When you’ve been through a break-up, the last thing you want is to be confronted by your ex at every turn, but when it comes to celebrity pairings, avoiding each other isn’t always that easy, especially when there’s a big budget film to promote, for example.
Last week Abba’s Agnetha Fältskog, 72, and Björn Ulvaeus, 77, reunitied for the first performance of ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ at ABBA Arena, last week, in London, more than 40 years after their divorce.
Agnetha previously admitted she needed therapy after their split. which left her emotionally ‘magled’, especially with Benny moving on with another woman just a week after their divorce.
Similarly their bandmates Benny Andersson, 75, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad, 76, went their separate way in 1980 and the double divorce left fans doubting if the group would ever reunite to make new music.
However, as other celebrity couples have shown when the stakes are high, sometimes there’s no choice but to put on a united front.
One of the most notorious shows of unity came from Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart for the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 premieres.
Kristen had broken Robert’s heart months earlier with an affair during the summer of 2012 with married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, but with the couple’s real-life romance such an integral part of the film’s franchise, it was no wonder they decided to grit their teeth and carry on.
The Spencer star later admitted that their relationship had become a ‘product’ and she felt intense public pressure to stay together.
Here, Femail reveals the other celebrity pairings who put their bitter break-ups behind them.
In happier times! Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog together during the 70s when they were still married and ABBA’s success took them all over the world
Agnetha Fältskog and Björn Ulvaeus
Together from 1971 to 1980
Agnetha, now 72, and Bjorn, 77, first met in 1968 when he was a member of the Hootenanny Singers. They tied the knot on July 6, 1971, with Bjorn even playing the organ at their wedding ceremony.
They had two children born in 1973 and 1977 but the couple separated in early 1979, and their divorce was finalised in July 1980. Agnetha later revealed that she needed therapy following the breakup.
It was reported at the time that Bjorn had found a new girlfriend within the week of his split from Agnetha, another factor that led to her therapy.
Shortly after this, in 1980, ABBA released their iconic breakup song, The Winner Takes It All, with Agnetha singing the lyric: ‘Tell me does she kiss like I used to kiss you?’
The couple separated in early 1979, while their divorce was finalised in July 1980, and the band broke up the following year. They came together again for the first performance of ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ at ABBA Arena last week
Later, in 2013, she said: ‘Bjorn wrote it about us after the breakdown of our marriage. The fact he wrote it exactly when we divorced is touching really.
‘I didn’t mind. It was fantastic to do that song because I could put in such feeling. I didn’t mind sharing it with the public. It didn’t feel wrong. There is so much in that song.
The split slowly caused a breakdown of the songwriting process and creative inspiration.
In 1997, Agnetha released the book As I Am, writing: ‘We always told the media that it was a ‘happy’ divorce, which of course was a front. Obviously we all know there are no such things as happy divorces, especially when there are children involved.’
Frida and Benny first met in 1969 and were living together, before getting married in 1978 right at the heart of ABBA’s international fame
Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad
Together from 1969 to 1981
Although they got together before ABBA officially formed staying together during the band’s success was hard and eventually the band broke up due to divorce.
Frida, 76 and Benny, 75, first met in 1969 and were living together, before getting married in 1978 right at the heart of ABBA’s international fame.
Two years later, in 1980, they broke up and divorced the following year.
An Expressen interview in 1981, Benny said: ‘I don’t know how other people deal with things like this.
‘Frida and I are still friends and I’m still a member of ABBA. We are still good friends, but we are not married anymore.
They split in 1980 and divorced the following year, and ABBA split the year after that in 1982. Here they are reunited for the first performance of ABBA’s ‘Voyage’ at ABBA Arena
‘We discussed what was going to remain in the group in spite of all we have been through. We decided to stay together for the sake of the music.’
Frida said: ‘Now that Benny and I have broken up, we are able to work much better together. Our relationship is not as intense as it was, but we are still in contact.
‘We have chosen to be completely honest with each other. We have always been very honest about relationships and after long and hard talks we decided to go our separate ways.
‘We simply grew out of each other. It came down to our different goals in life. We have always been honest and talked about everything. We talked and talked and finally, we agreed that a divorce would be the best solution.
‘There was a lot of tears and a lot of discussions. But there was no way back. Breaking up became a necessity.’
And so it seemed the band had to break up too.
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
Together 2009 to 2012
Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart began their relationship in 2009 just as their fame grew on the Twilight films and look smitten arriving at the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2010
Robert Pattinson, now 36, and Kristen Stewart, 32, began their relationship just as their fame grew on the hugely popular Twilight films. Fans were in awe of the two’s chemistry on screen and off screen.
But in summer of 2012 Kristen filmed Snow White and the Huntsman and began a steamy affair with its married director Rupert Sanders.
Paparazzi pictures were taken of the two while in an embrace and the images were plastered all over the world’s media.
In August 2012 Stewart was caught having an affair with Rupert Sanders, director of Snow White and the Hunstman, three months later she had to face Pattinson in front of the world’s cameras at the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 surrounded by split rumours. Here at the Berlin premiere in November 2012
While the two tried to keep the relationship going it was off and on again for the next 12 months before it all ended by the end of 2012.
During the premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, the world was watching as the pair tried to keep a united front.
Pattinson officially moved out of Kristen’s Los Feliz, California, home in 2013 and back into the Hollywood Hills Spanish Colonial-style residence he bought in 2012.
While the pair had to continue to work together during the premiere of the last Twilight installment they remained professional and all smiles.
In a 2019 Harper’s Bazaar interview Kristen said: ‘When me and Rob were together, we did not have an example to go by. So much was taken from us that, in trying to control one aspect, we were just like, ‘No, we will never talk about it. Never. Because it’s ours.”
In the New York Times Style Magazine in 2016 she said: ‘People wanted me and Rob to be together so badly that our relationship was made into a product. It wasn’t real life anymore and that was gross to me. It’s not that I want to hide who I am or hide anything I’m doing in my life. It’s that I don’t want to become a part of a story for entertainment value.’
Charlize Theron and Sean Penn had known each other for decades, but only went public with their romance in December 2013 before planning to wed in 2015. Here together at the Charles James: Beyond Fashion Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2014 in New York City
Charlize Theron and Sean Penn
Together 2013 to 2015
Charlize Theron, now 46, and Sean Penn, 61, were set to walk down the aisle in 2015, but instead Charlize called off the engagement.
The couple were pictured side-by-side in May, 2015, in Vienna at the Life Ball, with rumours of a split but the exact date of their split has never been confirmed by either party.
The two look united at the ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ premiere, at the 68th Cannes Film Festival, in May 2015 but rumours had already begun of their split
A friendly embrace between the two, a year after they split, at the screening of The Last Face at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 20, 2016
They have known each other for decades, but started their romance in December 2013.
A year into their relationship, Us reported they had gotten secretly engaged during a trip to Paris. An engagement ring was never seen, however, and the two never confirmed the reports.
Charlize had adopted a little boy, and in 2015 reports said she had worked with an adoption agency in the US to also adopt an African-American girl.
During the premiere for The Last Face, in 2016, where Charlize had the starring role and Sean was the director, the two looked totally professional and still very affectionate, clearly maintaining a friendship long after the relationship had ended.
In 2014 Charlize spoke about her relationship with Sean in a Vogue interview, and said: ‘It just kind of naturally happened, and before I knew it, I was in something that was making my life better – the people who really love me can see the effect it has had on me.’
However, during an appearance on the The Howard Stern Show in 2020 the radio host claimed the star ‘almost got married to Sean’ and she said: ‘That’s not true. That’s not true. No. I did not ‘almost get married to Sean.’ That’s such bulls**t. We dated. That was literally all we did.
‘We dated and then we didn’t date. It was a relationship, for sure. We were definitely exclusive, but it was for barely a year. We never moved in or… like, no, I wasn’t gonna marry him. It was nothing like that.’
The Gossip Girl stars started dating in 2007 after meeting on set as characters Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen, there split was very low key with reports saying cast and crew didn’t even know about it
Blake Lively and Penn Badgley
Together 2007 to 2010
The Gossip Girl stars Blake Lively, now 34, and Penn Badgley, 35, started dating in 2007 after meeting on set. They appeared as Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen on the show for ten years.
Despite plenty of incidences where they were caught being affectionate in public, the pair initially denied their relationship and insisted they were just good friends. They eventually confirmed their relationship in 2008.
Even when they split, cast and crew did not know and carrying on professionally with scenes while the two had gone their separate ways. The couple appeared to still be on friendly terms as they often strolled the streets of Manhattan between filming scenes.
They had to continue working together for another two years on the hit TV show.
Penn said the pair were ‘ultimately professional’ on set after their September 2010 break-up.
When they split the couple appeared to still be on friendly terms as they often strolled the streets of Manhattan between filming scenes (pictured). They had to continue working together for another two years on the hit TV show
In an interview with Elle Magazine in 2013, Penn said: ‘We were very much caught up in the show, which itself was a six-year endurance test. Our relationship was a part of that and helped us through it. I mean, like anything valuable, it was good and it was bad and it was a learning experience.’
Blake spoke about her relationship with Penn to Vanity Fair in 2017: ‘I remember there was one point where we were just afraid of how our personal lives overlapping our work life could be perceived by our bosses. [But then] we were like, ‘Oh no, that’s exactly what they want.’ They wanted us all to date. They wanted us all to wear the same clothes that we’re wearing on the show. They wanted that, because then it fed their whole narrative. People could buy into this world.
‘At the time, I was wearing the same clothes and doing fashion shoots, and dating the same person that my character was dating—or sometimes that person [Dan] was my brother, you never know with Serena—and because of that, what people were projecting onto me was that I was Serena.
‘We look the same, and we acted the same as far as they could tell, because I wasn’t doing anything but that show. If [Penn and I] were photographed walking down the street, they didn’t know if it was a paparazzi shot or if it was a shot from the show.’
Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried started dating in 2007 after meeting on the set of the first Mamma Mia! film, in which they played an engaged couple
Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried
Together 2008 to 2011
Dominic Cooper, now 43, and Amanda Seyfried, 36, started dating in 2007 after meeting on the set of the first Mamma Mia! film, in which they played an engaged couple.
They split in 2011, but reprised their roles in 2018 as Sophie and Sky, who are married, in the sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
In 2018 Dominic spoke about Amanda in Attitude magazine and said: ‘She’s a friend. It was always going to be OK. You just have to be delicate with those situations.
‘We knew we were going to be working together [again] on a set, going back to a part which was certainly going to remind us of 10 years earlier, but I know her family, I know her mum, who was there a lot. It was a pleasant atmosphere. It was really interesting to see how different our lives are after 10 years.’
They split in 2011, but reprise their roles as Sophie and Sky, who are now married, in the sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in 2018 with cast and crew coming together for its release
Amanda said that falling for a co-star is ‘one of the easiest things in the world,’ and, ‘you’re put in a situation where you have to make out with each other. It’s easy for things to get carried away.’
In 2016, she met Thomas Sadoski and the two married in 2017. The couple now have a son and daughter together.
Dominic went on to date his co-star Ruth Negga from their film Preacher but it ended in 2018, and he is now dating fellow English actor Gemma Chan.
In 2011 Amanda did an interview with Elle magazine and spoke about her relationship with Dominic, she said: ‘I got my heart broken pretty hard. After that, it’s really hard to open myself up to a new person. Really hard.
But talking about their future, she added: ‘We love each other… He’ll always be in my life regardless of what his girlfriends or future wife think. I’m never going to be with a guy that can’t deal with my friendship with him.’
Joey King and Jacob Elordi started as friends before their relationship became romantic while filming The Kissing Booth in South Africa. Their relationship became Instagram official in April 2017 when Jacob posted a photo
Joey King and Jacob Elordi
Together 2017 to 2018
Joey King, now 22, and Jacob Elordi, 24, started as friends before their relationship became romantic while filming The Kissing Booth in South Africa in 2017. Their relationship became Instagram official in April 2017 when Jacob posted a photo of them in front of the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles.
In August 2017, King opened up about her relationship to Elordi in an interview with Us Weekly at the 2018 Teen Choice Awards. By that time, the couple had been dating for more than a year. In her interview with Us Weekly, King revealed that Elordi being an actor like her was a positive in their relationship.
‘You know what, actually it does help,’ she said at the time. ‘It helps to have somebody by your side, cheering you on, who knows what you’re going through and who’s been through it themselves.’
By November 2018 speculation started about their relationship but the two had to reunite in 2019 and 2020 for filming of The Kissing Booth 2 and its release
In November 2018 speculation started about their relationship when Elordi announced on his Instagram Stories that he was taking a break from social media. He later deleted his Instagram entirely.
After that, King took to her Twitter with a cryptic tweet that convinced fans the two were over. ‘Thank god I have my dog tho,’ she tweeted at the time.
Less than a year later, King and Elordi reunited for The Kissing Booth 2.
In October 2019, in an interview on the ‘Mood With Lauren Elizabeth’ King opened up about what it was like to film with her ex for the sequel.
‘It’s a great movie. I personally am a fan of how it resonated with the world and it resonated with me. So going back, and doing that, and making the sacrifice, obviously, what everyone is thinking about. I’m not outwardly addressing, but what I’m kinda on the sly addressing, making those sacrifices was totally worth it.’
Jack White and Meg White
Together 1996 to 2000
Jack White, now 46, and Meg White, 47, met in a restaurant in Detroit were Meg was working and Jack Gillis, his original name at the time, would visit. Soon they began dating and married in September 1996.
Meg played Jack’s drums for the first time in 1997 and it was said she was a natural. The two soon became The White Stripes and played their first gig at the Gold Dollar in Detroit.
Jack and Meg first presented themselves as siblings to the Michigan’s underground, garage rock music scene.
They claimed to be brother and sister for years until a Detroit newspaper blew their cover in 2002 saying they were ex husband and wife printing their marriage certificates, they stopped working together in 2009
They released their debut album in 1999, and a year later followed up with a second. But as their success built their marriage fell apart and they divorced in 2000.
They claimed to be brother and sister for years until a Detroit newspaper blew their cover in 2002 saying they were ex husband and wife printing their marriage certificate.
At the time Jack was quoted as saying: ‘Frankly, we’re kind of tired with all the attention on the brother-sister thing. The White Stripes are about the music, and we don’t want that to be lost.’
The two continued to play live together and enjoyed huge success. They built an unconventional friendship through their love of music, and Meg’s second marriage in 2009 was held in Jack’s backyard in his Nashville home.
In February 2011, the band reported on their official website they were disbanding and they never wrote any more music or played live together again.
The Rolling Stones printed in 2005 that they ‘were a picture of a remarkable bond’. Jack said: ‘It will always be us two, I will never do the White Stripes with another drummer. She’ll never do it with another guitarist.’
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton met when he directed her in the 2001 film Planet of the Apes, they spent 13 years together and did many films together but only one since they split
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton
Together 2001 to 2014
Helena Bonham Carter, 56, and Tim Burton, 63, were together for 13 years, had two children Billy, now 18, and Nell, 14, together but never got married, instead living in two adjoining houses in London throughout their romance. They announced their split just before Christmas in 2014.
They first met when he directed her in the 2001 film ‘Planet of the Apes.’ Since then the pair have worked on nine movies together, including ‘Sweeney Todd’.
During an interview with the Guardian in 2020, she said: ‘It’s taken us some time to adjust, but I think it’s really very good now. And the kids are fine, they get to have a dual life. At first it’s a horrible thing to get used to, not having your children around [when you share custody]. The cruelty of divorce is extraordinary. But then you get to a point where you’re like, Oh, I get this week off! Some parts are very much to be recommended.
‘I do think there’s a point where people fit for a certain time, sometimes, and if you can, you recognise that you’ve given what you can, and you’re going to stop each other from evolving,’
The two split in 2014 and two years later they worked together on the Alice Through the Looking Glass film but there were no pictures of them together at the premiere, even though they are often together with their children Billy, 18, and Nell, 14
On finally moving on, she admitted she grew tired of ‘grieving’ their relationship, and now leads a ‘happy’ life with her new boyfriend. ‘You break up, you grieve, you get bored of grieving. And then you finally move on.’
Speaking to the Grounded With Louis Theroux podcast in 2022, she said: ‘We had a lot of laughs but there were times when working together was not harmonious. We weren’t very argumentative as a couple except on Sweeney.’
In 2016 they worked together on the film Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to 2010’s hugely successful Alice in Wonderland, but the two were never seen together professionally again.
There’s currently no reports of any future projects between the two.