Cole Sprouse Says Mom Spent Child Acting Money: 'Most Irresponsible Person'

Cole Sprouse is getting candid about his experience as a child actor.

During an appearance on Wednesday’s episode of the “Call Her Daddy” podcast, the “Riverdale” star detailed how he — and his twin brother Dylan were the sources of financial stability for their parents after they got into acting as infants.

However, Cole, now 30, revealed that their estranged mother, Melanie Wright Sprouse, “lost” all of the money he and his brother had earned by the time they were 10.

“Both my brother and I went through a lengthy court battle at about 10, and custody was stripped from my mother and given to my father,” he told “Call Her Daddy” host Alex Cooper, sharing that his parents had different philosophies when it came to him and his brother’s acting careers. “[My father] desperately wanted us to be normal kids, and my mother wanted us to be … a bit more of a caricature of two normal kids.”

Cole said, “I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this … When my father was given forced custody, we had pretty much lost everything from the youngest parts of our career. That would be ‘Friends’ and ‘Big Daddy.’ My mother was an incredibly wonderful and artistic woman, but she was financially the most irresponsible person ever.”

However, the Disney Channel alum said he doesn’t “blame” his mother, noting her struggles with mental health and addiction.

“I think if anyone knew the kind of woman she was, they could have said it would have gone the exact same way,” Cole explained. “I am remorseful in very many ways that she wasn’t able to get out of it but I don’t blame her at all.”

When asked if he has a relationship with his mother now, Cole admitted, “Not at all.”

“In truth, she lost her mind,” he continued. “I think it was the consequence of some weird alchemy of addiction and mental instability and it’s probably the greatest wound in my life, and also the greatest driving force for my continuing in this industry.”

“I miss her a lot,” he added. “She was an incredibly beautiful and artistic woman.”

Elsewhere in the conversation, Cole shared further details about his experience as a child actor, explaining why booking “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” was “life-saving” for him and Dylan.

“By the time my brother and I got to the Disney Channel, we were good. It was a huge boon to us,” he said. “It was, in very many ways, a life-saving show. It provided us with an amount of stability and consistency, and routine, that really was needed for my brother and I at the time.”

“The Suite Life of Zack & Cody” ran from 2005 to 2008, which was immediately followed by the sequel series, “The Suite Life on Deck,” which aired until 2011. The series also spawned a television film, “The Suite Life Movie,” which was released in 2011.

During his “Call Her Daddy” interview, Cole likened being a child star to getting “the golden ticket from Willy Wonka,” calling it “a great means to an end.”

“I think there’s two types of kids within the child acting business. There’s, like the ‘thespian children’ who choose to do it, and then there’s the working class kids that, in our case at least,” he said. “I mean it started, really, as a means to put bread on the table. And also allow my mother at the same time to be a mother, but to make her main focus and her job our careers.”

When asked when he was “finally done” paying his family’s bills, Cole revealed, “Three years ago when I hit success with ‘Riverdale.'”

“What else is it for?” he said. “Once you realize the lifestyle you want to acquire financially, I don’t think there’s anything more noble than taking care of your family with the financial independence that you’ve been given.”

Meanwhile, the “Five Feet Apart” star also shared how he and his brother Dylan’s experience at the Disney Channel — and as child actors in general — compared to that of female stars, such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.

“I think in very many ways, my brother and I were lucky mainly because we were young boys,” he explained. “Like, the fascination when we were younger, at least on the Disney Channel, was like, of Miley and Selena and a lot of these girls, because they were heavily sexualized, which is another huge f—ing issue.” But the fascination which was young womanhood… My brother and I in very many ways went through all of the same trappings, except the lens wasn’t on us as tightly, which I’m very, very grateful for.”

Despite the ups and downs of being a child actor, Cole said he does not “regret it at all.”

“My parents did not come from too much, and I have now been granted a life of primarily financial stability — and surplus in very many cases — that is the byproduct of working for 30 years and sort of trading my childhood,” he shared.

“But I don’t regret it at all,” he added. “I know that there’s definitely resentment, there’s definitely some things I have to work through, but no. If I were given the same choice again, I’d probably do it again.”

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