From Down-the-Aisle to the Divorce Lawyer: 20 Secrets of Celebrity Marriages

Britney's 55-Hour Marriage: Ex Talks

They're just like us.

Debate the popular notion all you want, but when it comes to romance, it's true. Celebrities fall in love, marry and sometimes it lasts, sometimes -- OK, often -- it doesn't. Here's a peek inside the world of celebrity marriage, warts and all.

Watch the full story on how celebrity marriages last -- and how they don't -- on the full episode of "20/20: HollyWed" now.

Wedding Freebies

Celebrities may have loads of cash, but that doesn't mean they need to spend it on their weddings. They often have to pay little or nothing for products and services, because vendors are hungry for free publicity.

Former "The View" co-host Star Jones was legendary for the freebies she received in 2004 -- she has since divorced -- while, more recently, Kim Kardashian, now also divorced, reportedly paid next to nothing for three Vera Wang dresses, designer tuxedos, a wedding cake, invitations and champagne.

Tweeting for Swag

One way for celebs to make good on their vendors' publicity hopes is through Twitter: Kardashian, who has nearly 13 million followers, tweeted about her champagne and even her table linens.

TV Perks

Some celebs have other publicity tools at their disposal. Donald Trump got his wife Melania's 15-carat diamond engagement ring for half price. That jeweler also happened to be featured on Trump's TV show, "The Apprentice."

Photo Fortunes

Aside from saving a bundle on their weddings, celebs can also make a bundle on their nuptials thanks to high demand for celebrity wedding photos. Hollywood couples Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas, sold their wedding photos to entertainment magazines for an estimated $2 million.

Mum's the Word

Celebrity wedding planners like Sharon Sacks are often in charge of orchestrating the mammoth affairs, but don't expect them to divulge details. Sacks, who planned the Kardashian wedding, said she's signed a confidentiality agreement.

Marrying an Average Joe or Jane

Stars don't always marry each other. A number of celebs have married high school sweethearts, while the brothers of the pop group Hanson married women who attended their concerts.

Going Strong

While a number of high-profile Hollywood couples have called it quits recently, other celebrity marriages have been going strong for at least two decades, including those of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, and Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson.

Escaping Hollywood

For some longtime couples, moving far away from Hollywood and the paparazzi is key to a successful relationship: Donny Osmond and wife, Debbie, moved to a small town in Utah, where they've raised five sons.

Unwelcome Advances

While strangers throwing themselves at stars can mean bad things for their marriages, for some celebs the supposed temptation is actually annoying.

"People are throwing themselves at you, and I think the perception is that that would be so cool ... but what quickly happens is you're just like, 'Dear Lord, if someone would just stop throwing themselves at me,'" said Zac Hanson.

Surviving Cheating

Even the longest Hollywood relationships have their ups and downs. Former Playboy centerfold Shannon Tweed nearly left Kiss rocker Gene Simmons over his infidelity.

Embracing Rock and Roll

Despite the troubles of Gene Simmons and other musicians, some insist the rock and roll lifestyle can be compatible with marriage.

"I don't think that you should have to choose marriage or rock and roll. I think you should be able to have both," said Taylor Hanson.

The Best Actress Curse

In addition to musicians, Oscar winners for Best Actress are notorious for having marital troubles. US Weekly magazine's Bradley Jacobs said it's called the "Best Actress Curse."

"Look at the last 10 people who have won Best Actress," he said. "More often than not, their relationships tend to dissolve in the year or two after they win the award."

Windfalls for Exes

The many celebs that do experience divorce often find themselves stuck with paying exorbitant sums to their lower-earning exes. Last December, after 31 years of marriage, Mel Gibson reportedly paid almost half a billion dollars to his ex, Robyn.

Short Marriages, Big Money

Shorter marriages can also mean a big payday for a star's ex. Actress Linda Hamilton married director James Cameron before he began working on his blockbuster hit, "Titanic." The couple separated less than two years later, after the film was completed. As a result, Hamilton was entitled to $50 million – half of his income from the movie.

Lawyers Cash In

Other big winners in celebrity divorces are the lawyers, with legal fees hitting upwards of $1 million.

Elite Legal Circles

In Hollywood, there are a select few go-to lawyers for Hollywood divorces, and they generally charge about $800 an hour, according to Allison Hope Weiner, a former litigator and host of the Internet show Media Mayhem.

Good Press for Attorneys

These elite lawyers don't just see a big payday -- they also get good publicity ... some of which they drum up themselves, Weiner said, by leaking to tabloid websites.

"They let TMZ or some website, Radar Online, know that so-and-so visited their office," she said.

The Moving Truck Clue

Media outlets don't just rely on loose-lipped lawyers to learn whether a celebrity divorce is in the works. Tabloid reporters say that moving trucks outside a celebrity's home is one major clue that he or she is headed for splitsville.

Looking Good After Divorce

While revelations stemming from a divorce -- like Alec Baldwin's infamous voicemail message -- can damage a celebrity's image, some celebs find positive feedback following a tough break-up. After her heavily-scrutinized split from Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston drew sympathy and solidified her reputation as one of America's sweethearts.

Shutting Up for Their Own Sake

Some super-tweeting celebs may have you believing otherwise, but experts say the best way for celebrities to survive a very public break-up is to keep quiet.

"Sometimes it's best just to shut up," said longtime publicist and ABC News consultant Howard Bragman. "The biggest myth that I encounter in PR is that all press is good press. All press is certainly not good press."

Watch the full story on how celebrity marriages last -- and how they don't -- on the full episode of "20/20: HollyWed" now.

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...