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Why Are People so Obsessed with Celebrity Breakups?


At least 25 celebrity couples have split up since the beginning of 2020. How do we know? Because Glamour Magazine posted a list of 25 couples whose breakups, the editors felt, were “particularly difficult” to handle. Some of these couples made the news daily, like Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock; others, like various contestants of The Bachelor, barely made a noise.

For many people, these couples are strangers who feel like friends. In this age of endless social media exposure, the ability to become more intimately acquainted with the lives of celebrities has never been easier. Some pay attention to celebrity relationships more closely than they do the relationships of their own loved ones or close friends. The question is why: why are people so obsessed with these high profile, world-famous relationships, and then so heartbroken when they break up?

Real world attachments are difficult to make

By idolizing celebrities, individuals develop strong emotional attachments toward them. So, when someone’s favorite celebrity crashes and burns in a relationship, the effect on the adoring fan can be devastating. It is like watching a hero get defeated. This is especially true during the coronavirus pandemic, which has made real-world relationships all the harder to maintain.

The illusion of perfection

Because celebrities are generally very successful in the financial sense (or at least give the appearance that they are), people tend to think they are invulnerable in many ways. When the lives of celebrities analyzed for their failed relationships, those who placed the celebrities in a position of such adoration may lose hope for their own prospects of having a successful relationship.

What high-profile couples can learn from America’s obsession

High-profile couples – entertainers, athletes, moguls, art dealers, and other celebrities – would do well to remember just how much they mean to their fans, and what assumptions could be made if they split. If the fans or social media followers believe, for example, that Celebrity A “cheated” on Celebrity B, Celebrity A stands to lose more than just fans; he or she could lose endorsement or product deals, as well. After all, brands look for spokespeople whose personas match with the brand’s values. A company that brands itself as “family friendly” may not want to associate with a celebrity accused of adultery, abuse, or being an absentee parent.

Another lesson to be learned is that that unity in the face of adversity matters more than anything. This is especially true when it comes to social media. Couples who issued joint statements about their breakup, and whose narratives remain on-point, may be subjected to less scrutiny. No one wants to be part of a “messy” breakup, whether they are Hollywood royalty or the Average Joe.

Finally, celebrities, athletes and entertainers must remember that maintaining privacy is possible, but it takes the right approach and working with a team of professionals, primarily a family law attorney, who understands the importance of maintaining privacy and confidentiality during this time. Couples should consider signing non-disclosure agreements and include confidentiality language in any prenuptial, postnuptial, and separation agreements. If both sides commit to their privacy, it can ease some of the pressures of public life.

The divorce and family law attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP provide experienced, dedicated counsel across the greater New York area. Our firm offers a variety of services to clients in New York City, Westchester, and in Bergen County, New Jersey. Schedule your consultation today by calling (212) 466-6015 or reaching out to us through our contact form.