Celebs Who Never Recovered From Divorce

You know the statistics: 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. The main problem for celebs is that 50 percent of marriages end in divorce publicly. They're not afforded the grace of scream-singing Olivia Rodrigo's "Driver's License" into a pint of Ben & Jerry's like the rest of the free world. Instead, their breakups are immortalized in the tabloids, one paparazzi snapshot of a tear falling into their iced coffee during a walk in Los Angeles at a time.

If the average breakup wasn't already terrible to begin with, it's all the more worse when the whole world is peering in during your divorce proceedings. Still, once the papers are finalized, some celebrities manage to move past gutting heartbreak and land in healthier marriages. At the very least, they may learn how to consciously uncouple in a more productive way that doesn't involve hurling insults through TMZ. Unfortunately, the tabloids are like a haunted house, and the ghost of relationships past will always come back around.

These celebrities have never fully recovered from their high-profile divorces, whether they're still licking their wounds or living in the shadow of their relationship's headlines. How can someone move on if the tabloids won't?

Kelsey Grammer is still paying for marrying his mistress

Third time was not the charm for Kelsey Grammer. In 2021, the Frasier actor is better known as a Real Househusband than a sitcom star, but part of that has to do with his ugly divorce from third wife Camille Grammer, who still hasn't changed her last name despite the fact that they broke things off in 2010. In other words: Kelsey's never escaping his divorce, but that's the consequence of jumping into bed with a flight attendant young enough to be your daughter when your wife is a Bravolebrity.

Unlike most people, who'd probably rather brush their affair under the rug, Kelsey agreed to film The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as his relationship with Camille was irreparably crumbling. As he told Anderson Cooper (via Today), "I was trying to pretend things were normal for the sake of somehow letting [Camille] have that moment. It was just ill advised ... I should have come home from England when I first met Kayte and just said, 'Listen I've met somebody and this hasn't been working for a long time.'"

According to The Blast, Camille got $30 million from Kelsey's 401(k) in the divorce, while the actor got little more than a bad reputation. He married his mistress, Kayte Walsh, two weeks after the paperwork was finalized, but as of 2019, he was still slamming Camille in the press. Hopefully their teenage children don't read the tabloids.

Divorce is Ben Affleck's 'biggest regret'

You might think that Ben Affleck's phoenix back tattoo would be his biggest regret. It's so unequivocally terrible that no one really blinked when he lied about it being fake. We'd lie, too, though apparently, he told Ellen DeGeneres that it's "meaningful" and he's "very happy with it" (to each their own). Next up is Gigli, a travesty so critically panned that being blinded by love is the only reasonable excuse it was ever greenlit. The film was, after all, right smack dab in the middle of the original Bennifer. Nonetheless, neither of these decisions are Affleck's worst. That title goes to his divorce from Jennifer Garner.

In a 2020 interview with The New York Times, Affleck called their divorce "the biggest regret of [his] life." The pair were married for 10 years before announcing their separation in 2015, which exacerbated Affleck's drinking problem. Though the actor admitted he's tried to let go of the shame, he still feels some guilt over the whole situation. "I have certainly made mistakes," he told The New York Times. "I have certainly done things that I regret. But you've got to pick yourself up, learn from it, learn some more, try to move forward."

The following year, Affleck was navigating his split from Ana De Armas, and Garner may have been partially to blame. According to a source cited by InTouch, she unknowingly caused tension between the pair because she was reportedly "overbearing" and "interfering at times" as they co-parented their three children.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Denise Richards still has to endure Charlie Sheen's erratic behavior

Denise Richards has been involved with Charlie Sheen since 2000, when they first hit it off on the set of Good Advice. In 2002, during a period of sobriety for Sheen, the couple tied the knot. Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill. People reports that by 2005, Richards found herself six months pregnant with their daughter, Lola, and filing for divorce as Sheen relapsed. Today, she's still dealing with the fallout as she attempts to co-parent two teenage children with the erratic actor.

In an episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (recapped by Bravo's The Daily Dish), the star described the end of her marriage as "very dark" and "toxic." It was so bad that she avoided taking the actor to court even though he allegedly hadn't paid child support in more than a year. "It is such a toxic road. It brings up so much anxiety," Richards admitted.

Richards stayed true to her word, but only to protect her children. "There's a lot that the kids don't know about their dad and I want to keep it that way," she said during a RHOBH confessional (via The Blast). Though she didn't plan to pursue the money, she was reportedly required to file legal documents, where she revealed that Sheen owed her $450,000, according to People. In return, Sheen told The Blast that Richards was "a coward" and "the truth will prevail." So much for trying to play nice.

The tabloids won't leave Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt alone

By now, Jennifer Aniston has moved on from Brad Pitt. Enough time has passed since their 2005 divorce that both parties have married and divorced again. It's been more than a decade since Aniston told Vanity Fair that Pitt was missing a "sensitivity chip" as he posed for a 60-page W Magazine spread with Angelina Jolie. Tabloids even claim he's since apologized for his behavior. It's all water under the bridge — so why can't we, as a collective society, let it go?

Aniston may have moved on from Pitt, but she's never lived down the tabloid's perception of her as a divorcee. In 2019, headlines were still claiming that "Brad Pitt ruined Jennifer Aniston's life," which unfairly ignores the prolific career that's amassed the Friends alum an estimated $300 million net worth. This doesn't even include their 2020 reunion at the SAG Awards, which was apparently momentous enough that Page Six hired a body language expert to analyze their interaction.

In the past, Aniston has slammed the way tabloids have treated her since her divorce. "It's pretty crazy," Aniston told InStyle in 2018. "The misconceptions are 'Jen can't keep a man,' and 'Jen refuses to have a baby because she's selfish and committed to her career.' Or that I'm sad and heartbroken. First, with all due respect, I'm not heartbroken. And second, those are reckless assumptions." Can we just leave Aniston alone?

Bethenny Frankel can't recover from her divorce if a judge won't finalize it

The Real Housewives of New York City star Bethenny Frankel quickly discovered that her divorce from Jason Hoppy was a nightmare she couldn't wake up from — mainly because the pair still weren't divorced a whopping eight years after they separated. At the heart is a grueling custody battle that may be one of the ugliest in Housewives history.

During a 2020 episode of Bravo's Watch What Happens Live, Frankel shocked fans when she admitted that she was still married even though tabloids reported that her divorce was finalized in 2016. These erroneous reports could be attributed to the fact that 2016 was the year she finally got to sell their shared apartment, according to Us Weekly. What seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel was just another tunnel altogether.

Per Us Weekly's timeline, the Skinny Girl mogul initially reached a custody agreement with Hoppy in 2014, but he was arrested in 2017 after reportedly threatening the star during "an unplanned visit" to their daughter's school. He was granted a "six-month stay away order," and the pair took turns suing each other for sole custody thereafter. Hoppy's camp coldly claimed Frankel lacked "parental judgement" because her on-and-off boyfriend, Dennis Shields, tragically died of an alleged drug overdose. Frankel's camp claimed Hoppy was abusive. At the time of this writing, the situation doesn't appear to be resolved.

Divorce was Gavin Rossdale's 'most embarrassing moment'

When Gavin Rossdale joined the cliche club of Hollywood husbands who allegedly had an affair with the nanny, he probably didn't think about the consequences of cheating on Gwen Stefani, a songwriter whose music is played in every grocery store and mall across America. Even more embarrassing? According to Us Weekly, Stefani found out about the reported three-year affair after Rossdale accidentally synced his private iMessages up to the family iPad — a rookie mistake considering he could've just used Snapchat.

Rossdale and Stefani were the ultimate '90s rock power couple for two decades before they called it quits. At the time of this writing, the No Doubt singer is making plans to marry country singer Blake Shelton, but Rossdale has struggled to move on. In the past, he told The Sun that "divorce is one of the hardest, most painful things to go through." He also told The Guardian that "the gross and lopsided spectre of the crumbling of my marriage" was his "most embarrassing moment."

"I'm not very good at [relationships], I guess," the Bush frontman admitted to People in 2020. "I had a divorce, I had a long-term girlfriend — that went to s**t and I don't have a girlfriend now, even though everyone seems to think I do. You get burned by that stuff ... I don't know, it may be too difficult to combine being a devastating single dad with the attention required for a beautiful girl."

Conscious uncoupling made Gwyneth Paltrow's divorce a perma-punchline

By all accounts, Gwyneth Paltrow has had one of the healthiest divorces in tabloid history. She even forged a friendship with ex-husband Chris Martin's rumored fiancé, Dakota Johnson. The gal pals have been spotted laughing on Instagram, and The Sun even caught the threesome on a double date with Paltrow's now-husband Brad Falchuk. He was undoubtedly a fourth wheel to what we can only imagine was a day filled with conversation about yoni eggs and genital-themed candles.

The only reason Paltrow can't recover from her divorce is in the eyes of the tabloids. The actor's split became an immortal punchline when she first announced that the pair were "consciously uncoupling" in 2014, after more than a decade of marriage. As she told Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast (via USA Today), she hoped to "reinvent" the idea of divorce. Instead, she was met with an onslaught of mockery. Even Martha Stewart took a jab at the actor's divorce with a six-page magazine spread about pies titled "Conscious Coupling."

Nonetheless, Paltrow is still giving it the old college try, all these years later. In August 2020, she penned a Vogue essay about her divorce where she admitted, "It's OK to stay in love with the parts of your ex that you were always in love with. In fact, that's what makes conscious uncoupling work." Maybe the way to a healthy divorce is to never actually be over your ex at all.

Johnny Depp's career wanes in the wake of his divorce

Johnny Depp's messy divorce from Amber Heard was finalized in 2017, according to the Los Angeles Times, but the aftermath has nearly cost Depp his career. The proceedings were an eye-opening look into a terrifying relationship peppered with alleged abuse and wild, drug-fueled claims. The most shocking — like when Depp accused Heard of purposely defecating in their bed — were hashed out in the London courts after Depp sued The Sun for labeling him a "wife beater" in a 2018 article.

Depp has long-denied Heard's abuse claims. According to BBC News, the former couple released a joint statement when their divorce was settled "saying neither of them intended to cause the other any physical or emotional harm." Their volatile moments were "bound by love." Unfortunately, like most abuse cases, it was a matter of he-said, she-said — at least until a judge made a definitive ruling during the libel case, and it did not go in Depp's favor.

According to The Guardian, the judge ruled that 12 of Heard's 14 assault allegations were legitimate, and The Sun's "wife beater" claim was "the substantial truth." During his decision, the judge cited an email in which Depp wished death on his ex. The actor was promptly fired from Fantastic Beasts after the ruling, and one studio head told The Hollywood Reporter, "You simply can't work with him now. He's radioactive."

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224. You can also find more information, resources, and support at www.thehotline.org.

Tiger Woods' divorce took a swing at his reputation

It's safe to say that despite any golf comeback, Tiger Woods can never live down his messy divorce from Elin Nordegren — if only for the image of his smashed-up Escalade on the news, forever burned into our brains next to OJ Simpson's white Bronco. It was the single moment that blew the lid on Woods' private life, and what the public found wasn't something you'd see on a box of Wheaties. Woods was a serial cheater.

According to the New York Post, Woods' wife "chased him out of the house with a golf club" after finding messages from multiple women on his cell phone following a devastating report in the National Enquirer about his infidelity. At the time of the 2009 crash, Nordegren claimed she only smashed the windows to get him out of the car, but police had their doubts. Though Woods walked away with a ticket and some points on his license, he wasn't prepared for the points on his public image. 

In the months to follow, Woods was met with a hailstorm of headlines revealing numerous affairs — from a romp with a nightclub promoter to a steamy evening with an escort. According to ESPN, he checked himself into a sex rehab clinic in 2010. TMZ reports that Nordegren likely walked away with $100 million from her divorce that year, but all Woods got was a scarlet letter to hang next to his PGA trophies.

Katy Perry's depression peaked years after her divorce

So much has happened in Katy Perry's career that fans forget she was once married to Russell Brand. Their wild Indian wedding seems like nothing more than a tabloid fairytale now that she's the proud mama of a newborn with fiancé Orlando Bloom. Nonetheless, Perry's divorce pushed her into a painful depression, and years later, Bloom finally forced her to face her demons.

Perry and Brand tied the knot in 2010. A year later, the comedian famously dumped the singer in a text message, which she claimed was their last interaction. Following her divorce, Perry fell into her deep depression, but it took almost a decade for her to hit rock bottom. "I became depressed and I did not want to get out of bed," she told Vogue India in 2020. "In the past, I had been able to overcome it, but this time something happened that made me fall down too many flights of stairs. I had to really go on a mental health journey."

According to NBC News, the star went on a weeklong personal growth retreat that kick-started her mental health recovery, but Bloom was really the so-called "sage" that cleansed her spirit. "I've never had a partner who was willing to go on an emotional and spiritual journey like Orlando," Perry told Vogue India. "It's challenging, because you're facing all the things you don't like about yourself. It's like a never-ending cleanse."

Mariah Carey has PTSD after being a 'prisoner' in her marriage

Mariah Carey's marriage to Tommy Mottola was notably tumultuous — but it also left her with PTSD. According to People, the singer married the record executive, who was 20 years her senior, in 1993. At the time, he was the head of Sony Music, and her self-titled debut was one of the label's top-selling records. By the time Carey was 23 years old, she was already a divorcee.

Mottola has since admitted in his memoir (via Billboard) that their relationship was "absolutely wrong and inappropriate." Though he publicly apologized in 2013, the singer still likened their marriage to "being a prisoner" in a 2019 interview with Cosmopolitan. "You might want to picture a child bride," Carey admitted. "There was a conscious effort to keep me as this all-American, whatever that means, girl. It was very controlled. There was no ­freedom for me as a human being."

In her 2020 memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, the singer cited her marriage — along with events from her childhood and her "dark Glitter years" — as the source of her struggle with PTSD (via USA Today). Decades later, she was still battling mental health issues. "I work on my emotional recovery daily," Carey wrote.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).