We all know how hard it is to go through a break up. Imagine that pain and trauma that you go through, and then multiply it and magnify it. That’s what breaking up must feel like for a celebrity. Not only are they going through this horrible thing, but they are going through it under the watchful eyes of millions of fans and ‘ship’-ers, and even worse, haters.
The constant scrutiny is why so many celebrity relationships fail, and why there are so many sad stories of massive fall outs between celebrities who were once so great together.
This makes it all the more impressive when couples who were once so strong break up – but remain friends! With some of our favorite celeb former couples, we’re just happy that even though they can’t be together anymore, at least they’re still friends.
Then, of course, there’s still those stars who just don’t make it as friends, and instead have very highly publicized and messy breakups – though some of these hardly come as a surprise, given what went down surrounding the relationship.
Read on for the 9 Celebrity Exes Who Stayed Friends (And 8 Who Didn't).
17 Gwyneth Paltrow And Chris Martin (Friends)
The now ex-couple that coined the term "conscious uncoupling" are obviously the best of friends. That’s right, we’re talking about none other than actress, entrepreneur, and health guru Gwyneth Paltrow and singer Chris Martin.
Indeed, in 2015, over a year after they publicly announced they were splitting up, the two spent Valentine’s Day together, then went to Puerto Vallarta together. They’ve also spent time together in the Hamptons and Antigua!
Don’t get us wrong – we’re all for modern families, and it’s great that their kids, Moses and Apple, are having what seems to be such a great experience as children of divorce.
All the same, we can’t help but wonder how difficult it must be for everyone involved – for Paltrow and Martin, as well as each individual’s new significant other!
16 Charlie Sheen And Denise Richards (Frenemies)
Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen divorced in 2006, after 2 children and 4 years of marriage - the breakup was not an amicable one, with Richards filing for a restraining order. But 10 years later, in 2016, we were reminded of this relationship when Richards sued Sheen for not providing the financial support promised when they were first divorced.
There has been a lot of half truths and rumors spread around Hollywood by this point, and a lot has been said on social media by both parties.
At any rate, we’ve dubbed this celebrity ex-couple "frenemies," because despite the law suit, in January of this year, Richards posted a photo on social media, stating “We’ve had a colorful year …at the end of the day we’re still a family”.
15 Cameron Diaz And Justin Timberlake (Friends)
Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake are both both happily married with other people now. Timberlake married Jessica Biel in 2012, and Diaz married Benji Madden in 2015.
But we all remember when Diaz and Timberlake dated, back in those beautiful denim-clad early 2000s. In fact, they dated for close to four years!
Although this was devastating for fans of yet another beautiful Hollywood couple at the time, everyone is happy now. And Timberlake and Diaz are still on great terms!
In fact, just in 2011, the two co-starred in the film Bad Teacher, and Diaz said of working with her ex in an interview with Playboy, “We’re adults. Of course, we could work together. It’s been three years since we broke up. It’s all done… We’re friends”.
14 Sofia Vergara And Nick Loeb (Enemies)
Sofia Vergara, best known for her role in Modern Family, was once engaged to Nick Loeb. Sadly, this romantic history ended pretty badly, when a messy legal custody battle ensued after Loeb wanted to use their frozen pre-embryos with a surrogate, without Vergara’s consent.
Loeb filed a lawsuit against Vergara so he could have access to the pre-embryos, but was denied, as Vergara would need to provide written consent in order for him to do this. Naturally, as they were no longer together, Vergara has so far clearly expressed that she will not be giving consent, hence, the legal battle.
However, there was a contract about the pre-embryos written up when they were together, and Loeb lost his case in court when he tried to gain custody of the pre-embryos. In fact, Loeb breached their contract by naming the pre-embryos and creating trust funds for them.
13 Nina Dobrev And Ian Somerhalder (Friends)
For years, tabloids speculated on the relationship between Vampire Diaries’ stars Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder, even long after the had split and Somerhalder had married Twilight star Nikki Reed.
We never heard much from the stars on the so-called feuds between Somerhalder and Dobrev and Reed and Dobrev, and the love triangle that the media seemed to portray to the public, and nothing was ever confirmed.
Finally, just in 2017, the stars quashed the rumors by posting photos of the three of them together on social media. Reed captioned a long message along with a photo of all three, stating that the media had perpetuated negativity about their various relationships for too long, and that this was a bad message to send to young girls, and Dobrev posted a selfie of all three stars, captioning among other things, “so good catching up with these goofballs.”
12 Taylor Swift And John Mayer (Enemies)
Singers Taylor Swift and John Mayer dated back in 2009, when Swift was just 19 and Mayer was 32. One year later, after the two had already ended their relationship, Swift released a song on her Speak Now album entitled "Dear John", about a guy named John who messed with a girl who was too young. Apart from the song title, the line “Don’t you think nineteen’s too young/ To be played by your dark, twisted games?” was a tell-tale sign for fans and media alike that the song was about him.
Mayer said an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that the song made him feel humiliated.
Clearly the two aren’t on great terms. Mayer elaborated: "I didn't deserve it. I'm pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that. It was a really lousy thing for her to do."
11 Mindy Kaling And B.J. Novak (Friends)
Back in the days of NBC’s The Office, Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak did more than just act as Kelly and Ryan, customer service representative and the temp at Dunder Mifflin paper company. Indeed, the two actually dated during their time on the show and writing for the show. Similar to their characters on the show, they were somewhat off and on during this time. Throughout this and afterwards, though, they have remained great friends.
In an interview with InStyle in 2015, Kaling said of her relationship with Novak, “my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell. He is not my boyfriend, but he is not my best friend. I guess you could describe our relationship as a ‘romantically charged camaraderie with loud arguments’.”
Who knows, maybe they’re more than friends. Just this year, the two attended the Vanity Fair Oscars viewing party together!
10 Sophia Bush And Chad Michael Murray (Enemies)
One Tree Hill stars Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray were in their early twenties when they were married – and got an annulment just five months later.
This was 2006 – but Murray didn’t leave the show until 3 years later, in 2009. Imagine having to work with your ex for another three years?
Obviously, the relationship had to remain professional, but it doesn’t sound like the two really stayed friends, given the way they talk about each other in interviews, and the TMZ reports about Murray cheating on Bush with none other than Paris Hilton.
Speaking to Andy Cohen of Watch What Happens Live, Bush said: “We were two stupid kids who had no business being in a relationship in the first place.” Well, that sums things up quite succinctly.
9 Johnny Depp And Vanessa Paradis (Friends)
The end of actor Johnny Depp and French actress Vanessa Paradis’ relationship was a blow to fans, given that they were one of Hollywood’s longest standing couples, at 14 years strong. Obviously, though, they weren’t all that strong, as they did eventually break up.
Depp took a meditated view on the whole thing, telling Rolling Stone, “it doesn’t stop the fact that you care for that person, and they’re the mother of your kids, and you’ll always know each other, and you’re always gonna be in each other’s lives because of those kids. You might as well make the best of it.”
Following allegations from Amber Heard, Depp’s now ex-wife after his relationship with Paradis ended, Paradis even came to his defense.
8 Johnny Depp And Amber Heard (Enemies)
Clearly, though, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard aren’t on as favorable of terms. Amidst accusations of physical abuse, Heard and Depp got a divorce, with Heard receiving a $7 million divorce settlement, which she pledged to the ACLU to stop violence against women, and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Upon settling the divorce and abuse case, a joint statement was released by Heard and Depp which stated: "neither party has lied nor made false accusations for financial gain."
The stories of physical abused were denied by Depp and he was defended by his ex Vanessa Paradis and his daughter Lily Rose Depp, as well as his ex-wife from before Paradis, Lori Anne Allison.
However, it’s important to take in all information – including video evidence of Depp losing his temper verbally at Heard while pouring himself a glass of wine, and photos of Heard with bruises on her eye and lip, as published by People Magazine. Depp's former managers, The Mandel Group, are being sued by Depp and have alluded to knowledge of implicating text messages about the issue.
7 Orlando Bloom And Miranda Kerr (Friends)
When actor Orlando Bloom and model Miranda Kerr first got together in 2007, and married in 2010, the world took a unanimous gushy sigh as we saw two of the most beautiful people ever to exist form a relationship. The world became even more infatuated with the couple when we learned that Kerr was pregnant later that same year.
Our hearts broke in 2013 when we learned that they had separated. Although both individuals seem happy in their own lives – with Kerr remaining a top model and entrepreneur and marrying CEO of Snapchat Evan Spiegel in 2017, and Bloom starring in the Hobbit franchise as everyone’s favorite Elf, Legolas – it was still hard to see one of Hollywood’s most attractive couples end.
The beauty is that they remain friends, sharing custody of their son Flynn and making public pronouncements on social media of their admiration for one another!
6 Kanye West And Amber Rose (Enemies)
At this point everyone knows that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, despite the latter’s controversial ways, are end game. Even if you don’t like Kim Kardashian West, it’s hard not to admit that somehow Kanye and Kim work together.
Back in the day, West dated other women, just as Kardashian dated (and married) other men. One of the women that West famously dated was Amber Rose. It’s clear that these two did not remain friends after all was said and done.
In 2012, Rose and West had some pretty serious beef on social media, throwing shots at one another about who had slept with who and past relationships. In 2015, West told The Breakfast Club: "It's very hard for a woman to want to be with someone that's with Amber Rose. I had to take 30 showers before I got with Kim."
By, 2016, though, Rose and Kardashian posed for a selfie together, although a friendship between her and West still seems unlikely.
5 Jennifer Lopez And Marc Anthony (Friends)
In J.Lo’s memoir True Love, she writes that the first thing Marc Anthony ever said to her was “one day you’re going to be my wife.”
Sure enough, 6 years later, in 2004, the two were married, and the world breathed a sigh of relief. All was well in the world.
However, in 2011, the two split, and in 2012, Anthony filed for divorce from Lopez.
Thankfully, the two have remained very good friends, and are so close that rumors sparked throughout 2016 and 2017 that they might be getting back together. Although this was never confirmed, and the two have since dated other people, we’re still impressed that they can be so close. Fans can only hope that maybe their friendship is more than that!
4 Mel Gibson And Oksana Grigorieva (Enemies)
The short-lived marriage of Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva less than a year, when Grigorieva, in June 2010, requested a restraining order against Gibson after she said he punched her in the face.
Later in 2010, recordings of Gibson being verbally aggressive, sexist, and racist were leaked.
From there, the two had a custody dispute over their child, and there was an investigation into domestic violence. The custody agreement, which was settled in 2011, stated that if Grigorieva publicly discussed the allegations of domestic abuse, she would lose the remainder of her settlement money. In 2013, this occurred on The Howard Stern Show, and Grigorieva lost the remaining $500 000 of the $750 000 that was owed to her by Gibson.
3 Madonna And Sean Penn (Friends)
Madonna and Sean Penn were married in the 1980s, and it was a strange relationship involving the paparazzi and rumors/
Although they eventually divorced after four years of marriage, the two have remained friends in spite of the constant rumor mill spitting out stories of Penn’s domestic abuse against Madonna. Madonna eventually denied these claims.
To top it off, just in 2016, Madonna said she would marry Sean Penn again – for $150 000, that is, at an auction she was hosting to raise money for a pediatric surgery and intensive care unit at a hospital in the country.
Although it was probably part of her schtick, Madonna also said to Penn “I’m still in love with you.” Joking or not, it’s seems in videos from the event that they’re still on good terms.
2 Madonna And Guy Ritchie (Enemies)
Madonna and Guy Ritchie, meanwhile, aren’t exactly what you would call friendly with one another.
As with her relationship with Sean Penn, the Madonna – Guy Ritchie relationship spurred a boat load of rumors, and it became hard for fans to know what was true and what was not.
Unlike Penn and Madonna, who openly admit to being friends and spend time with one another, Madonna and Guy Ritchie don’t speak as favourably about one another and their time together. Although its not as hateful as the tabloids made it seem, Ritchie told Details magazines: “I stepped into a soap opera and lived in it for quite a long period of my life.” Madonna told The Sun: “There were times I felt incarcerated. I wasn’t really allowed to be myself.”
1 Hugh Grant And Elizabeth Hurley (Friends)
Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant are proving all the rumors wrong by considering one and another not just friends, but best friends.
Although they were together for 13 years, their relationship eventually came to an end. Nowadays, Grant lives next door to Hurley, and they are each other’s children’s godparents! She said to a Jonathan Ross, “We’ve been apart longer than we were together. We were together for 13 years and then we’ve been best friends for 15.”
As if it couldn’t get cuter, Hurley also made a social media post for Grant’s 57th birthday in 2017, captioning a photo of the two of them with “Happy birthday to my best friend for 30 years”
Meanwhile, Grant said of Hurley in 2015 on Watch What Happens Live: “she’s still my absolute best friend.”
Did we miss a key celebrity couple of friendly (or not-so-friendly) exes? Let us know in the comments!