The pope’s son who became synonymous with nepotism, Alexander VI, ironically had such a formidable talent in politics and warfare that he became the inspiration for Machiavelli to write The prince (Admittedly, having been hired by him must have had some influence).
César Borgia even created his own state in Central Italy. He was made cardinal at 18, as soon as his father assumed the papacy (unusually, he renounced the purple), and died at 31.
The “tradition” of raising nephews to cardinal – or niBowl -, as the children produced at the time of powerful and scandalous popes were called, gave rise to the term nepotism, which took solid roots in the political world.
But the nepotism everyone is talking about these days is the children of celebrities who follow the careers of their fathers and mothers as artists – or not even that. In English, they are called “nepo babies”.
One of the most notorious cases is that of Brooklin, the eldest son of David Beckham and Victoria, the former Spice Girl who managed to change careers, going from singer to owner of a well-known fashion house.
Brooklin Beckham is no Cesar Borgia, to say the least. He doesn’t sing, he doesn’t dance, he doesn’t draw, he doesn’t play football, but he thinks he’s great. He has tried his hand at being a photographer, model and designer – he dropped out after a year at the renowned Parsons School of Design – it costs $23,000 a term, he warns on his unbelievably naughty resume.
Even with all the influence of famous parents, it continues to jump from branch to branch. Now, he calls himself a chef de cuisine. Without, obviously, ever having commanded a kitchen, apart from the one in the house he shares with another person favored by the family aura, the actress Nicola Peltz. Her father, billionaire Nelson Peltz, is seeking, via his investment bank, a place at the helm of Disney.
The daughter’s pale career would certainly get a new boost. The father-in-law and famous surname, even in the United States, led Brooklin to present his “speciality” on a popular television program: sandwiches (recipe: bread, stuffing, bread).
On social media, he is often ridiculed for such forays. He has already presented “his” gin and tonic as if it were a great novelty (recipe: gin, tonic, ice).
But it has 14 million followers, which more than guarantees its place in the sun. Entering the world of fame with a well-known last name obviously opens doors. “But then it’s all up to you,” wailed Lily Rose Depp, young, pretty and thin, but her Chanel modeling career fueled solely by her lineage (French singer Vanessa Paradis and American pirate Johnny Depp).
It is a rare case that the product of “puppy” surpasses the famous parents in talent and beauty. If that happened, Dakota Johnson would have to be the most beautiful and talented actress in the universe, considering that she is the granddaughter of Tippi Hedren (the blonde tortured by Hitchcock in The birds)daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, former stepdaughter of Antonio Banderas.
To spread the circles of influence, she has been together since 2017 with Chris Martin, the Cold Play who was once married to Gwyneth Paltrow, daughter of actress Blythe Danner and the late director Bruce Paltrow.
Gwyneth is the exception to the rule: she became more famous than her parents, won the biggest awards and became much richer with her new age products.
You “nepo babies” were the subject of a magazine cover new York in December and became a global topic with the concentration of privileged people in one place. In general, they proliferate on Netflix: the sheer number of productions always accommodates a daddy’s boy – or mommy’s or both.
The magazine mentions a film made during the pandemic, when many artistic clans had to live like ordinary people in the same house, and which aroused a certain controversy: the director was the daughter of Steven Spielberg; the actor, son of Sean Penn and the script written by the son of Stephen King.
The little push can start early. Beyoncé returned to the stage, at the opening of a hotel in Dubai, with a “special participation”: her daughter Blue Ivy, only 11 years old (and almost as tall as her mother). When she was born, her mother and father, Jay Z, registered her original name to have all rights to its commercial use.
Jennifer Lopez’s daughter, Emma, 14 years old, has also sung with her mother and showed that she is in the range of fluid genres.
In politics, the case of nepotism that has hovered over the United States for years is that of Hunter Biden, the son that daddy Joe took along on official trips when he was vice president. Hunter returned with lucrative contracts. Not even the most ardent Democrat thinks that would happen because “Hunter is the smartest man I’ve ever met”, in the words of his dazzled father – and he was Barack Obama’s vice president.
The new Republican majority in Congress should turn over the suspicious business of the president’s youngest son that the mainstream press and social networks “buried” when they came to light, shortly before the presidential election, so as not to harm Biden’s campaign.
“Who are we going to trust if not our own family”, Pope Alexander VI certainly said – perhaps demonstrating overconfidence, considering that even today, suspicions persist that Cesare Borgia killed his brother, Giovanni. Nothing personal, just the usual struggle for power, in the same way that forced his brother-in-law, Giovanni Sforza, to sign a confession of impotence in order to pave the way for a more advantageous marriage for his sister, Lucrécia, who led to her reputation as a devourer of husbands. .
Because of the scandalous favoring of popes’ “nephews”, Innocent XII wrote a bull in 1692 forbidding all popes who would succeed him from giving away property, offices or sources of income to relatives. The “quota” of cardinals was limited to a single family member.
The most unbelievable case of nepotism in the world today is that of the communist dynasty in North Korea. Kim Jong-Un is the third member of the family to exercise power and has already begun to appear in public with his daughter, Ju-Ae, who is only nine years old. The Red Dynasty was created by Kim Il-Sung, worshiped literally as a demigod.
But of course, family ties don’t guarantee everything. Kim Jong-Un had his uncle, Jong Song-Thaek, executed on suspicion of conspiracy. As Donald Trump told Bob Woodward, the decapitated body was shown to members of the North Korean elite.
Trump himself has put his daughter and son-in-law in government, in unpaid positions. He dreamed of making Ivanka the first president of the United States, but the family situation is not good because of a fateful dinner with the anti-Semitic Kanye West.
Ivanka, who converted to Judaism to marry Jared Kushner, has already warned that she will have no role in her father’s new campaign.