Famous celebrities get around a lot. It’s the nature of the business. Sometimes, while on the set of a particular film, sparks fly and the organic chemistry between actors becomes something more than just fantasy. After spending so much time together on set, actors fall for each other offset, and that usually results in some pretty hurt third parties.
Whether it’s a cheating scandal, or a case of leaving a significant other because the energy between the new budding love is just too strong, there are tons of Hollywood actors and actresses who have left their spouses for co-stars.
Some of the biggest names in Hollywood are serial cheaters. Others have been married more than three times. It seems that the more famous and public your life is, the less of a private life you get… it’s a compromise that these ultra-rich celebrities have to deal with.
Here are 20 actors who left their spouses for co-stars.
20 Justin Theroux (Left Heidi Bivens For Jennifer Aniston)
Justin Theroux is best-known for Mulholland Drive, while everyone knows who Jennifer Aniston is (see: Friends). Everyone also knows of the public scandal involving Brad Pitt cheating on her and leaving her, but then Aniston became the same thing she despised. While Theroux was together with stylist Heidi Bivens for 14 years, he dropped her for Aniston after working on Wanderlust together in 2011. They married in 2015, but split in 2017.
19 Kate Hudson (Cheated On Chris Robinson With Owen Wilson)
Kate Hudson is known for Almost Famous and many other movies, while Owen Wilson is known for the “wow” meme, among other things. Kate was married to rock singer Chris Robinson (frontman for The Black Crowes) for six years, but that came crashing down while filming You, Me, and Dupree, when she had an on-set affair with Owen Wilson. The romance lasted six months, and they tried again in 2007-2008 after Hudson’s divorce from Robinson, but it didn’t last.
18 Marilyn Manson (Left Dita Von Teese For Evan Rachel Wood)
Marilyn Manson is a creepy rock musician everyone loves, but he’s also a film guy. While filming Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll along with Evan Rachel Wood, Marilyn stepped out on his wife Dita Von Teese to be with Evan. The singer had the audacity to blame his wife for “expecting too much from [him].” Marilyn and Evan dated from 2007 to 2010 before breaking up, and Wood has expressed regret at hurting Dita Von Teese.
17 Morena Baccarin (Left Austin Chick For Ben McKenzie)
Morena Baccarin is known for Firefly, Serenity, Deadpool, and most recently, Gotham. In 2015, her husband, Austin Chick, filed for divorce, and Morena all but admitted her affair with Gotham co-star Ben McKenzie. Less than two months later, Morena announced marriage plans to Ben, and that she was also pregnant with his baby. It’s not hard to figure that timeline out to know where the fault lies in this scandal!
16 Ryan Phillippe (Left Reese Witherspoon For Abbie Cornish)
Ryan Phillippe was in a few movies before basically falling off the face of the earth, but he did manage to marry the incredibly popular actress Reese Witherspoon. Then he screwed it up by having an affair with Australian actress and rapper Abbie Cornish (aka MC Dusk) while they were co-stars on Stop-Loss. They stayed together for three years, from 2007 to 2010, before splitting up, and Phillippe hasn’t had a long-term relationship since.
15 Kristen Stewart (Cheated On Robert Pattinson With Rupert Sanders)
Everyone remembers the very public scandal involving Kristen Stewart and her Twilight co-star, Robert Pattinson— or rather, NOT involving Robert. Rupert Sanders was the director of Snow White, in which Kristen starred, and the two had an affair that was caught by paparazzi and sensationalized by tabloids. Kristen and Robert briefly rekindled their flame before splitting for good. Rupert was served divorce papers from his wife.
14 Billy Bob Thornton (Left Laura Dern For Angelina Jolie)
Billy Bob Thornton has been in some very popular and successful films, as has Laura Dern (most recently Big Little Lies, in which she won a Best Supporting Actress Emmy), and so has Angelina Jolie. While filming Pushing Tin together, Billy left his fiancée (Dern) for Angelina. Laura was stunned by the affair. Billy Bob and Angelina married in 2000, much to the surprise of everyone, and divorced in 2003, much to the surprise of no one.
13 Ted Danson (Cheated On Cassandra Coates With Whoopi Goldberg)
Ted Danson has been in multiple long-lasting marriages, including a 15-year stint to his high school sweetheart Cassandra Coates, who he was married to from 1977 to 1993. While filming Made in America with Whoopi Goldberg, he fell head over heels for her, though they were only together from 1992 to 1993. Still, Coates divorced him in 1993. Danson has been married to his third wife, Mary Steenburgen, since 1995.
12 Keri Russell (Left Shane Deary For Matthew Rhys)
We’re not sure if this was a cheating scandal, but the timeline has led to speculation. Keri Russell, known for Felicity and The Americans, separated from her husband Shane Deary right around the time she began dating her co-star from The Americans, Matthew Rhys. Matthew and Keri have now been together since 2013, so we’re led to believe that he had something to do with Keri’s separation from her husband of six years.
11 LeAnn Rimes (Cheated On Dean Sheremet With Eddie Cibrian)
Singer Lenn Rimes is also a notable actress, appearing in a few straight-to-TV films, such as Northern Lights. While on the set of that film, she had an affair with her co-star Eddie Cibrian, cheating on her husband of seven years, Dean Sheremet. Eddie was also married at the time, to Brandi Glanville, so LeAnn and him both stepped out and were equally guilty. They quickly divorced their respective spouses and are somehow still together today.
10 Daniel Craig (Left Satsuki Mitchell For Rachel Weisz)
The James Bond actor, Daniel Craig, likes to keep things private, but it doesn’t always end up that way. While filming Dream House with acclaimed actress Rachel Weisz, Daniel left his long-term relationship with Satsuki Mitchell to be with Rachel. Rachel also was in a long-term relationship at the time, that she ended. The two have been happily married since 2011. Daniel also supposedly had an affair with actress Sienna Miller while she was married to Jude Law.
9 Billy Crudup (Left Mary-Louise Parker For Claire Danes)
Billy Crudup is recognized for being in tons of films, as is Claire Danes. When they worked on Stage Beauty together in 2003, Billy dumped his wife Mary Louise-Parker, who he’d been together with for eight years, for Claire. Their whirlwind romance didn’t last, however, as Claire supposedly cheated on Billy when she met actor Hugh Dancy in 2009. Billy hasn’t been married since Mary-Louise, so it seems no one won out by the end of this scandal.
8 Johnny Depp (Left Vanessa Paradis For Amber Heard)
We all know the recent allegations involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard— going both ways— so we won’t get into that. But did you know how they met? Johnny was in a 14-year, committed relationship with model Vanessa Paradis at the time, before meeting Amber on the set of The Rum Diary. They fell for each other hard and married in 2015, but were divorced by 2017, amidst allegations of domestic abuse.
7 Meg Ryan (Cheated On Dennis Quaid With Russell Crowe)
Back in the day, this was as high-profile of a scandal as it got, because it involved a three-person triangle of incredibly popular actors. Actress Meg Ryan was married to actor Dennis Quaid when she had an affair on-set with Proof of Life co-star, Russell Crowe. She confirmed the affair, but was quick to mention that Dennis was a serial cheater for years— but we know that two wrongs don’t make a right. Russell Crowe ended up marrying Australian actress Danielle Spencer in 2003, and the two divorced in 2018.
6 Ewan McGregor (Left Eve Mavrakis For Mary Elizabeth Winstead)
Ewan McGregor was married to eve Mavrakis for 22 long years, and they seemed happy, but everything was not as it appeared. He ended up leaving his wife for his Fargo co-star, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who he worked with during season 3, and headlines still speculate if they’re together or not. In January 2018, he cited “irreconcilable differences” in the divorce to his wife, and he was seen holding Winstead’s hand in public as of August 2018.
5 Harrison Ford (Cheated On Mary Marquardt With Carrie Fisher)
This was another high-profile scandal at the time, because Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were as big as they come thanks to Star Wars. Harrison was married to Mary Marquardt, who he had two children with, when he met Carrie, who was 14 years his junior. Carrie confirmed their on-set affair in her memoir, The Princess Diarist, and Harrison divorced his first wife. He married Melissa Mathison in 1983 and stayed with her until 2004. He then married Calista Flockhart in 2010 who he is still married to.
4 Chad Michael Murray (Cheated On Sophia Bush With Paris Hilton)
Chad Michael Murray isn’t an incredibly gifted actor by any means, and neither is Paris Hilton. Chad was already hooking up with his One Tree Hill co-star, Sophia Bush, when he had an on-set affair with Paris Hilton while filming House of Wax. Chad cheated on Sophia when they’d been married for just one month! Paris was also with Nick Carter (of the Backstreet Boys) at the time. Sophia has cussed out Chad on Instagram since the affair.
3 John Malkovich (Left Glenne Headly For Michelle Pfeiffer)
John Malkovich is a bit of a legend in the acting world, and so is Michelle Pfeiffer. While filming Dangerous Liaisons together (what an appropriately titled film), John’s marriage to Glenne Headly was falling apart and he had an affair with his co-star, Michelle. This was in 1988, and decades later John confirmed the affair to Esquire, saying, “It’s hard to believe Michelle ever said hello to me.”
2 Brad Pitt (Left Jennifer Aniston For Angelina Jolie)
Probably the most iconic scandal/love triangle belongs to Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, and Angelina Jolie. Brad and Jennifer were a super-couple— two of the most powerful actors in Hollywood at the time. While filming Mr. And Mrs. Smith, however, all that changed. Brangelina have had their ups and downs, and Brad has apologized to Jen about his affair. As of 2019, he and Angelina have six children together, and they’ve been divorced since April 12 of this year.
1 Kenneth Branagh (Cheated On Emma Thompson With Helena Bonham Carter)
Actor Kenneth Branagh was married to actress Emma Thompson for seven years, and they were a bit of a power couple themselves, but the British versions: Kenneth is a Sir, and Emma is a Dame, and they’re both wildly successful. But Kenneth cheated on Emma with another popular actress, Helena Bonham Carter, while filming Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Emma has actually called Helena “a wonder woman” when explaining why Kenneth fell for her. Every member of the triangle has moved onto new partners since then.
Sources: stars.topix.com, seventeen.com, ranker.com