Less Successful Husbands

Sandra Bullock has reportedly moved out over allegations that her husband cheated. Nicole LaPorte on how Hollywood husbands can't take being outdone by their wives.

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Sandra Bullock and Jesse James

When motorcycle maniac Jesse James whispered something in his wife Sandra Bullock's ear earlier this month, before she took the stage to accept her first Academy Award, the actress began breaking down in tears. But now rumors are swirling that the star of The Blind Side's husband could be causing her to cry for another reason. Reports surfaced this week in inTouch magazine that tattoo model Michelle "Bombshell" McGee had an affair with James, who allegedly lied to her about his marital status. Just two months ago, when Bullock accepted her Screen Actor's Guild award during what has been her most professionally successful year yet, she acknowledged her husband of more than four years, saying: "You get dressed up in monkey suits and you sit at a table with people you don't know…I don't know how you do it. I love you so much, and you're really hot. And I want you so much!" But sentiments may have changed. With Bullock pulling out of an upcoming public appearance, could there be some truth to the romance gone sour between the highest-paid actress in Hollywood and the fallen host of Discovery's Monster Garage?

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Kate Winslet and Sam Mendes

After ruling the 2009 awards season with her captivating performances in The Reader and Revolutionary Road, British actress Kate Winslet seems to have lost control of something else—her marriage. Although she stunned on the red carpets at the prestigious Golden Globes and Academy Awards this year, the 34-year-old mother of two was noticeably without her husband of almost seven years, director Sam Mendes. The Oscar-winning pair teamed up for the first and perhaps last time for Revolutionary Road, which starred Winslet stuck in a failing marriage to her Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio. "I had a total meltdown," Winslet said of her sex scenes in front of her husband. "Sam was there lining the scene up. I'd get things like, ‘Press your hands into his back! No, his back!' You just have to deal with it." And deal they did, until the couple, who are 10 years apart in age, announced their separation this week. While Winslet remained the face of their relationship, Mendes stayed behind the scenes, even taking care of their children when the acclaimed A-lister had to work. A source told People they " just grew apart", and Mendes denies rumors of an extramarital affair.

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Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe

Teen cult classic Cruel Intentions brought young stars Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe together both on and off screen in the late 1990s. The two went on to marry in 1999, have two children, and star in roles alongside others in Hollywood. But as their careers diverged, Witherspoon gained recognition as America's sweetheart and Hollywood fell in love with her as June Carter in Walk the Line. Before her 30th birthday, the Georgia native earned an Oscar for her role in the film. And with that success came some marital issues. "I'm not interested in the fallacy of the Hollywood relationship: ‘We have perfect children who never cry; we never have problems; we never argue, we're always best friends,'" she told People. "That's just not true. We're normal people with normal problems." Phillippe showed signs of jealousy earlier, telling Interview magazine that their daughter Ava did not like when he was away working. "She's like, ‘You've missed my first day of school two years in a row.' She gives me a harder time than Reese, by far," he said. Shortly after Witherspoon's Academy Award win, those problems took their toll on the beloved blond Hollywood couple in 2006, amid rumors that Phillippe had run into the arms of his 25-year-old costar Abbie Cornish.

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Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe

When the two barely known actors met on the set of the direct-to-video movie Quiet Days in Hollywood, they were on the same page. But the script latter flipped in 2000, three years after Hilary Swank and Chad Lowe married, when the actress won her first Oscar for Boys Don't Cry and infamously forgot to thank her husband. Upon winning her second Academy Award in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby, Swank thanked Lowe first, saying, "You are my everything." But it was too late, it seemed—the couple separated the following January. Later, the actor, Rob Lowe's younger brother, who is now married with a child, told Larry King, "I've kind of grown up in maybe in the shadow of the spotlight, if you will, having an older brother who preceded me and who has reached a level in his career and a certain amount of celebrity…And then marrying Hilary…I'm comfortable in that role, though. I'm comfortable being the observer," he said, noting his decision to try seeing the movie industry from behind the camera. "I was always just very, very proud of her. And, you know, this is a girl who had a dream, like I have a dream."

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Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt

Julia Roberts, the actress with the thousand-watt smile, was all teeth at the 2001 Academy Awards with Law & Order star Benjamin Bratt, who escorted her down the red carpet. The couple had been dating for nearly four years when she took home her Oscar for her role in Erin Brockovich, but she barely mentioned Bratt in her acceptance speech, and that was one of the last moments they'd publically share together. In June 2001, the pair announced to the world their relationship had "come to a kind and tenderhearted end." Roberts later told The Late Show With David Letterman, "I love Benjamin. He's a good man, he's a fine man. He is, to the exultation of the female single population, not my man anymore." Her career, however, seemingly took precedence. "With each movie [she made], he got more angry," a source told People after the split. "He didn't want her to give up her career, but the reason they fought was that he wanted her to be there with him."

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Madonna and Guy Ritchie

Aspiring film director Guy Ritchie struck gold when he met the queen of the music industry, Madonna, in 1998. After working with her on the soundtrack of his first full-length feature, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Ritchie and the pop icon began a relationship that led to a son, Rocco, and their eventual walk down the aisle in 2000. But eight years into their high-profile marriage and another adopted child later, the two were no longer feeling the relationship. A source told the U.K.'s The Sun that the final straw came before the Material Girl started the U.S. leg of her Sticky & Sweet tour. Allegedly, the couple got into a screaming argument during which Ritchie told her she had become a dead weight around his neck and was dragging him down constantly. Another source told the newspaper that Madonna's husband was "sick of his career taking a backseat to hers." In the end, Ritchie didn't need to worry much about work after they reached a reported $76 million divorce settlement, which is allegedly one of the largest payouts ever recorded.

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Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend

Though South African beauty Charlize Theron and her boyfriend Stuart Townsend had acted along side each other in three films and had been dating for nearly seven years, the two never married. They had said they were holding off until same-sex couples were legally granted the right to marry, but Townsend said they considered each other husband and wife. "We love each other and we want to spend our lives together," the actor said of his Oscar-winning lady love, whom he referred to as "the greatest woman I've ever met" in 2007. Three years after he made that announcement, however, a source revealed that the romance had run its course. "They had become more like brother and sister than lovers," the insider told The Daily Mail. "Charlize has never made a big deal of it, but the truth of the matter is that she has been the major breadwinner."

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Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

A relationship is always going to be uneven if one person is signing the other's paycheck. Britney Spears met Kevin Federline when he was a backup dancer for her tour. They began dating right after his second child with Shar Jackson was born, and had a whirlwind three-month courtship. K-Fed and Britney were married in 2004, and it turned out he wasn't satisfied with his career as a dancer. He released the critically derided song "PopoZao" and a disastrous debut rap album. Britney's career, while always in flux, never hit that low. Their problems extended far beyond career differences, however, and they separated in 2006.

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Halle Berry and Eric Benet

Halle Berry went through one high-profile breakup with baseball player husband David Justice before marrying musician Eric Benet. She was already a star when they met, but then had a blockbuster few years—first becoming the first African-American woman to win a Best Actress Oscar and then making her debut as a Bond girl in 2002. Meanwhile, Eric Benet's career peaked with one popular song, "Spend My Life With You," which garnered him a Grammy nomination in 2000, but Berry's level of fame was unsurpassable. After Benet underwent treatment for sex addiction, their marriage fell apart after three years. And yes, Halle had a prenup.

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Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook

On paper, Christie Brinkley and Peter Cook certainly looked the part of the perfect couple. She was still a well-known model, coming off the end of her third marriage, and Cook was a low-key, attractive architect who hadn't hit 40. Brinkley seemed to escape the paparazzi that surrounded her tumultuous second marriage to Billy Joel, until all hell broke loose in 2008. The couple separated and Cook was accused of having a $3,000-a-month Internet porn habit and an affair with 18-year-old Diana Bianchi. Cook was also deemed an "extreme narcissist" by a psychologist during the divorce trial, and he made an ill-fated grab at the spotlight with interviews with Geraldo Rivera and Barbara Walters.

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Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey

It was a romance made for teen magazines: A boy band heartthrob was madly in love with a pop princess, and their marriage was documented for four seasons on Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. All along, Jessica was the star of the MTV show—playing dumb helped boost her career, and she went on to star in The Dukes of Hazzard. Lachey's solo album efforts during their marriage achieved middling success. After they filed for divorce in late 2005, Simpson went on to date a string of famous men, while Lachey has been dating Vanessa Minnillo off and on for four years. Neither singer has reached the same level of success they achieved during their relationship, proving stars really do burn brighter together.

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Helen Hunt and Hank Azaria

Helen Hunt and Hank Azaria dated for five years while her popularity was rising as one-half of the neurotic couple on Mad About You, and she scored an Oscar for her role in As Good as It Gets. After the show ended in 1999, the real-life couple married—but the union lasted just one year. Azaria was mainly working behind the scenes as the voice of characters on The Simpsons, while Hunt had a stellar start to the new decade. In 2000, she starred in Dr. T & the Women, What Women Want, Pay It Forward, and Cast Away. Azaria was no slouch, winning an Emmy for his role in the TV movie Tuesday with Morrie, but their success was still on different levels, and the couple split for good in 2000.