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From Kim Kardashian and Kanye West to Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, this past year saw plenty of high-profile breakups. In fact, some of Hollywood’s most-well known couples went their separate ways in 2021. Let’s take a look.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Though it was undoubtedly the biggest breakup of the year, fans weren’t exactly shocked when Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kanye West in February. The move came after the months of public signs of tensions between the former “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star and the Grammy-winning rapper, who began dating in 2012 and tied the knot in May 2014. On Dec 14., Kardashian asked a judge to legally terminate her and her estranged husband’s marital status so that she could be considered legally single. Kardashian and West, who share four children — North, 8, Saint, 6, Chicago, 3, and Psalm 2 —have both moved on with new romances: West was briefly linked to model (and Bradley Cooper’s ex) Irina Shayk last summer, and Kardashian began stepping out with “Saturday Night Live” star Pete Davidson months later.
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez ended their A-list couple status in April. The pair, who had dated since 2017 and became engaged in March 2019, released a joint statement to TODAY announcing that they operated “better as friends.” “We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects. We wish the best for each other and one another’s children,” the couple added. The breakup came weeks after the pair revealed that they were “working through some things.” Not long after, Lopez began appearing in public alongside former fiancée Ben Affleck. After playing coy for months, the two finally confirmed that they had rekindled their romance.
Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas
Months before reuniting with former fiancée Jennifer Lopez (see above), Oscar winner Ben Affleck broke things off with fellow actor Ana de Armas. The pair called it quits in January after nearly a year of dating, People reported. Affleck and de Armas were first linked in early 2020 while filming the the movie “Deep Water” in New Orleans. They made their relationship Instagram official in May when de Armas celebrated her 32nd birthday by sharing pics from her birthday party including two featuring the “Justice League” star.
Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook
In one of the year’s most surprising splits, former “The Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco and husband Karl Cook, who frequently hammed it up together on social media, announced in a joint statement in September that they had called it quits. “Despite a deep love and respect for one another, we have realized that our current paths have taken us in opposite directions,” the statement read, in part. The duo began dating in 2016 and walked down the aisle in June 2018.
Tiffany Haddish and Common
Funny lady Tiffany Haddish confirmed in August 2020 that she and rapper Common were an item during an interview on “Steve-O’s Wild Ride” podcast, calling it “hands-down the best relationship” she’d ever been in. The following August, Common raved about the “Girls Trip” star during a visit to TODAY, gushing, “I just respect a queen, and that’s what she is.” The couple, who met on the set of the 2019 movie “The Kitchen,” parted ways in November.
Valerie Bertinelli and Tom Vitale
Actor and Food Network star Valerie Bertinelli filed for legal separation from her husband, Tom Vitale, in November after nearly 11 years of marriage. The former “One Day at a Time” and “Hot in Cleveland” actor cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the couple’s split in court documents. Bertinelli and Vitale tied the knot in January 2011 after dating for several years.
Matthew Perry and Molly Hurwitz
Matthew Perry went Instagram official with then-fiancée Molly Hurwitz in December 2020. The former “Friends” star popped the question to the literary manager just the month before after dating since 2018. However, their walk down the aisle was not to be. The couple broke up in June according to People. “Sometimes things just don’t work out and this is one of them,” Perry said in a statement at the time. “I wish Molly the best.”
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
Singers Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello announced they’d broken up after more than two years of dating in a joint statement on Instagram in November. “Hi guys, we’ve decided to end our romantic relationship but our love for one another as humans is stronger than ever,” they said. The pair, who met while on tour as opening acts for Austin Mahone in 2014 (with Cabello then a member of Fifth Harmony), added that they’d begun their relationship as “best friends” and would “continue to be best friends.”
Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik
Supermodel Gigi Hadid and former One Direction singer Zayn Malik went their separate ways in late October after dating on and off since 2016, People reported. The split came hours after Malik released a statement on Twitter responding to a TMZ report that alleged that he had struck Hadid’s mom, Yolanda Hadid, during a dispute at the couple’s home the week before. In his statement, the “Better” singer called the incident a “private matter.” He also said the publicity the TMZ report had generated compromised the “safe and private space” he tries to create for his and Gigi Hadid’s 1-year-old daughter, Khai. One day later, Malik pleaded no contest to harassing both Gigi Hadid and Yolanda Hadid.
Elon Musk and Grimes
Elon Musk revealed to Page Six in September that he and girlfriend Grimes had become “semi-separated” after three years of dating. The billionaire SpaceX founder and Tesla CEO and the electronica musician, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher, are parents to a 1-year-old son named X Æ A-Xii, pronounced “X Ash A Twelve.”
Katie Holmes and Emilio Vitolo Jr.
Katie Holmes parted ways with her chef boyfriend Emilio Vitolo Jr. in May after several months of dating, according to Entertainment Tonight. The pair, who were frequently photographed together in New York City, were first linked in September 2020. Two months later, Vitolo celebrated Holmes’ birthday with a sweet Instagram tribute, calling her the “most amazing, kindest, beautiful person.”
JoJo Siwa and Kylie Prew
Former “Dance Moms” star JoJo Siwa announced on Paris Hilton’s podcast “This is Paris” in early July that she and girlfriend Kylie Prew had gone their separate ways. “We broke up, but she is literally still my best friend,” said Siwa, who came out as a member of the LGBTQ community in January. The former couple made their red carpet debut in September at the premiere of Siwa’s film, “The J Team,” but began dating earlier this year.
Rebel Wilson and Jacob Busch
A rep for Rebel Wilson announced in February that she and boyfriend Jacob Busch had broken up. The couple made their red carpet debut as a couple at the Monte-Carlo Gala for Planetary Health in Monaco in September 2020. The “Bridesmaids” star told Extra that her split with Busch, whose family founded the Anheuser-Busch brewing company, was tough but she was doing fine. “Any kind of breakup is hard and not ideal… I feel like, I don’t know if it’s turning 40 or coming into your own… I feel in a really good place,” she said.
Amelia Hamlin and Scott Disick
Amelia Hamlin split with boyfriend Scott Disick in September after less than a year of dating. Hamlin’s mom, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Rinna, made no secret of the fact that she disapproved of her daughter dating the former “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star, who was 18 years Hamlin’s senior and a father of three. In the comments of a Queens of Bravo post on Instagram reporting the couple’s breakup, Rinna made her feelings known by responding with a smiley face emoji.
Zoe Kravitz and Karl Glusman
Zoe Kravitz filed for divorce from actor Karl Glusman in January after 18 months of marriage, reported People. The “Big Little Lies” began dating Glusman in October 2016. The pair walked down the aisle in June 2019. Glusman celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary in 2020 in a since-deleted post on Instagram. “One year … Not the year we expected… but I feel like if we can make it through this, we can take on anything,” he wrote. “I love you. More than anything.”
Trevor Noah and Minka Kelly
“Daily Show” host Trevor Noah and his actor girlfriend, Minka Kelly, went their separate ways in May after nearly a year of dating, reported E News. The couple, who were first linked in August 2020, had recently moved into a $27.5 million dollar mansion Noah purchased for them, according to People.
Pete Davidson and Phoebe Dynevor
Prior to his budding romance with Kim Kardashian, “Saturday Night Live” funnyman Pete Davidson was packing on the PDA at Wimbledon with his then-girlfriend, “Bridgerton” star Phoebe Dynevor in July. The pair were photographed together in the English countryside at the end of April, but rumors of their relationship began months before. They broke up in August, People reported.
Clare Crawley and Dale Moss
Former “Bachelorette” star Clare Crawley ended her romance with Dale Moss in January. Moss shared the news on Instagram, writing, “I wanted to share with you all that Clare and I have decided to go our separate ways.” The couple met and got engaged only four episodes into Crawley’s season on the ABC reality dating series, which aired in 2020. “I feel like Dale is my match,” Crawley told then-host Chris Harrison at the time. In an unprecedented move, Crawley then left the series and Tayshia Adams took over as the Bachelorette.
Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark
Tayshia Adams stepped in to become the new “Bachelorette” in season 16 after Clare Crawley (above) became engaged to Dale Moss by the fourth episode. Unlike Crawley, Adams gave the rest of the male contestants a chance and gave her final rose to Zac Clark. But it wasn’t meant to be. A rep for Adams confirmed to People in November that they had ended their engagement.
Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin
Country music singer Jana Kramer filed for divorce from her husband, NFL player Mike Caussin, in April. “I’ve fought y’all. I’ve loved hard. I’ve forgiven. I’ve put the work in. I’ve given everything I have, and now I have nothing else to give,” she wrote in an Instagram post at the time. The couple tied the knot in May 2015. In 2017, they renewed their wedding vows in Hawaii just weeks after Kramer suffered a miscarriage. The pair share two children: daughter Jolie Rae, 5, and son Jace Joseph, 2.
Jason Segel and Alexis Mixter
“How I Met Your Mother” alum Jason Segel split with longtime girlfriend Alexis Mixter in April after eight years together. Mixter announced the news herself in a since-deleted Instagram post, (according to Entertainment Tonight) writing that she and Segel had “Changed each other at a soul deep level. All for the better.”
Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish
Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish split this year after nearly eight years of marriage. The “Blue Crush” star announced the news in August when she shared a throwback photo on Instagram of the couple kissing. In her lengthy caption, Bosworth wrote, in part, “Our hearts are full, as we have never been so enamored and deeply grateful for one another as we do in this decision to separate. Together, over the last ten years, Michael and I have chosen love, every time. We hold hands as tightly today as we entangled fingers on our wedding day.”
Bill and Melinda Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates, who together founded the charitable Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, announced in a joint statement in May that they were ending their marriage after 27 years.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives,” wrote the couple, who shared three children.
La La Anthony and Carmelo Anthony
“Total Request Live” alum La La Anthony filed for divorce from NBA star Carmelo Anthony in June after 11 years of marriage, Us Weekly reported. The couple got engaged in December 2004 and wed in July 2010. The pair previously separated in April 2017 and reunited nearly two years later.
Lindsey Buckingham and Kristen Messner
Here’s a split that didn’t stick: Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his wife, Kristen Messner, almost called it quits in June when Messner filed for divorce from the “Go Your Own Way” singer. However, by September, Buckingham was telling People that the couple, who married in 2000 and share three children, were “working on our relationship.”
Blair Underwood and Desiree DaCosta
Actor Blair Underwood and his wife, Desiree DaCosta, announced they were going their separate ways in May after 27 years of marriage. The pair, who share three sons, issued a joint statement on Instagram, writing, “After a tremendous amount of thought, prayer & work on ourselves individually & collectively, we have come to the conclusion to end our marriage that began 27 years ago … It has truly been a beautiful journey.”
John Mulaney and Anna Marie Tendler
Comedian John Mulaney and his wife, Anna Marie Tendler, split after six years of marriage. A rep for Mulaney confirmed the news to People in May. Tendler told the magazine in a statement that she was “heartbroken” that Mulaney, who checked into rehab five months earlier, “decided to end our marriage.” Mulaney found romance in the springtime with actor Olivia Munn. The Emmy winner revealed that he and Munn were expecting their first child during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in September. On Dec. 17, TMZ reported that Munn and Mulaney had already welcomed the baby, a boy, last month.
Luke Evans and Rafael Olarra
“Beauty and the Beast” star Luke Evans confirmed in January that he and former soccer player Rafael Olarra broke up. “It is what it is,” the actor told the U.K. Times. The couple went public with their relationship in February 2020 when Evans shared a since-deleted video on Instagram of them vacationing together in Hawaii.
Paulina Porizkova and Aaron Sorkin
Supermodel Paulina Porizkova and Emmy- and Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Aaron Sorkin made their red carpet debut as a couple in April when they attended the Academy Awards ceremony together. Porizkova, who was married to Ric Ocasek, the late frontman for 1980s hitmakers the Cars, for 28 years before separating in 2017. In July, the Czech-born beauty confirmed she and the “West Wing” creator had split in an Instagram post. “I’m so grateful for his presence in my life. He helped heal me and reclaim myself,” she wrote.
Gina Vivinetto is a writer for TODAY.com. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she spends her free time hiking, reading and snuggling with her “Friends” box set. She and her wife, Molly, are the proud moms of two formerly stray cats, Sophie and Pierre, and a rescue dog named Gracie.
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