Behind the dazzling appearances on screen and the glamorous lifestyles shown on Instagram, there are some aspects of celebrities’ lives that the public doesn’t always have access to. Former *NSYNC star, Joey Fatone, and his 7-year-old daughter Kloey recently appeared on USA Network’s show, Big Star Little Star, where he opened up about having a daughter with autism and the struggles that come along with it.
As reported in a Huffington Post article, the two entered the game show in which celebrities and their kids compete against other famous families and Fatone and his daughter won $5,000 for the organization Autism Speaks.
On the show, Fatone explained that his daughter has high-functioning autism and in an interview with Entertainment Tonight after the show, he describes raising Kloey in a manner different from how he raised his first daughter, now 16-year-old Briahna.
He said, “The things that I was able to simply explain or express to Briahna when she was young, I have to kind of take a different approach with Kloey, for her to understand.”
In addition, Fatone was not shy about discussing the challenges he and his wife, Kelly, faced when it came to Kloey’s autism spectrum disorder: “It has tested us a lot. She’s on the spectrum of autism and there are all different types, so everyone handles their child differently, but we handle it as we go, like most parents.”
Although his oldest daughter Briahna has no interest in the show business, Fatone admits that Hloey may end up being his “little entertainer” because of how much she enjoyed being on the game show. He said, “[Doing Big Star Little Star] was exciting and I was happy she had a great time and wasn’t nervous. That kid has no fear.”
He said, “I will help her out and support her totally, but I won’t be a stage dad! The biggest thing I hope they can learn [from my career] is that anything is possible.”
Until now, Fatone had never publicly discussed Kloey’s autism diagnosis, but in March 2016, he tweeted, “I know I don’t talk much about it but Help support and donate for autism awareness for my daughter Kloey” to which he added a link to an autism awareness event as well.
Adorably, Kloey has no clue of her father’s part in the iconic boy band, *NSYNC. During the competition, when Fatone asked, “You know what *NSYNC is, right?” she replied, “Nope!”