Over the years, we have watched many celebrity couples fall in love and walk down the aisle, but that doesn’t always mean it’s happily ever after. Actually, it seems like celebrity relationships often end with bitter divorces.
During or after the divorce, we often find out the gritty details of what led to the couple’s split. Sometimes an affair shocks the public; other times it’s how someone cheated that’s more shocking. Here are the most shocking celebrity affairs ever. Perhaps the most brutal affair of all (it broke up two famous couples) is on page 9.
1. Gavin Rossdale and the nanny
How he got caught: the family iPad
It surprises few when a Hollywood husband cheats with the nanny. Gavin Rossdale’s former wife, Gwen Stefani, can thank technology for uncovering the truth. “The iPad was linked to Gavin’s phone,” a source told Us Weekly. Stefani saw explicit texts and nude photos between Rossdale and one of their nannies.
“One of the other nannies discovered the exchange and told Gwen.” After firing Rossdale’s lover, Stefani and Rossdale swiftly divorced him. Stefani moved on to country music star, Blake Shelton, once she started judging on The Voice.
Next: Perhaps the most high-profile affair in the sports world
2. Tiger Woods and multiple women
How he got caught: a combination of phone calls and text messages
The golf pro flew under the radar of celebrity gossip for a long time. But this changed when his wife, Elin Nordegren chased him with a golf club. He tried to get away in his 2009 Escalade only to crash into hedges, according to the New York Post. It was later revealed that Woods cheated on Nordegren with multiple women. And the press got a hold of a voicemail he left on one of his mistresses’ phones:
Hey, it’s, uh … it’s Tiger. Can you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone and, uh, may be calling you. So if you can, please take your name off that. And, um … just have it as a number on the voice mail. OK? You got to do this for me. Huge. Quickly. All right, bye.
It later came out that the professional golf player cheated on his wife with as many as 13 women. Three years after the scandal, their divorce was finalized.
Next: This TV personality got his friend’s wife pregnant.
3. Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman
How he got caught: His lover got pregnant.
News came out that the music producer and reality TV judge was expecting a baby with his friend, Andrew Silverman’s estranged wife, Lauren Silverman. According to Us Weekly, the two started their affair in 2009 while she was still married. This was four years before she got pregnant with Cowell’s child.
So how does Cowell feel about the affair? “I regret that part,” he said according to the Mirror. “But then, of course, you have a baby and you look at the baby and you kinda go ‘this is what happened from it.'” The two married in 2013.
Next: This rocker left his marriage for an 18-year-old.
4. Marilyn Manson and Evan Rachel Wood
How he got caught: His wife recognized his inappropriate relationship.
Evan Rachel Wood met the metal star when she was 18 years old. The two started dating when he was still married to Dita Von Teese. Manson later got a divorce and continued his relationship with Wood. They eventually got engaged, but broke it off before walking down the aisle.
“Most teenagers are searching for identity, and I was thrown into a situation where I was supposed to have that already figured out,” explained Wood to Rolling Stone. “Then you’re demonized for figuring it out and getting messy. People would call me a wh*re when I walked down the street, and you can’t not be hurt by that.”
Next: The material girl has been involved in a lot of cheating.
5. Madonna and Alex Rodriguez
How he got caught: Gossip magazines reported the affair.
The baseball player was married to Cynthia Scurtis when he had an affair with Madonna. This was reportedly the last straw for Scurtis. “The embarrassment over Madonna was the last straw,” a source told People Magazine. “She flew to Paris to get out of town before everything blew up between them.” The two ended up getting a divorce. Madonna was also married at the time and denied rumors of an affair.
Next: The proof was in the picture for this high-profile divorce.
6. Robin Thicke and a woman at a club
How he got caught: a revealing photograph
The R&B singer was married to Paula Patton when pictures of him hanging with another woman in a club were released. In a mirror reflection, you can clearly see Thicke grabbing the woman’s butt. It wasn’t long afterward that the couple announced their divorce.
This was reportedly not the only time Thicke was unfaithful. Patton wrote in court documents that in 2013, after celebrating Valentine’s Day together, she “later learned that after I had fallen asleep, Robin had attempted to have sex with some girl in the second bedroom. …When I confronted Robin about this, he admitted to attempting to have sex with the stranger, but stated that he ended up being unable to do so because of the amount of cocaine that he used that evening had caused him to be unable to perform.”
Next: What goes around comes around … at least for this couple.
7. Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott
How they got caught: a risque tabloid photograph
Initially, Tori Spelling was married to Charlie Shanian and Dean McDermott was married to Mary Jo Eustace. Spelling and McDermott started working together on the TV movie, Mind Over Murder, when they started their affair. Both of them got divorced and ended up getting married. They then starred on a reality television show together.
“I mean, he was married. … We had sex the first night we met,” Spelling later revealed on True Tori. What is even more interesting is that McDermott was later caught cheating on Spelling. “Dean and I met when we were both married to other people, so now that this has happened to me, I know a lot of people are like, ‘Well, karma’s a b*tch,'” she continued.
Next: Who could cheat on this beloved Oscar winner?
8. Jesse James and multiple women
How he got caught: gossip magazines corroborated affairs from many sources
Jesse James and Sandra Bullock were still married when multiple women came forward in 2010 saying they had had affairs with James. There was reportedly at least four women who he cheated on Bullock with. The married couple ended up getting a divorce later that year.
James is resentful over the public backlash. “Yeah, I did cheat on my wife,” James said according to the Daily Mail. “Yeah, I stood up and took accountability for it and apologized. And that’s end of story … The easy [potshot] is like, ‘Oh, well you cheated on Sandra Bullock.’ That’s the world’s easiest comeback.”
Next: This affair shocked the spouses and kids involved.
9. LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian
How they got caught: LeAnn Rimes’ then-husband returned to her movie set and noticed a “huge shift” in the atmosphere.
Both Rimes and Eddie Cibrian were married when they met on the set of Northern Lights. It wasn’t long until it came out that the two were having an affair. Rimes’ husband, Dean Sheremet, revealed how he felt while visiting the show’s set. “I felt like this pathetic husband hanging around. I was very aware of how others were looking at me. … I was like, ‘Why am I here? I don’t need to be babysitting someone on set.'” Both Rimes and Cibrian divorced from their spouses and then got married.
Next: This famous rocker couple smoothed things over.
10. Ozzy Osbourne and a hair stylist
How he got caught: She found his emails.
The Black Sabbath frontman married Sharon Osbourne in 1982 and they remain together — a rare feat in Hollywood. So it shocked everyone when Sharon learned about Ozzy’s affair with a hair stylist. Once again, technology revealed an affair. “Sharon found out about the affair by searching through Ozzy’s emails,” a source told the Mirror. “She was upset that he was supporting this woman!”
Their daughter, Kelly, outed the hair stylist by tweeting her number with: “Anyone looking for cheap chunky LOW-lights a blow out and a blowjob call ***********.” When Sharon returned to The Talk she opened up about her decision to leave him. “I’m 63 years of age and I can’t keep living like this. He’s given me an unbelievable life and he’s given me three gorgeous children and I love him.” The two are still married.
Next: This famous face once stood for family values.
11. Josh Duggar and Ashley Madison website users
How he got caught: the infamous Ashley Madison leak
The husband starred with his family on the reality TV show, 19 Kids and Counting. He married Anna Keller during that time. When Ashley Madison, the dating website for married people was hacked, it came out that Josh Duggar reportedly had multiple profiles on the website.
According to reports, he paid almost $1,000 to the website, according to the Daily Mail. It’s unclear if the husband actually met anyone on the website, but he was seeking someone outside of his marriage.
Next: This affair made fans pick a side.
12. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
How he got caught: It’s complicated.
Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston when he started working with Angelina Jolie on the film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Soon reports surfaced that Pitt cheated on Aniston with Jolie. Sources confirmed the rumor, and Pitt and Aniston divorced in 2005. Jolie and Pitt went on to date for years before marrying in 2014. Years later, the two actors felt more comfortable opening up about their affair. Jolie explained how the action movie brought them together.
Because of the film, we ended up being brought together to do all these crazy things, and I think we found this strange friendship and partnership that kind of just suddenly happened. I think a few months in I realized, ‘God, I can’t wait to get to work.’ … Anything we had to do with each other, we just found a lot of joy in it together and a lot of real teamwork. We just became kind of a pair.
Next: Kissing led to marital chaos for these coworkers.
13. Katharine McPhee and Michael Morris
How they got caught: They were photographed kissing.
The Smash actress had an affair with the show’s married director, Michael Morris. She was married to Nick Cokas when she was photographed kissing Morris. McPhee ended up getting a divorce, but when asked if she would change things if she could go back, she said no. “I don’t have any regrets,” she told Ocean Drive magazine. “All of the choices I made I learned from in a really deep way.”
Next: This famous voice couldn’t stay faithful.
14. Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner
How they got caught: Frank Sinatra left his marriage.
The crooner and actress had an affair while Sinatra was still married to his first wife, Nancy. He eventually left Nancy for Ava Gardner, who he married in 1951. The drama didn’t stop there. Sinatra was also unfaithful to Gardner in their marriage, so they got a divorce in 1957.
Next: Cheating on a pregnant woman is even worse.
15. Hank Baskett and a model
How he got caught: Tabloids broke the news.
The married couple, Hank Baskett and Kendra Wilkinson, starred on reality television together, so it was very shocking when it came out that he reportedly cheated on Wilkinson while she was pregnant. After the news came out, Baskett opened up about the situation. “I messed up,” he told People Magazine. “I put myself in a bad situation. And everything through me brought pain upon this family.”
Wilkinson claimed he was trying to buy some pot when he went to a bathroom and found two transgender women making out and one was nude. He then claimed one of them fondled him. “I didn’t engage in anything,” he continued. “It was like a bank robbery. You never know when you’ll freeze. I don’t know if it was a couple of seconds or 15 seconds, because all I was saying was get out, get out, get out.” The two have moved on from the situation and are still together.
Next: A sex tape next helps the matter.
16. Hulk Hogan and Heather Cole
How he got caught: a sex tape
The press released a sex tape of Hulk Hogan having sex with Heather Cole in 2012. She was married to his friend, Bubba the Love Sponge. Hogan ended up suing Gawker for releasing the tape. Cole then revealed in court that the situation wasn’t exactly cheating since her husband asked her to have sex with Hogan, according to the NY Daily News.
Next: This affair separated a famous political couple, but they’re still legally married years later.
17. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Mildred Baena
How he got caught: His wife called out his former lover.
The actor and former governor has been married to Maria Shriver for over 25 years, but not without scandal. Arnold Schwarzenegger actually fathered a son with their maid, Mildred Baena. The son reportedly looked so much like his father that Shriver developed suspicions.
“Maria would ask if I needed to talk to her,” said Baena according to People Magazine, “and I kept saying no. Finally, she asked point blank. Maria asked me directly if Joseph was Arnold’s son, and I just broke down. I dropped to my knees and I was crying, saying that yes he was and I was so sorry.” The married couple separated in 2011, but remain married to this day.
Next: This British actor got caught in the act.
18. Hugh Grant and a sex worker
How he got caught: The police arrested him in the act.
Hugh Grant was with actress Elizabeth Hurley when police caught and arrested him for having sex in a car with a sex worker in 1995. He allegedly paid $60 for oral sex, according to The Guardian. The couple tried to make it work, but eventually broke up in 2000. Grant and Hurley managed to stay friends after all these years. He is the godfather of her son and she is the godmother to one of his daughters, according to Us Weekly.
Next: Two Hollywood actors and one “girl next door”
19. Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe
How they got caught: filed for divorce
Meg Ryan was married to Dennis Quaid when she started working on the thriller, Proof of Life. Things heated up with her co-star, Russell Crowe, to the point that they reportedly engaged in an affair. This led to a pretty messy divorce for Ryan, while Crowe was with actress Danielle Spencer at the time.
Next: This affair nearly ruined a movie franchise.
20. Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders
How she got caught: She was photographed kissing her director.
At the time, the actress was dating her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson. But she ended up breaking his heart along with fans of the vampire movies when paparazzi photographed her with Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders. Eventually, she and Pattinson broke up. “I lit my universe on fire and I watched it burn,” she told Marie Claire. “Speaking very candidly, it was a really traumatic period in my early 20s that kick-started something in me that was a bit more feral.”
Next: These two couples swapped spouses.
21. Eddie Fisher and Elizabeth Taylor
How they got caught: Tabloids broke the news.
The crooner and first wife, Debbie Reynolds, had a strong friendship with married couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd. After Todd died, Taylor found comfort in Eddie Fisher. The news eventually came out that they were having an affair and Fisher was leaving Reynolds to marry Taylor.
“At the time, I thought it was simply that [Eddie Fisher] was filling this terrible void for [Elizabeth Taylor], and totally friendship, which turned into another issue, but I really don’t think that she pursued that,” explained Reynolds, according to ET. “I mean, that was Eddie wanting everything that Mike Todd had — and to be Mike Todd. Didn’t work out. You can’t be somebody else.”
Next: Jewelry won back this betrayed wife.
22. Kobe Bryant and a hotel concierge
How he got caught: accused of sexual assault
The basketball player landed in hot water for cheating on his wife Vanessa and receiving accusations of sexual assault. A female concierge claimed Kobe Bryant asked her to go to his room where they began kissing consensually. She then claimed he started groping her and that’s when she tried to get away. He then allegedly grabbed her by the neck and penetrated her when she told him to stop.
This case made it to court. Evidence from her medical examination was used, including a bruise on her neck and lacerations on her vaginal wall, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The alleged victim refused to testify, so prosecution dropped the case. Bryant made headlines three days after receiving charges because paparazzi captured his wife rocking a huge ring. Experts estimate the “apology ring” to be worth $4 million. The two remain married today.
Next: A famous affair created a high-profile pregnancy.
23. Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini
How they got caught: She got pregnant.
Initially, Ingrid Bergman was married to Peter Lindström and Roberto Rossellini was married to Marcella De Marchis when Bergman and Rossellini started working together on Stromboli. So Bergman’s affair with Rossellini and resulting pregnancy shocked the world.
The couple divorced in order to marry each other, and the fans who once loved Bergman turned on her. But that didn’t last forever. “I’ve gone from saint to wh*re and back to saint again, all in one lifetime,” she said after winning her second Oscar for Anastasia.
Next: Perhaps the most high-profile sexting in all of politics
24. Anthony Weiner and multiple women (including an underage girl)
How he got caught: Tabloids broke the news.
The former politician got into hot water multiple times for sexting multiple women. The news first broke in 2011 that he was sending nude pictures to multiple women. He was also going by the name “Carlos Danger” while talking to women online. This reveal led to him resigning, and he even starred in a documentary about the scandal.
But he got in trouble again when he was caught sexting an underage girl. He pled guilty to the federal obscenity charge, which is a felony according to The New York Times. Shortly after this scandal, his wife, Huma Abedin filed for divorce.
Next: Extortion reveals the truth in some celebrity affairs.
25. David Letterman and members of his staff
How he got caught: extortion
Extortionists pressured The Late Show host into admitting the sexual relations he had with female staffers. David Letterman said he received a package demanding he pay $2 million or the person would reveal his sexual relationships with female staffers.
“My response to that [allegation] is, ‘Yes I have.’ Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would,” he said on his show. “Especially for the women.” He gave the extortionists a bogus $2 million check and ended up testifying before a grand jury. At the time he and Regina Lasko were dating. They later married and remain together.
Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.