The celebrity breakups that shocked us in 2021

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The past 18 months or so have been tough on relationships. 

There is nothing like a pandemic to put the pressure on, whether it's dealing with a person 24/7 in lockdown or allowing people to reassess what they want, or don't want, in their lives.

Celebrities who have broken up with their partners in 2021
The biggest break-ups of 2021

Just like you and me, many celebrity couples didn't make it through the year, calling time on their relationships, often with great sadness.

Here are the couples we were sad to see break up. 

Hugh Sheridan 

Best known for playing Ben Rafter in Packed to the Rafters, actor, musician and presenter Hugh Sheridan revealed he is bisexual in October last year. 

Hugh's fans were thrilled when he seemed to have found happiness with partner Kurt Roberts, even proposing to Kurt in March this year.

Sadly, it was not meant to be, and the couple announced their separation last month.


"It’s with a heavy heart that Hugh and I have parted ways," Kurt wrote on Instagram

"We put in our all, we tried everything we could, we’re both broken that we weren’t able to fix what we had. 

"Our union was something so special. I wanted to share some of our amazing moments together.

Hugh Sheridan and Kurt Roberts smiling on a boat on Sydney harbour
Hugh Sheridan and former partner Kurt Roberts still have a lot of love for each other. Photo: Instagram/@kurtroberts_

"We remain best friends," Kurt said. 

"Hugh is the most wonderful Hughman. 

"He wears his heart on his sleeve, he will give his time and advice to anyone and everyone when they need him. 

"He is the most beautiful, kind, thoughtful, generous person who gives only love to others. Thank you for the beautiful memories we shared and I have 0 regrets. Always love for you 🤍"

Hugh replied: "For now we didn’t make it, but we tried very, very hard, I’m so sorry for us that it wasn’t easy and I’m sorry for the added pressure. Lots learned, the heartache is heavy, but zero regrets for the greatest love."

Erin Molan 

TV sports reporter Erin Molan surprised fans with the sad news she had separated from her fiancé of four years, homicide detective Sean Ogilvy.

"Some personal news, Sean and I have separated," Erin wrote in the now-deleted post on Instagram

The couple, who have a three-year-old daughter Eliza, had always been fairly private about their relationship, which is probably why the news came as a shock.

Erin Molan and Sean Ogilvy pose during Golden Slipper Day at Rosehill Gardens on March 19, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.
Erin Molan and Sean Ogilvy at Golden Slipper Day in 2016. Photo: Getty Images

"We are entirely committed to co-parenting our three-year-old daughter, who is the most important person in the world to both of us," she went on to write on the post, which had the commenting option turned off.

"Any breakdown of a family unit is incredibly difficult and we ask for privacy at this time — especially given the private approach that we have taken to our relationship."

Sarah Harris

Another unexpected breakup this year was Studio 10's Sarah Harris and her husband of seven years Tom Ward. 

The couple has sons Paul and Harry together and talked about trying for a third only last year when Sarah told Woman's Day: "Having a third child is something we’re currently contemplating … I’m getting on!"

Sarah Harris and husband Tom Ward posing at a drinks reception and Sarah with her two children in front of a Christmas tree
Sarah Harris and husband Tom Ward split this year after seven years of marraige. Photo: Instagram/@whatsarahsnapped

But after a total of 12 years together, it was not meant to be.

"Tom and I are taking time apart, however we remain good friends and deeply committed to co-parenting our two beautiful boys,” Sarah said, confirming the split to the Sydney Morning Herald

Gigi and Zayn

Model Gigi Hadid and former One Direction singer Zayn Malik seemed to be doing something right. 

They had been together for six years and had beautiful daughter Khai in September last year, but it all unravelled in October this year, after Zayn was accused of harassing Gigi's mother Yolanda Hadid.

"I adamantly deny striking Yolanda Hadid and for the sake of my daughter I decline to give any further details and I hope that Yolanda will reconsider her false allegations and move towards healing these family issues in private," he said in a statement to TMZ.

Model Gigi Hadid and singer Zayn Malik kissing and Gigi with baby Khai rugged up outside. Photo: Instagram/@gigihadid
It was sad to hear Zayn and Gigi had split after six years and a baby daughter together. Photo: Instagram/@gigihadid

"I had agreed not to contest claims arising from an argument I had with a family member of my partner's," he added on Twitter.

"Despite my efforts to restore us to a peaceful family environment, that will allow for me to co-parent my daughter in a manner which she deserves, this has been 'leaked' to the press."

Gigi still has photos kissing Zayn on her Instagram account, so we'll count this as the Millennial equivalent that there is still hope ...

Rebel Wilson

Australian actress Rebel Wilson and her brewing heir boyfriend Jacob Busch called it quits in February this year after a year of dating.

"It just reached its end because they are just in different spots in their life," a source close to the couple told Hollywood Life. 

"When they started talking about the future, they thought their future would be together, but they found out fast that they didn’t have similar mindsets on settling down, career goals and all of that.

"No heartbreak, they are cool with each other. It just ran its course."

Rebel Wilson and Jacob Busch attend the Monte-Carlo Gala For Planetary Health on September 24, 2020 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
Rebel Wilson and Jacob Busch were together a year before breaking up at the beginning of 2021. Photo: Getty Images

Rebel wasn't letting the split get her down. 

She continued her year of healthy living and by May she revealed she was on the lookout for a new partner.

"It's been a respectable amount of time, you know, after a breakup," Rebel told Extra

"You have respect for the person you've broken up with, so now, yeah, out there looking."

Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes

Despite being accused of dating for publicity, singers Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes were together for more than two years until splitting last month.

"Hey guys, we’ve decided to end our romantic relationship, but our love for one another as humans is stronger than ever," they said in a joint statement on their Instagram accounts. 

"We started our relationship as best friends and will continue to be best friends. 

"We so appreciate your support from the beginning and moving forward."

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello arrive for the 2021 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 13, 2021 in New York.
Canadian singer Shawn Mendes and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello broke up in November after dating for more than two years. Photo: Getty Images

Elon Musk and Grimes

They seemed a strange couple at first, with Elon a 50-year-old tech billionaire with two failed marriages and six kids, and Grimes, aka Claire Elise Boucher, an alternative singer 17 years his junior. 

However, they lasted three years and had son X Æ A-Xii Musk together last year. 

But in September, they admitted they were no longer together.

Elon Musk and Grimes attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City.
Elon Musk and Grimes dated for three years and share 19-month-old son X Æ A-Xii. Photo: Getty Images

"We are semi-separated but still love each other, see each other frequently and are on great terms," Elon told Page Six.

"It's mostly that my work at SpaceX and Tesla requires me to be primarily in Texas or travelling overseas and her work is primarily in LA. 

"She’s staying with me now and Baby X is in the adjacent room."

Kim and Kanye

Kim Kardashian started dating rapper Kanye West in April 2012 and they were married in a star-studded ceremony in Italy in May 2014.

They have four children: daughter North, eight; son Saint, six; daughter Chicago, three and son Psalm, two. 

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were married for seven years and have four children. Photo: Getty Images

In January this year, rumours circulated they were considering divorce, with a source claiming, "they have been living separately for the last few months".

"They have been in marriage counselling and have discussed divorce; it's on the table," Kim's friend told CNN.

Just over a month later, the couple confirmed they were divorcing.

"I've never ever thought I was lonely … I thought I could just have my kids, and my husband moves from state to state, and I’m on this ride with him and I was OK with that," Kim said later on the final episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians

"But after turning 40 this year I realised, no, I don’t want a husband that lives in a completely different state.

"I thought that was when we were getting along best. But then that is sad to me. And that’s not what I want.

"It’s the little things I don’t have. 

"I have all the big things," she added.

Zac Efron

He's the Hollywood superstar and, when they met, Vanessa Valladares was an unknown Byron Bay waitress slash model.

"Things moved quickly, and Vanessa spends most nights at Zac’s house," a source told Us in September last year, adding they were "very smitten with each other".

But with Zac's filming schedule and a global pandemic, it's not surprising the relationship ran out of steam.

Zac Efron stands near a camper trailer. Vanessa Valladares poses in a hat.
Zac Efron split from his Aussie girlfriend this year after a fun 10 months together. Photo: Instagram/@zacefron & Instagram/@_is_ness

"Zac is about to start a busy year of filming and wanted to make a clean break now," an insider told Us in April.

"Zac is secretly relieved about this turn of events as he feels she would be a distraction to him during the filming of the intense drama," the insider explained. 

"He felt it was best to end this now."

JLo and Alex Rodriguez

They seemed like an ideal couple, dating for four years and being engaged for two, so when Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez announced their split rather than their wedding date, fans were surprised.

"We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so," the couple said in a joint statement in April

 Jennifer Lopez in sequined tangerine midriff top and skirt and suited Alex Rodriguez at CFDA awards on June 3, 2019 in New York City.
JLo and Alex Rodriguez broke up after four years. Photo: Getty Images

"We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects. 

"We wish the best for each other and one another’s children. 

"Out of respect for them, the only other comment we have to say is thank you to everyone who has sent kind words and support."

While we mourned the loss of JLo and A-Rod, it led to the fabulous reunion of Bennifer! 

Jennifer is back dating her 00s beau Ben Affleck and if that isn't the perfect outcome to losing one celeb couple, I don't know what is!

American actor Ben Affleck and American actress and singer Jennifer Lopez at the 78 Venice International Film Festival 2021.  The last duel red carpet. Venice (Italy), September 10th, 2021
Bennifer is back! Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are back together. Photo: Getty Images

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