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7 Shocking Star Breakups: Who Called It Quits?

These celebrity splits blindsided fans

Some celebrity splits are more shocking than others. While certain star pairings seemed doomed from the start (Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, we are talking to you!) others seem destined for happily ever after success. So when the lovers drop their breakup bombshells, the entire world is left shocked and confused. Here are 7 of the most shocking celebrity breakups, what went wrong, and who called it quits. 


Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin

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After failed relationships with everyone from Ben Affleck to Brad Pitt, it seemed as though Gwyneth Paltrow had found her rock n' roll prince charming in Chris Martin. However, after 10 years of marriage and two children, Paltrow announced the "conscious uncoupling" of herself and the Coldplay singer. "It is with hearts full of sadness that we have decided to separate," they said in a joint statement. "We have been working hard for well over a year, some of it together, some of it separated, to see what might have been possible between us, and we have come to the conclusion that while we love each other very much, we will remain separate." While neither has ever commented on whose idea it was to split, the two have proved that amicability is possible post-divorce. "It's a lifelong commitment to constantly reinvent your relationship with your ex, which you do presumably because you have children together," Paltrow explained to Harper's Bazaar in February 2020. "I don't see a reason to do it if you don't have children together. Some people do. But I think we put all the hard work in at the beginning. I would say very rarely is it difficult now. We've learned how to communicate with each other. We love each other. We laugh. We have the best of each other. It's really nice. It makes you feel like you don't have to lose."


Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth

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Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth met while playing lovers in The Last Song in 2009. Within a few years, they were engaged. At first, it seemed like a case of young love too soon, when the two called things off in 2013, went their separate ways, and Miley released one of her biggest hits, Wrecking Ball, about the romance gone wrong. However, when they reconciled in 2016 and tied the knot in December 2018, everyone believed it was the real deal. However, eight months later, the couple shockingly split. "Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time," a rep for Cyrus confirmed in August 2019. "Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what's best while they both focus on themselves and careers. They still remain dedicated parents to all of their animals they share while lovingly taking this time apart. Please respect their process and privacy." The singer's recent smash hit, Flowers, is reportedly about Hemsworth. 


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

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Brad Pitt's first shocking split with Jennifer Aniston resulted in a scandalous romance with her Mr. and Mrs. Smith costar Angelina Jolie. At first, the two appeared to be soulmates, making babies and adopting children, ending up with a total of six kids. However, after two years of marriage, Angelina filed for divorce in September 2016 citing irreconcilable differences. Pitt has since opened up about what went wrong, blaming the dissolution of their marriage on his alleged drinking problem. 


Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn

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After several short-lived romances, Taylor Swift appeared to find her Love Story with Joe Alwyn. The two were notoriously private about their romance, rarely making public appearances together. However, according to the rumor mill they were madly in love and possibly married. However, in April 2023 news of their split shocked Swifties around the world. According to ETOnline, the two went their separate ways in March. Even more surprising was the news that Taylor had already moved on with Matty Healey, lead singer of The 1975. That romance soured quickly, and Tay Tay is currently single. 


Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth

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After a failed marriage to Ryan Phillippe, America's sweetheart Reese Witherspoon found love with Hollywood agent Jim Toth. The two seemed incredibly happy together and welcomed a child together into their blended family. However, just days prior to their 12th anniversary, Witherspoon announced they were going their separate ways. "We have some personal news to share… It is with a great deal of care and consideration that we have made the difficult decision to divorce," her Instagram statement read. "We have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and are moving forward with deep love, kindness and mutual respect for everything we have created together. Our biggest priority is our son and our entire family as we navigate this next chapter. These matters are never easy and are extremely personal. We truly appreciate everyone's respect for our family's privacy at this time."


Kim Zolciak-Biermann and Kroy Biermann

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Kim Zolciak-Biermann and Kroy Biermann were Bravo's golden couple. However, after more than 10 years of wedded bliss, they blindsided fans with their May 2023 split. According to reports, financial stress was partially responsible for the dissolution of their union. However, reports of domestic violence have also surfaced, including a police report filed by Biermann the day before he filed for divorce. Zolciak denies claims that she got physical with her former NFL star husband. 


Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner

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Kevin Costner had been married to Christine Baumgartner for 18 years before she filed for divorce on May 3. It is with great sadness that circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action," Costner's reps released in a statement. "We ask that his, Christine's, and their children's privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time," the rep added. The split was less than amicable and the two are currently battling it out, reportedly over a prenup. 

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more
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