When any two stars hook up, they immediately start having sex and the next thing you know, they’re cohabiting and calling it a relationship. And it’s terribly glamorous and sexy and exciting — for the public, anyway. For the celebrities themselves, though, it’s not always so magical, especially since these arrangements tend to end in disaster, heartbreak and more headlines.
Here are the 10 worst celebrity couples in history:
Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
The drunken Shakespearean actor and the voluptuous movie starlet were a fine match through much of the 1960s and ’70s, except that they couldn’t stay together any more than they could stay apart. Fights and gifts and makeups and breakups were the very nature of the high drama of their relationship, and it was bound to end, though they dramatically wound up getting married again. And divorcing again. A relationship like theirs is a legendary one to treasure — but I’m glad I wasn’t in it.
Madonna and Guy Ritchie
Sean Penn tied her to a chair, but at least there was some obvious real love between “the poison Penns.” Carlos Leon jogged through Central Park, impregnated Madonna and then went on his merry way. And the latest younger beau offended the singer so badly that she tried to get a hit record out of the experience, but Guy Ritchie seemed to be the biggest mistake for Madge. They were married from 2000 to 2008, but the whole thing seemed like the singer was angling to get some British credibility, as well as some glamour fallout from someone respected in the film industry. The “Snatch” director ended up walking away with between 50 and 60 million pounds, and Madonna’s British accent has been less pronounced ever since.
Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates
Drew Barrymore and Tom Green
In 2000, ex-child star Drew told comic Tom Green she liked his TV show and wanted him to appear in the “Charlie’s Angels” movie. He agreed, and the rest was kismet — sort of. They married in 2001, but filed for divorce later that year, citing — wait for a Drew movie title — “Irreconcilable Differences.” Details were sketchy, but my guess is that while she’s cute and winsome, he’s downright dark and wacky. “E.T.” and “Freddy Got Fingered” don’t really mix.
Britney Spears and K Fed
At the peak of her fame, Britney was also at the height of her messiness, so she fell for Kevin Federline, who Wikipedia describes as a “dancer, rapper, model, actor” — a real Renaissance man. But could a backup dancer slash aspiring white hip-hop star really have a successful marriage to the biggest star in the world? It lasted for two years (2004-2006) and resulted in an ugly child custody battle and much bitterness for poor Brit. Meanwhile, she went on to totally triumph whereas he went on to play a border guard in “American Pie Presents: The Book of Love.”
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
In 2011, golden girl Kim married NBA player Kris amidst a media blitz that included two E! specials about the wedding, plus the release of her exciting new fragrance. When the couple divorced after 72 days, the savvy public wondered if they’d been had. Kim’s former publicist was so bold as to come out and say the marriage was a totally staged publicity ploy. Kim responded by suing him, and one wondered if that was a ploy too, LOL.
Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine
The Broadway belter and the Oscar winner were a bizarre pair who shocked everyone by marrying in 1964. Less surprisingly, they split up only 32 days later. The Merm later made a statement by putting a blank page in her memoirs about the whole thing. But Borgnine said flat out why he felt their union failed: At the time, he was a big TV star from “McHale’s Navy,” and when they traveled abroad, Ethel was pissed that people were slobbering over him and ignoring her. And when Ethel was pissed, you ducked and started praying. At least these two bulldozers didn’t unite long enough to have any kids. Can you imagine?
Ike and Tina Turner
Married from 1962 to 1978, these two put on a dazzling stage show that was undeniably hot and powerful. But at home! He was controlling, possessive and abusive, hitting Tina in the eye with his shoe stretcher just for starters, and continuing to use her as a punching bag for years. Ike become so coke addicted that he burned a hole in his nasal septum, and that situation certainly didn’t make him any nicer to Tina. Ugh. “What’s love got to do with it?” indeed.
Cher and the bagel boy
In the late 1980s, Cher met a bagel shop worker named Rob Camilletti on her 40th birthday and started singing “I Got You, Babe.” He was hot-looking and 22 years her junior, and she was vulnerable at the time. So instead of just getting it on, they made it into a relationship and were somehow surprised to learn that society didn’t approve. They even had to have a press conference about it at one point, with Cher and Rob weepily declaring the purity of their love. I totally believed it, but still thought the power imbalance of the couple would cause problems, even when he graduated to bartender.
Liza Minnelli and David Gest
With his fascinating eyebrows and doll collection, producer David Gest was an interesting choice to marry Liza in 2002, though he kissed her so long at the altar one wondered if he was trying to suck her face off. More problematically, Gest’s self-appointed task seemed to be to drill Liza back into shape and make her career cook again, which is a fine thing to do for a manager but not necessarily a husband. When they split a year later, he accused Liza of physical abuse — a suit that was dismissed — then went to England, where he starred in “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” Sorry, you’re stuck.
Michael Musto is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.