Some celeb couples prefer to keep their love lives private. They keep their breakups — or even their entire relationships! — secret from the public for months or years.
Others love to rave about their relationships on social media and in interviews. However, public relationships can also lead to very public, messy breakups.
Here are 11 celebrity couples who kept their breakups secret:
1. Florence Pugh and Zach Braff dated for three years. They never walked a red carpet together, but they occasionally posted about each other on Instagram.
During their relationship, they faced a lot of criticism for their 21-year age gap.
In an Instagram video, Florence addressed people who were "hurling abuse" at them. She said, "I do not need you to tell me who I should and should not love. It is not your place, and really, it has nothing to do with you."
They broke up in early 2022, but they kept it hidden from the public until August.
Florence told Harper's Bazaar, "We’ve been trying to do this separation without the world knowing because it’s been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on."
She continued, "We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we’re not together. So we’ve done that."
It was JoJo's first public relationship after coming out. Celebrating their five-month anniversary on Instagram, she wrote, "It really has been the best five months of my life truly being exactly who I am, and finding love has been the best part of it all."
After their first breakup in November 2021, they got back together in April 2022 but privately broke up again that June. However, they didn't share the news until August.
In a Livestream, Kylie said, "I don’t like drama and it makes me really, really anxious and so I don’t really wanna talk about it for a while...But someone asked me just now if I was single. I am."
"I've been single for almost two months, and it's OK. It's not deep, I promise," she said.
She continued, "Everything’s fine. Not everything has to be messy and gross because it’s not, and I just want to clear the air. We're both safe and happy and healthy, and that's all that matters."
"And it doesn't need to be drama because that just gives everyone unwanted anxiety, especially if they're like me," she concluded.
3. Vanessa Hudgens and Josh Hutcherson briefly dated in 2010 while they were filming Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and they kept the entire relationship hidden.
Two years later, they revealed that they had in fact dated during a rather awkward interview with the Australian Today Show.
4. The Big Bang Theory costars Kaley Cuoco and Johnny Galecki secretly dated for two years early in the show's run.
A year after their breakup, Kaley told CBS Watch! magazine about their relationship. She said, "It was such a huge part of my life and no one knew about it. It was a wonderful relationship, but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together."
She continued, "We were so protective of ourselves and the show and didn't want anything to ruin that...We knew how to keep it deep inside and never bring it on that set, ever."
"That's not the kind of relationship I want...I don't want to be hiding. We couldn't do anything. It wasn't as fun as we wanted it to be. Everyone was always asking, and we deny-deny-denied. And I'm like, 'Why am I denying this person that I love?' It took a little bit of a toll on me and I think it did for him, too," she said.
Kaley and Johnny remained close friends. While they didn't end up together in real life, their characters ended up together on screen.
5. Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx quietly dated for six years. Though rumors swirled, their relationship only became public after their 2019 breakup.
Katie was reportedly not allowed to date "in a public fashion" for five years following her divorce from Tom Cruise.
Throughout their relationship, they repeatedly denied dating rumors. During a 2018 ESPN interview, Jamie walked off when the host asked him about Katie.
6. Michael Cera and Aubrey Plaza met while filming Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and secretly dated for about a year and a half. However, they didn't speak about their relationship publicly until 2016.
On RuPaul's What's the Tee? podcast, Aubrey said, "We drove across the country after we shot [Scott Pilgrim] and almost got married in Vegas."
"We're still really good friends. He's just a weird little freak, and we speak the same language," she said.
7. Contrary to the rumors at the time, Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini didn't date while competing on American Idol in 2002. However, they briefly dated while filming their rom-com From Justin to Kelly in 2003.
They denied dating rumors until 2014. During his one-man show, Lovesick, Justin revealed that they'd been together for a short time.
A year later, Kelly confirmed their previous relationship. On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she said, "We did date a little bit...I think any two people who were thrown together that much [would date]."
8. Gilmore Girls costars Alexis Bledel and Jared Padalecki dated while filming the show, but the public didn't know until nine years after the series ended.
In 2016, casting director Mara Casey told Life & Style, "We did have a joke about casting all of Alexis' [real-life] boyfriends. She dated Jared and Milo [Ventimiglia]. And she also dated a young New York actor named Chris Heuisler, who played a guest role."
She continued, "There had already been two Deans cast before we found him...But there is something about Jared."
9. Paddy McGuinness and Christine Martin were married for 11 years before separating in 2022.
While filming Celebrity Bake-Off, he reportedly kept their separation a secret from all of the other celebrity contestants.
Christine also denied rumors of their breakup, telling OK! magazine, "We’re really good, honestly. We have had difficult times but when I look back at our marriage and see where we are now, I think, 'Wow, you know, we’ve done alright!'"
Eventually, however, the couple shared the news of their separation in a joint statement on their Instagram stories, writing, "We hadn’t planned on sharing this publicly until we were ready but after the lack of privacy surrounding our personal life, we feel left with no other option but to clarify."
They continued, "A while ago we took the difficult decision to separate but our main focus as always is to continue loving and supporting our children...We’ll always be a loving family, we still have a great relationship and still live happily in our family home together. We hope this now draws a line under any more unwanted and unnecessary intrusion into our private life. Although we work in the public eye we ask kindly if you could respect our wishes for privacy on this matter."
10. Matthew Perry and Lizzy Caplan's six-year relationship was so private that news of their breakup didn't become public for a year and a half.
In 2013, an "insider" leaked the story, telling US Weekly, "They haven't been together for a long time."
A year before, Lizzy declined to answer any questions regarding their relationship during an interview with the Independent.
11. And Nicole Kidman and Lenny Kravitz dated from 2002–2003 and were briefly engaged — and they didn't talk about it publicly for 14 years.
In 2017, Nicole told Net-A-Porter, "Well, I knew Zoë [Kravitz, her Big Little Lies costar] because I was engaged to her father. It’s all in the family! I love Lenny; he’s a great guy."
Later that year, Lenny told Mr. Porter, "Nicole is amazing. Zoë and she hadn’t spent time together since she was younger, since Nicole and I were together, so that was great."
And now, here are 10 celeb breakups that were very public:
12. Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian were married for 72 days before she filed for divorce — but he reportedly didn't know she was filing until the morning the news broke.
The end of their marriage played out on Kourtney and Kim Take New York. The season finale — in which Kim revealed her relationship woes to her sister — brought in 4.5 million viewers.
Eight years later, Kris shared his side of things in an essay for The Players' Tribune. He said, "It's never easy to go through the embarrassment of something like that — with your friends, with your family. But when it plays out so publicly, in front of the world, it's a whole other level. It was brutal. I didn't want to be Kris Humphries. It's the craziest feeling in the world, not wanting to be yourself."
He continued, "I didn’t even want to say anything to defend myself, because it felt like I couldn’t win. You can’t go up against the tabloids. You can’t go up against that machine."
13. Good Will Hunting costars Minnie Driver and Matt Damon got together on set in 1997, but the following year, he dumped her on live TV.
On The Oprah Winfrey Show, he said he was single — which was news to Minnie.
A few months later, she told the LA Times, "It’s horrendous breaking up with someone anyway, but to have it be so public and to be cast in a role that I would never play if they were paying me — this wronged woman! It’s unfortunate that Matt went on Oprah; it seemed like a good forum for him to announce to the world that we were no longer together, which I found fantastically inappropriate. Of course, he was busy declaring his love for me on David Letterman a month previously."
However in 1999, Matt returned to Oprah to refute reports that he'd broken up with Minnie through his previous interview.
In 2022, Minnie addressed the media storm that followed their breakup. She told Entertainment Tonight, "I don't care who you are, that is agony and it's like a strange, surreal dream...But I know he didn't put that picture there [on the magazines]. It's so tricky, because it's not deliberate, he couldn't have helped how famous he became and how his life was being picked over, in the same way that mine was."
14. Rita Ora and Calvin Harris dated for about a year until he ended their relationship via Twitter.
In a since-deleted tweet, he said, "To address speculation – myself and Rita ended our relationship some time ago. She is a beautiful, talented woman & I wish her all the best."
Soon after, Rita was supposed to perform "I Will Never Let You Down" — which Calvin wrote and produced for her — at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, but he refused to grant her legal approval for the performance. She was forced to cancel.
In 2015, she told Marie Claire, "I was at that point in my relationship where I felt he could do no wrong. I thought he had my back and that he'd never steer me wrong. But then 'I Will Never Let You Down' came out, and everything started to go a bit weird. I don't know if it was because business was mixed with personal or what."
15. Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan/Diego dated for about a month and a half before their very public breakup which began with Diego posting this on his Instagram story: "I feel like I'm probably being cheated on. Bad things always happen to the good guys..."
He then followed up by accusing her of using him for fame.
Responding on her own Instagram story, Noah said, "Guys, the truth about it at the end of the day is that things suck and that days are gonna suck, and that's just okay...I'm trying to stay super positive."
Then, she shared a screenshot of the alleged reason Diego thought she was cheating on him — she'd texted him a meme of Charlie Puth's head photoshopped over a porn star's body.
In the screenshot of their messages, Diego replied, "Why did u send that pic...Wtf."
Noah also included an apology to Charlie.
In a Livestream, Noah said, "If you're in a relationship, never let a man make you feel like you're less of yourself — or you're the problem — when you were the one that sat around being there for somebody."
Next, she deleted her previous stories and posted this: "Concerned and confused...First and foremost: this relationship was not set up by Columbia Records. To say that is a joke. It started when I got a DM from Diego and he asked me to hang out."
In following story posts, she alleged that she hadn't seen him in over a week and thought he was cheating on her because she "saw a picture of a girl on a court on his story at 2 a.m." and "noticed a hickey" when she FaceTimed him.
She said, "I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and ignored it."
Then, Diego claimed that the Charlie Puth meme wasn't the reason for their breakup. On his story, he said, "I broke up with her because she was all over some dude." He shared a snapshot of Noah posing for a picture with another man as "evidence."
Five months later, Diego announced that he and Annie Smith were having a baby. The same day, Noah posted an emotional selfie to her Instagram story and captioned it "whata day."
She captioned another post, "I WILL be happy if it's the last thing I do."
16. Twilight costars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson dated from 2009 to 2012, when Kristen was photographed kissing her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders — who was married to Liberty Ross at the time.
In a statement, Kristen said, "I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry."
17. Blac Chyna seemingly responded to rumors she was dating Future by posting a tattoo she got of his name on his ex-fiancé Ciara's birthday— then he publicly refuted those rumors.
18. Real Housewives of Atlanta's Porsha Williams and Kordell Stewart were married for two years before she found out he filed for divorce via Twitter.
She told ABC News, "I literally was lying in bed and I looked at Twitter and it was going crazy...I saw on Twitter that my husband has filed for divorce."
When she read the news on Twitter, Kordell was right down the hall. She said, "It wasn't a confrontation. It was me just simply asking my husband, 'Had you filed?' which seemed crazy coming out of my mouth. He said he thought about it and we'll talk about it later and he left for work. I had to call my attorney to find out."
19. Alfie costars Sienna Miller and Jude Law started dating in 2003, got engaged in 2004, then broke up in 2005 after Jude's affair with Daisy Wright — his kids' nanny — became public.
In a public apology, Jude said, “Following the reports in today’s papers, I just want to say I am deeply ashamed and upset that I’ve hurt Sienna and the people most close to us. I want to publicly apologize to Sienna and our respective families for the pain that I have caused."
He continued, "There is no defense for my actions which I sincerely regret and I ask that you respect our privacy at this very difficult time."
At the time, Sienna was starring in a West End production of Shakespeare's As You Like It. In 2020, she told the Daily Beast, "That was one of the most challenging moments I hope I’ll ever have to experience. Because with that level of public heartbreak, to have to get out of a bed let alone stand in front of 800 people every night, it’s just the last thing you want to do."
She and Jude briefly reconciled in 2009 then broke up again in 2011.
20. Model Christie Brinkley and architect Peter Cook were married from 1996–2008. She fought for the right to open their divorce proceedings to the public and won.
She filed for divorce after learning he was having an affair with Diana Bianchi, his then 18-year-old assistant. The publicity of their trial led to a lot of criticism of both Christie and Peter.
In the end, Christie paid Peter a $2.1 million settlement, but she got full custody of both children and retained ownership of all 18 properties the family owned. Outside the court, she said that she fought hard because "a mother's greatest fear is someone taking away her children."
21. And finally, Billy Bob Thornton and Laura Dern dated from 1997–2000 and got engaged. Their relationship ended when Billy Bob married his Pushing Tin costar Angelina Jolie behind Laura's back.
Laura told Talk magazine, "I left our home to work on a movie, and while I was away, my boyfriend got married, and I've never heard from him again."
She continued, "It’s like a sudden death. For no one has there been any closure or clarity."