20 widely covered nasty celebrity breakups
Celebrity breakups have always been the prime focus of the media, especially when it happens between two high-profile celebrities like Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez; Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman; Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston; and Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, among others.
These celebrity couples were once considered Hollywood's sweethearts, however, a drastic turn of events in their relationships resulted in their heartbreaking splits. These breakups broke the hearts of fans all across the globe and became the talk of the town.
Some of them even turned into nasty post-divorce fights, like that of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard and Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.
From Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, list of 10 worst celebrity breakups, explored
1) Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arguably had the worst public breakup in recent times. After meeting on the set of their movie The Rum Diary, the two started dating around the beginning of 2011, as per Insider. In 2015, the pair tied the knot.
However, the two called it quits just 15 months later, in 2016. Their divorce became the talk of the town, however, it was turned into the primary focus of all the tabloids and news outlets in 2019 when Depp sued Heard for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post. On April 11, 2022, Johnny Depp's defamation trial against Amber Heard started.
After extensive coverage of the defamation trial, on June 1, 2022, Johnny Depp won the defamation case against ex-wife Heard. A year after the case trial started, both Depp and Heard now seem to have moved on with their lives. Depp was recently seen at the world premiere of his new film Jeanne Du Barry at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Meanwhile, Amber Heard garnered headlines due to rumors that she may have left Hollywood and moved to Spain.
2) Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
When it comes to nasty celebrity breakups, the break-up between singer Miley Cyrus and actor Liam Hemsworth has to be mentioned. In 2009, the two fell in love on the set of their movie The Last Song. As reported by US Weekly, the two were in an on-and-off relationship from August 2010 to April 2011.
In 2012, the two got engaged, only to call it off in 2013, according to Insider. However, the couple got back together in 2016 and in 2018, they got married. But it did not last long as the two split in 2019, their divorce was finalized in 2020.
On August 13, 2019, Hemsworth spoke about his split with Cyrus in an Instagram post, writing:
"Just a quick note to say that Miley and I have recently separated and I wish her nothing but health and happiness going forward....This is a private matter and I have not made, nor will I be making, any comments to any journalists or media outlets. Any reported quotes attributed to me are false."
As reported by People, Liam Hemsworth is currently in a relationship with Australian model and celebrity Gabriella Brooks. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus is currently dating musician Maxx Morando, according to Us Weekly.
3) Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez
Pop star Justin Bieber and singer-actor Selena Gomez have been one of the most widely known celebrity couples of all time. Their relationship had always been the topic of numerous tabloids, with the media capturing every move of the stars. According to StyleCaster, the celebrity couple was in an on-again and off-again relationship for almost 10 years from 2008 to 2018.
The two finally went their separate ways for good in 2018, however, this broke the hearts of many fans. In her Apple TV+ documentary My Mind and Me, Gomez opened up about writing the song Lose You to Love Me about ex Justin Bieber. She talked about her relationship and the duo's split in the documentary, adding:
"I feel like I had to go through the worst possible heartbreak ever and then just forgetting everything at the drop of a hand, it was really confusing,...But I just think that needed to happen and ultimately it was the best thing that ever happened to me."
Since their break up, both Gomez and Bieber have moved on, the latter is currently married to Hailey Rhode Bieber.
4) Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik
Singer Zayn Malik and model Gigi Hadid were one of the fan-favorite celebrity couples. According to People, the couple were in an on-again and off-again relationship for almost six years, from 2015 to 2021. In 2020, the two welcomed their daughter, Khai.
Fans were heartbroken when the news of their break-up began circulating in 2021. The news arrived after allegations against Malik for allegedly "striking" Hadid's mother, Yolanda Hadid, came out. The singer, however, vehemently denied the charges and pleaded no contest to the allegations. In a Twitter post, Malik said that he wanted:
"a place where private family matters aren't thrown on the world stage for all to poke and pick apart," adding that the incident "was and still should be a private matter."
Zayn and Gigi's breakup was one of the wildest and most extensively covered breakups in the entertainment business.
5) Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were one of the most high-profile celebrity couples of all time. After meeting in 1989, the couple tied the knot in a Christmas wedding ceremony in December 1990, as per Us Weekly. They also went on to adopt two children, Isabella and Connor, while they were married. The celebrity couple stayed together for a little more than a decade, before calling it quits in February 2001.
Their split caused quite a stir in Hollywood, with the media widely covering their split. In an interview with Vanity Fair in December 2002, Nicole Kidman opened up about her relationship with her ex-husband Cruise. During the interview, she said:
"I was willing to give up everything,...I now see that as part of me. I'm willing to do that — I do it when I do a movie too. I'm willing to go, 'Yeah, bring it on, consume me, intoxicate me.' I want to feel alive—I want to reel, basically. I was reeling with Tom and I loved it and I would have walked to the end of the earth. That meant giving up a lot of things that were very important to me."
Tom Crusie went on to marry actress Katie Holmes in 2006, however, the two got divorced in 2012. Nicole Kidman has been happily married to singer Keith Urban since 2006.
6) Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt were once Hollywood's golden couple in the late '90s and early 2000s. The two began their romance after their agents set them up on a date in 1998, as per E!. They were a much-talked-about celebrity couple as Aniston was a huge star on Friends and Pitt was beginning his career as a major Hollywood star. The tabloids went crazy when the couple got engaged in 2000.
On July 29, 2000, The two got married. After five years of marriage, however, the two broke things off after a rumor of Pitt having an affair with Angelina Jolie started to spawn all over the news while the two were shooting for Mr. and Mrs. Smith, as reported by Insider.
In 2014, Pitt went on to marry Angelina Jolie; the two separated in 2019. While Aniston married Justin Theroux in 2015, before getting separated in 2017.
7) Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Media personality Kim Kardashian and rapper Kanye West started dating in 2011. The two first met in 2000 but became friends in 2008, as per Brides. Soon, their relationship became the talk of the town. In 2013, the pair welcomed their first daughter North, they then went on to get married in 2014. West and Kardashian share four children together.
After nearly seven years of marriage life, the celebrity couple broke their relationship in 2021. Their very public divorce was widely covered by multiple media houses. Kardashian was announced legally single on March 2, 2022, by the court amid divorce proceedings. In a 2022 March issue of Vogue, the SKIMS owner opened up about her split with West, stating:
"For so long, I did what made other people happy,...And I think in the last two years I decided, I'm going to make myself happy. And that feels really good. And even if that created changes and caused my divorce, I think it's important to be honest with yourself about what really makes you happy. I've chosen myself. I think it's okay to choose you."
In November 2021, Kim started dating comedian and actor Pete Davidson, but the duo broke up in August 2022. As per US Weekly, West is currently in a relationship with Bianca Censori.
8) Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake, the two mega-pop stars, started dating in 1999 at the peak of their career, as per Hollywood Life. They were considered the perfect celebrity couple of the generation. In a 2001 interview with The Observer, Spears spoke about her relationship with Timberlake, stating:
"We’ve gone through so much together and we’ve known each other since we were 12 years old. We know each other inside and out."
However, after three years of being in love, the couple broke up in 2002. Millions of fans were heartbroken after the news came out; it was one of the worst celebrity breakups of all time. After their breakup, Justin Timberlake supposedly wrote the song Cry Me a River about Spears, as per Insider.
Spears is currently married to Sam Asghari; the two got married in 2022. Justin Timberlake has been happily married to Jessica Biel since 2012.
9) Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson
The National Treasure star Diane Kruger and Dawson’s Creek star Joshua Jackson started a passionate romantic relationship back in 2006. The celebrity couple were considered one of the most classy TV couples in Hollywood and fans were smitten by their refreshingly modern relationship. The couple dated for a total of ten years. However, they were never engaged or married.
Back in 2014, Joshua Jackson spoke about his relationship with Kruger in an interview with Glamour, stating:
"I can tell you why we're not married: We're not religious,...I don't feel any more or less committed to Kruger for not having stood in front of a priest and had a giant party. We're both children of divorce, so it's hard for me to take marriage at face value as the thing that shows you've grown up and are committed to another person."
Many were heartbroken when the couple split in 2016 and soon after their break up, in 2017, Diane Kruger confirmed that she was dating Norman Reedus, as per Insider. Joshua Jackson is currently happily married. In 2019, Joshua Jackson tied the knot with hir now-wife, Jodie Turner-Smith. The celebrity couple have a daughter together.
10) Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe
Cruel Intentions stars Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon were the "It" couple of Hollywood; after dating for two years, the pair got married in 1999. The couple share two children together, Deacon and Ava.
After the couple officially separated in 2007, the tabloids were busy running their heartbreaking break-up story over and over again. In an old interview with Larry King, Witherspoon went candid and opened up about her difficult breakup with ex Phillippe. She said:
"I think more of the problem was age,...When we got together we were so young. I think it can create issues with two people in this industry because there's so much noise that goes along with it."
In 2011, Witherspoon got married to Jim Toth, but the two split recently in 2023. Meanwhile, Phillippe did not marry since then.
11) Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama
Wilmer Valderrama and singer Demi Lovato were another couple, who had their relationship widely covered by the media, who observed every move of the couple. As per Insider, the two began their romance back in 2010 after meeting at a Voto Latino public service declaration event that was held to encourage people to vote.
Insider also reported that the singer Lovato disclosed that Valderrama was a huge part of her recovery procedure from bipolar disorder, eating disorder and self-harming. Their relationship looked quite promising as shown in the media. However, in 2016, the pair ended their almost six-year-long relationship. After their breakup, both celebrities took to Instagram to share the post, which read:
"This was an incredibly difficult decision for both of us, but we have realized more than anything that we are better as best friends,...We will always be supportive of one another. Thank you to everyone who has offered us kindness and support over the years. With only love, Wilmer & Demi."
12) Fergie and Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel and Fergie calling it quits in 2017, after their nearly eight-year-long married life, was one of the worst celebrity breakups of all time as they were one of the most fan-favorite couples in the entertainment industry. In September 2017, the celebrity pair went on to confirm their breakup through a joint statement they gave to People. In the statement, they wrote:
"With absolute love and respect we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year,...To give our family the best opportunity to adjust, we wanted to keep this a private matter before sharing it with the public. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family."
The singer Fergie, later on, revealed that the two have been successfully co-parenting Axl, their son. As per Insider, in an interview actor, Duhamel opened up about the two o-parenting their son. He said:
"...going really well....All we want is the best for our son, so it's a bit of a juggling act but we're both grown ups who can handle a lot,...And he's happy. That's the main thing."
13) Sean Penn and Madonna
Sean Penn and Madonna's romantic relationship was quite dramatic since the day the two tied the knot back in August 1985. Their relationship caught the eye of the media after Penn was accused of physical violence as reported by Insider. The pair ended their fou-year-long relationship and got divorced in 1989.
In an interview with Rolling Stone in 1989, the pop icon, Madonna, went candid and opened up regarding her and Penn's relationship. During the interview, she said:
"I felt that no one wanted us to be together,...They celebrated our union, and then they wanted us to be apart. There were rumors about us getting a divorce a week after the wedding. We fought that. And, yes, that is difficult. I don't know if anyone can do it [under those circumstances]. You have to be really, really strong and immune. Very sure of yourself."
She further continued:
"Ultimately, I have twinges of regret, but I feel more sadness than anything. Feeling regret is really destructive. I have learned a great deal from my marriage, so much."
14) Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin were one of the most well-known celebrity couples in Hollywood. The two were married for nearly ten years. They also share a child named Ireland Baldwin together. However, unfortunately, they went on to divorce each other and it was indeed a messy divorce, as stated by Insider.
They reportedly first met in 1990 and then went on marry each other in August 1993. However, in 2001, Basinger filed for divorce. The pair's breakup was extremely "nasty" and super "public". They even fought for their child's joint custody.
As per Insider, In an interview in 2016, Basinger spoke about their very public divorce and how it impacted their daughter's life. She said:
"Divorce is hard on a kid, no matter how you cut it,...And ours was very public and nasty. So I brought up Ireland in a very unconventional way. I just wanted her to be free. If she wanted to have her friends over and write over the walls with pen, that was fine. I wanted her childhood to be full of love and light and animals and friends."
15) Courteney Cox and David Arquette
Another celebrity couple who went through a difficult breakup were David Arquette and Courteney Cox. The two well-known actors first met in 1996 on the set of Scream. Thereafter in June 1999, the two went on to marry each other. However, after a little more than a decade, in 2010, their relationship ended. The same year, they dropped a joint statement disclosing their separation. As per the statement shared by the two actors:
"The reason for this separation is to better understand ourselves and the qualities we need in a partner and for our marriage,...We remain best friends and responsible parents to our daughter and we still love each other deeply. As we go through this process we are determined to use kindness and understanding to get through this together."
"I think that we were such good friends,...We found ourselves leading separate lives and just coexisting and being great friends, but not having the intimacy that is so important in a relationship. I think you really need to work in a relationship, and I think that we tried. We're just really different, too. I'm the polar opposite of him. That can be great for a lot of things, but I need this kind of real, one-on-one connection.”
16) Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan
Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum were one of the most beloved celebrity couples in Hollywood. The two met and fell in love back in 2006 at the set of their movie, Step Up. In September 2008, the two actors then went on to get engaged. A year later, in July 2009, they got married. The couple were admired by many fans for their undeniable chemistry both on and off-screen.
After being together for more than ten years, the couple decided to go their separate ways in April 2018. As a reason for their separation, they stated in a joint statement in the same year:
"just two best friends realizing it's time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible."
17) Cher and Sonny Bono
Renowned singers Sonny Bono and Cher were one of the most powerful musical duos in the music industry. The two also hosted their very own television show. Soon, the two become a couple and were inseparable from one another. Their love for each other was admired by many people all across the globe.
Thus, when this celebrity couple decided to split back in 1975, the world was shocked as they never saw it coming. They seemed perfect for each other. However, the same year, their divorce was finalized. Later on, in a Vanity Fair interview in 2010, the beloved singer Cher opened up about the challenges they faced during her and Sonny Bono's long married life. During the interview, she said:
"He told me when we were together, 'One day you are going to leave me. You are going to go on and do great things,'...He wrote me this poem, and I wish to God that I had kept it. He said, 'You are a butterfly, meant to be seen by all, not to be kept by one.' I wouldn't have left him if he hadn't had such a tight grip — such a tight grip....Sonny did a couple of things … treating me more like the golden goose than like his wife."
18) Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney
Singer Lady Gaga and actor Taylor Kinney were one of the most unexpected yet beloved couples in Hollywood. Meeting on set in 2011 while filming the video for Gaga's track You and I, the two became extremely attracted to each other. Later that year the pair began dating. Although fans were shocked by the pairing, soon the couple started to steal everyone's hearts with their unavoided chemistry.
However, the couple separated back in 2016. The news broke the hearts of many as they seemed made for one another. The two stated that their extremely busy work schedule was the reason behind their breakup. However, as per Insider, Gaga, later on, revealed that her lead part A Star Is Born, somehow led to their separation. She said:
"My love life has just imploded,...I sold 10 million [records] and lost Matt. I sold 30 million and lost Luke. I did a movie and lose Taylor. It’s like a turnover. This is the third time I’ve had my heart broken like this."
19) Anna Faris and Chris Pratt
More than once, actors Chris Pratt and Anna Faris made fans believe in true love. The celebrity couple was a fan-favorite from the very beginning of their adorable romantic relationship. The two actors met for the first time in 2007 while shooting for their movie Take Me Home Tonight in 2007.
However, at the time Faris was already married to actor Ben Indra. After Indra and Faris went their separate ways, Faris and Pratt started their dating life. In 2008, they got engaged and a year later in 2009, they tied the knot. The two even share a son named Jack with one another, who was born in 2012.
When they decided to break up and release the news of their separation back in 2017, the world was shocked and fans were extremely heartbroken as they had been rooting for the couple for a long time. No official reason was stated by the actors for the split.
As per PopSugar, Anna Faris said, while talking about her separation from Pratt:
"We'll always have each other and be incredible friends. It's understandable that people seem so invested in our relationship. All I can say about that is it's all true, that we truly adore each other, and we love each other. I think it still comes through. Chris and I are really great friends, and I think that we always will be."
20) Will Arnett and Amy Poehler
Amy Poehler and Will Arnett were another celebrity couple whose relationship and separation were widely covered by many tabloids. They two were once considered a power couple in Hollywood. They met in 2000. However, their relationship came under the limelight after the two became parts of Blades of Glory and Arrested Development. The pair went on to marry each other in 2003. They also went on to have two children together.
They seemed like the perfect on-screen comedy duo and off-screen couple. However, in 2012, the couple announced that they were going their separate ways. In her memoir Yes Please! Amy Poehler opened up regarding hr heartbreaking separation from Arnett. She said:
"Imagine spreading everything you care about on a blanket and then tossing the whole thing up in the air,...The process of divorce is about loading that blanket, throwing it up, watching it all spin, and worrying what stuff will break when it lands....I don't think a ten-year marriage constitutes failure," she continued. "That being said, getting a divorce really sucks."