Celeb Couples Who Haven't Figured Out They Aren't Famous Anymore

The following article includes brief references to addiction, mental health struggles, and child sexual abuse.

Not every celeb couple can be a power couple, and let's be real — most famous power couples don't last. That said, while most couples come with power dynamics that can change over time and throughout the course of the respective parties' careers and relationship, some pairs don't have nearly as much power as a whole as they might like to think that they do. Take, for example, the collective known as "Speidi," comprised of "The Hills" alum Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag, who have admittedly struggled to remain in the spotlight. But more on this pairing and more below. 

The following celebrity pairings' joint star power may have faded within the pop cultural zeitgeist, whether begrudgingly or by design, but they've weathered their lessening fame together and are actually still going as strong these days — an impressive feat in and of itself for a town that's better known for brutal and dramatic splits than for long-lasting romantic partnerships. Here are the celeb couples who haven't figured out they aren't famous anymore.

Katherine Heigl and Josh Kelley have struggled for fame

Katherine Heigl was one of the most in-demand actors in Hollywood in the early 2000s, with starring roles on "Grey's Anatomy" and in a slew of romcoms. Unfortunately, her allegedly difficult attitude on and off set led to her career stalling in a big way. "What is your definition of difficult? Somebody with an opinion that you don't like?" Heigl reflected to The Washington Post in 2021. "Now, I'm 42, and that s*** pisses me off."

Heigl, who married musician Josh Kelley in 2007, has since attempted several TV comebacks that haven't lasted very long. She starred on "Suits" after the now-Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle exited the show to marry Prince Harry in 2018. Unfortunately, Markle took the "Suits" ratings with her when she left, and the USA Network series was canceled in 2019. Heigl then nabbed a starring and executive producing gig on Netflix's "Firefly Lane." Well-received by audiences, but not so much among critics, the show would end after two seasons in April 2023.

For his part, Kelley had some minor adult contemporary hits in the early 2000s and later hoped to kickstart a country music career in Nashville, but the singer-songwriter unfortunately hasn't been able to replicate the early success of songs like "Amazing" and "Only You." On the positive side, he and Heigl couldn't be happier living in Utah with their three children. "In our minds, this became the best place to be for our family," Heigl gushed to People in 2017. "It's quiet and there's a different way to living here."

Speidi are still working for the spotlight

Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, who tied the knot in 2009, admittedly had a difficult time adjusting to their post-reality-TV life once the original iteration of "The Hills" ended in 2010. Pratt has revealed that they used to stage paparazzi shoots for themselves to generate interest — and that they blew their entire MTV fortune on attempting to live like A-listers. But as Pratt told People in 2016, "We should have stayed in our reality TV lane." (We imagine that Montag's slew of admittedly unnecessary plastic surgeries likely set them back, as well.) 

The pair initially didn't realize that reality fame is fleeting unless you're a Kardashian and have Kris Jenner around for guidance. "It was really overwhelming," Montag told "The View" in 2013, revealing why the pair decided to temporarily take a step back (via Radar). "I think we just needed to reevaluate and reground our lives and our values." Still, they've since kept trying to stay in the reality TV spotlight, with stints on "Celebrity Big Brother" and "Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars," as well as attempting to make a comeback through Pratt's hummingbird enthusiast Snapchat videos and on "The Hills" reboot with a slew of its other OG stars. Unfortunately, the revival was canceled after two seasons in 2022. Months later, Pratt admitted to Esquire, "I want a hit show so f***ing bad."

Still, this celeb couple appears to be thriving in their personal life, having happily welcomed their second son in November 2022.

Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross' show failed to engage viewers

Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross tried really hard to make a name for themselves with their E! reality show "Ashlee+Evan" and their duets — they had their first charting single "I Do" in 2018. Prior to that, Simpson hadn't had a song chart in a decade ("Little Miss Obsessive" was her last one, peaking at No. 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2008), and Ross never had his legendary mom's cultural impact despite his small roles in big movies like Parts 1 and 2 of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay."

In "Ashlee+Evan," Ross actually turned down what the show claimed was a lucrative acting gig to work on a collaborative album with Simpson, and reviewers were quick to point out that the couple required some exposition (and Diana Ross cameos) to remind viewers of who they were. Ouch. The ratings for "Ashlee+Evan" unfortunately weren't good, and the series was canceled after one season in 2019, which was perhaps expected considering the married pair reportedly had trouble selling their wedding photos to the press in 2014 — the same year Evan appeared in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1" and would arguably have been at his peak fame.

"We are not doing that anymore," Simpson told Us Weekly of the short-lived reality show. "We had so much fun doing it, but we're both working on our own projects and we're literally there with each other every day." The couple welcomed their second child together in 2020, and Evan has since invested in The Hideaway restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Jessica Simpson's marriage isn't as high profile as her past relationships

Jessica Simpson isn't as big a star as she once was — and her husband, Eric Johnson, played in the NFL for seven years before retiring in 2008 without making much of an impact in football. He officially became Mr. Jessica Simpson in 2014, launched a wellness company called Legendary Disciplines in 2020, and welcomed three kids with his singer-actor wife.

Simpson herself has also largely eschewed the spotlight, instead opting to focus on her health and sobriety, having opened up about her alcohol addiction in her 2020 "Open Book" memoir. She's also focusing on her self-titled fashion line — a hugely successful venture that was once worth $1 billion that has since faced some major lows. After Sequential Brands acquired the company and went bankrupt by 2021, Simpson rebought her brand. "I drained everything to buy it back," Simpson told CNBC's Make It. "But I'm my best investment to myself. I believe in big things. I don't think anything is impossible."

She's also had a tough time breaking back into the music business. Having revealed in a somewhat disastrous 2017 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that she'd written dozens of songs, there were reports that Simpson hoped to use the ill-fated "Ashlee+Evan" series as a platform to deliver her music — though she only appeared on the finale to support the titular couple's debut performance. Unfortunately, Simpson's return to music after a decade with six songs to pair with her memoir, and a 2021 cover of Nothing But Thieves' "Particles," all failed to chart.

If you or anyone you know needs help 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).

Vanessa Minnillo and Nick Lachey could never compete with Newlyweds

Nick Lachey was famous for singing in 98 Degrees and then for being married to Jessica Simpson. When "Newlyweds" kicked off in 2003, he was the bigger star between the two — but Simpson quickly eclipsed him with chestnuts about Chicken of the Sea. When the two broke up in 2005, Lachey moved on with then-MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo, who starred in his post-split music video for "What's Left of Me." They married in 2011.

Former pageant queen Minnillo hasn't done much in terms of pop culture relevance since tying the knot, save for competing against her husband on "Dancing with the Stars," starring on the short-lived sitcom "Dads" in 2013, and taking on various dating show hosting gigs with Lachey on Netflix, such as on "Love is Blind" and "The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On." 

Meanwhile, Lachey — who's also taken on a slew of solo turns as host for the likes of "The Sing-Off" and "Big Morning Buzz Live" — opened a bar in his hometown of Cincinnati with brother Drew, which they documented on A&E's "Lachey's Bar" in 2015. Unfortunately, the bar closed its doors for good in 2018. To the delight of die-hard fans, he's since gone back to touring with 98 Degrees in venues much smaller than they did in their prime. But these days, Lachey seems most at home co-hosting shows with his wife, with whom he shares three children. Admitting that he missed Minnillo while hosting "Perfect Match" alone, he told People in February 2023, "We love hosting together."

Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder appear to be stuck in the past

Since the final installment of "The Twilight Saga" in 2012, Nikki Reed has appeared in a handful of episodes of the since-canceled "Sleepy Hollow," a Hanson music video, and a few projects with seemingly very limited releases. As of this writing, her last onscreen appearance was in 2019's TV series "V-Wars" alongside her husband (more on this below). She attempted a music career when she was married to "American Idol's" Paul McDonald from 2011 to 2015, but that didn't do well — perhaps, in part, because their duet music video for the single "Now That I've Found You" frustratingly kept cutting off their faces. In fact, they separated before the project was released.

Ian Somerhalder, whom Reed married in 2015 not long after her divorce from McDonald was finalized, hasn't done much acting since "The Vampire Diaries" ended in 2017. Though he starred in and executive produced the aforementioned "V-Wars" — yet another vampire-themed show — the Netflix series was canceled after one season. At the time of this writing, this gig was also Somerhalder's last onscreen job.

While their acting careers have seemingly stalled, this married pair couldn't be happier in their personal lives. When Reed and Somerhalder announced in January 2023 that they were expecting baby No. 2, the proud dad gushed in part on Instagram, "All I've ever wanted from the time I was a young boy was to have a big family. Thank you Nik for giving me that gift."

Are Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg more successful apart?

Jenny McCarthy was a famous Playmate and a former host of MTV's "Singled Out." As far as acting work, she's had bit parts and occasional recurring roles. She's had a bit more success as a TV personality, including a brief stint on "The View" in 2014 and longtime stints as a judge on "The Masked Singer" and co-host of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve" with Ryan Seacrest. In 2019, McCarthy quit the latter gig.

Her husband, Donnie Wahlberg, has fared better acting-wise, nabbing a starring role on "Blue Bloods" in 2010 (and yes, it's still on) and the "Saw" franchise, and he still occasionally performs with New Kids On The Block and works with brother Mark for Wahlburgers. It's just when Wahlberg and McCarthy — who married in 2014 and renewed their vows seven years later — are together that people apparently aren't too interested. "Donnie Loves Jenny," a reality show chronicling their courtship and marriage, ran from just 2015 to 2016. They also appeared together on "Return of the Mac," a sitcom starring fellow NKOTB member Joey McIntyre, that lasted just eight episodes.

Taking their joint work behind the scenes, the Work Baby Productions founders signed a first-look television deal with Lionsgate in 2022. "Our focus as a couple, and as partners," McCarthy and Wahlberg stated in part (via Deadline), "is to bring light to projects that we are passionate about."

Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes' affair impacted their careers

Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes were famous enough to co-star in a 2009 Lifetime Original Movie called "Northern Lights" when they were each married to other people — Cibrian to "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Brandi Glanville and Rimes to dancer Dean Sheremet. Up to that point, Rimes' music career had fizzled and Cibrian was a working actor with a few bit parts here and there.

The scandal surrounding their relationship kept them in the spotlight for a while. However, by the time they embarked on their own VH1 reality show "LeAnn & Eddie" in 2014, their beef with Glanville was nearly over — and so was any real public interest in their relationship. The show was canceled after just eight episodes. While Cibrian's acting prospects improved, the projects were short-lived. He recurred on "Baby Daddy" and "Rosewood," before starring in 2018's "Take Two" with Rachel Bilson, which was canceled after one season. So was Netflix's "Country Comfort," on which Rimes guested in 2021.

Rimes has only had one charting single since embarking on her relationship with Cibrian, with "Swingin'" peaking at No. 57 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 2010, though she's had several albums since the affair. After winning the "The Masked Singer" in 2020, Rimes told People, "This was a way for people to not have this preconceived idea ... that was connected [about] who they think I am. And just truly feel my essence and authenticity. It felt like the perfect, synchronization reset." However, 2022's "god's work" unfortunately also failed to chart.

Are Nicole Richie and Cameron Diaz pressuring Good Charlotte to deliver?

Despite her previous success in reality TV, Nicole Richie's "Candidly Nicole" reportedly received low ratings and ended after two seasons in 2015. Her musical comedy series "Nikki Fre$h" — named after her environmentally conscious, trap rapper alter-ego — on the short-lived platform Quibi also didn't last long in 2020. Meanwhile, Richie's life with husband Joel Madden of Good Charlotte may be even simpler than the one she shared with her "The Simple Life" co-star and former BFF, Paris Hilton, because ... well, his last charting track, as of this writing, was 2016's "Life Can't Get Much Better," and that was on the Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart.

Then there's Joel's brother, Benji Madden, and Benji's wife, Cameron Diaz — who famously retired from acting to focus more on her personal life, and later launched her Avaline wine brand. While both pairs seem to be enjoying life out of the spotlight, insiders alleged to Radar in 2018 that Richie and Diaz had pushed the brothers to go on tour again and release another album, but the Maddens were allegedly "worried [they were] going to be a laughingstock." Around this time, Good Charlotte was reportedly having trouble selling tickets at most venues.

Still, both couples appear to be thriving. Joel and Richie share two kids together and quietly celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary in December 2022; the following month, Benji shared a sweet Instagram post to mark eight years of marriage with Diaz. They welcomed a daughter via surrogate in 2019.

Tori Spelling couldn't get cast as a Real Housewife

In her memoir, "sTORI Telling," Tori Spelling admits that her producer papa, Aaron Spelling, helped her get cast in "Beverly Hills, 90210." The hit show kept Tori gainfully employed for the entirety of the '90s. She never could replicate her early acting success, but when she met actor Dean McDermott while filming the 2005 made-for-TV movie "Mind Over Murder," their affair kept her in the spotlight. The co-stars were both married to other people, creating a real-life soap opera plotline for tabloids to follow. Their story also made them ideal reality TV candidates, and they embraced the format wholeheartedly, appearing in the Oxygen series "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood" from 2007 to 2012. 

After their 2014 Lifetime series "True Tori" followed the fallout from McDermott being unfaithful to Tori, the couple's main claim to fame became their seemingly never-ending marital woes. However, Tori's relationship drama wasn't enough to get her cast on "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." In a 2022 appearance on Bethenny Frankel's "ReWives" podcast, Tori revealed that she was desperate to become a housewife, but Andy Cohen himself told her he didn't see her as "RHOBH" material. Ouch. So after former "90210" co-star Jennie Garth said that she'd been asked to join the cast, Spelling confessed, "I really went ballistic — in my head."

While she might not be famous enough to be a housewife, Tori Spelling apparently can't stop spending like she's still Donna Martin. In 2023, The U.S. Sun reported that she allegedly owed over $1 million in back taxes.

Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo couldn't count on eternal reality fame

It seemed like the Duggar family would be on television forever after Michelle Duggar's proclivity for getting pregnant earned the ever-expanding clan of conservative evangelical Christians their first Discovery Health special in 2004. But Jinger Duggar and her 18 siblings learned that their days as reality stars were over after Josh Duggar was arrested for possessing and receiving child sexual abuse material in April 2021. 

One of Jinger's biggest storylines on her family's "19 Kids and Counting" reboot "Counting On" had been her journey to the altar with professional soccer player-turned-pastor Jeremy Vuolo. A year before TLC canceled the Duggars' reality show, the couple launched their own podcast "The Hope We Hold." That venture only survived seven months. Jinger also struggled to find her footing as a social media influencer. In a since-deleted 2019 Instagram post, the Los Angeles-based Fonuts donut shop announced that it was ending its paid partnership with Jinger, seemingly due to her family's anti-LGBTQ+ views. Jinger and her husband also tried launching their own lifestyle brand Hope & Stead in 2020. However, fans can no longer purchase candles and branded baseball caps from the couple's website, which isn't functional at the time of this writing.

While Jinger finally found a more successful way to profit from her reality TV past by releasing her memoir "Becoming Free Indeed" in 2023, that was a one-time opportunity that seemingly only bought her an extra 15 minutes.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

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).

Nina Dobrev and Shaun White's careers are on a downward slope

Vampires might be immortal, but the actors who portray them are not. So after six seasons of playing both a human and her undead doppelganger on "The Vampire Diaries," Nina Dobrev decided that she wanted to do something else with the rest of her mortal life. "I got kidnapped, killed, resurrected, tortured, cursed, body-snatched, was dead and undead, and there's still so much more to come before the season finale," the actor wrote in a 2015 Instagram post. What she failed to mention is that she also dated her co-star, Ian Somerhalder.

Dobrev would find love again in 2019 when she started dating professional snowboarder Shaun White. Although he was a five-time Olympian with a collection of three gold medals, he told People that he soon learned that Dobrev was the more famous of the two of them when they went out to eat and other diners clamored for photos with his date, not him.

White's competitive career ended with his retirement in 2022. Months later, he was joking about babysitting for money on his Instagram Story. As for Dobrev, she unfortunately failed to secure another prolonged role on television when her CBS series "Fam" was canceled after one season in 2019. She's also appeared in a handful of films. However, her career definitely wasn't on the upswing when she only managed to score a supporting role in the critically panned faith-based romance "Redeeming Love" in 2022.

Adam Levine might have too much free time

In a 2012 interview with Details, Adam Levine admitted that he decided to join "The Voice" because his Grammy-winning band Maroon 5 was seemingly falling out of favor with music fans. Sales of their third album were disappointing, and Levine saw the reality competition as an opportunity to show fans a different side of himself.

Levine enjoyed the financial security his spinning red seat provided for eight years before deciding to exit "The Voice." In a 2019 appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," he quipped, "Now I'm just a stay-at-home dad. I just stay at home and do very little." His wife, Victoria's Secret model Behati Prinsloo, also put the brakes on her career for almost three years after giving birth twice. Upon returning to work, she made an appearance in the 2021 Savage x Fenty show. However, the spotlight was the last place she wanted to be the following year while she was pregnant with the couple's third child. After multiple women accused Levine of spending some of his newfound free time flirting with them online, he denied any infidelity but confessed to screwing up in a post on his Instagram Story.

By 2023, interest in the cheating scandal had somewhat subsided, but at Vanity Fair's Oscars afterparty, ET was more interested in talking to Levine about Blake Shelton leaving "The Voice" than his own career. Meanwhile, Prinsloo was apparently just happy to have something to do. "We did it, we left the house," she jokingly wrote on Instagram.

Ariel Winter and Luke Benward's careers went cold

Ariel Winter starred on a top-rated TV series for 11 years, a feat that seems like it would lead to limitless career opportunities. But during her final years on "Modern Family," there was more interest in Winter's personal life, from her longstanding feud with her mom to who she was dating, than there was in what she would do next.

Shortly before the show's 2020 finale, Winter started dating fellow former child star Luke Benward. He played the lead in the 2006 comedy "How to Eat Fried Worms" and later joined the Disney family, appearing in the movie "Cloud 9" and on the series "Good Luck Charlie." The "Dumplin'" actor's onscreen roles began to dwindle after Winter entered his life, while her career has seemingly become ice cold. But according to Winter, this was by design. 

In 2022, Winter's former "Modern Family" castmate, Julie Bowen, invited her to appear on her "Quitters" podcast, and Winter revealed that she and Benward had decided to move far away from La La Land. "We sold our cars, got an Escalade to fit all the dogs for the drive, and put my house on the market," she said. Winter explained that one reason she was so eager to get out of Hollywood was because she was sick of the swarms of paparazzi. "I want to have privacy, and I've never really had privacy to just live my life," she added of striving for normalcy. Now, she controls what fans see by posting the occasional Instagram pic. Honestly? Good for her.

Audrey and Jeremy Roloff's financial struggles

Fans of "Little People, Big World" watched Jeremy Roloff grow up on the TLC series, and by the time he was ready to end his reality career in 2018, he had a wife: Audrey Roloff. "After 14 years, over 300 episodes, and 17 seasons, the time has come," he wrote on Instagram. "... We're not disappearing. We have a lot of exciting stuff in the works and are eager to continue the work that the Lord has called us to!"

After their departure, the couple got their hustle on. In 2019, they released the best-selling book "A Love Letter Life," which chronicles their love story and offers other couples relationship advice. Audrey also used her robust social media following to launch an MLM business. Her product of choice to shill to her fans was Young Living oils, and her three cute kids are often featured in her promotional posts on Instagram.

But the couple's fading reality fame doesn't buoy every business venture that they experiment with. In 2022, The U.S. Sun reported that Audrey's clothing company — Always More — was no more. She and Jeremy also became podcasters in 2018, but as of this writing, they haven't recorded an episode of "Behind the Scenes" since March 2021. "Some of our business [sic] have made zero money, some have been extremely profitable, and others have actually cost us," Audrey revealed in a November 2022 Facebook post. "And it's become more challenging as our family has grown ... but I think we will always chose [sic] this way of working."

Jessie James Decker wants to go to work with Eric Decker

While Jessie James Decker's pursuit of country music stardom helped her gain a fanbase, as of this writing, her last song to hit the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart was the 2015 single "Lights Down Low," which peaked at No. 38. However, her fame helped her land a lucrative side gig starring on a reality show with her husband, NFL wide receiver Eric Decker.

Eric retired from the NFL one year after the third and final season of their E! show "Eric & Jessie: Game On" aired in 2017. But the couple used social media to keep fans updated on their lives, occasionally making headlines for attention-grabbing posts — such as a nude photo of Eric that was errantly shared. Jessie also returned to reality TV on Season 31 of "Dancing with the Stars." Because viewers' votes count as part of the contestants' scores, the show can be a gauge of popularity. It wasn't a great sign that she finished in 10th place, with "Jersey Shore" star Vinny Guadagnino being one of the celebs that outlasted her in the 2022 competition.

Jessie also owns her own clothing brand called Kittenish, but that December, she told Forbes that she would like for it to be even more successful. She also hinted that she and her hubby were seeking further employment while chatting with Music Mayhem in 2023. "I've always dreamt [of] doing [a] 'Kelly and Ryan' wake-up coffee Nashville-style show together," she said. "And I think Eric and I have great chemistry."