Newsmakers: Breakups

From the Summer ’09 Newsmakers family edition

Jennifer Anniston & John MayerJennifer Anniston & John Mayer
Exactly what caused the sporadic soulmates’ final fade from tabloid covers was the subject of much frenzied speculation. Was it her wanting a baby? His womanizing ways? Her eternal pining for Brad Pitt? The final consensus: the former Friends star became fed up with the schmaltzy singer’s compulsive Twittering.

Prince Harry & Chelsy Davy
Commoners learned of the breakup of the blond Zimbabwe-born law student and the ginger-haired British royal stud after five years of yacht-frolicking via that great equalizer, Facebook: Davy changed her relationship status to “not in one”—accompanied by a symbol of a broken red heart.

Paul Capra & Margot Hail
The lurid details of an eight-year affair between the wealthy 58-year-old married British property developer and his 50-year-old also-married neighbour were aired in criminal court after Capra responded to Hail’s accusation that he’d cheated with yet another woman—by slashing $800 worth of lingerie he’d given Hail, and then chopping off her hair with scissors. He was sentenced to 120 hours of community service—and ordered to pay Hail $2,400 in damages.

Jessica Simpson & Tony RomoJessica Simpson & Tony Romo
The bodacious blond singer and Dallas Cowboy quarterback survived the tabloid frenzy over her infamous weight gain and criticism that her presence jinxed his gridlock performance before Romo called it off the night before her 29th birthday party, a Barbie-and-Ken-themed affair that was cancelled too.

Bernie Ecclestone & Slavica Ecclestone
The 78-year-old British billionaire sports entrepreneur landed in the world’s priciest divorce, rumoured to cost him more than US$1 billion, when his wife, a 51-year-old former Armani model, walked out after 24 years with a major trump card: the Formula One supremo had placed his fortune, much squirrelled in offshore tax havens, in her name.

Susanne Klatten & Helg Sgarbi
Germany’s richest woman, a BMW heiress, went to police after her former lover threatened to broadcast videotapes he had secretly made of their sexual trysts if she didn’t pay him US$100 million. The married mother of three learned that Sgarbi, now serving a six-year prison sentence, had successfully blackmailed other European socialites, earning him the nickname “the Swiss Gigolo.”

Rihanna & Chris BrownRihanna & Chris Brown
The “fairy-tale” romance of two rising pop stars turned horror show with the emergence of photos of Rihanna’s beaten face and Brown being charged with felony assault. Brown avoided jail time by pleading guilty in a plea deal; he faces five years of supervised probation and six months of community labour.

Abdullah Simsek & Mrs. Simsek
Resembling George Clooney isn’t a problem for most men, but the British restaurateur alleged it was the cause of the breakdown of his 14-year marriage. Simsek claimed his wife, who has wisely kept her name out of headlines, was unhappy with the fame and attention from women it brought him. His comment to the Manchester Evening News—“I’m only after Lisa Snowdon,” (Clooney’s ex)—likely didn’t help his cause.

Silvio Berlusconi & Veronica Lario
Italy’s highest-profile long-suffering wife announced she was seeking divorce from the country’s gaffe-prone PM after a tumultuous 19-year marriage. The final straw was news that Silvio, 72, known for flirting with younger women, attended the 18th birthday party of a model: “He never came to the 18th of any of his children,” Lario told the press.

Kim Cattrall & Alan WyseKim Cattrall & Alan Wyse
In a case of life imitating the chick-flick in which she starred, the 52-year-old former Sex and the City actress terminated her five-year relationship with her much younger paramour, the 32-year-old Canadian who was once her personal chef.

Amy Winehouse & Blake Fielder-Civil
A fractious two-year marriage filled with arrests, public spats, and the rehabbed singer carving “I love Blake” on her stomach with a shard of glass ended soberly in a British divorce court. Neither party was present.

George David & Marie Douglas-David
The 37-year-old Swedish countess took the ex-CEO of United Technologies to court, demanding US$100 million plus US$130,000 a month, claiming he forced her to give up her job as an investment banker and coerced her into signing a post-nup. She also griped his paltry US$43-million settlement didn’t cover her US$53,000 weekly expenses. The 67-year-old David countered that she had an affair—and hectored him for how he held his fork.

Jarrett Stoll & Rachel HunterJarrett Stoll & Rachel Hunter
The 29-year-old L.A. Kings forward and pride of Melville, Sask., called off his wedding to the 39-year-old model by email less than two months before it was to take place. An e-wedding cancellation? That’s just bad etiquette.