The strangest reasons these celeb marriages failed

When a celebrity couple gets divorced, the reason can sound just as strange as the craziest storyline in a daytime soap. And we’re not just talking about A-List pairs who seemingly met and married in one fell swoop. While quickie pairings often crash and burn for obvious reasons, it’s not just couples who’ve been married for a short time that have odd divorce stories. Funky circumstances have also derailed celebrity duos that have been together for decades.

And, of course, the managers and PR specialists do their best to make these breakups seem run of the mill, but behind the always opaque “irreconcilable differences,” there’s always a story. We dug through the tabloid accounts of these romantic wreckages to try to get the best glimpse into just how bizarre Hollywood divorces can be at times — and you simply won’t believe some of this stuff actually happened. Here are some of the strangest reasons celebrity marriages have failed throughout the years.

Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra started off sloshed

Folks get tipsy and do regrettable things at wedding receptions all the time. It’s a bit more rare, however, for inebriation to be the reason a marriage happens in the first place. But that’s apparently what happened on Nov. 14, 1998 when NBA star Dennis Rodman wed Baywatch star Carmen Electra in a booze-fueled Las Vegas ceremony. 

Nine days later, Rodman had already filed for an annulment, “citing fraud and unsound mind,” according to the Associated Press. “It is my understanding that before the ceremony, Dennis had been partying extensively and he just doesn’t feel as though he had all of his faculties about him when all the other things occurred afterward,” Rodman’s attorney Gerald Phillips said at the time (via the Chicago Sun-Times). As embarrassing as that sounds for everyone involved, Electra told the Los Angeles Times in 2020 that she has “no regrets at all” about her time with Rodman, however, that sentiment seems to have evolved.

During a 2014 episode of Oprah’s Where Are They Now?, Electra said she was in a period of “self-destruction” following her mother’s death when she met Rodman. She described their relationship as “passionate,” yet chaotic, as both were partying to avoid personal demons. Electra also revealed that she had instant regret after the quickie wedding, and that despite the fast annulment filing, they were “probably married for about a year.” Ultimately, Electra was the one who filed for divorce in April 1999. 

Did Kris Humphries get totally played by Kim Kardashian?

It’s clear that Kim Kardashian is a savvy businesswoman who’s made clever, calculated moves to become one of the most famous — not to mention, wealthiest — people on the planet. But is Kardashian so ambitious that she’d fake an entire wedding for television ratings? 

That was her ex-husband and former NBA player Kris Humphries’ theory, according to Page Six. In 2012, it was reported that Humphries wouldn’t sign divorce papers until his former spouse admitted the wedding was staged by Kardashian and her family. They were married for just 72 days after tying the knot on Aug. 20, 2011. The ceremony was an incredibly glitzy affair, reported to have cost $10 million. It was televised over two nights on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and raked in a ton of cash for the newlyweds, including an alleged $1.5 million alone from People just for exclusive photos.

As for Humphries’ knee-jerk assertion that Kardashian duped him? He seemed to backtrack on that in a lengthy 2019 essay for The Players’ Tribune in which he wrote that their “relationship was 100% real.” That walkback was kind of surprising, given the fact that just two years earlier, Kardashian made the cringeworthy confession on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen that she only married Humphries because her biological clock was ticking. She further twisted that knife by saying, “But I knew, like, honeymoon, it wasn’t going to work out.” Ouch. 

Ethan Hawke married a movie star then resented that he married a movie star

Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman married in 1998, and from the outside looking in all seemed swell at first. But when they had their children, Maya and Levon, Hawke said that he went from a cool, critically acclaimed actor to a full-time babysitter. “I’m living in a hotel room taking care of my kids while you’re off on a film set six hours a day doing what you love,” Hawke told ABC News in 2006. “Do that for nine months and see what a good mood you’re in.” He then inexplicably added, “I don’t know if it’s just too hard to be married to a woman that wants to be a movie star. I know that she has that right to want that.”

The bitter irony in that statement goes without saying, but here’s a bit more. After Hawke and Thurman’s 2005 divorce, Hawke eventually ended up marrying Ryan Shawhughes, who is — wait for it — the couple’s former nanny. Yeah. 

For her part, Thurman at least partially agreed with Hawke’s assessment of what went wrong. While the nanny didn’t come up during a 2005 interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Kill Bill star did say that she didn’t work a lot between the years her children were born, which gave the former couple “a lot of stability.” Everything changed, however, once she went back to her “incredibly demanding” career.

You probably won't ever hear Kid Rock impersonating Borat's 'My wife'

For many, Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat brought knee-slapping laughter. But the film may have brought a divorce to Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock after the “Cowboy” singer saw the film. Rock reportedly hated the outrageous comedy, which centers on Cohen’s character Borat Sagdiyev wanting to marry Anderson. He saw a screening of it at Hollywood big-wig Ron Meyer’s house, and let’s just say he didn’t give his wife a standing ovation.

“Bob started screaming at Pam, saying she had humiliated herself and telling her, ‘You’re nothing but a wh**e. You’re a slut. How could you do that movie in front of everyone?’ It was very embarrassing,” a friend of Anderson’s told the New York Post in 2006, (via CBS News).

Cohen somewhat confirmed that story years later when he discussed Anderson and Rock’s marriage on The Last Laugh podcast in 2019. The English actor said that he asked Anderson through text how Rock liked the film, and she wrote back that they were getting a divorce. When he asked the reason why she replied, “The movie.” “I thought it was a joke,” said Cohen. “But then a few weeks later they got divorced and they put as a reason for divorce, ‘Borat.'” Actually, People reported they both cited “irreconcilable differences” in their respective divorce filings in November 2006, which was the same month the film was released. They were only legally married for four months at the time. 

Tracey Edmonds didn't like the sound of Tracey Murphy

One might say that a disagreement over a wife taking her husband’s last name may lead to a tiff or a full-on argument. But a divorce? That’s reportedly what happened to Eddie Murphy and TV producer Tracey Edmonds when they were married for a mere 14 days in 2008. Although the ceremony wasn’t legally binding, they planned to make it official once returning to the United States.

But those plans were halted when a disagreement allegedly erupted over Edmonds taking Murphy’s last name. The pair had an epic fight just two days before the wedding when they probably should have been basking in the anticipation of their big day. 

After Edmonds and Murphy returned from Bora Bora, they released a statement saying they would not seek a legal marriage, and that the ceremony was “representative of our deep love, friendship and respect that we have for one another on a spiritual level.” But one could say those are just code words for: We saw what marriage to each other looked like in Bora Bora and ran for the hills. About a month later, R&B singer and Murphy’s longtime pal Johnny Gill spilled the tea that Murphy’s mother Lillian Lynch actually nixed the nuptials after she clashed with some of Edmonds’ guests. Edmonds, who signed “a confidentiality agreement” with Murphy, still denied Gill’s claim through her reps as “false spin” and “outrageous lies,” according to The St. Louis American. Yikes!

The tabloids got the best of Jim Carrey and Lauren Holly

Lauren Holly said that her nine-month marriage to Jim Carrey couldn’t withstand the constant invasion of overly ambitious tabloid reporters. The two exchanged vows in September 1996, at a time when Holly said American tabloids began to “find their voice.” In other words, reporters began doing whatever necessary to nail down a juicy story. Holly talked about that period of her life in 2013 during an interview on the now defunct Canadian talk show George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

“At first it was kind of fun,” she said about the media attention. “Then our whole life came about, ‘We have to keep them out,’ because they would do things like scale the fence at our house … or go through our garbage and put in the magazine what was in our garbage.” 

But paparazzi didn’t stop there, according to what Holly described in 2016 on Oprah: Where Are They Now? During that interview, the Picket Fences star said she realized some of them were living underneath her tennis court to get indoor shots of her home. The tabloid reporters were just as invasive when she and Carrey divorced in after less than one year of marriage. “I felt like everybody knew. I felt like they felt sorry for me or something,” Holly explained, adding, “That was kind of a weird thing to play that part out of it, the ending part, out in public.” 

Mario Lopez wasn't 'mature enough' for marriage yet

When it comes to bachelor parties, there are two types of guys in the world. One type may get wild but doesn’t forget that he’ll soon be walking down the aisle. The other loses himself in the fun he’s having and does something careless to wreck his relationship. Mario Lopez falls firmly into the latter category. 

In April 2004, he wed actress Ali Landry, but the marriage lasted only two weeks, despite the pair having dated for six years before getting hitched. Lopez lied to her about where he’d be for his bachelor party, then cheated. Landry found out about it right before their wedding, which was outside of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She filed for divorce in June 2004. Seven years later, Lopez admitted to Howard Stern that he cheated, saying he “messed around” with another woman (via Us Weekly). The Saved by the Bell star also said he just wasn’t “mature or man enough” to control himself at the shindig. 

So how did Landry crack the case? Lopez explained that her sister received a photo of him and another woman at the party. Landry talked about the cheating on The Wendy Williams Show in 2012, explaining that she “heard something right before the wedding.” The Eve actress also said that she “tapped” Lopez’s phone shortly after their honeymoon, and various women began calling her. It’s safe to say the jig was fully up at that point.

Fatherhood made Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson's marriage fall apart

Sometimes becoming a parent enhances a couple’s marriage, but other times it can do just the opposite. Take Pete Wentz and Ashlee Simpson, who were married in May 2008 and divorced in 2011. Simpson is the person who filed, and in a statement she gave the obligatory “irreconcilable differences” as the reason. But in a 2015 interview with Howard Stern, Wentz said that being a full-time dad to their son Bronx led to their split. 

Wentz plays bass in the band Fall Out Boy, and he said the group being on hiatus many years ago gave him an identity crisis, which hurt his marriage. The Illinois native also told Stern that he “became Mr. Mom” around that time, grew a beard and physically let himself go. “When your identity is what you do, it’s hard when you stop doing it,” he explained. 

Wentz also said that at first, it felt like Simpson walked away from him at his lowest point by divorcing him — something that he used to have resentment about. But after age, time, and a little perspective, the rocker realized that he also played a major part in the marriage ending. TMZ reported in 2011 that Wentz didn’t want a divorce and tried to talk Simpson out of filing. The outlet also reported that she wanted out of the marriage because of Wentz’s “erratic behavior.” 

Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child imploded his marriage

Celebrity divorce stories don’t get much more scandalous than this: Arnold Schwarzenegger had an affair with his family’s longtime live-in housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena. If that’s not strange enough, the actor turned California governor also fathered the housekeeper’s son, Joseph, while married to Maria Shriver. 

In his memoir, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, Schwarzenegger wrote that he tried to convince himself that he wasn’t Joseph’s father, but by the time the boy was “school age,” his striking resemblance to the action star was undeniable. Then to add even more weirdness to the whole thing, Baena had her son less than a week after Shriver gave birth to her fourth child with Schwarzenegger. Shriver was suspicious Schwarzenegger’s paternity for years, but the Terminator star denied it until he finally confessed in a couple’s therapy session, one day after his governorship ended. That was effectively the end of their marriage. They officially announced their separation a few months later, then divorced shortly thereafter.    

Schwarzenegger spoke with Good Morning America in 2012 about the affair and explained why he allowed Baena to still live in the family home after she gave birth to their son. “It’s worse when you start getting rid of people, because it’s kind of like punishing somebody for having been in this situation,” he reasoned. “So that’s the best way I could handle it.” 

Sherri Shepherd accused her ex-husband of creating a child support scam

Sherri Shepherd said she thought that her TV writer ex-husband Lamar Sally married her for love when they swapped I-Dos in 2011. But before their 2015 divorce, Shepherd accused Sally of tricking her into getting a surrogate to have a baby, so he could collect child support. According to TMZ, Shepherd did, indeed, sign a contract with a surrogate, but when baby Lamar Sally Jr. was born in August 2014, Shepherd didn’t want custody or any financial obligation. 

The View host also wanted her name removed from the child’s birth certificate. But in 2015, a Pennsylvania court of appeals ruled that Shepherd had to remain on the birth certificate and keep paying support, which is said to be in the sum of $4,100 a month. Yes, that much. How happy was Shepherd about that? Soon after the court’s decision, she publicly blasted Sally, and threw a shot at her first husband, with whom she also shares a son, for good measure. “How many ex husbands does it take to get money from a single mom,” she tweeted, adding, “Two. #dumb and #dumber #getalife #getajob.”

In 2016, Sally told the New York Post that despite their issues he and Shepherd didn’t fight. After their split, however, things took a turn as “Sherri’s friends in the media… dogged me out every chance,” he said, describing the scrutiny as “pure hell,” and lamenting how he “got painted as a gold digger.”  

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