Many celebrities have been caught cheating throughout the years in messy ways. But some celebrities managed to hide their affairs so well it didn’t come out until after their deaths. Or some celebrities didn’t admit anything until much later in life.
But which affairs lasted so long without causing a stir? Some managed to make it over two decades while others only lasted months before they left their spouses or were found out. Here are 15 of the longest-lasting celebrity affairs ever.
15. Donald Trump and Karen McDougal – 10 months
Former Playboy model, Karen McDougal has come forward saying she had a 10-month affair with Donald Trump more than a decade ago. At the time he was married to Melania Trump. The two first met while an episode of Celebrity Apprentice was being filmed in the Playboy Mansion in 2006.
McDougal said their first date was in June and they went on many dates. She also revealed they would meet at the Beverly Hills Hotel along with his real estate properties. She also said she met his son, Eric. McDougal cried during the interview and said “What can you say except, ‘I’m sorry — I’m sorry.’”
She also revealed that she allegedly signed a deal with American Media for $150,000 so they have exclusive rights to this story but is now suing to get out of it claiming she signed under pressure and false pretenses, according to the New York Times.
Next: This affair almost ruined this actress’ career.
14. Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini – about a year
The actress and director’s relationship quickly became romantic after they decided to work together on the movie, Stromboli. Both of them were married at the time so when their affair became public and it was revealed Bergman was pregnant, it almost ruined her career completely.
After their divorces, they married each other in 1950, but divorced seven years later.
Next: These two actors also had an affair while shooting a movie overseas.
13. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton – about a year
The movie stars notoriously started having an affair on the set of Cleopatra. At the time, Elizabeth Taylor was married to Eddie Fisher and Richard Burton was married to Sybil. It didn’t take long for the press to catch on to what was happening. Fisher left Rome where they were shooting so it was just further confirmation of the affair.
After the movie wrapped more than two-and-a-half years later and both actors got divorces, they married each other in 1964. They divorced in 1974 only to marry again in 1975 and divorce again in 1976. They still remained close friends.
Next: This actress revealed this actor refused to leave his wife for her.
12. Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier – about a year
The two actors first met while working on the play Porgy & Bess together in 1959. Things apparently got serious enough that they were talking about moving in together so Diahann Carroll left her husband Monte Kay.
“I was about to move in [with him] when he told me he didn’t want me there. He changed the locks so I couldn’t get in,” she wrote in her book The Legs Are The Last To Go. They started up their affair again on the set of Paris Blues but again Sidney Poitier refused to leave his wife for her.
Next: These two actors had an affair then went on to have a lasting marriage.
11. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward – about a year
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman first met working on the Broadway play, Picnic. Newman was married at the time and Woodward actually wasn’t interested in him. “It took me a long time to persuade her that I wasn’t as dull as I looked,” Newman said according to Paul Newman: A Life.
The two then started an affair and Newman left his wife to marry Woodward. He admitted to feeling “guilty as hell” for this but Newman and Woodward stayed married.
Next: This future president’s affair publicly was revealed on vacation.
10. Donald Trump and Marla Maples – 1 year
Donald Trump infamously got caught cheating on his wife, Ivana because he brought Marla Maples to Aspen on a family vacation in 1990. Trump and Maples met in 1989 and since then would publicly take her on dates, according to the New York Post so the affair was going on for some time.
He eventually got a divorce from Ivana in 1992 then married Marla in 1993. They have one daughter together, Tiffany.
Next: These movie stars had an emotional affair but it didn’t go much further.
9. Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz – 1.5 years
Swizz Beatz was married to Mashonda when his relationship with Alicia Keys already started. This meant things got messy, and Mashonda even wrote an open letter to Alicia Keys.
She wrote “I feel that after 1 and a half years of you hiding this affair and acting like it doesnt exist, that now is the time to confront it” according to All Hip Hop. Alicia Keys later claimed the married couple was separated before their relationship started going against Mashonda’s letter.
Eventually, the producer got divorced in 2010 and he married Alicia Keys in the same year.
Next: This actress had an affair with a director but it didn’t work out.
8. Bette Davis and William Wyler – 2 years
The actress and director worked together on The Letter (1940) and The Little Foxes (1941). During that time, they also had an affair. William Wyler was married to Margaret Tallichet and didn’t seem to want anything more. Bette Davis was married to Arthur Farnsworth ,but still called Wyler the love of her life in The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis A Personal Biography.
“Willie was the love of my life—no question,” she told Charlotte Chandler. “He was everything I ever dreamed of in a man, so love and passion soon followed.” The affair eventually fizzled out.
Next: This actress pushed this crooner to get a divorce to be together.
7. Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra – 2 years
The movie star and crooner started having an affair in 1949. During that time they got into some trouble for drunk driving and shooting storefront windows with pistols, according to People. Eventually, Ava Gardner pushed Frank Sinatra to call his wife, Nancy to ask for a divorce. They divorced in 1951 and then he married Gardner.
During their marriage, both of them had affairs with other people and they eventually divorced in 1957. They stayed friends afterward.
Next: These two actors were reportedly forced to keep their relationship a secret because of homophobia.
6. Anthony Perkins and Tab Hunter – 3 years
The Psycho star was married to Berry Berenson from 1973 to 1992. During that time he reportedly had affairs with men but his longest relationship was with actor Tab Hunter, which lasted three years according to the New Yorker.
“Of course, he was carrying on with Tab Hunter for a long time, we were told on good authority,” author Charles Winecoff claimed artist Don Bachardy said in Split Image: The Life of Anthony Perkins.
Next: This rock star’s affair was revealed by his family members.
5. Ozzy Osbourne and Michelle Pugh – 4 years
Ozzy Osbourne was in hot water when his affair with hairstylist Michelle Pugh came to light. Pugh later talked about the affair which lasted years. The whole thing started a year after she first colored his hair according to Pugh.
“When I say he gave me the greatest love of my life, I mean it,” she said, according to People. “He made me feel like the most beautiful and worshipped woman in the world.” When the affair came to light, Sharon Osbourne announced they were separating but they ended up making amends and renewed their vows.
Next: This music producer had an affair with his friend’s wife for years.
4. Simon Cowell and Lauren Silverman – 4 years
The music producer was friends with married couple Lauren and Andrew Silverman. It was later revealed that Lauren will be expecting to have a baby with Simon Cowell, so that unsurprisingly led to her getting a divorce. The reason for the divorce cited was adultery, and Cowell was named in the filing.
It turned out they had been having an affair for four years, according to Us Weekly. Cowell and Silverman got married in 2013 and had a son.
Next: These two actresses had an affair for almost a decade.
3. Greta Garbo and Mercedes de Acosta – about 10 years
The actress had an affair with the screenwriter for about a decade after meeting in the 1930s, according to Pride. At one point, they lived next door to each other. Mercedes De Acosta also tried to write a part for Greta Garbo where a beautiful actress would dress like a boy for most of the movie, but MGM shut it down.
Throughout the years, they were off and on and sometimes took other lovers. De Acosta was married to Abram Poole from 1920 to 1935.
Next: This royal had an affair for years because the relationship wasn’t approved of.
2. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles – 23 years
The royal reportedly started his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles in 1972, but was told it couldn’t end in marriage. So she went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973. They then reportedly had an affair before Prince Charles was even married to Princess Diana.
A documentary called The Real Camilla: HRH the Duchess of Cornwall claimed, “Andrew was away an awful lot, and Prince Charles was someone who was kind to her.”
Prince Charles later married Princess Diana in 1981 and continued the affair. Once the two separated, Princess Diana revealed, “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.” Prince Charles went on to marry Parker Bowles in 2005.
Next: These movie stars reportedly had an affair for over two decades.
1. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy – 25 years
The movie icons did nine movies together and had an affair for 25 years. During that time, Katharine Hepburn was married to Ludlow Ogden Smith from 1928 to 1934. Spencer Tracy was married to Louise from 1923 to 1965. The affair was kept secret until Louise died, and Hepburn wrote about it in her autobiography Me: Stories of My Life.
She wrote that she never bothered “straightening out the relationship.” She then wrote “One must figure out how much you care about this or that. Then put up a fight. Or don’t.”
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