Hollywood’s rich and beautiful are famous for more than just starring in movies or releasing chart-topping songs. They are also famous for falling in love with each other and breaking up--with lots of drama. But when the lovebirds also have kids, things get even messier. Sharing kids means having to stay at least on speaking terms with co-parents, even if they’re still bitter about a new spouse who “broke them up.”
Life in the public eye is difficult. With as much scrutiny as these celebrities endure, it's incredible that relationships last in the first place. With the added pressure of a rough home life, it's a wonder that some of these people kept as much decorum in public as they did.
While normal everyday people often have messy love lives too, nobody does a love triangle quite like celebrities. Read on to hear about some of the juiciest-ever celebrity parenting love triangles: some old, some new; some that you’ll definitely remember, and some that you definitely forgot about.
20 Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, and Mila Kunis
Although the Kutcher-Moore breakup is more widely attributed to Ashton’s hot tub indiscretions with not one but two women (on the very day of his sixth anniversary with Moore, no less) other people point the finger of blame at Mila Kunis. While it is true that Kunis and Kutcher started dating before the divorce was finalized, Demi and Ashton had been separated for over a year at that point.
Fans of That '70s Show were delighted by the new romance, regardless of the circumstances in which it began. Kutcher and Kunis now have two children, a girl named Wyatt and a boy named Dimitri.
In addition to the obviously worthy cause of a campaign to end child trafficking, Kutcher is an advocate for an issue I’ve never heard discussed elsewhere: including diaper changing facilities in men’s restrooms. In 2015, he posted, "There are NEVER diaper changing stations in mens [sic] public restrooms. The first public men's room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page!" I think think it’s great when celebrities use their fame to spread awareness about important issues.
19 Gwen Stefani, Gavin Rossdale, and Mindy Mann
Here’s another instance where a nanny plays a role. If you’ve ever felt overworked as a parent and wished you had a nanny to keep an eye on the kids for you like the rich and famous do, here’s a reason to be grateful you don’t. Apparently, nannies are kryptonite for marriages. Nanny Mindy Mann was involved in the breakup of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s marriage after one of the other nannies found explicit messages between Gavin and Mindy on the family iPad, which was linked to Gavin’s phone.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the affair lasted three years, which would include the period of time in which Gwen was pregnant with son Apollo. Upon the admission of the affair by Gavin, Gwen decided to end the marriage.
Since then, Gavin appears to be dating model Sophia Thomalla and Gwen is now in a committed relationship with fellow singer Blake Shelton.
But that’s not the end of this story, as you will find Gwen’s name popping up in another list entry. Hollywood must be like a small town, the way everyone seems to know – and get involved with – everyone else.
18 Billy Bob Thornton, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie
Brad and Angelina, while they have since split, certainly had their moment in the sun, and were the most highly discussed celebrity parents for years. Their adoptions were highly publicized. However, many people forget that Angelina adopted her first child while married to Billy Bob Thornton. However, Billy Bob’s name did not appear on the adoption papers; Jolie filed as a single parent. This likely simplified things three months down the line, when the couple split.
Though Angelina had intended to raise Maddox with Billy, according to People, the pair had simply drifted far apart. While Angelina was starting to dip her toes into the waters of her work with the UN, Billy was touring the United States with his band.
Later, Jolie and Pitt adopted Zahara together, although Angelina also adopted her son Pax alone, since his birth country of Vietnam has regulations against allowing unmarried couples (like Jolie and Pitt) to adopt together. However, Brad formally adopted Maddox and Pax once they were both in America. The actors also have three biological children together.
Although they have broken up, by all accounts Jolie and Pitt happily co-parent together, and their large brood is united and harmonious as ever.
17 Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, and Christine Ouzounian
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck were once one of the most beloved celebrity couples, but it all came crashing down after ten years of marriage. Many people pointed the finger at an affair between Ben and their nanny, Christine Ouzounian. Some people even referred to this event as “nannygate,” a play on the infamous Watergate ordeal. However, more recently Jen has come forward to state that that is not the case, and that other factors led the marriage to dissolve.
"Let me just tell you something. We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation," Jennifer is quoted as saying in an Eonline article.
Despite infidelity being involved in the breakup, the exes still are said to get along well, and co-parent peacefully. They even go on vacations together with their three children, though Jennifer and Ben stay in separate hotels.
Now, Ben is reportedly dating Lindsay Shookus. According to Us Weekly, there is debate about whether they started dating in April 2017 – when they went public – or in 2014 – when Ben and Jennifer were still together.
16 Scott Disick, Kourtney Kardashian, and Chloe Bartoli
All of the Kardashians are known for their dramatic love lives, but Kourtney and Scott are possibly the most dramatic. These two have broken up and made up more times than we can count. They share three children together, and at present are happy to co-parent. But in the past, it hasn’t always been this way. Scott has checked into rehab multiple times, and is also infamous for being involved with many different women. His on-again-off-again ex Chloe Bartoli has been the cause of breakups and fights between Kourtney and Scott at least twice.
Chloe and Scott apparently first got together in 2006 while Kourtney and Scott were on a break. Though it was apparently a steamy relationship, Kourtney and Scott eventually got back together. Kourtney gave birth to their eldest, Mason, in December 2009. Alas, it was not to last
My prediction? Kourtney and Scott are going to get together again somewhere down the road--and then break up when Scott and Chloe get back together. Despite this guy’s issues, women can’t seem to stop taking him back.
15 Mary-Louise Parker, Billy Crudup, and Claire Danes
This one could be called a tale of three actors. Mary-Louise Parker, star of tv show Weeds, had been together with Billy Crudup for eight years when he met a young Claire Danes on the set of Stage Beauty. They immediately fell for each other, and Billy left Parker for Danes--despite the fact that Parker was pregnant with his child.
Mary-Louise Parker later wrote a memoir where she addressed this time. The book is in a letter format, and the letter in question is addressed to the cab driver who was taking her to the hospital, since the father of the child was no longer there to drive her. Cruelly, the cab driver abandons her too, kicking her out of the cab. Parker says, Look, see? I am pregnant and alone. It hurts to even breathe.”
Danes has also addressed the incident, saying, “I was just in love with him. I needed to explore that and I was 24. I didn’t quite know what those consequences would be.” Clare got a lot of negative press for the incident, which she also considered a very difficult time. Seems like nobody really came out of this situation on top.
14 Nick Young, Iggy Azalea, and Keonna Green
When rapper Iggy Azalea was dating NBA player Nick Young, she thought his romance with Keonna Green was long over. Young and Green had had a child together, and had been high school sweethearts, but Iggy assumed they were ancient history. However, after Azalea and Young got engaged, Keonna Green announced to the press that she was pregnant again, and that Young was the father. Iggy Azalea was understandably upset, and broke up with Nick, even burning his clothes.
However, things with Keonna and Nick seem much more peaceful. The two quietly married, and Keonna said in an interview, “it's very easy to co-parent with him [Young]. We do a lot of family things together. He makes sure he puts his kids first on his holidays and things like that. So I don't really have an issue when it comes to that."
Many fans are happy that Nick Young and Keonna Green reunited, as Azalea is a controversial and polarizing figure on the celebrity scene. Green is now featured on a reality show, Basketball Wives, where she discusses her family and relationship with Young.
13 Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, and Gwen Stefani
Here’s a real complicated one--more of a love tangle than triangle. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert were country music’s sweethearts for years--but Shelton was married when they met. The year was 2005 and the wife was Kaynette Gern when Shelton and Lambert were paired for a duet in a CMT concert. The two apparently fell in love right then and there as they sang together.
But a romance that starts this sort of way is often thought to be doomed to that same end. Blake Shelton started dating Gwen Stefani very quickly after their divorce was announced, and many people believed that it had begun earlier. The two were both coaches on The Voice. Gwen, as you may remember, had just come out of her own divorce with Gavin Rossdale. Blake and Gwen are still dating and have discussed an eventual marriage, but for the time being are taking it slow. However, this does not mean Shelton is not playing a role in the lives of Stefani’s three sons. He says he loves spending time with them, and considering he has no kids of his own, maybe this blended family is a dream come true for him.
12 Jude Law, Sienna Miller, and Daisy Wright (nanny)
Jude Law had three children (two boys and a girl) with actress Sadie Frost, but this story has more to do with two other women he was involved with after divorcing Frost. After meeting on the set of Alfie, Law struck up a romance with his co-star, Sienna Miller. However, things went south after he was discovered to be having an affair with his children’s nanny, Daisy Wright.
Miller and Law split when the affair came to light, but gave their love another shot three years later, in 2009. However, it didn’t stick this time either. Jude Law has since had two more children, one with Samantha Burke, and the other with Catherine Harding. He is no longer romantically involved with the mothers of any of his children. Evidently, things were never serious with Burke, and he only sees the daughter they share once a year. His relationship with Harding is also described as a fling, but things seem more amicable between those two. Law is currently dating psychologist Philippa Coan, while Sienna Miller is with director Bennet Miller. While Miller never joined the club of women who’ve had children with Jude Law, she does have a daughter with ex Tom Sturridge.
11 Shania Twain and Robert Lange swap partners with Marie-Anne Thiebaud and Frederic Thiebaud
This story is a love square rather than a triangle--but perhaps that’s for the best, because everyone involved ends up in a new marriage. Singer Shania Twain was best friends with Marie-Anne Thiebaud until Thiebaud ended up having an affair with Twain’s then-husband Robert Lange. What happens next is soap-opera-worthy: After Lange and Thiebaud marry, Shania Twain ends up with Marie-Anne’s ex, Frederic Thiebaud! Some claim that she did this for revenge, but I find that to be an unrealistic motive for a marriage. At least, if someone were to get married for revenge, I’d be surprised that it has lasted as long as it has, seven years and counting. I think that it’s more likely that Shania and Frederic discovered that nobody understood their feelings quite as well as they did with each other, considering they had both just lived through the exact same difficult experience.
Perhaps these swapped spouses make the resulting family tighter-knit, or at least easier for Twain and Lange’s son Eja. Presumably Eja already knew the Thiebauds quite well, considering they were family friends, so it may have been easier for him to adjust to them becoming his new step-parents.
10 Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver, and Mildred Baena
This one may sound familiar after the other stories about a celebrity dad having an affair with a member of staff, but the crazy thing about this story is how long the deception went on for. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s affair with maid Mildred Baena came to light when the child they shared was discovered--and he was thirteen years old at the time! The teen is said to be the spitting image of his dad.
Though this infidelity ended Schwarzenegger’s relationship with Maria Shriver, they have yet to formalize their divorce, even though filing began years ago. The two had been married for twenty-five years before this story broke. Schwarzenegger describes the whole experience as, “I had personal setbacks, but this was, without any doubt, the biggest setback and the biggest failure. Without any doubt. Not only failure, but you feel like, 'I'm to blame for it. It was me that screwed up.' And you can't point the finger at anyone else. So yeah, I was disappointed in it. It's always easy to be smart in hindsight. The thing was how do you make the best of that situation?"
It sounds a bit harsh to say “biggest failure,” in reference to the circumstances surrounding the birth of a child. As for his final question, the way to make the best of the situation is to do what’s right for the resulting child! Considering the photos of father and son smiling and laughing together, presumably that’s what happened.
9 Jason Aldean, Jessica Ussery, and Brittany Kerr
Country singer Jason Aldean’s marriage got into hot water when photos of him and fellow musician Brittany Kerr were leaked. You may recognize Brittany from American Idol, or from her online presence as a makeup artist and blogger. Aldean’s wife, Jessica Ussery, who had been his high school sweetheart, tried to give him a chance to reform, as he claimed it had been a one-time offense. However, things didn’t work out, so the couple divorced, and Jason and Brittany have since gotten married. If you’ve ever had a rough time introducing your kids to someone who will become their stepparent, just be glad that it didn’t happen the way it did for Aldean’s two daughters, who met stepmom through the tabloids! The girls seem to get along with Brittany, though, and were excited to welcome their new half-brother, Memphis, who was born at the tail end of 2017.
8 David Boreanaz, Jaime Bergman, and Rachel Uchitel
Here’s another tale that has a happy ending of sorts, but the twists and turns it takes before getting there are unreal. David Boreanaz, the actor famous for his role in Bones, publicly admitted to an affair, about which he confided to his wife a year previously. The reason he wanted to take the affair to the press was that one of his mistresses was blackmailing him over it, and he wanted to take charge of the story.
Things got even more scandalous when the press pointed the finger at Rachel Uchitel as the alleged extortionist. If you don’t recognize the name, you will recognize this one: Tiger Woods, another man who named Uchitel in his own cheating scandal. However, Uchitel’s role in this story has never been proven. David’s wife Jaime Bergman was very hurt by the affairs, but chose to stay with Boreanaz, and the couple has since reportedly worked out their issues, considering they are still married eight years later.
7 Balthazar Getty, Rosetta Getty, and Sienna Miller
You may notice that this is the second time Sienna Miller’s name has come up in this article. However, this time she is the “other woman,” after being photographed kissing with actor Balthazar Getty, who had been married to Rosetta Getty (nee Millington) for eight years at that point.
This story has a different end than many of the other scandals highlighted here. Although Rosetta Getty was furious with her husband and they separated for two years, they have since gotten back together. The Gettys have four children together, and by all accounts are once again a happy and united family.
The happy ending of this story points to the usefulness of taking a break to think things over. Sure, a two year separation is a bit more extreme than counting to ten to cool off before speaking in an argument, but it worked out for the Gettys, and I’m sure Balthazar is extremely grateful for Rosetta’s forgiveness.
6 Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, and Russell Crowe
Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan had been married for twenty years before divorcing in 2001. At the time, Meg got the brunt of the blame for its ending. She famously had an affair with Russell Crowe, but denies that he was a “homewrecker.” She explained in an interview, "But what wasn’t in the story was the reality of my marriage for nine years. Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that once I was divorced …”
There’s often a temptation, especially in tabloids, to point to one simple cause as the end of a relationship, when really there can be many factors. Every marriage is different, and Hollywood marriages are apparently extra complicated! Quaid and Ryan’s son, Jack, who is now an actor in his own right, grew up hearing all about his parents, and not in the best way. "It's kind of hard to ignore when you're at a grocery store and you're like, checking out and you know those People and In Touch magazines on the side. And you look at them and there's a photo of them with a little paper rip thing, that graphic image between them. If they hadn't told me about the divorce, I would've been like 'What's that?' as a kid." Yikes! Every kid thinks their parents are embarrassing at some point, but if your parents are part of a scandal the whole country has heard about, there’s no escaping it!
5 Kate Hudson, Alex Rodriguez, and Cameron Diaz
Kate Hudson is now pregnant with her third child, but back when she was dating baseball star Alex Rodriguez, she just had one young son. And this son was cited as a reason for their breakup, because Kate was concerned A-Rod would not be a good father figure for the boy to grow up with. Alex has two children of his own, both daughters. She was also concerned that Rodriguez had feelings for singer Madonna, who he had briefly dated in the past, and who he called frequently.
Cameron Diaz later got involved with Rodriguez, and this caused a temporary rift between her and Hudson, who had previously been friends. However, this drama is all in the past, and the actresses are now friends again-- now that they’ve both kissed Alex Rodriguez goodbye!
4 Kevin Federline, Shar Jackson, and Britney Spears
We all know about the messy Spears-Federline breakup. But the story starts far earlier than that. Kevin Federline was engaged to Shar Jackson when he was hired to dance one of Britney’s music videos. Federline and Jackson had one child already, and she was pregnant with their second. Despite the children and their engagement, it only took one music video shoot for Federline to fall in love with Britney, and it was the beginning of the end of his relationship with Shar Jackson.
Britney and Kevin were engaged after knowing each other for only three months, and their relationship played out over their own reality show. The couple had two children of their own together before splitting in 2007. There was a highly publicized custody struggle following this divorce, intensified by Spears’ struggles with mental health, but she has since made an admirable recovery and regained rights, and she credits her sons as the inspiration for that brought her through it.
3 Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, and Elizabeth Taylor
The parents of the late, great Carrie Fisher and her brother Todd were actress Debbie Reynolds and singer Eddie Fisher. The couple were both good friends with Elizabeth Taylor, so when her husband Mike Todd died in a plane crash, Debbie sent her husband to help Elizabeth through her grief. However, everyone soon realized that Eddie was doing a bit too well at his job, and that a new romance had sprung up between him and Taylor.
Despite the drama of this event, Debbie and Elizabeth were able to patch things up later in life, and Carrie Fisher describes fond memories of growing up in this patchwork family. In her 2010 comedy special Wishful Drinking, Carrie Fisher uses a “Hollywood Genealogy Chart” to track all the romances, breakups, and offspring of celebrities of the time, with an end goal of figuring out whether her daughter Billie Lourd could date another young descendant of Hollywood royalty, or if they were somehow related. Dating is hard for any teen, but when your parents’ and grandparents’ marriages and remarriages create such a tangled web, it becomes impossibly confusing! Fisher, with her characteristic caustic wit, compares the Hollywood dating scene to the inbreeding of the Hapsburg dynasty.
2 Eddie Fisher, Elizabeth Taylor, and Richard Burton
Here’s another recurring character in the world of love triangles. Taylor’s “theft” of her friend Debbie Reynold’s husband was the biggest celebrity news of the 1950’s--that is, until Elizabeth met Richard Burton. This couple met on the set of Cleopatra and began a famously steamy romance. It’s not uncommon for actors who are cast as romantic leads to fall in love for real, but these two are possibly the most notorious. They were known to keep kissing long after a shot would end-- probably very awkward for the crewmembers! Oh, and yes, they were both still married to other people while this was happening.
But the day after the divorce papers were signed, Taylor and Burton married, and became a happy blended family. Elizabeth had three children of her own, and Richard was in the process of adopting a daughter when they met. The couple’s passion led to many breakups and makeups, including two separate marriages to each other. Even when they weren’t together, they were still very close friends, although sometimes this friendship was tense as they would try to make each other jealous. Still, this one is considered a love story for the ages!
1 Abby Wambach, Glennon Doyle Melton, and Craig Melton
Glennon Doyle Melton’s divorce came after the release of two books discussing her marriage and motherhood, so some people found it ironic. However, the split with Craig Melton was amicable, these exes now happily co-parent their three boys with Glennon’s new love, star soccer player Abby Wambach. Craig had previously had an affair, which was one of the main topics of her second book, so perhaps he thought fair was fair and couldn’t fault Glennon for her own feelings. While Doyle Melton’s Christian faith and fame made her divorce and coming-out process even more frightening, she ended up with more fans than ever.
Doyle Melton, who is herself a “mommy blogger,” running a site called Momastery, which she uses as a platform to speak out on family-related social issues. She founded a charity called Together Rising, with the goal of helping struggling families of all kinds: refugees, the homeless, the sick, the imprisoned, and more.