Breakups suck—no matter who’s involved. But when they play out in the tabloids in front of millions of strangers, well, that’s unfathomable—and the life of a celebrity. While most of us can hide from an ex with a simple block button on social media, celebrities have to watch their relationships—and their dissolutions—play over and over again in the media, and 2018 is no different.
Each year sees its share of devastating celebrity breakups, but with the split of fan-favorite couples such as Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux, Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson, and Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, 2018 was on a whole ‘nother level.
With 2019 approaching, we thought it would be fitting to take a ride down memory lane and look back at the 15 most devastating celebrity breakups of this year. Some of these splits are recent, like Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka’s ended engagement, while others might be harder to remember, such as Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff’s amicable split. Whether they’re recent or old, these celebrity breakups are emotional all the same.
And though we’re holding out hope that some of these couples reunite (hey, miracles can happen—look at Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin), we’re not placing bets on any of these celebrity reunions. And so, we present you with the most devastating celebrity breakups of 2018. Grab a box of tissues because stars’ not-so-happy endings will definitely make you doubt your belief in love. Look back on the saddest celebrity splits ahead. We’re still not over these.
Sam Smith and Brandon Flynn
Smith and Flynn went public with their relationship in October 2017 after they were seen holding hands in New York, following a showing of Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. A couple months later, in December, they became Instagram official after they each shared pictures of themselves together with unicorn-themed neck pillows.
By June 2018, their relationship was over after The Sun reported that the singer and 13 Reasons Why actor had split. But there isn't ill will between the exes. In an interview with The Times in September 2018, Smith talked about his eight-month-long relationship and how it ended on amicable terms. “I’m still trying to figure out what I took from that relationship and what it meant to me. It’s still quite raw," he said. “Brandon was wonderful. All my relationships have ended in a nice way, never nasty.”
Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson
Grande and Davidson announced their engagement in June, a month after they started dating. Four months later, they called their engagement off. According to TMZ, the breakup was mutual, with both deciding that it wasn't the right time for their relationship.
Despite reports claiming that they remained amicable, the weeks following were filled with drama. Soon after their breakup, Davidson joked about his fast engagement on Saturday Night Live, which led Grande to shade him on Twitter. "for someone who claims to hate relevancy u sure love clinging to it huh," she wrote. However, just when fans thought there was bad blood, Grande released her surprise song "Thank U, Next," which talk kindly about her exes, including Davidson, and why she's thankful for them.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images.
Ben Affleck and Lindsay Shookus
Shookus was Affleck's first public relationship since his divorce from Jennifer Garner in June 2015. Shookus, a Saturday Night Live producer, and Affleck were together for more than a year until they broke up in August 2018 due to "distance." “It was amicable, but unfortunately it didn’t work out, partly because of work and family obligations on different coasts," a source told People. “They truly cared for each other and tried to make it work. Unfortunately now is not the time.”
Affleck is based in Los Angeles, while Shookus lives in New York. The couple has been photographed since July, and in August, rumors came out that Affleck is now dating 22-year-old Playboy model Shauna Sexton.
Brooklyn Beckham and Chloë Grace Moretz
Beckham and Moretz have dated on and off for four years. But in April 2018, it looked like their relationship was done for good after Beckham was seen kissing Playboy model Lexi Wood—only a couple weeks after Moretz declared her love for him on Instagram. Moretz confirmed the end of their relationship on an episode of Watch What Happens Live in August 2018. "I’m OK. I’m single,” Moretz told host Andy Cohen. “I’m 21, I’m single, I’m good.”
Kevin Mazur/Fox/Getty Images for Fox.
Jenna Dewan and Channing Tatum
After almost nine years of marriage, Dewan and Tatum announced their divorce in April 2018. "We have lovingly chosen to separate as a couple," they wrote in a statement on their social media. The couple, who share 5-year-old daughter Everly, met in 2006 in the film Step Up, in which they played love interests. In October 2018, it was reported that Tatum was dating singer Jessie J. After several outlets compared Jessie J and Dewan's looks, with many considering them look-alikes, the women took to their social media to call out the sexist comparisons. “Who feels good from this story? I know I don’t … Is picking who is prettier and then continuing to say why a good activity for women to participate in? No," Jessie J wrote.
Dave Hogan/Getty Images.
Cheryl and Liam Payne
After three years together, Cheryl and Payne ended their relationship in July 2018. The two—who met in 2008 on The X Factor in which Cheryl was a judge and Payne was a contestant—welcomed their first child together, a son named Bear, in March 2017. They announced their breakup on their social media, four months after Bear's first birthday.
"Cheryl and I are sad to announce that we are going our separate ways. It’s been a tough decision for us to make,” Payne wrote on Twitter. “We still have so much love for each other as a family. Bear is our world and we ask that you respect his privacy as we navigate our way through this together.”
Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage.
Cassie and Diddy
Cassie and Diddy surprised fans after they announced the end of their six-year-long relationship in October 2018. The couple battled speculation about their relationship for years before confirming it in 2012. “The decision was amicable and they remain friends," a source told People. “Cassie is going to focus on her music and acting career."
Halsey and G-Eazy
Halsey and G-Eazy have had an eventful 2018. The musicians, who started dating in June 2017, ended their relationship a year later in June 2018. “I normally keep this kind of thing private but provided our public nature I feel the need to inform my fans. G-Eazy and I are taking some time apart,” Halsey wrote on her Instagram story at the time.
By August 2018, the couple reunited when they were seen holding hands and kissing at the MTV Video Music Awards. But by October 2018, it looked like the couple was done for good after a source told People that the musicians have officially moved on from each other. “It’s over again for now,” the source said. “He was partying over the weekend and girls were all over him. He didn’t care who saw.”
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.
Justin Theroux and Jennifer Aniston
After two and a half years of marriage, Theroux and Aniston announced their divorce in February 2018. The couple announced their separation through Aniston's longtime publicist, Stephen Huvane. “This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year. We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship," the statement read. “Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly."
The couple first met in Hawaii in 2008 on the set of the film Tropic Thunder. They started dating three years later in 2011 and got married in a surprise and secret ceremony in 2015. The marriage was Aniston's first since her divorce from Brad Pitt in 2005.
John Cena and Nikki Bella
Fans of E!'s Total Bellas know that Cena and Bella have a romantic—but rocky—relationship. After getting engaged in 2017, Cena and Bella ended their one-year engagement and six-year relationship in April 2018. “While this decision was a difficult one, we continue to have a great deal of love and respect for one another,” they wrote in a statement. “We ask that you respect our privacy during this time in our lives.”
Not too long after, the couple decided to reconcile. But they officially ended their relationship In July 2018 after they were unable to make it work. "After I called off the engagement, we tried to work on our relationship to get back to where it was, and in order to move forward with our wedding. After much time and soul-searching alone and together, we have decided to officially part ways," Bella told E! News in a statement. "I had a beautiful and loving 6-year relationship with a wonderful man. I have the utmost respect for John, but I know this is what's best for me."
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Booth
Bristowe and Booth met and became engaged on season 19 of The Bachelorette in 2015. After a three-year-long relationship, they announced their separation in November 2018, with a promise to remain friends. “After three incredible years, we have decided to go our separate ways," they told People in a statement. "This difficult decision comes after thoughtful, respectful consideration. Even though we are parting as a couple, we’re very much committed to remaining friends and we will continue to support each other. Due to the nature of how we met, our relationship has always been very public, and we have enjoyed sharing it with all of you, but we ask that you respect our decision and our privacy at this time.”
Kourtney Kardashian and Younes Bendjima
Unlike some of the other relationships on this list, Kardashian and Bendjima's reportedly "didn't end well," according to People. After more than a year together, the couple ended their relationship in August 2018. Kardashian and Bendjima, who started dating in May 2017 after meeting in Paris October 2016, ended their relationship days after TMZ published photos of Bendjima getting cozy with another woman.
Another source told People that the breakup could have also been over Bendjima's dislike of Kourtney's revealing Instagrams. “He never liked that she posted sexy pictures of herself on social media,” the source said. “He doesn’t want his girlfriend to do that. He gets that it’s her job, but wants her to post more covered-up pictures. He has always had a problem with this. This is the stuff they argue about and what made them split in the past.”
Marc Piasecki/GC Images.
Lena Dunham and Jack Antonoff
After more than five years together, Dunham and Antonoff announced their "amicable" breakup in January 2018. The couple first met in 2012 after they were set up on a blind date by Antonoff's sister, Rachel Antonoff, and comedian Mike Birbiglia. The date went so well that Antonoff found himself opening up to Dunham right off the bat. “Because when you really like someone, you want them to know everything about you,” he told New York magazine in 2014.
Millie Bobby Brown and Jacob Sartorius
Afters seven months together, the Stranger Things actress and the Vine singer announced their breakup in July 2018. "The decision with Jacob and I was completely mutual," Brown wrote on her Instagram. "We are both happy and remaining friends." Brown and Sartorius first sparked dating rumors in January 2018 after they were seen leaving flirty comments on each other's Instagrams and Brown was seen cuddling with a stuffed bear, which turned out to be a gift from Sartorius.
Paris Hilton and Chris Zylka
After getting engaged in January 2018, Hilton and Zylka ended their relationship in November 2018. According to a source for People, Hilton decided the relationship "wasn't right for her" after it was moving too fast for her to handle. “They broke up a few weeks ago,” the source said. “The relationship moved very fast, and she realized it wasn’t right for her.”
The source also explained that Hilton was busy with her new skin-care line and fragrances, which is why the relationship had poor timing. “She is traveling the world for her skin care and perfume,” the source added. “She wishes him all the best and hopes they can remain friends," the source said.
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