Escaping the Shadow of a Famous Ex

Federline's drawn-out custody battle with Spears has been filled with bizarre episodes, the most recent of which involved Spears refusing to return custody of their sons to him on Jan. 3. But the dancer, rapper, model and actor hasn't let the drama slow him down. He was recently added to the cast of "One Tree Hill" after several guest appearances on the show, and he launched his rap music career with the debut album "Playing with Fire" in October 2006.

James DeBarge

Sure, James Debarge sang his heart out with family R&B group "DeBarge," but he's probably better known for his short marriage to superstar Janet Jackson. The couple met when Jackson was only 13 and got married in 1984. But a year later, Jackson had the nuptials annulled, saying she could no longer deal with DeBarge's drug use. Although DeBarge has since stayed away from the spotlight, his daughter Kristina appeared on the "American Idol" spin-off "American Juniors." Perhaps because his daughter brought attention back to the DeBarge name, James has started fiddling with fame again, working on musical collaborations with his brother Chico.

Heather Mills

Heather Mills was just another model before she met Paul McCartney. Now, she's known as the former Beatle's contentious former wife. The couple married in June 2002, a few years after McCartney's first wife, Linda, passed away from breast cancer. In Oct. 2003, Mills gave birth to their daughter, Beatrice Milly McCartney. But a few years later, in July 2006, McCartney filed for divorce, citing "unreasonable behavior" after countless fights and disagreements with his wife and making headlines across the world.

Since the divorce, Mills has made it known that she hates the media constantly nagging her about the shocking split (ironically, she's made her feelings loud and clear through the media). She also stands to gain a huge sum of money from the divorce settlement because she never signed a pre-nup with McCartney. Despite having only one real leg — she lost the other in a motorcycle accident in 1993 — in 2007 Mills was a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" and made it into the sixth week of the competition before being eliminated from the show. These days, Mills is back to being an activist in England, speaking out about animal rights and the dangers of land mines.

Brigitte Nielsen

Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen is known for being the ex of not just one famous face, but several. She married Sylvester Stallone in Dec 1985 after meeting the action star on the set of the film "Cobra." But shortly after their "I do's," the couple divorced in July 1987, and Nielsen got $6 million in the settlement. In 2004, Nielsen joined the cast of VH1's "The Surreal Life," where she became intimately acquainted with rapper Flavor Flav. After "The Surreal Life" ended and Nielsen and Flav's romanced blossomed, VH1 gave them their own spin-off show, "Strange Love." But the show ended after a few months, and so did their relationship. After two failed celebrity romances, Nielsen's gone back to dating mere mortals, but she's staying in the world of reality television as part of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab."

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