'Conscious Uncoupling' and 7 Other Big Splits of 2014

by James Patrick Herman 10:52 AM PST, December 26, 2014
Photo: Getty Images

This year was filled with so many high-profile splits—both eye roll-inducing and out of nowhere —that it’s hard to decide on the best breakups of the year. But if by "best," you mean messiest, well, that certainly simplifies things.

We narrowed it down to a total of seven (in addition to an end-of-year bonus)--because some couples seemed to succumb to the seven-year itch while for others, it was closer to seven minutes. Sure, breaking up is harder to do when you’re in the public eye. But that said, it's great free publicity for some spotlight-starved celebs—especially reality stars who have suffered the greatest loss of all post-breakup: their TV shows.

Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin

Photo: Getty Images

Even movie stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow found a way to utilize her separation as a brand-building opportunity. After all, she announced her "conscious uncoupling" with rock star husband of a decade and father of her two children, Chris Martin, on her lifestyle website, GOOP in March. What she lost in love, she inevitably gained in Internet traffic. For his part, the avalanche of press coverage conveniently coincided with the release of Coldplay’s latest album, Ghost Stories—the band’s first in three years. Calculated or not, their uncoupling could not have come at a better time for both of their careers.

NEWS: Chris Martin Is No Longer Vegetarian After Gwyneth Paltrow Split

Chris Martin & Jennifer Lawrence

Photo: Getty Images

Chris Martin also plays a part in another failed A-list relationship, perhaps earning him our honorary "Heartbreaker of the Year" title. The 37-year-old singer suddenly rebounded with 24-year-old Jennifer Lawrence in August — just five months after he and the 42-year-old Paltrow parted ways, which inevitably fueled home-wrecker rumors for the Hunger Games star. It turned out to be nothing more than a glorified summer romance that reportedly ended in October, much to the surprise of absolutely no one, Gwyneth included.

VIDEO: Jennifer Lawrence & Chris Martin: A Relationship Timeline

Wiz Khalifa & Amber Rose

Photo: Getty Images

Granted, we did not have high hopes for a relationship between Kanye West’s ex and a 420-friendly rapper with a hit song titled "Work Hard, Play Hard." And the breakup between Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose was similarly hard due to alleged infidelity. After 14 months of marriage—at least they made it to the one-year bench mark—Rose filed for divorce and insisted on full custody of their son Sebastian due to "irreconcilable differences." But in case you were wondering exactly what kind of differences—and who was at fault—Rose chose to air the couple's dirty laundry on Twitter. "I would never ever cheat on my husband in a million years…unfortunately my now ex-husband can't say the same…," tweeted Rose, adding, "I’m devastated and crushed." (Khalifa and his rep both refused to comment, which seemed to say it all.)

NEWS: 11 Reasons We're Shocked & Saddened by Amber & Wiz Splitting

Robin Thicke & Paula Patton

Photo: Getty Images

Perhaps no one in Hollywood history tried harder to save a doomed marriage than Robin Thicke. His high school sweetheart, actress Paula Patton, filed for divorce on Oct. 8, which TMZ described as "harmonious." However, the same can’t be said for Thicke’s musical ode to his estranged wife, Paula: He didn’t just write her a love song, he wrote an entire album dedicated to his ex, which featured aptly titled tunes such as "Still Madly Crazy" and "Too Little Too Late." Thicke’s follow-up to Blurred Lines turned out to be a professional and personal flop, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

NEWS: Robin Thicke Admits to Drug Abuse, Says Paula Patton Left Because He Told Her 'The Truth'

Sherri Shepherd & Lamar Sally

Photo: Getty Images

Babies have saved countless marriages, but in the case of The View’s Sherri Shepherd, a newborn had the opposite effect. On May 2, her husband of nearly three years, Lamar Sally, filed for separation and demanded full legal custody of their then-unborn son via surrogate. Talk about baby mama drama! Sally also asked for spousal support and insisted that their prenup be deemed invalid based on "fraud." On Nov. 3, he appeared on Inside Edition to helpfully update everyone on the situation. "She offered me a settlement of $150,000, but it was not to have her name on the birth certificate," he claimed. On a related note, Sally denied reports that he is a "gold digger." Shepherd seems to be taking the controversy in stride: "I'm doing really well," she told Queen Latifah last month. "Now if he [Lamar Sally] would stop talking about it in public I would be doing better."

NEWS: Sherri Shepherd is Crying Tears of Joy After Saying 'Leave Me Be'

Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon

Photo: Getty Images

Nick Cannon married the biggest diva in the music industry, so naturally their separation resulted in a major dose of drama. Cannon confirmed the obvious back in August: "There is trouble in paradise," he said, adding, "We have been living in separate houses for a few months." Most recently, divorce negations have taken a toll on Carey’s career, causing her to show up three hours late to her Rockefeller Center Christmas tree taping (which literally left her rain-soaked fans all wet). Cannon clearly has no problem moving on from the split. In fact, his actions suggest he’s attempting to erase Mariah from his memory—and his body: He recently got a new tattoo to cover up the word "Mariah" that was inked across his back.

NEWS: Nick Cannon Talks Mariah Carey Split: 'We'll Forever Be a Family'

Johnny Weir & Victor Voronov

Photo: Getty Images

While more and more states continue to approve same-sex unions, Johnny Weir and husband Victor Voronov decided to end their two-year marriage. The three-time U.S. national champion and style maven initially announced the split with tact on Twitter: "It is with great sadness that I announce that my husband and I are no longer together," Weir tweeted on March 19. Then things got ugly: First came abusive domestic disputes, including a claim that Weir bit the man he married on Dec. 31, 2011. Despite a brief reconciliation, it was all downhill from there. "Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir 'spun lies as easily [as] he performed a triple salchow' when accusing his estranged husband of attempted rape and having herpes, according to a newly filed lawsuit," reported the New York Daily News in September. Based on the allegations alone, we award this celebrity couple with the gold medal in breakups for 2014. After all, Weir, for one, remains a hopeless romantic: "No matter what, I am a cheerleader of love and partnership," he tweeted post-breakup.

NEWS: Figure Skater Johnny Weir and Husband Split Up

Helena Bonham Carter & Tim Burton

Photo: Getty Images

Which brings us to the bonus breakup, news of which broke at press time. Just imagine all of the black eyeliner that will be smeared from tears after news of the split between these two reaches their legion of teenage goth fans. The couple never married, which perhaps explains why a rep for Carter described the breakup as "amicable" and claimed that they "have continued to be friends and co-parent their [two] children." The longtime domestic partners first met on the set of Burton’s Planet of the Apes in 2001 and collaborated on numerous other quirky hit movies, but Carter is noticeably missing from the cast of Burton’s holiday release, Big Eyes (a telltale sign?). No doubt the director will be as reluctant to discuss his private life as Big Eyes star Amy Adams was to chat about the Sony hack on the Today show. Now this is a real nightmare before Christmas.