We often wonder what sorts of lives celebrities lead. So-called fly-on-the-wall shows give us a glimpse of real life amid riches and fame but very rarely do they convey the truth. The fact is of course is that celebrities’ lives are very much the same as our own.
And we may also imagine that money is a balm for the soul but it is evidently not the savior of a heartfelt and long-lasting relationship. If it was, would we not hear of every celebrity couple happily married and madly in love?
It may be that money aids concerns about rent or food or bills, but when it comes to relationships, celebrities are just as hopeless at keeping a lover as the person of moderate means. We hear regularly of infidelity and disloyalty within high-flying circles; we hear talk of how millionaires lose their spouses to temptation, and how popular actors are made cuckolds by their lovers after just days of being “madly in love.”
But we also hear good news of how a celeb comes out of a time of betrayal with their head held high, perhaps with their own new lover; certainly with their pride intact and career back on track. And here are 15 such celebrities who came out winning….
15 Sophia Bush
Chad Murray and Sophia Bush met on the set of One Tree Hill, a show that centers on the adventures of brothers Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty). The two are highly competitive both in sport and romance, and drama quickly follows. Murray and Bush were married in 2005 and seemed (to those interested in their relationship) to be the perfect couple.
However a month after being married, Murray began work on a new show called House of Wax with co-star Paris Hilton. It wasn’t long until Murray and Hilton began an affair, made public only four months later. Bush already knew of course and had filed for a divorce but in the meantime she and Murray had to continue to work together on One Tree Hill… for another four years! The dynamic on-set during that long quadrennial must have been tense.
14 Jennifer Anniston
American actress and producer Jennifer Anniston has been involved with several actors in her career. The most notable of course was her seven year relationship with Brad Pitt. They met in 1998 and were married in 2000 but five years later announced a separation. It was suspected that the cause of their split was an affair that Pitt carried on with his co-star of Mr. and Mrs. Smith Angelina Jolie. Speaking about things to The Hollywood Reporter in 2015 Anniston said: “Nobody did anything wrong.... It was just like, sometimes things [happen]”.
Of the aftermath of the alleged affair Anniston broke her silence to Vanity Fair in 2005 saying: “When you try to avoid the pain, it creates greater pain. I'm a human being, having a human experience in front of the world. I wish it weren't in front of the world. I try really hard to rise above it.”
13 Robert Pattinson
Perhaps best known for his role as vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight film adaptations, Robert Pattinson is a critic’s favorite. He was given the honorary title of 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine back in 2010. During his filming of the Twilight saga he dated co-star Kristen Stewart and fans of the films were taken by their unambivalent connection that had leaked through from real life.
However, in a tragic turn of events - tragic, at least, for Pattinson – Stewart’s time on-set during the making of Snow White and the Huntsman proved that the bond between them was not as tight as most thought. The actress soon admitted she was having an affair with director of the show Rupert Sanders. Eventually, the new couple came clean about their philandering which led to Sanders’s acrimonious split from his wife and Pattinson’s dumping of Stewart.
12 Demi Moore
American actress and model Demi Moore was 17 when she married singer Freddy Moore who was 12 years older. It was during this relationship that Moore (real name Demi Gene Guynes) started using Freddy’s surname. After they divorced in 1984 Moore went on to have relationships with actors such as Emilio Estevez and Bruce Willis before hooking up with Ashton Kutcher in 2003.
Although Kutcher was 15 years younger, the couple was very close and got married two years later. However, six years after getting married they separated, causing some to speculate on the reasons. On Kutcher, Moore said: "I used to think that what scared me was the idea of being abandoned until someone said to me, 'Only children can be abandoned. Adults can't be abandoned because we have a choice’” (Harper’s Bazaar, 2012).
11 Justin Timberlake
This Tennessee singer-songwriter has gone through heartache and in that way he’s just the same as the rest of us. And the fact that all four of his studio albums have been certified platinum or better by the RIAA and made him a fortune makes no difference. Yes, if he wanted to he could buy a small island and get away from it all but he’s still not immune. Throughout 1993 and 1994, Justin Timberlake was a cast member of The Mickey Mouse Club and it would be his co-star from the show who a few years later would break his heart.
Timberlake started dating Britney Spears when he was 18. Between 1999 and 2002 they appeared to be the perfect couple and yet Timberlake’s world was crushed when he learned of Spears’s alleged affair with a choreographer. But, Timberlake wrote Cry Me a River following the news, which continues to be a massive success.
10 Jennifer Love Hewitt
Jennifer Love Hewitt began acting on the Disney Channel at the age of 10. She has since been credited with countless films and television work including The Truth About Love (2005), Café (2010) and The Lost Valentine (2011). She is known to have been linked to several high profile actors but it was her one year romance with Ghost Whisperer co-star Jamie Kennedy that made the biggest splash.
But their relationship ended in 2010. Speaking to USA Today in that year Hewitt said of Kennedy: “It's what life handed me, and I'm OK with it. I know wholeheartedly that I'm a really good partner. I think I'm a really good girlfriend, and I think that I could be a really good wife. I know that I love being able to give my love out to someone. I know there is somebody great out there for me.”
9 Shania Twain
This Canadian singer-songwriter has sold over 100 million records and continues to appear in top greatest countdowns. United Press International in 2017 marked her as the best-selling female artist in country music history. Her music is more a fusion of styles and unlike that of the solid country artists is a popular cross-over.
Shania Twain met her future husband Robert John "Mutt" Lange in 1993 and they were married soon afterwards. But in 2008 the press revealed that Lange had been carrying on an affair Twain's best friend, Marie-Anne Thiébaud and the couple split. According to the The People in the same year a friend of Twain said she was “devastated”. “This isn't just about her—it's her career, her life, her child, someone she thought was a close friend: Everything gets pulled out from underneath her." However, not wanting to be defeated she is currently recording her next album.
8 Sarah Hyland
Born in 1990 Sarah Hyland is an American actress who is best known for her roles in the films Cradle Will Rock (1999) and Scary Movie 5 (2013), and the TV show Modern Family. She first began acting at the age of seven in a film called Private Parts and has since made a name for herself in Hollywood. Her high profile relationship with her Geek Charming co-star Matt Prokop began in 2014 but ended messily a few months later when Hyland claimed Prokop had been aggressive towards her. The media speculated at the time that Prokop had also been unfaithful.
Speaking on the The Meredith Vieira YouTube Show in 2014 Hyland said: "There are two quotes that I want to say. One is a Dylan Thomas poem 'Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light,' and Robert Frost's 'The only way out is through'”.
7 Guy Ritchie
This popular English filmmaker is famous for a genre of crime and mystery productions including Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Revolver (2005) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). He was arguably even more famous for marrying the Queen of Pop Madonna in 2000. The two shared a private ceremony at a castle in Scotland and survived eight more years before announcing their divorce.
While Madonna was not likely to have caused the split by having an affair, the details of the relationship are sketchy. Guy Ritchie did say in an interview with Daily Mail in 2012 that “whilst he does not regret his time with her, the drama was too much and that their life became a soap opera.” It seems his down-to-earth nature was not something that fitted Madonna’s own life direction. Ritchie is now married to model Jacqui Ainsley.
6 Robin Wright Penn
Now Robin Gayle Wright, the American television personality and actress is best known for her roles in The Pledge (2001), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and Wonder Woman (2017). In 1989 Wright met acting legend Sean Penn and the couple entered into a tempestuous relationship before they were even married. They tied the knot in 1996 and by all accounts Wright then became the cuckquean of the century after Penn’s alleged string of affairs with such celebrities as Kate Moss and Sienna Miller.
Wright filed for divorce and eventually the couple split but not before a rollercoaster of proceedings and two withdrawals of the petition. Wright was finally rid of him and began dating actor Ben Foster. The couple was engaged in 2014 but called it off, got re-engaged and now have called it off again.
5 Kate Gosselin
Born in Philadelphia, 42 year old Katie Irene Kreider is an actress who is best known for her role in Jon & Kate Plus 8. It was when she was working as a nurse at Reading Hospital in the city that she met her future husband Jon Gosselin who she married in 1999. After undergoing fertility treatments she gave birth to sextuplets in 2004.
In 2009 the couple announced their separation which according to some was caused by Jon’s infidelity. His actions grated on public opinion when he was seen enjoying himself on board exclusive yachts and pool sides in Las Vegas. The final straw is said to have been Kate’s discovery of his affair with family friend Hailey Glassman. The couple is still in a dispute over the children but Kate has at least retained the house and custody.
4 Owen Wilson
When Owen Wilson and Kate Hudson were cast in You, Me and Dupree (2006) to play Randolph "Randy" Dupree and Molly Thompson Peterson respectively, there was trouble ahead. Married for six years to singer Chris Robinson, Hudson began an affair with Wilson that although not lasting very long caused sufficient damage and ended her marriage.
The pair then separated for seven months during which time Wilson (who suffered with poor mental health) allegedly tried to commit suicide. It is said that pictures which emerged following the lovers’ split of Hudson kissing actor Dax Shepherd did not aid his recovery. Sometime later Wilson and Hudson were reunited – there was even speculation about the pair’s intention to be married - but after only a matter of months they split up again, this time for good. All was not lost though. They have both gone on to other relationships.
3 Mary-Louise Parker
When Billy Crudup entered a woefully inappropriate relationship with his co-star of Stage Beauty Claire Danes in 2004, he seemed to cast aside any notion of conscience. That his wife of 8 years Mary-Louise Parker was pregnant with their son mattered little when faced with the ease of temptation of an actress in her 20s landing herself at his feet. However, the relationship, which had the entertainment media racing for their buckets of iced water, lasted only another three years before failing.
Recently Parker wrote a book called Dear Mr. You which is a compilation of letters addressed to various men in her life. Although she doesn’t mention Cruddup by name there are references to the period of her life which left her battered, bruised and bringing up a child by herself. Danes on the other hand makes no apology for the affair.
2 Emma Thompson
British actors Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh had been together seven years when, in 1994, Branagh got itchy feet. He so happened to be filming Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and played Victor Frankenstein opposite Elizabeth who was played by Helena Bonham-Carter. The two hit it off, and in the midst of the creative, romantic, gothic passion of the film they had an affair. Thompson found out about this almost immediately and filed for divorce.
Although neither specified the reason for the divorce, Branagh and Bonham-Carter’s relationship was later revealed. Thompson claims not to be bitter and told The Telegraph in 2013 that she, “used the pain and depression she suffered to carve out an even more successful career for herself”. In fact even more recently, Thompson likened herself to Bonham-Carter in a subtly disguised backhander to Branagh.
1 Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon was married to actor Ryan Phillippe for eight years and they had two children together. But as Witherspoon’s acting career began to spiral upwards (in the process leaving Phillippe’s on the B-side of low-budget theatre fillers) the couple began to drift apart. During the filming of the reasonably okay Stop-Loss in 2008, Phillippe became involved in a liaison with his co-star Abbie Cornish.
Only a few close friends knew of the affair at the time but after Witherspoon and Phillippe divorced the truth was out. Predictably, the lovers lasted together only three years before splitting up, and Witherspoon and Phillippe retraced some degree of friendship. Yet, as if to add insult to injury Witherspoon has continued to far-outstrip her ex-husband in filmic credits, which must give her a small sense of “pay-back” and beg the question in his mind: was it all worth it?