The most devastating celebrity breakups of this past decade
From Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, to Sean Penn and Madonna, to Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, to Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, each decade has their share of high-profile celebrity romances. And the 2010s were no exception. Some are short-lived (how you doing Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande?), and some we never saw coming (sorry, Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney). Others? Well, if you blinked, you might have missed it (how’s things, Bella Hadid and The Weeknd?).
But for this feature, we’re digging into some of the biggest breakups of the decade. Yes, it’s true that when it comes to relationships, the stars are still just like us! They get together, sometimes they get married, they break up, then move on. So step into the way back machine or jump on Oprah’s couch as we take a trip to revisit the most devastating celebrity breakups of this past decade. The box of tissues is optional. And hey, at the very least, we assume Hollywood’s long-reigning couple Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn will get a decent laugh out of this.
Did a 'full-blown affair' take down Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's marriage?
After high-profile relationships with Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck began Jennifer Garner in 2004 after getting to know each other on Pearl Harbor and Daredevil. The pair got engaged and married and became parents in 2005, and after a decade of marital bliss, many people believed the couple would go the distance. However, in June 2015, the couple announced their split.
“After much thought and careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to divorce,” they said in a joint statement (via People). “We go forward with love and friendship for one another and a commitment to co-parenting our children whose privacy we ask to be respected during this difficult time. This will be our only comment on this private, family matter. Thank you for understanding.”
Media outlets reported that their divorce was due to Affleck having an affair with their nanny, but Garner told Vanity Fair they had “been separated for months” before she heard about the nanny, insisting that the woman who took care of their children “was not a part of the equation.” In 2017, US Weekly alleged that Affleck and Saturday Night Live producer Lindsay Shookus began a “full-blown affair” as early as 2014, and that Garner was aware of the relationship. Garner filed to finalize their divorce in October 2018.
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth changed 'as partners and individuals'
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth met on the set of 2009’s The Last Song, and by the time production wrapped, the two were spotted “full-on making out” as they said goodbye at the Nashville airport, according to an eyewitness who spoke to People. After being on-and-off for years (including calling off an engagement), the couple tied the knot in December 2018. With all that shared past behind them, it appeared they would be together forever.
So, naturally, it came as a shock when Cyrus and Hemsworth announced their separation. “Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time. Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers,” Cyrus’s rep said in a statement to People. “They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy.”
This public statement came hours after photos of Cyrus and Kaitlyn Carter engaging in some serious PDA surfaced. On Aug. 21, 2019, TMZ reported that Hemsworth “just filed for divorce.” A few days before that, he wished Cyrus “nothing but health and happiness going forward” on Instagram. By December 2019, Miley and Liam “reached an agreement when it comes to the divorce,” a source close to Cyrus told People, adding, “She just wants to move on.”
Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore became a bombshell
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher shocked the celebrity world when the couple, with a 15-year age difference, started dating in 2003 and exchanged vows in 2005. The pair looked strong, but in 2011 Moore filed for divorce from the Punk’d star. “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton,” Moore said in a statement to People.
A year later, Kutcher officially filed for divorce. “I will forever cherish the time I spent with Demi. Marriage is one of the most difficult things in the world and unfortunately, sometimes they fail,” he said in a statement. The couple remained relatively tight-lipped over the years on why caused their split, but that all changed with the release of Moore’s 2019 memoir, Inside Out. Moore alleged that Kutcher cheated on her with two different women, but thought it was okay since they had threesomes in the past. “Because we had brought a third party into our relationship, Ashton said, that blurred the lines and, to some extent, justified what he’d done,” Moore wrote. She added that he was trying to “deflect blame” in the situation.
Kutcher has been married to his That ’70s Show co-star Mila Kunis since 2015, and the couple share two children.
Common and Angela Rye tried twice
“There’s a definite connection with Angela Rye,” Common said during a September 2017 interview with SiriusXM’s Bevelations. “She’s a wonderful woman. … I’m dating, I’m happy right now, and she’s an incredible human being.” However, six months later, the rapper and CNN correspondent had split.
“We have and will always be friends,” Rye told Page Six, adding, “He is an amazing human being, and I’m a much better person because he’s a part of my life. May we all keep loving and living.” No specific reason was given for their split at the time but during an August 2019 appearance on The Angie Martinez Show, Common confirmed he and Rye were back together after he went to therapy. “I think being able to go through situations where I didn’t do good in relationships … some of that was my responsibility, and after repeating that, being like ‘What am I doing wrong?’ and working on self … I’m able to come to a relationship more like whole,” he explained.
But that didn’t last either. Since that interview, the Chicago native has been spotted with comedian Tiffany Haddish multiple times, leading people to believe they are an item. “Here is my #MCM ain’t he Handsome,” Haddish captioned a photo of herself with Common and singer Harry Belafonte in December 2019. “If only young light skin wasn’t trying to block my chance to hook up with a legend.”
Chris Pratt and Anna Faris remained great friends
During a 2015 Reddit AMA, Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt said his relationship with Anna Faris made him “believe in divine intervention and destiny.” Two years later, the couple announced their decision to split after eight years of marriage in a joint Facebook statement.
“Anna and I are sad to announce we are legally separating. We tried hard for a long time, and we’re really disappointed. Our son has two parents who love him very much and for his sake we want to keep this situation as private as possible moving forward. We still have love for each other, will always cherish our time together and continue to have the deepest respect for one another.”
On Dec. 1, 2017, TMZ reported that Pratt and Faris simultaneously filed for divorce, both citing irreconcilable differences. Sources said their split was “totally amicable.” While we still don’t know the specific reasons that led to the dissolution of Pratt and Faris’ marriage, there has been much speculation about it. However, the two remain good friends. Before Pratt proposed to Katherine Schwarzenegger, who he married in June 2019, he called Faris. “He was so sweet, as he always is, he called me like, ‘So, I’m going to ask Katherine to marry me. I just wanted to give you a heads up,'” Faris revealed on the Divorce Sucks! podcast (via ET). “And I was like, ‘That’s awesome!’ and I told him that I was an ordained minister.”
Cheating staked Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart through the heart
The Twilight saga made them household names, but Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s love affair made them the darlings of celebrity gossip blogs. By 2009, “Robsten” was born, creating a Hollywood couple you could only build in a lab. However, a mere three years later, Us Weekly published shocking photographs of Stewart having an affair with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders.
“I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected,” Stewart in a statement to People. “This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.”
The pair attempted a reconciliation, but the relationship ended for good in 2013, playing out — where else? — in the tabloids as E! News published photographs of Pattison moving out of Stewart’s Los Angeles, Calif. home. During a 2019 interview with Howard Stern, Stewart called Pattison her first love and came very close to admitting she would have married him if he had proposed. At the time of this writing, Stewart is dating screenwriter Dylan Meyer.
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield remained silent
During the production of 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, the chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield was undeniable. “We got on really well as people, in between [takes],” Garfield told MTV News at the time. “That was the fun stuff: In between, we’d just mess around, and I felt, ‘Ah, this is different.'” Once the shoot was over, the couple were dating.
During the sequel, the pair grew even closer, but by 2015, cracks were starting to show. Us Weekly reported that Stone “ended things and moved back to L.A.,” and that Garfield had been “in a dark place for months.” The couple never confirmed their split, but seven months later, a source told People the young stars were done for good. “There was no drama, they’ve been apart while working. They still care about each other,” the source said, adding, “They still have love for one another. They are on good terms with each other and remain close.” But was it over?
In 2017, the pair were seen hugging at the BAFTAs, and in 2018, Page Six spotted them at a restaurant “looking very much like a couple.” However, we learned that Stone and Garfield really did remain friends and were no longer romantically involved. In 2019, Stone got engaged to Saturday Night Live writer and director Dave McCary.
Channing Tatum & Jenna Dewan 'lovingly' chose to separate
The chemistry between Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan was immediately apparent on the set of the 2006 dancing rom-com Step Up. Two years after meeting on that set, the couple got married, but after ten years of marital bliss, Dewan filed for divorce.
“We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple. We fell deeply in love so many years ago and have had a magical journey together. Absolutely nothing has changed about how much we love one another, but love is a beautiful adventure that is taking us on different paths for now,” the couple said in a statement (via E! News). “There are no secrets nor salacious events at the root of our decision — just two best-friends realizing it’s time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible.”
There was talk of cheating that caused their split, but Tatum pushed back hard on those rumors. “The media is fabricating stories and none of these accusations are remotely true,” his rep told E! News, adding, “Channing and Jenna released an honest and loving statement which is the only truth.” At the time of this writing, Dewan is expecting her second baby with boyfriend Steve Kazee. Tatum split from singer Jessie J in 2019 after a year of dating.
It seems like Gwen Stefani had … no doubt that Gavin Rossdale cheated on her
When Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale met while performing at the same concert in 1995 it was love at first sight. After seven years of dating, the couple married in 2002 (in two separate ceremonies!). One of the coolest couples in music, the pair had three children and appeared to have a long future together.
However (per TMZ), Stefani filed for divorce in 2015 citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple released a joint statement that read: “While the two of us have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment.”
We learned that the reason for the divorce was Rossdale’s alleged three-year affair with their Australian nanny, Mindy Mann. According to Us Weekly, Stefani “discovered explicit texts” and nude photos between Rossdale and Mann on the family’s iPad. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Stefani said she “went through a real period of anger” that turned into her revenge song “Used to Love You.” In a 2017 interview with The Sun, Rossdale expressed regret over the split and called their divorce “completely opposite to what I wanted.” He added, “Apart from death, I think divorce is one of the hardest, most painful things to go through.” At the time of this writing, Stefani is dating country music star, Blake Shelton.
Adam Levine and Nina Agdal proved to be 'very casual'
After splitting from model Behati Prinsloo, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine started dating yet another model, Nina Agdal, in 2013. “It’s very casual with Nina, actually,” a source told People, adding “Unlike [Levine’s exes] Behati and Anne [Vyalitsyna], where he was serious with them, this just seems to be a new, casual thing.”
That proved to be a prophetic statement. A year later, Levine got back together with Prinsloo and the pair were married. According to the Daily Mail, Agdal found out the pair were engaged via text message. Ouch. However, for her part, Agdal seemed pretty okay with the whole thing. “I am 21 years old, and I don’t think anyone who is 21 knows what love is about yet,” she told Ocean Drive (via E! News) in 2013. “I think love just happens. It happened to them and I’m happy for them. I am not even worried about anything like that.”
At the time of this writing, Levine and Prinsloo are still together and have two children. Agdal is dating model Christie Brinkley’s son, Jack Brinkley-Cook.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gifted us 'Brangelina,' then took it away
Quite possibly the most famous celebrity couple of the 2000s, Brad Pitt and Angelina made the world catch “Brangelina” fever. The couple met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, where Pitt told Rolling Stone he “fell in love” during the production, and the rest is history. However, their relationship was broiled in scandal from the beginning, as many blamed Jolie for breaking Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. But in 2015, Aniston pleaded for everyone to move on from the rumors about a feud between her and Jolie. “It’s just tiresome and old,” she told ET, adding, “It’s like an old leather shoe. Let’s buy a new pair of shiny shoes.”
After nine years and six children later, Pitt and Jolie finally married. But, two years later, Jolie filed for divorce in 2016, claiming the “decision was made for the health of the family.” What followed was an intense custody battle that was finally resolved in December 2018, with both Pitt and Jolie receiving “joint physical and legal custody of the children,” according to Us Weekly. At the time of this writing, neither actor has moved on into a committed relationship. While Us Weekly also reported that Jolie has been on “a few dates” since the split, Pitt jokingly said on a 2020 episode of Marc Maron’s WTF podcast that his personal life is “a disaster.”
Divorce was not an impossible mission for Katie Holmes
“I used to think that I was going to marry Tom Cruise,” Katie Holmes told Seventeen (via HuffPost) in 2004. We guess that’s all Cruise needed to hear. A year later, Holmes found herself dating arguably the biggest movie star in the world at the time and that movie star, Tom Cruise, absolutely lost his mind on Oprah — a singular event that The Ringer described as “a turning point for how we discuss and understand celebrities.” In 2006, the pair married in a medieval castle and TomKat was officially born.
With a start like that, one would think they would last forever. Holmes even began studying Scientology. That’s love right there. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Holmes filed for divorce in 2012. “This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family,” her attorney said in a statement to People, adding, “Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.” Cruise was completely caught off guard by the divorce, and according to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Holmes used a burner phone to hire “three law firms in three states.”
The gamble paid off. Cruise and Holmes reached a settlement a mere eleven days after the divorce petition was filed. At the time of this writing, Cruise has yet to remarry. Holmes split from her longtime boyfriend Jamie Foxx in 2019.
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