Why Gene Simmons Really Broke It Off With Cher

Many fans can't think of Cher without thinking of her longtime now-ex-partner, Sonny Bono. The two made music as a couple in the 1960s and 1970s, but ended their marriage in 1975, per History. Although Cher moved on from Bono, many may not know that she had another relationship with a famous musician — Gene Simmons. The two started dating in 1979 and Cher described their union as "the best relationship I've ever had with a human being," per People.

However, Cher and Simmons had an open relationship, and both spent time with other partners. "Gene might spend time with another woman and stay the night, but he wants her to leave in the morning so he can get on with his day," she revealed. The "Believe" singer also admitted that she dated other men "for companionship" but added, "Gene is the only one I'm crazy about. All my relationships are serious. I don't screw around." Simmons, on his part, called Cher his "first love."

Simmons and Cher were so serious, they even discussed marriage. However, they ended things shortly after they started dating, and the reason had to do with another well-known singer.

Gene Simmons broke up with Cher for Diana Ross

Although Gene Simmons and Cher had an open relationship, she drew the line at her boyfriend dating her best friend. According to InStyle, Simmons didn't know what to get Cher for Christmas in 1979 and Cher told him to contact her best friend Diana Ross, who was in New York City at the time. The two hit it off so well, they ended up living together shortly thereafter. In a 1980 interview with People, Simmons claimed that Cher was okay with his relationship with Ross and even came out to see him rehearse with his band KISS with her friend. "She's turned into our biggest fan," the bassist stated at the time.

In a later interview with Howie Mandel, Simmons revealed how Cher found out about his affair with Ross. "I bought a place for Cher in New York on Fifth Avenue, and she had her designer design it," he shared. He went on to say that by the time the apartment was ready, Cher noticed that he wasn't staying there and added, "I was staying a few blocks away with Diana at her place. So, she said, 'What's going on?'"

Simmons and Ross dated for about four years and he called their relationship "a combination of joys," in his memoir, "Kiss and Make-up" (via InStyle). However, the couple soon fizzled out after the rocker started partying at the Playboy Mansion, where he would go on to find his future wife.

Gene Simmons finally settled down with Shannon Tweed

During a night of partying at the Playboy Mansion, Gene Simmons met Playmate Shannon Tweed, per Hollywood Life. Although it seemed like Simmons would never settle down, he and the Canadian native have been together since 1982. The pair welcomed their son Nick in 1989 and their daughter Sophie in 1982. After 28 years together, Simmons and Tweed finally tied the knot in 2011.

Simmons told ET in 2021 that it took him a "long, long time to even get serious about life," and credited Tweed for helping him settle down. "Shannon has always been, and continues to be, the moral compass of this family, the soul. We're just an empty body without her," he gushed about his wife. The former Playboy model added, "He was a good man in a bad boy shell. He had stuff to do and he had to get it done before [he married me]." Tweed previously revealed in an interview with Howard Stern that Cher contacted Simmons years after they had broken up and Tweed had to write her a letter telling her to back off. 

At the time of this report, Cher is dating Alexander "AE" Edwards, who is 40 years her junior, per ET. "On paper, it's kind of ridiculous, but in real life, we get along great," she said of Edwards. While Simmons and Cher once had a passionate love affair, they have since moved on and seem content with their respective partners.