Celebrity breakups happen all the time, so it’s hardly mind-blowing when you hear another famous couple has called it quits. Still, some famous couples seem like they’ll defy the odds—and it’s truly shocking when those pairs don’t make it, even years after the breakup. People are still trying to get over these splits.
Jen and Brad were the It couple of the early ’00s, so it shocked everyone when they announced in 2005 that they were splitting. The two claimed in a joint statement at the time that their breakup was not the result of “speculation reported by the tabloid media.” Brad started publicly dating Angelina Jolie not long after.
Brangelina got some criticism when they went public following Brad’s split from Jennifer Aniston and later confirmed that they fell in love while Brad was still married. But the couple proved they had staying power. They eventually had six children and married in 2014 after 10 years together. However, Angelina filed for divorce from Brad just two years later in 2016.
While the two had been plagued with breakup rumors for months, it still shocked the world when Diana and Charles announced their separation. After all, royals weren’t supposed to divorce. Diana went on to focus on her charity work and raising the couple’s two sons before her death. Charles eventually married his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles.
Channing and Jenna always seemed solid, so it was a surprise to fans when the couple announced in 2018 that they were separating. “We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple,” they said in a joint statement on Instagram. “We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now. There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision—just two best-friends realising it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.”
These two megastars starred together on Shanghai Surprise and married in a quickie wedding in 1985. They divorced four years later after Penn reportedly struggled with their lack of privacy. They seem to have a great relationship now, though, with Sean recently saying on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that “I love my first wife very much.”
When these powerhouse stars got together, it just seemed…right. But after seven years of marriage and two children, the couple decided to call it quits. Now, the two are friendly exes and often publicly support each other.
Sonny and Cher were a singing powerhouse in the ’60s and ’70s, selling 40 million records and making several hit TV shows together. But their career as a rockstar duo came to a halt in 1975 with their divorce. Still, they seemed to be on friendly terms until Sonny’s death in 1998.
Anna and Chris met and fell in love on the set of the 2007 movie Take Me Home Tonight. The two eventually married, and fans loved how normal and relatable they were. It seemingly came out of nowhere when they announced in 2017 that they were splitting.
The playwright and iconic actress married in 1956 (it was her third marriage and his second), but it didn’t last long. Marilyn converted to Judaism for Arthur and stepped out of the spotlight for a while, but their marriage fell apart while they were filming The Misfits, which he wrote and she starred in. They divorced before the movie was released.
It just seemed to make sense when Ben Affleck got together with all-American girl Jennifer Garner after dating Jennifer Lopez. The two married and had three kids together, but split in 2015. A source told People that Ben’s struggles with alcohol led to the split. The two continue to coparent, though, and are often spotted together by the paparazzi.
People were floored when Ashton and Demi got together, largely due to their 15-year age difference. But the two seemed like a good match and publicly supported each other during their six-year marriage. The couple eventually split in 2011, after Ashton was plagued by cheating rumours—which Demi didn’t exactly deny. “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton. As a woman, a mother, and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life,” she said in a statement at the time.
It was Diana and Charles all over again when Sarah (a.k.a. Fergie) and Andrew got together. The couple seemed like a great match, but they were quickly plagued by rumors that they were having issues because Andrew, who was in the Navy, was away from home a lot. The couple eventually separated in 1992 after rumors that Fergie had cheated on Andrew.
Bruce and Kris Jenner regularly appeared like your standard mother and father (who just so happened to have mega-famous kids) on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, but it soon became clear that their marriage was not going well. Bruce got a separate home in Malibu, which the family wrote off as him needing some time away from the chaos of home. But in October 2013, the couple announced that they were separating. Two years later, Bruce publicly came out as a transgender woman and changed her name to Caitlyn.
Chris and Rihanna were the It couple of R&B, so it was completely shocking when news broke in 2009 that Chris had been arrested for assaulting his girlfriend after a pre-Grammys party. The two split, eventually reconciled, and finally broke up for good, to the relief of fans.
It was the scandal of the decade when news broke in 2009 that squeaky clean golf legend Tiger Woods had cheated on his wife Elin Nordegren, the mother of his two children. Over the next few days, more than a dozen women claimed to have had affairs with Tiger during his marriage. The two divorced the following year.
Ellen and Anne met at an Oscars party in 1997 and quickly became a couple—Ellen’s first public relationship since she came out earlier that year. They dated for nearly four years and it didn’t end well. “I think being the person I am now, if I met her tomorrow I probably wouldn’t be with her,” Ellen later told the Los Angeles Times. “But I was a different person then, and I’ve learned a whole lot.”
People loved Heidi and Seal for how fun, in love, and compatible they seemed. Seal adopted and raised Heidi’s daughter Leni, and the couple had three biological children together. The couple separated in 2012 after seven years of marriage, with sources telling TMZ that Heidi couldn’t take Seal’s “volcanic” temper anymore.
Orlando and Miranda were quite possibly the world’s most gorgeous couple when they got together in 2007. The couple got engaged and married in 2010, and welcomed their son Flynn in early 2011. But it wasn’t meant to last. The couple separated after just three years of marriage.
People raised eyebrows when Mariah and Nick first got together, given that she was 11 years his senior. But Nick seemed so smitten with Mariah (he even tattooed her name across his back) that it looked like it was destined to work. The two got married in 2008, just months after they revealed that they were dating, and had twins Monroe and Moroccan together. They announced their separation in 2014. Nick later said on The Wendy Williams Show that the former couple are “the best of friends.”
Fans were obsessed with Gwyneth and Chris when they first got together. They were gorgeous! They were cool! They eventually got married in 2003, and had two children together. But in 2014, the couple announced that they were “consciously uncoupling,” a term that seemed weird at the time. They’ve proven doubters wrong, successfully co-parenting their kids and regularly cheering each other on in public.
Desi and Lucy were a huge couple in the ’40s and ’50s—both onscreen and off, costarring in the hit TV show I Love Lucy. However, the couple was volatile offscreen and Lucy filed for divorce in 1944, but they reconciled. Apparently, it didn’t stick: They later divorced for good in 1960.
There was no bigger couple in the late ’90s and early ’00s than Britney and Justin, thanks to their pop star statuses. They regularly hit red carpets together, and even showed up in matching ensembles at times. But after three years of dating, the two split, reportedly because Britney cheated. Justin later released the cheating anthem “Cry Me a River,” with a music video that featured a Britney lookalike—that didn’t exactly dispute the rumours.
Elvis and Priscilla became an iconic couple when they got married in 1967. The two met when she was just 14 and, by the time they got hitched, he was one of the biggest rockstars in the world. Their marriage didn’t last long, though: They had one child, Lisa Marie, nine months after their wedding and split in 1973 after they both had affairs.
Teenyboppers everywhere freaked out when these two—who costarred in the Twilight series—got together. But they broke up after three years together when Kristen was photographed by paparazzi kissing married director Rupert Sanders. “I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected,” Kristen said in a statement at the time. “This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.”
These two just couldn’t stay away from each other. Elizabeth and Richard met on the set of Cleopatra in 1963 when (oops) they were both married to other people. They got married the following year and starred in 11 movies together. They divorced a decade later. It didn’t stick, though. The couple got married again in 1975, but divorced for the second time in 1976.
Ryan and Reese played polar opposite lovers who had a tragic ending in Cruel Intentions, and the two actually got together offset during filming. They got married in 1999 and had two children together, but split in 2007. Ryan later told Larry King that they were just “so young” when they got married.
Nick and Jessica met in the late ’90s at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. “After we met, I found myself looking through the crowds for her all night,” Nick later told People. The two got together and dated for several years before Jessica reportedly called things off. But they reconciled soon after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and got married in 2002. They starred in the hit reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, but in 2005 the couple announced their separation.
He was a rock star; she was a top model—it seemed like fate when Mick and Jerry got together in the late ’70s. The couple ended up having four children together and stayed together until 1999 after Mick allegedly cheated on Jerry.
People were shocked when squeaky clean pop star Whitney Houston started dating bad boy Bobby Brown in the late ’80s, but the couple proved they had staying power. They got married in 1992 and had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina. The couple divorced in 2007, and Bobby later said in his memoir that they both had affairs.
People were obsessed with Ryan and Rachel’s romance in The Notebook, and were thrilled when they got together in real life. The two started dating in 2004 and split three years later. Ryan later had this to say to GQ about their relationship: “God bless The Notebook. It introduced me to one of the great loves of my life. But people do Rachel and me a disservice by assuming we were anything like the people in that movie. Rachel and my love story is a hell of a lot more romantic than that…The only thing I remember is we both went down swingin’ and we called it a draw.”
Part of the reason this one hurt so bad was because of Jen’s first big public divorce (read: Brad Pitt). Everyone thought she finally found forever happiness, but in February 2018 the actors revealed they were separating after two years of marriage.
It’s like a real-life rom-com: Two of Hollywood’s biggest actors meet on set, fall in love, get married on Valentine’s Day, and have a son together a year later. But after nine years, they split—and the tabloids were relentless. The actress recently told InStyle (via Today): “Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that once I was divorced.”
A month before their 13th wedding anniversary in August 2015, Gwen and Gavin told People in a statement that they were separating: “While the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment.”
Even though this couple got engaged quickly (three months!) and married just a year after that, fans were still surprised when they announced their split after just a little over a year of marriage—and it sounds like the two haven’t kept in touch. “Let’s just say I haven’t heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me December 31, 2011,” Katy told Vogue.
If you’re a fan of comedy, you probably adored this funny couple, who costarred in Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Tropic Thunder, and Zoolander 2together. But after almost two decades as a couple, they decided to go their separate ways in May 2017.
The actors who met on set of Two Much in 1995 had an almost 20 year run. Sadly, they decided to split in 2015—coincidentally around the same time they reunited onscreen again in Automata.
It wasn’t that the public thought this marriage was going to last forever that led to the shock of their split, it was just how quickly it dissolved that stunned the world. We’re talking 72 days.
After 25 years of marriage, four children, many Hollywood premieres, and a stint in the California Governor’s Mansion, the couple separated in 2011 when Arnold’s affair with their former housekeeper was revealed (which led to an extramarital son).
The world was blindsided by this split in June 2012 after five years of marriage, since rumours hadn’t surfaced that the couple was on the rocks. To this day, little is known about their split, as they’ve chosen to be deeply private on the matter.
After almost nine years of marriage, one of Hollywood’s former It couples called it quits in 2002. The pair went through a public and long custody battle following their split that lasted four years.
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.
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