They say that age is just a number. And some successful relationships with a huge age gap do in fact show just that: that love and lust are free from it. Think of ideal and long-lasting couples like Calista Flockhart and Harrison Ford, or Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas. Basically, if the love and the understanding and the passion are there, it doesn’t matter who is older than whom, and by how much. But the same cannot be said for some relationships. You could call it the great divide, for these people could not bridge the huge age gap, and their relationships went pop and fizzle pretty quick.
Frankly, there’s much to be said about May-December marriages, and they can go either way. They become shining examples of how love conquers all if they succeed. Alternatively, they become pitiable examples of how you should really think before you marry, and how age is such a big factor in the success of eventual failure of a marriage. So we present the flip side of May-December relationships to you. Shining examples of couples with huge age gaps that didn’t last long, at all… So maybe, age is more than just a number?
15. The Mid-Life Crisis: Johnny Depp & Amber Heard
They say a mid-life crisis hits a man in his 40s, or even 50s. Johnny Depp proved no different. He was happily living with his longtime partner Vanessa Paradis when he met Amber Heard during the shooting of their film The Rum Diary. Four years later, Johnny had moved on from Vanessa to Amber, and they married in 2015 after living together for a while, when she was 29 and he was 52. All seemed well and good and despite the Australian dog scandal, the couple seemed in love, until Johnny’s long-ailing mother passed away, and two days later, Amber filed for divorce. Five days thereafter she filed a restraining order on him, citing domestic abuse. While we all know how that ship sunk, this was one very public divorce with everything being “leaked” to the media rather conveniently. The truth of the marriage will forever stay with the couple, but Johnny settled the matter for some $7million, and thus the marriage ended in a rather public debacle in 2017.
14. Too Young For Scientology: Tom Cruise & Katie Homes
Tom Cruise must be having a bit of a mean streak. Why? Cause he has a habit of dumping one wife for another so quickly that he makes heads spin. When his eyes landed on the impish Nicole Kidman, he dumped his then-wife Mimi Rogers (older to him by some six years) and married Kidman, who was five years younger. Nicole Kidman may have been besotted by Tom but when he wanted out, he got out. In 2001, he divorced Kidman and left her shattered, and then dated Penelope Cruz. Finally, Tom Cruise met Katie Holmes, and they became Hollywood’s favorite couple, often dubbed TomKat. After having Suri in April 2006, Tom & Katie got married in 2006 – while she was 28 and he was 42. A few years of wedded bliss went by before Katie surprised Tom with a divorce filing in 2012, fearing Tom and his Scientology beliefs. Tom settled the divorce for an undisclosed sum and Katie got custody of Suri.
13. Too Old For Fun: Mathew Perry & Lizzy Caplan
Matthew Perry has not aged well, and most photos of him have him looking at his haggard worst. Despite the phenomenal success of Friends, Perry was struggling with substance abuse issues during a major part of the series and his weight fluctuations showed his upheaval. After multiple rehab stints and a pancreatitis episode, Perry seemed to have gotten his life on track. He dated Lizzy Caplan from 2006 to 2012, and the older actor and the younger actress had an age gap of some 13 years. Both kept mum about their split so much so that it was over a year after their breakup that the media got wind of it. Since then, Perry has been busy converting his erstwhile mansion into the “Perry Home,” a place for people struggling with addiction to visit to find some solace. Lizzy, on the other hand, got married to Tom Riley and has been living it up ever since.
12. The Man Who Married His Muses: Luc Besson & Milla Jovovich
So Milla Jovovich’s casting by French director Luc Besson, as an astral super-waif in his sci-fi hit The Fifth Element, was a turning point for her, and probably a prelude to her success in Resident Evil. And this is where she met her first husband (since her marriage to Shawn Mendes was never really acknowledged). The 39-year-old director (Besson) and 22-year-old actress were soon married. And in fact, right after the wedding, they famously went skydiving. The wedding, though, seemed short-lived. The marriage was soon over. However, Besson’s proclivity of marrying younger girls isn’t a new one. He was first married in 1986, to actress Anne Parillaud and then to actress Maïwenn Le Besco, who was 15 when they began dating in 1991. Le Besco later claimed that their relationship inspired Besson’s film Léon, where the plot involved the emotional relationship between an adult man and a young girl.
11. When Passion Fades Into Protection: Wilmer Valderrama & Demi Lovato
Wilmer Valderrama, who was born in 1980, hooked up with Demi Lovato, who was born in 1992, in a whirlwind romance in 2010, and fans loved to see them together. In 2016, though, some six years into the relationship, it was all over. The reason? The passion had gone out. Common friends said that their relationship was now more of a big brother-little sister kind. The romance had fizzled, though Wilmer was very protective of her. They also released a joint statement that said, “After almost 6 loving and wonderful years together, we have decided to end our relationship. This was an incredibly difficult decision for both of us, but we have realized more than anything that we are better as best friends. We will always be supportive of one another. Thank you to everyone who has offered us kindness and support over the years.” So another one bit the dust – however, in this case, it seemed that the spark had gone out. Was it because Valderrama was a tad avuncular in age?
10. Got Married To Get Famous: Doug Hutchison & Courtney Stodden
Now Courtney Stodden was a teenage nobody who shot into prominence simply because she got married to the way, way older Doug Hutchinson when she was barely legal. Well actually, she wasn’t legal at all. In fact, the 51-year-old Doug Hutchinson, known for playing disturbingly negative characters (like the sadistic corrections officer Percy Wetmore in The Green Mile), married Courtney when she was just 16! So yes, the fact that he was branded as a pervert, was disowned by his family, had death threats levelled against him, and was also left high and dry when his agent quit is understandable. In his defence, he started an online relationship with Courtney when she signed up for an online acting class with him, and fell in love with her, unaware of their age gap. They split and made up, and then Courtney had a miscarriage. As of 2017, they have split, since their 34-year-old age gap was too much of a roadblock.
9. Not A Big One For Lessons: James Woods & Ashley Madison
James Woods loves to be controversy’s favorite child: from tweeting about illegal immigrants to dating women that have moved from his daughter’s age to his granddaughter’s age. He started dating Ashley Madison when she was 19, and they finally split after a six or a seven-year-old relationship, when she was 26 and he was a spritely 66. James Woods remarked after their split that he still loved her and that she was his pillar of strength during tough times. Gossip is that she was hoping for a certain ring on her 25th birthday and when that didn’t happen, it was splitsville for them. While Madison moved on to dating restaurateur Joe Spinella, James Woods has gone even younger, and since 2013 has been dating 20-year-old Kristen Bauguess who was arrested on suspicion of possession of controlled substances. Their age gap? A whopping 46 years!
8. A Hankering To Be Papa: Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher
The fact that Ashton Kutcher was sixteen years younger made no difference to Demi Moore when they first met at a party, and the two instantly hit it off. On Sept. 24, 2005, Demi and Ash, who didn’t seem to in the mood to marry, exchanged vows in a secret wedding with some 100 guests, including Demi’s ex-husband, Bruce Willis, and their three daughters. Trouble brewed in paradise when this very-much-in-love couple spent their sixth wedding anniversary apart, with Ashton being in the company of a certain young Sara Leale. In 2011 they finally split and filed for divorce and in 2013 it was all over. Ashton Kutcher found solace in the arms of Mila Kunis, got married and produced two babies rather quick. But it has been a journey of heartbreak for Demi who had a tough time accepting the fact that her being older by 16 years definitely did matter to Ashton in the end.
7. When The Young Are Also The Restless: Bradley Cooper & Suki Waterhouse
Bradley Cooper took some hard knocks before he finally became the guy he is today, and a lot happened because of his alcohol addiction, which he speaks openly about. After a not-so-secret relationship with Renee Zellweger, and a brief marriage and equally quick divorce to Jennifer Esposito, Bradley began to date Zoe Saldana. That blew over pretty quick as well, and it was then that the actor began to date the model and actress Suki Waterhouse, who is 17 years his junior. Both kept mum about their romance but tabloids reported that he dumped Suki after a two-year fling because their age difference got in between. Bradley wanted to settle down and have a girlfriend who supported him but Suki was more interested in her own career, life, and friends. So Suki was dumped and Bradley shacked up with Irina Shayk instead, 11 years his junior, and they now have a child as well.
6. When Madonna Dated Jesus: Madonna & Jesus Luz
Other than being a fashion model, Brazilian Jesus Luz is best known for having been boy-toy to the cougar Madonna, a relationship that started soon after Madonna split with Guy Ritchie. In fact, Jesus was a rather important fixture on board Madonna’s 51st birthday bash (on a yacht), while he was 23 years old. The 28-year difference doesn’t seem to bother him as he used his association with the star to its fullest extent before Madonna got bored of his immaturity and dropped him. They met at a shoot for W magazine, where Jesus & Madonna posed as lovers in a hotel room, and they hit it off. But once the lust ran out, there wasn’t much for both of them to talk about, despite both of them being Kabbalah followers. Reports say the split was amicable since the relationship itself was nothing substantial.
5. Mama Matriarch Dumps Romance For TRPs: Kris Jenner & Corey Gamble
The Kardashian matriarch, Kris Jenner, sure knows how to pick them young, probably because her ex-husband is now giving her competition ever since he moved from being Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn! After the spectacular debacle of their marriage ended, Kris hooked up with Corey Gamble, a guy some 25 years her junior and who worked for Justin Bieber. Since the Kardashian-Bieber circle intersects a lot, Kris and Corey seemed destined to meet. They met, sparks flew and for a while, everybody seemed pretty keen on this May-December romance. He was frequently seen on the reality show as well, but in early 2017, Kris basically dumped him, telling him that she needed to concentrate more on her family as well as the reality show. They might be back on, though, considering Kourtney is all for the match since Corey stood like a rock when her very public debacle with Scott Disick happened. But her personal life aside, the drop in the TRPs riled Kris enough to put her relationship on the back burner.
4. He Likes Them Old(er): Harry Styles & Caroline Flack
This young teeny bopper has quite the thing for older women, though he has said that he’d never date anyone older than his mum. Harry Styles also said he’d never date anyone his age, or younger than him, breaking millions of girls’ hearts. So he went on a cougar run, dating the little older Tayor Swift and the much older Nicole Scherzinger in the process. But the relationship that really made headlines was when the 17-year-old Harry Styles dated the 31-year-old Caroline Flack in 2011, and his young age coupled with the age gap made his fans even send death threats to the lady. Later Caroline said: “I’m not going to ever apologize for it (the fling with Harry) because there was nothing at the time that was serious or bad and nobody was getting hurt.” A brief affair, it died as soon as it was born, and Harry moved on to greener pastures.
3. A Marriage Too Restrictive: Mariah Carey & Tommy Mottola
Before Tommy Mottola met her, Mariah Carey was a 19-year-old backup singer headed to the grim lanes of anonymity. But Tommy met and fell for her, and guided her and her music to the fame she has today. However, their marriage was not made in heaven. Mottola claims that Mariah asked him to marry her, and Mariah claims that all through the five-year marriage, Mottola was controlling, abusive and wanted to keep her under lock and key. Mottola denies these statements but has said that, in retrospect, he shouldn’t have started a relationship with Mariah, considering that she was his protégé and also 20 years his junior. It was also wrong and he put his two older children through hell. The truth lies with both the parties involved but basically, you shall reap what you sow, right?
2. When A Hottie Turns Cougar: Jennifer Lopez & Casper Smart
Jennifer Lopez was once involved with Sean Combs and after his high profile arrest and eventual exoneration, he and J-Lo split. She went on to marry a backup dancer her age but within two years of marriage, that too had fizzled out. Bennifer (with Ben Affleck) followed and then the marriage with Marc Anthony too went kaput. Then came in backup dancer Casper Smart and J-Lo, who was pictured cozying up with him all over the world. 18 years her junior, Casper Smart shot into the spotlight because of his high-profile relationship with her and made full use of it, managing to carve out a name for himself as a dancer and an actor. But perhaps after the initial passion wears off, the age gaps start to show when common interests move beyond what lies between the sheets. Two years after the relationship first bloomed, J-Lo moved on dating former New York Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez.
1. From Sugar Daddy To Boy Toy: Mariah Carey & Ben Tanaka
After J-Lo famously hooked up with a buff backup dancer in her troupe, we think Mariah needed a similar fix after her so-called engagement to James Packer never happened. So she hooked up with Bryan Tanaka, a dancer 13 years her junior. Whatever Mariah Carey might or might not be, she has set an excellent example of co-parenting her twins along with her ex-husband Nick Cannon. When she hooked up with Tanaka, what she didn’t count was his insane jealousy over Mariah’s close friendship with her ex, Nick. The last straw came at the Kids’ Choice Awards last month when Nick and Mariah took the twins. Bryan felt the display “disrespected” him. While the event was on, he demanded she came home back to him. Mariah flashed her legendary temper, considering she was already sick of funding his lavish shopping and partying sprees, and so she dumped him. And another one bites the dust!