Athlete-Celebrity Couples You Probably Didn't Know About

This article contains references to eating disorders and addiction. 

Celebrities have been dating all kinds of people in and outside their world since the idea of fame was first conceptualized. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, a particularly high percentage of celebs have dated and married athletes over the years. Granted, athletes are celebrities as well, but they occupy a different world outside of the sphere of influence found in Hollywood or the fashion world of New York, Milan, and Paris ... except, of course, for those athletes who dabble in the fashion industry.

Regardless of how they interact, the number of celebrities who work outside of professional sports who have dated those on the inside is staggering. For whatever reason, athletes and celebrities match up more than most groups, and there are plenty of relationships famous folks have had with them over the years. Many like Gisele Bündchen and Gabrielle Union found their husbands in pro sports, but that doesn't mean they didn't date other athletes before tying the knot.

Bündchen didn't marry the first athlete she dated, and she's not alone. The celebrities on this list dated many different people over the years, so there's a good chance their fans have forgotten about some of their less recent dalliances. Odds are, most readers will recognize most or all of the athletes and celebrities listed here. Still, few will know of their past relationships, as many have gone on to marry other people. Regardless of whomever they eventually ended up with, these celebrities had no problem finding someone special in the world of sports.

Gisele Bündchen and Kelly Slater

Gisele Bündchen is one of the most well-known fashion models working in the industry. Prominent for having been a Victoria's Secret Angel for seven years, she's also one of the highest-paid models in the world. In 2007, Claudia Schiffer called the Brazilian beauty the only remaining supermodel in the world, telling Fivetonine (via Vogue UK), "Her face is well known, her name is recognized. No other girl occurs to me that people in the street would recognize."

Bündchen is undoubtedly a well-known celebrity, but when people think about her relationship status, they probably skip directly to her marriage with Tom Brady. The legendary quarterback is as famous as his wife, though he's known for his time on the gridiron, which took him to ten Super Bowls, of which he helped win seven. The two married in 2009. However, before Bündchen settled on her hubby, she dated two professional athletes. In 2002, she enjoyed a romance with Brazilian polo player Ricardo Mansur. Later, she found love with professional surfer Kelly Slater from 2005 to 2006. 

Mansur isn't as well known as Slater, so those unfamiliar with professional polo probably aren't aware of that relationship. Slater, on the other hand, is the most famous surfer in the world, according to Florida Today. People pay attention when the top surfer dates the top model. But seeing as their relationship was relatively brief and so long ago, fans of either can be forgiven for forgetting they dated.

Adam Levine and Maria Sharapova

Adam Levine is easily one of the biggest celebrities in the world of music. Having earned his name as the singer of Maroon 5 in the mid-'90s, the singer picked up tons of new fans by becoming one of the coaches on NBC's "The Voice" in 2011. The performer has been married to Victoria's Secret model Behati Prinsloo since 2014, and the couple has two children together. However, Levine's fans know of his penchant for dating models such as Rebecca Ginos, Arielle Vandeberg, Anne Vyalitsana, and many more. Still, he's been known to stray from that profession from time to time.

In addition to dating models, he's dated at least one professional athlete in the form of Maria Sharapova. For a time, the sports star was the world's No. 1 tennis player with a mantle weighed down with trophies, Olympic gold medals, and more. Sharapova has since retired from the sport and in 2020, she announced her engagement to Alexander Gilkes, a British businessman. 

According to SF Gate, the rumored couple was linked in 2005 after having met at Sharapova's 18th birthday party, where Maroon 5 performed. Two years later, and presumably long after they'd both moved on, an odd rumor emerged. Per Lainey Gossip, Levine was said to have been disappointed that the infamously loud tennis star was quiet in bed, with him reportedly claiming, "She just lay there like a dead frog." A spokesperson for the star denied their romance and the statement.

Jeremy Piven and Kelly Kelly

Jeremy Piven has been in numerous high-profile roles with his most prominent work arriving with the character of Ari Gold on "Entourage," from 2004 to 2011. That role earned him a Golden Globe and three Primetime Emmy Awards. Those who didn't know him from "Entourage" likely recall his portrayal of Spence Kovak on "Ellen," a role that he repeated in guest appearances on numerous series in the 1990s.

While Piven has never been married, he's been seen with a lot of famous women over the years, and he's definitely got a thing for actors and models. According to Daily Mail, he's dated his fair share, including Sophie Turner, January Jones, and Vanessa Marcil. The only professional athlete he's been seen with in public is Barbie Blank, better known to her WWE fans by her professional name, Kelly Kelly. The two were spotted at a Jets game in 2009, and as far as the gossip rags were concerned, they were a couple.

They were seen at the game shortly after Piven guest-hosted WWE Raw, which is how they met. According to a post on Jim Ross' blog (via Bleacher Report), he saw Piven getting Blank's phone number a few weeks before they were publicly seen together. Still, neither Piven nor Blank have ever confirmed they were dating, so this relationship remains a rumor until that changes. 

Eliza Dushku and Rick Fox

Eliza Dushku's breakout role came via "True Lies" in 1994, but she's probably best known for playing Faith on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" between 1998 and 2003. If you call yourself a fan, you probably know she married professional tennis player Peter Palandjian in 2018. What you may not know is that her husband isn't her first athlete relationship — he's her third! Before marrying Palandjian, Dushku dated two athletes: MLB player Brad Penny and NBA player Rick Fox. The latter relationship was more serious than the former, as they were together from 2009 to 2014.

Fox joined the Boston Celtics in 1991 and left the organization to play for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1997. He continued to play until 2004, the same year he divorced Vanessa Williams. Five years later, he began dating Dushku, and by all accounts, the couple was doing well. In 2011, Fox told US Weekly, that he and his actor girlfriend had talked about potentially getting hitched. Part of that conversation, apparently, involved Dushku being honest about balancing her life goals. "Whether she wants to have kids or go back to school — whatever she wants to do," he added.

When they broke up three years later, Dushku told The Boston Globe that it was due to cultural differences, saying, "Rick's an L.A. guy, and I'm a Boston girl." She bought a new pad close to her childhood home and went on to study holistic psychology at college.

Sherri Shepherd and MVP

Sherri Shepherd has been an active comedian, writer, and actress since the mid-1990s and is probably best known for co-hosting "The View" from 2007 to 2014. That gig earned her a Daytime Emmy Award and a lot of recognition for her work. She even competed in the 14th season of "Dancing with the Stars" and has been a hot commodity for a long time. Shepherd was previously married from 2001 to 2009 before marrying for a second time in 2011, though neither relationship was with an athlete.

There was a brief time between marriages when Shepherd was dating Montel Vontavious Porter, best known to fans of the WWE by his initials MVP. Of course, nobody knew at the time that they were dating, as most people learned of their union when it came to an end. According to the Chicago Tribune, the two met at a WWE live event, and before long, they attended Shepherd's former high school's prom. The two were seen dancing at Hoffman Estate High School to MVP's theme song, "I'm Comin."

That outing made some news, but most fans appeared to hear about their relationship on "The View," when Shepherd revealed that she and MVP had stopped seeing one another (via Wrestling Inc). In truth, they were seen at several events in 2009, including a red carpet walk at the BET Awards

Everyone and Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter is one of those names pretty much everyone knows, even if they've never seen him play ball. Jeter spent 20 years in the MLB, playing for the New York Yankees. He racked up numerous records and is considered one of his generation's greatest athletes. Instead of detailing a celebrity who dated Jeter, it's far easier to reveal the incredibly long and impressive list of celebs Jeter dated over the years, many of which his fans have likely forgotten about.

Jeter's dating history reads like a who's who of Hollywood. While he's dated models, he clearly has a preference for dating actors. The list is long and features several women more than once, as his relationships have been on-again, off-again with some. Jeter married Hannah Davis in 2016 after the couple began seeing one another in 2012. Before that, he was all over the place in the dating world and was linked to stars including (deep breath ... !) Minka Kelly, Adriana Lima, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Scarlett Johansson, Tyra Banks, Jordana Brewster, Joy Enriquez, Lara Dutta, and Mariah Carey.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of these names regularly feature on lists regarding the most beautiful women of all time. Despite jumping from one starlet to the next, Jeter and Davis appear to be living a happy life in Florida, so his days of dating some of the most desirable women on the planet are over. 

Jewel and Charlie Whitehurst

Jewel is one of the most widely-recognized singer-songwriters around, and she's been releasing hits since her 1995 debut album, "Pieces of You." In 2021, she surprised many when she won the sixth season of "The Masked Singer" as the Queen of Hearts. Less surprising is her history of relationships with athletes. In 2008, she notably married professional rodeo cowboy Ty Murray. However, the two got divorced six years later which opened the door for her to date another sports star.

Enter NFL quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, whom Jewel started dating a year later. At the start of their romance, he was playing for the Tennessee Titans before moving on to the Indianapolis Colts. Despite both having sizable fan bases, most fans likely didn't know of their union due to the lack of news coverage. Still, it didn't help that the couple likes to keep their relationship and private lives away from the prying eyes of the public.

Impressively, Jewel and Whitehurst kept quiet about their relationship for almost a year. She explained to People, "I was very slow about going public ... We're not people to go out on 'the scene.'" That changed in January 2016, when Jewel let the cat out of the bag by posting a picture on Instagram of herself and her boyfriend standing in front of a Porsche. A quick scroll through Jewel's Insta reveals Whitehurst in several shots, including one taken at the British Virgin Islands during a tropical island getaway.

George Clooney and Stacy Keibler

George Clooney is easily one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and he has been for a long time. Though his career began in 1983, it wasn't until 1994 when he landed the role of Dr. Doug Ross on "ER" that he started his ascent to international superstardom. Starring in big-budget films like the "Ocean's" trilogy, "Gravity," and "Ticket to Paradise," to name a few, he became one of Hollywood's most renowned and beloved stars.

It won't surprise anyone to hear that the charismatic star has been attached to a number of impressive women over the years. In 2014, he married Amal Alamuddin, but that wasn't his first marriage. He was previously wed to Talia Balsam from 1989 to 1993. Between those marriages, Clooney dated Lucy Liu, Lisa Snowdon, Kimberly Russell, Elisabetta Canalis, Monika Jakisic, Kelly Preston, Krista Allen, Sarah Larson, and Céline Balitran, according to US Weekly.

Clooney also dated Stacy Keibler for two years, beginning in 2011. Best known for her work with WCW and the WWE, she wrestled as a member of the Nitro Girls. The entirety of their relationship attracted huge tabloid attention, particularly concerning Keibler's wrestling career. "She's very tall ... she can kick my a*s," Clooney proudly told E! News (via Page Six) about his then-girlfriend. Sadly they called it quits in 2013, after reportedly growing apart. According to Elle, the "Solaris" star was first spotted on a date with Alamuddin just three months later.

Alyssa Milano and Barry Zito

Alyssa Milano is probably best known for three things: she played Samantha Micelli on "Who's the Boss?," Phoebe Halliwell on "Charmed," and she provided the inspiration for Star-Lord to name his ship, The Milano. Add to that an acting career that began in 1984, and you have one of the hardest working women in Hollywood. Recently, Milano became an outspoken advocate of the MeToo movement and has made headlines working for that cause in recent years. 

Milano has been married twice, with her first wedding (and subsequent divorce) happening in 1999. Although her first husband, Cinjun Tate, was a singer, her dating history suggests she has a thing for athletes. Over the years, Milano has dated several professional athletes, some known to her fanbase and some that seemingly went by unnoticed.

Per Ranker, throughout the early '00s, Milano dated a slew of MLB players reportedly including Brad Penny, Tom Glavine, Carl Pavano, and Barry Zito. However, by 2007, the actor had sworn off dating baseball players. Speaking to Details magazine (via People), she griped, "I've gotten such s*** about my dating choices ... Like, every single article ... is about how I'm 'the chick that dates athletes,' and there's an insane double standard going on." While she mentioned wanting to find herself a nice reliable tradesman to date instead, she eventually found love with talent agent David Bugliari, who she married in 2009.

Demi Lovato and Luke Rockhold

Demi Lovato is one of the biggest names in music, and they are known for releasing a number of hits over the years. The star has also been acting since they were ten, having appeared on "Barney & Friends" before making the jump to feature films via "Camp Rock" in 2008. Following a public struggle with addiction and an eating disorder, the star has since proudly found sobriety and managed to maintain a thriving career as a musician and host of the podcast, "4D with Demi Lovato." While Lovato has never been married, they have dated a lot of notable people.

According to Elle, their dating history includes numerous actors, including Cody Linley of "Hannah Montana" fame, Miley Cyrus' older brother Trace, and their co-star from the "Camp Rock" films, Joe Jonas. As Lovato matured, they began dating older men, including Wilmer Valderrama, who is 12 years older than Lovato. After that relationship ended, Lovato began dating Luke Rockhold, a UFC fighter. 

That relationship likely flew under the radar for most fans, as it lasted less than a year. According to TMZ, when that relationship ended, they wasted no time in dating another professional athlete – MMA fighter Guilherme ”Bomba” Vasconcelos. Similarly, that relationship didn't last, and after a few months, they went their separate ways. According to an insider's comment to People, their relationship was more of a casual spring fling than anything serious.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

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).

Olivia Munn and Aaron Rodgers

Olivia Munn had a breakout role as a correspondent on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," and from there, she became an international star. She's gone on to appear in numerous television shows and films, including "The Newsroom," "Iron Man," and "X-Men: Apocalypse." In 2021, she began a long-term relationship with comedian John Mulaney shortly after his divorce. Before dating the comedian, Munn was attached to several celebrities, both in and outside her acting circle. According to Us Weekly, Munn dated Bryan Greenberg, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake, and Mathew Morrison, to name a few. She also dated some athletes, including a two-month relationship with NHL player Brad Richards and another athlete you may have heard of before: Aaron Rodgers. 

The Green Bay Packers sports star has been called one of the most talented quaterbacks of all time. While the couple appeared to enjoy one another's company, Rodgers' family was rumored to be on the fence about the actor. An insider claimed to Us Weekly, "When he got together with Olivia Munn, his family told him they didn't trust her and thought she wasn't with him for the right reasons." As a result, Rodgers allegedly chose his girlfriend over his family's objections. In April 2017, People reported that the two had ended their three-year relationship on friendly terms. Regardless, that didn't stop Munn from dishing her perspective of the family drama when she was a guest on "Radio Andy" a year later.

Amy Schumer and Dolph Ziggler

Amy Schumer started pursuing a career in comedy in the early 2000s. She hit her big break as a contestant on the fifth season of "Last Comic Standing," which springboarded her career, eventually landing her own Comedy Central sketch show, "Inside Amy Schumer." While the comic married professional chef Chris Fischer in 2018, she'd also dated a number of men prior to getting hitched, many of whom worked outside of her industry.  Notably, in 2012, Schumer began a brief relationship with WWE wrestler Nicholas Theodore Nemeth, better known by his stage name, Dolph Ziggler. 

Neither party spoke about their romance when they were dating. However, Schumer discussed their relationship after the fact during an appearance on "The Howard Stern Show," where she explained that their connection wasn't a match. "The sex was too athletic," she joked to the shock jock. Following her statements, Ziggler told the "Notsam Wrestling" podcast that he received an influx of messages about her interview. "I was actually flying home, and turned on my phone off the plane to 78 voicemails or so," he said, adding that the two were pals and that he loved being a part of her comedy. That's for the best given that John Cena's character in Schumer's semi-autobiographical movie "Trainwreck" was rumored to be inspired by Ziggler. She's also worked some affectionate mentions of her time with the wrestler into a few routines.

Rihanna and Matt Kemp

Having sold over 60 million albums and achieved 14 number-one hits, Rihanna is one of the biggest recording artists of all time. In fact, the superstar's mantle is probably overflowing with trophies, thanks to the colossal amount of awards she's picked up throughout her musical career. The woman is an industry in and of herself, and she's one of the most famous celebrities of all time, so you know her dating history has been a mainstay of the tabloids for a long time.

According to Us Weekly, she dated Ryan Phillippe for a short time in 2010, and she's also dated Leonardo DiCaprio — who's dated several women mentioned in this article. She's also been linked to Travis Scott, Drake, A$AP Rocky, and Chris Brown, among others. However, Rihanna has dated more than one professional athlete since she hit the big time. In 2015, she was spotted hanging out with Formula One racecar driver Lewis Hamilton. An insider told Us Weekly that Rihanna had also enjoyed a not-too-serious relationship with soccer star Karim Benzema just a year earlier. 

Another professional athlete Rihanna dated that few people recall is Matt Kemp, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers. She started seeing Kemp after her public breakup with Chris Brown in 2009. An insider close to Rihanna described her relationship with Matt Kemp, to Us Magazine (via Today), saying, "It was never as serious as it looked. It was always just [about] having fun." They broke up in December 2010.

Olivia Culpo and Danny Amendola

Olivia Culpo snatched the title of Miss Universe in 2012. Following her win, she had a great deal of exposure, which came with plenty of attention from interested suitors — including Nick Jonas. The pair dated for nearly two years and seemingly almost got engaged on live TV before breaking it off in June 2015. Four years later, she briefly dated superstar DJ, Zedd, and began dating Carolina Packers running back, Christian McCaffrey, according to The Sun. However, he's not the first athlete or NFL player that Culpo's gone out with. 

In fact, she's dated several football players over the years, including legendary quarterback Tim Tebow. That relationship only lasted from September to November 2015. Another famous athlete who courted Culpo is Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte. They were rumored to be dating in September 2012, though it's unclear if they were officially together.

Many fans might not recall that Culpo also started dating NFL wide receiver Danny Amendola in 2016. They took a break from each other in March 2018 but returned to the relationship in July of that year. Ultimately, Amendola and Culpo couldn't make things work and had split for good by November amid rumors that he'd cheated on the former Miss Universe. On Instagram (via People), the NFL star ranted about the differences between him and his ex in a post he quickly deleted. "I believe there should be a boundary btw private life and social media," he wrote. "Olivia believes in fishbowl lifestyle."