Over the years, we’ve seen several celebrity couples fall in love and get married. However, if Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that relationships don’t always mean happily ever after—several A-listers have broken up this year alone.
So, although Tinseltown brings many fame and fortune, astounding genetics and long hours on set have proven to provoke all kinds of scandals throughout the years—and we’d be lying if we said weren’t often fascinated by the compelling details of celebrity relationship breakdowns.
From Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy, to David Beckham and Rebecca Loos, there’s been a fair amount of outrageous affairs in pop culture history—which have often ended in bitter divorce and ignominy.
Here, the most scandalous celebrity affairs which shook the entertainment industry.
1. Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy
Rumours first circulated that the two had an affair when the President was married to Jackie Kennedy, which were further spurred by Monroe’s sultry performance of “Happy Birthday” to the president. It was also rumoured that Monroe had an affair with JFK’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. It was believed that the circulation of these affairs led Monroe to her suicide.
2. David Beckham and Rebecca Loos
In 2004, David Beckham’s personal assistant Rebecca Loos claimed they had sexual relations, referring to herself as the soccer player’s “second wife.” This led Beckham to issue a statement whereby he said “the simple truth is that I am very happily married. I have a wonderful wife and two very special kids. There is nothing any third party can do to change these facts.” Although causing a strain in his relationship with former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, the fashion designer told [V Magazine] that “there have been bumps along the road. But the fact is we’ve come out of everything we’ve been through stronger and happier.”
Loos went on to appear in TV shows including Celebrity Love Island and The Farm.
3. Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher
One of the biggest scandals of the 1950s was the affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher. Fisher, who was married to Debbie Reynolds at the time, comforted Taylor when her husband Mike Todd died—and later fell for the actress. He divorced Reynolds and married Taylor in 1959. However, just five years later Taylor divorced Fisher for her Cleopatra co-star Richard Burton. They were married in 1964.
4. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston when sparks flew on set while filming Mr. & Mrs. Smith with co-star Angelina Jolie. Aniston filed for divorce in 2005, and Jolie later caused a stir in 2008, when she said in an interview that she that she and Pitt were looking forward to their children seeing Mr. & Mrs Smith one day: “not a lot of people get to see a movie where their parents fell in love.” The couple split late last year, after a 10-year relationship.
5. Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley
In 1995, Grant was arrested in Los Angeles for misdemeanour lewd conduct in a public place, with Hollywood prostitute Divine Brown—he was in a relationship with Hurley at the time. The actor pleaded no contest and paid a fine. Some days later he appeared on The Tonight Show, where he said, “I did a bad thing,” which saved his career and saw public forgiveness. Although Hurley forgave Grant initially, they later split in 2000.
6. Jude Law and Sienna Miller
In 2005, Jude Law admitted that he had cheated on his fiancée Sienna Miller with his children’s nanny. Law soon made a public apology, which stated, “I’m deeply ashamed and upset that I’ve hurt Sienna.” The nanny, Daisy Wright, did a tell-all interview where she said that Law is a “great lover.” Law and Miller soon split. However, years later Miller was photographed topless and kissing actor Balthazar Getty, a married man with four children.
7. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen revealed she and Schwarzenegger had an affair while he was married to Maria Shriver, in a memoir published in 2011. Schwarzenegger later admitted to the affair, which prompted the end of his 25-year marriage to the Kennedy family daughter and newswoman.
8. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James
Several years after Sandra Bullock married Jesse James, a motorcycle customiser, many women claimed to have affairs with James during his relationship with Bullock. Michelle McGee, a dancer, revealed that she had sex with James on the couch in his office behind Bullock’s back. As a result of the rumours, James soon confessed and issued a public apology asking for forgiveness. Bullock filed for divorce in April, 2010 and then adopted a baby boy as a single mother.
9. Kristen Stewart, Rupert Sanders and Robert Pattinson
In July 2012, Kristen Stewart made headlines for cheating on her boyfriend and co-star Robert Pattinson with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders—he was married at the time. Stewart later publicly apologised to Pattinson and they resumed their relationship, however, later that year split. Stewart is now dating Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell.
10. David Letterman and Regina Lasko
In 2009, six months after marrying long-time girlfriend Regina Lasko, The Late Show host admitted to being involved in a sex scandal. He admitted on the show that he “had sex with women who work for me on this show.” He later spoke to Oprah about dealing with the fallout from cheating on his wife and mother of his son: “I’m still trying to fix it.”
11. Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods
In 2009, the National Enquirer reported that Woods cheated on his wife with nightclub manager Rachel Uchitel. Rumours soon emerged that Nordegren attacked Woods with a golf club, and he responded by naming the issue a “private matter.” More than 12 women soon claimed to have flings with Woods, sharing texts and voice mails as proof, which finally led Woods to admit to infidelity and apologise. As a result of this, Woods lost several endorsements, had to take a break from tournaments and divorced his wife in 2010. He is now dating skier, Lindsay Vonn.
12. Soon Yi Previn and Woody Allen
In 1992, Woody Allen began an illicit affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his long-time girlfriend Mia Farrow. The affair was discovered by Farrow after she found raunchy nude photos of Soon-Yi, which were taken by Allen. The director was highly criticised by the media and public, by which his defence was that “the heart wants what it wants.” Allen and Previn later married in 1997, and have adopted two daughters together.
From Harper’s Bazaar Australia