With recent news of the surprise divorce between former football star Ed Hartwell and former child star Keisha Knight Pulliam, it’s surprising that this sort of thing still happens. Pending motherhood can be a very vulnerable time for woman as they grapple with the changes happening to them physically and emotionally. Life as they know it is about to change, whether they’re having their first child or their third or fourth.
For reasons unknown (in some cases) the marriage or relationship evaporates while they’re still pregnant and these women are left caring for their babies on their own. Sure they might have family or friends to help them ease into this life transition but having their former partners around would go a long way.
In most cases these women are blindsided by the end of their relationships while others took a stand and chose to leave. Whatever the reason, these incidents aren’t as rare as one might think. Granted men have their reasons for leaving, whether justified or not, but the ones who have the potential to be most affected are the unborn children. In some cases, it’s unclear how much involvement the fathers have with their children but there’s always hope that the parents can set aside their differences and co-parent for their children’s sake.
Check out the following couples who found themselves in this not so pleasant situation and how they managed to work through it.
15. Kelis Rogers and Nas Jones
Considered musical royalty back in the day, Jones and Rogers tied the knot in 2005. Unfortunately for them, marital bliss didn’t last forever and they split in 2010. The thing was though, Rogers was seven months pregnant with their son. The divorce was a nasty one with each person being portrayed as the villain, Rogers a gold-digger (Jones was ordered to pay her $55,000 a month in spousal and child support) while Jones was painted the unfaithful, cold-hearted husband who allegedly hid credit cards from Rogers. In July 2009, when Rogers gave birth to their son, she refused to allow Jones into the delivery room. Jones’ revenge? He publicly announced the birth before Rogers had a chance to. In 2012 he even released an album titled Life is Good where he aired much of their dirty laundry.
They’ve come a long way since those days and have become successful co-parents. Rogers has moved on, she’s now a chef who’s happily married to real estate agent Mike Mora. They welcomed their first child together, a son, in 2015.
14. Bridget Moynahan and Tom Brady
Football superstar Brady and actress Moynahan (you’ve likely seen her in the police drama Blue Bloods) dated for two years before they called it quits at the end of 2006. As fate would have it, Moynahan announced her pregnancy a few short months later in 2007. By then Brady had already moved on and was dating, his now wife, Gisele Bundchen. Both Moynahan and Bundchen have commented on how difficult it was adjusting to the situation in the early days. Fortunately for Brady and Moynahan’s son, all three of them have established a good relationship in order to successfully co-parent.
13. Michelle Tomlinson and Donnie Wahlberg
Before this former “New Kid on the Block” settled into marital bliss with Jenny McCarthy, he was married to Kimberly Fey. They filed for divorce in 2008 citing the oh so common “irreconcilable differences” and were legally divorced by 2010. At the time it was thought that their split was due to Canadian model Michelle Tomlinson. Only they know the truth but the two did in fact date. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Tomlinson after Wahlberg became a free man. When he found out she was expecting, he allegedly called it a day on their relationship and left her high and dry. Not much has been made public since their split but let’s hope for their child’s sake they get along well.
12. Shar Jackson and Kevin Federline
Who doesn’t remember this one? It happened in the days before Twitter but managed to spread across the web like wildfire, primary because it involved pop princess Britney Spears. Federline and Jackson were engaged with their second child on the way when he, a backup dancer for Spears, decided to dump her and move on with Spears. Jackson has talked about the split in the past, expressing that there was no indication that he was going to leave, it understandably took her by surprise. Federline and Spears eventually tied the knot and have two boys together. Unfortunately for the new couple, the marriage didn’t last and they eventually divorced with Federline getting full custody of their boys.
11. Claire Milonas and Peter Orszag
Many might not be familiar with Orszag but he was President Obama’s Director of Management and Budget from 2009 to 2010. He dated Milonas, a shipping heiress, after his first divorce and they welcomed a child, a daughter, in 2009. However, before their bundle of joy arrived he left her for ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga. They eventually married in 2010 and have two children together. Of course Milonas felt slighted since tabloids reported that Orszag had planned to marry her up until he met Golodryga. They’ve since managed to find a way to co-parent their daughter.
This isn’t Orszag’s first time dealing with controversy. He was entangled in a bitter child support battle with his first wife, Cameron Kennedy. A judge ultimately sided with him agreeing that Kennedy’s requests for support were outrageous.
10. Mary Louise Parker and Billy Crudup
This Hollywood couple were together for eight years when Crudup decided to move on with his Stage Beauty co-star Clair Danes. At the time, Parker was seven months pregnant with their child. She went on to have a son and wrote a book called Dear Mr. You where she alluded to the heartache caused by the sudden breakup. Crudup’s relationship with Danes lasted for four years before she eventually dumped him and moved on to date and marry Hugh Dancy. Danes has since opened up about the situation and admitted that while she was “young and in love”, she didn’t fully understand the consequences of her actions.
For her part, Parker went on to date Jeffrey Dean Morgan for two years before they got engaged in 2008. Unfortunately, they split two short months later. She’s also mom to a little girl who she adopted in 2007.
9. Ginny Cha and Tiki Barber
The former NFL player’s good guy image was shattered by scandal after his retirement. First, he disrespected his former NY Giants quarterback, Eli Manning, by questioning his leadership skills. Let’s not forget that Manning has gone on to win more than one Super Bowl title since Barber left the team. Then in 2010 Barber up and left his wife of 11 years…while she was eight months pregnant with their twin girls (they have two older sons as well). It eventually came to light that he’d had an affair with a former NBC intern, Traci Lynn Johnson, who also babysat for the family. After Barber’s divorce from Cha was finalized, he and Johnson married a mere eight days later. They’ve since gone on to add a daughter to their family.
The fallout from this controversy was a pricey one for Barber who eventually lost his job at NBC’s “Today” show. Let’s hope for the sake of Cha and Barber’s four children things are amicable between them.
8. Laura Govan and Gilbert Arenas
The former NBA player dated Govan, part of the cast of Basketball Wives LA, for nine years before he reportedly kicked her out of their home and sold her engagement ring (worth $1 million) without her permission (he claims he didn’t sell it). All this while she was expecting their fourth child. While they weren’t officially married she claimed that he had promised to split earnings and proceeds from businesses with her. Despite this, their ongoing feud has been volatile and highly publicized. A judge even ordered them to take 12 hours’ worth of co-parenting classes together to work through their difficulties. The penalty for not follow-through was to change their custody arrangement which would have affected their children.
It’s been two years since their relationship took a nose dive but they’re still battling each other in court and slinging insults and accusations via the media. There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for the drama between these two.
7. Christina Milian and The Dream
It was a surprise to many when these two started dating back in 2009. They began working on what was supposed to be Milian’s fourth album when their relationship blossomed. Due to several delays, it was ultimately never released. They were married later that year and announced that there were expecting their first child together. However, Milian along with the rest of us, was blindsided by the divorce that followed three months after they tied the knot. Milian was due to give birth to their first born, a girl, the following week. The Dream quickly moved on to date his assistant, he was rumored to have started dating her while he still married. Milian suspected and said as much during their divorce proceedings. Thanks to the paparazzi, photos of them enjoying a Caribbean vacation surfaced confirming the rumors.
Milian has moved on and is rumored to have been dating rapper L’il Wayne on and off for the last two years.
6. Heidi Klum and Flavio Briatoni
The former supermodel caught her boyfriend, a managing director for Formula One, cheating on more than one occasion during the course of their relationship. They started dating in 2003 and later that year announced that they were expecting their first child together. The relationship fizzled shortly afterwards and Klum began dating recording artist Seal. After her relationship with Briatoni ended, he waged war against her to determine where the baby would be born. Klum eventually won that battle and she gave birth (State side) to a little girl in 2004. Klum has stated that Briatoni has very little involvement in their daughter’s life. This is backed by the fact that Seal was in the delivery room with Klum when she gave birth. Five years later, Seal formally adopted Klum’s daughter as his own and they even changed her last name. Klum considers Seal the father. The couple went on to have three more children together.
5. Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley
This couple already had five children together when their relationship ended. They were together for 10 years and made it through a lot of hardship. When they parted ways Hill was pregnant with her sixth child, she has adamantly denied that Marley is the father. At any rate, she gave birth shortly after they separated. As for Marley, he began a relationship with Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana. They were together for a few years and were even engaged before she ended things in 2013. It’s true that time heals all things, it also allows folks to see their mistakes and hopefully take ownership of them. For his part, Marley admits that he didn’t show Hill how he felt and that he handled their situation badly. They’ve both moved on and Marley even stepped up to care for their children while Hill served a three-month prison sentence for tax evasion back in 2013.
4. Minnie Driver and Timothy Jonathan Lea
The British actress and her former producer boyfriend parted ways just before the birth of their first child. They dated very briefly back in 2009. This situation is a little different from the others on this list in that for years after her son’s birth, Driver refused to reveal the identity of his father. She chose to protect his identity because unlike her he wasn’t in the public eye so the media attention would have been intense. However, she chose to reveal his identity in 2012 and has said that he’s become more involved in their son’s life. On being a single mother, she’s revealed that she’s had a lot of support from friends and has dealt as best she could with those who continuously asked about her son’s father.
She’s slowly eased back into acting these last few years but hasn’t achieved the same heights compared to when she starred in Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon. She was most recently in the news for her legal battle with her neighbors. She alleges aggressive behavior towards her son while they allege she’s barred access to the property they wish to build a house on (the neighbors all share a driveway).
3. Kelly Rutherford and Daniel Giersch
This situation is one of the more painful ones on the list. This couple divorced when Rutherford was pregnant with their second child. As many will remember, a very bitter child custody case ensued which Rutherford ultimately lost. You’re probably wondering why since courts generally favor mothers in custody battles. It turns out Giersch was deported from the US for fraud and weapons dealings. Because he’d be unable enter the US to visit is children, he was awarded custody and they now live with him in France. Rutherford has tried many times to have this decision overturned but her requests have been shut down every time. She’s only been able to interact with her children when they visit her in the States.
2. Melanie Brown and Eddie Murphy
The former Spice Girl (who’s currently appearing on America’s Got Talent) and funny man briefly dated in 2006 before he dumped her later that year. He began dating (and was briefly married to) Tracy Edmonds shortly afterwards. To add insult to injury, after Murphy left Brown, he demanded a paternity test to prove his paternity of her unborn daughter. A paternity test conducted soon after her birth proved that Murphy was indeed the father. He’s since stepped up to the plate and is taking care of his responsibility. It’s been a long, tough journey but they’ve mended their relationship. Brown credits her willingness to do this to the support of her husband Stephan Belafonte (whom she married in 2007). They welcomed their first child together in 2011.
1. Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen
When these two started dating, everyone was surprised because of how different they were. She was like the girl next door and he was America’s bad boy. However, while they dated and even after they got married, it seemed as though she’d triumphed and was able to tame his bad boy ways. Unfortunately, we all know what happened. The temptation of drugs and alcohol were just too much and Sheen began to partake in old habits and their relationship quickly spiralled out of control. Richards’ situation is unique from others on this list in that she chose to leave. For the sake of their young daughter and unborn baby, she felt it better to put them first rather than be around someone who didn’t seem to care about much anymore.
We all know how bad things got for Sheen but he’s tried to shed his old ways in recent years. Richards went on to adopt another little girl and seems to be happier now.