A celebrity’s life is an open book, whether he likes it or not. They get much sought-after publicity for any project they’re promoting, whether it’s a movie, a TV show, a record, or a music video. Unfortunately, being a celebrity means they’re also subject to public scrutiny in their private lives, which many celebrities try to keep hidden. That means whatever happens to a regular guy, it’s magnified a thousand times over for celebrities, be it something as simple as buying fruit from a grocery store or taking their children out to the park or dining out with their significant others.
The juiciest aspect of a celebrity’s private life is their love life. The public is forever on the look-out for celebrity sightings with their spouses or partners, especially if said partner is also a celebrity. Now when a celebrity encounters relationship problems—that’s when the media and public go into a frenzy.
The most intriguing of such love issues is when a third party is involved—and more so when the third party also happens to be a celebrity.
Many of Hollywood’s love triangles are downright scandalous. Sure, the public doesn’t know the full story, but the fact that the third party is a celebrity and may or may not have been the cause of the original couple’s break up—well, all that is just fodder to the media and the public. A couple of celebrities in the list appear twice. Now what that says about how they value the sacredness of a committed relationship, we’ll never really know.
10. Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe, Abbie Cornish
When the movie Cruel Intentions hit cinemas in 1999, Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon, who both starred in it, were already an item. By the time the film was released, they were engaged to be married and Witherspoon was several months pregnant with their first child. Despite the concern of many that the couple was too young to marry, they beat the odds and had a seemingly solid marriage. Eight years and two children later, however, the couple decided to separate. It was rumored that Phillippe was caught cheating on his wife with his Stop-Loss co-star, Abbie Cornish. He started a relationship with Cornish while his divorce was being processed.
9. Heather Locklear, Richie Sambora, Denise Richards
Heather Locklear seems to have a thing for musicians. She was first married to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, then after divorcing him, moved on to Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. Locklear and Sambora married in Paris in 1994, then had a daughter three years later. However, there was trouble in paradise because in 2006, Locklear filed for divorce. The rumored reason? Sambora allegedly had an affair with the couple’s good friend and neighbor, Denise Richards. A lot of mud-slinging and name-calling ensued between the two former female friends and it was later reported in the media that Sambora and Richards had officially begun dating.
8. Mary Louise Parker, Billy Crudup, Claire Danes
A man who leaves his pregnant partner for another woman is scandalous indeed. When it happens in Hollywood, the scandal is magnified a hundredfold. Billy Crudup met Mary-Louise Parker in 1996 when they starred in a stage revival of Bus Stop. Parker became pregnant with Crudup’s child in 2003, but at seven months pregnant, Crudup up and left Parker for Claire Danes, his co-star in the film, Stage Beauty. Crudup and Danes confirmed they were dating in 2004, but denied that there was an overlap with Crudup’s relationship with Parker.
7. Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Rupert Sanders
These relationships can actually be considered a love square because both parties were in relationships when the illicit affair started. Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were a real-life couple, much to the delight of their Twilight fans, photographed holding hands and doing other cute couple things. So it came as a big shock when photos made their way to the newsstands of Stewart locked in steamy kisses and embraces with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, who’s almost twenty years her senior. At the time, Sanders was married to actress and model Liberty Ross. Needless to say, Ross filed for divorce soon after the cheating incident.
6. Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe
After doing two movies together, real-life couple Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan decided to tie the knot, but Ryan had one condition: Quaid had to kick his drug habit, as he was a constant cocaine user. They married in 1991 and had a son the following year. In 2000, Ryan starred in Proof of Life with Russell Crowe and the two started an affair, which was brief due to media scrutiny. Ryan claimed Quaid had been unfaithful to her for years and soon after her affair with Crowe leaked to the public, she and Quaid got a divorce.
5. Mia Farrow, Woody Allen, Soon-Yi Previn
One of the biggest scandals that rocked Hollywood involved renowned director Woody Allen, although to him, it’s preposterous that the public refers to it as a scandal. He began an affair with his partner, Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn while he was still in a relationship with Farrow. To Allen, he didn’t break any moral or legal laws because he wasn’t married to Farrow, Soon-Yi was an adult of 19, and they fell in love. Allen and Soon-Yi married in 1997 and have two adopted children. Despite the almost 40-year age gap, the couple has been married for 17 years and appear to be going strong.
4. Laura Dern, Billy Bob Thornton, Angelina Jolie
Many remember how Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton behaved in public while they were still married; groping each other and making out on the red carpet, carrying vials of each other’s blood around their necks, and sporting tattoos with each other’s names. They seemed a little too intense for comfort. The relationship didn’t exactly start out on a clean slate. The two met on the set of Pushing Tin while Thornton was still engaged to actress Laura Dern. He promptly ended the engagement so he could get with Jolie.
3. Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie seems to have garnered the title of home-wrecker, and with good reason. After coming between Billy Bob Thornton and then fiancé Laura Dern, she seemed to be the cause of another break-up, this time of two people dubbed as Hollywood’s golden couple. Everyone sighed with envy and wistfulness when Brad Pitt and Friends star Jennifer Aniston began a relationship and later married in 2000. They were the perfect pair, until they shocked everyone with the announcement that they were separating a few months after Pitt and Jolie starred in Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Pitt admitted a few years later that it was during filming of that movie that he fell in love with Jolie.
2. Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor
She was known for her many husbands just as much as her acting prowess and beautiful face. In the late 1950’s, Elizabeth Taylor had a solid film career and was already married to her third husband, Mike Todd. The American film producer was more than twenty years Taylor’s senior and was also the best friend of singer Eddie Fisher, who was then married to Debbie Reynolds. The two couples spent a lot of time together and were all good friends. Which is why it was natural that Fisher went out of his way to comfort Taylor when her husband died in a plane crash. Suffice to say, they fell in love and Fisher left Reynolds to become Taylor’s fourth husband.
1. Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton
To the public, Elizabeth Taylor had inadvertently wrecked the marriage of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. So who was to say history wouldn’t repeat itself? Sure enough, Taylor began an affair with British actor Richard Burton on the set of their movie Cleopatra. Both were married at the time, so the affair caused extreme controversy and they were condemned by the Vatican for their adulterous actions. A little over a week after Taylor’s divorce from Fisher was finalized, she and Burton married—and remarried after getting divorced ten years later.