There’s nothing we love more than a good Hollywood love story. After all, they’re the real-life fairy tales that give us hope of finding true love ourselves (or rather, the definition of relationship goals). But have you ever noticed that many famous relationships started out with cheating? It sucks to admit, but some of the cutest couples that we ship today only exist because someone was unfaithful to their partner. …Yikes.
While a few of these pairs ended up staying together and maintaining successful marriages, other relationships fizzled out rather quickly. But what you might find amusing is that some of these couples wound up splitting because one person was (you guessed it…) having an affair with someone else. See which celebrity relationships actually began with cheating:
1. Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys
When Alicia started seeing this producer, he was already married with kids. The news got out when she reportedly threw a party for him in 2008, but in 2009, the scandal blew up when Swizz’s ex-wife, Mashonda, wrote an open letter to Alicia and called her a homewrecker. She said: “You know the role that you played and you know how you contributed to the ending of my marriage. You know that I asked you to step back and let me handle my family issues. Issues that you helped create.”
Alicia never addressed the letter, but in the same month that Swizz’s divorce with Mashonda was finalized, she and Swizz announced that they were engaged and expecting their first child. Things were understandably tense between Swizz’s ex and Alicia, but they eventually came to a truce. As of now, Swizz and Alicia are still together and they have two sons.
2. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert
When the two country singers shared the stage for a duet in 2005, Miranda admitted that they had amazing chemistry – even though Blake was married to Kaynette Gern at the time. Miranda said: “I knew better… My parents are private investigators for God’s sakes. I’ve seen this my whole life, affairs.” But interestingly enough, it didn’t stop her from pursuing Blake. They started dating and about a year later, Blake divorced his wife to be with Miranda. The two got married in 2011, but in 2015, they announced their divorce. Blake is currently dating Gwen Stefani and Miranda is now dating Evan Felker (who apparently left his wife suddenly to be with her… coincidence?).
3. Eddie Cibrian and LeAnn Rimes
In this case, both partners were already married when they began cheating on their spouses. Eddie was married to supermodel Brandi Glanville while LeAnn (his Northern Lights co-star) was married to songwriter Dean Sheremet. Eddie vehemently denied the rumor when it first got out, but as for LeAnn, she decided to come clean to her then-husband. In an interview, Dean said: “I had a call… from LeAnn. She said, ‘Well, Us Weekly may or may not have a picture of me and Eddie kissing.’ I’m like, ‘Whoa! What do you mean may or may not have a picture? What does that mean?’ So then… it unfolded from there.”
Eddie and Brandi, who had been together for eight years and had two children together, also split up as a result of the affair. But as of now, Eddie and LeAnn are happily married.
4. Jerry O’Connell and Rebecca Romijn
When Jerry and Rebecca first met at a Maxim party, both of them were taken (he had a girlfriend and Rebecca was married). But even so, Jerry couldn’t deny the instant connection he had with her when they first met. He recalled: “I met my wife and her ex John Stamos at a party when they were married. I remember thinking, ‘Wow. This girl is really beautiful and funny.’ I talked to her the whole party. My wife remembers that party and remembers us clicking… We clicked the first time we met.”
The two reconnected for a second time after Rebecca’s split from John. And after a friend encouraged him to get her number, things got more serious. The pair got married in 2007 and they now have twin daughters.
5. Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling
Tori and Dean met on the set of their Lifetime film, Mind Over Murder. Both were married at the time, but on the same night of their first meeting, they actually started an affair. Soon after, Tori’s ex, Charlie Shanian, filed for divorce and Dean left his wife of 13 years, Mary Jo Eustace. The two got married in 2006 and renewed their vows in 2010. As of now, they’re still together and they have five children together.
6. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
Dwyane was married to his longtime partner, Siohvaughn Funches with two kids when he allegedly started an affair with actress Gabrielle Union. Dwyane apparently held a meeting between Gabrielle and his two sons, where he introduced her as his new girlfriend and explained that “this is why your mom and I are going to divorce.” This led to a pretty messy split that included a custody battle, Siohvaughn calling Gabrielle a homewrecker, and her suing the actress for causing the kids “emotional distress.”
To add to the drama, Gabrielle and Dwyane briefly separated for a while, and during that time, the athlete had another affair with someone else and even had a child. But Gabrielle chose to forgive him. They continued their relationship and went on to have a romantic wedding.
7. Ryan Phillippe and Abbie Cornish
Things were going perfectly fine with Ryan, Reese Witherspoon, and their two children. But that all changed after he met Abbie on the set of Stop Loss. Word got out that they’d been having an affair, and although both of them denied the rumors, it became a little too obvious to ignore. Abbie eventually admitted that she left Australia and came to the U.S. because “it was love that brought me here, not work” (…translation: it was Ryan). Reese revealed that her divorce from Ryan was “humiliating and isolating,” while Abbie mentioned that it was a “really difficult time” for her, too.
But as for Ryan and Abbie’s romance, it was pretty short-lived. They broke up after dating for three years, and apparently, it was because Ryan was rumored to be cheating on Abbie with Alexis Knapp. It was only until after their split that Alexis discovered she was pregnant with his child, but she gave birth to their daughter in 2011.
8. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
To the rest of the world, Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a fairy tale romance, complete with two adorable male heirs. But then it came out that Prince Charles was having an affair with former girlfriend, Camilla and it left everyone in shock. When Charles and Camilla rekindled their relationship, they were both married at the time. And in an interview, Camilla recalled how awful it was when the public found out: “I couldn’t really go anywhere. But the children came and went as normal — they just got on with it, and so did great friends… It was horrid. It was a deeply unpleasant time and I wouldn’t want to put my worst enemy through it. I couldn’t have survived it without my family.”
While Camilla divorced her spouse, Prince Charles remained married until Princess Diana’s unfortunate death. It wasn’t until nine years later that Charles and Camilla tied the knot.
9. Meg Ryan and Russell Crowe
Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid were that picture perfect couple that we thought would last. They’d already been married for over seven years, but then Russell entered the picture and stole Meg’s heart when they filmed Proof of Life together. Both of them denied the dating rumors, but right after they finished filming, Dennis and Meg suddenly announced that they were getting a divorce, which clearly meant that something was up. According to Meg, Dennis was the one who was unfaithful to her, but considering how quickly she moved on to Russell, it definitely seems like she was partly to blame, too.
The former co-stars ended up dating for over two years until a rumor got out about Russell was cheating on Meg with Courtney Love.
10. Kayte Walsh and Kelsey Grammer
Julia first met the cameraman while they worked on the movie The Mexican. They had instant chemistry, even though Julia was seeing Benjamin Bratt and Danny was married to a makeup artist at the time. Julia promptly broke things off with Benjamin while Danny filed for divorce. And right after it was finalized, he and Julia got married at her ranch in Taos, New Mexico. They now have three children together.
11. Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas
When Melanie started hooking up with Antonio, she was in the middle of her second marriage to Don Johnson. And as for Antonio, he was married to his wife for over nine years. Melanie and Antonio met in 1995 while shooting Two Much together, and just a year later, they decided to leave their spouses to marry each other. But just when we thought they got their “happily ever after,” they announced that they’d be parting ways “in a loving and friendly manner” (and after 19 years of marriage). Currently, Antonio reportedly pays Melanie $65,000 per month in spousal support.
12. Donald Trump and Marla Maples
While he was still married to Ivana Trump, Donald started an affair with TV personality and actress Marla Maples. Only a year after he divorced his wife, Marla gave birth to Trump’s daughter, Tiffany. And just two months later, they got married. However, the marriage only lasted for six years. Donald, as you probably know, is currently married to Melania Trump – but that partnership hasn’t been without reports of infidelity, either.
13. Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher
Eddie Fisher was a well-known player in his day. So well-known, in fact, that Frank Sinatra tried to warn Eddie’s wife, Debbie Reynolds, about him. And Debbie would soon realize why he gave that warning, because shortly after the death of Elizabeth Taylor’s husband, Eddie started having an affair with her. Even though she and Debbie were supposed to be good friends!
By the time the affair began, Debbie and Eddie already had two children (including the legendary Carrie Fisher). When the news got out, the couple got divorced in 1959 and Eddie married Elizabeth shortly after. As you can imagine, this led to a bitter feud between the former friends, but they did eventually reconcile after Elizabeth and Eddie divorced. Debbie said: “Now in retrospect, though it was not my will, I think it probably was the best thing that ever happened to me. [Eddie] did give me two great children and for that I will ever be grateful.”
14. Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
Britney crossed paths with Kevin when he worked as her backup dancer. Although he was already engaged to his girlfriend (and mother of his two children), Shar Jackson, it didn’t stop Kevin from starting an affair with the rising pop star. And get this: Just three months after the relationship started, Kevin got engaged to Britney… while he was still engaged to Shar. She didn’t take the news lightly, claiming that their split “wasn’t like just breaking up a relationship. It was like breaking up a family.”
Shortly after Kevin and Shar’s separation, Kevin and Britney got married, but not without some backlash. Since Kevin left his wife while Shar was still pregnant with their second child, people branded him the selfish “gold digger,” while others saw Britney as a homewrecker. But despite the drama, they stuck it out for a whole three years and had two children together.
15. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward
These two Hollywood stars met on the set of their Broadway show, Picnic (where Paul was the lead and Joanne was an understudy). They immediately hit it off, but at the time, Paul was married to Jackie Witte and they had three kids. When he and Joanne reunited for another project four years later, they went public with their dating status and Paul immediately divorced Jackie. Just months after the split, Paul married Joanne and they stayed together for a whopping fifty years until Paul passed away in 2008.
16. Claire Danes and Billy Crudup
When Claire and Billy worked on Stage Beauty together, it was love at first sight. But there was just one problem: Billy had a girlfriend and it was star Mary-Louise Parker, who was seven months pregnant with his child. Somehow, Billy still thought it was appropriate to start an affair and then leave Mary-Louise for Claire. But their relationship didn’t last. Claire moved on to Hugh Dancy, whom she married in 2009, and Billy is now single.
17. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
They always looked so flawless together! And to be honest, that made it all too easy to forget that it all began with cheating. According to Brad, they “fell in love” on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith (and while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston). So Brad and Jenn got divorced in 2005, and just one month later, Brangelina went public as a couple.
By 2008, Angelina and Brad had six children (three of which were adopted) and by 2012, the couple got engaged. They had a private wedding ceremony in 2014, but just two years later, Angelina filed for divorce due to irreconcilable differences. Now, they’re apparently in the midst of a brutal custody dispute.