We live in the golden age of reality TV. There seems to be show after show popping up on the television these days, and the Brits are following suit as well. Reality TV stars are the modern rock icons. They have Instagram accounts, legions of devoted fans, and their personal lives are plastered all over the tabloids.
Many reality TV stars work in close proximity, and this inevitably leads to romantic entanglements. Some are ill-advised, others are not, but sadly few of them go the distance. Let’s have a look at some of the most famous reality TV couples who called it a day after their careers on the box began.
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Kim may be one of the biggest reality stars in the world right now, but it wasn’t always that way. When she and former hubby Kris Humphries got together, her star was on the rise, but she wasn’t quite at the heights of fame we see today. The two got together during the filming of reality Kardashian vehicle Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
It was an ill-fated romance from the word go, and there did appear to be the stench of insincerity about it. Over the course of the program, we saw their courtship, marriage, and eventual divorce. Many people criticized it as a sham marriage intended solely for fame and money (we thought it was real love)! Kim won’t care, though, it made her a star.
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
Jessica Simpson has had a somewhat tumultuous career. First, she was an actress, then she was a singer, then she was a reality TV star. Then she became romantically embroiled with hunky boy band star Nick Lachey. The duo then decided it would be a good career move to chronicle their relationship on TV.
This led to the launch of MTV’s rather unique reality show ‘Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.’ The show started almost a year after the couple tied the knot, and ran for three seasons. You can probably guess where we’re going with this. Yep, the show ended in March 2005, and the pair filed for divorce just 9 months later. Ouch.
Shanna Moakler and Travis Barker
So popular is reality TV that it seems even rock stars, who probably should know better, can’t stay away. At least, that was the case for Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, when he and wife Shanna decided to film the reality show Meet the Barkers. It was all going swimmingly for the two… at first.
After marrying in 2004, the show first aired in 2005, and that was when the cracks began to appear. The strains of continual media exposure clearly got the best of this punky couple. Just months after the series wrapped Travis filed for divorce from Shanna after two years of marriage.
Kelsey Grammer and Camille Donatacci
Frasier actor Kelsey was happily married to wife Camille when she made the decision to join the cast of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It’s unclear what prompted the decision; perhaps Camille wanted to raise her own profile. Whatever her reasons, the move did nothing for their marriage.
This is not the only celeb marriage to have broken down during Real Housewives, so perhaps the show has a jinx! After 13 years of marriage, Camille filed for divorce not long after joining the show. Irreconcilable differences were cited, and, there’s probably more to this one than meets the eye!
Jon Gosselin and Kate Kreider
Jon and Kate became household names when they starred in reality TV show Jon & Kate Plus 8. They were the darlings of TLC and seemed to have a marriage that was the envy of the reality world. But, as always with these things, nothing was what it seemed.
In a June 2009 episode of the show, the couple announced they would be separating. Kate filed for divorce after it became clear that Jon had been “playing away” with younger women. The couple have a strained relationship now, despite having 8 kids, and the show has continued without Jon – now named Kate Plus 8.
Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro
Perpetually unlucky in love, Carmen Electra finally thought she’d found her Mr. Right with Dave Navarro. The mysterious and talented guitarist had stints in Jane’s Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The two troubled souls seem like the perfect match, but then TV came knocking.
We don’t know what it is about the curse of reality shows, but there’s no denying they ruin relationships. Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave seemed to be the couple’s way of killing any doubt from the media and haters. But it seemed the only death that happened on the show was their marriage.
Linda Claridge and Hulk Hogan
Pro wrestling icon Hulk Hogan looked to have the perfect marriage to wife Linda. They had their ups and downs, but they seemed to be pretty solid. That was, of course, until the ill-advised foray into reality television. We don’t know what it is about these couples, but they don’t seem to learn from other couples’ mistakes.
The show in question was Hogan Knows Best which sadly ended in 2007. Linda shockingly filed for divorce in November of that same year. After 24 years of marriage, the split came as a shock to everyone. And it seems that Hulk has gone into a downward spiral since then, clearly missing the love of his life.
NeNe Leakes and Gregg Leakes
You’ll probably recognize NeNe from her eight years stint on reality behemoth show Real Housewives of Atlanta. The actress and TV personality was an original cast member on the show. This clearly proved too much for her marriage, and it started to buckle under the pressure.
Having been married since 1997, Gregg filed for divorce in 2010, and everything was finalized in 2011. Unlike many of the other stars on this list, these two crazy kids have decided to give it another go. They remarried in 2013, and look to be the happiest they’ve been in a long while. Here’s to them!
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline
It’s been a long road back to the top for Britney Spears, and her marriage to K-Fed was an obvious low-point. The couple met, began dating, and three months later they were engaged. If that wasn’t enough to set off alarm bells, then we don’t know what is! Needless to say, all roads were leading to “bad”.
They were wed in late 2004, and, in 2005 starred in the aptly titled Britney & Kevin: Chaotic. The series ran for just five episodes, but it was enough to put a significant strain on the marriage. A little over a year later Spears filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences, and had a breakdown not long after. Yikes.
Vicki Gunvalson and Donn Gunvalson
Here’s another collection for the Real Housewives Hall of Shattered Marriages. Vicki and Donn were best known for Vicki’s starring role on Real Housewives of Orange County. The pair were married in 1994 and enjoyed two decades of (mostly) marital bliss.
But, viewers and friends alike were surprised and shocked when the couple went their separate ways in 2014. It seems the intensity of being in the public eye did not sit well with the couple, a common curse that might explain the rest of these break ups! They settled their divorce in 2014, and Vicki wound up making close to $1 million in the settlement.
Leah Messer and Corey Simms
Taking a break from Real Housewives, let’s take a look at a Teen Mom 2 couple who defied the odds and actually tied the knot. The couple had been dating when Leah found out she was pregnant. The show chronicled their relationship, and their attempts to raise a kid at a young age.
It was refreshing to see a couple from Teen Mom 2 actually try to stick it out for the good of the child. But, as is always the case with reality TV, things didn’t last. In fact, in this case, it was barely 6 months of matrimony before love’s young dream decided to throw in the towel.
Porsha Williams and Kordell Stewart
Reality TV stars can sometimes find the strain of being on TV, and the media attention, too much to handle. So it’s hardly surprising that relationships can be affected. Another to add to our list is Real Housewives of Atlanta stars Porsha Williams and Kordell Stewart.
The two were only married for two years, before it all turned sour. Williams began dating footballer Kordell in the mid-00s, and they were married in 2011. In 2012 she joined the cast of RHOA, and it all seemed to go wrong from there. After a messy and highly publicized divorce, the duo split in 2013.
Kylie Jenner and Tyga
The Kardashian empire stretches far and wide, and in the reality TV world, no one can escape their clutches. Kylie Jenner (half-sister to the Kardashian girls) met rapper Tyga, and the two had a tumultuous relationship. They were on again and off again for years.
In fact, there were times you couldn’t even open a glossy mag without reading something about these two! It’s like they have been on their own soap opera from start to finish, so their family and friends might think they’re better apart. They split once again in May last year but reconciled in June. Who knows what the future holds for these crazy kids!
Kat Von D and Steve-O
What do you get when you have two kooky artists who like a walk on the wild side? Kat and Steve-O, that’s what! Jackass star and tattoo artist/reality star Kat Von D were once a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it item! The duo had a short-lived romance in 2007 according to some media sources.
They dated again in December 2015, splitting up in March of the next year. Though these two didn’t take the path of reality tradition by dating and splitting after getting together on screen, there are both reality TV vets. It’s pretty clear Kat likes a bad boy after she dated Mötley Crüe bassist Nikki Sixx.
Paris Hilton and Thomas Gross
It seems inconceivable to talk about reality TV stars and not mention Paris Hilton. She was one of the original Queens of the reality stage with her show The Simple Life. Since then her profile has skyrocketed to the global socialite she is today. She’s also had her fair share of romances.
The reality star has seen the end of her most recent relationship with Swiss millionaire Thomas Gross. Surprisingly, it wasn’t reality TV or Paris’s tabloid antics that broke them up. It was something as mundane as the distance between them. How low-key and normal! We would have preferred something juicier!
Adrianne Curry and Christopher Knight
You probably know of Adrianne, but perhaps you can’t place her? Well, this reality starlet has been all over the place. Her first reality venture was in 2005 when she joined the fourth season of the show The Surreal Life. It was here that she met future ex-husband Christopher Knight.
The duo went on to star in My Fair Brady, which chronicled their relationship. They even tied the knot in the show. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and end they did. The show ended in 2008, and the couple was finally divorced in 2013, after seven years marriage. Pretty good going by reality TV standards.
Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner
It was a dark day for the reality world in 2013 when Kris and Bruce announced their divorce. The couple seemed like the model celebrity duo, and it came as a surprise to all when the Keeping Up With the Kardashians stars announced that they would be calling time on their marriage.
It seems pretty obvious why they separated after 22 years of marriage. When we tell you that Bruce’s name is now Caitlyn, it should indicate why the relationship fell apart. It seems that being in the public eye all the time can take a strain on even the strongest marriage. Though this one would likely have come to an end anyway!
Clint Eastwood and Dina Fisher
It’s not just musicians and minor celebrities who seem to feel the weight of the reality TV storm. Indeed, legendary Hollywood actor and director Clint Eastwood saw his marriage fall apart thanks, in no small part, to reality television. The program in question was Mrs. Eastwood & Company.
During the show’s run, Dina checked into rehab for depression and anxiety. Later that same year it was revealed that the husband and wife had been living separately for some time. In October 2013, Dina filed for divorce after almost 20 years of marriage. She is now married to basketball coach Scott Fisher.
Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom must be the most patient man in the universe. To date and marry a Kardashian has got to be pretty hectic, but to be a regular fixture on Keeping Up With the Kardashians as well? Ouch. Khloe and Lamar were married in 2009, and their marriage was documented in KUWTK, as well as their own show Khloe & Lamar.
The couple divorced last year after seven years together; a lifetime by celeb standards. It seems that the constant reality TV schedules and the Kardashian parade may have brought about their Seven Year Itch. They made an unsuccessful attempt at reconciliation before their divorce was finalized in October 2016.
T.I. and Tiny
This couple has been fighting rumors for some time now in regards to their marriage but it seems that an agreement has finally been reached. The rap star, T.I. and his soon to be ex-wife have decided to move forward with the divorce but asked a judge to move forward with all proceedings filed under seal.
The public and the media will no longer be able to keep up with the case. Tiny has asked for half of everything. That includes half of the cars and money T.I. has in a retirement account. The kicker is that she also asked for primary legal and physical custody of all the kids.
Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna
This whole thing blew over recently when it was just a little rain during an afternoon. It evolved into a full fledged storm of chaos once Rob Kardashian leaked naked pictures of Blac Chyna and also revealed information that Blac Chyna was cheating on him while they were together. He posted a video of another man with Chyna in their bed!
Now there is a chance that Rob faces some consequences if Chyna takes this court which it sounds like she is able too. The internet went crazy and reminded Rob that they warned him that you can’t turn an [expletive] into a housewife.
Christina and Tarek El Moussa
Secret breakups are becoming more and more common in today’s generation. With everything becoming more accessible thanks to media outlets and social media, some people would prefer that their business remains under wraps. We saw in one of the previous slides that T.I. wants his divorce information to be private.
In the case of Christina and Tarek El Moussa, they had a secret breakup. Even though they had a successful show in Flip or Flop and a huge following, the year they split, they were not in a good place. It took them eight months to come out and talk about their split.
The Game and Tiffany Cambridge
If you have ever followed rap artist The Game and his career, you would have been quite shocked to know that he was engaged and soon to be married. He has been known for his player ways and even went on the Wendy Williams show to sound off on how many of the Kardashian sisters he has slept with.
He had a reality show called Marrying the Game that followed his relationship with Tiffany Cambridge leading up to the marriage. By the end of season one, they had called it quits and the following seasons just showcased their lives apart.
Chad OchoCinco Johnson and Evelyn Lozado
The great professional football wide receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson had his own taste of reality TV break ups. Johnson played for the Cincinnaticinatti Bengals and wore the number 85, hence the name change. On the field he was a problem and once retired he became a problem in real life.
The two were married in July 2012 but one month later, the two had a violent domestic conflict that resulted in Johnson assaulting the reality star. Just a couple of days later, she filed for divorce. They had their own reality show in the works but it was cut before it could premiere.
Mariah Carey and James Packer
We know that Mariah Carey was with Nick Cannon for some time and the details that go along with that relationship. However, what do we all know about her relationship with billionaire James Packer? Details have been revealed over why they split and the fault seems to be on Carey’s side. He reportedly broke it off with her. For one, he hated her show Carey’s E!.
“The difference is, she has always drained through her own money, but now she had him picking up some of the bills,” another source tells Us. “He started managing her money and her affairs. He started coming up with other ways she could make money.”
Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush
Reggie Bush was one of the most prolific talents coming out of college in a long time. He electrified the stadium with dazzling cuts and ground breaking juke moves. He went to the NFL and his skill didn’t translate as many would have thought but that didn’t stop him from dating Kim Kardashian. Many think his talents were taken because of the fabled “Kardashian Curse”.
Kim has already been on this list and so have a few of her sisters and even her mother. Bush made a few appearances on her reality show and many thought that these two would last but sadly they did not.
Ramona Singer and Mario Singer
What is interesting about these two is that they renewed their vows on Real Housewives of New York but later split. Why show their love for each other on a national scale only to divest from each other in the future? She told her side of the story and we would like to share it with you.
“We were working very hard on our relationship and making great progress,” Ramona told Us, noting that she and Mario, who share daughter Avery, 19, had been in therapy for about 15 weeks before their breakup. “It was really working well, and then I got the feeling that he started seeing [Kasey Dexter] again.”
Gina and Pat Neely
Many were fans of the Down Home With the Neelys but not everyone knew about the drama that took place behind the scenes. In Sept. 2014, Gina filed for a divorce after more than two decades of being together. That is a long time to had been together then calling it quits.
“Pat is not a bad guy, he’s just not for me,” she says. “I didn’t want to divorce my husband but it became necessary to do it in order for me to be my best self. He felt like we didn’t spend enough time together. I felt like we did and we needed a little space. I tried to leave five times and I just didn’t have the strength but the fifth time I held on to that. It became necessary for me to find my path.”
Adrienne Maloof and Paul Nassif
These two appeared to be a close couple on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills but about two years after the show began, they filed for divorce. They then went to have an ugly divorce battle that may have done more damage than good.
“You see this routinely in L.A.,” says certified family law specialist, Steve Mindel of Feinberg, Mindel, Brandt & Klein, LLP, who is not involved in the case. “More often than not people get so wound up in winning that they forget about the collateral damage to their relationships, to their children, their in-laws and support systems.”
Cynthia Bailey and Peter Thomas
These two were married on Real Housewives of Atlanta so it would make sense that they would crumble on the show too. many of these reality shows don’t show the hardships of a relationship on the screen and only go surface level with the problems between the couples.
“Regardless of if we were on the show or not, our issues would have happened anyways because it’s just personalities and it’s just chemistry and it’s also compatibility,” she explained. “I am really optimistic that in the end, after we take some time, we are going to be friends at the end of this because that was the start.”
Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy
If you were a fan of Real Housewives of New York then you would have been pleased when Bethenny Frankel found love in Jason Hoppy. Then two years later, you would have been in the dumps to find out that they broke up. But according to Frankel, it was a mess living with him after they broke up.
She says it was “brutal, horrendous, excruciating he would not let me be alone with Bryn (their daughter) in the apartment.” She also stopped picking up and dropping off Bryn with him. “Now I ask [my assistant] Leslie to do the exchange, because Jason will make faces at me and say [to Bryn], ‘I’m sorry you have to go with Mommy.’ I don’t think it’s good for Bryn to be around that kind of stress and anxiety.”
Tamra Judge and Simon Barney
Here is another one that broke down right before viewers eyes on Real Housewives of Orange County. You would think that these couples would catch on to the pattern of all these other reality stars getting together but then breaking up. We guess they never learn.
“I heard in last night’s [Real Housewives] show they replayed her R-rated bathtub scene with her then-boyfriend, Eddie, and showed her hosting a sex party with sex toys,” Barney said. “How is this teaching our children ethics and morality? It may be great for the viewers to watch this outrageous sexualized behavior by my ex-wife, however, my children have to live with the repercussions and embarrassment of this behavior.”
Luann de Lesseps and Count Alexandre de Lesseps
Luanna de Lesseps called her first marriage with Count Alexandre a fairytale. The two were together on Real Housewives of New York. She was super happy that she got the nickname “Countess” and got to keep it even after the divorce.
“I think people think I’m the Countess that married the old count and the Housewives came along and changed my life. But before I was a Housewife, I feel like I lived a lifetime of lives,” she says in a special that took a closer look at her many lives. “After the fifth day, he said, ‘Marry me.’ I lived in a fairy tale, too good to be true.”
Phaedra Parks and Apollo Nida
After practically giving herself to Apolla Nida on national TV and having two children with him, Nida couldn’t stay away from legal trouble. It took years for their divorce to become finalized and it came with a boat load of drama.
“[The divorce] was finalized last year in July so of course that obviously made me assume that I had regained my independence and a new start,” Parks exclusively tells Us. “So to be placed back into a position where I have to do it all over again … it’s disheartening but it’s a process and I can’t obviously change it.”
Lisa Wu and Ed Hartwell
This couple was from Real Housewives of Atlanta and we also got to watch them go from power to sour. Many speculated over why the two got a divorce but it couldn’t be further from the truth according to Lisa Wu. The speculations were that the split was caused by financial issues. Which is likely in many scenarios so to dismiss that assumption would be a bit naive.
“We are separated but would never be over money, that is so far from the truth, said Wu. “Wish people could respect people’s privacy during times like these.” Everyone would want the truth to be known over something like this and we respect her comment.
Marysol Patton and Philippe Pautesta-Herder
These two got married during season one of Real Housewives of Miami during season one but couldn’t last more than two years. A tragic trend that happens with reality stars and it is even more tragic if they think that they are going to be the rare ones that survive.
“I’m all about work, work, work, work, and I put my work first, and it just didn’t gel, Patton said.” “We were in two different places, but we still love each other. He comes to all our family and holiday functions, we talk all the time, and we work together, but as a married couple, I wasn’t a good wife for him and he wasn’t the right husband for me.”
Kylie Jenner and Jaden Smith
Before the whole Tyga and Kylie Jenner phase, there was a period of time when the KUWTK star was linked to Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith. Jaden has made a name for himself over the past few years and it isn’t because of his films. He has been on videos saying some thought provoking comments that either make you think he’s insane or a genius, there is no in between.
He made some appearances on KUWTK but nothing for too long. This was of course before Kylie made her exponential transformation into a beautiful model.
Flavor Flav and Deelishis
Flavor Flav was one of the originals to start a game show for his love. He called it Flavor of Love and beautiful women would try and outwit each other to become Flavor’s right-hand lady. Deelishis was victorious and she talked about it.
“No I did not leave Flav to sell blue jeans, I didn’t leave Flav at all,” she said. “Honestly William Drayton Jr. and I were never really a couple, for the day I won, inevitably was the day I loss. Fearing that the show was all a stage to entertain, I often ask Flav, ‘Is this real or are you just having fun.'” The show was just for entertainment.
Lynne Curtin and Frank
Lynne Curtin was going through one of the biggest financial crisis on television while on Real Housewives of Orange County. Sadly, her marriage couldn’t make it like her home ownership after the show. And it wasn’t like Frank didn’t want things to work out between the two.
“I’m not a willing participant in this. It hurts to even think about it or talk about it,” he told the Orange County Register. “Call me old-fashioned, but I take my vows very seriously.” But soon after, Lynne moved forward with the divorce documents, citing “irreconcilable differences”.