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Celebrity Couples Who Kept Their Breakups Secret – SheKnows

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by Alice Kelly
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It’s easy to think we know everything there is to know about our favorite celebrities but time and time again stars prove that if they want to keep something entirely private, they can.

Celebrities often have a hard time ducking and diving to avoid paparazzi, shutting down fan speculations, and just generally trying to keep to themselves. But some have managed to pull off keeping major life events private.
Stars have had secret babies, private weddings and low-key romances. And now, a new phenomenon seems to be emerging — secret separations kept hidden from fans for years.
In the space of just a couple of weeks, two major celebrity couples revealed that they ended their marriages several years ago without any of us noticing!
Yes, we’re talking about Jada Pinkett Smith’s announcement that she and Will Smith separated in 2016 — despite continuing to attend premieres and award shows together in the years since. Interestingly, Pinkett Smith insists that she and the King Richard Oscar winner will never officially end their marriage on paper.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce,” the Madagascar star shared. “We will work through whatever and I just haven’t been able to break that promise.”
Then there is Meryl Streep and Don Gummer who, according to recent confirmations, also ended the romantic aspect of their marriage years ago.
However, these two couples aren’t the only ones who hid their conscious uncouplings from the public. Here are stars who kept their breakups a secret for a long time before announcing it publicly.
On October 24, it was confirmed that Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep separated from her husband, Don Gummer, 6 years ago despite still being legally married since 1978.
“While they will always care for each other, they have chosen lives apart,” a representative for Streep said in a statement, per Katie Couric Media. The couple are parents to four children together: son Henry and daughters Mamie, Grace, and Louisa.
Ahead of the release of her memoir Worthy, Pinkett Smith revealed in an interview that she and Will Smith separated in 2016 but had no plans to legally end their 26 year marriage.
“By the time we got to 2016, we were just exhausted with trying. I think we were both still stuck in our fantasy of what we thought the other person should be,” she told Hoda Kotb on Today.
And in our exclusive interview with her, Pinkett Smith gave a very telling answer when asked if she would do her marriage over again. More on that here.
In November 2020, news broke that Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis had ended their 7 year engagement but sources at the time confirmed that the exes had actually called it quits almost a year earlier.
“The split happened at the beginning of the year,” a source told People about the former couple who began dating in 2011 and share two children. “It’s been amicable and they’ve transitioned into a great co-parenting routine. The children are the priority and the heart of the family’s relationship.”
However, the jury is still out on the specifics of their breakup timeline because their nanny eventually came forward in a bombshell interview to claim that Sudeikis and Wilde were still unravelling their relationship by the time Wilde began dating Harry Styles on the set of Don’t Worry Darling. 
After getting flak for their 21-year age difference when their relationship began in 2019, Florence Pugh and Zach Braff kept their 3 year relationship mainly private. So private, in fact, that no one knew they broke up in early 2022 until Pugh discussed the split in August.
“We’ve been trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it’s been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on,” Pugh told Harper’s BAZAAR. “We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we’re not together. So we’ve done that.”
The Friends actor and the Mean Girls star dated for 6 years and kept their romance predominately private which is why it took a year and a half for anyone to find out about their split.
In 2013, a source told Us Weekly that the couple, “haven’t been together in a long time.” They ended their relationship, which began in 2006, sometime in 2012. Perry didn’t discuss their breakup publicly until his 2022 memoir was released.
News anchor Sean Hannity and his wife of 23 years Jill Rhoades finalized their divorce in 2019 after separating several years earlier but neither their divorce nor their separation were revealed publicly until 2020.
“Amicable agreements were entered into over four years ago between Sean and Jill. They maintain a close relationship as parents to their children,” their reps revealed in a joint statement to People.
Former Good Morning America reporter Amy Robach found her marriage with actor Andrew Shue thrust into the spotlight when her romance with her coworker TJ Holmes was exposed.
Amid affair allegations in December 2022, it was revealed that Robach and Shue had quietly split several months earlier and were waiting for the divorce to be finalized before announcing.
“They were waiting on [the settlement] to tell people,” a source told People of the former couple, who got married in 2010. “The whole point of why she waited to share the news that her marriage was over: she went to [divorce] mediation.”
Longtime collaborators and romantic partners Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton split up at the beginning of 2014 but didn’t reveal their breakup until December. 
The split announcement came just over a year after the Harry Potter actress hit back at allegations that Burton had cheated on her after the Daily Mail published images allegedly showing the director kissing another woman.
The Big Bang Theory co-stars Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco managed to pull off not only an entirely private breakup, but a completely hidden years-long relationship too. 
A year after their breakup, Cuoco revealed that the pair had dated for two years.
“It was such a huge part of my life and no one knew about it. It was a wonderful relationship, but we never spoke a word about it and never went anywhere together,” she told CBS Watch. 
“That’s not the kind of relationship I want…I don’t want to be hiding. We couldn’t do anything. It wasn’t as fun as we wanted it to be. Everyone was always asking, and we deny-deny-denied. And I’m like, ‘Why am I denying this person that I love?’ It took a little bit of a toll on me and I think it did for him, too.”
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