Above, from left to right: Brad Pitt (LaCameraChiara / Shutterstock.com), Gwyneth Paltrow (DFree / Shutterstock.com), Chris Martin (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com copy) and Sandra Bullock (Featureflash / Shutterstock.com)
Leave it to the all-knowing Gwyneth Paltrow, one of the most unabashedly arrogant and entitled celebrities ever, to drop some new-age phrase that gets the gossip hounds in a tizzy, scrambling to find out what the fuck she meant. One of the most faux and unappealing women in Hollywood (even her “hot sex scene” in Shakespeare In Love now seems embarrassingly inauthentic), took to her idiotic lifestyle website Goop, to announce that she and her husband, he of the equally pretentious make-out band Coldplay, were “consciously uncoupling.”
Now that vomit-inducing phrase is irrevocably cemented into our collective urban dictionary. To counter that bullshit, here are some of the most memorable and less civilized – i.e., true-to-life – celebrity breakups, ones that Gwyneth would surely call “de classe.”
Sandra Bullock and Jesse James
A few weeks after Bullock won an Oscar and tearfully thanked her hubby for his boundless moral support, she learned he’d been cheating on her for the last 11 months with a stripper and fetish model named Bombshell McGee who had a tattooed forehead. So much for the righteous encouragement.
Sean Penn and Madonna
Call them S&M; it was rough from the start. After two years of Penn’s alcoholism, jealousy, tantrums, multiple arrests and rumors of spousal abuse, the Material Girl filed for divorce, and it was no Shanghai surprise.
Woody Allen and Mia Farrow
Woody was having a secret fuck-fest love affair with Mia’s barely legal adopted daughter Soon-Yi. That may be the closest exact opposite of conscious uncoupling we’ll ever find.
Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall
Supermodel Jerry Hall was independent and willing to overlook Jagger’s notoriously salacious and controlling ways, as long as he married her. He finally relented, they married in a Balinese wedding, and then he promptly knocked up a Brazilian model. Hall walked out and filed divorce papers only to learn Jagger had tricked her into a ceremony that had no legal validity whatsoever.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
The demise of “Robsten” was a ludicrous spectacle thanks to the Twilight trilogy’s rabid fans known as Twi-hards. Go ahead and Google “fans response to Kristen Stewart cheating” and you’ll hit the mother load. There are melodramatic tweets and Tumblrs aplenty, but the Teen Choice Awards go to the distraught obsessed who took it straight to YouTube. Hell hath no fury like a Robstener scorned.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
When Cruise had a bizarre Thetan orgasm on Oprah’s couch over Holmes, it was clear something was rotten in Denmark. Holmes seemed robotic in interviews, but when she snapped out of her Stockholm Syndrome, she grabbed her well-styled toddler, Suri, and got the fuck out of dodge. It was an undeniable preemptive rescue, saving her offspring from drinking the Scientology Kool-Aid.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
You cannot make this shit up. Arnold had a secret affair with the maid. For twelve years. And they had a kid. In a way, it was hard to sympathize with Maria. How she couldn’t have known she was marrying one of the biggest scumbags who ever lived was sort of unimaginable.
Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder
They were one of my favorite famous, hot couples. However, had they stayed together, Depp’s exquisite WINONA FOREVER tattoo would never have morphed into his way more amazing WINO FOREVER tattoo. So: best breakup ever.
Matt Damon and Minnie Driver
They fell in love on the set of Good Will Hunting, but Driver discovered Damon wanted out when he went on Oprah and announced that he was single. Damon immediately started dating Winona Ryder and going out on well-publicized double dates with his best friend and co-star Ben Affleck and Affleck’s on-again-off-again girlfriend – hey! – Gwyneth Paltrow! When Affleck hosted Saturday Night Live, Paltrow made a cameo during his monologue, pretending to be a lover scorned. “Don’t be such a Minnie Driver!” Affleck quipped. Hilarious.
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
We all know this story in two words: Angelina Jolie. The actress with the DSL lips swooped in with her black magic and stole Pitt from wife Aniston without so much as batting an eyelash. Pitt took Aniston on vacation to break up with her, then did a huge photo spread in W Magazine with Jolie in which they “portrayed” a couple. Aniston famously responded by saying, “he’s missing a sensitivity chip.”
Huh. All roads really do lead to Paltrow, I guess. It was her relationship with Brad Pitt (pre-Aniston) that thrust Paltrow into the spotlight. Their breakup was a complete shock to the public-at-large. While the couple was impressively zipper-lipped about what led to the split, rumor had it that Perfect Paltrow got caught cheating. De classe.