Everyone’s been there — you’re in a relationship, both of you are seemingly happy, and then bam, from out of nowhere, something happens to bring it to an embarrassing end. Now imagine that happening in the public eye. For celebrities, embarrassing breakups are even more mortifying because they usually play out in the media for the entire world to witness. Rumors, lies and innuendos usually follow, until it’s difficult even for the parties involved to tell what’s real and what’s not when it comes to the breakup. Although they might be embarrassing for wildly different reasons, here are ten of the most embarrassing public breakups of all time.
1. Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
This breakup is not only embarrassing, it’s sad. Pitt and Aniston seemingly had a happy marriage, until he filmed “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” with Angelina Jolie and fell into a relationship with her. All of a sudden, Angelina was in, Jen was out. Then came the nasty back-and-forth between the two, blaming each other for the breakup. One can’t help but feel Ms. Aniston was wronged, however, when you look at what, or who, was the real cause of the breakup. If you believe in karma, Jen, she’ll get hers someday, don’t you worry.
2. Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise
When this breakup hit the airwaves, much speculation was made about whether or not the marriage had even been real. Kidman claims that she and Cruise had a real marriage for 9 years, despite the fact that they never had children. Kidman later said she had suffered two miscarriages over the course of their marriage. What made this entire breakup so embarrassing is that Cruise’s first wife, Mimi Rogers, said the reason for their divorce was that Cruise wanted to become celibate. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors (and in some cases, do we really want to know?)
3. Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren
It took six months, a damaged car and a pissed-off Swede, but finally these two are officially calling it quits. Woods allegedly has had numerous affairs during their six-year marriage. Their public fight (she with the golf club, him in the car) was the culmination of Woods’ years of lying about cheating on Elin. Then there’s those “statements” he made where he really didn’t say anything at all. Their announcement that they are officially divorcing in April 2010 was met with a chorus of “thank God!” and “it’s about time” from the public.
4. Jon and Kate Gosselin
When you look up “embarrassing breakup” in the dictionary, photos of these two are front and center. America watched as Jon withstood verbal abuse from Kate on their television show “Jon and Kate Plus 8,” so it really wasn’t a shock to learn he had cheated on his wife… more than once. What was shocking was that he took the abuse from her for so long without reaching a breaking point. The only ones who were sad about this divorce, most likely, were their eight children. Ratings of their show soared after the topic of divorce was bandied about in the press. Now they’re finally splitsville, and each one is still trying to extend their 15 minutes of fame. All we really want to say to them now is…. buh-bye.
5. Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Philippe
After having a very embarrassing, very public fight at a Hollywood party, this couple decided to end their marriage. Soon after, it came out that Philippe had had an affair with his “Stop Loss” co-star Abbie Cornish. Witherspoon had found photos of the two together, confronted Philippe, and he immediately admitted his indiscretion and expressed his desire to end the marriage (that’s sort of embarrassing too, for Witherspoon, when you think about it – that he didn’t even fight to save his marriage, just caved in and said he wanted out). Some say Philippe couldn’t handle Witherspoon’s rise to success and winning an Oscar when his career wasn’t climbing quite as fast. The two have remained friendly for the sake of their children, and you can’t fault them for that.
6. Adam Lambert and Drake LaBry
American Idol runner-up Lambert ditched interior designer LaBry just before his debut album “For Your Entertainment” came out in 2009. LaBry had stood by Lambert before and during American Idol, yet got the boot as soon as he was no longer needed. It’s been suggested that, although Lambert publicly said the relationship with LaBry “ran its course,” the real reason for the breakup was to make Lambert appear more “available” to both sexes in order to sell more albums. It wouldn’t be the first time a relationship ended to enhance a celeb’s appeal, but that still doesn’t make it right, and it’s truly embarrassing for LaBry.
7. Nicole and Eddie Murphy
This one is embarrassing not so much for the breakup as for how long the wife withstood the shoddy treatment from the husband. When Eddie Murphy was pulled over for picking up a transvestite hooker in 1997, she stood by him. (He wasn’t arrested, as he claimed he was just giving the man a ride… in his SUV, that is). The two were married for 18 years and had five children together. Their wedding in 1993 was one of the most expensive celebrity weddings of all time, at a price tag of $1.5 million. That’s embarrassing enough right there, when you think of how things eventually ended for them.
8. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy
These two were together for five years and seemingly happy, then all of a sudden, broke up. No one knows if it was Carrey’s depression or McCarthy’s son’s autism that contributed to the breakup. However, it became embarrassing when Carrey apparently became addicted to Twitter post-breakup, Tweeting about everything from their relationship to Tiger Woods’ wife. It seemed he had way too much time on his hands after breaking up with McCarthy, which was truly embarrassing for Carey and made McCarthy look like the smart one for getting out of the relationship when she did.
9. Samantha Ronson and Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay Lohan fought off gay rumors after being seen kissing Samantha Ronson and holding hands with her in public. She even called Ronson her girlfriend and told former “Full House” star Ashley Olson to stay away from her. However, in April 2010, Lohan and Ronson ended their relationship, and Lohan became another Twitter addict. She kept ranting about the end of the relationship, to the embarrassment of her friends and to the delight of those in Ronson’s camp. What is it about celebs breaking up and turning to Twitter? You’d think she would have learned her lesson from Jim Carrey’s experiences with Tweets.
10. Sienna Miller and Jude Law
Sienna Miller was devastated to discover that her fiance Jude Law had cheated on her with his children’s nanny. For some unknown reason, she stayed in the relationship for another four months before finally calling it quits. What’s embarrassing here is that she didn’t just kick him to the curb immediately upon making that discovery.