Celebrity split-ups have always been hot news, especially since they tend to be particularly dysfunctional or expensive, and we as human beings like nothing more than to see other people stripped down to their base survival instincts. By that standard, 2008 this year was a highlight with the very high profile divorce of Madonna and Guy Ritchie, which included all the regular gory elements like custody battles, mud-slinging, and interfering in-laws. And our focus on the final number of the settlement ($70 million) and the sensationalism of it all versus the emotions of the people (and not to mention, children) involved confirms the very obvious truth: Celebrity status and “in a relationship” status are mutually exclusive.
It seems that celebrities just can’t be in relationships, and we, the onlookers, have become so acclimatized to this that we contemplate the “when” not the “if” of every celebrity break-up. The piece of information that confirmed this for me was the news that SJP and hubby of twelve years, Mathew Broderick are calling it quits . One can only speculate about what a celebrity couple has to fight about. It’s not “normal” couple problems like who does the dishes, or spending too much money (presumably these are non-issues in a celebrity household). So it must be those usual Hollywood predators like insecurity, infidelity, or … competition? Two stars in one house is just too many to handle?
While celebrities have different problems, they also have many that are just too much the same. The recent RiRi and Chris Brown flare-up was nothing more than the familiar cycle of domestic abuse. Their celebrity status may have shone a very bright light on their relationship, but there is nothing unique about its emotional implications. And what about the kids in such situations? What happens to the Brat Pack if Brad and Angie split because Brad was really sleeping with the nanny? (Or his ex-girlfriend?)
I can count on my fingers some long-term celebrity couples, and the sad thing is, their remarkable achievement is never in the limelight. When was the last time you heard about Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, or Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones? On the other hand, maybe that’s why they are still together. Because too much light can burn you, as these overexposed Hollywood couples can certainly testify.