50 Ways To Leave Your Lover...
So Chris Huhne - the cad! - broke up with his wife halfway through a World Cup match. But at least he didn't do it by fax. Charlie Cooper chronicles the splits of shame
Charlie Cooper is Health Correspondent for The Independent, i, and The Independent on Sunday, writing on the NHS, medical advances, and international health. Since joining the papers as an editorial assistant, he has been nominated for young journalist of the year at both the Press Awards and the British Journalism Awards.
Saturday 12 November 2011
1 Live on television
Katie Price broke the news that she was considering ditching Alex Reid during an interview on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! in 2009.
2. At record speed
According to country singer Taylor Swift she was dumped in a 27-second call from Joe Jonas.
3. On Alastair Campbell's advice
Alastair Campbell recounted in his diaries that he called Robin Cook at Heathrow airport in 1997 to tell the then foreign secretary that the News of the World knew about his mistress and future second wife Gaynor Regan.
4. Via text
Kevin Federline, Britney Spears's ex husband, got the news about their divorce through a text. His reaction was caught on camera by a MuchMusic crew.
5. In the Big Brother house
Katia Ivanova broke off with producer Jonas "Basshunter" Altberg after the pair canoodled in the Big Brother beds. "In the end, it's not worth it," she told him.
6. With a sensitive fax
Daniel Day-Lewis reportedly dumped French actress Isabelle Adjani by fax – after she told him she was pregnant. Nice.
7. On Oprah
Matt Damon told Oprah that he and Minnie Driver were no longer together. It was said to be the first Minnie had heard of it.
8. To the Tower
When you're King of England and it's the 16th century, break-ups needn't be awkward and emotional ... off with her head!
9. Leave them to found the Roman Empire
As Dear John excuses go, it's a good one. In the myth, Aeneas ditches lover Dido on Carthage to found Rome.
10. Throw his/her clothes out the window
It was all over for Ronnie Wood and young girlfriend Katia Ivanova after a slanging match outside their London home. Ronnie reportedly tipped her clothes out the window.
Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman; Cruise's statement read: "Nicole knows why." He dodged questions about it, while Kidman was still asking what went wrong.
12. Sleep with the staff
Maria Shriver moved out from the marital mansion after Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted he fathered a child with a household staffer after a long-term affair.
13. Don't crash the car...
Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren split, prompting reports of affairs with at least 14 women. He crashed his car outside their home after an alleged row.
14. Claim the marriage was illegal
Mick Jagger had his nine-year marriage to Jerry Hall annulled when it was found that their Hindu wedding on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali was invalid.
15. Become too famous for them
Indian star Aishwarya Rai met Rajeev Mulchandani when she started as a model. She dumped him for the more famous Salman Khan, when Bollywood came knocking.
16. Become a Scientologist
Jennifer Lopez's marriage break-up from husband Marc Anthony was reportedly because of arguments over the singer's alleged Scientology beliefs.
17. On Twitter
Though technically they'd already split, Kim Kardashian rubbed salt into the wounds of short-term husband Kris Humphries when she "unfollowed" him on Twitter last week.
18. Seize their throne
Catherine the Great deposed Tsar Peter III in a coup d'état in 1762. He died a few days later.
19. Appear on Strictly...
Boxer Joe Calzaghe reportedly split from his girlfriend after falling for a dancer on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, as did actor Ricky Whittle, according to reports.
20. Fake your own death
Make a clean break, just like the cheating pair in the play The Mercy Seat, who "disappear" on 12 September 2001, the day after they were both supposed to be in the World Trade Center, but were in fact on an illicit rendezvous.
21. Spend your sixth anniversary in a hot tub with another woman
That's what Ashton Kutcher allegedly did to Demi Moore (though he denies it). Rumours of divorce followed.
22. Get a cuddly toy to deliver the message for you
An American company called Break Up Bears claims to offer a service sending doleful toy bears bearing Dear John letters in satchels. The jilted one gets to keep the bear.
23. Slag off your lover in a national newspaper
When media power-couples split, they split publicly. Ask Rod Liddle and Rachel Royce who exchanged blows in The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail in 2004.
24. Write it in a letter
Before the car incident with Elin Nordegren, Tiger Woods ditched high school sweetheart Dina Parr with a carefully worded letter. Sensitive boy.
25. At the altar
It's not just Dustin Hoffman who can extract women from their fiancés at the very last moment. An Australian groom left his bride at the altar – for a man.
26. On Valentine's Day
It's bound to happen – with all the pink and red and flowers, who wouldn't be sick of love. Kelly Osbourne reportedly got her marching orders from youthful beau Bert McCracken on 14 February.
27. Leave the country
Julia Roberts reportedly jumped ship, and time zones, days before her planned wedding to Kiefer Sutherland, later leaving the US for Ireland.
28. In a hospital ward
US presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich visited his wife in hospital after she underwent surgery for cancer – to discuss the terms of their divorce. Gingrich vehemently disputes the account.
29. Have a bath
Princess Diana's brother Earl Spencer is reputed to have asked for a divorce from his then wife Victoria while soaking in the bathtub.
30. Run away, never to be seen again
That's what Lord Lucan did. He never had to deal with awkward chance meetings post-break-up. He did however, murder the nanny – not advised.
31. Get parliamentary approval
George IV wasn't much interested in marriage and asked the House to deprive his wife Caroline of the title of queen. It declined.
32. Take out an advert in Variety magazine
When James Brown and Tomi Rae separated, they announced the news with a full-page advertisement, featuring a charming picture of the family at Disney World.
33. Get thrown in jail
One of literature's greatest lovers, John Donne, was severed from his 17-year-old wife Anne, when her uncle sent him into Fleet prison. They were reunited when he got out.
34. Start a war with your brother-in-law
Not an option for everyone, but it worked for Mark Antony, who returned to Egyptian lover Cleopatra and made war on his Roman wife's brother Augustus.
35. Move out without telling your partner
According to the actress Laura Dern, she returned home from time away filming in 2000 to find her boyfriend Billy Bob Thornton had left her for Angelina Jolie.
36. Discover your spouse is your sister
In 2008, the House of Lords was told the toe-curling story of the twins separated at birth, who met in later life and married. They annulled the marriage when they found out the truth.
37. Change your Facebook relationship status
Switch from "In a relationship" on Facebook, to "Single". Yes it's spineless, but it will make your feelings known with minimum hassle.
38. Escape to the continent
An option favoured by romantic poets. Lord Byron was never likely to settle down and left his wife Anne for a free-wheeling life abroad only a year into their marriage.
39. Come up with a tired excuse
The modern love rat needs more imagination than the old stalwart "It's not you, it's me". Take Playboy Playmate Jayde Nicole, who said of her ex, Brody Jenner: "Sometimes when you love someone, you have to let them go," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
40. Steal his mistress's house pet
In fairness, the pair had been estranged for some time, but when the wife of MP John Hemming stole a cat from his mistress's house last year, one sensed there was no going back. Sadly now estranged.
41. Record an alimony album
On his lawyer's advice, Marvin Gaye gave half the royalties from the album Here My Dear to finance his divorce settlement with Anna Gordy. It was a critical success.
42. Take half of everything they have
Cambodian divorcee Mouen Sarim took this principle to its logical limit. He and his family cut away half of the marital home and took the building materials to his parents' house.
43. Send a 'break-up' card
There's a card for all occasions – including splitting up. A particular favourite features an elephant, alongside the message "I'll never forget you".
44. With a Post-It note
It happened to Carrie Bradshaw (in series six, episode seven, as Sex and the City scholars know), it could happen to you. "I'm sorry I can't, don't hate me," it read.
45. Challenge them to a test
In the film Diner, Steve Guttenberg sets his fiancée a test about baseball – fail and it's over. Adjust difficulty depending on enthusiasm for lover.
46. Deprive them of their Nobel prize winnings
American economist Robert Lucas signed a clause in his 1988 divorce settlement that said half of any Nobel Prize winnings would go to his ex-wife. When, in 1995, he won the prize, he had to cough up, according to the Boston Globe.
47. Write a cult hit song slagging them off
It's still a mystery exactly whom Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" is about. Mick Jagger and David Bowie have all been rumoured. One thing's certain – they're dumped.
48. With a massive sign on a telegraph pole
A mystery man apparently dumped his lover with a series of giant signs on telegraph poles in Sydney. The first said, "Jennifer, will you marry me?"; the second sign said: "Only joking, we're breaking up."
49. Get their goat
Australian Steve Killeen didn't get much from his divorce settlement, but he did get his ex-wife's pet goat, which he now takes for walks around his native Sydney.
50. Snitched on by the parrot
According to Xinmin News, a Chinese woman returned home from a holiday, to find unusual evidence of infidelity: the pet parrot spouting "divorce", "be patient" and "love you".
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