Katy Perry and Russell Brand were one of Hollywood’s hottest couples after they became an item back in 2009. However, their subsequent marriage was not to last. And after Perry came clean about some relationship news in 2020, Brand made a confession of his own.
Perry and Brand first met at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2008. It’s been suggested that they had an instant connection, but at the time, Perry was in a relationship with another man. As a result, it wasn’t until the pair returned to the glitzy event a year later that their romance began to flourish.
The couple’s subsequent love affair was quite the whirlwind. After dating for less than four months, Brand asked Perry to marry him on New Year’s Eve 2009. He popped the question during a visit to a tiger sanctuary in India. Perry accepted the comedian’s proposal, and the pair wed in an extravagant ceremony in October 2010.
But Perry and Brand’s marriage would turn out to be short-lived. The 14 months they spent as husband and wife were dogged by media attention, pregnancy rumors and the couple’s hectic work schedules. In the end, it seems that they just couldn’t make things work. And ultimately, Brand broke up with Perry in the most brutal of ways.
Before we get to their split though, let’s take a look back at how Perry and Brand’s paths came to cross. After all, gospel-singer-turned-pop-star Perry and the British bad-boy comic appeared to come from very different worlds. However, it seems that fate would ultimately bring them together.
Perry was born in Santa Barbara, California, on October 25, 1984. And while she may have later made a name for herself with provocative songs like “I Kissed a Girl” she was raised in a very conservative household. Her mother and father were pastors and didn’t allow their children to listen to pop music.
Nevertheless, Perry proved musical from an early age. She took singing lessons from around the time she was nine and started playing the guitar aged 13. She would ultimately pursue a singing career, first releasing a gospel album under her birth name — Katy Hudson — back in 2001.
This first album was hardly a great success for Perry but she didn’t give up. She reinvented herself as a pop star and released her breakthrough single “I Kissed a Girl” in 2008. The song stormed to the top of the charts, fuelling the success of her album One of the Boys, which entered the Billboard Top 10.
It was around this time that Perry first met Brand at the VMAs in 2008. The comedian was hosting the awards after making his Hollywood debut in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He had previously made a name for himself in his native U.K. as a TV presenter, radio host and stand-up comic.
During his rise to prominence, Brand had cultivated something of a bad boy image. He had been sacked from a number of high profile gigs and spoke candidly about his battles with sex and drug addiction. Furthermore, he was open about his promiscuity and known for being quite the ladies man.
Brand first met Perry when he was working on his upcoming film Get Him to the Greek — director Nick Stoller had snagged the singer for a cameo appearance. Brand and Perry hit it off, but she was dating Travie McCoy from rap rock outfit Gym Class Heroes at the time. So the relationship went no further.
However, a year later – when Brand returned to host the 2009 VMAs – Katy was now single. Sparks began to fly between the pair as they reunited, and after flirting throughout the rehearsals of the ceremony they became an item. They made their first public outing as a couple around a month later, when they attended a Fendi party during Paris Fashion Week.
In December 2009, after a whirlwind three-month romance, Brand asked Perry to marry him during a vacation in India. They would return to the country the following October to tie the knot in an extravagant ceremony featuring elephants, camels and horses, as well as music, fire jugglers, snake charmers and dancers.
However, despite their idyllic nuptials, Perry and Brand’s relationship was not without its issues. Prior to their wedding in 2010 Perry had told Rolling Stone that her religious background sometimes clashed with Brand’s persona. She told the magazine, “I am sensitive to Russell taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
And it seems that things became more strained after Brand and Perry’s wedding, partly because of the media attention they endured as a couple. During an appearance on Live With Regis and Kelly, Brand insisted that he and Perry were happy. But he did admit that they bombardment the experienced from paparazzi caused added pressure to their relationship.
Furthermore, Brand and Perry faced constant rumors and questions about them becoming parents. Though Perry was clear that she didn’t want children at that stage. During a 2011 appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she said, “I would love to have children… But I’m not sure it’s yet. We’ll see, you know?”
At that time, Perry had been riding the success of her smash hit album Teenage Dream, which produced an impressive five number-one singles. And due to her touring schedule, she and Brand would spend limited time together. Perry would later claim that she fought hard for their relationship, but things soon started to fall apart.
In November 2011 rumors began to circulate that Perry and Brand were to part ways. At first, these whisperings were dismissed by the couple. But a month later both Perry and Brand were pictured without their wedding rings as they seemingly spent the festive period apart. Brand ultimately filed for divorce on December 30 that year, citing “irreconcilable differences” between him and Perry.
In the years since Perry and Brand’s 14-month marriage came to an end, both of them have moved on with their lives. Perry has enjoyed continued success as a recording artist and also as a judge on American Idol. She also headlined the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show, which is the most-watched in the history of the event.
Brand, meanwhile, has continued to pursue an acting career, perhaps most notably voicing Dr. Nefario in the Despicable Me film franchise. He has also become known for his activism and has established his own take on current affairs through his YouTube web series The Trews.
Since 2015, Brand has been in a relationship with Laura Gallacher, a blogger from Scotland. The pair had enjoyed an on-off relationship since 2007 and in 2016 welcomed their first child, a daughter named Mabel. They married a year later and welcomed their second daughter, Peggy, in 2018.
It seems that Perry has also found love following her split from Brand. She was previously linked to the DJ Diplo and singer-songwriter John Mayer, but since 2016 she’s been in a relationship with the actor Orlando Bloom. Although the pair briefly split in 2017, they later rekindled their romance and subsequently announced their engagement in February 2019.
However, that wasn’t the only good news for Perry and Bloom. In March 2020 Perry revealed that she was pregnant in the video to her latest single “Never Worn White.” At the end of the song, Perry is seen cradling her stomach in a white dress, before another shot of her wearing a sheer outfit and taken from the side revealed her baby bump in all its glory.
After dropping her new music video on YouTube, Perry also shared her pregnancy news on Instagram. In a live video, she said, “There’s a lot that will be happening this summer… not only will I be giving birth — literally — but also figuratively, to something you guys have been waiting for.”
So, given that both Perry and Brand started families following their split, it would seem that they had well and truly moved on with their lives. However, Brand opened up about the heartbreak he’d experienced after Perry announced that she was expecting a child with Bloom. He made the admission in a candid video posted to his Instagram account in March 2020.
Shortly after Perry announced her baby news, Brand posted a video on Instagram in which he confessed that he was “healing from a broken heart.” He added, “It’s a terrible revelation to know that you have invested your wellbeing in another person and that life hasn’t gone the way that you wanted it to go.”
It seems that Brand wasn’t referring to one specific source of anguish, but many he’d sustained in his romantic life over the years. He explained, “I’ve experienced heartbreak for most of my life… I can look back at heartbreak when I was 15, heartbreak when I was 12, heartbreak when I was 11, heartbreak in my 20s and 30s, you know sort of right into like until when I got married, just getting my heart broken again and again.”
According to Brand, one of the reasons for his constant heartache was that he fell in love easily, even during his more promiscuous days. However, it seems he had managed to finally break the cycle. As such, he warned his fans that they too would go through regular heartbreaks unless they altered their “patterns and habits.”
It was quite the coincidence that Brand had come to reflect on his past relationships after his ex-wife Perry hit the headlines with her pregnancy announcement. The pair haven’t been shy about discussing their marriage in the public previously. And in some cases, they have even laid bare some of the most heartbreaking aspects of their romance.
For example, in 2013 Perry revealed the brutal way that Brand had ended their marriage, claiming that he did so via text. In an interview with Vogue, the singer said of her ex-husband, “Let’s just say I haven’t heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me December 31, 2011.” Ouch!
In her interview with Vogue, Perry hinted that there had been more going on in her marriage to Brand than the public had been aware of. She told the magazine, “I felt a lot of responsibility for it ending, but then I found out the real truth, which I can’t necessarily disclose because I keep it locked in my safe for a rainy day.”
Fans were given a revealing insight into Perry and Brand’s marriage in 2012 with the release of the film Part of Me. The documentary follows Perry on her 2011 tour, which was concurrent with her relationship with Brand. When the cameras began rolling, the pair seemed madly in love. However, as the narrative progressed, the time the couple spent apart seemed to take its toll on them.
At one point in the film, Perry is seen crying backstage at a concert in Brazil. She manages to paint on a smile, but her anguish becomes evident in another scene when she realizes that she won’t see Brand for another 18 days. It’s only then that she’ll have time in her touring schedule to fly out and see her then-husband.
From the documentary, it appears that it was Perry who was doing most of the traveling to visit Brand. At one point a crew member asks the star if her husband is coming to see her. Sounding angry, she replies, “He should but he’s not.” Later, the singer confesses, “I’m fighting to keep my marriage alive.”
At the time Part of Me was released in 2012 Perry reflected on this period of her life in an interview with the Press Association. She said, “Every 10 days or so I would put everybody (on the tour) on pause for three or four days so I could go back and re-charge and see to my relationship and give that time, which was very intense for me because the show was still on the road.”
Perry went on to explain the exhausting effect all the traveling she did during her marriage. She revealed, “Sometimes I had to fly in on the day of the show, completely jet-lagged and feeling like I had been hung by my ankles, and have to go on stage. But it’s like I pushed a button when I walked out (on stage.)”
Aside from the separation they endured, Part of Me also revealed Perry and Brand’s different attitudes to starting a family. The comedian seemed to be eager to become a father, while the singer — who is 10 years younger than her former spouse — wasn’t quite ready for children.
In one scene, Perry receives a message from Brand referencing their future children. Her response is defiant, as she says, “I will be a mother when I decide to be a mother, but not right now. A baby can’t have her baby.” However, another text from her husband drives her to tears.
The film follows Perry and Brand’s marriage right through to the end. And in one scene filmed after their divorce, the singer admits that she misses her ex. She says, “I’m a romantic and I believe in the whole fairytale. Love is a dream but the reality is making it work. I did everything I could — but it still failed.”
But while it would seem that Perry and Brand have both experienced their fair share of heartbreak in their time, it appears they have both found happiness in the years since their split. Perhaps at some point in the future, the pair will settle their differences. In 2019, British newspaper The Sun reported that Brand hoped to “make amends” with his ex-wife — although it’s still unclear if he has been able to do so.