Hollywood’s married couples may have perfect relationships on the outside, but sometimes issues behind closed doors led to pretty messy divorces.
Some of these messy divorces end in years-long battles of he-said, she-said — not to mention legal woes and careers that suffer because of the gossip. While Johnny Depp and Amber Heard finalized their divorce in 2017, the drama surrounding their split, and mutual accusations of abuse, continue to make headlines. Other celebrities become synonymous with their divorces — Tom Cruise’s split with Nicole Kidman and then Katie Holmes still raises eyebrows.
From box-office favorites to athletes to America’s one-time pop-star super couple — no one is seemingly immune to heartbreak.
When Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey tied the knot in October 2002, things looked perfect. The pair had their own reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, and they were two mega-stars — what could have possibly gone wrong? Well, the “With You” songstress recounted what lead to their split in her 2018 memoir Open Book.
“I wanted my marriage to look perfect. I didn’t mind if I looked dumb, but I wanted people to see the fairy tale in Nick. In us,” she wrote about their marriage and subsequent reality show. “I had the Instagram-girlfriend syndrome before it was a thing, and I wanted the world to see my husband in the best light because I was hopelessly in love with him.”
When it came to putting their romance on camera, Jessica remembered feeling like they had become “actors in our own lives, playing ourselves.” After trying marriage counseling, the songstress explained that she was done. In November 2005 she told Nick that she wanted a divorce and later moved her stuff out of their shared home when he wasn’t there. He begged her to stay but she ultimately decided to split.
“I would accuse him of having wandering eyes, and he would rip into me, making sure I knew I was the one causing the problems in our marriage,” Jessica added in Open Book. “There was something Nick wanted from me that I no longer had, an emptiness I couldn’t fill, and neither could he.”
These two well-known stars aren’t the only ones who faced similar situations over the year. Two of Brad Pitt‘s divorces have been widely publicized, while Kim Kardashian married and divorced in less than a year. Some couples — like Hulk Hogan and Linda Hogan — stayed together for well over 20 years, and others — like Tommy Lee and Pamela Anderson — got divorced then rekindled their relationship before ending things for good! Wondering what other major celebrities have faced messy divorces over the years? Scroll through our gallery for a full list.