It sounds like the fast track to fame: Cozy up to an A-List celebrity and watch your career take off like a rocket, even if the relationship falls apart.
No one knew who Jonny Lee Miller was before he married Angelina Jolie — now, more than 10 years later, he's the star of the new ABC series "Eli Stone." But not every celeb ex has had such luck — who remembers Janet Jackson's quickie husband, James DeBarge? Check out how some famous and not-so-famous celebrity exes have fared since their star-studded relationships.
Jonny Lee Miller
Jonny Lee Miller recently told "The View's" Joy Behar that his "actual full name" is "Jonny Lee Miller-Angelina Jolie's ex-husband." But soon enough, Miller will be known as more than just Jolie's ex — he's the star of the new ABC series "Eli Stone," in which he plays a lawyer troubled by peculiar hallucinations. Miller and Jolie got married in 1996 and parted ways after just one year together. Although his time with the now Mrs. Pitt was short-lived, Miller didn't let that stop him from dating other stars. His list of celebrity girlfriends after Jolie includes Lisa Faulkner and Natalie Appleton. His most recent love interest is actress/model Michele Hicks, whom Miller has been dating since 2006.
Although Cris Judd has many talents, he's probably best known for his unsuccessful matrimony with Hollywood icon Jennifer Lopez. Judd, an actor and choreographer, met Lopez when he was hired to help choreograph one of her music videos. The pair got close on and off the dance floor and wed in Sept. 2001. But Lopez was a rising star, not about to spend the rest of her life with a man famous only because of her — the couple split in June 2002. Even after the split, Judd was still referred to as Mr. J-Lo. But he became a "celebrity" in his own right in Feb. 2003, when he was selected to star in the short-lived reality show "I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!" Judd added to his fame when he won this celebrity version of "Survivor" and donated the cash prize of $200,000 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Carlos Leon was first known for being Madonna's personal fitness trainer. He earned a place in Hollywood's history books for hooking up with the pop icon in 1994 and fathering her first child, Lourdes, in 1996. In 1997, shortly after the birth of their daughter, the couple decided to call it quits. Since splitting with Madonna, Leon has remained largely out of the spotlight. Aside from small roles in "Oz ," "Law and Order" and "CSI," Leon scored a part in the movie "The Big Lebowski," playing Maude's Thug #1. He made his Broadway debut in April 2006, playing Charles Filch in Wallace Shawn's adaptation of Brecht & Weill's "The Threepenny Opera."
Kevin Federline may have gained C-List status as the fiance of "Moesha" actress Shar Jackson, but that connection was all but forgotten when he met pop star Britney Spears and started spinning a web of tabloid drama. The pair met while Spears was on tour and Federline was a back-up dancer. After three months of dating, they got engaged and married on Sept. 18, 2004. But two years and two kids later, Spears filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.
Federline's drawn-out custody battle with Spears has been filled with bizarre episodes, the most recent of which involved Spears refusing to return custody of their sons to him on Jan. 3. But the dancer, rapper, model and actor hasn't let the drama slow him down. He was recently added to the cast of "One Tree Hill" after several guest appearances on the show, and he launched his rap music career with the debut album "Playing with Fire" in October 2006.
Sure, James Debarge sang his heart out with family R&B group "DeBarge," but he's probably better known for his short marriage to superstar Janet Jackson. The couple met when Jackson was only 13 and got married in 1984. But a year later, Jackson had the nuptials annulled, saying she could no longer deal with DeBarge's drug use. Although DeBarge has since stayed away from the spotlight, his daughter Kristina appeared on the "American Idol" spin-off "American Juniors." Perhaps because his daughter brought attention back to the DeBarge name, James has started fiddling with fame again, working on musical collaborations with his brother Chico.
Heather Mills was just another model before she met Paul McCartney. Now, she's known as the former Beatle's contentious former wife. The couple married in June 2002, a few years after McCartney's first wife, Linda, passed away from breast cancer. In Oct. 2003, Mills gave birth to their daughter, Beatrice Milly McCartney. But a few years later, in July 2006, McCartney filed for divorce, citing "unreasonable behavior" after countless fights and disagreements with his wife and making headlines across the world.
Since the divorce, Mills has made it known that she hates the media constantly nagging her about the shocking split (ironically, she's made her feelings loud and clear through the media). She also stands to gain a huge sum of money from the divorce settlement because she never signed a pre-nup with McCartney. Despite having only one real leg — she lost the other in a motorcycle accident in 1993 — in 2007 Mills was a contestant on "Dancing with the Stars" and made it into the sixth week of the competition before being eliminated from the show. These days, Mills is back to being an activist in England, speaking out about animal rights and the dangers of land mines.
Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen is known for being the ex of not just one famous face, but several. She married Sylvester Stallone in Dec 1985 after meeting the action star on the set of the film "Cobra." But shortly after their "I do's," the couple divorced in July 1987, and Nielsen got $6 million in the settlement. In 2004, Nielsen joined the cast of VH1's "The Surreal Life," where she became intimately acquainted with rapper Flavor Flav. After "The Surreal Life" ended and Nielsen and Flav's romanced blossomed, VH1 gave them their own spin-off show, "Strange Love." But the show ended after a few months, and so did their relationship. After two failed celebrity romances, Nielsen's gone back to dating mere mortals, but she's staying in the world of reality television as part of VH1's "Celebrity Rehab."