With many people blasting 2016 as one of the worst years in recent memory, it should come as no surprise that several A-list couples called it quits this year. Perceived super-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie ended their marriage, Amber Heard and Johnny Depp parted ways in an ugly split, and many more couples dropped the axe.
Broken engagements, broken vows and splits of long-term and newer relationships have rocked Tinseltown over the last 12 months.
As we approach the end of the year, Global News is reflecting on this year’s high-profile celebrity breakups. Here are the biggest (and most shocking) of 2016:
1. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (2004 – 2016)
When this A-list couple announced they were heading to divorce court in September, they shocked many fans around the world. Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt and the actress cited “irreconcilable differences” as grounds. Pitt released his own statement to People that read “I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well-being of our kids.” It was rumoured initially that actress Marion Cotillard, who is Pitt’s co-star in the movie Allied, may have caused a rift between the couple, but that has since proven to be totally false.
Jolie claimed she feared for her children’s safety because of Pitt’s alleged heavy drinking and drug use, though those accusations have not been proven publicly.
The couple began dating in 2004 and were officially married in 2014. They have six children together.
2. Amber Heard and Johnny Depp (2012 – 2016)
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp were married for about 15 months before she filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. After the initial divorce papers were filed, several photos emerged showing Heard with a bruised face; there were also allegations Depp cut off part of his finger during an altercation with the actress. Several additional stories allege the duo lied or fabricated evidence during the divorce proceedings. Heard eventually withdrew allegations that Depp physically abused her and settled her divorce case with the 53-year-old actor, who reportedly agreed to pay his ex-wife $7 million to settle.
Before the divorce, the pair were in legal trouble with Australian officials after Heard smuggled their two pet dogs into the country. She pled guilty to falsifying documents to conceal the pets while arriving via private jet. The two met while filming The Rum Diary in 2011.
3. & 4. Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris (2015 – 2016), Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston (2016 – 2016)
Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris called it quits after 15 months of dating; it came as a surprise since the pair seemed to be doing just fine when they posted pictures from their tropical vacation in March. The Scottish DJ and the pop singer did not comment publicly about their split right away, but a month after the breakup Harris took to his Twitter account to rant about his former lover. He revealed that Rihanna’s smash-hit This Is What You Came For, done in collaboration with Harris, was, in fact, partially written by Swift, who used a Swedish alias in the credits so she could remain anonymous. He also accused Swift of hurting him and trying to make him look bad and referenced her new boyfriend (now ex), actor Tom Hiddleston.
Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though
— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) July 13, 2016
Most recently, Harris publicly let go of his grudge against Swift after hearing that their hit track with Rihanna went double platinum in the United Kingdom. “I am blessed to work with incredible artists … thank you!” he wrote, tagging Rihanna and Swift in a tweet.
Less than two weeks after Harris and Swift’s breakup was revealed, Swift started dating Tom Hiddleston.
After a brief three-month relationship, Swift and Hiddleston split. People magazine reports that the split was “amicable.” The couple, nicknamed “Hiddleswift,” caused a celebrity-gossip firestorm when they first showed interest in each other in public. An Instagram video of the pair dancing together at May’s Met Gala went viral, since, at the time, Swift was still dating Harris. In mid-June, they went public with a series of pictures on the beach in Rhode Island. Within a matter of a few short weeks, the pair met each other’s parents, celebrated The 4th of July together at Swift’s annual party and enjoyed trips to Australia and Italy, among other places.
Swift was reportedly the one who ended it after she protested the British actor’s desire to make the relationship more public. We’ll have to wait to see if these two men inspire some new Swift breakup ballads.
5. Jennifer Lopez and Casper Smart (2011 – 2016)
Before Casper Smart, 29, and Jennifer Lopez, 47, started dating, he was her backup dancer. Eventually their relationship grew into something more, and they went from all business to both business and pleasure. The pair started dating in Oct. 2011, a few months after Lopez separated from Marc Anthony. Less than a year after they started dating, rumours began that Lopez and her boyfriend were engaged. She didn’t waste any time and shut them down. “Rumours!!! Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got,” Lopez wrote on her website, referencing her 2002 hit, Jenny from the Block.
Lopez and her beau ended their relationship in June 2014 after almost four years together. But that breakup was short-lived, and the two got back together after a couple months apart. They ultimately broke up for good in August 2016. TMZ reported that the breakup was the result of Smart not attending Ron Perlman’s Hamptons fundraiser with Lopez. Instead, he opted to go to UFC 202 in Las Vegas and hang out with Kanye West and UFC announcer Bruce Buffer.
6. Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger (2006 – 2016)
Diane Kruger, 40, and Joshua Jackson, 38, split up in July 2016 after spending 10 years together. “Diane Kruger and Josh Jackson have decided to separate and remain friends,” reps for both actors confirmed to People magazine. The pair had homes in both Vancouver and Paris and were spotted in New York City together on July 16, just two days before the news of the split was confirmed.
News of the breakup came months after Kruger confirmed to Net-a-Porter’s The Edit that she had recently moved to an apartment in New York City with Jackson. “[Moving here] was a major commitment,” she said in the magazine’s March issue. “That’s a big step into adulthood for me, to allow that time for someone else out of my time.”
The couple began dating in 2006 and never married. Kruger was previously wed to French actor and director Guillaume Canet, from 2001 to 2006.
7. Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama (2010 – 2016)
Demi Lovato, 23, and Wilmer Valderrama, 36, announced via Instagram on June 3 that they’d broken up after six years together. The couple, who first met in 2010, shared the statement on their respective accounts, writing, “This was an incredibly difficult decision for both of us, but we have realized more than anything that we are better as friends. We will always be supportive of one another. Thank you to everyone who has offered us kindness and support over the years.”
After years of secrecy, the pair finally started sharing several sweet messages, birthday wishes and photos of one another on their social media accounts in 2014. And while Lovato was celebrating being three years sober in March 2015, the entertainer shared an emotional message on Instagram, crediting Valderrama for her sobriety.
8. Tobey Maguire and Jen Meyer (2003 – 2016)
Tobey Maguire, 41, and his wife, jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, 39, split after nine years of marriage. “After much soul searching and consideration we have made the decision to separate as a couple,” the couple told Us in a joint statement. “As devoted parents, our first priority remains raising our children together with enduring love, respect and friendship.”
The Spider-Man actor and Meyer met in 2003 and tied the knot in Hawaii in September 2007. The pair are parents of daughter Ruby, 9, and son Otis, 7.
9. Mary J. Blige and Martin “Kendu” Isaacs (2003 – 2016)
After 12 years of marriage, Mary J. Blige filed for divorce from her longtime husband and manager Martin “Kendu” Isaacs, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The couple said “I do” in Dec. 2003 and had no children together. Isaacs had two children with his first wife and an older daughter from a previous relationship.
TMZ reported that Isaacs filed for temporary spousal support, asking for $129,319 USD per month from Blige. He argued that Blige was the breadwinner during their marriage and got him used to their lavish lifestyle. He also pointed out that Blige is currently on tour with an album about to drop, and he has zero income since she fired him shortly after she filed for divorce. Isaacs also signed a prenup, but believes it’s bogus since he signed it without a lawyer.
10. Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney (2011 – 2016)
Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney called off their engagement and broke up after nearly five years together. The two were introduced in July 2011 on the set of Gaga’s music video for You and I. The pair finally went public with their romance in Dec. 2011, were engaged in Feb. 2015, and in early Jan. 2016 they posed on the floor naked for V Magazine. By July 2016 the couple had called it quits, and Lady Gaga was photographed without her engagement ring on.
Lady Gaga released a statement following the breakup. “Taylor and I have always believed we are soulmates. Just like all couples we have ups and downs, and we have been taking a break,” the singer confirmed on Instagram with a black-and-white photo of the pair with their arms wrapped around each other.
11. Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber (2005 – 2016)
After 11 years together, actors Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts called it quits. The couple, who have two children together, announced their separation in September. Schreiber and Watts met on the set of the film The Painted Veil.
They released a joint statement via Entertainment Tonight: “Over the past few months we’ve come to the conclusion that the best way forward for us as a family is to separate as a couple. It is with great love, respect, and friendship in our hearts that we look forward to raising our children together and exploring this new phase of our relationship,” the couple told ET in a joint statement. “While we appreciate your curiosity and support, we ask the press to be mindful of our children and respect their right to privacy.”