In many ways, celebrities are just like the rest of us. But living life in the public eye isn’t easy, especially when it comes to your love life. History shows that famous couples aren’t even close to perfect. From domestic violence to infidelity rumors, these are 18 of the most volatile celebrity relationships in history, ranked from least to most dysfunctional. (No. 10 recently got back together.)
18. Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie: Just plain weird
Together: Married for three years
This strange three-year marriage allegedly fell apart due to Billy Bob Thornton’s insecurities over Angelina Jolie’s public persona as well as her desire to have kids. However, the public knew them more for their weird behaviors including wearing vials of each other’s blood around their necks, getting matching tattoos, and purchasing side-by-side funeral plots.
Next: Sex tape scandal aside, these two say they didn’t take enough time to build a foundation.
17. Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee: Rocky romance
Together: Married for four years
This wild and crazy couple made headlines for getting married four days after their first date. Although they were married for three years and have two children together, things were always rocky. Pamela Anderson filed for divorce twice before they split for good in 1998. She’s since called Tommy Lee the “love of her life.” They are apparently on good terms now.
Next: This cheating husband definitely has a type.
16. Sandra Bullock and Jesse James: Affair addiction
Together: Married for five years
Jesse James had to publicly come clean after several (interesting) women claimed they’d slept with him during his five-year marriage to Sandra Bullock. He checked himself into sex rehab to deal with issues and salvage his marriage but the Oscar-winning actress filed for divorce shortly after.
The bright side to this story: Bullock went on to start her family, adopting two children on her own (including the one she and James planned to adopt together).
Next: These Hollywood icons tied the knot twice.
15. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton: Second time’s (not) the charm
Together: Married for 11 years (total)
Elizabeth Taylor married eight times, but Richard Burton is the only one she married twice. The two met on the set of Cleopatra in 1963, and the fact that they were both married didn’t stop them from falling in love. They left their spouses and married in 1964.
Taylor and Burton’s volatile relationship always kept them in the headlines. They divorced in 1974, remarried in 1975, and split again one year later.
Next: This infamous couple spent 16 years together before calling it quits.
14. Jack Nicholson and Anjelica Huston: Baby-mama drama
Together: Dated for 16 years
This couple had an on-again-off-again relationship for 16 years. During this time, Anjelica Huston apparently begged Jack Nicholson to start a family with her, but he refused. In 1989, Nicholson got another woman pregnant. Huston responded by busting onto Nicholson’s movie set and beating him up.
13. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Love as art
Together: Married 15 years
These two famous artists had one of the most intense relationships of all time. Diego Rivera was a known womanizer, and both of them had numerous affairs. They even lived in two separate structures connected by a bridge so they didn’t have to deal with each other all the time.
The couple divorced in 1939 after Rivera had an affair with Frida Kahlo’s sister, but they quickly remarried and stayed together until her death in 1955.
Next: Some people believe this temperamental rocker had her husband murdered.
12. Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain: Sex, drugs, and Nirvana
Together: Married two years
Apparently many people opposed Kurt Cobain’s union with Courtney Love, and although they were married at the time of the Nirvana band members’ death, it wasn’t always amicable. The union was rife with drug abuse and fights. Some fans even believe Cobain was murdered and Love was involved.
Next: This talk-show queen has forgiven her rock star husband for the unforgivable … a lot.
11. Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne: They just can’t quit
Together: Married for 35 years
This duo has seemingly been through it all — infidelity, drug use, even physical assault (Ozzy admitted to knocking Sharon’s tooth out). They called it quits in 2015 after Ozzy reportedly had yet another affair, but reunited in 2016 after Sharon decided to forgive.
Next: This famous teen romance was full of ups and downs.
10. Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber: Young heartbreak
Together: Dated for six years
At first, this romance seemed perfect: two young stars (16 and 18) falling head over heels in love. But their six-year, on-again-off-again courtship included cheating allegations, a trip to rehab, a fake fan pregnancy, and numerous other troubles. They supposedly split for good in 2015, but with these two, you never know.
Next: This beauty from Barbados caught the brunt of Chris Brown’s temper.
9. Rihanna and Chris Brown: Too temperamental
Together: Dated about a year but probably longer (when they began dating isn’t clear)
This pair made headlines when an argument turned violent, leaving Rihanna bruised. Although they never officially got back together, Rihanna admitted she still loves Chris Brown, and he got in trouble recently when his current girlfriend caught him texting Rihanna.
Next: This couple was never “winning.”
8. Denise Richard and Charlie Sheen: Off the deep end
Together: Married for 4.5 years
Nearly every woman Charlie Sheen has been with accused him of being abusive, and ex-wife Denise Richards is no exception. The two went through a nasty public divorce in 2016 (after a seemingly happy marriage) while Richards was pregnant with their second daughter. They’ve had many ups and downs as co-parents since, but these days, they seem to be on good terms.
Next: This former boxer’s union was doomed from the start.
7. Mike Tyson and Robin Givens: A wedded nightmare
Together: Married one year
Former boxer Mike Tyson married actress Robin Givens in 1988, but it only lasted a year. Givens says he got violent with her even before they wed, and it only got worse after they eloped. The two have given numerous interviews since they split, and it seems neither has been able to forgive or forget.
Next: This notoriously bad-tempered actor got caught berating his girlfriend on tape.
6. Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva: The call heard ’round the world
Together: Dated about three years
Mel Gibson began dating singer-songwriter Oksana Grigorieva shortly after his marriage ended in 2009. During their brief time together, they had a daughter, but Grigorieva left Gibson after claiming he punched her in the face multiple times. During a court custody battle, lawyers released tapes of a phone call where Gibson berated and threatened Grigorieva.
Next: These famous musicians made beautiful music together onstage.
5. Ike and Tina Turner: Fools in love
Together: Married for 16 years
Ike and Tina Turner made beautiful music together, but their relationship was extremely tumultuous. Tina described it as plagued by both physical and emotional abuse, which Ike never denied. She finally left him in 1978 after almost two decades together.
Next: It’s hard to imagine anyone abusing this larger-than-life songstress.
4. Madonna and Sean Penn: What not to do
Together: Married for four-plus years
Madonna and Sean Penn seemed like the ultimate ’80s couple, but it wasn’t a match made in heaven. Penn was reportedly very abusive, beating Madonna with a baseball bat and tying her to a chair and beating her. He even threatened to shave her head and once chased her out of a hotel room. Thankfully, she divorced him.
Next: This NFL player beat his rapper girlfriend, and she burned down his house.
3. Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes and Andre Rison: A fiery duo
Together: Dated about seven years
The TLC singer and Atlanta Falcons player had one of the most infamous relationships ever. In 1993, he allegedly beat her in a supermarket parking lot. A year later, she burned down his house. Remarkably, the two stayed together and even got engaged prior to her death in 2002.
Next: Domestic violence allegations changed everything for this glam couple.
2. Johnny Depp and Amber Heard: A volatile end
Together: Married for one year
Ending perhaps the most graphic, intense relationship battle of the year, Johnny Depp and Amber Heard finally settled their divorce in the summer of 2016. What began as an on-screen partnership on the set of 2009’s The Rum Diary spiraled into abusive fights and strange allegations. The pair began dating in 2012 after Depp left his long-time partner Vanessa Paradis.
In court documents, Heard claimed Depp grabbed her by the hair “violently shoved me to the floor” during her April 22, 2016, birthday party. She also said that a month later Depp hit her in the face with a cellphone, pulled her hair, and violently grabbed her face. Prior to their divorce, she got a restraining order, Depp’s former partners came to his defense, and People published images of Heard’s face after Depp hit her.
Next: This troubled love story met a tragic end.
1. O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson: A hero falls
Together: Married nearly eight years
In what may be the most famous abusive relationship in history, O.J. Simpson was tried for murder after he allegedly stabbed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman, to death outside her home. He was acquitted of the murder, but many Americans believe he committed the crime. He spent nine years in prison for unrelated charges and was released in October 2017.
Additional reporting by Ali Harrison.