Famous relationships: Romance? Showmance? Fauxmance?

Henry VIII and Anne, Kylie and Jason, Simon and Carmen – The IoS weighs up the evidence about the true nature of these relationships

Are they? Aren't they? Did they? Didn't they? How could they? The gossip-sphere has been alive this week with rumours that big-faced X Factor boss Simon Cowell has declared his love for the one-time Baywatch babe Carmen Electra, with whom he'd flirted when she appeared as a guest judge on Britain's Got Talent earlier this year – and that she, in turn, has hinted that she may even want to have a child with the music mogul. But even before we'd recovered from this earth-shattering news, more cynical voices were already suggesting that the happy couple's liaison may not be all that it seems. Of course, it's early days, and we wish them only well – but it wouldn't be the first time that a romance has turned out to be a "showmance" (when two performers fall in love for the exact duration of the show in which they're co-starring) or even a "fauxmance" (when that relationship owes at least something to the powers of PR). In this case, we will just have to wait and see …

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley

Stop sniggering in the back. Though reports at the time suggested that the King of Pop's 1994 marriage to the daughter of "the King" put the sham into "shamone", Lisa Marie has always maintained that the relationship was real and passionate. He was, she insists, "very hot" in bed and, in 1995, she told the television interviewer Diane Sawyer that the rumours surrounding their marriage were "crap" and that she would never marry for any other reason than love.

Verdict: Romance

Simon Cowell and Carmen Electra

"She's not my girlfriend," gushed the reality meister-in-chief, seemingly throwing cold water on the relationship even as it began last week – but no: he's saved it! "We're people who date." Boom! "TV Carmen dates Simon … and reveals she wants to be a mum," screamed the headline in Friday's Daily Mirror. Feel the love, people. You can see why they call him a soppy romantic, can't you? Anyway, he called the 40-year-old former dancer/Playboy pin-up/Baywatch babe "adorable", and she responded that he, too, was, wait for it … "adorable". You betcha! Have any two people ever been more suited? Only, don't go buying a hat for the wedding just yet, will you. Louis?

Verdict: The jury's out

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn

Voted the best on-screen lovers by the Royal Society of Chemistry, no less, the Hollywood duo synthesised in no fewer than nine Hollywood classics, from Adam's Rib to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Off-screen, meanwhile, passions were supposed to have run similarly high, with the pair allegedly enjoying a 26-year relationship, despite Tracy's refusal to divorce his wife, Louise Treadwell. But was their love affair the greatest myth of all? A recent memoir by Tinseltown tittle-tattler Scotty Bowers suggested so, adding to rumours that their relationship was merely a convenient cover for Hepburn's lesbianism and Tracy's bisexuality.

Verdict: The jury's out

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries

So in love were the American reality TV star and basketball player that the couple decided to broadcast their wedding last year in a two-part telly show. A mere 72 days later, Kardashian filed for divorce. "I'm committed to this marriage and everything this covenant represents," said a devastated Humphries. He countered by filing for annulment on grounds of fraud, claiming that the marriage had been undertaken as a publicity drive by his wife – which Kardashian denies. The embers of this scorching romance will smoulder on in court next year.

Verdict: The jury's out

Nick Clegg and David Cameron

It all started in a rose garden with misty-eyed glances and flirtatious badinage; truly, the tender coalition union otherwise known as "the Nick and Dave show" caused the nation's collective heart to swell on that fragrant spring morning back in May 2010. How stunned we all were, then, when the Pope declared himself Catholic and this special relationship transpired to be nothing more than a tawdry marriage of political convenience, rent asunder by arguments over AV, Europe and so on. When the inevitable divorce occurs, we only pray that neither party gets custody.

Verdict: Fauxmance

Robbie Williams and Geri Halliwell

Robbie and Geri, ex Take That "bad boy" and Spice girl-in-chief … a match made in tabloid heaven. The couple cavorted in the south of France in the summer of 2000, went skiing the following winter, and then Robbie gallantly suggested in a radio interview that he and Geri were friends who slept together occasionally. Geri got the hump and Robbie apologised for shooting his mouth off. Still, he said later, she was pretty annoying.

Verdict: Fauxmance

Henry VIII & Anne of Cleves

He was a rotund chicken-leg devourer with a penchant for the laydeez; she was a needlework expert who could speak only Low German and who was delivered with face fully wrapped. When they met, it was moider. Hang on, no it wasn't: the royal personage only divorced this one. When they met, Our 'Enry was reported to have said: "I like her not." Turns out she was clueless in the bedroom as well as being rather less beautiful than advertised. Old Tommy Cromwell was executed partly for setting up the couple, which says everything really.

Verdict: Fauxmance

Rock Hudson and Phyllis Gates

One of the industry's worst-kept secrets: Rock Hudson – every inch the hunky, chiselled-jaw, all-American romantic lead – was gay. But when the gossip rag Confidential threatened to reveal that Hollywood's most handsome bachelor remained single for a good reason, his agent Henry Willson moved fast to keep him in the closet. Willson struck a deal with the magazine, and Hudson was swiftly married off… to Willson's secretary, Phyllis Gates. They divorced, to no one's surprise, three years later.

Verdict: Fauxmance

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart

They met at the auditions for Twilight, and the chemistry was soon working off-screen too … R-Patz and K-Stew were the ultimate showmance – until she cheated on him, to the insane wrath of teenage girls worldwide. They got back together earlier this year – just in time to promote the latest Twilight movie! This happy coincidence was not lost on commentators, who pointed out that they'd rake in more cash by presenting a loved-up front. Such cynicism about ones so young! We're sure the some-time vampires are still bitten'n'smitten.

Verdict: Showmance

Kylie and Jason

Those long hours spent on the set of Neighbours could lead to only one thing: sex in a Sydney Travelodge. But while her career soared, poor Jason was left nursing a broken heart – and though he has since spilled all in, first, an autobiography and then a Life Stories interview with Piers Morgan, Kylie has to this day kept her counsel on the matter. Still, they'll always have last Friday's "Especially for You" duet.

Verdict: Showmance

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of a HR Manage...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HR Consultancy - £65,000 OTE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + £65,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Birmingham, M...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick