The 9 Biggest Tabloid Scandals Spawned From Movies

Rumors About 'Don't Worry Darling' Tanked The Entire Production

It’s no surprise that when acting out scenarios for a camera, some lines can become blurred. Two attractive actors playing pretend as a married couple or falling in love is a dangerous recipe when it comes to staying faithful. As a result, a number of movies have started forbidden scandalous affairs that became unlimited tabloid fodder.

How many onset affairs have broken up marriages since the beginning of Hollywood? There was Brad Pitt’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston and Meg Ryan’s marriage to Dennis Quaid, to name just a couple.

Nothing spreads like a juicy rumor. Anytime a hot actor has onscreen chemistry with another star, tabloids are going to pick up on the steam, even if there’s no affair.

Sometimes, behind-the-scenes drama is more interesting than the movie itself. Check out these movies that inspired juicy tabloid scandals.

1. ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ Ended One Hollywood Marriage And Started Another

'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' Ended One Hollywood Marriage And Started Another

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were two of the hottest movie stars on the planet when they signed on to play a married couple who just happen to be warring assassins in 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Rumors swirled around the production that Pitt had been unfaithful to his then-wife Jennifer Aniston. 

Director Doug Liman said:

There were always paparazzi. Crazy paparazzi. One of my producers, Lucas Foster, made it his mission to keep them away [from outside locations]. I’d be getting ready to shoot, and there’d be a crane where I’m pointing the camera. I’d be like, Who put that there? Lucas would say, ‘I’m not moving that crane. There’s photographers in that hotel room up there, and I’m blocking them.’ It became a constant thing of, we’re going to have to paint it out [with CG erasure tricks]. Ten grand a shot.

Pitt denied the rumors. After months of speculation, Aniston filed for divorce in January of 2005. Then, just one month later, Pitt and Jolie were photographed together on vacation in Kenya. “Brangelina” officially became a thing. Every tabloid magazine around the world featured the couple.

The power couple lasted 12 years, and they raised six children together. Jolie filed for divorce in 2016. 

2. Kenneth Branagh Began The Affair That Ended His Marriage On The Set Of ‘Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’

Kenneth Branagh Began The Affair That Ended His Marriage On The Set Of 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein'

Kenneth Branagh met Helena Bonham Carter when they were co-starred together in the 1994 science fiction horror movie Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. In the film, their characters are engaged to be married. Branagh also directed the film. 

During production, Branagh was married to Emma Thompson. However, Branagh and Carter reportedly started a romantic affair that Thompson didn’t see coming. 

According to Thompson, she later learned that her ex-husband had multiple affairs

“I was utterly, utterly blind to the fact that he had relationships with other women on set,” Thompson said in 2022. “What I learned was how easy it is to be blinded by your own desire to deceive yourself.”

Branagh and Thompson divorced in 1995. Branagh and Carter dated for about five years before calling it quits in 1999.

3. Kristen Stewart Was Caught Making Out With The Director Of ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’

Kristen Stewart Was Caught Making Out With The Director Of 'Snow White and the Huntsman'

Kristen Stewart was 22 years old when she wrapped filming the 2012 fantasy movie Snow White and the Huntsman. Just a short time later, paparazzi caught Stewart kissing the movie’s director Rupert Sanders. That wouldn’t be a big deal, except Sanders was a 41-year-old married father of two. Additionally, Stewart was in a relationship with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson at the time. 

US Weekly published the photos and an international scandal exploded. Both Stewart and Sanders issued apologies for the affair.

“I am utterly distraught about the pain I have caused my family,” said Sanders. “My beautiful wife and heavenly children are all I have in this world. I love them with all my heart. I am praying we can get through this together.”

“I’m deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I’ve caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected,” said Stewart. “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.”

The apologies did not save their relationships. Stewart and Pattinson ended their relationship a few months later. Sanders and his wife, model/actress Liberty Ross, divorced in 2014.

4. Rumors About ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Tanked The Entire Production

Rumors About 'Don't Worry Darling' Tanked The Entire Production

Olivia Wilde showed off her directing prowess in the 2019 coming-of-age comedy BooksmartFor her next project, she made the psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling. Shia LaBeouf and Florence Pugh signed on to play the movie’s married lead couple.

In 2020, Wilde fired LaBeouf because of what she later called his “combative energy.” LaBeouf claimed that he was not fired, but quit the production due to a lack of adequate rehearsal time.

Harry Styles replaced LaBeouf, but the casting issues were just the first round of tabloid fodder.

Not long into production rumors ran amok. Wilde and her longtime partner Jason Sudeikis ended their relationship in early 2020. In 2021, Wilde and Styles attended a wedding where they were photographed holding hands. The director and the star became an official couple. 

Rumors also spread that Pugh and Wilde did not get along, fueled by the fact that Pugh opted to skip most of the movie’s press tour. When she did speak about Don’t Worry Darling, it was largely negative:

When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry. Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.

In April of 2022, Sudeikis served Wilde custody papers while she was on stage promoting the film at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

Wilde and Styles publicly ended their relationship in November of 2022. 

5. Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton Started Their Scandalous Affair While Making ‘Cleopatra’

Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton Started Their Scandalous Affair While Making 'Cleopatra'

Elizabeth Taylor was no stranger to scandal. She started an affair with singer Eddie Fisher while he was married to actress Debbie Reynolds. Fisher left Reynolds and later married Taylor (her fourth marriage out of a total of eight).

Then, at age 29, Taylor starred in the title role of the 1963 romance drama Cleopatra. She was married to Fisher when the movie began filming in Italy. The multiple issues that plagued the epic’s over-budget production were nothing compared to the drama that was going on behind closed doors. 

Richard Burton played Cleopatra’s love interest, Mark Antony. The Welsh actor had a reputation around Hollywood for behaving like a cad, despite being a married man. 

Burton and Taylor’s romance leaked, and their affair became scandalous tabloid fodder. It seemed everyone had something to say about the relationship, with a US Congresswoman from Georgia suggesting the stars shouldn’t be allowed back in the States after filming was done due to their behavior, and a Vatican newspaper criticizing Taylor’s behavior.

They both ended their relationships and married each other in 1964. The couple divorced in 1974, only to remarry one year later, and then divorce once again in 1976. 

6. ‘Proof of Life’ Became More Famous For Ending Meg Ryan’s Marriage

'Proof of Life' Became More Famous For Ending Meg Ryan's Marriage

Meg Ryan was America’s rom-com sweetheart in the ’80s and ’90s. The When Harry Met Sally… star married Dennis Quaid in 1991 and seemed to have a storybook romance. 

Ryan co-starred opposite Russell Crowe in the 2000 action thriller Proof of Life. She reportedly became “extremely infatuated” with the Australian hunk and began an affair. 

The scandal became a tabloid sensation, but certainly did not help Proof of Life’s box office numbers. Meanwhile, Ryan became a public pariah, and her career suffered just as much as her image. Ryan and Russell’s romance lasted only a few months because he reportedly wanted to get married and have kids, while she felt things were moving too fast. 

During a 2008 interview, Ryan said that her affair was not the only reason her marriage with Quaid ended. “But Russell didn’t break up the marriage,” said Ryan. “He was definitely there at the end, but it wasn’t his fault.”

Additionally, Ryan put some of the blame on Quaid:

[The affair] was a great story. But what wasn’t in the story was the reality of my marriage for nine years. Dennis was not faithful to me for a long time, and that was very painful. I found out more about that once I was divorced.

For his part, Quaid denied cheating on Ryan, saying, “I find it unbelievable that Meg continues publicly to rehash and rewrite the story of our relationship.”

7. Humphrey Bogart And Lauren Bacall Began An Affair While Filming ‘To Have and Have Not’ But Didn’t Immediately Get Together Because Bogart Was Trying To Make His Marriage Work

Humphrey Bogart And Lauren Bacall Began An Affair While Filming 'To Have and Have Not' But Didn't Immediately Get Together Because Bogart Was Trying To Make His Marriage Work

Humphrey Bogart was 44 years old and Lauren Bacall was just 19 when the pair began filming Howard Hawks’s 1944 war romance To Have and Have Not. Despite the dramatic age difference, their chemistry was undeniable to anyone working on the set, as well as to viewers of the finished film. 

In fact, their chemistry was so strong that Hawks changed the movie’s plot so Bogart’s character, Steve, would end up with Bacall’s character, Slim. 

Bogart was married to actress Mayo Methot (his third marriage) at the time of production. However, he began an affair with Bacall. They reportedly met up in parked cars or secluded areas during breaks in filming and addressed each other by their characters’ names.

They fell in love, but Bogart did not leave his wife until the end of 1944, because he was trying to make the marriage work. When the actors reunited for the 1946 noir The Big Sleep, Bogart realized that he could no longer stay in an unhappy marriage. 

Bogart and Bacall married in 1945, just 11 days after his divorce became official. They remained together until Bogart’s death in 1957.

“No one has written a romance better than we lived it,” wrote Bacall in her memoir.

8. Both Eddie Cibrian And LeAnn Rimes Were Married When They Fell In Love On The Set Of ‘Northern Lights’

Both Eddie Cibrian And LeAnn Rimes Were Married When They Fell In Love On The Set Of 'Northern Lights'

Country music singer and actor LeAnn Rimes met Eddie Cibrian on the set of the 2009 Lifetime TV movie Northern Lights. At the time, Rimes was married to dancer Dean Sheremet and Cibrian was married to model/reality TV star Brandi Glanville. 

Rumors swirled that Rimes and Cibrian were having a scandalous affair while filming, which was eventually confirmed.

“I take responsibility for everything I’ve done,” said Rimes of the affair. “I hate that people got hurt, but I don’t regret the outcome.”

Both Rimes and Cibrian divorced their spouses in 2010 and 2011. Then, Rimes and Cibrian married in a private ceremony in April 2011. As of 2023, they are still together.

9. Julia Roberts And Kiefer Sutherland Met Filming ‘Flatliners’ And Kicked Of The Wildest Love Triangle Of The 1990s

Julia Roberts And Kiefer Sutherland Met Filming 'Flatliners' And Kicked Of The Wildest Love Triangle Of The 1990s

Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland were the Hollywood “It” couple of the early 1990s. The pair met on the set of the 1990 movie Flatliners. Both were in committed relationships at the time: Sutherland was married with a 3-year-old daughter, and Roberts was engaged to her Steel Magnolias co-star Dylan McDermott. 

They both ended their respective relationships and publicly announced in August of 1990 that they were engaged. A big Hollywood wedding was planned for June of 1991 at a 20th Century Fox Soundstage. 

However, just three days before the wedding, Roberts called it off. Actually, she reportedly had a friend call Sutherland and tell him that the wedding was no longer happening. 

She was later seen on a flight to Dublin, Ireland with actor Jason Patric, who was Sutherland’s close friend. As expected, the tabloids covered the love triangle saga ad nauseam. Roberts’s relationship with Patric lasted about one year. 

Time heals most wounds. Sutherland revealed in a 2016 interview that he didn’t harbor ill feelings towards his almost-bride. He blames the end of their relationship on their young age (they were both in their early 20s) as well as the pressures of their fame:

We were young and we were both very much in love, we had decided that we wanted to get married, but then this other thing kind of took over. She was arguably the most famous woman in the world, and this wedding that was supposed to be something between the two of us became something so big.