Have you ever just watched a celeb couple at an awards show and gotten the ick? Or maybe you’ve seen two stars do an interview together and the vibe felt off because there was no chemistry? If things feel suspicious, it could be because the couple isn’t actually a real couple at all. It’s a tale as old as time in Hollywood — dating back to the 1940s, many of people’s fave couples over the decades actually faked a relationship for publicity. Their love (or lack thereof) is a carefully coordinated charade put together by PR teams and studios — and it might hurt to hear it, but some of the most iconic romances between celebs are just for show.
According to celebrity publicist Jack Ketsoyan — who currently reps celebs including Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne and Kristin Cavallari — fake celeb relationships are for selling tickets, concerts, albums and movies. “It’s all about the hype,” he said on the podcast, The Quicky.
So if two costars in a show or film get together quickly, or a celeb going through a scandal suddenly jumps into a new relationship, there’s cause for suspicion. With that in mind, we investigated the biggest showmances in Hollywood, and these are the couples whose love is likely for the cameras only.
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Pete Davidson and Kim Kardashian
Sorry to Pete and Kim shippers! Most of us are not convinced that this couple is the real deal. In fact, on Instagram, 69 per cent of Slice readers agreed that they’re a PR pairing. Whether it’s to distract from Kylie Jenner’s involvement with Travis Scott in light of the Astroworld tragedy, or simply to boost Pete’s Casanova status, we’re not buying that these two are serious. For one, they didn’t try to keep their relationship quiet, holding hands and having public dates for all the world to see — even amidst Kardashian’s yet-to-be finalized divorce from Kanye West.
Chrishell Stause and Jason Oppenheim
We’re all for a good friends-to-lovers romance, but faking a relationship is pretty much the best way to guarantee views and drama on Selling Sunset. The costars may have said they’re official, but we haven’t seen a single believable spark fly between either one of them on or off-camera. Oppenheim has even said he loves Stause, but it just seems like too random of a coupling to be for real, especially when it’s a built-in plotline for the series.
As of Dec. 21, the two have split, just five months after going public together. We wouldn’t be surprised if their breakup also served as some new drama for the show.
Tom Holland and Zendaya
Before you get mad, hear us out: while these two are certainly very cute, after dealing with years of speculation, fans are pretty surprised to see the two of them talk about each other in the press and gush over one another on Instagram and at the Spider-Man: No Way Home premiere. Both were tight-lipped about their exes (remember when Zendaya dated Jacob Elordi and Holland dated Nadia Parkes?), so it was pretty shocking to hear and see them publicly confirm a romance when neither of them has previously. Holland confirming the romance in GQ ahead of the movie’s release also just felt a bit too timely.
Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra
We know that Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra are married, but their entire whirlwind romance came together so fast that it threw many people off. From their heavily sponsored wedding (with a public Amazon registry and a Havana Club-sponsored bachelorette party) to their over-the-top red carpet poses together, people were caught off guard by how quickly they tied the knot. They started dating in May 2018, got engaged that July, then married in December. Talk about a whirlwind!
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Lori Harvey and Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan and Lori Harvey’s relationship rolled out a little too perfectly when the two were spotted vacationing together and then quickly became Instagram-official shortly after. MBJ has always been very private about his dating life, so fans were shocked when he was so gushy about Harvey. Harvey in turn, benefitted from the publicity as she’s been ramping up for her upcoming skincare line.
Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck
We’re here for Bennifer 2.0 just as much as anyone else, but with the way everything went down with J.Lo’s ex, Alex Rodriguez, we can owe this epic reunion to J.Lo’s PR team working overtime to ensure she came out on top during the breakup. To make the public forget that Rodriguez cheated on her, getting back with Affleck quickly turned the conversation in Bennifer’s favour.
Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
While they may no longer be a couple, nothing on this earth could convince us that these two were madly in love. It was a little too convenient that they teamed up for their duet “Señorita” then became an item right after the release in 2019, riding the wave of the song’s success all the way up the charts. The two had PDA wherever they went, and after only a month of dating, Cabello proclaimed her love for Mendes on Instagram.
Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston
Hiddleswift may have only lasted three months in 2016, but for a short while the two were inescapable, as they paraded in front of the paparazzi everywhere they went. The pair partied at a Selena Gomez concert, vacationed in Rome together and even met one another’s parents after only a few weeks. The cherry on top came on the Fourth of July when Hiddleston wore a tank top with “I ❤️ T.S.” splashed across it. Needless to say, the relationship ended as quickly as it began.
Kaley Cuoco and Henry Cavill
Both celebs were represented by the same PR company and coincidentally began publicly dating in 2013 ahead of the release of Cavill’s movie Man of Steel. Things clearly appeared too good to be true, as they split after only two short weeks.
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson
Twihards everywhere lived for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s romance, but it was a little too convenient for both of the film series’ leads to fall in love on set and date for the entirety of all five movies. Their relationship boosted each of their profiles and generated buzz about the films. However, things ended when Stewart confessed to cheating on Pattinson with Rupert Sanders, director of Snow White and the Huntsman in 2012.
Lauren Conrad and Brody Jenner
OK, yes this pairing was iconic and makes us miss watching The Hills, but years later, Conrad herself has said that their romance was faked for the cameras. “I definitely had a crush on Brody, but the funny thing was we had zero chemistry,” Conrad confessed, saying that she agreed to the showmance because she felt pressured to have an on-screen boyfriend. Jenner also confirmed that they didn’t actually date: “Lauren and I have always been just friends,” he said in 2019. “We worked together on a show called The Hills where we had to pretend like we were dating but we never dated.”
Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
Who could forget when these two were married for only 72 days? The whirlwind romance had all the makings of a giant PR stunt, guaranteed to make Kim K grab headlines everywhere, while also making her a quick buck. People magazine paid them $1.5 million for their wedding photos (only Kardashian was on the cover, without her new husband), the wedding was discounted thanks to sponsored deals on jewelry, flowers and more, and they were paid for their televised wedding. The couple’s marriage falling apart served as the main plotline in Kim & Kourtney Take New York, which only managed to keep everyone’s eyes on Kardashian.
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