Celebs Who Refuse To Speak About Their Personal Lives

Hollywood is home to a host of oversharers: Chrissy Teigen, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus, Cardi B, the entire Kardashian klan ... the list could go on and on. For some celebrities, the spotlight seems to be a siren song that urges them to share every last detail of their lives, from what illegal substances they indulge in to who they're sleeping with to those weird habits no one really needs to know about. But for others, fame has been more of a deterrent, driving them to clam up about their personal lives, only sharing the most basic, surface-level tidbits when entirely necessary.

Below, we're focusing on that second group of celebrities, the ones who refuse to share details about their personal lives. While they all have different reasons — being burned in the past, wanting to protect their energy, understanding that less is more — they've all been outspoken about their decision to keep certain things private. 

From Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen to Dolly Parton, read on to discover why these stars won't talk about their marriages, relationships, families, and feelings.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

In the '90s and early '00s, you could hardly open a tabloid without seeing Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. The twins began acting at just nine months old, sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on "Full House," and by the time they reached their tween years, they had spun their fame into a billion-dollar brand. (As of 2022, the Olsen twins are worth $500 million, making them some of the richest women in Hollywood, despite the fact that they haven't appeared on screen in nearly 20 years). 

Then, in 2004, the 18-year-old twins began attending NYU and essentially dropped off the face of the planet. They went from making regular red carpet appearances and giving frequent interviews to focusing all their professional energy on their fashion brands, The Row and Elizabeth and James, and declining to speak about their personal lives.

While it's not hard to understand why these former media darlings would establish such strict boundaries, their younger sister, Elizabeth Olsen, explained their exact reasoning to Modern Luxury in 2017. Elizabeth said (via People) that her older sisters are "very tight-lipped, notoriously so" because they grew tired of having their words spun by outsiders. According to Elizabeth, the duo told her, "You know, even if you don't think anyone's going to read this article, someone might pull the quote later for [something else]." That feeling of not being in control of how their lives were perceived is ultimately what drove Mary-Kate and Ashley to keep mum.


Beyoncé may be one of the best-selling female artists of all time, but her success has nothing to do with how much access she's given fans to her personal life. In fact, the exact opposite might be true. 

Since 2013, the songstress has given only a handful of interviews, the majority of which focus on her work rather than her personal life. There are dozens of theories as to why she's so tight-lipped these days, ranging from her deciding that speaking about her personal life was ineffective to wanting more control over her public image. But in 2021, she set the record straight during an interview with Harper's Bazaar as to why she no longer shares the details of her private life with fans.

"I've been intentional about setting boundaries between my stage persona and my personal life," she explained. "It can be easy to lose yourself very quickly in this industry. It takes your spirit and light, then spits you out. ... In this business, so much of your life does not belong to you unless you fight for it. I've fought to protect my sanity and my privacy because the quality of my life depended on it. A lot of who I am is reserved for the people I love and trust. Those who don't know me ... might interpret that as being closed off." It sounds like we'll have to just keep dissecting her music if we want to know anything about her life off-stage.

Sarah Jessica Parker

Carrie Bradshaw, one of Sarah Jessica Parker's best-known characters, may have been a chronic oversharer, but, unlike an iconic sense of style, that's not something the actor shares with the sex column writer. While Parker hasn't fully shunned the public eye — she gives the occasional interview and runs a public Instagram account replete with detailed captions — there are certainly parts of her life that are off-limits.

For example, the "Sex and the City" actor has made an active choice to never speak publicly about her marriage to fellow actor Matthew Broderick. At an event in 2014, she told HuffPost, "The secret is, we don't discuss it. To reporters or anybody else. That's it! We don't hold it up as an example and we don't air our dirty laundry." 

In an earlier interview with Harper's Bazaar, she revealed the couple didn't make this decision because of any prior negative experiences with the press (à la the Olsen twins), but because they never thought to share that information. "Matthew and I come from a different time and place. When we were young people, all we ever wanted was to be good working actors ... nobody talked about being a celebrity. So when our marriage came up in conversation, it wouldn't occur to us that we were obligated to respond to allegations or gossip. You have to be a bit circumspect, but you also have to take up a position, and you have to stick to it," she explained.

Kerry Washington

Early on in her career, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington was quite happy to dish on all the juicy parts of her life — her relationships, her childhood, her desire to have a family someday. But sometime in the late '00s that all changed. On an episode of "Super Soul Sessions" Washington explained to Oprah how a solo trip to the wilderness led to her reevaluating what she wanted out of life and her career. One of the many things she discovered about herself during that "Wild"-esque rebuilding period was a desire to share less of herself with the public.

Washington later explained exactly what led to the decision to keep her private life private in an interview with Lena Dunham for Marie Claire. "There were moments when I wanted to process things that were happening to me more privately, and I didn't have the space to do it, because once you let people in, they're in and you don't get to say, 'Oh, I want this for myself,'" she said. So she set some boundaries and has stuck to them ever since. 

In fact, Washington is so opposed to talking about her life that fans didn't know she was set to marry football player Nnamdi Asomugha until after the wedding was over. Nor were they clued in on the arrival of both of the couple's children, Isabelle and Caleb, until weeks after the bundles of joy had arrived.

Eva Mendes

Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are undeniably one of Hollywood's hottest couples, but aside from their jaw-dropping good looks, the duo shares virtually nothing with the public about their relationship. Neither actor was ever very forthcoming about their personal lives individually, but entering into an off-screen romance seems to have only strengthened their resolve when it comes to keeping certain details of their lives private.

In a now-deleted Instagram comment (via DigitalSpy), Mendes explained her stance on discussing her family, writing, "I have always had a clear boundary when it comes to my man and my kids ... I'll talk about them of course, with limits, but I won't post pictures of our daily life. And since my children are still so little and don't understand what posting their image really means, I don't have their consent. And I won't post their image until they're old enough to give me consent. As far as Ryan and I, it just works for us this way, to stay private."

And stay private they have. The couple has never widely shared how they met (though rumor has it, it was on the set of "The Place Beyond the Pines"), whether they have any intentions of tying the knot, or divulged any of the details of either one of their two pregnancies. Given the fact that Mendes briefly deleted her Instagram account in early 2022 in an effort to separate even more from the public, that most likely won't change anytime soon.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz is a unicorn of a celebrity in that she remains solidly on the A-list while being both retired from acting and ultra-private. The actor hasn't made a new film since "Annie" in 2014 and hasn't given a deeply personal interview in even longer. In an "In Goop Health" episode, Diaz told Gwyneth Paltrow that the decision to stop talking about her personal life — her marriage to "Good Charlotte" guitarist Benji Madden and life with her daughter Raddix Madden — was completely intentional, and in many ways, the reason for her retirement.

"I know a lot of people won't understand it," Diaz told the lifestyle guru. "But it's so intense to work at that level and be that public and put yourself out there. There's a lot of energy coming at you at all times when you're really visible as an actor and doing press and putting yourself out there. I'm sensitive to some energies and not others, but I do get the overwhelming energy of the attention that's being put towards me." Diaz said stepping back from the spotlight allowed her to regain control over her life and what influences it, and stated that control has enabled her to be a better partner and mother.

It seems safe to say that, for Diaz, refusing to speak about her personal life has nothing to do with how she's being perceived, and everything to do with how privacy allows her to better function in the areas that really matter.

Natalie Portman

Many of the celebrities on this list refuse to speak about their personal lives because something shifted — their words were being spun, their priorities changed, they had kids of their own, they needed to rid their worlds of certain energies, etc. — but that is not the case with Natalie Portman. Since she first became a household name in 1999 with "Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” the actor has never really spoken about her private life. Outside of her marriage to Benjamin Millepied, Portman has never publicly confirmed a romance and doesn't share details about either of her children, Aleph and Amalia.

In 2018, she told The Guardian that she felt like this strict delineation between her professional, public life and her personal, private life helped her avoid the public meltdowns many other child and teenage stars have. "In my real life, I feel exposed to the public eye and the concept of celebrity is part of my life. But I do also lead a private, quiet life that is relatively guarded from the excesses. ... My family and my friends are completely separate from my work side," she told the outlet.

As for social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter that would give fans a glimpse into her life outside of Hollywood in a more controlled manner than, say, a tell-all interview? There's no way you'll ever find her on them. Portman told Insider it would just create more unwanted interest in her personal life.

Matt Damon

It's interesting how actors who have equal levels of fame and come from similar backgrounds can wind up taking very different stances regarding how much of their personal lives to share. Take Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, for example. The Boston-born childhood friends both became world-famous with the release of "Good Will Hunting" (a film they wrote and starred in) back in 1997. In the years since, Affleck has been open with fans about almost every aspect of his life — his relationships, his children, his addictions, etc. Meanwhile, Damon has, generally speaking, kept his personal life under wraps.

Damon isn't quite as tight-lipped as someone like Kerry Washington, as he has shared a handful of stories about his life, like how he met his wife, Luciana, but aside from those few canned soundbites, he doesn't offer up many details about his private world. In a 2013 interview with Esquire, Damon acknowledged that being more open might have some career-boosting effects, but said he's fine with trading some of that star power for the ability to live more quietly and be more present with his family. "If you can control the celebrity side of celebrity, then it's worth it," he shared.

The "Bourne" star takes his privacy so seriously that he doesn't even have public social media accounts. However, he did reveal to GQ that he has a private Instagram account, with just over 75 followers, that allows him to stay connected to his friends around the world.

Leighton Meester

In a weird twist of fate, Leighton Meester, who rose to fame in the teenage drama "Gossip Girl" (a series that was literally built on exploiting the private lives and hidden secrets of its fictional characters) is one of Hollywood's quietest players. According to those in Meester's camp, there are a number of reasons for this reluctance to share personal details.

The actor herself told Refinery 29 that she keeps certain things close to the chest in order to avoid being typecast. "I think the perception is: You're an ingenue, or you're an icon, or you're a mom. There's no in between," she told her interviewer. And judging by her filmography, it appears Meester prides herself on being able to play a wide variety of parts successfully, with zero interest in only being cast as a doting mother or happy housewife.

Her husband, "The O.C." heartthrob Adam Brody, offered a different perspective on Meester's media shyness. He told GQ, "She's more inherently private than I am. ... We're homebodies ... we've found this great balance so far that really works for us. We're also not very active on social media." Whatever the primary reason for Meester's refusal to openly discuss her personal life, she's not taking the never-ending interest in it too seriously. In 2013, she told Cosmopolitan that she found the near non-stop scrutiny that comes with being a celebrity funny, noting that the rumor mill has never annoyed her, no matter how ridiculous things have gotten.

Dave Chappelle

Comedian Dave Chappelle has demonstrated time and again that he has no problem sharing his takes and insights with audiences, no matter how controversial or benign they may be. Given his outspoken nature in his stand-up routines, it may come as a surprise that he's as private about his personal life as he is. When he's not shooting Netflix specials or touring, the comic lives in rural Ohio with his wife of 20 years, Elaine, and their three children, Sulayman, Ibrahim, and Sanaa. He so rarely does interviews of any type, that when he sat down with David Letterman for the Netflix series "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction," it caused quite the media firestorm.

During this conversation with the former late-night host, Chappelle laid out exactly why he refuses to share details of his private life, saying, "I don't like being a celebrity, but I like being famous. ... Any job that makes you depend on the approval of others for your livelihood is a crazy job. Most people don't have to worry about whether they're liked or not. ... The more you invest in yourself as a celebrity, the less of yourself you own." 

For him, it seems that doing the job well, and making people laugh, is enough. Moving beyond that, turning himself into a product that can then be consumed by fans who will only want more simply isn't an option. At least, not if he wants to retain his integrity as an individual.

Kate Winslet

When "Titanic" hit theaters, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio's on-screen chemistry sparked rumors that they shared a love connection that was just as strong as the one between Jack and Rose. While they've always denied having a romantic relationship — maintaining that they've only ever been friends — it's not something the tabloids have ever really let go of. Which, as far as Winslet is concerned, might actually be for the best.

The English actor is incredibly closed off when it comes to her personal life, and having this false flag relationship keeps the focus off of her real ones. Winslet has been married three times, most recently to Richard Branson's nephew, Edward Abel Smith, and has three children, though many people likely wouldn't know that unless they've been paying very close attention. She told WSJ Magazine that she's happy with the way things are. "No one really knows what has happened in my life. No one really knows why my first marriage didn't last; no one knows why my second didn't. And I'm proud of those silences," she explained.

So we may not be getting certain details, but what about seeing parts of her out-of-the-spotlight life splashed across social media? Not a chance. Winslet told The New York Times she has no desire to start an Instagram or log in to TikTok because she feels it makes people more focused on curating a specific image of themselves and less present in their real lives. We can't argue with that.


Adele's albums are incredibly emotional and personal, but if the crooner has it her way, the tidbits about her life she shares in those verses will be the only ones fans ever get. When she married her ex-husband, Simon Konecki, back in 2018, she essentially never confirmed their legal union. And when they divorced in 2021, there was no hint as to why (the case went straight to private mediation, which ensured that none of the details could be leaked via court documents). The songstress has also never willingly shared a picture of her son, Angelo, and has yet to outright say that she's dating her current paramour, Rich Paul.

But why is she so private, you may be asking? According to an interview she did with Rolling Stone, her secrecy stems from watching her pal Amy Winehouse struggle under the press' constant attention. "People think I hate being famous," she told the magazine. "And I don't. I'm really frightened of it. I think it's really toxic, and I think it's really easy to be dragged into it. ... Watching Amy deteriorate is one of the reasons I'm a bit frightened. We were all very entertained by her being a mess. ... That level of attention is really frightening." 

By keeping the world completely out of her personal life, Adele can protect herself — and her loved ones — from the dark sides of being in the public eye.

Dolly Parton

Finally, Dolly Parton may be the queen of country music (and the queen of our hearts), but she's not one to share a note more than she needs to when it comes to her personal life. In an interview on Apple Country Music's "The Kelleigh Bannen Show" (via Today), Parton attributed her decision to hold certain things back to her faith and her mother. 

"I learned early on [which parts of my life to hold back]," she explained. "And I think my mama told me when I was young, 'Always keep something back for you. You can give what you've got to give, but don't give it all away. Always keep something for you.'" She continued, stating, "There's a part [of life] that belongs to God and to me. It's a sacred place that just is mine and God's, and I've known how to [hold] that [back] because I think God has directed that."

One particular aspect of her life Parton has chosen to keep quiet about is her relationship with her husband, Carl Dean. Despite the fact that the couple has been married for 50 years (a true feat!), Dean rarely joins Parton at public events and she hardly ever speaks about him in the press. This arrangement seems to have suited them both perfectly well, even if it leaves her fans yearning for more.