Celebs Who Were Only In Relationships To Further Their Careers

Celebrities under the spotlight face extraneous conditions, and being involved in a high-profile relationship adds to the heightened pressure with tabloids dissecting their every move and the paparazzi seemingly inescapable. There are celeb power couples who have mastered the art of handling fame and flourish both under and out of the spotlight. On the flip side, there are stars who can't quite separate their personal life from the fame game and use their close relationships as another gateway to stardom.

Just ask singer Nick Lachey about the one-time he took Kim Kardashian out, and he'll tell you how a date to see The Da Vinci Code turned into a publicity stunt. As the former 98 Degrees boyband member dished during Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, Kardashian went to the bathroom halfway through the movie, and when they left the movie theater, "shockingly there were 25 paparazzi" photographers.

While Kardashian and Lachey were clearly a one-time fling, there are celebrities who have shockingly stayed in relationships much longer for attention or content in the reality television realm. Read on for the following list of actors, musicians, athletes, and reality television stars who have stayed in relationships to further their careers.

Demi Lovato said 'Sorry Not Sorry' to Max Ehrich

Hollywood's 2020 quarantine love story would fizzle out as quickly as the romance came about between soap opera actor Max Ehrich and Grammy Award-nominated singer Demi Lovato. On July 22, the "I Love Me" singer announced on Instagram (via ET) that she was engaged to The Young and the Restless star nearly four months into their relationship. 

The couple constantly shared photos on social media, which made Ehrich an emerging favorite for Lovatics, but the boat would rock after screenshots of past tweets emerged, showing Ehrich feening over Lovato's fellow ex-Disney starlet, Selena Gomez. The "Confident" singer would fire back at entertainment outlets in an Instagram story claiming the alleged tweets were fake. However, there was video evidence of Ehrich gushing over Gomez, saying he "had a major crush on her since 2010."

The "Ruin the Friendship" vocalist broke things off with her fiancé in September. According to People, a source revealed, "It was very hurtful to Demi when she realized that Max's intentions weren't genuine." After the breakup, it appeared Ehrich tried to milk the situation for more fame sharing on Instagram (via People) "Imagine finding out about the status of your relationship through a tabloid," adding that he was on set filming a movie when he found out. A source told E! Ehrich knew of the breakup beforehand and was merely trying "to stay relevant."

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith's marriage was exposed as a facade

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith married on New Year's Eve 1997, with their family empire hitting on all cylinders from December 2009 through 2010. Will and Jada hosted the Nobel Peace Prize Concert (where they'd interview 2009 recipient President Barack Obama), Jada starred on TNT's HawthoRNe, Jaden was 2010's The Karate Kid, and Willow released platinum track "Whip My Hair." 

"Externally, our family was winning," Will said on Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk in October 2018 but added Jada waking up and crying for 45 days straight was "the worst I ever felt in our marriage. I was failing miserably, but on the outside, I was winning." Will told Jada the "public perception that [he] wanted to project" didn't translate to his family's happiness. Will shared that Willow, at age nine, put her hand on his face and told Jada, "Mommy, isn't it sad? Daddy has a picture of a family in his mind, and it's not us."

After August Alsina's June 2020 interview where he told Angela Yee that Will "gave me his blessing" to date Jada, the Smiths would address the situation where Jada notoriously called the fling an "entanglement" on a July 2020 episode of Red Table Talk — the series most-watched episode — adding she "wanted to feel good." Will and Jada would conclude the emotional conversation about their internal marriage struggles saying, "We ride together, we die together, bad marriage for life," and fist-bumped.

Diddy found love while J.Lo found a music mentor

When Sean "Diddy" Combs was known as Puff Daddy, he and Jennifer Lopez dated for nearly two-and-a-half years between 1999 to 2001, pulling off one of the most iconic red carpet outings during the 2000 Grammy Awards where J.Lo rocked a green Versace gown alongside Diddy's shiny suit (pictured above). 

After the couple split and Lopez married Chris Judd in 2001, Diddy released "I Need a Girl (Part 1)," where the music mogul sang lyrics directed towards Lopez: "All them days that I reminisce/About the way I use to kiss them pretty lips/But as long as you happy, I'ma tell you this/I love you girl and you're the one that I will always miss." Meanwhile, the "Ain't that Funny" singer didn't share the same sentiment.

In 2003, Lopez cited the rapper's infidelity as the cause of their split, and in April 2019, Jenny from the Block downplayed the seriousness of the relationship on The Breakfast Clubsaying, "We never lived together ... We were like boyfriend and girlfriend when we were little, that was such a long time ago, it was a different type of relationship," she said of their fling. Nonetheless, the Hustlers starlet told CBS Sunday Morning that Diddy "was meant to be in my life in that moment to teach me what I needed to know about the music business" and "the kind of artist I wanted to be."

Ray J's tape that made Kim Kardashian 'famous'

Kim Kardashian became an icon after rising to fame in 2007 when Vivid Entertainment released a sex tape with her ex-boyfriend R&B singer Ray J, which kicked off her family's reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Ian Halperin wrote in Kardashian Dynasty: The Controversial Rise of America's Royal Family: "A mutual friend of Kim and Paris [Hilton] had advised her that if she wanted to achieve fame, a sex tape would be the way to go . . . Kim had discussed the idea of producing a tape with her family beforehand."

Ray J admitted to TheHollywood.com in 2008 that he recorded the tape, and Kardashian had possession of it. In regards to her rise to fame, the "Wait a Minute" singer said, "I pat myself on the back, nah I'm just playing ... I smile, I look and go, 'Congratulations. I'm proud of you. This is what you really wanted.'"

Brandy's brother would see a resurgence in his music career, releasing his 2008 hit music video "Sexy Can I" and even received offers, which he turned down, to "be the face of the X-rated world." In 2013, Ray J would try to turn back the clock with his "I Hit It First" music video casting a Kardashian look-alike and admitted on The Wendy Williams Show, "it's entertainment [and] it is reflecting my life." The relationship certainly brought more fame and fortune to the Kardashian family than Ray J.

Oops, Justin Timberlake has no limits exploiting Britney Spears relationship

Then-teenage stars Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake added to their popularity with their puppy love from 1999-2002. Pinky and Stinky would pose as one of the youngest and most iconic power couples to date until things took a turn when the "Toxic" singer allegedly cheated on the former NSYNC boyband member.

The "Suit & Tie" vocalist would reference his former The Mickey Mouse Club co-star in "Cry Me a River," which, as Spears told Rolling Stone, Timberlake called her about before the music video dropped, wanting to get back together, saying "And by the way, you're in a video that's coming out." JT also publicly aired dirty laundry, saying Spears lost her virginity to him, which Spears told Primetime in 2003, "I felt very exploited and very weird." In an interview that same year with Barbra Walters, Timberlake performed an unreleased track with its lyrics targeted towards his ex: "I thought our love was so strong. I guess I was dead wrong. But to look at it positively, hey girl, at least you gave me another song about a horrible woman."

It wasn't just a phase after the breakup, either. In 2013, Timberlake threw a cheap shot at Spears during a Saturday Night Live skit acting as his great-great-grandfather speaking his great-great grandson's life into existence saying "he'll date a popular female singer. Publicly they'll claim to be virgins," before quipping, "but privately, he hit it."

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' 72-day marriage everyone knew was staged

"Mistake or fake?" People printed on its cover next to Kim Kardashian's face after her infamous 72-day marriage with Kris Humphries folded — the high-profile relationship introduced on season six of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The starlet told The Hollywood Reporter the producers second-guessed the wedding, telling her, "You don't seem happy. You don't have to go through with this."

In 2011, the drama leading up to the $6 million wedding was captured on E!'s four-part television special Kim's Fairytale Wedding: A Kardashian Event with the network making $10 million in advertising revenue. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Kardashians possibly made a profit with discounted items and gifts thrown in along with People paying $1.5 million to license photos and videos. All dollar signs in this equation point to the wedding being staged knowing Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom's 2009 ceremony reached "record ratings" for E!, according to CNN.

In 2017, Kiki told Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that she knew during the honeymoon that "it wasn't going to work out" and conveniently split from the NBA player in November 2011, a month after their wedding special aired, which Kim told Oprah Winfrey on OWN: "The tough decision to end that relationship was such a risk [possibly] losing ratings and losing my fan base." Kim appeared to tough out the relationship for as long as she needed for E! to wrap up its storyline.

Kate Upton teased relationship with Mark Sanchez for fame

Kate Upton shot to fame in 2011 after her viral "Dougie" video and became Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition's Rookie of the Year. Toss in the blond bombshell playing into the media hype about her fling with then-New York Jets starting quarterback Mark Sanchez, and Upton was becoming a household name.

The Masked Singer contestant didn't publicly link himself to Upton, however, Page Six reported the NFL athlete was spotted several times heading to the model's apartment incognito in 2011. Upton would play coy about the topic during an interview with TMZ and on a February 2012 episode of Ellen. Ellen DeGeneres playfully grilled The Other Woman actress, referring to the NFL athlete as "your boyfriend Mark Sanchez," with Upton confirming her sister worked for the Jets. She attended every home game and met Sanchez, so when DeGeneres asked how long they had been dating, Upton nervously laughed and quipped, "I don't know what you're talking about."

Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria confirmed she was dating Sanchez in late 2012, and Upton would lowkey roast the quarterback months later, after what became the team's worst season on Sanchez's watch. Notre Dame would get whipped by Alabama 42-14 in the NCAA Football BCS National Championship on Jan. 7, 2013, and Upton burned Sanchez tweeting: "It's okay Notre Dame this happened to the Jets every week." The three-time SI: Swimsuit cover model dropped Sanchez hard after her popularity skyrocketed.

Demi Moore's clout-chasing relationship with Ashton Kutcher

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were a thing in 2003, married in 2005, and split in 2011. The twosome was one of Hollywood's most talked-about couples, and as Kutcher told 60 Minutes Australia in 2004, "The nature of entertainers has changed. It's not about what you are doing on TV or in your films ... People's personal lives have become entertainment ... that's become a show in itself."

Rumors circulated that the actor was cheating on the Ghost starlet, and Moore revealed on Good Morning America that after seeing a Google alert about the Two and a Half Men star's infidelity, Kutcher admitted to committing adultery. Sixteen-years his senior, Moore told NY Times in 2019 that the relationship was a "do-over" of her 20s. Kutcher was becoming a huge star on That '70s ShowPunk'd, and numerous motion pictures, whereas Moore was past her heyday as a big-time movie star in the 90s where the tabloids followed her high-profile relationship with A-lister Bruce Willis. With Kutcher, the G.I. Jane actor saw a resurgence and has since clout-chased by sharing intimate details about that relationship; be it their threesome or her efforts to have Kutcher's baby.

After Kutcher moved on to marry his former co-star Mila Kunis, Moore published her memoir, Inside Out, in 2019 and in interviews promoting her New York Times bestseller, "Gimme" Moore continues to recite her marriage with Kutcher to stay relevant.

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna's on-again, off-again relationship

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna were the subjects of E!'s Rob & Chyna in 2016. Before the reality show's final television special — where they'd welcome their newborn Dream — Rob said Chyna took his daughter, captioning a now-deleted Instagram post (via USA Today), "I'm pretty upset," adding, "I wanna be with my baby... And this isn't for some ratings, this is my real life." The timing makes us wonder, as Rob tweeted a promo for their television special hours before the drama, and the couple reunited less than two weeks afterward.

In March 2017, InTouch reported that a source close to the Kardashian family revealed, "Rob had agreed to have a fake relationship with Chyna because his momager, Kris Jenner, got E! to pay him over $2 million to do a show" and Chyna was "desperate to be as famous as [the] Kardashians." In July 2017, they permanently split after Rob publicly accused Chyna of infidelity during his "revenge porn" saga. Chyna then filed a lawsuit against the Kardashians for using their "power and influence over the E! network to kill the second season" of Rob & Chyna (via TMZ).

In May 2019, on The Wendy Williams Show, Chyna expressed interest to get married, have two more kids, and return to reality television, but when Wendy Williams asked if she'd be open to hooking back up with Rob, Chyna kept it 100, saying, "no."

Chad 'Ochocinco' Johnson and Evelyn Lozada 'kissed the baby' 6-weeks into their marriage

Six-time NFL Pro Bowl player Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson made headlines when he put a ring on reality star Evelyn Lozada's finger in November 2010, two months after the finale of reality dating show Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch. Season two of Basketball Wives aired the on-screen romance between Lozada and the former Dancing with the Stars contestant, with VH1 making plans to roll out a spinoff, Ev & Ocho.

The couple split six weeks into their marriage, with Lozada telling Good Morning America that she confronted Johnson after finding receipts for condoms, and suddenly, "he head-butted [her]." Basketball Wives co-star Tami Roman told Lozada, "You lied on Chad," during a season seven episode and added, "You was fighting that man ... but because that neighbor saw ... now you want to be the domestic violence spokesperson." ESPN's Stephen A. Smith also accused Lozada of taking advantage of the situation for publicity and saying she resented her portrayal on reality television — the same image where she self-proclaimed herself as a "feisty little b***h."

Nothing says a marriage is purely for clout more than a groom live-tweeting during the wedding ceremony. This celebrity twosome smelled like a VH1 pairing for content, considering Johnson was seeking fame off the gridiron and Lozada's fondness for high-profile athletes.

Henry Cavill and Kaley Cuoco's 10-day fling

Actor Henry Cavill first portrayed DC Comics Superman in 2013's Man of Steel. The opening night of its theatrical release caught the attention of actor Kaley Cuoco who tweeted (via Today), "Everyone go see 'man of steel.' It's fantastic every in single way," with a photo of herself "staring in admiration" at a poster of the flick. In July, the two were frequently spotted outdoors, holding hands and grocery shopping during their fling that only lasted 10 days.

Cuoco opened up about the relationship in retrospect, telling Cosmopolitan in 2013, (via ET) "I had no one following me until I met Superman," before adding, "I've been in this business for 20 years, and my whole life, I could go anywhere, do anything. There had not been one paparazzi photo of me until like several months ago. The recognition was crazy." According to Daily Mail, the common denominator between the pair was that they shared the same publicists, which leads us to believe this relationship was fabricated to promote Cavill's first outing as Superman and to boost the popularity of Cuoco, who later became 2018's second-highest-paid female thespian on television.

If that's not all, it is hard to believe Cuoco couldn't keep a 10-day relationship a secret, knowing she once dated her The Big Bang Theory co-star Johnny Galecki for two years and kept the relationship on the DL.