Cheating claims and custody battles: Celebrity divorces are finally getting real.

After what feels like a couple of decades of amicable Hollywood splits and 'conscious uncouplings', are celebrity divorces finally reflecting what most normal people endure? 

In the last year, a string of breakups and divorces have struck celebrities. This is nothing unusual, it's just a fact of life for us mere mortals, along with our more famous counterparts. 

But as reported in The Cut, Hollywood divorces appear to be getting messier than ever.

It might not be much fun for the celebrities involved, but for an outsider looking in, it's refreshing to see that the end of a marriage isn't always smooth sailing. 

Kevin Costner's divorce has become tabloid fodder with the constant bickering that's played out between himself and ex-wife, Christine Baumgartner. 

After 18 years of marriage, Christine filed for divorce in May and by June, Kevin was claiming that his ex was refusing to move out of their home. Based on their prenuptial agreement as obtained by TMZ, Christine had to vacate their home within 30 days of her filing for divorce. 

In response, Baumgartner's attorney John Rydell said that the order filed by Kevin "seeks to kick Christine and their three children out of the house that the children have lived in for their entire lives".

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner. Image: Getty.

Then came the child support requests. According to court documents obtained by People, Christine asked for $248,000 a month to be paid in child support. In the document, she described the figure as "less than the amount needed to maintain the children in their accustomed lifestyle". 


As the weeks ticked by, more details have surfaced including the fact that Kevin told Deadline that he took out a mortgage on his 10-acre home in Santa Barbara to fund the budget for one of his films.  

This is a far cry from the way other Hollywood divorces have been portrayed in recent years. 

The concept of celebrities and the 'amicable divorce' took flight in March 2014 when Gwyneth Paltrow announced via her blog Goop that she and her husband of 10 years Chris Martin were going to "consciously uncouple and co-parent," their two children Apple and Moses. 


Last year, another shocking divorce was confirmed in October 2022. After 13 years of marriage, Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen officially filed for divorce, as Tom posted in an Instagram story: “We arrived at this decision amicably and with gratitude for the time we spent together." 

Gisele added on her Instagram Story: “With much gratitude for our time together, Tom and I have amicably finalised our divorce. My priority has always been and will continue to be my children whom I love with all my heart."  

This followed another rather amicable divorce between Lisa Bonet and Jason Momoa in January 2022. The couple announced their split and the way they described the decision would make Gwyneth proud. "The love between us carries on, evolving in ways it wishes to be known and lived," the ex-couple said in a statement at the time. 

"We free each other to be who we are learning to become." 

By December 2022, Toni Collette and her husband Dave Galafassi also announced their divorce with another loving statement. “It is with grace and gratitude that we announce we are divorcing. We’re united in our decision and part with continuing respect and care for each other," they said.  

"We’re thankful for the space and love you grant us as we evolve and move through this transition peacefully."

Okay okay, this is far too sappy for my liking. 

Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin's 2022 divorce was so amicable that the couple decided to get back together one month after filing. 


Hey now! Have a listen to this Cancelled episode about Jennifer Lawrence.

This brings us to 2023, a time when divorces have never been less amicable

Kelly Clarkson filed for divorce from Brandon Blackstock in 2020 after seven years of marriage. The court proceedings around the divorce have been raging for years, but have resurfaced this year with Kelly's 2023 album Chemistry which the singer said was fueled by her divorce.

It's difficult to sum up just how messy Kelly and Brandon's divorce has been. After the divorce was filed, the talk show host was ordered to pay her estranged husband nearly $200,000 in monthly support, but by March 2022, a judge had reduced the spousal support to $115,000 each month until January 2024.

As of 2022, Brandon was still living the former couple's Montana ranch and paying Kelly $12,500 a monthly in rent. In May 2022, Kelly was ordered to disable the “webcams, trail cams, and any other security cameras” around the ranch whenever Blackstock stayed on the property. 

In Kelly's 2023 song 'Red Flag Collector', she seems to reference Brandon's home in Montana. “So run your mouth, puff your chest, play cowboy in the wild, wild west, I don’t mind, take what’s left."

Sound messy enough? Oh, just wait. Kelly has been in legal troubles with Brandon’s father Narvel Blackstock’s company, Starstruck Management Group, for years. She has previously worked with the company and they sued Clarkson in September 2020, claiming she owed them $1.4 million in unpaid commissions.


In response, the singer counter-sued the management group in November 2020. According to the court docs, Kelly accused Starstruck of violating the California Labor Code by “procuring, offering, promising, or attempting to procure employment or engagements” without being properly licensed. 

Then in December 2020, Kelly went further and filed legal documents alleging that Brandon and his father's company defrauded her by charging her inflated fees during her 13 years working with the team.

On Kelly's new song 'Mine', she appeared to reference the case against her ex-husband and his father. "I hope one day someone will take your heart and hold it tight," she sang. "And right when you think that it’s perfect, they cross a line, and steal your shine like you did mine." 

If this sounds chaotic, Kim Zolciak says hold my beer. The Don't Be Tardy star has also suffered through a disastrous divorce this year from ex-husband, Kroy Biermann. 

After a decade of marriage, the couple filed for divorce in May 2023. 

Where to begin with these two? Kroy filed a court document seeking "the temporary and permanent sole legal and sole physical custody," of the four children he shared with the reality star. 

Kroy has also requested ownership of the former couple's Georgia home and he asked for his estranged wife to be "restrained" from coming inside. In the following days, Kim filed a motion for her ex-husband to be drug tested, as she claimed to have seen him "smoking marijuana, and she has serious concerns for the safety and wellbeing of the minor children while in respondent's care”.


Kroy then filed paperwork to request that Kim undergo psychological testing as he claimed she “presented very troubling behaviour which has accelerated in the months leading up to [his] filing for divorce." He went on to also allege that Kim had an online gambling addiction which would result in her being “unable to properly care for the children”.

Finally in June 2023, Kroy called 911 to accuse Kim's friend Elise Humphries of "kidnapping" their son, KJ, by taking him to a local rodeo. However, the reality star claimed she was granted permission by Kroy to take their son to the event.

This entire mess almost makes the separation of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills staple, Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky, look comparatively tame. 

Okay, this couple aren't divorced yet, but their breakup already has all the makings of a Hollywood disaster. 

Kyle Richards and Mauricio Umansky. Image: Getty.

The Housewives fan favourites were married 27 years and share four kids together. Their separation was announced in July 2023 but it came after weeks of rumours that Kyle and Mauricio were already over. Online sleuths had noticed some odd things on Kyle's socials which hinted at a split, along with a multiple sighting of Kyle out with singer Morgan Wade. 

I don't know if reality TV fans can handle another cheating scandal this year. 


Who can forget the specular demise of Vanderpump Rules' strongest union, Tom Sandoval and Ariana Maddix? While the couple weren't married, they were together almost 10 years which is practically a lifetime for any reality TV relationship. 

The couple's split was confirmed in March 2023 but it was the cause of the split that had the internet imploding. Ariana discovered that Tom was having a seven-month-long affair with VPR cast member and Ariana's BFF, Raquel Leviss. 

Luckily for fans of mess (guilty!), some of the fallout played out on Vanderpump Rules

Speaking of cheating exes, one could say that Emily Ratajkowski (ever the trendsetter) started this new messy divorce trend back in July 2022, with a lot of help from her ex-husband of four years, Sebastian Bear-McClard. 


As the model filed for divorce, more information came to light which alleged that Sebastian cheated on Emily during their marriage. “He’s a serial cheater. It’s gross. He’s a dog," a source told Page Six

In an appearance on the Going Mental Podcast in March 2023, Emily essentially confirmed the cheating allegations.

She joked about how when the cheating rumours began, some people were surprised a man would cheat on arguably one of the most beautiful people on earth. “It was so interesting that that was the reaction to that news, because I was just like, ‘Duh, men are trash, ladies,’” Em told the host. 

Emily went on to share some life lessons she learnt from her short-lived marriage. "I think so much of what I've learned, coming out of that relationship, is to trust your instincts. And gaslighting is a real thing."

Since her divorce, Em has been kissing and dating every hot man imaginable, from being spotted pashing Harry Styles to being romantically linked to Pete Davidson and Eric André.

Sure, marriage breakdowns can be hell. But at the end of a messy breakup, a hot divorcée summer awaits. 

And if that's not your style, do what Kelly Clarkson did and write an entire divorce album instead. 

Feature image: Getty.

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