Celebs Who Scandalously Cheated With Their Co-Stars

Obviously, the key to on screen romance is chemistry between the actors. Depending on the role, it can be part of a the actors' jobs to have to pretend to fall in love with each other, but sometimes sparks fly for real. And sometimes those sparks happen to fly between stars who are already in committed relationships. Whoops.

Whether it was classic Hollywood, where affairs were basically studio-issued and studio-quieted, or more modern affairs where more often than not the tabloids revealed these rude rendezvous, there is no shortage of serious scandal here. And we're not talking about minor players, either. There are A-list pairs and power couple who were both made and destroyed in the wake of these steamy so-called "showmances." 

Without further ado — we're saving all of the juicy "ado" for below — these are the celebs who took rehearsing their love scenes to a whole other level. 

Many of Chad Michael Murray's set trailers were a-rockin'

Chad Michael Murray is a sucker for the workplace romance. It's how he met Sophia Bush, on the set of One Tree Hill in 2003. The co-stars fell in love and were married by 2005. But then Murray went to work on a movie called House of Wax, the horror reboot that literally marketed itself on the fact that Paris Hilton gets brutally murdered in it. Well, apparently the appeal of Paris Hilton was too great for Murray to resist as well, because he allegedly hooked up with her while shooting the movie, at least that was the claim made by former Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter, who was dating Hilton at the time. What a mess.  

Anyway, Bush filed to have the marriage annulled just five months after they said their vows, but she and Murray awkwardly worked together on the show for another five years. Bush later shaded her marriage to Murray, saying that they "had no business being in a relationship in the first place," and once referred to Murray as a "f**kboy" on Instagram, so they didn't exactly stay friendly. Murray would go on to date and eventually get engaged to an extra from One Tree Hill, Kenzie Dalton, only to break it off with her after 7 years, then turn around and start dating — you guessed it — another co-star, Nicky Whelan, whom he met on the set of Left Behind. He married actress Sarah Roemer in 2015.

Reese Witherspoon knew what Ryan Phillippe did

Ryan Phillippe and Reese Witherspoon's marriage crumbled shortly after rumors swirled that he was cheating with Stop-Loss co-star Abbie Cornish. Phillippe has chalked the demise of the relationship up to being "so young" when they got married. He also laughed off the question of whether his alleged affair caused the split when People asked him about it, saying, "I had difficulties in my relationship, and in my marriage, long before I ever met her."  

But according to Us Weekly's Katrina Szish (via Today), Phillippe "did not go out of his way to hide the fact that he was having a fling" with Cornish, including public make-out sessions, and Cornish openly coming and going from his apartment. So that probably didn't help too much with his marriage "difficulties." Not to mention, he and Cornish ended up staying together for four years. Witherspoon has described their divorce as "humiliating," but never publicly called her ex out for cheating. Then she rebounded with Jake Gyllenhaal before settling down again with her now-husband, the Hollywood agent Jim Toth. So, she's doing fine, but did anyone expect America's sweetheart not to come out on top on this one?   

Spencer Tracy's wife called Katharine Hepburn 'a rumour'

Classic Hollywood paved the way for many of the practices of the entertainment industry that continue to this day. And actors carrying on legendary affairs can be counted among them. Spencer Tracy already had a notorious reputation as an on-set lothario when he began his affair with Katharine Hepburn during the filming of Woman of the Year in 1941. Their romance lasted 26 years until Tracy's death from a heart attack in 1967. According to The Toledo Blade, they were able to keep their secret thanks to studio control of the press, maintaining a certain level of discretion, and oh yeah, the fact that Tracy remained married the whole time to his wife, Louise, with whom he fathered two children.

After Tracy's death, Hepburn collaborated with her friend and author, A. Scott Berg, on her biography. In excerpts published by The Telegraph, Hepburn claims she reached out to Louise "thinking she might be of some help with the children," and said, "You know, Louise, you and I can be friends. You knew Spencer at the beginning, I knew him at the end. Or, we can just go on pretending." Louise replied, "Oh, yes. But you see, I thought you were only a rumour." That is either some Mariah-level shade right there, or a spectacularly sad case of denial. Either way, old Hollywood still did it with more class than the philanderers of today.   

Was there any proof of Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe's affair?

Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe's high-profile affair started in the spring of 2000 on the set of Proof of Life, the box office bomb about a woman who falls for a guy she works with. Okay, that's an oversimplification of the plot, but it's true that the movie flopped, and it's also true that the on-set affair accelerated the end of Ryan's already troubled marriage to actor Dennis Quaid, according to People. Within months of the affair hitting the tabloids, Ryan and Quaid announced their separation and filed for divorce.

Ryan's brief relationship with Crowe was the subject of intense media scrutiny, most of which Ryan largely ignored. She did tell Harper's Bazaar (via People) that there were times she wanted to set the record straight about what happened, "But, you know, who would I be proving anything to?" Hmm, your husband, maybe? It wasn't until years later, in 2008, that Ryan finally opened up to Insight (via The Daily Mail), not specifically mentioning Crowe, but basically saying that Quaid cheated on her, too, so NBD. Crowe was always characteristically unabashed in his public statements about the whole affair, once telling The Guardian, "The ending of Meg's prior relationship had nothing to do with me." He also described her as "a beautiful and courageous lady" who gave him "a lot of light."

Was Evan Rachel Wood really Marilyn Manson's other 'girl?'

Aside from the general quandary of what attracts any woman to Marilyn Manson lies the more perplexing question of how the guy who sang "Cake and Sodomy" ended up in a love triangle with a pair of stunners like Dita Von Teese and Evan Rachel Wood. But that's allegedly what happened when Manson stepped out on Von Teese, his then lingerie model and burlesque performer wife, with Wood, his co-star in the never-released, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll — whatever that is. 

After their divorce, Manson and Von Teese took turns slamming each other in the press. Manson spoke openly about his near-suicidal depression during the relationship, which he blamed on Von Teese's supposedly unreasonable expectations of him. Von Teese told The Telegraph that it was Manson's "partying" and "relationship with another girl" that led to the demise of their marriage. The infamous line from Manson's 2007 Rolling Stone interview, in which he heavily implied an affair with Wood, was, "She [presumably Wood] picked up a butcher's knife and said, 'Here, you can stab me.' When someone was willing to drown with me, I really didn't want to drown any more." Ah, true love, right? 

The sordid story of Bogie and Bacall

Remember what we said about old Hollywood affairs being super classy? Well, let's shelf that for a second, because some of Bogie and Bacall's love affair wasn't so grand. The two acting legends were first paired up in 1944's To Have And Have Not, where their attraction was apparent on and off the screen. Bogart was still married to his third wife, actress Mayo Methot, although their relationship was on the rocks as a result of her hard-drinking and troublesome behavior. By the time Bogie had fallen for Bacall, he was already over Methot. But it was a different story for Methot, who fled Hollywood after the divorce and returned to her childhood home in Portland, Oregon. There, she basically drank herself to death, according to the classic Hollywood blog, The Skeins, which also caims that found among Methot's personal items when she died was a lovingly handwritten note from Bogart. And that's not all.

Though Bogart and Bacall eventually married and had children, he was allegedly engaged in another affair with Verita Bouvaire Thompson, his longtime "personal secretary, bartender and hairdresser," before and throughout his marriage to Bacall, according to The Guardian. (Bogie's on-off girlfriend, Joan Blondell, once famously quipped, "The zipper was invented in 1926. Bogie demanded one be sewed into all of his pants – sex was a lot faster that way.") Thompson claimed this in her 1982 memoir, Bogie and Me: A Love Story, in which she referred to herself as "Bacall's worst nightmare," as well as claimed that Bogart called her from his deathbed in 1957. 

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz wasted no time

Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are notoriously press shy, so it comes as no surprise that neither have spoken about how they fell in love on the set of Dream House in 2010. It probably also has a bit to do with the fact that Weisz was engaged to director Darren Aronofsky, with whom she was in a relationship for nine years, and Craig had a fiancee of his own, producer Satsuki Mitchell, with whom he'd been in a relationship for 7 years, according to The Daily Mail.

Both stars announced splits from their significant others in November of 2010, with Weisz's statement carefully adding in the phrasing, "have been separated for some months." That claim was taken with a health dose of "Okay, sure," and became even more dubious when the pair spent Christmas together a month later. Then everyone's eyebrows really shot back up when Craig and Weisz quietly married in June of 2011. That would be moving fast for anyone, let alone two people fresh off of almost decade-long failed engagements. 

Did John Malkovich really forget his affair with Michelle Pfeiffer?

We'll just start off here with the obvious question: What? How? Why? Okay, that's three questions to which there aren't really answers, but this one is at least no rumor. John Malkovich hooked up with Michelle Pfeiffer while they were shooting Dangerous Liaisons in 1988. According to The New York Times, director Stephen Frears confirmed that when the affair happened, Malkovich's "marriage was breaking up," and that he was going through "a difficult time." Obviously, they didn't stay together, and in fact, Malkovich actually disappeared "for nearly two years" after both the affair and his marriage to Glenne Headley ended.

Decades later, the unendingly quirky Malkovich reflected on the affair to Esquire, saying, "It's hard to believe Michelle Pfeiffer ever said hello to me — not that she's not memorable, God knows. But I sort of blacked it out. What I'm trying to say is, when I think of the other person, I don't think of me as involved with them. They're uncorrupted by me. As if they were never troubled by my existence." We honestly have no clue what that means, but it makes about as much sense as John Malkovich getting it on with Michelle Pfeiffer. Really can't stress enough how weird that is. 

Steve McQueen got away with Ali MacGraw

Here we go again, peeking behind the glitzy curtain of old Hollywood, and lo and behold, it turns out there's a bunch of awful stuff back there. According to Sheila Weller's in-depth Vanity Fair profile of Hollywood legends Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw's torrid affair, it was anything but glamorous, despite MacGraw's loving remembrance of the sparse good times they shared. MacGraw left her husband, producer Robert Evans, for McQueen after she fell for the Hollywood bad boy while shooting The Getaway. Not only did McQueen then turn out to be a jealous, mood-swinging control freak, who demanded MacGraw give up her film career to put his "meat and potatoes in front of him every night at six," but he also allegedly cheated on her constantly throughout their five year marriage, which ended in 1978.

Probably the worst part is that MacGraw actually blames herself equally for the failures of the marriage, saying, "I am 1,000 percent not a victim," and that she was guilty of doing "the sullen holdback," and being "tight, judgemental, and simmering." Yep, because that's just as bad as being an alleged cheating rage-monster.

Years later, MacGraw appeared on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, where she said, "It's very sad to me that as sober, grown-up, nonsexually connected beings, we didn't get to sit down and clean it all, you know, because something was there." Uh, a nightmare? We're pretty sure that "something" MacGraw was searching for was the word "nightmare."  

Carrie Fisher waited decades to reveal her on-set Star Wars affair

Long before "stanning" was a thing, fans of the original Star Wars trilogy in the '70s and '80s stanned for the coupling of two of the films' most dynamic and good-looking characters: space rogue Han Solo and freedom fighter Princess Leia. In that cinematic universe, they did get together, and they had a son who grew up to be the evil Kylo Ren. In real life, the actors who portrayed Han and Leia, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, enjoyed a brief but torrid affair.

Just weeks before her death in 2016, Fisher told People of her previously unknown three-month entanglement with her co-star, 14 years her senior and a married dad of two kids. "It was so intense," Fisher said. "It was Han and Leia during the week, and Carrie and Harrison during the weekend." The first time the two used the Force on each other, so to speak, was after a birthday party for director George Lucas in 1976 while filming the first Star Wars movie.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ford wasn't so forthcoming about the tryst. Finally opening up about his ex-lover's memoir to GQ in 2017, the legendary Millennium Falcon pilot simply said, "It was strange. For me," then declined to elaborate further other than to say he hadn't read it. 

Clare Danes 'needed to explore' her love for this co-star

In 2003, filming began on Stage Beauty, a period piece about the 17th century London theater scene. Billy Crudup starred as real-life actor Ned Kyanston, while Claire Danes portrayed Maria, his dresser turned acting nemesis. When the cameras weren't rolling, the relationship between Crudup and Danes was significantly more cordial, as in they fell hard for each other.

"I was just in love with him, and needed to explore that" Danes said on The Howard Stern Show (via Us Weekly) in 2015, adding, "I was 24 ... I didn't quite know what those consequences would be." One major bit of fallout suffered at the beginning of what would ultimately be a four-year romance: Crudup picked Danes over his girlfriend, Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker, who was seven months pregnant with his baby at the time. In her memoir, Dear Mr. You, Parker wrote a letter to an unidentified party, which many assumed was Crudup, because of lines like, "I am alone. Look, see? I am pregnant and alone. It hurts to even breathe."

LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian just 'stumbled upon each other'

According to E! News, in 2001, Eddie Cibrian, an actor best known for his role on the moderately popular NBC first responders drama Third Watch, married Brandi Glanville, a catalog and commercial model (not yet a Real Housewife). By 2008, they were the parents of two boys, and Cibrian jetted off to shoot the made-for-TV mystery movie Northern Lights. His co-star: former child country music prodigy LeAnn Rimes, taking on her first big acting role.

Rimes was also married, but she and Cibrian clearly felt a connection, and celebrity news sources reported they were having an affair, with Us Weekly (via E! News) going so far as to publish photos of what looked to be a date. The pair denied anything was going on, but in August 2009, Cibrian filed for divorce. A week later, Rimes announced her plans for a divorce, and then took a Mexican vacation with Cibrian.

In a joint November 2010 interview with ABC News' Robin Roberts, both Cibrian and Rimes finally copped to the affair. He said, "The truth is that we're human beings. ... We make mistakes and we learn from them, but we're human. We fell in love." Rimes was even more direct, admitting, "You had two couples whose marriages didn't work who really stumbled upon each other and fell in love." 

Cibrian and Rimes got married in 2011, and are still together as of this writing. 

Apparently everyone was cheating on everyone in this scenario

The king and queen of acclaimed, late 20th century British cinema — Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson — really were a royal couple in that they married in 1989. They even brought their romance to the big screen playing the classic duo of lovers Benedick and Beatrice in the 1993 adaptation of Shakespeare's rom-com Much Ado About Nothing. It was devastating news then to arthouse cinephiles when Branagh and Thompson announced their split in 1995. According to a statement published by People, their busy schedules meant "spending long periods" apart, and the marriage crumbled as a result. But that's not what really happened.

According to the Sunday Times (via UPI) Branagh wasn't faithful, taking up with Helena Bonham Carter while they were working on the 1994 film Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. According to Metro, Branagh and Thompson "divorced in 1995," after which he and Bonham Carter "were together until 1999." But Thompson got over it. "You can't hold on to anything like that," she said, adding, "I haven't got the energy for it. Helena and I made our peace years and years ago."

Interestingly enough, the same People article that carried Thompson and Branagh's split statement also hinted at Thompson's own alleged affair with Sense and Sensibility co-star Greg Wise, who she would later marry in 2003. 

Vials of blood: An origin story

After a decade of small roles in big movies and big roles in small movies, Billy Bob Thornton found stardom in 1997 when he won an Academy Award for writing Sling Blade, a film far more subtle and nuanced than the tumultuous soap opera his romantic life turned into after he won that Oscar.

In April 1997, Billy Bob's fourth wife, Pietra Dawn Thornton, filed for divorce, alleging multiple instances of domestic violence, which Billy Bob "vehemently denie[d]," according to People. Around the same time, Billy Bob met Laura Dern when both were guest-starring on Ellen, although he also denied there was anything going on there, too. Two years later, by which time Billy Bob and Laura were openly together, according to InStyle, Billy Bob starred in the movie Pushing Tin alongside rising star Angelina Jolie. In the spring of 2000, Laura left Billy Bob to his own devices while she went to film something. He took the opportunity to go public about his secret romance with Angelina, with the two stealing away to Las Vegas to get married. He hadn't yet split from Laura. "I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married," Laura told Talk (via ABC News).

Billy Bob later justified his decision to The Guardian, saying, "It made me happy and somebody else happy. I'm sorry it caused pain." (Nevertheless, he and Angelina divorced in 2003.)

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott moved as fast as you possibly can

Married couple Tori Spelling (best known as Donna Martin on Beverly Hills, 90210) and Dean McDermott (who co-starred on the Canadian cult classic Due South) have turned documenting their lives for reality TV cameras into a cottage industry. After marrying in 2006, they've anchored together Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, Tori & Dean: Cabin Fever, and True Tori. It was on a 2014 episode of the latter in which Spelling revealed all the salacious details about she and her husband found each other.

During a discussion with a friend about McDermott's extramarital affair, Spelling admitted her own relationship with McDermott began in adultery. "I mean, he was married," she said (via Entertainment Tonight). "We had sex the first night we met," which was in July 2005 on the set of the made-for-Lifetime movie Mind Over Murder. At that point, McDermott was still hitched to first wife Mary Jane Eustace, and Spelling to first husband Charlie Shanian.