It was only last year that the world learned a brand new term: Conscious Uncoupling. This was how Gwyneth Paltrow decided to describe her split from husband of twelve years, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin. The split came quite out of the blue as Paltrow always gushed about her husband in interviews and on her very own lifestyle website, Goop. As the public is only aware of what's happening in a celeb's life through occasional paparazzi photographs and controlled press releases, it can be quite tricky to spot those who are genuinely in love and those who are just keeping up appearances.
When strong rumours emerge from numerous sources that a famous couple is either splitting up or divorcing, the sad truth almost always materialises eventually. Hollywood has seen so many break-ups that those who watch closely will notice when the telltale cracks begin to appear in relationships before the couple even know it themselves.
In some partnerships, there are also the children to think about - which is most likely why some stars leave the big announcement until they've let family members know first. On other occasions, some stars actually believe they can make it work, even when the rest of the world knows they're doomed.
Performers are very good at putting on a show; they know exactly how to act so no suspicions are raised. Some of the following huge names almost had everyone fooled into believing all was well with their private lives. As the old saying goes - you've just got to fake it until you make it.
10 Katy Perry and Russell Brand
These two were so far from a match made in heaven that fans predicted the 14-month marriage was doomed from the word go. Russell Brand is a recovering alcoholic, ex-drug addict and sex addict, who claimed that monogamy was hard for him throughout his marriage. That's something no wife wants to hear. Katy Perry was born and raised a Christian whereas Brand practices Hinduism. Perry declined to engage in the social activism about which Brand felt very strongly.
It wasn't until Perry released her movie Part Of Me (2012) that the world got to peek inside her private life and see the star literally in tears over her marriage. The Firework singer appeared exhausted from constant globe trotting during her tour, jetting back to America in her brief moments of free time to see Brand. Her husband also expressed his desire to have children, whereas his world famous wife wished to concentrate on her career, leading to even more conflict that eventually ended in divorce. Perry signed her divorce papers with a big smiley heart just to make the point that she was happier without him.
9 Sean Penn and Robin Wright
After fourteen years of marriage, Sean Penn announced in an interview with Esquire magazine that his marriage to Robin Wright was a "fraud". During the interview he discussed how he felt after realising his wife never truly loved him. He said of the experience: "When you get divorced, all the truths that come out, you sit there and you go, 'What the f**k was I doing? What was I doing believing that this person was invested in this way?' It can make somebody very bitter and very hard and closed off". The pair have a son and a daughter together, Dylan and Hopper.
Wright then hit back in a truly scathing way when she announced to press that sex with her new boyfriend, Ben Foster, was the best she has ever had. The House of Cards star told Vanity Fair magazine "I've never been happier in my life than I am today. Perhaps it's not ladylike [to say], but I've never laughed more, read more, or come more than with Ben". Ouch. She also revealed that she stayed in her marriage "for far too long" so the children could have a steady life. When their son and daughter were fully grown, in 2010, the couple decided to call it quits, which was obviously for the greater good given the significant bad blood that existed between them.
8 Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner
The last thing any actor wants is their divorce getting in the way of promoting a film. Ben Affleck, who will become the new Batman next year, is currently rumoured to be separating from wife Jennifer Garner. The pair have been married for ten years. It's reported he wants the deed done before the Batman vs Superman release, so that the bad press attention doesn't throw any negative shade his way. Although the couple have appeared united, some subtle cracks that have been spotted such as Affleck no longer wearing his wedding band. Close friends have begun leaking the couple's secret misery to the press.
Apparently the cause of the divorce is that the pair just aren't suited together; Garner is apparently attracted to drama whereas Affleck has a more laid-back approach to life. There are also frustrations from the Dallas Buyers Club actress who always has to take on the role of stay-at-home-parent, while Affleck can fly around the world working on his new movies. The couple have three children together, and it's never an easy decision to make when there are young ones to think of - but the couple will surely make new family arrangements their priority.
Amid the persistent rumours of their split this week, the paparazzi have captured shots of the couple presenting themselves as every inch the happy family, enjoying froyo with their daughters.
7 Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson
If there is one woman who knows how to set tongues wagging and get gossip columns mentioning her name, it's Lindsay Lohan. In 2008, Lohan shocked the world when she began dating DJ Samantha Ronson, sister of the famous music producer Mark Ronson. She came out as gay and would be pictured at any opportunity with her new partner. Everyone believed the actress was deeply in love with Ronson until her own father outed the relationship as a complete sham. Michael Lohan said that the relationship had all been an "act".
The Mean Girls actress probably made the move to turn bisexual so she could diminish the bad press surrounding her man-eating, hard-partying, cocaine-sniffing ways. The world wasn't fooled though, as videos began to leak online of Lohan screaming at her partner in a club and rumours from close sources circulated that her behaviour was causing more trouble than what it was worth.
In 2013, the red-haired actress said in an interview that she was straight which left the world feeling sorry for Ronson as she had been used as a prop for the press all along.
6 Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
It is clear now that Brad Pitt wasn't satisfied during his marriage to Jennifer Aniston. In 2005 he tried to pretend to the world and even his own wife that he was happy when his heart belonged to someone else.
The couple, who were married for five years, began to face serious problems in their marriage when Pitt was experiencing some explosive chemistry with his Mr and Mrs Smith co-star, Angelina Jolie. Although there were so many rumours flying around about infidelity and divorce, the pair still managed to put on a brave show for the paparazzi and had loved-up pictures taken so they could pretend all was well behind-the-scenes.
Nicole Kidman was originally cast as Mrs Smith but she dropped out of the film when she and Pitt just didn't click. She was then replaced with Angelina Jolie - and the rest is history. In a tell-all book from movie producer Arnon Milchan, he describes how Pitt confessed to Aniston that we was madly in love with another woman and he was thrown out of his home. He said in his book Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon, "At first, Jen didn't believe he was involved with Angelina. She started asking around but no one would tell her anything because they were loyal to Brad, so she asked him point blank. He eventually admitted he was in love with Angelina. Jen was furious and threw him out". Turns out Pitt wasn't that convincing an actor when it came to his own personal life.
5 Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were often pictured holding on to each other at events with huge smiles on their faces. Behind closed doors they weren't seeing eye-to-eye and the truth was that Cruise's dedication to the church of Scientology was the cause for the breakdown of their marriage. Holmes had fears that the church would inflict their views on their daughter, Suri Cruise, so she decided to flee the marital home and file for divorce in 2012. Holmes now has primary custody of Suri, which was her main aim throughout the proceedings.
In the beginning their marriage appeared perfect; she was the passive and quiet type who would play support to Tom's eccentric leading man behaviour. But Cruise's controlling manner became too much for the actress who fell pregnant just five months into their relationship. Holmes was also disappointed when she thought that marrying Cruise would help her movie career, but it made finding work even harder. A source told People magazine, "People who don't want to have Tom Cruise on film sets don't want to hire Katie Holmes". The pair haven't been seen together since the divorce, but nobody will forget this turbulent relationship in a hurry.
4 Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Not all marriage ceremonies command a four hour television broadcast - but then not everyone has the same life as Kim Kardashian. Kim was married to professional basketball player Kris Humphries for a grand total of seventy-two days. As much as she wanted everyone to believe that this fairytale wedding was the real deal, she was outed by Humphries' family a year after the divorce. It emerged that the whole thing was faked and a "sham". His aunt told the Sun newspaper: "It was a sham. My understanding of marriage is people are going to give it more than 72 days unless there’s serious abuse". The total amount of earnings they made from their wedding by selling the rights to TV, securing sponsors and offering exclusive photo's to magazines was reported to be an estimated $18 million sum.
During the last season finale of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, everyone at Kim's pre-wedding party are enjoying swapping stories about Kim and Kanye. Khloe Kardashian then mentions a time before Kim's wedding to Kris when Kanye West said to her, "I know this is something that your sister has to go through, but I'm going to be here waiting". This reignited rumours from years before that the wedding was a complete fake and that Kim had to "go through" it as she had already signed off on all the lucrative deals. A Kardashian taking something as sacred as the institute of marriage and exploiting it? Never.
3 Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills
In 2002, Sir Paul McCartney married ex-model Heather Mills, and six years later it all ended in one of the most vicious public divorce settlements of all time. For a while, the public were duped into thinking that everything was rosy in regards to The Beatles singer's marriage. Mills even issued a statement reading: "Of course we are together… Paul and I are together 100 percent". A week later another statement came which read, "Having tried exceptionally hard to make our relationship work given the daily pressures surrounding us, it is with sadness that we have decided to go our separate ways".
Mills then began her own personal hate campaign against McCartney, slaying him at any given opportunity in the press. During the divorce proceedings she sought $190 million as a settlement but was granted less than $50 million. It was discovered that she was lying about allegations of torture and abuse. Mills claimed that her husband was drunk and high on drugs throughout their marriage together. She was branded a fantasist by the High Court judge and McCartney managed to remove her from his life for good.
2 Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
In 2006, Britney Spears told an interviewer that everything was hunky dory in her marriage to backing dancer Kevin Federline. Just months later she began divorce proceedings which saw her enter a vicious custody battle over her two young sons. During their relationship the Womaniser singer faced a lot of media scrutiny as she was often photographed looking sloppy in stained tracksuits and her hair unbrushed. The pair were wed just five months into their relationship.
At the time, Spears could not stop telling the world just how in love she was with her new beau. Then, two years after the divorce, she finally confessed that she never really felt that way for Federline. She told documentary makers, "I think I married for the wrong reasons. Instead of following my heart and doing something that made me really happy, I just did it for the idea of everything". Federline has always commented that the divorce was a complete shock to him, which is no surprise as the public was just as convinced as he was that the couple was serious. The two now share joint custody of their boys.
1 Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Madonna and Guy Ritchie were another couple who were heading full-speed for a divorce but still wanted the world to be convinced all was well in their marriage. Madonna issued tireless statements throughout the last year of her marriage in 2008 that her 8 year long partnership was still going strong. Later the same way, she released another statement confessing that they were no longer together as husband and wife.
Ritchie told interviewers that in the years after the divorce he had begun to hate the role of Mr Madonna, and that their life had become a "soap opera". Sources close to the pair also claimed that Madonna was a difficult woman to live with, and her strict diets and obsessive studying of Kabbalah led to the failure in her marriage. The final straw, though, was when she was caught by paparazzi leaving baseball legend Alex Rodriguez's home during the early hours of the morning. It was then that Ritchie finally decided to call it a day.