Jack Nicholson’s 'Secret' Daughter Says There’s ‘No Such Thing As An Illegitimate Child, Only An Illegitimate Parent’

Well said.

jack nicholson tessa gourin Twitter, 360b / Shutterstock

Jack Nicholson’s 'secret' daughter slammed her father on social media for not being present in her life.

27-year-old Tessa Gourin is one of several children Nicholson reportedly refuses to acknowledge — but she rejects the idea that this lack of fatherly bond is a reflection on herself.

Jack Nicholson's alleged daughter, Tessa Gourin, says she's not an illegitimate child.

“PSA: There is no such thing as an ‘illegitimate’ child, only an illegitimate parent,” Gourin said in an Instagram story.


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Gourin’s comments came in response to an article that identifies her as Nicholson's daughter while discussing a film she stars in. In another Instagram story, Gourin compared the language in a 16th-century play she was studying to the words used to deride her, expressing her disbelief about how such hurtful language could persist throughout the centuries.


“But NOW it’s 2022 - aka the year of being offended by literally everything under the sun apparently!” Gourin said.

“That’s why it is ASTOUNDING to me that anyone would use the term ‘illegitimate’ to describe someone in this day and age. I just pinched myself and it turns out… I LEGITIMATELY exist.”

Her comments gave a rare insight into her feelings about Nicholson, who she has never publicly mentioned, and resonate with many who have been abandoned by the men who fathered them. Gourin is an aspiring actor, perhaps best known for her starring role in the 2018 film "Stranger’s Arms." According to IMDb, she has roles in two other films, 2021’s "Stage Play" and 2022’s "The Crusaders." 

Gourin publicly acknowledged her alleged relationship with Nicholson in 2023 for the first time.

In response to the growing conversation around "nepo babies" in Hollywood, Gourin penned an article for Newsweek criticizing those denouncing the label that she wrote she "would be thrilled to have applied" to her. 


jack nicholson daughter tessa gourin instagram storyPhoto: Instagram

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"I don't hide the fact that Jack Nicholson is my biological father," she wrote, noting that she also doesn't go around advertising it. "In the end, he's a celebrity with whom I just happen to share DNA."


Despite learning about her alleged father through interviews and acceptance speeches alone, Gourin noted the many things the two have in common.

"If there is anything I am mourning, it is not a father-daughter relationship, but an artist-to-artist connection that we could have shared had the circumstances been different," she wrote.

Gourin also makes it a point to mention that despite never getting to know her, Nicholson supported her financially.

Jack Nicholson has never publicly acknowledged Tessa Gourin.

Gourin’s mother is New York real estate agent Jennine Gourin. Nicholson allegedly had a fling with Jennine in 1994 but left when he found out that Jennine, then 20, was pregnant with Tessa.


“Even though we aren’t together, I cannot wait for my baby to be born,” Jennine said at the time.

Nicholson, a three-time Oscar winner whose most famous films include "The Shining" and 1989’s "Batman" has six children, including Tessa, with five separate women and has only been married once. He has never publicly stated that Tessa is his daughter.

“Tessa looks uncannily like Jack Nicholson today, and there is plenty of documented proof that he is her father,” said Dennis McDougal, who wrote a biography about Nicholson in 2008.

McDougal said he doesn’t believe that Nicholson will ever acknowledge Tessa as his own, adding that “he is just not cut that way.” 


"Jack Nicholson has affected every part of my life imaginable," Gourin wrote in her Newsweek essay. "One of the most influential actors happens to be my biological father and for whatever reason, he isn't interested in having a relationship."

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Jonathan Alfano is a writer who focuses on news and entertainment topics. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with his content.