Celeb Marriages That Fixed Their Reputations

The following article includes mentions of addiction and sexual assault.

Celebrity marriages are often fickle. The celebrity divorce rate is higher than that among non-celebrities, and there are dozens of famous people who've been married more than once. While most haven't racked up wedding rings or new last names like Jerry Lee Lewis or Elizabeth Taylor, plenty of celebrities have their fair share of nuptial stories, each one more interesting than the last. And while most celebrities get married out of true love, several unions have also brought about a renewed perception of certain celebrities. Though it hasn't happened much, notable singers and actors have completely changed their reputations thanks to their marriage.

Hollywood is known for turning well-meaning people into abhorrent creatures, and some of those creatures never change their colors. We rounded up the celebrities whose colors did change, though, all thanks to marriage. While some colors changed back, others have kept their renewed images intact. Whatever the case, it's pleasing to see hearts softened by love, however temporary the softening may be. Let's take a closer look at celebs whose marriage fixed their reputations.

Justin Bieber is now a devoted husband

Justin Bieber has been in the spotlight since he was a teenager. The crooning heartthrob was discovered via YouTube, and his unbelievable talent brought him fame and fortune at a young age, as well as tarnished reputation. Bieber became mired in controversy, constantly ending up on the front of the tabloids from his various indiscretions, like egging his neighbor's house and getting arrested for drunk driving in Miami. Although Bieber had a less-than-favorable image for a time, the singer has transformed from a seemingly troubled teen to a devoted husband. Bieber married his wife, Hailey Bieber, in 2019, and while they've opened up about the work they've put in to make their relationship work, it's clear that Hailey is Justin's main priority these days.

Hailey's importance to Justin became even more prominent after she suffered a medical emergency in 2022. After she was diagnosed with a blood clot that caused stroke-like symptoms, an insider told People, "he can't lose her, that whatever it takes, he wanted the best medical treatment available." Justin has also reflected on his past since marrying Hailey, writing on Instagram, "Not proud of where I was at in my life. I was hurting, unhappy, confused, angry, misled, misunderstood, and angry at God... My encouragement to you is to let your past be a reminder of how far God has brought you. Don't allow shame to ruin your 'today.'"

Michael Jackson married Lisa Marie Presley in light of early sexual abuse allegations

Few people have had as drastic reputation changes as Michael Jackson. The King of Pop began his career as a child, winning the hearts of millions thanks to his incredible talent at such a young age. He transitioned to a bona fide heartthrob when he began releasing solo music as an adult, but by 1993, due to allegations of sexual abuse, Jackson had given himself a new, far worse image. While the allegations were still new, though, Jackson married another member of music royalty, Lisa Marie Presley, the only child of the King of Rock 'n Roll, Elvis Presley. The claims that threatened Jackson's career were no longer what the public found most interesting about him, thanks to his new marriage. "I am very much in love with Michael. I dedicate my life to being his wife. I understand and support him. We both look forward to raising a family," Lisa Marie said.

Unfortunately, the couple divorced just a year and a half after exchanging vows, and because of further allegations of abuse, Jackson's reputation again suffered. Per NPR, the singer went on to be accused of and arrested for abuse charges. Although he was acquitted of these charges, Jackson's reputation never fully recovered, and he died with as much controversy surrounding his name as that with which he lived.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Bobby Brown's reputation changed when he married Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown married in 1992. The couple surprised the public when they got together due to their opposite reputations, but their 15-year marriage proved they were truly in love, and Brown's image was enhanced significantly, at least for a time. As one of Brown's employees said to Vanity Fair, "I had my doubts about this relationship, but when you see them together, you know it's love." Prior to their relationship, Brown was known for his affinity for women. As he told the publication, "I think women are God's gift to this earth. I love women."

Despite this assertion, Brown proved that he loved one woman more than the rest, and he and Houston stayed together until 2007. Five years later, Houston tragically died from a drug overdose, a harrowing reality on which Brown reflected in his 2022 episode of the A&E documentary series "Biography." "I think she'd still be here if we hadn't divorced," Brown said of his late ex-wife, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Brown also spoke about the reality show he and Houston starred in, "Being Bobby Brown." Though short-lived, Brown did say his decision to be filmed for reality television was to show the public "[he] wasn't this monster of a person."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Rob Lowe's marriage inspired him to stay sober

Many a celebrity has shared their decision to be sober, lots noting that the decision saved their life. For Rob Lowe, the decision to get sober also changed his reputation, and that decision might not have been made if it hadn't been for his marriage to Sheryl Berkoff. A movie star in the '80s, Lowe had access to anything and anyone he wanted, causing him to engage in risky behavior that gave him a poor reputation. As he told "The Jess Cagle Show," "It's not a great recipe for success to give an 18-year-old male fame, money, drugs and expect there not to be something that goes wrong."

After the release of a sex tape starring Lowe, the actor decided to get sober. While most people see a sex tape negatively, Lowe is thankful for it. "I think it's the best thing that ever happened to me ... 'cause it got me sober. Sober got me married. I've been married 29 years, and I have two great sons. I don't think any of that happens without going through that scandal. I really don't," he said of the ordeal. The actor also credits his marriage to helping him stay sober. "Alcohol and drugs were only going to make [intimacy] next to impossible," he told People in an interview about his marriage to Berkoff. Lowe has now been sober and married for over 30 years.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Charlie Sheen's reputation improved while he was married to Denise Richards

Charlie Sheen is one of the most notorious men in Hollywood. Catapulting to fame in the late '80s, much of Sheen's life has been marked by his behavior. Per USA Today, the '90s were an especially troubling time for the actor, with some of the most notable headlines about him regarding his stint in rehab and an assault charge. The early 2000s brought a lull in negative headlines for Sheen, though. In 2000, he met actor Denise Richards, and the two eventually married. It wasn't until 2006 that the actor was again on the cover of tabloids with his purported indiscretions being aired. In 2008, amid a custody battle between Richards and Sheen, Access Hollywood shared papers from the courts in which Richards detailed Sheen's "attraction to underage women and his sexual explicitness on the Internet, including revealing his private parts," as reported by People.

Sheen's reputation did not improve from there. Although he entered rehab again, he was still involved in various controversies, including his firing from the show he starred in, "Two and a Half Men." Sheen's reputation hit a new low when he revealed on the "Today Show" that he is HIV positive. Despite his tarnished image in Tinsel Town, Sheen is still working as an actor.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Hugh Grant says he was wrong for not wanting to get married

Although during the '80s and '90s, Hugh Grant played characters who almost always fell in love at the end of the movie, his personal life wasn't quite so idyllic. Aside from his long-term relationship with Elizabeth Hurley, Grant was known for being in relationships with several different women, all of whom he didn't want to marry or have children with. In the early 2010s, Grant met Anna Eberstein, and his opinions on marriage and children changed. In 2012, Grant's then-girlfriend Eberstein welcomed their first child together, and since then, she's given birth to three more, per People.

As the Daily Mail reports, Grant has opened up about his change of heart. "Well, I was just plain wrong. I was wrong. And children, you know, I used to roll my eyes. People would say, oh Hugh, you don't understand it, but they were right," the actor said. He included that he waited too long to get married. "It was very nice getting married. It was another thing I put off too many decades. Very nice. Very nice being married," he noted. While he was a notorious bachelor for most of his career, Grant is now known as a dedicated husband and family man.

Mark Wahlberg was an eligible bachelor for many years

A Massachusetts native who rose to fame thanks to his band Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Mark Wahlberg curated a bad boy image for himself. Known for his toned body and modeling shirtless, Wahlberg's reputation wasn't exactly defined by his work in acting or music. But that all changed after some careful career moves and his marriage to Rhean Durman. Although the two had dated for many years prior to tying the knot, his vows certainly helped reshape his image into what it is today.

Wahlberg isn't ashamed of his past, though. As a 16-year-old, the actor spent almost three months in jail after being found guilty of assault, but after he was released, he set forth on a new path, one including ample charity work. As reported by The New Daily, Wahlberg said about his work, "I have not engaged in philanthropic efforts in order to make people forget about my past. To the contrary, I want people to remember my past so that I can serve as an example of how lives can be turned around and how people can be redeemed."

Keith Urban credits his sobriety to Nicole Kidman

There are several reasons people choose to become sober. For Keith Urban, it was meeting and falling in love with his wife, Nicole Kidman. An Australian native, Urban's career in country music began in earnest in the early '90s, per his biography. Though Urban never experienced any public shame for his struggles with addiction, he did experience them. Urban shared with Rolling Stone that he was addicted to alcohol and cocaine, among other drugs, and in a separate interview with the outlet, he noted that his marriage to Kidman saved him. "I wasn't in any recovery program of any sort. I wasn't in AA. I didn't have a sponsor. I didn't have anything. Meeting Nic and falling in love with Nic and starting a relationship with Nic became — I realize now in hindsight — my sobriety. That was how I was able to keep it together," he said.

Urban has now been sober for over 15 years, and although he praises his relationship with Kidman as the impetus for his sobriety, she sees it a little differently. Kidman has supported Urban through his sobriety, but she gives him the credit for maintaining it. As she told People, "You can't save somebody; they've got to save themselves."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).