5 celebrity breakups that emotionally wrecked us in 2023

By Charlie Sawyer

Updated Jan 5, 2024 at 03:23 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

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If you take the budding love between Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce out of the mix, 2023 truly was the year of heartbreak. It felt as though every week another celebrity couple were splitting up. And while you’d think that, being the cynical spinster that I am, I would’ve slightly revelled in all of the upset, in reality, I was majorly devastated to see some of these pairings fall apart. Of course, some hurt a lot more than others.

If we’re being honest, was anyone truly torn up inside to see Sofía Vergara and Joe Manganiello get divorced? Personally, I’ve always thought that she could do better. Now, Rami Malek and Lucy Boynton, on the other hand, that one hurt. I mean, how am I expected to watch a couple fall in love on screen—to the soundtrack of Queen—and not become completely invested in their real-life romance?

The list is endless. If you visited Los Angeles, all you’d need to do is throw a pebble towards Beverly Hills and you’d easily hit a dozen or so couples who had called it quits. If you kept snooping around, you’d also probably find a whole truck’s worth of pedigree pooches who were being carted back and forth between their owners’ houses.

So, which breakups hurt the most? Which ones did we publicly grieve, as if they were friends or family members? Which ones forced us to re-evaluate our entire romantic lives and question whether or not true love even exists?

1. Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner

There wasn’t a gen Zer alive that didn’t find the news of Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas splitting up shocking. That was until we looked at all of the evidence. Turner and Jonas, who, for a long time seemed to be a match made in heaven, were actually quite different at their cores.

 

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For one, Turner is a seriously good time—and I can’t imagine any of the Jonas brothers are too much fun, if I’m being honest with myself. The middle brother also massively showed his true colours by allowing his PR team to aggressively pursue a slander campaign against the Game of Thrones actress.

I think the reason this particular divorce hurt, is because Jonas and Turner were a real young love that we could aspire towards. They had a big presence on social media. Plus, who doesn’t fall in love with a love so strong that it inspires heartfelt songs—songs that are then sung in massive stadiums for thousands of people to see? C’mon, that’s a kicker.

2. Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness

I was personally devastated to hear the news about Hugh and Deborra-Lee. Not only because they were an incredibly cute and wholesome couple, but more so because it was a serious loss for the toy boy team.

 

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Furness was 40 when she married 27-year-old Jackson, and they had a beautiful marriage. There’s definitely still a lot of love between the pair—or at least, that’s what I tell myself. In their joint statement, the pair said that they’d become more like “best friends,” which is personally my literal worst nightmare.

3. Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez

Now, this is a controversial one. As someone who grew up on Yours Truly, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Miss Grande. That being said, that girl seriously needs to re-evaluate what she is looking for in a man because her dating life is all over the place.

I thought that when she ditched Pete Davidson, we were in the clear. Then, she went and got married, which again I was supportive of. What I’m finding slightly harder to be behind, is the singer’s newfound romance with none other than SpongeBob SquarePants, aka, Broadway performer Ethan Slater.

 

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The newly loved-up pair have been romantically connected since October 2023, very shortly after it had been leaked that Grande had separated from her husband Dalton Gomez. I would never judge a woman for moving from relationship to relationship—we’re not having another Taylor Swift sexist scenario—however, the Gomez to Slater timeline is kind of wild. We love you Grande, we just aren’t entirely sure what’s going on.

4. Meryl Streep and Don Gummer

Queen Streep had been married to her husband Don Gummer for over five decades, only to recently reveal that the pair had actually been separated for six years—they pulled a real Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith on us.

The Oscar winner, musical and dramatic goddess, and glasses icon had been married to the sculptor since 1978. And, in a stupidly emotional award speech in 2012, Streep said: “First, I’m going to thank Don because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech they play him out with the music, and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you’ve given me.”

5. Chris Appleton and Lukas Gage

We had to give a special mention to a Kim Kardashian-inspired divorce. Celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton and actor Lukas Gage tied the knot, and then subsequently called it quits… seven months later. No hate to the pair, but c’mon boys, some stamina would be nice.

 

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It’s not known what caused the breakdown of the relationship, but it definitely upset a lot of fans. Particularly, following one of the most recent episodes of The Kardashians which saw Kim organise a private serenade with Shania Twain for the couple. Personally, I think if Shania can’t cement a celebrity duo, no one can.

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