Getting dumped is brutal. But Hollywood’s fickle lovers have taken breakups to next-level “s/he’s just not that into you” humiliation with ghosting, the trend of—poof—disappearing into thin air.
Charlize Theron and Sean Penn
Sean Penn may have a penchant for strong blondes (Madonna, Robin Wright, Scarlett Johansson), but it seemed he had met his match when he and longtime friend, Charlize Theron, fell in L-O-V-E. After an ill-fated trip to Cannes in May, the rumoured-to-be-engaged couple abruptly broke up, with sources telling Us Weekly that Charlize “just cut it off”, refusing to answer any of his attempts to reach her. Shocking, considering that Sean was also reportedly in the process of adopting her son, Jackson, 3. It was such a boss move that The Cut anointed the Academy Award winner with a black belt in ghosting.
Russell Brand and Katy Perry
Phasing out a rando from Tinder is one thing, but breaking up over text with your spouse? That’s arctic. Katy and Russell’s marriage troubles were evident in her Part of Me documentary—her rising fame and grueling tour schedule put pressure on the tenuous union. (Who would have thought a marriage borne of the 2009 MTV Awards could be so fragile?) For all of his purported sensitivity, Brand ended it by text and the two didn’t speak for years. He did, however, send her a good luck Tweet before her 2015 Super Bowl performance. Some ghosts are passive-aggressive.
Blake Lively and Leonardo DiCaprio
There was a point when Leo put down his custom Victoria’s Secret catalogue and ventured into the real dating world. (Well, as real as it gets for a movie star.) He and Blake Lively took a loved-up tour of Europe, holding hands in full sight of mere mortals and the paparazzi. They rode bikes through New York City with Leo’s better half (Lukas Haas), and she visited him on the set of The Great Gatsby in Australia. As quickly as it began, however, the Gossip Girl star signed off with an “XO” and eagerly moved on to now-hubby Ryan Reynolds. She used Leo as bait, then she disappeared—who knew Blake was such a baller?
Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal
Introduced by mutual friend Gwyneth Paltrow, these two quickly got serious and looked adorable on their PG-13 dates—lots of coffee shops and affectionate strolls. But when Jake was a no-show at her 21st birthday party, rumour has it that Swift was left crying in the bathroom all night long. (Honestly, does any 21st birthday end without a crying fit in the washroom?) She’s suggested the breakup wasn’t mutual , but she was able to channel her heartbreak into her hit album Red.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
It’s kind of hard to pull off ghosting when your husband’s team is told to pay extra-special close attention to you 24 hours a day. Yet, Katie slipped under the radar in a covert operation that reportedly included securing a new apartment, cell phone and legal team without Tom (and the Church of Scientology’s) knowledge. She filed for divorce and never looked back. (Don’t look back Katie—Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and Cruise BFF David Miscavige might be behind you.)