If there's one definite truth about becoming a celebrity in today's culture, it's that your personal life will become the business of your adoring (and disparaging) fans. As each and every celebrity is well aware of this, they do try, on occasion, to keep their personal lives personal. You can't blame them for trying, but in many cases, details leak with photos and on-set rumors, which tell the world who everyone is dating, fooling around with, marrying, and divorcing.
Some of the celebrity couples we found for this list did a pretty good job of keeping their relationships secret from the public while others didn't do the best job. For whatever reason, they just wanted to keep their private lives private, which is how most people choose to operate, but given they live their lives in front of cameras for everyone to see, doing so has never been easy for them.
For this list, we are focusing on relationships that were kept secret from the public up until the point they ended. While many of these examples feature relationships the public believed were going on, they were either unconfirmed at the time or flatly denied by those involved. Looking back on some of these may seem obvious now, but when they were happening, they were all speculation and rumor.
Here are 15 Celebrity Couples That Denied Being Together (Until They Broke Up)
15 VANESSA HUDGENS & JOSH HUTCHERSON
You know a situation is awkward when you have to admit that you were not only dating someone, but that you also broke up with them while promoting the movie you worked on together with that person. That happened when Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Hutcherson were together on the Australian morning television show Today promoting the movie Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.
When asked how long they had been dating, the couple shared an awkward glance and simply admitted "We're not" before going on to admit "We were at one point" before Hutcherson joked she had broken his heart. At the time, Hudgens was in a relationship with Austin Butler so the host of Today may not have been as up-to-date as the pair would have liked.
It was long speculated the couple were dating after they were spotted together at a Lakers game in March 2011. They never admitted to it and kept their relationship status to themselves. Hudgens even said she was single in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres on her talk show at least a month into their secret relationship. Her reply, "Can't a girl have friends?" shut down the comments, but their admission on Today suggests otherwise. Since the split, both actors remain friends and have gone on to date other people.
14 MILEY CYRUS & NICK JONAS
Fans of these two former Disney stars are well aware of their relationship history, but when the couple began dating, they kept it as secret from the public as possible. This was one of those secrets everyone simply assumed to be true, which turned out to be the case once they broke up, but if you were to ask a teenage Miley and Nick if they were dating, they would change the subject and talk about anything else.
Miley's 2009 book, Miles to Go, referred to a young man as Prince Charming, whom she eventually admitted to being Nick. They met at a 2006 charity event for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Foundation. They started dating in secret soon after though they were photographed together numerous times, but never doing anything overtly romantic or couple-y. Of course, it wasn't meant to be and the pair broke up the following year.
Their relationship came to an end at the same time as Miley's The Best of Both Worlds tour, which featured the Jonas Brothers as her opening act. She wrote in her book, "Prince Charming and I broke up on December 19, 2007." Miley finally spilled the beans and revealed the name of her Prince Charming in an interview with Seventeen Magazine in 2008.
13 JOHNNY GALECKI & KALEY CUOCO
The Big Bang Theory has wrapped its 11th season, which has let fans see the on-screen romance between Johnny Galecki's Dr. Leonard Hofstadter and Kaley Cuoco's Penny develop since 2007. While the couple has had an on-again-off-again relationship until recently on the show, many fans were surprised to learn the actors actually dated one another when the series first began.
Cuoco and Galecki prefer to keep their private lives to themselves, so they kept their relationship a secret from pretty much everybody while it was going on for a period of nearly two years.
Not only did they avoid speaking about their romance, they never went anywhere together so they couldn't be photographed in an intimate setting. It wasn't until three years after they couple had broken up that they really began to speak about it publicly.
Part of the reason for the secrecy had to do with them wanting to keep their lives private from the public eye, but a lot of their reasons for hiding it had to do with protecting the show. The Big Bang Theory was still in its infancy when they began dating and rumors of a relationship and breakup might have hurt the series in the eyes of the fans. They may have made the right choice seeing as the series is one of the most popular on television.
12 ALEXIS BLEDEL & JARED PADALECKI
Fans of the hit series The Gilmore Girls know all about the onscreen relationship between Alexis Bledel's Rory Gilmore and Jared Padalecki's Dean Forester, but they were shocked to learn in 2016 that the couple actually dated in real life! The secret relationship may seem a foregone conclusion given the pair's chemistry on screen, but they managed to keep it under wraps for the entire duration of filming.
Other than Gilmore Girls' casting director Jami Rudofsky spilling the beans about their secret relationship years after it concluded, the couple haven't gone into any details including how long they were together or why they broke up.
Interestingly, Bledel reportedly dated two other young men who worked on the series. In addition to Padalecki, she also dated Milo Ventimiglia and Chris Heuisler, who came on for a guest role. Unlike her time with Padalecki, her relationship with Ventimiglia was anything but a secret. The couple were spotted around town and spoke openly about their relationship, even going so far as to discuss marriage at one point.
Bledel has since gone on to marry Vincent Kartheiser, an actor best known for his role of Pete Campbell on Mad Men. Padalecki has also moved on and married Genevieve Nicole Cortese, best known for her role as Ruby 2.0 in Supernatural.
11 KIRSTEN DUNST & TOBEY MAGUIRE
It's not uncommon for Hollywood couples to meet on the set of a film or television show. If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: many people meet their partners at work and when you spend years together working on projects like Spider-Man and its sequels, relationships can develop. That was reportedly the case for Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst who played Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Mary Jane Watson Respectively.
The couple's relationship was revealed after their breakup thanks to an interview with director Sam Raimi.
Raimi revealed they began dating during the first film, but admitted he wasn't aware at the time.
He expressed concern their breakup prior to finishing Spider-Man 3 might hurt the movie and if the reviews are any indication, he may have been right. Granted, that film failed to achieve the success of its predecessors for a variety of reasons, the least of which was the onscreen chemistry between the two stars.
Raimi admitted the two actors maintained their professionalism and he had no issues with their onscreen chemistry or their performance on set. Since their breakup, Maguire married and divorced Jennifer Meyer, a jewelry designer, while Dunst had a child with Jesse Plemons, an actor best known for playing Landry Clarke on Friday Night Lights.
10 TAYLOR SWIFT & JOHN MAYER
If you thought we could get through a list detailing the life and times of Hollywood celebrities and their relationships but only cover Taylor Swift in one entry, you were way off! Swift's relationships have become legendary due to her scathing songs often detailing her life, but she does try to keep her life to herself for as long as possible. It's when those relationships come to an end that she seems more than willing to put pen to paper and let the world know how she feels. Not that we are complaining; she keeps churning out one hit after another. It's unfortunate many of those songs are the result of heartbreak, but aren't most songs, when you think about it?
We now know that Taylor Swift and John Mayer were at one time an item, but during their courtship, they kept their lips tightly locked. Of course, it was rumored around town and in the gossip rags, but went unconfirmed until Swift released the song "Dear John" on her Speak Now album.
Mayer felt betrayed over the way the relationship ended in song, but you have to think he must have known that was a possibility. Family Guy even did an episode about Swift's habit of breaking up with men just to pen amazing songs. Frankly, it's something anyone dating her should know going in, but Mayer was in a pretty dark place when they broke up in 2010, which probably didn't help.
9 ROBERT PATTINSON & KRISTEN STEWART
It's a well known and widely publicized fact that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson used to date. While we know this now, the stars of the hit Twilight film franchise managed to keep their relationship status a poorly-kept secret for years... right up to the point where it fell apart. We are using the term "poorly kept secret" due to the couple's refusal to discuss their relationship while it was happening. They were often seen together, but wouldn't comment on whether or not they were together, which likely drove entertainment gossip writers nuts.
The Hollywood couple kept the details of their lives as far from the public eye as possible while they were dating. Stewart has even deemed the public as part of the problem saying, "When I was dating Rob, the public were the enemy—and that is no way to live." Their union came to an abrupt— and very public end when pictures of her kissing Rupert Sanders, the married director of Snow White and the Huntsman surfaced online. Once the cat was out of the bag, their relationship predictably torpedoed and they went on to date other people.
Stewart has since come out and been romantically linked to Alicia Cargile, Soko, Anne Clark, and most recently, Stella Maxwell. Pattinson went on to date Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA Twigs for three years, but that relationship ended in 2017.
8 KELLY CLARKSON & JUSTIN GUARINI
American Idol has been a major music competition on television since it first premiered in 2002 and it has created some huge stars. The very first of whom was Kelly Clarkson, but if you didn't watch that first season, you might not have noticed how close she seemed to get with the gentleman who came in the number two spot, Justin Guarini.
That first season went with a slightly different format than the ones that followed. In addition to winning a record contract, the first place winner and runner-up got to star in their very own movie! The forgettable musical film From Justin to Kelly wasn't great. In fact, it was so bad it won awards for how terrible it was.
While their movie may not have hit the mark, it turns out the onscreen romance between the two stars was as real as it gets.
Guarini revealed in 2014 that he and Clarkson were most definitely involved. He went on to detail their relationship began on the set of the film in 2002. Sadly, it wasn't meant to be and the couple's relationship fizzled when his career didn't pick up as quickly as Clarkson's who went on to become an international star.
7 EMMY ROSSUM & JUSTIN SIEGEL
Emmy Rossum, the star who is best known for her role of Fiona Gallagher, on Shameless ended her marriage to music executive Justin Siegel in divorce back in December 2010. Divorces are fairly public events for celebrities due to the legal issues pertaining to property valued in the millions, but they break up for the same reasons we all do. In their case, the marriage may have ended when Rossum began seeing Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz while the two were still married.
The twist with this marriage is that hardly anyone even knew they were married! While it wasn't a state secret that they were dating, they managed to keep the fact of their marriage from just about everyone.
The couple secretly wed in 2008, but paid to have the marriage license kept confidential.
They remained together for nearly two years and reportedly had an amicable split.
Since parting, Rossum went on to publicly marry Sam Esmail, a screenwriter, director, and producer best known for creating Mr. Robot. Siegel, the one who filed for divorce in 2010, cited "irreconcilable differences" in his filing and sought spousal support, but this was denied. When the dust finally settled, the judge ordered a settlement in the paltry amount of only $57,000, which may seem like a lot to most people, but in Hollywood, it's ridiculously small.
6 JANET JACKSON & RENÉ ELIZONDO JR.
It came as something of a surprise back in 2000 when Janet Jackson was sued for divorce from René Elizondo Jr., but that was mostly due to the fact that people didn't even know she was married. Once the papers had gone public, the cat was out of the bag and it was confirmed the couple had married on March 31, 1991 in a secret ceremony held at the couple's San Diego estate. They remained together until January 1999, but filed due to "irreconcilable differences" in mid-2000.
Jackson had previously married James DeBarge in a much more public event when she was only 18, which may have pushed her to keep her future relationships from the public eye.
That marriage was annulled within only a few months. Jackson commented on the secret marriage and subsequent divorce at the time saying, "to have a normal family life... Since I was a child, my personal life has been lived in the public eye," she said. "At times, this has been very difficult. I hope my fans will understand."
Jackson and Elizondo Jr.'s relationship had long been rumored, but never confirmed. His hands were the ones cupping herin an infamous Rolling Stones cover and they had publicly worked together for 15 years. He co-wrote 37 of her songs and even directed some of her music videos, but their private relationship remained that way until the divorce was filed.
5 FREIDA PINTO & ROHAN ANTAO
When the movie Slumdog Millionaire hit theaters in 2008, it became an instant hit. Not only did it go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture that year, it brought the talents of one of its stars, Freida Pinto to international attention and acclaim. Pinto even went on to date her co-star from the film, Dev Patel, in what became a highly publicized relationship. That relationship eventually ended after six years, but what many people didn't know was that Pinto had been secretly engaged before Slumdog Millionaire made it big.
In 2011, news broke that Pinto had been engaged to her former publicist, Rohan Antao. It was the film that Antao cites as the reason for his relationship falling apart. By Antao's account, they had a great relationship until the film started making waves taking up more and more of Pinto's time.
Antao alleges that Pinto went on the road to promote the film and simply stopped calling him. From that point, the relationship fizzled and it hit that final point where their friends and family knew it was over when Antao changed his Facebook status from "In a relationship" to "Single" in early 2009. Pinto continues to keepe her private life as far from public scrutiny as possible.
4 TAYLOR SWIFT & JOE JONAS
If there's one thing anyone who knows anything about Taylor Swift knows, it's that her relationships - or the end of her relationships fuel her songwriting talents. This was a lesson Joe Jonas learned all too well when he heard the songs "Last Kiss" and "Forever and Always" seeing as they aren't the most positive in her catalog. She eventually released the song "Holy Ground" about their time together, which is much more positive.
Their relationship is well known these days and was highly suspected while it was ongoing, but the couple never admitted to dating when they were together. Their romance was relatively short, lasting only three months in 2007, but it had a meaningful impact on Swift as is evident with her songs. At the time of their breakup, she claimed he ended it with a 27-second phone call, but he countered in a letter to his fans that the phone call was abruptly ended by the other party, though he never mentioned Swift by name at the time.
Since ending their short union, Jonas has gone on to date other women including Demi Lovato and Camilla Belle, but ultimately asked Sophie Turner to marry him in 2017. Swift has likewise been dating and songwriting since the breakup and has most recently been romantically linked to Joe Alwyn, an English actor best known for playing the title role in the film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.
3 BOB DYLAN & CAROLYN DENNIS
Bob Dylan has been in the public eye for decades, but has always shied away from media attention when it comes to his public life. Until recently, it was thought he had only been married once to Sara Lownes in 1965, but a book published in 2001 changed that number to two. According to the book, Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan by Howard Sounes, Dylan married again on June 4, 1986.
Once the cat was out of the bag, his ex-wife Carolyn Dennis spoke about the relationship. She confirmed they had married and kept it hidden from the public, but spoke out in his defense regarding the birth of their child. "To portray Bob as hiding his daughter is just malicious and ridiculous. That is something he would never do. Bob has been a wonderful, active father to Desiree."
Dylan and Dennis ended their marriage in October 1992 after six years. They met while Dennis was working as a backup singer for Dylan's 1978 World Tour and dated off and on in the late-1970s. They broke up for a while when Dennis married a drummer, but she rekindled her romance with Dylan in secret after that marriage came to an end.
2 KYLIE JENNER & CODY SIMPSON
It seems these days, Kylie Jenner can't sneeze without someone, somewhere hearing about it. Even before crossing the threshold into adulthood, Jenner was in the spotlight, which makes her secret relationship with Cody Simpson all the more impressive. The couple dated for a short while, but never spoke publicly about their relationship until they split. They were photographed together, which helped fuel speculation of their relationship, but they never confirmed it.
Kylie and Simpson met when they were just 14-years-old when she and her sister, Kendall, interviewed the Australian pop singer on Ryan Seacrest's On Air radio show. She even said, "You're my rumor boyfriend on Twitter... nice to finally meet you." on the air, which only helped fuel speculation of the couple's romance.
The relationship went unconfirmed until an interview where Simpson spoke live, on the air about it. He joked that they broke up because he didn't spell his first name with the letter "K," even going so far to say, "The whole K-O-D-Y thing didn’t really work for me."
While Simpson didn't mind spending a few minutes detailing his private relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Jenner has been less open to the press. She still maintains the couple were "just friends" years after their breakup.
1 MATTHEW BRODERICK & JENNIFER GREY
Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Garner played brother and sister while they starred alongside one another in the hit film Ferris Beuler's Day Off in 1986. The film garnered international attention for both stars and it helped to launch Broderick's career. It was long-rumored that the pair had begun a romantic relationship on-set, but they never discussed it in public nor did they confirm it when asked. They wanted to keep it private, but tragedy brought the reality of their relationship onto the front page of just about ever newspaper in the world in 1987.
After wrapping Biloxi Blues and Dirty Dancing, Broderick and Garner got together for a few weeks to enjoy a vacation in Ireland. On August 5, 1978, they got into a car accident that left two people dead about 80 miles west of Belfast. While Broderick was driving in a downpour, he possibly shifted to driving on the right side of the road instead of the left as is proper in Ireland. This led to a head-on collision, which ended the lives of the passengers of the other vehicle.
With the horrible events of that day coming to light, their relationship was confirmed, though it didn't last much longer. The couple broke up due to the strain the accident caused on their relationship.
What other secretive couples revealed their relationships after they were done? Let us know in the comments!