The old adage of looking before you leap is perhaps never truer than when it comes to marriage. Even then, love and attraction do make us look at the world, or at least at that dream mate, with rose-colored glasses. And if you are a young, up-and-coming celebrity, then of course, you will do it your own way. If you want to get married, you will get married, even if it brings you nothing more than divorce and a nagging sense of having failed in life.
So here’s a list of celebs who married too early. Whether it was a sign of rebellion or not, some of them got abused, taken for granted, or simply had their careers stall because of their romantic troubles. Some lost custody of their children, some lost the support of their families and for some, the marriage was a farce that they maintained at the cost of their self-respect. This is why fools rush in where angels fear to tread, and no, they aren’t talking about love, but marriage.
Here’s a list of 15 celeb couples that were foolish enough to marry too young, and then continue to pay for it in countless ways to this day.
15. LeAnn Rimes & Dean Sheremet: No More Hits
Born in 1982, LeAnn Rimes was already a big star at 18 (she was the youngest person to win a Grammy to date, she was only 14) when she met backup dancer Dean Sheremet at an award show. A whirlwind romance followed, after which LeAnn made a public statement about Dean saying that he was the guy she wanted to marry. And so, they married in 2002 when she was 19. The marriage seemed to have its ups and downs but the end came when Rimes met actor Eddie Cibrian in 2009. Cibrian was also married at the time, to Brandi Glanville but neither LeAnn nor Eddie let their marriage come in between their extramarital affair.
Dean filed for a dissolution of marriage and within six months of filing the papers, the divorce was final. LeAnn married Eddie in 2011 and they seem to be going strong ever since, though her life has not been any less rocky. She was slammed by many for her extramarital affair and publicly trolled by Eddie’s ex Brandi.
14. Olivia Wilde & Tao Ruspoli: Loveless and Sleepless
From a major role on House to starring opposite Daniel Craig in Cowboys & Aliens, Olivia Wilde is hotter than fire and she knows it. What not many know about her, is that she had eloped when she was 19 with Tao Ruspoli, the son of an Italian prince and a filmmaker, and married him in a secret ceremony inside an abandoned school bus in 2003. The couple went on to stay married for seven years before they divorced in 2011.
While sources claim that Tao was heartbroken by her decision to move on, Olivia has been in the limelight ever since with a flourishing career. She paid for her marriage basically by having a next-to-dead sex life. In her version of Vagina Monologues, she told the audience that her body told her that her marriage with Tao had ended, saying that you can fool relatives, but not your vagina. She has since found love with Jason Sudeikis, who she also has two children with.
13. Drew Barrymore & Jeremy Thomas: Over Too Soon
According to her, Drew Barrymore was once a serial dater, engagement-zilla, and marriage crazy. She was just 16 when she got engaged to Leland Hayward in 1991. The engagement ended, and then at 18, she got engaged to singer Jamie Walters. It too died. Not to give up, after a rather torrid romance, Drew got hitched to Welsh bartender turned LA bar owner Jeremy Thomas in 1994. She was 19. This was also around the time when she did a few nude photoshoots and also underwent breast reduction surgery. Less than two months into the marriage, Drew filed for divorce.
And the split, sources have hinted, was the opposite of amicable. Drew went on to marry Tom Green, he filed for divorce, dated Fabrizio Moretti and Justin Long, married Will Kopelman, and divorced him too. What now, Drew? Apparently now, Drew is a dedicated mother who wants to live her own life. She paid with one too many relationships and an unwholesome image.
12. Macaulay Culkin & Rachel Miner: Too Fast To Last
Considering that he started acting when he was just 4 years old, became a superstar at 10 with the release of the blockbuster Home Alone in 1990, and semi-retired from acting at 14, it was only natural that he got himself hitched at the tender age of 17! The girl in question was his childhood sweetheart Rachel Miner, but this young love didn’t seem to last and they separated at 19 in 2000, and got divorced at 21 in 2002.
Rachel Miner is perhaps best known for reprising the role of demon Meg Masters in the Supernatural series, a character that later turns into an ally for the Winchesters and their benevolent angel Castiel. Since her divorce with Macaulay, Rachel did briefly see Brad Renfro, who later passed away in 2008. Macaulay turned to Mila Kunis for solace but their relationship soured once he allegedly got caught up into drugs and she got more famous. Now, Macaulay is reportedly alone and destroying himself with drugs. He paid with a lonely downward spiral.
11. Demi Moore & Freddy Moore: The Music Soured
So while Demi Moore is more known for her marriage and eventual divorce with Bruce Willis and then Ashton Kutcher, it was her first marriage that gave her the name we know. Born Demetria “Demi” Gene Guynes, she changed her name to Demi Moore once she got married to Freddy at just 17 in 1980. Though Freddy was already married at the time, they immediately became a couple, even though she was just 16 and he was much older at 29. Once Freddy was able to divorce his wife Lucy, they got hitched.
The marriage, like with all rushed ones, did not last and five years later, Demi filed for divorce in 1984. Not much is known about their marriage but after a turbulent childhood that included poverty, alcohol, and a suicide, it was no wonder that Demi was looking to make a home for herself. She paid for this marriage with a friend called depression!
10. Solange Knowles & Daniel Smith: A Mother at 17
Despite her rising stature as a singer and musician, Solange Knowles is perhaps best known for the viral video which shows her hitting and berating a passive Jay Z with Beyoncé looking on. To date, not much is known about that altercation and all the involved parties have been tight-lipped about it.
Solange was just 17 when she married her 19-year-old childhood sweetheart Daniel Smith in February 2004. In October 2004, she gave birth to their son, Daniel Julez Judo Smith Jr. Solange later expressed regret at being a mother at such an early age, but at the same time, called her son her biggest unplanned blessing. She married music video director Alan Ferguson in 2014 and despite her divorce, remains cordial with her ex. They co-parent Daniel to the best of their abilities. With her latest album, A Seat on the Table reaching number 1 on the US Billboard charts, the marriage and divorce haven’t seemed to harm her much, but she paid with the end of a carefree life, since she had a son at 17.
9. Bo Derek & John Derek: They Stuck It Out
Bo Derek was born Mary Cathleen Collins. At 16, she caught the eye of actor/producer John Derek and he was smitten by her looks. He decided to make a movie with her which involved several risqué scenes to showcase her beauty. The movie remained unreleased until Bo Derek became more popular. They also got romantically involved during this time, though he was 30 years her senior, and moved to Germany to avoid any statutory rape charges since Bo was only 16 at the time.
They returned to California when she turned 18 and after John obtained his third divorce, they married. And married did they remain until the death of John from cardiovascular disease in 1998. While Bo and John certainly seemed to be in love until the end, his involvement in her career made her a sex symbol, but never a serious actress. Bo still lives in California, and has been involved with John Corbett since 2002. She paid for this marriage with an everlasting regret for having broken up John and Linda’s marriage, and a career that never was as great as she probably hoped.
8. Milla Jovovich & Shawn Andrews: An Emancipation Bid
Call her Ultraviolet, or call her Leeloo (The Fifth Element), but at 16, Milla Jovovich fell head over heels in love (or maybe not love exactly) with her Dazed and Confused costar Shawn Andrews, who was 21, and married him. The marriage lasted two months and instead of ending in divorce, was annulled by Milla’s mother.
Milla later admitted that the marriage was just an expression of rebellion. Though she had been earning for a while, she did not even have a bank card and she just wanted to feel like an adult. With that said, after the annulment, Milla didn’t slow down her forays into the world of romance. She soon moved to Europe with friend Chris Benner, and fell in love with bassist Stuart Zender, and then it was photographer Mario Sorrenti. After a marriage and divorce from director Luc Besson, she was romantically involved with poet and musician Anno Birkin. Finally, she is now married to film writer and director Paul W.S. Anderson with whom she has two children. She paid for her first marriage with the embarrassment of having to go through a mom-dictated annulment!
7. Melanie Griffith & Don Johnson: The Yo-Yo Pair
The rather precocious daughter of Tippi Hendren and Paul Griffith, Melanie started dating her mother’s 22-year-old costar Don Jonson when she was just 14. The pair waited their relationship out until Melanie turned 18 in 1976 and got married. Their relationship lasted just six months, from January to July 1976. Melanie went on to be involved with Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Ryan O’Neal. In 1981, she married Steven Bauer and divorced in 1989 after a long separation. She dipped into cocaine and alcohol addiction after the split but following rehabilitation, reconnected with Don Johnson. This time they remarried in 1989, had their daughter Dakota Johnson (of the Fifty Shades fame), and finally split in 1996.
Melanie went on to marry Antonio Banderas in 1996, and the couple ended up divorcing in 2015. Even after somewhat successful marriages and three children, Melanie went back into rehab in 2000 for painkiller addiction and then in 2009 for undisclosed problems. She paid for her young marriage with a lifelong addiction problem.
6. Kim Kardashian & Damon Thomas: Punched & Slammed
Long before Kim Kardashian was with Kanye West, she had eloped and gotten married to music producer Damon Thomas when she was just 19. The love went kaput pretty quick and in 2003, Damon filed for divorce which was finalized in 2004. However, this three year marriage did take its toll on the reality TV star.
According to court papers that surfaced, Damon was controlling, possessive, and abusive towards Kim. Her forced her to quit her job, would expect her to cook a meal for him even when he came back in the wee hours of the morning, would not let her see family or friends, and even hit her a few times. She was punched, slapped around, slammed into walls, and sometimes not allowed to leave the house until she asked permission from Damon. Once the divorce was final, Kim K started dating Ray J and a sex tape of theirs was released for all to see, apparently as a publicity stunt, and the rest is history. Kim paid for her first marriage by being an abuse victim.
5. Courtney Stodden & Doug Hutchison: Teen Bride Celeb
You might ask “who the f–k is Courtney Stodden?” and you’d be right. Not that Courtney lost anything by marrying young. She sort of shot into stardom for this reason alone. A 16-year-old Courtney signed up for an acting workshop being taught over the Internet by Doug Hutchison, an actor known for playing disturbing and dark roles. They began an Internet relationship and after Doug realized that she was just 16, he his 51, he asked her parents for permission. Seeing his apparent “devout Christianity,” Courtney’s parents allowed her to make her own decision after which they got married in 2011.
Doug Hutchison was labeled a pedophile and a predator soon after. His family disowned him, his agent quit, and he received death threats. In 2013, they announced an impending split but continued to live together. In 2014 they reconciled. In 2016, they were expecting their first child but Courtney had a miscarriage. However, they did renew their wedding vows. In 2017, it was announced that they had separated but were still living together.
4. Angelina Jolie & Johnny Lee Miller: Too Young To Last
The Angelina Jolie marriage that’s in the news now for dying a rather sad death is her relationship with Brad Pitt, but when Angelina was just 21 and Jonny Lee Miller, 24, the Hackers co-stars got married in 1996 after eloping. Angelina famously wore a shirt with Miller’s name scrawled in her blood on it for the wedding ceremony, she remarked that it was a small sacrifice on her part for her husband to make the marriage ceremony really special.
The blood dried and so did the romance. Three years later, the couple filed for divorce, though Angelina still considers Jonny to be a great friend. About the split, she simply blames their youth. Angelina went on to marry Billy Bob Thornton and they wore each other’s blood in vial necklaces. That marriage ended in divorce too and while Angelina did claim that Brad Pitt was indeed the love of her life, well, that marriage has met a gory end as well. She paid for her marriage by being painted as a bad girl. And the rest of the payment might be done by Brad now.
3. Jessica Simpson & Nick Lachey: The Kaput Couple
Singer Jessica Simpson was 22 when she announced her engagement to Nick Lachey and the couple went on to marry the same year. Not to be left behind in this age of kiss and tell, Jessica’s next album’s lead single was “Sweetest Sin,” about losing her virginity to Nick! Unsurprisingly, the song was not a success.
The couple finally made it big when MTV launched a reality series called Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica. The show became a hit and Jessica’s dumb blonde image made her and her husband a household name. It aired for three seasons until 2005, and apparently once the cameras stopped rolling, so did the love. In 2005, Jessica and Nick announced their divorce which was finalized in 2006. In 2010, Jessica began dating footballer Eric Johnson with whom she has two children, and the pair married in 2014. In 2010, Nick Lachey married Vanessa Minnillo and they have three children together. Jessica paid by having her career basically go nowhere. Once hot, now not.
2. Janet Jackson & James De Barge: Anullment Woes
Seventeen at the time, and trying to break free from overprotective parents, Janet Jackson married her friend, 21-year-old James DeBarge. It seemed like a musical match, Janet from the musical Jackson family, and James from the Motown R&B collective group DeBarge.
It turned into a match made in hell. Rumors of strife, affairs, secret babies, and domestic abuse filled their short-lived union with bitterness. And just as Janet’s album Control began climbing the charts, their marriage fell down to its deepest depths and was annulled. Recently, as Janet welcomes her first child with Wissam Al Mana, James De Barge has resurfaced too – allegedly reporting that there was a secret child, a daughter, which he and Janet had during that one year marriage. Janet has not commented on the situation.
1. Britney Spears & Jason/Kevin: The 2004 Marriage Saga
After a great career, with plenty of ups and downs and some rocking scandals, we are sure Britney Spears is on her way to becoming stronger than yesterday. Britney got married to childhood friend Jason Alexander in 2004 at just 22. The marriage was perhaps the shortest in the history of celebrity marriages (or maybe not!) at 55 hours. It was annulled soon after.
Britney perhaps really wanted to get married that year, and soon after, fell for dancer Kevin Federline who had just broken up with Shar Jackson, though she was expecting his second child at the time. Britney took a break from her career and had her two children, both sons, in 2005 & 2006 respectively. In 2006, Britney filed for divorce from Kevin citing irreconcilable differences.
She paid with her downward spiral into mental health issues, so much so that, at one point, she lost custody of both her kids. Such is the price of fame, and too young a marriage.