13 Celeb Relationships That Scream Publicity Stunt!

Hollywood isn’t called the land of make-believe for nothing. From noses to boobs to friendships to romances, we really don’t know what’s fake and what’s real, as our favorite celebrities do what they do best: play the part to the hilt. But one thing is for sure--these celebs won’t be able to live up to their roles on or off-camera without a good script to go with it.

Off-camera, the “scriptwriters” are known as publicists or spin doctors, if you will. The job of publicists is to make their clients, the actors, look good in the eyes of their fans. The public image of the actors is something that has to be greatly polished, especially when the actor has an upcoming movie or TV show that he or she needs to promote. But some publicists feel that actors ought to be in the spotlight in any way they can, even if it means being painted negatively, so long as it’s publicity.

Perhaps the most desperate attempt to grab the public’s attention is entailing the actors to fake a relationship with their co-stars just to hype up their latest projects. The authenticity of these couples’ relationships will remain questionable, were they in love or were they together to garner more publicity?

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13 Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson


When the first installment of the Twilight film franchise was released to the public, fans went crazy over their favorite glittering vampire and his lady love. And when the rumor mill started turning that its stars, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were an item in real life, the die-hards just about lost it. But it was probably just the fans who fooled themselves into believing the relationship was real. The rest of the public saw it as a farce. After all, they not only had one, but five films to promote in the franchise. The whole façade was apparently shaken to the core when Stewart allegedly cheated on Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders and Stewart was forced to publicly acknowledge her relationship with Pattinson. The scandal conveniently happened shortly before promotion for the last Twilight movie was to start. 

12 Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper


Too bad Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper’s relationship didn’t help in boosting profit for their film, Case 39. The movie crashed hard at the box office and was also panned by critics. The pair met in 2006 while filming the movie, but rumors about their relationship didn’t start until three years later—right around the time the film was to premiere. Though they never publicly admitted their relationship, their actions off-screen said it all. Whether it was a publicity stunt or not, it didn’t serve its alleged purpose of bringing in box office sales. 

11 Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens


Despite the fact that Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens dated for three years, people were quick to peg the relationship as a mere publicity stunt to promote the High School Musical movie franchise, in which they both shot to fame almost overnight. We would never really know if the relationship was fake the whole time or if it eventually turned real, but the fact of the matter is, everyone seems to believe that it was initially orchestrated to drum up hype for the Disney franchise. 

10 Zac Efron and Michelle Rodriguez


People couldn’t believe their eyes when photos surfaced of hunky Zac Efron cozying it up with Michelle Rodriguez in a destination getaway. First of all, Rodriguez was a near decade older than the High School Musical leading man. Secondly, wasn’t she supposedly dating model Cara Delevingne a few months prior? But Efron and Rodriguez seemed a little too public on their displays of affection, shimmying up to each other and making out like crazy in a club soon after being spotted during their vacation. That, plus the way the romance fizzled out at the blink of an eye, made the public question if it was indeed real.

9 Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough


They may have dated for three years, but many believe the relationship of Ryan Seacrest and actress Julianne Hough was simply fiction. For one, the first few paparazzi photos that surfaced of the new couple looked quite staged, with both of them locked in an embrace and flashing megawatt smiles towards the cameras that were hundreds of yards away. Then in their first getaway as a couple, they were always cuddling and walking hand-in-hand for all the world to see—they probably knew the paps were around. Three years later, the pair unsurprisingly broke up and Hough said in an interview that “there was nothing right” about that relationship.

8 Kaley Cuoco and Henry Cavill


Rumors started swirling that British hunk Henry Cavill was dating Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco back in 2013. The pair was seen holding hands and doing groceries together, looking like the perfect picture of bliss. People found the pairing odd, but stranger things have happened in Hollywood. But then the relationship happened around the time of the release of Cavill’s film, Man of Steel. After the fact, Cuoco told the media that it was just a fling that lasted a little over a week. She became engaged to her current husband a few short months later. 

7 Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries


A whirlwind courtship, a lavish wedding aired during primetime, and filing for divorce 72 days later? All of these spell F-A-K-E. Kim Kardashian is the reality star who’s famous for nothing. The only thing keeping her in the spotlight is her reality show and right now, her marriage to Kanye West. But with no musical skills or acting talent, she needed something—anything—to stay in the public’s top of mind. And so she got into a relationship with NBA player Kris Humphries and married him soon after—all to be displayed on national television. Needless to say, even Humphries later admitted that the marriage was a sham.

6 Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn


A year after her divorce from husband Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston appeared in a movie aptly entitled The Break-Up. During filming, rumors were abound that she was dating her co-star Vince Vaughn, though they both denied it. But there’s nothing more titillating than vehemently putting rumors down pat and having your actions say otherwise, as the paparazzi caught them on several instances doing lots of couple-y activities together. Even if the relationship was real, the timing was absolutely perfect: right on time for the showing of The Break-Up, which was a box office success.

5 Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler


Hollywood folk love using the line “we’re just friends” when asked about their relationships, then turn right around and smooch their so-called good friend. This was the route Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler took when the gossip tongues were wagging about their closeness on the set of their movie, The Bounty Hunter. But their public displays of affection were deemed a little too public to be real, fueling the notion that they were merely trying to hype up their movie, which by the way, was massacred by critics.

4 Kendall Jenner and Harry Styles


At the time when Kendall Jenner began her career as a serious fashion model, gossip columns started hinting that she was dating One Direction’s Harry Styles. People wondered at the timing of the news, since the young Jenner was just starting to hit the runways of major fashion shows. After all, what better way to be paparazzi fodder than to prance around with one of the most popular names in the music industry? And with popularity-hungry momager, Kris Jenner pulling strings, you can’t blame the public for thinking the whole thing was staged. 

3 Katy Perry and Riff Raff


In mid-2014, news filtered out that Katy Perry, who had broken up with John Mayer a few months prior, was “sort of” dating colorful rapper Riff Raff. Everyone was thrown off-kilter at the unlikely pairing, especially when the two showed up in matching denim outfits at the MTV Video Music Awards. But then we all remembered that they collaborated on the remix of Perry’s song “This is How We Do” and we realized that okay, it was most likely a publicity stunt to drum up interest for the song. Well, a month after the VMAs, the rapper was spotted spending a wild weekend at a brothel in Nevada. So that relationship was over quickly.

2 Taylor Swift and Harry Styles


Taylor Swift is notorious for producing her best work when she’s writing about her failed relationships. So if she’s aiming to have a hit album, how does she ensure she gets inspiration? By going through heartbreak, most likely! Her relationship and subsequent break-up with Harry Styles conveniently happened when she was developing her latest album, 1989. It’s speculated that most of the songs in the album are about Styles, particularly “Out of the Woods” and “Style.” The result? A wildly successful album and chart-topping songs.

1 Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise


There have been a million and one conspiracy theories about Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ relationship. The one that stood out the most went like this: Cruise was in need of a wife to dispel talk of his eccentric ways and out of all the actresses who “auditioned” for the role, Katie Holmes was the one who accepted it. The agreement was said to be a five-year marriage, in which time Holmes would get a career boost and a bonus if she bore his child. But even if the couple did eventually fall in love down the road, it wasn’t enough to keep the marriage intact. There were too many outside factors that led to its dissolution, most notably the big influence Scientology played in the relationship.

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