No one ever said that relationships were easy. They are a lot of work. There’s a lot of give-and-take. It’s all about compromise. What makes it worse is if one of you is famous, constantly in the public eye, with adoring fans and paparazzi following your every move. Forget about her getting mad at you for leaving the toilet seat up, or him complaining about you leaving your makeup all over the counter; no, celebrities have a whole other level of issues. When one of you is traveling the world on press tours, hugging fans, and mugging with your co-star for the camera, you can bet your significant other back at home is feeling the strain.
Is it any wonder that many celebrities date and marry other celebrities? When both have the same level of success, there usually isn’t that much of a disparity in terms of fan adoration and attention. A famous guy isn’t so much inclined to sneak off with a young female fan or co-star, if he knows his equally hot and famous wife could easily do it too! No, it’s more difficult when a couple gets together when they’re young and struggling and then one of them gets famous. It’s hard for both parties involved. Yet some of these couples manage to make it work and have stayed together for years. Others feel the strain and, for whatever reason, jump ship. Below you’ll find a selection of eight celebrities who couldn’t resist fame’s allure and ditched their partner, along with seven others who stuck around for the long haul.
15. Joe Jonas Ditched Amelia Than-Aye When He Hit It Big
Although Columbia Records signed the Jonas Brothers in 2005, they didn’t hit it big until they hooked up with Disney sometime later. During that time, Joe Jonas was dating a young Australian-born model by the name of Amelia Than-Aye. The couple was together roughly from 2006 to 2007. They got together before the brothers really enjoyed any measure of success. They just weren’t really famous yet. Once their debut album, It’s About Time, gained some traction, the band’s fame took off exponentially. The album went double-platinum and anticipating the roller coaster ride of fame that was about to ensue, Jonas ended his relationship with Than-Aye. Jonas joined his brothers on the Best of Both Worlds tour with Miley Cyrus and the rest is history.
14. Ansel Elgort Ditched Violetta Komyshan And Then Went Back To Her
Ansel Elgort is a young actor who is enjoying some measure of fame after his breakout role in The Fault in Our Stars (2014), starring alongside Shailene Woodley, and his lead role in Baby Driver (2017). Before The Fault In Our Stars was released, Elgort was already dating his high school sweetheart, Violetta Komyshan. Two months after the film debuted, to rave reviews, the pair parted ways. It appears the couple found it too difficult to juggle press junkets and filming with managing a successful relationship. After some time apart and young Elgort got used to playing the movie star, it is reported that the pair reconnected and even got back together. Good for them. Here’s hoping it lasts this time.
13. Elizabeth Banks Stayed With Max Handelman Since Going To The University Of Pennsylvania Together
Elizabeth Banks was a fresh-faced 18-year-old when she met her future husband, Max Handelman. It was the first day of college at the University of Pennsylvania. The couple dated for eleven years before finally getting married in 2003. Handelman became a sportswriter while his wife pursued an acting career. Her breakthrough role was as Betty Brant in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man (2002). In television, she was cast in popular guest-starring roles in series like Scrubs and 30 Rock, for which she earned two Emmy nominations. Banks’ popularity grew and she was cast in high-profile films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Zack and Miri Make a P*rno (2008), and The Hunger Games (2012). She even opened up her own production company, from where she produced the popular Pitch Perfect films, and directed Pitch Perfect 2. Despite her fame and success, she’s remained devoted to her college sweetheart, Max.
12. Ashton Kutcher Ditched January Jones Before She Also Became Famous
In 1998, Ashton Kutcher was first starting out and still a struggling actor, He just got signed to appear in Fox’s new television series That ‘70s Show. Back then he was dating another struggling actor, January Jones. Portraying the lovable doofus, Mike Kelso, Kutcher’s popularity grew as the show became incredibly successful. With his career taking off, Kutcher apparently wasn’t very supportive of Jones’ similar dreams, and he dumped her. He went on to high-profile romances with future wives, Demi Moore and Mila Kunis. She got her revenge. Soon after, Jones began getting small roles which eventually led to her breakout role on AMC’s award-winning series Mad Men. I’m sure there are no hard feelings.
11. Jessica Simpson Ditched Nick Lachey When She Became More Famous Than He Was
When this musically-talented couple hooked up, Nick Lachey was already a member of the immensely popular American boy band 98 Degrees. When the pair met in 1998, at the Hollywood Christmas Parade, Jessica Simpson was an 18-year old aspiring pop star. The duo hit off immediately and eventually got married in 2002. However, after the wedding and her emergence as the breakout star of their new MTV reality series Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, the relationship became strained. It is believed Lachey preferred Jessica as the lovable, ditzy, country girl and resented all the attention she was getting. He was supposed to be the big star and now Jessica was flying off to film The Dukes of Hazzard (2005). Her 2003 album In The Skin sold over seven million copies, while Lachey’s 2003 album SoulO was a commercial failure. Who initiated the breakup is up for debate; regardless, by 2006, the couple was divorced.
10. Steve Carell Stayed With Nancy Walls Since He Was Her Improv Instructor At Second City Theater
If you watched Comedy Central’s The Daily Show back in the day, aside from Stephen Colbert, you might also remember Steve Carell. Carell was a correspondent for years on the parody news series. Alongside Carrell was the correspondent Nancy Walls. Carell was Walls’ improv instructor at Chicago’s famed Second City Theater. The couple got married in 1995, right about the time Walls was hired as a cast member on the NBC series Saturday Night Live. A year later, Carell was cast in the comedy series, The Dana Carvey Show. In 1999, they both joined The Daily Show, where they remained together for years. Carell left in 2005, when he was cast to star in the American version of the series The Office. He has also enjoyed tremendous feature film success with hits like Anchorman (2004), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), and Despicable Me (2010). Walls left The Daily Show around 2002, and also appeared on The Office, alongside her husband. The couple has three children.
9. Camille Ditched Kelsey Grammer When She Became A Reality TV Star
Kelsey Grammer was practically a household name after his many years portraying Dr. Frasier Crane in both popular television series Cheers (1984-1993) and Frasier (1993-2004). His wife, Camille Grammer, whom he married in 1997, was never in front of the camera, but she desperately wanted to be. She was a former Playboy model and her only other claim to fame was appearing as a dancer on the series Club MTV in the 1980s. In 2010, through Kelsey, and the lifestyle he was able to afford her, she landed a role on the Bravo reality series The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She show became a success. It appears fame was all she craved for as soon as the show took off and she was back in the spotlight, she divorced Kelsey. About the split, Kelsey was quoted as saying, “She always wanted to be famous.”
8. Paula Patton Ditched Robin Thicke When Fame Got To His Head
Singer and songwriter Robin Thicke first met actress Paula Patton in 1991 at a Los Angeles teen club. She was 16 and he was a precocious 14 when he asked her to dance. The couple dated for over a decade before marrying in 2005. During that time, Thicke was struggling to get his singing career off the ground. His debut album earned him some moderate success, but his second album sold over a million copies. Paula was an aspiring actress and by 2005 was landing roles in feature films alongside actors like Denzel Washington and Tom Cruise. What would come between a couple who were devoted to each other for over twenty years? Fame. Once Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines,” from his sixth album, became a smash hit in 2013, his attitude changed. He immersed himself in his newfound fame and his behavior became more and more inappropriate for a married man. By 2015, the couple filed for divorce.
7. Jon Hamm Stayed With Jennifer Westfeldt After He Surpassed Her In Fame
By the time she moved out to Hollywood, Jennifer Westfeldt was already an accomplished theater actor. She met aspiring actor Jon Hamm in 1997, and they started dating. Within a few weeks, she had already landed a role as a series regular on ABC’s Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. Hamm was finding it hard to get any roles. Then he got cast in his first feature film, Space Cowboys (2000), albeit in an unnamed pilot’s role. The following year, Westfeldt co-wrote and starred in her own film Kissing Jessica Stein, which opened to rave reviews. It wouldn’t be until 2007, when Hamm was cast in the award-winning role of Don Draper in AMC’s Mad Men, that Hamm would receive international recognition. Though never married, Westfeldt and Hamm remained committed to each other through the disparity of their careers. Only in 2015, after almost two decades together, did the couple choose to end their relationship.
6. Taye Diggs Ditched Idina Menzel After Frozen Became A Hit
In 1996, Idina Menzel got her first professional Broadway gig when she was cast in the musical Rent. Taye Diggs, having made his debut a few years earlier, met Menzel when he was also cast in Rent. By the time the couple married in January 2003, Diggs had already garnered some fame appearing in How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998) and The Best Man (1999). Menzel became well-known in theater circles but had only played minor roles in feature films and television. That all changed when Menzel appeared as the voice of Elsa in the animated film Frozen (2013), singing her award-winning song “Let It Go.” Menzel received an outpouring of accolades for her role in Frozen, which ended up becoming the highest-grossing animated film of all-time. That same year, Diggs announced their separation after 10 years of marriage. A delicate balance was being maintained in that relationship that could no longer be sustained by the sudden mega-stardom of Menzel. The couple finalized their divorce a year later in December 2014.
5. Chris Pratt Ditched Anna Faris When He Became The More Famous One
In 2000, Anna Faris was cast in the horror parody Scary Movie. The film was a huge commercial success and put Faris on the fame train. This led to bigger films like The House Bunny (2008), and three Scary Movie sequels. In 2000, Chris Pratt landed his first role in a parody short called Cursed Part 3. Pratt wouldn’t see any real fame until 2009, when he was cast in the television series Parks and Recreation. They met in 2007 at a table read for a film, and soon began dating. They were married in July 2009. Both enjoyed their own level of success until Pratt was cast as the lead in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Pratt was catapulted into superstardom and led to high-profile films like Passengers (2016), with Jennifer Lawrence. Faris was used to Pratt acting alongside beautiful women but wasn’t dealing well with all the rumors of infidelity with Lawrence. He was getting huge film roles, while her career had plateaued. It became too much of a strain on their marriage and in August 2017, they announced their separation.
4. Snoop Dogg Stayed With Shante Taylor Since High School
Snoop Dogg, born Calvin Broadus, Jr., and Shante Taylor were high school sweethearts. They both attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, California. The rapper and actor may have played up his bad boy persona, but he only has eyes for his true love, Shante. They married in 1997, four years after his debut album Doggystyle debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard charts. According to an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, Snoop took up the side gig of being a real professional pimp from 2003 to 2004. That was about the time his wife filed for divorce. After conferring with some other high-profile pimps, he decided it was best to drop that lifestyle and instead spend quality time with his family. Snoop was able to smooth his way back into Shante’s heart and they renewed their wedding vows in 2008. The couple has three children together.
3. William H. Macy Stayed With Felicity Huffman After His Show Shameless Became A Hit
In the 1980s, William H. Macy co-founded the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City. One of his early theater students was actress Felicity Huffman. The couple dated sporadically for years before finally tying the knot in 1997. Both struggled their way through minor television and film roles. In 1996, Macy landed his breakout role in the Coen Brothers’ Fargo, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. Macy’s career received a huge boost and bigger film roles started to come his way, including Pleasantville (1998), A Civil Action (1998), and Jurassic Park III (2001). Macy was getting two to three films a year, while Huffman continued working steadily in lower-profile television roles. Her big break didn’t come until she was cast in the hit ABC series Desperate Housewives in 2004, which ran for eight seasons. The couple’s relationship has never been stronger. Macy can now be seen as the lead in Showtime’s very popular series Shameless.
2. Tina Fey Stayed With Jeff Richmond Throughout Her Entire Career
In 1994, two years after 24-year old Tina Fey joined Chicago’s Second City improv theater, she began dating the theater pianist, Jeff Richmond. They both would go on to work for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Fey as a writer and Richmond as a composer. In 2000, Fey would join the cast and become co-anchors of SNL’s Weekend Update segment. She became famous for her work on Saturday Night Live. Fey and Richmond married in 2001, and the couple left SNL in 2006 to work on 30 Rock. She would write and star, while Richmond worked as a composer, director, and sometimes actor. Tina Fey would go on to also have a successful film career, starring in films like Date Night (2010), Sisters (2015), and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016). Since 30 Rock ended in 2013, Richmond produces and composes for Fey’s new Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. According to Fey, Richmond is the only man she’s ever been with.
1. Denzel Washington Stayed With Pauletta Pearson
Denzel Washington was just 18 years old when he met his future wife, Pauletta Pearson. It was 1977 and he was on the set of his very first screen role, that of young Robert Eldridge in the television movie Wilma. Over the next couple of years, Washington struggled to get other roles, before finally being cast in his first film, Carbon Copy, in 1981. Throughout it all, he proposed marriage to Pauletta three times before she finally relented and agreed to marry him in 1983. Since that time, he’s remained at her side during his iconic rise to fame. Washington would go on to an award-winning acting career, winning Academy Awards for his roles in Glory (1989) and Training Day (2002). He’s been nominated for an additional five Academy Awards for his roles in Cry Freedom (1987), Malcolm X (1992), The Hurricane (1999), Flight (2012), and Fences (2016). He’s enjoyed an incredibly successful career, but that hasn’t interfered with his devotion to his wife of over thirty years.
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