They may be loathe to discuss it these days, but some celebs have had romantic partners far, far younger than them — so young, in fact, they were well under the age of 18 when they started dating. While some of these unions led to marriage, others (*cough* R. Kelly *cough*) led to scandal and arrests. As much as we may enjoy the work of some of these entertainers, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that they opted for relationships with vulnerable minors while in a position of power thanks to their fame. Here’s a roundup of full-grown adults who dated teens.
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Back in 1993, Jerry Seinfeld had just won an Emmy for his groundbreaking sitcom Seinfeld when he met 17-year-old high school student Shoshanna Lonstein in New York’s Central Park (she turned 18 shortly after they started dating). As the romance blossomed, Lonstein transferred from George Washington University in Washington, DC, to UCLA so she could be closer to Seinfeld, who was 21 years her senior. They split up in 1998 when Seinfeld met current wife Jessica Sklar.
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Jerry Lee Lewis
Rock ’n’ roll pioneer Jerry Lee Lewis’ divorce (his second) wasn’t even finalized when he got hitched again — to his 13-year-old third cousin, Myra Gale Brown, who reportedly still believed in Santa Claus when they wed in 1957. The wedding created a huge scandal for Lewis, then 22, as the press dubbed him a “cradle robber” and he watched his performing fees dwindle from $10,000 a night to $250. The couple divorced in 1970, and while his career eventually recovered, it never hit the heights that “The Killer” experienced in his mid-1950s heyday.
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The former bass player for The Rolling Stones has always been a ladies man whose girlfriends seemed to get younger as he got older. This hit its zenith when he began dating Mandy Smith who was (reports vary) either 13 or 14 at the time, while Wyman was in his late 40s. Smith has claimed they first had sex when she was 14 (the age of consent in Britain at the time was 16), and they wed when she was 18. They separated two years later, and Wyman (now 82) admits in the documentary about him, The Quiet One, that “I was really stupid to ever think it could possibly work. She was too young.”
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Best known these days as the stars, respectively, of Miami Vice and Working Girl and parents of Fifty Shades of Grey's Dakota Johnson, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith met when he was 23 and she was just 14. Griffith was 15 when they moved in together, and 18 when they got married in 1976. They divorced later that same year. In 1981, Griffith married actor Steven Bauer, with that marriage ending in divorce in 1989. That same year, she remarried Johnson and divorced for the second and final time in 1996.
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Proving that it’s not just men who have inappropriate relationships with teenagers, Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie was 23 when she dated Justin Timberlake, who was just 16 at the time. “Justin and I would go out together and have fun and make out,” she said in a 2006 interview with Cosmopolitan. “We went to Hawaii together, but we were never serious. He was Mr. Right Now.” He was also just a teenager — who would obvsiously have a hard time when trying to meet you halfway.
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Nicole Scherzinger and Harry Styles
Similar to Fergie and Justin, Harry Styles casually dated Pussycat Dolls star Nicole Scherzinger when he was still a member of One Direction. The age gap certainly turned heads: Scherzinger was in her 30s when she first crossed paths with the then-16-year-old rising star. Although reports claim the pair didn't officially start dating until Styles turned 19, the 16-year age gap (and the timeline of when they met) generated a lot of whispers.
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Elvis Presley was 24 and arguably one of the world’s biggest stars when he met 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu in 1959 while he was stationed in Germany during his military service. They began dating, and The King and Priscilla had a long-distance romance when he returned to the U.S. when he was discharged in 1960. In 1962, the 16-year-old relocated to Memphis to be closer to Elvis, whose father, Vernon, reportedly drove her to school until she was able to get her driver’s license. They married in 1967, when Priscilla was 21, with daughter Lisa Marie arriving the following year. They split up in 1972, with the divorce finalized in 1973.
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During the mid-1970s, Led Zeppelin was one of the world’s biggest rock stars, and Lori Mattix (also known as Lori Maddox and Lori Lightning) was one of the rock world’s most popular groupies — despite the fact that she was just 14 years old. Jimmy Page and Maddox began a sexual relationship that lasted until she was 16 — when she caught him cheating on her with another groupie. Their relationship proved logistically problematic when the band was on tour, as transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes carried heavy criminal penalties, so she would patiently wait in Page’s hotel room until he returned.
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Director of such films as La Femme Nikita and Taken, Luc Besson was 32 when he began a relationship with 15-year-old actress Maïwenn Besco in 1991, who gave birth to the couple’s daughter the following year at age 16. Besson, by the way, has never been charged with statutory rape in his native home of France, because the age of consent is 15.
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Rumours of R. Kelly and underage girls have simmered for decades, and bubbled up to the surface thanks to the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly, in which numerous women allege they were sexually abused by the R&B singer while they were in their teens. Kelly first met aspiring young singer Aaliyah when she was just 12, while a marriage certificate that surfaced years later indicates they were secretly married when she was 15; the marriage was later annulled, while Kelly continues to deny they were married at all. Kelly was denied bond after being arrested and hit with a 13-count indictment for federal charges of sex trafficking. Justice served.
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Best known for playing creepy characters in such projects as The Green Mile and TV’s Lost, Doug Hutchison was 51 when he married aspiring actress-singer Courtney Stodden, age 16, in 2011. The couple parlayed their infamy into a reality-show sort of pseudo-celebrity, appearing on Couples Therapy and Britain’s celebrity version of Big Brother. They split in 2013, but reconciled the following year, with a subsequent pregnancy ending in miscarriage. In March 2018, Stodden filed for divorce.
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Aerosmith front-man Steven Tyler was 24 when he began dating 16-year-old Julie Holcomb. Weirdly enough, Tyler convinced Holcomb’s mother to make him Julie’s legal guardian so she’d be able to travel over state lines while the band was on tour.
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While Woody Allen’s relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn (adopted daughter of his longtime girlfriend Mia Farrow) was plenty scandalous, as are the allegations of child sexual abuse lodged against him by daughter Dylan, in 2018 Christina Engelhardt revealed that she'd had an eight-year affair with the then-42-year-old director, which began when she was 16. Probably not coincidentally, three years later Allen released Manhattan (in a scene pictured here) in which Allen’s character was having an affair with a 17-year-old high school student played by Mariel Hemingway. While he may have penned enjoyable movies in the past, preying on young women in real life has us boycotting his work.
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When it comes to dating teenage girls, Wilmer Valderrama deserves a spot in the hall of fame. The former That ’70s Show star was 30 when he started dating 17-year-old Demi Lovato, with their relationship lasting for six years. Meanwhile, Valderrama also dated Lindsay Lohan when she was 17 and Mandy Moore when she was 16. While Valderrama claimed on The Howard Stern Show that he took Moore’s virginity, she denied that claim when she visited Stern’s show.
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