celebrity

What really goes on inside the insane world of celebrity splits.

It’s been a bad week for celebrity splits – so far, we’ve seen the demise of long-standing relationships like Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger (who were by each other’s sides for 10 years) and Lady Gaga and fiancè Taylor Kinney, who split after five years together.

The same thing happened last year, when we were overrun with stories of celebrity divorce.

Within the same month we saw the breakup of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck, and Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale.

So are the influx of celebrity divorce and breakup announcements that come within days of each other pure coincidence?

We think not.

It’s undeniable that celebrity splits are as common as rain on the day you choose to straighten your hair, or stubbing your toe when your feet are cold.

Relationship breakdowns seem to be an inevitable byproduct of taking up residence in Hollywood.

But in the world of celebrity, where you have a team dedicated to manufacturing your image, the breakup is an arena that must be managed, just like any other area of your career.

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So many unanswered questions. Image via Getty.

One cannot simply march up to the courthouse and file for divorce, or simply decide to end a long-running relationship without carefully planning out every detail.

In the non-celebrity world, relationships disintegrate relatively privately. People mourn. People slag off their ex partner to their friends/family/the local grocer/the person sitting next to them on the bus.

They probably send mean emails or text messages. Perhaps, every now and then, they say something they shouldn’t to their children.

The celebrity split? It’s far more choreographed.

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Gwenyth Paltrow and Chris Martin ‘consciously uncoupled’. Image via Getty.
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Vanity Fair spoke to Laura Wasser, a divorce attorney to some of Hollywood’s A-listers including Jennifer Garner, Gwen Stefani, Angelina Jolie and Stevie Wonder. She reveals the strategies lawyers often use and the way in which celebrities are instructed to manage the media circus.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • The best time to file for divorce used to be on a Friday afternoon, because news outlets were most alert 9-5, Monday to Friday. But then came the 24 hour news cycle. Now, your best bet is right before a public holiday.
  • Celebrities have the option of hiring a private judge, which will ensure their trial does not receive media attention. These judges can cost up to $1,000 an hour, but to someone worth $75 million (cough, Ben Affleck, cough) that’s very affordable.
  • California is not the best place to get divorced if you’re a celebrity (write that down people). Anyone has access to divorce records. Instead, her clients file at a different country clerk’s office, such as Santa Barbara, where documents are less likely to be leaked.
  • There is a high season for celebrity divorces – and we’re in the midst of it. January and February often see the breakdown of marriages, given that the holidays have just ended and “people can finally stop pretending to be happy” says Wesser. March, however, will see another surge. Why? Because most of Wasser’s clients don’t want to walk the Oscars red carpet alone, and therefore wait until awards season is over to officially ‘end’ their marriages.

Celebrity splits of 2016. (Post continues after gallery…)

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And as for the synchronous divorces of Jen and Ben, and Gwen and Gavin? Wasser reveals that often she will submit cases together in a bid to dilute media attention.

She tells her clients “I have someone else, I can’t say who, but you should really wait and file at the same time.” This way, the likelihood of her client appearing on the cover of Us Weekly, is significantly reduced.

Oh, and did we mention that Garner, Affleck, Stefani and Rossdale are all Wasser’s clients?

Huh. Go figure.

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