While some celebrity relationships thrived in 2021, others fell apart. From Kimye’s divorce to Shawn and Camila’s unexpected split, look back at the most buzzed-about breakups of the year here.
As 2021 winds down, we’re looking back at the biggest celebrity splits of the year. While we really thought some of these couples were in it for the long haul, 2021 spelled the end of the road for them. From divorces to flings coming to an end, these are the relationships that took a turn for the worst throughout the last 12 months.
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello
After turning their friendship into a romantic relationship in 2019, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello saw the end of the road in November 2021. The two spent Halloween together, but shortly after that, they announced their breakup with a joint social media statement. “Hey guys we’ve decided to end our romantic relationship but our love for one another as humans is stronger than ever,” they wrote. “We started our relationship as best friends and will continue to be best friends. We so appreciate your support from the beginning and moving forward.”
The two proved that they were still on amicable terms by liking some of each other’s social media posts after the breakup. At the beginning of December, Shawn released the song “It’ll Be Okay,” with lyrics that seemed to be about the breakup. “If we can’t stop the bleeding, we don’t have to fix it, we don’t have to stay, I will love you either way,” he sings.
Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik
This wasn’t the first time that Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik have split, but the circumstances are a lot crazier amidst the pair’s 2021 breakup. A little more than a year after Gigi and Zayn welcomed their first child, they called it quits. The breakup came after Zayn had an alleged altercation with Gigi’s mom, Yolanda Hadid, while Gigi was in Europe for Fashion Week. The breakup came after reports surfaced that Yolanda had allegedly accused Zayn of “striking” her. He released a statement about the report, claiming that the alleged incident occurred after Yolanda “entered [his and Gigi’s] home while [Gigi] was away.”
Both Zayn and Gigi have maintained that they want to keep this family matter private for the sake of their daughter, Khai. They have both kept a low-profile since the story broke at the end of October. Zayn pled no contest to the harassment charges against him in November. Details of the pair’s custody arrangement since the split have not been confirmed.
Raquel Leviss & James Kennedy
Vanderpump Rules stars, James Kennedy and Raquel Leviss, announced their breakup at the beginning of December 2021. The reality stars had been together for five years when they broke up, and had just gotten engaged in May 2021. “After these five wonderful years together, we decided we have two different goals and made the decision to call off the engagement,” they wrote. “We love each other very much, but we aren’t in love anymore. We want nothing but the best for each other so please keep any thoughts positive. Sending love.”
Tiffany Haddish & Common
Although fans were hoping that it would work out between Tiffany Haddish and Common, People reported on Nov. 29 that the two had broken up after more than a year together. The mag cited busy schedules and spending a lot of time apart as the reason for the split. However, they appear to remain on amicable terms, as Common sent her a sweet public birthday message just a few days later. “Happy birthday to the Queen,” he wrote. “One of the most beautiful dynamic and wonderful people I’ve ever known. May the most HIGH continue to bless and shine through you. Wishing you joy, love, peace, light and fun on your born day. Love!”
Tayshia Adams & Zac Clark
Fans are still a bit perplexed as to what led to Tayshia Adams and Zac Clark’s split after more than a year together. The two met on The Bachelorette in 2020 and got engaged, but in Nov. 2021, they ended their relationship. The breakup came just days after they ran the New York City marathon together. Both reality stars have kept tight-lipped about the split, but Tayshia briefly touched on it while hosting Men Tell All, which aired at the beginning of December. “I’m heartbroken,” she admitted. “We tried really hard and I still love him very much. I’m not sure what the future holds, you know how it is. It’s really tough.”
Katie Thurston & Blake Moynes
Another Bachelorette couple to bite the dust in 2021 was Katie Thurston and Blake Moynes. Katie and Blake met during the spring of 2021 on her season of The Bachelorette. They got engaged during the finale, which aired in August. Although they seemed blissfully happy at the time, it didn’t last long. The two confirmed their breakup at the end of October. “It is with mutual love and respect that we have decided to go our separate ways,” they wrote. “We are so grateful for the moments we shared together and the entire journey that has unfolded this year, but we ultimately have concluded that we are not compatible as life partners.”
Just one month later, Katie revealed on Instagram that she was dating another contestant from her season, John Hersey. Katie eliminated John during week two, but they became close friends after she finished filming. Katie spent a lot of time with John as friends, even while she was engaged to Blake. Now, they’ve taken that friendship to the next level!
Kaia Gerber & Jacob Elordi
Kaia Gerber and Jacob Elordi got together amidst the coronavirus pandemic at the end of summer 2020. They were together for more than a year when they quietly split in November. Although the stars never commented on the breakup directly, the news was reported by Page Six, and they have not been spotted out together since.
Kody & Christine Brown
Kody Brown from the TLC show Sister Wives now only has three wives — because he and Christine Brown broke up in October 2021. The two were together for 25 years at the time of their split. Although they were not legally married, they had built long term relationship. However, their struggles have been playing out on the most recent season of Sister Wives. The pair had differing views about where they wanted to live, and Christine admitted that things were “stiff” in their relationship even months before they actually broke up.
“After more than 25 years together, Kody and I have grown apart and I have made the difficult decision to leave,” Christine wrote. “We will continue to be a strong presence in each other’s lives as we parent our beautiful children and support our wonderful family. At this time, we ask for your grace and kindness as we navigate through this stage within our family.”
Clare Crawley & Dale Moss
Clare Crawley and Dale Moss got engaged after just two weeks of meeting in 2020. They split a few months later, but wound up getting back together. Unfortunately, it wasn’t longed to last, as they seemingly split for good in Sept. 2021. Page Six reported that the breakup is final this time, and just a few weeks later, Clare was spotted spending time with Jeff Dye. She also hasn’t shied away from throwing some subtle shade at Dale on social media. It’s safe to say this was NOT an amicable split!
Scott Disick & Amelia Hamlin
No one really expected Scott Disick and Amelia Hamlin’s relationship to last nearly a year, so they surprised plenty of fans by making it all the way to Sept. 2021. Amelia broke things off with Scott after Younes Bendjima exposed DMs with the reality star on Instagram. The messages showed Scott allegedly complaining about his and Younes’ mutual ex, Kourtney Kardashian, packing on the PDA with Travis Barker during a trip to Italy. Although Amelia never confirmed that the messages were the reason for the split, her mom, Lisa Rinna, said that they “weren’t helpful” for the couple.
Kaley Cuoco & Karl Cook
Kaley Cuoco and her second husband, Karl Cook, were married for three years when they broke up in Sept. 2021. “Despite a deep love and respect for one another, we realized that our current paths have taken us in opposite directions,” they said in a joint statement. “We have both shared so much of our journey publicly so while we would prefer to keep this aspect of our personal life private, we wanted to be forthcoming in our truth together. There is no anger or animosity, quite the contrary.”
Pete Davidson & Phoebe Dynevor
Long distance played a factor in Phoebe Dynevor and Pete Davidson’s romance. While she resides in London, he’s based in New York, and it eventually took a toll. The two reportedly split in August 2015. Of course, Pete has since moved on with Kim Kardashian, who he started seeing after she hosted Saturday Night Live in October.
La La & Carmelo Anthony
La La and Carmelo have officially called it quits. The former MTV VJ filed divorce papers in New York City in June 2021, after 11 years of marriage and 16 years together, citing irreconcilable differences. La La and Carmelo, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, married on July 10, 2010, and they share a son, Kiyan, 14. The couple have been separated “for a while” but “remain friends,” according to a TMZ report, which also noted that the split was “amicable.” La La filed divorce docs Thursday in New York, 11 years after tying the knot with the NBA star, and cited irreconcilable differences.
Katie Holmes & Emilio Vitolo Jr.
After roughly eight months of dating, Katie Holmes and her beau Emilio Vitolo Jr. decided to go their separate ways, per a May 13 report. “The pair have parted ways amicably but remain friends,” a rep for Katie told Us Weekly. “Their relationship fizzled. They figured out they’re better off as friends,” a source for the outlet reiterated.
John Mulaney & Anna Marie Tendler
Comedian John Mulaney and his wife of nearly seven years, Anna Marie Tendler, confirmed on May 10 that they were ending their marriage. “John will not have any further comment as he continues to focus on his recovery and getting back to work,” a statement from John’s rep revealed. Anna shared her heartbreak through her own spokesperson. “I am heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage,” she said. “I wish him support and success as he continues his recovery.” John and Anna would have celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary in July 2021. Meanwhile, in Sept. 2021, John confirmed that he was dating Olivia Munn and that she was pregnant with their first child.
Bill & Melinda Gates
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) May 3, 2021
Bill and Melinda Gates took to their respective Twitter accounts on May 3 with big news: they were divorcing after 27 years of marriage. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the estranged couple announced in a joint statement.
Bill stepped down from Microsoft’s board in March of 2020 to “dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities,” according to the Microsoft Corporation co-founder’s post on his LinkedIn page. A large part of that philanthropy is his nonprofit with his now estranged wife, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which fights “poverty, disease, and inequity around the world,” per its website. Despite the split, Bill and Melinda made it clear that they wouldn’t also be splitting up as a philanthropic team.
“We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life,” Bill and Melinda explained in the tweet above.
Bill and Melinda’s love story began as a workplace romance. They met after Microsoft hired Melinda as a product manager in 1987. At the time, Melinda was a recent graduate from Duke University who had a degree in computer science and economics. It didn’t take long until they began dating, and Bill and Melinda were engaged by 1993. They tied the knot on New Year’s Day in Hawaii in 1994, and now share three children: Jennifer, 25, Rory, 21, and Phoebe, 18.
Jana Kramer & Mike Caussin
Jana Kramer announced that she and Mike Caussin were separating, for the second time, in an emotional Instagram announcement on April 21. “It’s time. As I try to make sense of a reality I never wanted to believe could be possible again, those words have now become a reality,” Jana wrote in her announcement, referring to the fact that she and Mike first split in 2016. The One Tree Hill star continued, “I’ve fought y’all. I’ve loved hard. I’ve forgiven. I’ve put the work in. I’ve given everything I have, and now I have nothing else to give.” While Jana added that she “can’t fight any longer,” the singer still believed in marriage overall — you can read her full message below. Jana, who shares her kids Jolie Rae, 5, and Jace Joseph, 2, with Mike, also reportedly filed for divorce (per People).
It was Mike, though, who originally filed for divorce in 2016. His cheating scandal went public at the time, and the former NFL player began treatment for sex addiction. “I want to be very clear about something: society has had the nerve to call sex addiction a ‘married man’s excuse’ to which I say bull…(wait for it)…s–t,” Mike wrote in The Good Fight: Wanting to Leave, Choosing to Stay, and the Powerful Practice for Loving Faithfully, a memoir that he and Jana co-authored and released in Sept. 2020.
Jana and Mike overcame this hurdle, and renewed their wedding vows in Dec. 2017. Nearly three years later, Jana opened up about her husband’s infidelity on HollywoodLife‘s podcast. “When there’s infidelity in a relationship, it’s not like you just stop talking about it. Trust me, I wish we could stop talking about it. It’s not like we bring it up every day, but there are triggers and triggers will always be there. Now the weight isn’t as heavy, but I’ll still get triggered if something happens, or if maybe there’s a small lie, because it was a traumatic event in our relationship,” Jana told us. You can listen to the full interview, here.
Zac Efron & Vanessa Valladares
Zac Efron and Vanessa Valladares‘ breakup was confirmed by Zac’s friend on April 21, a day after a report already broke the news. “It’s not a rumor, it’s true. I can also confirm after speaking with him yesterday,” the friend said on the Australian radio show The Kyle and Jackie O Show. He added, “It’s only recent, but not, like, yesterday recent. But they’ve gone their separate ways…No drama, but it’s done.”
While Zac and Vanessa appeared to be living out a fairytale romance in Australia, the friend said “reality” kicked in once work came calling. “They spent a lot of time with each other when he wasn’t working, lunching and living in the mansions on the beach. It’s a fabulous life. And then work comes back and kicks you straight back into reality, so it’s a shame,” Kyle said on the radio show.
Zac and Vanessa were first romantically linked together in July of 2020. Vanessa, who’s a model, also worked at Byron Bay’s General Store & Café in Australia, where Zac was filming his Netflix series Down to Earth. Their romance was confirmed by September of that year, when they were photographed holding hands.
Amid their romance, a source close to Zac EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife in Oct. 2020, “Zac is crazy about Vanessa and he loves that she’s not from the Hollywood scene, but still fits in so comfortably with any crowd. She’s so down to earth and really doesn’t care about impressing people because she has such a laid back personality and doesn’t stress over the details.”
Jennifer Lopez & Alex Rodriguez
Once a Hollywood power couple, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez announced that they were no longer a couple on April 15. “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects. We wish the best for each other and one another’s children. Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have is to say thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support,” the former couple said in a joint statement to the Today Show.
However, six days after breaking the big news, a report claimed that it was J.Lo’s idea to call off the engagement and relationship. “She insisted on it. There are are too many issues that are unresolved,” a friend of the singer and actress told PEOPLE.
“But whether or not he has cheated doesn’t matter,” sources added, per PEOPLE. “She won’t tolerate the fear of it in the air between them… She has been pretty miserable and didn’t think it was in her best interests to stay with Alex.” The report arrived after cheating rumors first surfaced in Jan. 2021, thanks to the reunion episode of the Bravo show Southern Charm. Cast member Craig Conover accused his castmate, Madison LeCroy, of going “to Miami to f–k an ex-MLB player.” Madison denied an affair happened, but claimed that she was “contacted” by this MLB star (whose name wasn’t revealed) and that they “DM’ed.”
Madison did go on to say that she and A-Rod had “spoken on the phone,” but added that he “never physically cheated on his fiancée” during an interview with Page Six in February. This has never been confirmed by A-Rod. However, by March, a report claimed that J.Lo and A-Rod had split. Just one day after the breakup report surfaced, J.Lo and A-Rod clarified that they’re “working through some things” in a joint statement to PEOPLE. As proof, A-Rod even flew to the Dominican Republic that month to reunite with J.Lo, who was in the country filming her new movie Shotgun Wedding. While it looked like a romantic trip, sadly, it appeared to not be enough to save their relationship. Jennifer started dating Ben Affleck very shortly after the breakup.
Kim Kardashian & Kanye West
The Kimye era officially ended on February 19, 2021, when Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from Kanye West. HollywoodLife confirmed the news with multiple sources, though TMZ was first to report the news. The outlet reported that the couple’s divorce is very “amicable” and that there is a prenup involved. Kim and Kanye reportedly negotiated a joint custody situation with their four kids: daughters North, 7, and Chicago, 3, and sons Saint, 5, and Psalm, 1. Kim filed for divorce just three months shy of the couple’s 7th wedding anniversary on May 24.
It’s always sad to see a once loving couple call it quits. But, the demise of Kimye started long before Kim filed for divorce. Speculation that the two had been spending time apart rose around October, when Kim celebrated her 40th birthday in Tulum with friends and family. Though there were no signs of Kanye, he reportedly dropped in for a less than 24-hour appearance. Throughout November, Kim traveled with the couple’s kids and her sisters, and showed no signs of her husband on social media. In fact, she ditched her wedding ring on a number of occasions, including in social media posts.
Just when fans thought Kim and Kanye would reunite for Christmas — they remained apart. Kim spent the holidays with the couple’s kids at Kourtney Kardashian‘s Calabasas, CA home, and Kanye remained at his home in Wyoming, where he usually retreats during tumultuous times.
After the couple didn’t ring in 2021 together, multiple reports emerged on January 5, that claimed the couple’s marriage was headed for divorce. Since then, Kim remained silent about the relationship, despite sharing her usual SKIMS and KKW Beauty content on social media. Finally, on February 19, she made the loudest statement by filing to end her marriage once and for all. Although Kanye has publicly been trying to win her back ever since, Kim filed to become “legally single” in Dec. 2021 as the divorce proceedings are worked out.
Ben Affleck & Ana de Armas
Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas were one of the hottest couples of quarantine. The two got together on the set of their film Deep Water and went public with their romance in 2020. They were often spotted out and about in Ben’s Los Angeles neighborhood, taking their pups for a walk or enjoying Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Their public displays of affection made their January split all the more shocking.
“This is something that is mutual and was completely amicable,” a source told People on January 18. “They are at different points in their lives. There is deep love and respect there. Ben continues to want to work on himself. They are both happy with where they are in their lives.”
Throughout their romance, Ben and Ana appeared to be as steady as ever. Although they were relatively private about their romance, they never hesitated to show fans that they were going steady by taking walks and running errands together over the course of the quarantine period in Los Angeles. The Knives Out actress even met and spent time with Ben’s three children — Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 8 — whom he shares with ex-wife Jennifer Garner. But when it came to consider their future, it simply appeared that the two were, indeed, in different places in their lives.
Margaret Qualley & Shia LaBeouf
Following their collaboration on the 2020 short Love Me Like You Hate Me, Margaret Qualley and Shia LaBeouf began dating. It’s unclear how serious their relationship was, but the two were often spotted making out and taking walks together, especially during the end of 2020. The two decided to call it quits at the beginning of 2021.
“They broke up on Saturday. They’re just in different places in their lives,” a source shared with People at the time. The breakup also came as Shia’s former partner, singer FKA Twigs, filed a lawsuit against Shia for alleged sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.
Shia responded to the allegations in an email to The New York Times, writing, “I’m not in any position to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel. I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years. I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I’m ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say.”