2016: The year love died in Hol­ly­wood

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE in Los An­ge­les

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.”

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