Female Celebs Who Left Their Men For Women

Sexual fluidity is hardly a modern occurrence. "Homosexuality is so much in fashion, it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences, and I am not ashamed," legendary actor Marlon Brandon once said in a 1976 interview (via The Guardian). Actress Tallulah Bankhead, who found her biggest screen success in the late 1930s and early 1940s, also reportedly found romantic success with megastars like Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. "I want to try everything once," she once said.

Nowadays, identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or whatever else someone feels is appropriate for them isn't the Hollywood career killer it once was due to tireless activism, pop culture representation, and shifting attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community. As the saying goes, love is love. However, being in a same-sex relationship doesn't mean that love is going to last forever. 

Love triangles of any kind are exhausting, dramatic, and often come as a shock to at least one party involved. These ladies all added an extra element of surprise to their heartbroken exes: they ditched their husbands or boyfriends for the company of another woman (or women) or moved on with a woman after a string of men.

Anne Heche left Steve Martin for Ellen DeGeneres

Anne Heche happily dated comedian and actor Steve Martin for two years. Then she met Ellen DeGeneres at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 1997. She soon dumped Martin and embarked on a very public romance with DeGeneres, who famously came out as a lesbian on her TV show, Ellen, a week later. The couple stayed together for three and a half years, and their 2000 split went down in celebrity infamy when Heche knocked on a stranger's door, made herself at home, and started talking about a spaceship.

DeGeneres told Now magazine (via the Daily Mail) that fame was behind the breakup, but hinted at other issues. "If I weren't the most famous lesbian in the world, no one would notice," she said, "but everyone was watching us like we were the only lesbians on the planet. That alone made being together difficult ... Eventually, the problems became too much to bear." She added, "[The breakup was] the worst, most awful event in my life."

Heche soon moved on to a man again, marrying Coley Laffoon in 2002. She told Barbara Walters on 20/20 (via ABC News), "He's an extraordinary guy ... who actually embraces the same notion about sexuality that I do, which is that you love who you love. You fall in love with a person, not a sex. And he was not threatened at all because he understood that I could love a woman." Heche and her husband had a son, Homer, and weathered a nasty divorce in 2007.

Portia de Rossi came out after her divorce

Before she tied the knot with Ellen DeGeneres in 2008, Portia de Rossi was married to a man and had embarked on several relationships with men. In her book Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain (via the Daily Mail), de Rossi details how her former husband, documentary filmmaker Mel Metcalfe, left her for her own brother's wife in 1999 after three years of marriage. Yikes!

The Australian actress admitted she married Metcalfe in the hopes of getting her green card to stay in the United States (though she ended up unable to get one from him) and confessed, "By the end of our first year together, despite my desire to be attracted to him, my latent fear of my real sexuality was simmering and about to boil." De Rossi later confessed on The Conversation with Amanda De Cadenet (via E! News), "I just didn't want to be a lesbian." That changed when she met DeGeneres backstage at an awards show, prompting her to come out of the closet and get hitched four years later.

DeGeneres hit a rough patch in 2020, when employees accused her of creating and promoting a "toxic work environment" of racism and intimidation on her popular daytime talk show. Her wife of nearly 12 years had her back. "To all our fans....we see you," de Rossi wrote via Instagram that August, captioning a text-photo that read, "I Stand by Ellen," across a blue background. "Thank you for your support. #stopbotattacks #IStandWithEllenDeGeneres #IStandByEllen."

Angelina Jolie 'fell in love' with a female co-star during her first marriage

Angelina Jolie met Jonny Lee Miller in 1995 when they filmed Hackers. The pair tied the knot, with Jolie reportedly wearing black leather hotpants and a T-shirt with his name emblazoned on it in blood for the ceremony. In 1996, she met Japanese model Jenny Shimizu on the set of Foxfire and, according to the New York Daily News, the women hooked up numerous times during Jolie's marriage.

Jolie divorced Miller in 1999 and pursued a full-fledged on-again-off-again relationship with Shimizu, telling Girlfriends magazine (via Us Weekly) that she "fell in love" with her co-star "the first second." Jolie said, "I would probably have married Jenny if I hadn't married my [first] husband." The pair have obviously moved on — Jolie with Brad Pitt and Shimizu with socialite wife Michelle Harper — but are reportedly still friends.

Jolie and Pitt were together for twelve years, but two years after they tied the knot, the Girl, Interrupted actress filed for divorce in 2016. After three years of attempting to hammer out a custody and divorce agreement, the pair "filed a judgment ... in their divorce that restored their single status" in 2019 (via The Blast). A source cited by US Weekly later claimed that Jolie "will never get married again" and has been content to go "on a few dates." Will she land with a woman or another hunky actor? Only time will tell.

Meredith Baxter came to terms with her sexuality after three failed marriages

Meredith Baxter was married to three different men before she came clean not just with her partners and the public, but with herself about her sexuality. In 1966, she married first husband Robert Lewis Bush. They divorced in 1969. The Family Ties (1982-1989) star married second husband, actor and director David Birney, in 1974. They had three children and divorced in 1989. She gave it a go a third time with screenwriter Michael Blodgett in 1995 before calling it quits in 2000. Years later, she admitted to Matt Lauer on Today (via ABC News) that she deliberately chose men she was incompatible with as a means of explaining the splits later.

When she first met now-wife Nancy Locke after her breakup from Blodgett, Baxter finally understood what happened. "I got involved with someone I never expected to get involved with, and it was that kind of awakening," she said. "I never fought it because it was like, 'Oh, I understand why I had the issues I had early in life.' I had a great deal of difficulty connecting with men in relationships."

Cynthia Nixon 'never met a woman [she] was attracted to' before her wife

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon was with partner Danny Mozes for 16 years. They had two kids before calling it quits in 2003. Shortly after, news broke that Nixon had a girlfriend. That girlfriend is now Nixon's wife, education activist Christine Marinoni.

"If anybody, prior to my meeting and falling in love with Christine, had asked me about what I think about sexuality, I would have said I think we're all bisexual," Nixon told the New York Daily News in 2010. "But I had that point of view without ever having felt attracted to a woman. I had never met a woman I was attracted to [before Christine]." She added, "And maybe if I'd met her when I was 20, I would have fallen in love and only dated women. But maybe if I'd met her at 20, I wouldn't have responded at all. Who knows?"

In 2011, Marinoni gave birth to the couple's first child, Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni. "I'm often more the wife. She's done some pretty big public things," Marinoni told The New York Times in 2018. "My taking a break and being home with the kids, I think I arguably have done more of that. I couldn't actually envision being happily married with kids. I thought, 'I'm never going to get that.' I think it's amazing that I got that. It's huge."

Billie Jean King's marriage ended following rumors of a same-sex affair

Tennis legend Billie Jean King was married to sports promoter Larry King (not to be confused with the infamous TV talk show host of the same name) for 21 years. The pair married in 1965, but lesbian rumors began to circulate about Billie Jean around 1980 when her former secretary, Marilyn Barnett, sued her and her husband for unlawfully evicting her from their Malibu residence after the affair ended.

Billie Jean admitted (via the New York Daily News) in 1981, "I did have an affair with Marilyn Barnett. It has been over for quite some time." Larry added, "This has been a difficult time for Billie Jean, her family and her friends. I've known Billie Jean for 19 years and I don't think that anything that transpires will affect our relationship."

They divorced in 1987 but remained friends, and King came out of the closet officially in 2000. She lives with longtime partner and fellow tennis pro Ilana Kloss.

Amber Heard has been openly bisexual for most of her career

When Amber Heard's marriage to Johnny Depp infamously went down in flames, rumors suggested that Heard's bisexuality may have played a role in the extremely messy and often disturbing breakup. Page Six reports that Depp and Heard often clashed over her friendship with photographer iO Tillett Wright, who Heard had reportedly moved into the couple's guest house against his wishes — and who E! News reports later was on the phone with Heard with Depp allegedly attacked her in a domestic dispute.

However, Wright allegedly wasn't the only person Depp wasn't thrilled with Heard hanging around: Page Six reported in 2013 that Heard had ditched Depp for model Marie de Villepin and was still shacking up with ex-girlfriend Tasya van Ree while they were together. After Heard ended her relationship with Depp, she moved on to tech entrepreneur and Space X founder Elon Musk. The pair only lasted a year and Heard was reportedly "devastated" over the breakup, a source told the Daily Mail. What was the reason for the split? "Amber can be very manipulative and selfish," the source claimed. "Elon's back in LA while she's licking her wounds in Australia."

In January 2020, Us Weekly reported that Heard was "dating and hooking up" with cinematographer Bianca Butti, with a source claiming, "Amber is not trying to be low-key about it."

Lindsay Lohan has refused to define her sexuality

Lindsay Lohan dated a slew of Hollywood men. One of those was hunky British TV personality Calum Best, whom she dumped in 2007 following what he called a "combustible" relationship. Soon after the split, she hooked up with longtime girlfriend Samantha Ronson. The ladies had a notoriously tumultuous relationship. Lohan later denied being gay or bisexual, but admitted that the relationship with Ronson was "toxic." She told Us Weekly (via the Daily Mail) in 2012, "I was bold enough to say, 'Yeah, I like a girl. And?' That put her in a situation where she was being attacked every day," she said. "That's not fair. And what am I left with? Heartbreak. That was three years ago. It was my last serious relationship."

Lohan reportedly also hooked up with Courtenay Semel, the daughter of Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, in 2006. The once volatile duo are reportedly friendly now, even attending a pal's party together in 2012. A source told R Online, "There was an audible gasp in the room when Lindsay walked in with Courtenay because they have had such a crazy history together, but it seems they are in a much better place now. Lindsay and Courtenay are friends and didn't appear to be romantic."

Lilo was last linked to a tumultuous (and possibly abusive) relationship with her ex-fiancé, Russian business heir Egor Tarabasov, in 2017.

Wanda Sykes came out as lesbian after leaving her husband

Comedian Wanda Sykes was married to Dave Hall from 1991 to 1998. After their split, she came out as lesbian to her parents, which didn't go well. "I said, 'Mom, let me just explain something to you. You know I'm living with so-and-so, I just want you to know that we're not just roommates ... She's my girlfriend,'" Sykes told Express in 2013. "She was like, 'What do you mean?' I was like, 'Mom, come on, you have to have known this ... I just want to make sure we're clear on this.' She just fell apart, fell apart and ended up not coming out here for my surgery because she was just that, 'I'm done with you.'" 

When Sykes married wife Alex Niedbalski in 2008, her parents didn't attend, but they're reportedly on better terms now. In 2009, Niedbalski gave birth to fraternal twins, Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude — both of whom are white. "If I look back, let's say 15 years ago or 20 years ago, nowhere in the world would I think that this would be my life. Here I am, 51 years old, married to a French woman with two little white kids, twins, they're 5 and here I am," Sykes told The Detroit News in 2015, before quipping, "I've become a minority in my own home." 

It's a cultural adjustment for Sykes, who once joked (via The New York Times Magazine), "There is nothing creepier than waking up and seeing two little white kids standing at the foot of your bed."

Ashley Benson has had high-profile relationships with men and women

Since finding stardom with Pretty Little Liars, Ashley Benson's love life found itself unable to avoid the tabloids. After relationships with a few actors, many thought Benson found the one in Justin Bieber's stylist, Ryan Good. However, after nearly three years of dating, the couple officially broke up in 2014.

"They had issues so they put the breaks on it," a source told Us Weekly at the time, while another added, "Their relationship always had its fights." We don't assume to know what those issues were, but after almost a year of speculation, Benson and model-actress Cara Delevingne officially came out as a couple on Instagram in the summer of 2019. "I'd never truly let anyone in before, for fear of them leaving," Delevingne told Net-A-Porter later that year. "She's the first person that has said: 'You can't push me away. I'm going to be nice to you, I love you.'"

Sadly, the pair split almost a year later. An insider cited by Life & Style claimed that the breakup wasn't "surprising" to their friends, suggesting that the Suicide Squad actress broke things off with Benson — who started dating G-Eazy the following month. In August 2020, Benson sparked engagement rumors after she was spotted by Page Six with the rapper and a diamond ring on that finger.

Kristen Stewart opened up about her personal life after she 'started dating girls'

Whether she likes it or not, Kristen Stewart will be forever linked to Robert Pattinson. That's just the way it is. Their nearly five-year relationship had a lot of ups and downs, but the Twilight stars finally broke up for good in 2013. Almost immediately, the Charlie's Angels actress began dating visual-effects producer Alicia Cargile. 

"I would never talk about any of my relationships before, but once I started dating girls it seemed like there was an opportunity to represent something really positive," Stewart later told The New York Times. "I still want to protect my personal life, but I don't want to seem like I'm protecting the idea, so that does sort of feel like I owe something to people." That relationship lasted until 2016, when Stewart started dating model Stella Maxwell. However, they broke up two years later. "They stopped seeing eye to eye and were living very different lives," a source claimed to Us Weekly, adding that being long-distance "didn't help" things. 

In 2019, Stewart got a new girlfriend: screenwriter Dylan Meyer. "It's my absolute favorite person's birthday and I'm wishing everyone the volume of beautiful feeling I feel toward her," Meyer wrote on Instagram the following April, accompanied by the couple's first official photo. "It's a short ride on this earth, spend your time with someone that inspires you to be the best version of yourself and lights your s**'t on fire."

Lauren Morelli divorced her husband after finding love with a woman on set

In 2014, TMZ reported that Orange Is the New Black writer Lauren Morelli filed for divorce from her husband of two years, Steve Basilone, after realizing she identifies as a lesbian. "I found a mouthpiece for my own desires and a glimmer of what my future could look like," Morelli explained of her experience on the show. 

Two years later, Morelli was engaged to one of the series' stars, Samira Wiley. "I was really attracted to Lauren's mind first before I met Lauren the person," the actress told BUST. "I remember those first months with her, trying to figure out her journey with her own sexuality. Feeling like she picked me as the person she was going to talk to about all of it." Meanwhile, Morelli said to Vulture, "I hadn't known myself before I had sex with a woman. Samira is the person I had sex with, and she made me see myself in a way that I just haven't before."

The pair officially married on March 25, 2017, and the couple's California home was featured Architectural Digest that same year. "We started totally from scratch," Morelli told the publication. "I wanted it to feel both like it was a representation of us." At the 2019 Tony Awards, Wiley admitted to Us Weekly that they "don't get to spend that much time together" due to their work schedules. So what's their routine when they can? "We just sit down and talk and maybe watch a documentary or something like that."