Even though we don’t know them personally – and probably never will – we all wince when we see a beloved celebrity making a romantic mistake. To make matters worse, they sometimes even end up married to that mistake. Regretfully, these 20 celebs would have been much better off if they had said, “I don’t” to their respective partners. These heroes all got hitched to villains who had no chance of offering a happily-ever-after outcome. Sadly, in some cases, what happened following the wedding vows was no honeymoon – but a genuine scandal.
20. Denise Richards to Charlie Sheen
Starlet Denise Richards married Charlie Sheen in 2002 – only to divorce the notorious hell-raiser four years later. Subsequently, Sheen was required by law to stay away from her and their kids, leaving Richards with full custody of their children, daughters Sam and Lola. Considering how the sex, drugs and violence allegations against Sheen have piled up ever since, Richards has dodged several bullets.
19. Jennifer Lopez to Ojani Noa
In the wake of the Bennifer media phenomenon – the celebrated relationship between J-Lo and Ben Affleck – it was easy to forget about Lopez’s first husband. But perhaps Ojani Noa deserved to be forgotten – she should have just said Noa. In 2009, the Cuban actor threatened to release a sex tape of Lopez, and she is still fighting in the courts to prevent him from doing so.
18. Mel B to Stephen Belafonte
Spice Girl Mel B has had no luck with men, but her 2007 marriage to film producer Stephen Belafonte is possibly her nadir. In 2012, Mel Brown’s family went to the media to claim her second husband was abusive to the star. Two became one for Brown in 2017 when she filed for divorce. Then the America’s Got Talent judge herself claimed that Belafonte had beaten her in a relationship characterized by “emotional and physical abuse.”
17. Sandra Bullock to Jesse James
Much-loved actress Sandra Bullock divorced reality TV star Jesse James in 2010 after five years of marriage. It was all over the media that James had been doing the dirty on her. But infidelity was just one flawed facet of this charmer’s character. After the divorce was finalized, more and more evidence emerged linking James to nazism. “This is not the man I married,” Bullock later told People magazine.
16. Robert Kardashian to Kris Jenner
Controversy among the Kardashian clan? Say it ain’t so! But, in 2016, Kris Jenner’s own daughter, Khloé, said on her reality show that her mother’s affairs had “destroyed” her late dad, Robert. And Khloé is far from the first to call her mom out – many have justifiably criticized Jenner’s parenting skills too.
15. Amy Winehouse to Blake Fielder-Civil
Waif-like chanteuse Amy Winehouse married the unknown Blake Fielder-Civil in 2007. He proved to be less than civil and the “Rehab” singer divorced him in 2009. Tragically, two years later she was dead. Winehouse’s father, Mitch, publicly accused Fielder-Civil of introducing his daughter to hard drugs. Fielder-Civil denied this claim, but nevertheless both before and after Winehouse’s demise, he was involved in drug-related crime.
14. Paul McCartney to Heather Mills
Don’t mess with a former Beatle, the public won’t allow it. When Heather Mills and Paul McCartney divorced in 2008, she made a grab for a substantial slice of his fortune in the courts. The former model found that want for money can’t buy you love. The presiding judge called her claims “ridiculous” and her evidence “inconsistent and inaccurate.” Subsequently, according to Marketing magazine, Mills became one of the most loathed women celebrities in Britain.
13. Christie Brinkley to Peter Cook
Supermodel Christie Brinkley tied the knot with architect Peter Cook in 1996, but she probably wishes she had left that plan on the drawing board. During divorce proceedings in 2008, Cook confessed that he had embarked on an affair with an 18-year-old woman and then paid her off. He also depleted the joint account by spending thousands of dollars downloading pornography. To add injury to insult, he was also accused by his step-daughter of physical assault.
12. Pamela Anderson to Tommy Lee
Baywatch beauty Pamela Anderson married Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in 1995, after knowing him for less than a week. It proved to be a costly case of “marry in haste, repent at leisure.” In 1998, Lee was sent to jail for assaulting Anderson, and she promptly filed for divorce. In 2002, she also reported that she had caught hepatitis C from Lee – a truly toxic relationship.
11. Tina Turner to Ike Turner
Legendary singer Tina Turner got her last name from her former husband, the late musician Ike Turner. Unfortunately, his behavior was nowhere near as good as his music and he gave marriage a bad name. “I hit her, but I didn’t hit her more than the average guy beats his wife,” he reasoned to Spin magazine in 1985, after the couple’s divorce in 1978.
10. Kathy Griffin to Matthew Moline
When comedienne Kathy Griffin married actor Matthew Moline in 2001, she got her wedding ring tattooed on her finger. But five years later she was on the line to the laser removal men. Griffin divorced Moline in 2006 after allegedly discovering that he had been quietly helping himself to thousands of her dollars via her ATM cards.
9. Whitney Houston to Bobby Brown
Whitney Houston had a difficult life, and her torrid marriage to fellow singer Bobby Brown formed a large part of it. Brown, who had addiction issues, was arrested in 2003 for an attack on Houston. This was followed by drink and drug-fueled problems with the law for Brown. Houston divorced him in 2006, by which time she had serious problems of her own. Rumors still abound that Brown was the one who introduced her to hard drugs. Sadly, Houston drowned in her bath due to drug intoxication in 2012.
8. Cher to Sonny Bono
Singers Sonny and Cher were a hit-making duo and also a couple in real life. Many people remember the split-making Sonny-Cher divorce in 1975 being messy, but few knew the real dirt. “One woman, or even five, was not enough for him,” Cher said of Bono in a 2010 interview in Parade magazine. Bono’s constant cheating, Cher claimed, had almost driven her to suicide.
7. Ali Landry to Mario Lopez
The marriage between actress and model Ali Landry and fellow performer Mario Lopez lasted for just two weeks of 2004. But, in hindsight, perhaps the union should have lasted even less than 14 days. It later emerged that Lopez actually cheated on Landry during his own bachelor party just days before the ceremony. Even worse was to follow, in his 2014 autobiography, Just Between Us, he told the world that he had never even loved Landry.
6. Britt Ekland to Peter Sellers
Peter Sellers was a legendary British comedy actor, but reportedly not a very nice person. He married Britt Ekland, a Swedish actress 17 years his junior, in 1964, and quickly became jealous and possessive of her. In 2013, speaking to U.K. newspaper The Sunday Telegraph, Ekland said that her four-year marriage to the controlling star had felt more like an abduction.
5. Katie Holmes to Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise is a megastar, but his association with Scientology taints his image somewhat. When Katie Holmes married him in 2006, people feared that the actress would also be drawn into the bizarre cult. But instead, reportedly fearing for their daughter’s wellbeing, Holmes divorced Cruise in 2012. Nowadays, apparently, Cruise barely sees his child due to Scientology’s policy of “disconnecting” with non-believers.
4. Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles
To this day, Lady-turned-Princess Diana is perhaps one of the most famous wronged women in modern history. She married Prince Charles in 1981, but soon discovered that she was destined to forever come second to Charles’ mistress, Camilla Parker-Bowles. Charles’ emotional insensitivity reportedly drove a distressed Diana to mental collapse, eating disorders and even several suicide attempts.
3. Priscilla Wagner to Elvis Presley
Priscilla Presley was only 14 when she met the King of Rock and Roll. She didn’t actually marry the singer until she was 21, but more than one Elvis biography has speculated that he was attracted to underage girls. And the Presleys’ adult relationship wasn’t entirely normal – according to Priscilla, the controlling Elvis never liked to see her without makeup on.
2. Yoko Ono to John Lennon
Yoko Ono may have loved the late John Lennon, but the famous Beatle was far from the peace-loving hippy most people imagine him to have been. In a 1981 Playboy magazine interview, the brutally honest singer outright admitted to hitting women. His string of extra-marital affairs are on record. And, reportedly, Lennon also had homophobic and racist tendencies. Yet Ono has never denounced him and continues to honor his memory.
1. Amber Heard to Johnny Depp
When actress Amber Heard accused Hollywood A-lister Johnny Depp of domestic violence in 2016, she was met with accusations of being a gold-digging liar. Yet when their divorce went through in 2017, the couple jointly released a statement which said, “Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain.” The implication was clear, but nevertheless the Captain Jack Sparrow star’s career sailed on.