Stars are just like us! They get coffee, take their kids to the park, and have sordid affairs with their co-workers. Only, when your office is Hollywood, the whole world becomes privy to your dirty deeds. There are many reasons why a star might choose to rehearse their love scenes after hours. Sometimes, their relationship was already as good as over. Often, it’s as simple as an inability to remain monogamous when their partner’s not around. Very occasionally, it’s a matter of finding a love they never thought possible. Or maybe they’re just so bored with the movie they’re making that they can’t help messing around with their hot co-star. Is it a coincidence that most of the films these thespian philanderers used as their own personal Ashley Madison were total flops? Is there something to the Seven Year Itch theory?
Whatever the reason, there is never a shortage of “close friends” willing to spill the juicy details to the press, which is why we can bring you 15 pairs of actors who couldn’t keep it in their pants on the job.
15. Harrison Ford & Carrie Fisher
Because of their undeniable chemistry in 1977’s Star Wars, fans long suspected a real-life romance, but it wasn’t confirmed until Carrie Fisher revealed the ghastly particulars in her 2016 memoir, The Princess Diarist. Fisher was only 19 when she landed the iconic role of Princess Leia, a tough-talking space politician with a soft spot for scruffy looking mercenaries. It’s hard to blame one so young and inexperienced for falling for a man 14 years her senior, known for his dashing heroics and roughneck charm.
At the time, Harrison Ford was married and had 2 children with his high school sweetheart, Mary Marquardt. In one of Hollywood’s only known examples of discretion, the actors agreed to keep their dalliance confined to production, ending things when they boarded their flight home. The 3 month affair would have been lost to the failings of human memory, had Fisher not kept a diary. Of course, it’s just one side of the story, but Fisher convincingly blames her part on youthful indiscretion. Ford eventually divorced Marquardt, but it wasn’t because of Fisher.
14. Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton
Perhaps the most legendary of our unfaithful couples, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made cheating an art. It began in 1963 on the set of Cleopatra. Burton was married to actress Sybil Williams and Taylor was on hubby #4, Eddie Fisher (after yoinking him from her ex-BFF, Debbie Reynolds). Their passionate on-screen kiss continued long after the director called cut.
The Vatican even weighed in, calling their scandalous union “erotic vagrancy” (a great title for their biopic). Despite an epic attraction to one another, they couldn’t keep it together. Their first marriage (to each other) ended a decade in, after Burton nailed a young co-star. They divorced for 16 months, remarried for another 10 months, and then divorced again.
Despite a reputation for extravagance, drowning themselves in booze and diamonds, Taylor always swore it was true love. Toward the end of her life, she confessed, “The truth is I now don’t give a damn about most of those men. Richard is the only one I truly loved and still care about.”
13. Chad Michael Murray & Paris Hilton
Sophia Bush met Chad Michael Murray on the set of teen drama, One Tree Hill. They soon became the wholesome couple next door both on and off screen… until Paris Hilton happened. The billionaire hotel heiress and the CW heartthrob acted together in 2005’s forgettable horror remake, House of Wax. Bush and Murray wed as but babes in their early twenties, after 2 years of dating. But they’d been married for all of a month when Murray reportedly hooked up with Hilton. 4 months later, the affair became public.
Distraught, Bush filed an annulment citing fraud. The annulment was denied, but when they were granted a regular old divorce, Bush stated, “I have been reduced to a Hollywood statistic, another joke marriage. I never expected to be married more than once.” What’s worse, Bush and Murray had to continue working together on One Tree Hill for another 4 years. Also hung out to dry in this mess was Hilton’s Backstreet Boyfriend Nick Carter. Carter got his revenge by boning Ashlee Simpson.
12. Kate Hudson & Owen Wilson
For 6 years, Kate Hudson had been the picture of bohemian wedded bliss with Black Crowe’s singer Chris Robinson. But it all went out the window when she was cast alongside Owen Wilson in 2006’s You, Me, and Dupree. Hudson and Wilson’s initial affair lasted only 6 months, but it was enough to spur a divorce. During a 7-month hiatus, Wilson, a long-time sufferer from depression, attempted suicide. It’s rumored that photos of Hudson kissing actor Dax Shephard were among the triggers that drove him to pull a Richie Tenenbaum. Kate and Owen briefly reunited, and even discussed marriage, but 2 months later, it was over for good.
This left them open for future babies and breakups with other people. Kate had a son and a broken engagement with Muse front man Matt Bellamy, and Owen scored a son each from girlfriends Jade Duell (a Federal Air Marshall) and Caroline Lindqvist (his personal trainer). Whatever their failings, you certainly can’t accuse either Kate or Owen of having “a type”.
11. Johnny Depp w/ Amber Heard
By 2012, Johnny Depp had been with the mother of his 2 children, French actress and model Vanessa Paradis, for 14 years, and it seemed like they were in it for the long haul. But when he embodied gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson for the second time in The Rum Diary, he found himself in Amber Heard country. Rumors circulated about an on-set affair, but they didn’t go public until after his divorce, in the spring of 2013. They married after 2 years of dating, and it was nothing but wine and roses from there on out.
Just kidding! 52-year-old Depp and 30-year-old Amber suffered an ugly 8-month divorce battle in which she claimed physical abuse, filed a restraining order, and demanded a $7 million settlement. Several of Depp’s exes, including Paradis, made public statements disavowing the validity of the abuse allegations, and the charges were dropped. Regardless, Heard donated the entirety of the settlement to charities including aiding victims of domestic violence in order to, “help those less able to defend themselves.”
10. Claire Danes & Billy Crudup
They say the heart wants what it wants. But try telling that to actress Mary-Louise Parker, who had been with Billy Crudup for 8 years and was 7 months pregnant with his son when she received word that he was dumping her for Angela Chase. Claire Danes and Crudup fell in love while playing romantic leads in 2004’s Shakespearean drama, Stage Beauty. Parker addressed the demoralizing experience in a chapter of her epistolary memoir, Dear Mr. You, in which she apologized to a cab driver for (understandably) losing her shit en route to a pre-natal doctor’s appointment.
Meanwhile, Danes got busy trampling the heart of her longtime boyfriend, Australian singer/songwriter Ben Lee. Danes and Crudup’s totally worth it relationship ended 3 years later. In a recent interview, Danes reflected on the affair with a sorry/not sorry explanation, “I was just in love with him and needed to explore that and I was 24. I didn’t quite know what those consequences would be.” Crudup, on the other hand, was 37. What’s his excuse?
9. LeAnn Rimes & Eddie Cibrian
In 2009, LeAnn Rimes threw 7 years of marriage to professional dancer Dean Sheremet down the tubes in order to hook up with her Northern Lights co-star. Eddie Cibrian was far from innocent in the scandal, betraying the mother of his 2 sons, Brandi Glanville. According to Sheremet and future Real Housewife, Glanville, Rimes and Cibrian made little effort to hide the affair, singing karaoke duets and flirting right in front of their spouses.
Sheremet, who was also Rimes’ manager, blames himself and his failure to compartmentalize their personal and work relationships. Brandi detailed the humiliation in her book, Drinking & Tweeting and Other Brandi Blunders, declaring that she confronted Eddie on several occasions, but he maintained his innocence till the last. Rimes insisted that the affair was out of character for her, but true love clouded her judgment. Glanville claims that despite marrying Rimes in 2011, Cibrian has continued to get down with his baby mama, and predicts a divorce by 2021. She should for sure hold her breath until then.
8. Helena Bonham Carter & Kenneth Branagh
“I’ve had so much bloody practice at crying in a bedroom,” said actress Emma Thompson about her authentic turn as a wife scorned in Love, Actually. Thompson and Kenneth Branagh had been a power couple for 7 years when he blindsided her with the news that he was leaving her for Helena Bonham Carter. The affair began shortly after the actor/director cast Carter as his romantic co-star in the 1994 film, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Branagh and Thompson divorced a year later, blaming “scheduling difficulties”. It was later revealed that Branagh and Carter’s 5-year relationship began on set.
Emma insists she’s not bitter, with a quip that manages to be simultaneously self-deprecating and a sweet burn. “…[Carter and I are similar] being slightly mad and a bit fashion-challenged. Perhaps that’s why Ken loved us both. She’s a wonderful woman, Helena.” The three actors have since left all the drama in the rearview. Carter started an unconventional family with Tim Burton, Thompson married producer Greg Wise, and Branagh wed art director Lindsay Brunnock.
7. Meg Ryan & Russell Crowe
In the early 1990s, Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid seemed like the sweetest couple in Hollywood, having fallen in love on the set of the crime thriller, D.O.A. By 1992, their seemingly perfect family was completed with the birth of their son, Jack. But it was all a well-crafted illusion.
In 2000, the tabloids were ablaze with stories about Ryan and Russell Crowe hooking up on the set of Proof of Life. At the time, Ryan shouldered most of the blame for bringing their 9-year marriage to an end. But years later, Ryan claims that Quaid’s serial philandering was the true culprit, and things had already been on the decline for some time. Said Ryan, “Russell didn’t break up the marriage. He was definitely there at the end, but it wasn’t his fault.” Regardless, Quaid is currently the only member of the love triangle to have found romantic stability. He is married with twins to an estate agent named Kimberly. Meanwhile, Ryan is single after 4 years with John Mellencamp, and Crowe is divorced from singer-songwriter Danielle Spencer.
6. Rachael Weisz & Daniel Craig
Rachel Weisz and Daniel Craig got a taste of wedded bliss when they played husband and wife in the 2011 haunting horror film, Dream House. Unfortunately for their partners, both were seeing (and had children with) other people when production began. Weisz was on year 9 of her relationship with Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, and Craig was engaged to his girlfriend of 7 years, film producer Satsuki Mitchell. By the time filming wrapped, Weisz and Craig were an official item, and their previous partners were as good as ghosts.
The lovebirds married later that year in a private ceremony attended only by his daughter and her son. Today, they remain one of the most private couples in Hollywood, concealing the titillating details even from friends. Said Weisz, “One of the great pleasures of not being an adolescent is that you don’t have to share everything.” Though this secrecy has also led to gossip that they’re on the rocks. Naturally, a publicist for the couple has called these rumors “100% not true”.
5. Ted Danson & Whoopi Goldberg
When Ted Danson starred in 1992’s Made in America, he had been married to his high school sweetheart for 15 years. Danson’s devotion to Casey, who was paralyzed after giving birth to the elder of their two daughters, seemed unwavering. But that was before he met his co-star. Whoopi Goldberg, a twice-divorced mother of 2, was an American treasure known for her madcap comedy chops. The actors formed a strong bond during their 10 weeks spent playing a used car salesman and a bookstore owner united through artificial insemination. The director noted their terrific chemistry but was none the wiser. The cameraman who shot their furniture-destroying love scene had chalked it up to great acting, noting, “It’s hot in retrospect.”
Danson declared himself smitten, stating, “I’d walk in Whoopi’s shadow for the rest of my life.” He didn’t, though. A year later, DanBerg were over. Shortly thereafter, Danson met actress Mary Steenburgen, and the 2 are still together almost 20 years later. Now that’s hot. Meanwhile, The View star doesn’t appear to be sweating her status as a single woman.
4. Ryan Phillippe & Abbie Cornish
Ryan Phillippe blames youth as the culprit for his failed marriage to Reese Witherspoon. The couple met on her 21st birthday and fell madly in love. But after 8 years and 2 kids, the honeymoon was definitely over. Phillippe struggled to keep up with his wife’s rising star. She had just won the Oscar for Walk the Line when her husband played a P.T.S.D. addled Iraq war vet in 2008’s Stop-Loss. Allegations about an affair with Abbie Cornish filled the gossip rags. The co-stars denied it at the time, but made their union official conspicuously soon after Ryan and Reese divorced.
3 years later, Cornish and Philippe “drifted apart”, but Phillippe and Witherspoon are killing it as exes. Over the years, they’ve continued to support each other through breakups and career setbacks. Reese even attended Ryan’s 2016 wedding to Paulina Slagter. After a brief, high profile relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal, Witherspoon married talent agent Jim Toth in 2011. In the end, Abbie was but a blip in Ryan and Reese’s parental partnership. And that’s about as “Happily Ever After” as it gets in Hollywood.
3. Justin Theroux & Jennifer Aniston
In 2005, Jen secured the sympathy of millions when she was blindsided by the news that then-husband, Brad Pitt, was leaving her for his Mr. And Mrs. Smith co-star, Angelina Jolie. However, despite famously calling out her rival for her “uncool” man thievery, Aniston earned the Home Wrecker title when she fell for Theroux on the set of the 2012 comedy, Wanderlust.
Justin’s long-time partner, costume designer, Heidi Bivens, revealed that she didn’t move out of the couple’s home until after Jen and Justin had gone public with their affair. Middle-aged breakups aren’t out of the norm for couples that originally got together in their early twenties, but Heidi claimed she didn’t know about Justin and Jen until two months in, and was completely humiliated. Not without remorse, and perhaps plagued by a sense of hypocrisy, Jen later sat down with Heidi to apologize for how it all went down. And that’s why we’ll be Team Jen forever.
2. Billy Bob Thornton & Angelina Jolie
It sounds insane now, but before Brad and Angelina, there was Angelina and Billy Bob. Thornton left his fiancé, actress Laura Dern, after starring with Jolie in the 1999 dramedy, Pushing Tin. It’s pretty clear why Thornton was into it, but Jolie was likewise so puzzlingly smitten that she had his name (remember, his name is “Billy Bob”) tattooed on her arm, and proudly wore a vile of his blood around her neck. It all felt very abrupt for Dern, who described, “[leaving our] home to go and make a movie and while I was away, my boyfriend got married and I never heard from him again.”
Angie and Billy Bob were the Vampire Redneck couple that haunted the red carpet for several years with their disturbingly wet P.D.A. Thornton blames his insecurities for their divorce 3 years later, saying, “I never felt good enough for her.” She wanted to adopt Cambodian children while he just wanted to chill and watch sports. Considering whom she married next, he might have been onto something.
1. Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie
From day one of production on 2005’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith, rumors emerged about the chemistry between the 2 leads that sizzled on-screen as a married couple. Unfortunately, they weren’t (yet) married to each other. Jolie was enjoying the single life, having been divorced from Billy Bob Thornton for 2 years. Brad and Jennifer Aniston seemed to still be going strong after 7 years as America’s sweetheart stoner couple. On the other hand, what are 2 supernaturally gorgeous people to do but get it on?
The affair was demoralizing for Jen, but it also kind of felt like the natural order of things. Brangelina went on to parent 6 children together (3 of whom are biological) before taking the marriage plunge in 2014. Unfortunately, as you probably know, this love affair for the ages doesn’t have a happy ending. The rumor mill claims Angie put her children first while Brad prioritized booze over his brood. Angie filed for divorce in 2016 and at press time, they’re still hashing out the details.
What other Hollywood actors cheated with their co-stars? Let us know in the comments.
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