The Most Surprising Things Celebs Have Said About Their Exes

The following article includes mentions of mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction.

Breakups are painful for everyone, but there's an added level of pressure when living in the public eye. It's much more difficult to ignore that your ex has moved on with a supermodel when pictures of them are on the front of magazines or when you bump into them backstage at a high-profile event. Potentially awkward run-ins aside, celebrity breakups also mean you'll likely be asked about your time together — in print, no less — for years on end.

Of course, there are also those famous faces who use heartache as fuel for their artistic endeavors or their next big project. (Jukeboxes would basically be half empty if not for all the heartbreak songs.) But while some celebrity relationships tend to be whirlwind romances or end in a brutal, heartbreaking manner — with both scenarios fit for tabloid fodder — thankfully, not all Tinseltown splits lead to public mudslinging. There are several former Hollywood couples, especially those who share children, who prove that breakups can be handled maturely in the spotlight. Sure, you can complain about your ex privately to friends, but keep it classy for the kids when chatting with the press.

From the harsh to the heartfelt, these are the most surprising things celebs have said about their exes.

Miranda Kerr jokes about her 'annoying brother' Orlando Bloom

Model Miranda Kerr and actor Orlando Bloom were married from 2010 until 2013, and the former couple have remained close as co-parents to their son, Flynn. In a 2021 interview on the "Moments with Candace Parker" podcast, Kerr admitted that her ex-husband can sometimes feel more like a sibling.

"He's like a brother, and most of the time, an annoying brother," Kerr joked. Thankfully, the Australian native has some help with her ex-husband-turned-"brother" thanks to his pop star fiancée, Katy Perry, whom Kerr now counts as a close friend. "She [Katy] helps me deal with him, because she can deal with him. And I'm so grateful that she's there, because it takes the pressure off of me," Kerr continued with a laugh. "I love her. I mean, it'd be safe to say I love her more than Flynn's dad."  

Kerr, along with her husband, businessman Evan Spiegel, has such a strong relationship with Bloom and Perry that, during the same podcast appearance, the model said the families are together for milestones and even travel together. As for Bloom, he appears to be fully supportive of Kerr and Perry's friendship. In July 2021, Perry shared a video of herself and Kerr on Instagram at a yoga event that was in celebration of the model's beauty line, Kora Organics. The "Lord of the Rings" star was happy to see his future wife and ex-wife hanging out, commenting alongside a red heart emoji, "You two are the cutest."

Brad Pitt's 'sensitivity chip' is 'missing' with Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt may now be on friendly terms years after the A-listers' highly-publicized marriage ended in 2005, but that hasn't always been the case. The pair have reunited a handful of times in recent years, including during a 2020 fundraiser table read for "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" and at the SAG Awards that same year. In 2021, Aniston told Howard Stern that she and her ex-husband are "buddies" (via CNN), but the "Friends" alum likely wasn't using such a descriptor 15 years earlier.

Shortly after the couple separated, Pitt famously posed with then-rumored girlfriend (and future ex-wife) Angelina Jolie in a W magazine spread that cast the two as a happily married pair from the 1960s. Aniston was asked about the photos while being interviewed by Vanity Fair that same year. "There's a sensitivity chip that's missing," she said.

For his part, Pitt had some not so nice things to say about his time with Aniston during a 2011 interview with Parade. "It started feeling pathetic," the actor said of his life in the late 1990s and early 2000s. "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 [to actress Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn't."

Blake Shelton tweets about country music 'karma' with Miranda Lambert

Country fans were shocked when Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert announced in July 2015 that they were divorcing after four years of marriage and 10 years together. The former couple released a joint statement to the AP (via People), saying, "It is with heavy hearts that we move forward separately." But while neither party publicly stated what exactly led to the dissolution of their marriage, rumors about Lambert allegedly cheating on Shelton began to swirl soon after the pair were divorced. 

Fast forward to April 2018, when Us Weekly reported that Lambert was dating fellow country musician Evan Felker, who was still technically married to wife Staci Nelson at the time. One day after the story broke, Shelton seemingly sent a message to his ex-wife on Twitter: "Been taking the high road for a long time. I almost gave up, but I can finally see something on the horizon up there??? Wait??? Could it be?! Yep!!! It's karma!!"

Shelton, of course, was soon asked about the cryptic tweet "heard 'round the world," but "The Voice" coach was quick to play it coy. "It was a personal thing that's in a small circle of my people and that's why it was written the way it was," Shelton told Extra. "And then people took it and made it into what they want to make it into, which I don't want any part of that."

Miley Cyrus slides away from Liam Hemsworth

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth were together for nearly 10 years before deciding to say "I do," but the couple only lasted eight months after walking down the aisle in December 2018. The pair, who first met while co-starring in the 2010 Nicholas Sparks film, "The Last Song," announced their separation in August 2019, per People — and went on to have a rocky conclusion to their marriage that included some back-and-forth in interviews and song lyrics.

Soon after the pair split, Cyrus released her single, "Slide Away," which appears to have been inspired by Hemsworth's alleged partying. "Don't want the whiskey and pills / I don't give up easily / But I don't think I'm down / So won't you slide away?" Cyrus, who was working on her sobriety form drugs and alcohol in the last year of their relationship, sings in the pre-chorus and chorus (via Genius). 

In a 2020 interview with Howard Stern, Cyrus shed further light on the breakup. Saying that her marriage with Hemsworth ended because there was "too much conflict" between the pair, Cyrus explained (via E!), "When I come home, I want to be anchored by someone. I don't get off on drama or fighting." That same year, the singer-actor appeared on "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast and admitted that their marriage would mark the final time she was dependent on another person for her happiness: "I called the love of mine, who I was with and we got divorced, it was almost like a pacifier. Like, he was that thing I just needed."

If you or anyone you know is struggling 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).

Kanye West can't convince Kim Kardashian that he's sorry

Kim Kardashian stood by Kanye West during several of his headline-grabbing escapades throughout their marriage, but when the rapper and fashion designer turned his sights on his own family, he seemingly went too far.

West's increasingly controversial comments and behavior made waves throughout his 2020 presidential bid. While on stage for a political rally in South Carolina that July, for example, he went on an anti-abortion tirade and admitted that he and Kardashian had once considered ending her pregnancy with the couple's oldest child, daughter North. "Even if my wife were to divorce me after this speech, she brought North into the world," he added (via Billboard). Per the Independent, West later posted a series of now-deleted tweets calling out Kardashian and her momager, Kris Jenner, which included calling the former a "white supremacist."

Both West and Kardashian previously confirmed that he doesn't take medication for his bipolar disorder, and the reality star addressed her then-husband's mental health, tweets, and behavior in a series of Instagram Stories captured by the @TeamKanyeDaily Twitter account. Asking for "compassion and empathy" from the public, she wrote in part, "Those that understand mental illness or even compulsive behavior know the family is powerless unless the member is a minor." 

West publicly apologized to Kardashian on Twitter: "I did not cover her like she has covered. To Kim I want to say I know I hurt you. Please forgive me. Thank you for always being there for me." Kardashian ultimately filed for divorced in February 2021.

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

John Mayer's comments about Jessica Simpson explode in a bad way

In 2010, John Mayer sat down with Playboy and delivered what will likely be considered the most infamous interview of his career. The musician spoke about his perceived status as a "douchebag," having a "hood pass," labelled his manhood as "sort of like a white supremacist," and made some seemingly ageist comments about ex-girlfriend Jennifer Aniston. But one of the most shocking moments of the interview came by way of Mayer's characterization of ex-girlfriend Jessica Simpson.

"That girl, for me, is a drug. And drugs aren't good for you if you do lots of them. Yeah, that girl is like crack cocaine to me," said Mayer in reference to their on-and-off relationship, which began in 2006. "Sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say. It was like napalm, sexual napalm."

In her 2020 memoir, "Open Book," Simpson discussed her relationship with Mayer. Noting that it caused her severe anxiety, she wrote (via Vulture), "It was the start of me relying on alcohol to mask my nerves." The duo called it quits for good following Mayer's headline-making Playboy interview, with Simpson revealing, "When he reached out to me, I changed my number and changed my email. Delete." While promoting the book, the singer-actor told Tamron Hall that she didn't "expect" to receive an apology from Mayer. "I mean, you can't take it back," Simpson explained, adding, "That was a time in my life where I was very manipulated and ... also in love, or seemingly. ... But to talk about anybody sexually is kind of disrespectful, but that's on him."

If you or anyone you know is struggling 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).

Taylor Swift pens a 'dear John' letter to John Mayer

Shortly after John Mayer's 2010 interview with Playboy was released, the backlash toward the singer-songwriter forced him into a self-imposed hiatus. It was also in 2010 that country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift released her third studio album, "Speak Now," which included a not-so-thinly veiled nod to her famous ex in the song, "Dear John."

The musicians were rumored to have dated between December 2009 and February 2010 after meeting and recording "Half of My Heart" together for Mayer's 2009 album, "Battle Studies." In "Dear John," Swift — who would have been 19 at the time of her short-lived relationship with then-32-year-old Mayer — sings in the second verse (via Genius), "Maybe it's you and your sick need / To give love then take it away / And you'll add my name to your long list of traitors / Who don't understand / And I'll look back in regret how I ignored when they said / 'Run as fast as you can.'"

Speaking with Rolling Stone two years later, Mayer said the song left him feeling "really humiliated." Claiming he wasn't contacted by Swift before the tune was released, he added, "I didn't deserve it. I'm pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do." Mayer, who later released a rumored "Dear John" response song called "Paper Doll," added, "I will say as a songwriter that I think it's kind of cheap songwriting."

The Jelena break up breaks fans' hearts

Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber were at one point the most famous couple in the world, so when the pair eventually began a cycle of breaking up and making up, it wasn't well received by fans who were endgame for Jelena. Bieber and Gomez began dating in 2010 and kicked off their on-again, off-again cycle in 2012, with the couple calling it quits yet again in 2015, per People.

By 2016, Bieber was romantically involved with Sofia Richie, daughter of musician Lionel Richie. In a series of posts that have since been deleted, Bieber shared pictures of himself and the model on vacation in Tokyo. The images resulted in many fans posting negative comments, forcing JBiebs to step in and defend his then-girlfriend, writing (via Elle), "I'm gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don't stop the hate. This is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn't be so mean to people that I like." For her part, Gomez didn't appear to take kindly to her ex speaking down to his fans and stepped in on behalf of Beliebers: "If you can't handle the hate, then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol It should be special between you two only. Don't be mad at your fans. They love you."

As for Jelena, they reconciled once again in 2017, before breaking up for good in 2018. Bieber married Hailey Baldwin shortly after that November, which seemingly inspired Gomez's 2019 single, "Lose You to Love Me."

Selena Gomez's friendship with The Weeknd lasts beyond two days

Not all relationships in the pop world end badly. Case in point: Selena Gomez and The Weeknd. The couple dated during one of Gomez's breaks with Justin Bieber in 2017, and it appears as though the pair took mostly positive memories from their time together. Or, at least, Gomez did. 

That November, the former Disney Channel star sat down with Billboard to discuss her career and health struggles, including being diagnosed with lupus and receiving a kidney transplant. The singer-actor had only recently ended her 10-month relationship with The Weeknd (real name Abel Tesfaye), but said that the pair had split on positive terms. "Something that I'm really proud of is that there's such a true friendship [between me and The Weeknd]," said Gomez. "I truly have never experienced anything like that in my life. We ended it as best friends, and it was genuinely about encouraging and caring [for each other], and that was pretty remarkable for me."

Around the time of Gomez's interview with Billboard, she reconciled with Bieber — a move many fans speculate influenced The Weeknd's 2018 album, "My Dear Melancholy." Per Harper's Bazaar, some of the lyrics can be interpreted as the artist saying he'd considered donating one of his kidneys to his ex ("I almost cut a piece of myself for your life" from the tune, "Call Out My Name") and referencing her on-and-off relationship with Bieber ("You'd rather something toxic" in the song, "I Was Never There"). So, maybe they're not best-best friends.

Ariana Grande says thank you, next to Pete Davidson

Comedian Pete Davidson and pop star Ariana Grande had one of the most whirlwind relationships in celebrity history. Only weeks after the pair confirmed they were dating in May 2018, an engagement announcement followed. But their breakup came five months later, per People, and in the wake of their parting, both had some choice words to say about the other.

Grande's hit single, "Thank U, Next," was released that November and featured the singer speaking highly of her former fiancé (via Genius): "Even almost got married / And for Pete, I'm so thankful." The following year, she opened to Vogue about the pair's short-lived relationship. "I met Pete, and it was an amazing distraction," Grande said. "It was frivolous and fun and insane and highly unrealistic, and I loved him, and I didn't know him. I'm like an infant when it comes to real life and this old soul, been-around-the-block-a-million-times artist. I still don't trust myself with the life stuff."

While Grande's comments about the former couple's romance weren't completely negative, Davidson did not take kindly to his ex characterizing their time together as "frivolous and fun." During his 2020 Netflix special, "Pete Davidson: Alive From New York," Davidson directly referenced the Vogue interview and Grande's cover spread with the magazine. "Can you imagine if I did that?" asked Davidson (via BuzzFeed). "My career would be over tomorrow. If I spray-painted myself brown and hopped on the cover of Vogue magazine and just starting s***ting on my ex."

Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards go in different directions

After months of rumors, One Direction's Zayn Malik and Little Mix's Perrie Edwards' relationship was confirmed when photos of the pair were published by the Daily Mail in 2012. Malik solidified their relationship the following year with a tattoo of Edwards and a proposal, but the couple called it quits after four years together in 2015, around the same time that Malik left One Direction.

In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Malik was asked what he looked for in a relationship ... and his answer interpreted by many as a diss to his ex. "I need a challenge. Also, I like girls that are a bit chunky in certain areas — the nice areas. I like a fuller woman," the singer said. "I enjoy an intellectual conversation as well, where someone can construct a sentence beyond what hair and makeup they're wearing, and talk about something political or about the world. I like an opinion."

Edwards seemingly responded to Malik's remarks and his then-rumored relationship with Gigi Hadid in Little Mix's 2016 song, "Shout Out To My Ex," in which she sings about someone she was with for four years (via Genius): "This is a shout out to my ex / Heard he in love with some other chick / Yeah, yeah, that hurt me, I'll admit / Forget that boy, I'm over it / I hope she gettin' better sex / Hope she ain't fakin' it like I did, babe." Point: Perrie.

Sam Smith was good at goodbyes with Jonathan Zeizel

Broken hearts have been the fuel for some of the greatest artistic works of all time. For Sam Smith, their relationship with model boyfriend Jonathan Zeizel inspired the British hitmaker to create songs that resulted in a trophy case full of awards — and that's much better than getting back an old sweater after calling it quits.

During a January 2015 concert held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Smith hinted that they and Zeizel had ended their romantic relationship. Speaking about their ex, Smith said their debut album, "In the Lonely Hour," was inspired by a former heartbreak. "But I decided to write this song, and, the day before I wrote this song, I basically went on my phone, and I deleted their number and I deleted everything," Smith told the crowd (via Us Weekly) in reference to their song, "Good Thing." They added, "The reason why this song is very special for me today is that I've actually had to do a very similar thing today with someone I've been seeing."

Less than one month later, Smith was cleaning up at the Grammys, taking home four awards, including record of the year for "Stay With Me." Smith seemed to again reference their breakup with Zeizel in their acceptance speech and found the silver lining in heartbreak: "Just a quick one. I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart, 'cause you got me four Grammys," Smith said with a laugh.

Chris Evans gifts ex Jenny Slate some marvel-ous compliments

In 2016, "Gifted" co-stars Chris Evans and Jenny Slate were confirmed to be dating. It was a relationship fans could get behind, with the Marvel star getting some hipster cred from the multi-talented Slate. While the pair split less than a year later, reconciled, and then called it quits again in 2018, per Us Weekly, they have continued to inspire their fandom with lovely quotes about one another.

In March 2017, Slate told Vulture that dating the man who played Captain America came with a level of celebrity she had yet to experience, adding that while the pair weren't close friends following their breakup ("We threw down pretty hard."), she hoped to reconnect someday. "Chris is truly one of the kindest people I've ever met, to the point where sometimes I would look at him and it would kind of break my heart," said Slate. "He's really vulnerable, and he's really straightforward. He's like primary colors. He has beautiful, big, strong emotions, and he's really sure of them. It's just wonderful to be around. His heart is probably golden-colored, if you could paint it."

A few days later, Evans spoke to People about Slate, calling her his "favorite human." The MCU actor went on to say, "She's so vulnerable, so honest, so interested in other people more than herself, she's incredibly compassionate, there's just nothing to not love about her."

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck will always be their own Bennifer

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck may have ended their 10-year marriage in 2015 (their divorce was finalized in 2018), but as parents to three children, the pair have continued to work together as a team and support each other as co-parents and friends.

Only months after the former couple's separation was publicized, Garner spoke to Vanity Fair in February 2016 and said that, even with the pain of their breakup still fresh, she would continue to choose Affleck as her husband. Speaking about their private 2005 beach wedding, Garner said, "I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can't have these three babies and so much of what we had." The "Alias" star went on to call Affleck the "love of [her] life," saying, "He's the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He's just a complicated guy. I always say, 'When his sun shines on you, you feel it.' But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it's cold. He can cast quite a shadow."

As for Affleck, the actor has received help from his ex when it comes to maintaining his sobriety and told The New York Times in 2020 that the pair's divorce was "biggest regret of [his] life."

If you or anyone you know is struggling 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).

Demi Lovato takes life lessons from their Max Ehrich breakup

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of people reexamining their lives — and that included Demi Lovato. The pop star engaged in a whirlwind relationship with actor Max Ehrich, which featured an engagement announcement in July 2020 after only four months of dating, as well as a breakup that September, per E!.

Fast forward to May 2021, when Lovato announced on Twitter that they identify as nonbinary and would use they/them pronouns. "I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression, and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and still am discovering," said Lovato. In August, the singer-actor spoke during The 19th Represents 2021 Virtual Summit, and explained that their relationship with Ehrich helped them confirm their gender identity. 

"I met someone and I got into this straight relationship, and that was great, but that led me to ignoring all the parts of myself that I didn't think were digestible for my partner at the time, who ended up becoming my fiancé," Lovato began. "In hindsight, the dissolvement of that relationship was actually probably the best thing that's happened to me, because of what that led inside of myself." The star went on to say that ending the engagement helped them feel validated on their own: "When I said goodbye to that relationship, I also said goodbye to everything that was holding me back from being my most authentic self."