Celebrity marriages come and go, and sometimes A-listers that seem perfect for one another suddenly surprise the masses with news of calling it quits. If they’re not doing the dumping out of the blue, others are suddenly getting hitched (yeah, we’re looking at you, Justin and Hailey). Regardless, the best way to go about Hollywood’s romantic surprises is to expect the unexpected.
So, why do A-listers switch partners quicker than Angelina Jolie adopts children? Well, the answer may be pretty straightforward. As Laurel House, celebrity dating and relationship expert, told Elite Daily, “Unlike your average non-celebrity couple, celebrities are constantly watched, scrutinized, judged, and even followed. Unless very carefully hidden, there are no unnoticed secrets, bad days, or momentary breakdowns allowed without it being blown up, exposed, and consumed by the media, fans, and haters.” It makes sense, as the mass scrutiny can lead to paranoia within the couple, too.
While the public is usually quick to find out when a couple calls it quits and gets a divorce thanks to trusty tabs, other times, it all happens pretty hush-hush. We’ve rounded up some unexpected celebs who have been married more times than you thought.
Love definitely costs a thing, if you're J.Lo
Jennifer Lopez is known to have her high-profile romances in the tabs — even if they’re sometimes absolutely scandalous (hello, Bennifer). Although many are aware of the diva’s brief marriage to Cris Judd and her ten year union with Marc Anthony, it turns out that Jenny from the block was once married before either of those two — to a man named Ojani Noa.
Per Paper, Lopez met Noa in 1997 when he was a waiter at a Cuban restaurant. They wed that same year, yet divorced a swift 11 months later, allegedly on “amicable” terms. As the aspiring A-lister was quoted as saying after their split, “I am just like Ricky [Martin] when I sing. I want to be famous.” However, instead of releasing music, Noa went back to serving tables, becoming a manager at his ex-wife’s newly opened restaurant, Madre’s, in 2002. Per The Guardian, J.Lo fired him six months later — and that’s when things got messy.
After his personal (and professional) sacking, Noa must have realized he had nothing else to lose, so he bitterly dedicated his time to revenge. According to Daily News, the wannabe celeb threatened to release a “tell-all” book, then tried to publish racy home videos of the two, along with a movie about his relationship — all legally barred by the Bronx-born diva herself. As Paper so succinctly put it, “The man has tried it all — and failed.”
Kim Kardashian's ex-husband bullied her into looking 'perfect'
The power couple known as Kimye doesn’t need an introduction, and neither does Kim Kardashian’s infamous 72-day marriage to Chris Humphries, as we all watched it crumble very conveniently on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. What most people don’t know, however, is that the reality TV queen actually had one more beau: music producer Damon Thomas.
Kim K walked down the aisle for the first time in Las Vegas when she was just 19. According to court documents shared by the Daily Mail in 2010, the marriage lasted only three years, as it was allegedly abusive — both mentally and physically. “According to the documents, Thomas would punch her in the face,” the outlet wrote. If that’s not all, Thomas also “forced” Kardashian to quit her job and leave college, isolating her from her famously tight-knit family in the process. While all of these things are genuinely horrific, the KKW Beauty founder was also bullied into cosmetic enhancements, with Thomas giving her “$3,650 to get liposuction because he wanted her to be ‘perfect.'”
It took the starlet years before she publicly admitted her marriage was a mistake on an episode of KUWTK (via USA Today) years later, in 2018. “I got married on ecstasy,” Kardashian revealed to Kendall Jenner and Scott Disick. “I did ecstasy once, and I got married.” Thank goodness she’s pretty much straight-edge now.
Pamela Anderson miraculously hasn't given up on marriage
Pamela Anderson hasn’t been the luckiest in her love life. According to People, The Baywatch bombshell has famously been married to Tommy Lee, Kid Rock, Rick Salomon (twice), and, most recently, movie producer Jon Peters, in 2020.
If you blinked and missed the Canadian actress’ marriage to Peters, don’t worry — it only lasted 12 days. “Pamela Anderson jumped too fast into a marriage … because she had just returned from a monthlong [sic] ‘spiritual cleanse’ in India, and her ‘heart was open,'” sources revealed to Page Six, adding that when she came back from her trip, the producer allegedly asked her to marry him. Well, maybe not. “Everything they told you was a lie,” Peters told Page Six in an email. “When she texted me that she wanted to get married, it was kind of a dream come true even though I was engaged to someone else … I dropped everything for Pam. She had almost $200,000 in bills and no way to pay it so I paid it and this is the thanks I get.” Ultimately, it looked like Peters took the cowardly way out and dumped the Barb Wire starlet via text. To make matters worse, he got back together with his ex-fiancee. Ouch!
Considering the actress once took a second chance at love with Rick Salomon, and in 2019 he admitted to wanting to marry her again — perhaps third time’s a charm?
Billy Bob Thornton's first marriage turned dark years after it was over
Billy Bob Thornton’s most famous ex is perhaps Angelina Jolie, but the Armageddon actor has actually been married a whopping six times. The notorious bad boy has had romantic scandals in his life too, such as ditching then-girlfriend Laura Dern for the Tomb Raider brunette. “I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married,” the Marriage Story actress revealed to Talk (via ABC News). Yeah, we know, Thornton’s delivery was downright cruel.
The actor’s first marriage to Melissa Gatlin, however, resulted in catastrophe years later. Only married for two years, the pair had one child together, divorcing in 1980. The daughter, Amanda Brumfield, has spoken out in the past about wanting a relationship with her estranged father. “He’s pretty much made me feel like I’ve been shut out,” Brumfield dished to Inside Edition (via People) in 2001. “I love him … I just want him to be around.”
Suddenly, tragedy struck in 2008, when, according to People, Brumfield’s goddaughter died while in her care — leaving Brumfield convicted of aggravated manslaughter. By 2011, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Per People, Thornton didn’t reach out to his daughter, instead only releasing a distant statement: “Anytime a baby’s life is lost is an unimaginable tragedy, and my heart goes out to the baby’s family and loved ones.”
Martin Scorsese's movies are based on personal tragedy
Martin Scorsese’s list of marriages spans across the same amount of time as his legendary directorial career. If you pay attention, you may get a glimpse of his personal life playing out on camera. As the Taxi Driver director told Playboy (via Scraps from the Loft) in 1991, his last religious confession happened in 1965 — around the same time when he was first married to his university sweetheart, Laraine Marie Brennan. He told the mag, “I’ve been confessing most of the time since then on film, so it doesn’t matter.”
In 1971, Scorsese divorced Brennan. As a profile about the director by the Independent revealed, Scorsese then married journalist Julia Cameron, in 1976. In 1979, the Hollywood icon had a three-year marriage with Isabella Rossellini — actress and daughter “of one of his favorite directors, Roberto Rossellini.” It certainly begs the question: is Scorsese’s first love cinema, instead? Perhaps at the time, it was, as his marriage to Rossellini ended, and he tried again in 1985 with Barbara De Fina, divorcing her, too, and finally settling down with Helen Morris, who, at the time of this writing, he’s still with.
In that ’91 Playboy interview, Scorsese shed a bit more insight. “No matter what I do, [my personal experiences] seem to get up there [on screen] … not to betray my wife … I’m just trying to find a truthfulness , and I look into myself first.”
Drew Barrymore got hitched after a night of partying
While people are quick to discuss Drew Barrymore’s partying past, less is said about her three failed marriages, in particular, her first one to Jeremy Thomas.
So, who exactly is Thomas? Well, as he revealed to Radar Online, he was the owner of a Hollywood bar called The Room, while Barrymore was at the peak of her ’90s fame. “She was a fun young girl,” Thomas recalled. Eventually, the pair tied the knot when the Never Been Kissed star was “just 19 and Jeremy was 31,” after a night of partying at his bar in 1994. “Someone kidded Drew that she should marry Jeremy,” revealed a source close to Thomas. Sure enough, a few hours later, the pair was hitched. Marital bliss didn’t last long, however, as the very next day, Barrymore left for Arizona to film Boys on the Side.
“I realized my mistake on the day I married him,” Barrymore mused to Star years later in 2019. Nevertheless, as the bar owner told RadarOnline, the starlet still made an effort to visit him while on filming breaks of her flick. However, once everything wrapped, Thomas was quite literally, a boy on the side, too. “I got a phone call from her — in Hawaii! She’d gone off on our honeymoon without me,” he recalled.
Barrymore went on to another sub-one-year union with actor and comedian Tom Green, followed by a three-year marriage to businessman Will Kopelman.
Nicolas Cage's marriages were as unpredictable as his career
Known for his “Nic Cage Freakout” approach in flicks such as Mandy and Vampire’s Kiss, Nicolas Cage’s romantic life is just as unexpected. The actor has been married a total of four times — first to Patricia Arquette, followed by Elvis Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie Presley, then waitress Alice Kim, then make-up artist Erika Koike.
According to a crazy retelling by Paper of Cage’s union with Arquette (via a 1995 Rolling Stone feature), he proposed to the Boyhood starlet the moment he met her in an L.A. deli in 1987. Arquette said no, but sent him on a procuring quest, “including, but not limited to …’J.D. Salinger’s autograph, a black orchid and a Bob’s Big Boy statue.'” The best part? Cage’s enthusiasm to actually get it all done, returning with the autograph and flower. As Paper goes on, the actor almost got her the giant sculpture, too. “I’m going back tonight with the right tools,” he declared.
A satisfied Arquette agreed to “go away with [him]” to Cuba, but a mix-up with the tickets caused Cage to melt down at the airport, and they ended up parting ways. By a stroke of luck, the two reunited in 1995 at the same deli, where Arquette proposed to him. They were married two weeks later, yet a quiet divorce followed in 2000. “I was living out my fantasies of what I thought an exciting man should be. I wanted to be unpredictable,” Cage told Rolling Stone in 1999. Sure enough, he was.
Melanie Griffith has given up on marriage
Melanie Griffith has had a total of four marriages, yet her first to Miami Vice hero Don Johnson may be the most romantic. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the pair revealed that they initially met on the set of The Harrad Experiment. “I thought he was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen,” Griffith mused. Shockingly enough, the Working Girl starlet was 14, and Johnson, 22.
Griffith and Johnson wed in 1976 after she turned 18, however, according to People, the relationship was doomed before the wedding bells. As Griffith told the mag, “I got married in order to end the relationship.” During their time apart, they both remarried and had children, yet somehow found their way back to one another, re-marrying in 1989, which led to the birth to daughter Dakota Johnson. Ultimately, things didn’t work out for Griffith and Johnson, yet to this day, they’re close, with the Knives Out actor telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 that they “still” share a bond.
After all her marriages, including a seven-year stint with actor Steven Bauer, and a 19-year union with actor Antonio Banderas, it looks like Griffith doesn’t really care for marriage anymore. “I really don’t think it’s relevant for anyone,” she told InStyle in 2018. “If you’re 60 and you have four kids and you’re living the life you’ve always wanted. Then why get married?”
Jeff Goldblum has learned from his failed marriages
Jeff Goldblum isn’t one to rush down the aisle and quickly divorce in under a year of marriage. This is, perhaps, in spite of the Jurassic Park star’s apparent life philosophy to “be spontaneous,” as he told AARP in 2019. “Enjoy the moment, enjoy yourself and learn,” he added.
Sure enough, The Fly star has learned a lot about himself throughout his romantic relationships, having been married three times in total. As the Independent wrote in a profile of the actor, “He got married at 23 to an actress, Patricia Gaul, and stayed married for 12 years … Then he fell in love with Geena Davis, whom he met while filming Transylvania 6-5000. They got married on a whim while driving through Las Vegas and were divorced three years later.”
In 2014, Goldblum married Emilie Livingston. It’s with Livingston that Goldblum learned his most significant lesson to date: he was ready to become a father. “I had never been particularly passionate [about fatherhood] or envisioned it for myself,” the actor told Radio Times (via Daily Mail). Nevertheless, the Pennsylvania-born actor now has two boys. “I’m feeling fit as a fiddle, and I naturally adore my boys,” Goldblum gushed to Vulture. “My feelings for them aren’t something that I had to try and feel. They were there right away.”
Demi Moore's first marriage started with infidelity
While Demi Moore’s two high profile marriages to Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher have been heavily discussed, not much has been said about the first man she was married to — whom she has to thank for her famous last name.
It took until 2019 for the Ghost starlet to talk about her first marriage to musician Freddy Moore in great detail, writing about it in her autobiography, Inside Out. According to the memoir (via People), an 18-year-old Moore (née Guynes), wed her first husband in 1980, with their marriage lasting five years. Thanks to the actress’s wandering eyes, the relationship was doomed from the start. “The night before we got married … I was calling a guy I’d met on a movie set,” the starlet wrote. “[I] went to his apartment … I couldn’t get out of the marriage, but I could sabotage it.”
Sure enough, Moore did sabotage her relationship and blamed it, in part, on her turbulent upbringing. “I was a self-absorbed teenager who hadn’t been raised with a lot of respect for the institution of marriage,” the actress bluntly dished in her book (via Us Weekly).
Scarlett Johansson romanticized marriage when she was younger
Ryan Reynolds has been married to Blake Lively for what seems like forever — but he was also a part of celeb noughties royalty while he was hitched to Scarlett Johansson. It almost seems like the couple was never together, as the pair was notoriously private. In fact, the Lucy star was even more removed from the public with her second husband, French advertising exec Romain Dauriac, whom she wed in 2014 and divorced in 2017 without much tabloid attention. Perhaps it’s something that bothered Reynolds, as the actor is very quick to dish out the PDA with his current wife (and trust us, they really are adorable).
Whatever the reason for their split truly was, the two called it quits, and Reynolds filed for divorce in 2010. It took Johansson years to finally open up about it, finally offering some insight to Vanity Fair in 2019. “The idea of building a family, making a family, and having that work, I like that idea,” she mused, then added, “I mean, the first time I got married I was 23 years old … Maybe I kind of romanticized it, I think, in a way. It’s a different part of my life now.”
It looks like Marriage Story starlet finally found some lasting love on her own, and, at the time of this writing, is currently engaged to SNL writer and actor, Colin Jost.
Barbara Walters chose work over her marriages
For someone who’s made a career digging into people’s lives as a legendary journalist, Barbara Walters has been notoriously private about her own — yet it’s filled with gossip as she’s been married four times.
According to the Daily Mail, Walters was married to “businessman Robert Henry Katz from 1955 to 1957; to theatrical producer and theatre owner Lee Guber from 1963 to 1976; twice to Merv Adelson, CEO of Lorimar Television, from 1981 to 1984 and from 1986 to 1992.” It’s during her marriage to Guber that Walters also admitted to a shocking revelation years later in her autobiography, Audition, in 2008: she had a two-year affair with married senator, Edward W. Brooke. As she described him in her book (via The New York Times), the journalist found Brooke the “most fascinating, sexiest men [she] ever met,” adding that going public with the affair “would have destroyed both [of their] careers.”
After all her failed marriages, Walters is, as of this writing, retired and single. As the former 20/20 host mused to ABC News in 2014, “I don’t think that I was very good at marriage. It may be that my career was just too important.” She then added, “It may have been that I was a difficult person to be married to, and I just seem to be better alone. I’m not lonely, I’m alone.”
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