie Bobby Brown’s parents to Jake Bongiovi’s rock star father worth $410m… who are the families of the couple?

Millie Bobby Brown’s engagement to her longtime beau Jake Bongiovi has sent fans into a frenzy, after they shared the exciting news on Tuesday.

The actor, 20, is no stranger to the spotlight as the son of 80s legend Jon Bon Jovi, 61, and his wife Dorothea Hurley.

But while the Bon Jovi family appear to be one of the most tight-knit in showbusiness, they’ve still had their fair share of struggles.

The musician, 61, has previously revealed his own battles with mental health, while his daughter Stephanie was hospitalised following a drug overdose.

As Millie and Jake prepare to start their life together, MailOnline takes a look back at his famous family’s struggles…

Tough time! Jon Bon Jovi’s family are seen as one of the most tight-knit in showbusiness, but they’ve still had their fair share of struggles

Getting wed! The 80s hitmaker’s second son Jake Bongiovi, 20, recently announced his engagement to Millie Bobby Brown, 19 

From the outside, Bon Jovi and his wife Dorethea are one of Hollywood’s most long-lasting couples, having been married for 34 years.

The high school sweethearts tied the knot in Las Vegas in 1989 after nine years together, and welcomed four children, Stephanie, 30, Jesse, 28, Jake, 20, and Romeo, 19.

Dorothea previously revealed that she and Jon tried to keep their children shielded from the spotlight, telling PEOPLE: ‘We never really drag the kids to things.

‘I never pointed at the TV and said, ‘There’s Daddy!’ We try hard just to give our kids a normal life.’ 

In 2012, Jon and Dorethea’s eldest child Stephanie, who was 19 at the time, was hospitalised after taking Opioids.

Speaking about the ordeal in a 2013 interview, telling The Mirror: ‘It was horrible, a horrible moment. It was my worst moment as a father.

‘She was by no means sticking needles in her arms. But there’s a lot of synthetic stuff in the world and a lot of temptation and access and pressures that just a generation ago you and I didn’t know about…

‘I feel it was a terrible tragic lesson of life but I thank God every day because she is whole. It happened and it has gone. I know personally people whose sons and daughters, where it was a lot, lot worse. That could have been Stephanie.’

Famous family: Jake was born to celebrity parents Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Hurley on May 7, 2002 (they are all pictured with his siblings Stephanie and Jesse in November 2013) 

Close bond: Dorothea previously revealed that she and Jon tried to keep their children shielded from the spotlight, telling PEOPLE: ‘We never really drag the kids to things’

Scary: In 2012, Jon and Dorethea’s eldest child Stephanie (pictured in 2015), who was 19 at the time, was hospitalised after taking Opioids

In 2016, Bon Jovi spoke about his own devastating mental health struggles, admitting the previous three years were ‘the worst of his life,’ after Bon Jovi’s guitarist Richie Sambora abruptly left the band after 30 years.

His exit blindsided the hitmaker, with this and the ensuing row with his record label left Jon at his lowest ebb.

He told The Mirror: ‘It was a very, very difficult time that I haven’t fully rebounded from yet but my wife has been phenomenal. Without her, I am not sure how I would have coped.’

The star has also previously revealed he suffered a breakdown in 1991, after being left exhausted the release of Bon Jovi’s third album Slippery When Wet, and back-to-back touring.

While seeking help from a psychologist, he contemplated suicide by jumping out of a moving car.

He added: ‘I am not ready to share it in full but it was not pretty. But I am working towards it. It was similar to that period in retrospect. 

‘I found acting at that time which gave me a release. There was no release this time around but there were just as much difficulties.’

Rock star Jon, whose full name is John Francis Bongiovi Jr, has dabbled in acting but is best known as the founder and frontman of his band Bon Jovi.

He formed the band in 1983 with David Bryan, Tico Torres, Phil X and bassist Hugh McDonald and they went on to release a staggering 15 studio albums.

Jon also made his solo debut with his 1990 album Blaze of Glory and has had array of smash hits with his band, including It’s My Life and Livin’ On A Prayer.

His wife Dorothea works as a karate instructor in New Jersey and the pair sweetly first met when they were at school together. 

Despite the Bon Jovi family’s struggles, they’ve proven to be one of the most tight-knit units in showbusiness, with Jon previously opening up about his longtime romance with his high school sweetheart in a 2020 interview.

‘Having grown up together and grown together. And we really like each other. We want to hang out,’ he said in People.

‘I was immediately drawn to her from the minute I saw her – and that’s never changed – 40 years ago.’

Jon added: ‘We enjoy each other and we never fell for the trappings of what celebrity can do. We’ve witnessed that happen over the years to people that were close to us and people that we knew from afar.’ 

The family lived in New Jersey for many years before moving to a lavish mansion in Palm Beach, Florida, until they sold the $20million property in August 2020.

On the same day, he purchased a new seaside mansion in Palm Beach for $43million, according to reports at the time.

Jon is believed to be a big fan of the South Florida area and is often seen spending time at the coastal resort with friends, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.

Jon and his wife also run the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which aims to end hunger and homelessness through their pay-what-you-can Soul Kitchen restaurants and food bank.

Praised: Jon has previously credited his wife for supporting him, after he battled with his mental health following Richie Sambora’s departure from Bon Jovi in 2013 

Millie and Jake revealed their engagement on April 11, writing on Instagram: ‘I’ve loved you three summers now, honey, I want ’em all’.

While Jake also shared an announcement post to his own page, simply writing ‘forever’ alongside two snaps of the couple.

Celebrating the joyous news, the smitten couple took part in a beachy photoshoot – with Millie dressed in a crochet dress while Jake donned a cream polo shirt. 

The announcement confirms some speculation that has been circulating on social media over recent weeks, after she flashed a glimpse at the ring in a recent post.

Posing behind the wheel of a convertible car in a picture last month, Millie looked away from the camera and lifted her hand in the air, showing the prominent diamond ring on her finger. 

While she also sparked rumours in August when she was seen wearing a gold diamond ring on her wedding finger during a PDA-packed outing.

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