2016: The year love died in Hollywood
The imminent divorce of “Br angelina” is the latest ina series of celebrity splits giving the impression that the average Hollywood marriage has about as much chance of success as a non-white actor at the Oscars.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie-Pitt have both been through divorces before, he with Friends star Jennifer Aniston and she with actors Jonny Lee Miller and Billy Bob Thornton.
This year has also seen Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin finalize their famous “conscious uncoupling” around the same time that Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were squabbling over the terms of their split.
Drew Barrymore, Lisa Marie Presley, Dennis Quaid and James McAvoy have announced divorces from their respective partners too, sparking some gossip websites to refer to 2016 as the year of the Hollywood divorce.
In 2012, website PolitiFact estimated that the lifelong probability of a marriage ending in divorce in the United States was 40-50 percent, citing academics and the National Survey of Family Growth.
Kelly Frawley, a partner at New York law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman, believes that while there is no reason to think the rich and famous split more often than the rest of us, the pressures which put strain on relationships are amplified in the rarefied air of Tinseltown.
“There are standard things that cause marriages to disintegrate — concerns about money, fights about how to raise the children, issues of fidelity,” she said.
“Those are much bigger scale when you are dealing with a celebrity couple because there’s so much accessibility to all the things that make it easy to step out of a marriage.
“You can spend money with ease, you can leave with ease, you can have affairs with ease.”
It’s not all doom and gloom. Denzel and Pauletta Washington have been going strong since 1983 while Billy Crystal, Christopher Walken and their respective sweethearts expect to celebrate golden wedding anniversaries before the end of the decade.
But unlike skin peels, kale and the 5:2 diet, divorce is one celebrity fad that has endured through the ages and the Hollywood hills are littered with the carcasses of euthanized showbiz marriages.
Celebrities are under a unique microscope, where every nuance is dissected over and over again.”
Judi Bloom, licensed marriage and family therapist
Amongthe high profile casualties are Ben A ff le ck and Jennifer Garner, who announced on June 30, 2015, one day after their ten-year anniversary, that they were calling it a day.
Tom Cruise was on his third marriage by the time he and Katie Holmes split in 2012 and there were divorces in 2010 for Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson, and Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar.
“Celebrities are under a unique microscope, where every nuance is dissected over and over again the slightest misunderstanding is reported like you’re splitting up right away,” said Judi Bloom, a licensed marriage and family therapist based in Southern California.
“That can really wear down a couple in the end.”