The Most Heartbreaking Public Celebrity Breakups

Tabloids love a celebrity breakup story. However, when a former celebrity couple keeps their split under wraps and manage to break up amicably, the story becomes less newsworthy for these gossip outlets. With no dirty laundry to be aired out or a cheating scandal set to destroy these celebrities' reputations, tabloids are left with a split that's less headline-grabbing. While these separations are unfortunate, it may have been for the best for former couples like Demi Moore and Bruce Willis, who may be one of the best examples of a civil split, with Willis once sharing to Rolling Stone after their separation, "I still love Demi. We're very close." The same can be said for former Hollywood couple Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, who famously coined the term, "consciously uncoupled" when their divorce was finalized in 2016. 

Of course, there are also the celebrity splits that made constant headlines after one or both exes publicly came forward to expose what went wrong in their relationship. From scandalous affairs to getting dumped over text messages, these stars wanted their fans to know the truth about their former significant other, even if the split left fans heartbroken. 

With stars opening up about their splits to magazines, tabloids, and even in their own books, these celebrity breakups were revealed to be way more tragic and crushing than what fans had originally thought. 

Russell Brand divorced Katy Perry via text message

Katy Perry and Russell Brand's short-lived marriage ended thanks to a text the comedian had sent the pop singer, as she told Vogue in 2013. The superstar couple split in 2012 after 14 months of marriage, but as a few years had gone by, their divorce was still making headlines, partly because Brand dished about it in his 2015 documentary "BRAND: A Second Coming." Meanwhile, Perry suggested that her ex-husband was threatened by her level of stardom. 

In his documentary, Brand revealed that it was Perry's celebrity lifestyle that led to their divorce (via People). "I'm living, like, this life of the very thing I detest: vapid, vacuous celebrity," he said. However, Perry told Vogue that Brand wasn't a fan of her success, stating, "He didn't like the atmosphere of me being the boss on tour. So that was really hurtful, and it was very controlling, which was upsetting."

In a 2017 interview with the British show "John Bishop In Conversation" (via Metro), Brand retracted his harsh statements about Perry. "I have come away from that experience and I still feel very warm towards her," he said. "When I hear about her or see her, I think, 'Ah, there's that person, that person in the world.'" Since their divorce, Perry has welcomed a daughter with actor Orlando Bloom and Brand is busy raising two daughters with his wife, Laura Gallacher

Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin tried to work through infidelity issues

In April 2021, actor Jana Kramer shared in a social media post that she and former NFL player Mike Caussin had split up after six years of marriage. "I've fought y'all," she wrote. "I've loved hard. I've forgiven. I've put the work in. I've given everything I have, and now I have nothing else to give. It's time."

According to divorce documents obtained by People, Kramer cited "inappropriate marital conduct, irreconcilable differences and adultery " as reasons for the divorce. Just a few days after sharing the news that she and Caussin were over, Kramer broke down on what used to be the couple's podcast, "Whine Down with Jana Kramer." "I'm embarrassed that this is how it ended, and I also think that I've let people down," she tearfully shared.

In 2016, the former couple separated after Kramer learned Caussin stepped out, but they eventually reconciled. The news of their divorce comes just months after the release of their relationship self-help book "The Good Fight: Wanting to Leave, Choosing to Stay, and the Powerful Practice for Loving Faithfully." 

Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum's split wasn't easy

When Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum shared a joint statement on social media that they were separating after nine years of marriage, fans were in total shock. In the note, they shared that the both felt like "two best-friends realizing it's time to take some space and help each other live the most joyous, fulfilled lives as possible." 

While the former couple appeared to end their marriage amicably, Dewan shared a different side of the story after publishing her book "Gracefully You: How To Live Your Best Life Every Day." In an excerpt obtained by InStyle, she wrote, "In the beginning of my separation, it felt as though I were in a dark closet, desperately trying to find the light or the way out. I was in a state of shock." She said the grief that followed their split felt "like a tumbling avalanche."

Speaking with People, Dewan said she was "gutted" by the separation. "It was the loss of an idealistic future for myself and my life," she told the outlet. "What does that now look like for me? Where do I begin? I met him when I was 24, I didn't know life without Chan." Just weeks after their split, Tatum was reported to be dating singer Jessie J (who have since split), while Dewan also found the strength to move on with actor Steve Kazee, and welcomed a son on March 6, 2020.

Brandi Glanville and Eddie Cibrian feuded for a while

Brutally honest former "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Brandi Glanville hit her ex-husband Eddie Cibrian, who had an affair with singer LeAnn Rimes, with a bombshell in her memoir "Drinking & Tweeting: And Other Brandi Blunders." According to Radar Online, she gets into the moment Glanville knew Cibrian was cheating on her with the country musician, who was also married to chef Dean Sheremet at the time. 

In the book, Glanville recapped the night she and her former husband met with Rimes and Sheremet for dinner. The Bravolebrity wrote that the country singer spent "more time flirting with my husband than acknowledging her own," while her husband "pretended that he didn't see exactly what was in front of him." Glanville also claimed Rimes made an "inappropriate advance" towards Cibrian. After she saw photos of her then-husband and Rimes out at dinner, Glanville and Cibrian's nine-year marriage came to an end. Cibrian ended up marrying Rimes in 2011. A bitter, decade-long feud, ensued according to Us Weekly

However, it looked like the stars put the nasty battle to rest. On Christmas Day 2020, for example, Glanville shared a picture she took with Rimes on Instagram. Glanville, Cibrian, and Rimes also spent the Easter holiday together, along with Glanville and Cibrian's two sons.

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton fired off cheating accusations

Country music fans were saddened when news broke that after four years of marriage, Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton were calling it quits. The duo dated for six years before they tied the knot in 2011. As Billboard noted, they made 13 songs together over the course of their relationship. Alas, as of 2015, the pair's days of singing together were over. As TMZ reported at the time, both stars accused each other of infidelity. 

Lambert and her all-female country group Pistol Annies would go on to record the songs "When I Was His Wife" and "Got My Named Changed Back," which were believed to be about her separation. Meanwhile, rumor had it that Shelton's infidelity-themed song "I Bet You Still Think About Me" was about Lambert. Talking about the track's inspiration at a concert (via E! News), he said, "Even though stuff didn't work out, I bet you miss me a little bit. It's a sad song."

The former country duo has since moved on with Lambert now married to N.Y.P.D. officer Brendan McLoughlin, while Shelton is engaged to singer Gwen Stefani

Christie Brinkley took Peter Cook to court

Don't mess with Christie Brinkley. The model's longtime relationship with Peter Cook came to an end after he had an affair with his 18-year-old assistant, Diana Bianchi, in 2006, according to ABC News. What came next were some messy divorce proceedings, as Brinkley won the right to open the trial to the public. The New York Post revealed that there was media from around the world that had packed the courtroom on the first day of hearings. Brinkley's lawyer, Robert Cohen, shared with "Good Morning America" (via ABC News) that the move to have a public trial was used to "put pressure" on her former husband to tell the "truth." 

During the trial, a crying Cook had to recall his shameful affair, how he spent his evenings watching pornography, and even admitted that his young son saw several nude photos on his computer, according to the New York Post. Reuters reported that the divorce was settled after five days of trial and that the settlement awarded Brinkley full custody of her two children, and gave Cook a financial settlement of $2.1 million, as well as "parenting time." 

While it appeared that the model was out to make a fool out of her ex-husband, she admitted on the witness stand during the proceedings (via Reuters), "I didn't want this trial. It's humiliating for all of us." 

Elin Nordegren was 'blindsided' by Tiger Woods' affairs

Swedish model Elin Nordegren told People that she was "blindsided" and "embarrassed" by the highly publicized scandal that led her to divorce Tiger Woods. In 2009, multiple women came forward and accused the golf star of infidelity. By 2010, Nordegren and Woods had finalized their divorce and she was awarded $100 million, according to TMZ.   

That same year, Nordegren said she had no idea about Woods' affairs. "I never suspected, not a one," she told People. "For the last three-and-a-half years, when all this was going on, I was home a lot more with pregnancies, then the children and my school." Initially, she was willing to try and make the marriage work, but ultimately, she decided that it was better to split. In 2014, Nordegren opened up to People about their family's personal drama again. "I have moved on, and I am in a good place," she said. "Our relationship is centered around our children, and we are doing really good — we really are. He is a great father."

Nordegren, who has two children with Woods, welcomed her third child with former NFL player Jordan Cameron in 2019, according to Radar Online. In late February 2021, Woods was left badly injured after crashing his car. According to People, Nordegren made sure her children saw their dad as much as they could while he focused on making a full recovery. 

Taraji P. Henson and Kelvin Hayden broke their engagement

Actor Taraji P. Henson started dating former NFL player Kelvin Hayden in 2015 and the couple got engaged in 2018. However, after they pushed back their wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Hensen was spotted celebrating her 50th birthday in September 2020 without Hayden, fans began to speculate that the two split, according to Essence.

Fans were right about the breakup, and Hensen talked about it with Charlamagne tha God on Power 105.1's "The Breakfast Club" in October 2020. "I just turned 50, I mean, I hadn't said it yet, but it didn't work out" she shared. However, Hensen did say that she tried to make the relationship work before ending it. "I tried," she explained. "I was, like, 'Therapy, let's do the therapy thing,' but if you're both not on the same page with that then you feel like you're taking it on yourself, and that's not a fair position for anybody to play in a relationship.'"

In the end, Hensen described being in a relationship as "difficult" because of the tireless work that must be put in to make it successful. "We have to first learn how to make ourselves happy to make each other happy," she said. "When one person is taking on the weight of the entire relationship, it's never going to work." 

Wendy Williams' ex-husband Kevin Hunter got someone else pregnant

In 2019, television personality Wendy Williams filed for divorce from her husband Kevin Hunter after more than 20 years of marriage. Williams would go on to tell The New York Times Magazine that she had learned about Hunter's affair with another woman whom he had impregnated. "I never thought that I would be in this position," Williams shared, adding, "I'm a very forgiving person, but there's one thing that I could never be a part of, and that one thing happened." 

Hunter publicly apologized to Williams, but the damage was done. While Williams said she would never speak badly about her, the TV host did call out her ex-husband's girlfriend and their daughter on a January 2021 episode of her show after Hunter appeared in a clip from her documentary. "Welcome to 'Hot Topics,' Sharina Hudson," Williams began. "Getting out of my car with my money. Good morning, Journey. I think she'll be three next month, don't you know?" 

Williams even blasted her ex-husband as a "serial cheat" while speaking on "The Jess Cagle Show" on Sirius XM, stating that he had been with another woman for "almost 15 years of our marriage." Williams further explained that she learned about his affair while she was pregnant with their son, Kevin Hunter Jr. 

These pieces of Williams' life are touched on in "Wendy Williams: The Movie" and the "Wendy Williams: What A Mess" documentary.

Sienna Miller and Jude Law gave things another shot

In 2005, the news broke that Sienna Miller's then-fiancé Jude Law was romantically involved with his children's nanny, Daisy Wright. When the reports surfaced, Miller was in acting in Shakespeare's "As You Like It" in London, and it wasn't long until she was hounded by paparazzi — but the show continued to go on. She told The Daily Beast, "That was one of the most challenging moments I hope I'll ever have to experience. Because with that level of heartbreak, to have to get out of bed let alone stand in front of 800 people every night, it's just the last thing you want to do."

Wright went on to offer up intimate details of their affair to Sunday Mirror. "It was amazing," she said. "Jude was a masterful lover who made my whole body tingle." Law publicly apologized to Miller in a statement (via E! News). "Following the reports in today's papers, I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I've hurt Sienna and the people most close to us," he said.

Understandably, Miller is anything but nostalgic for that era. "There's a whole six weeks of that experience that I don't remember," she told The Daily Beast. "I have no recollection of it."

Law and Miller would find their way back together after the cheating scandal but broke up again in 2011. 

Robin Thicke named his album after ex-wife Paula Patton

When Robin Thicke and Paula Patton divorced in 2014 after nearly a decade together, the "Blurred Lines" singer wasn't ready to move on. He went on to release an album titled "Paula," featuring songs like "Get Her Back" and "Too Little Too Late," hoping to make amends, according to The Guardian. Thicke also dedicated multiple performances to Patton, including his appearance at the 2014 BET Awards.

After ultimately failing to win Patton back, Thicke told The New York Times, "What I thought was romantic was just embarrassing." He said he "was struggling" at that point in his life, and while he doesn't regret making the album "Paula," he wishes he hadn't put a price tag on it. "I would have given it away," he said. "That would have kept the purity of the message intact."

However, things appear to be looking up for the former couple when Thicke spoke to People about mending their relationship for the sake of their son, Julian. "There's so much emotion when you first break up, and there's so much stuff that spills over," he said. "But time heals those wounds, and she's an incredible person." 

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson's love didn't last

Kristen Stewart was all over the tabloids was all over the tabloids in July 2012 when paparazzi photographed her making out with "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders. At the time, Stewart was in a relationship with her "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson and Sanders was married to Liberty Ross. The highly-publicized affair had Stewart issuing an apology and professing her love to Pattinson. While the two did reconcile, they split for good in 2013, according to People

Two years after the scandal, Pattinson told British Esquire, "S*** happens, you know? It's just young people it's normal! And honestly, who gives a s***?" However, the actor did share that the hardest part about it all was the "aftermath." 

Stewart also opened about her relationship with Pattinson on an episode of Howard Stern's show. In 2019, she talked to the radio host about falling in love with the actor, despite their drama. After Stern said getting involved with a co-star on the set of a movie is "the biggest mistake an actor can make," Stewart replied, "There was nothing I could do," adding that Pattinson was her first love. The actor later hesitated when Stern asked whether she would have wanted to marry Pattinson, but she did say that "every relationship I've ever been in, I thought that was it."

Jesse James' scandal surfaced after Sandra Bullock's win

In 2010, Sandra Bullock's career reached some of its highest highs as she scooped up the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "The Blind Side." However, that same year, her personal life imploded. Days after she won the Oscar, news broke that Bullock's then-husband, motorcyclist Jesse James, had been unfaithful. 

James issued a public apology to Bullock (via ABC News), writing, "There is only one person to blame for this whole situation, and that is me." Bullock ultimately filed for divorce. She would also reveal in an exclusive interview with People that she had adopted a baby boy named Louis and filed adoption papers as a single parent, even though she had originally planned the adoption process with James earlier that year. Five years later, Bullock adopted a daughter named Laila.

In 2018, Bullock opened up about raising two children as a single mom. She told The Independent, "Society still, as open-minded as we've become, has these rules that quietly say: 'This is the way it goes.' They're saying: 'It's a man and a woman, and then you have a baby, and that's the family.' I go: 'Oh my god, I'm a single parent. With a child. How am I...' I felt less than. I felt: 'I'm not the complete package.' And then I realized ... this is the complete package.'"

Jennifer Aniston 'was shocked' by Brad Pitt's next move

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's 2005 split broke fans' hearts and fueled the gossip mill. Shortly after their divorce, photos emerged of Pitt with his "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" co-star Angelina Jolie and her son Maddox on a beach in Kenya. "The world was shocked, and I was shocked," Aniston told Vanity Fair in 2005. "He makes his choices. He can do — whatever. We're divorced, and you can see why." The "Friends" star went on to share that her ex-husband was missing a "sensitivity chip."

In a 2011 interview with Parade, Pitt talked about his personal life and his past. "I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out. It started feeling pathetic," he said. "It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn't living an interesting life myself. I think that my marriage had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn't."

While Pitt's words seemed harsh, in 2020, the former couple ran into one another at the SAG Awards and appeared to be happy to see each other. That evening, ET captured a sweet video of Pitt stopping in his tracks to watch Aniston deliver her acceptance speech via a monitor.