The hardest part about cheating on a significant other? Apologizing once your secret is out. For these 10 celebrities, not only did they have to make amends to the person they wronged, they gave Oscar-worthy performances asking for forgiveness, in front of the entire world.
In 2009, Tiger Woods issued a public apology for cheating on his then-wife Elin Nordegren, whom he had cheated on with not one, but multiple mistresses. In the golf great's 2009 public apology, he attributed the buzz and adrenaline of fame as a factor in his infidelities and voiced attempts to repair their marriage. But that wasn't meant to be. Elin would later walk away with $100 million in their 2010 divorce settlement, and the satisfaction that she got in a few good swings with a tire iron.
In 2011, news surfaced that Arnold Schwarzenegger had cheated on his then-wife Maria Shriver with his nanny Mildred Baena (GASP!), and the clandestine affair produced a son. Maria had reportedly ended their 25-year marriage after learning of the infidelity. Four years later, Arnold confessed it was his biggest failure on The Howard Stern Show.
The Terminator wasn't the only one to cheat with the hired help. Allegations of Jude's cheating on then-betrothed Sienna Miller with his children’s nanny Daisy Wright surfaced in 2005. Law was remorseful and “deeply ashamed and upset,” according to his public apology, delivered via a statement. The couple separated, until they reconciled in 2009, and then separated again in 2011. But feelings linger. Sienna recently admitted she still cares enormously for her former boo.
Jackie Chan has fought his way out of sticky situations, but not this one. The martial artist action star acknowledged he had an affair with Elaine Ng Yi-Lei, a former Miss Asia, while he was married to Joan Lin. Ng gave birth to a daughter in 1999 named Etta, whom Ng claimed to be sired by Chan (though Chan has not publicly acknowledged Etta as biologically his). In his biography Jackie Chan: Never Grow Up, Only Get Older, there's a chapter called "The Love of My Life: Joan Lin." Jackie alludes to the affair as "that serious mistake," although he doesn't mention Ng by name. He has remained married to his wife.
In March 2010, news emerged that Jesse James cheated on then-wife Sandra Bullock with Michelle "Bombshell" McGee. The dalliance, one among many, cost him his marriage to the Oscar winner. In a Daily Beast interview for his memoir, American Outlaw, Jesse cites his ego and distrust as his straying factors. He attempted to patch things up with the actress, but actualized, "I had to come to the realization that thing was broken beyond repair, and trying to fix it or make it better is something I’ve always done, 'cause I’m a welder and mechanic, but it was just my ego I was trying to fix. "
Was it a reverse Oedipus complex? In 1992 Woody Allen cheated on then-girlfriend and fellow actress Mia Farrow with Farrow’s adopted daughter Soon-Yi, who was 35 years his junior. The aftermath unfolded into a bitter custody battle between Farrow and Allen over their adopted children. Soon-Yi and Allen eventually married in 1997 after living together and adopting their own kids; they'll celebrate their 20th anniversary this year. In her autobiography, Mia said wrote that Woody admitted his infidelity to her. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the director feels untouched by the scandal and is content with his marriage to Soon-Yi.
This is definitely not how Twilight fans wanted to see Edward and Bella end up. In 2010 news broke that Kristen Stewart had cheated on then-boyfriend and Twilight costar Robert Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders, who was then married to Liberty Ross. Rupert apologized to his wife and children, calling the affair a “momentary lapse.” Liberty still divorced him. Stewart apologized to Robert, and they would also break up. Years later, Kristen would reveal she is gay.
In 1958, the late singer Eddie Fisher, who was then married to Debbie Reynolds, had an affair with actress Elizabeth Taylor, who had been recently widowed by Mike Todd’s tragic death in a plane accident. The affair resulted in Debbie and Eddie's divorce. His autobiography Eddie: My Life, My Loves attributed the death of Elizabeth's husband to his own eventual closeness to Liz and desire to help her through her bereavement. Although Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher eventually married, she would go on and have an affair with Richard Burton on the set of Cleopatra, and Eddie would divorce her too.
Hugh Grant didn't have to publicly admit his cheating; police records did it for him. In 1995 the actor was arrested for “lewd conduct" with sex worker Divine Brown. Hugh sheepishly apologized to his then-girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley, who surprisingly forgave him. Their relationship continued after the scandal until they eventually amicably separated in 2000. Grant was “more sorry than I can ever possibly say,” regarding the affair.
Actress Meg Ryan almost made it a decade with former husband Dennis Quaid -- that is until she got caught up with Russell Crowe on the set of their movie Proof of Life in 2000. Meg and Dennis got divorced shortly after her affair. In an interview with InStyle magazine, Meg claimed that she hadn't been the only one to step outside the bounds of marriage; Dennis had been unfaithful to her, though she did not directly state it as an attribute to her high-profile affair with Russell. Though Meg found the tabloid scandals surrounding their split as difficult to process, she and Dennis made it through and are on good terms.
Got an ex? Yeah, we all do. Bravo’s Personal Space is diving into everything there is to discuss about breakups, from the ones that got away to ghosting to what the hell you should do with an ex on social media with Ex-Files Week. It’s all leading up to our new series A Night With My Ex, which explores what happens when former couples reunite…for one night only. Check back each day for exclusive interviews, personal stories, and don’t forget to catch the premiere on Tuesday, July 18 at 10/9c.
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