"How do we tell them?"
That's usually among the first thoughts of couples who've decided to break their vows and head for Splitsville. But, for the celebrity set, they're not talking about breaking the news to their kids or friends. Stars have the decidedly hairier task of announcing their split to the world in a statement.
"Divorce statements are often a precursor to what we will see from the couple moving forth in the days, weeks or months to come," says Ronn Torossian, the CEO of 5WPR.
But how exactly they share the news with their fans is something of an art.
Who gets to break the news? Should it be a joint statement? Are we really amicable, sweetheart?
"Celebrity divorces are tricky ground for celebrity public relations representatives," Torossian says of his third-party hand in crafting such a statement. "When we have to discuss one's ex, the parents of their child, the person who shared their bed, you have to believe that we have to tread lightly, and follow our celebrity client's instructions to the tee."
The anatomy of celebrity divorce statements reveals several key ingredients:
1. Let's pretend we're friends and we wish nothing but the best for each other. I know you just petitioned for sole custody and are trying to break our prenup but come on, let's put on a good face for our fans.
2. We lasted seven years? That's somewhat of an accomplishment, given that I've hated you for six of them. (The only celebrities to mention how many years of marriage they endured are those who were hitched for seven years!)
3. There will be paparazzi at our front door in a matter of minutes, but if we ask politely for privacy maybe they'll give it to us? (Read: wishful thinking.)
But just as much as the inclusion of the duration or privacy factor, it's equally important to leave certain details out of the statement.
"Often with celebrity divorces there's also the court of law to consider along with the court of public opinion," Torossian explains. "What we say can affect court proceedings regarding finances, children and other maritial matters."
Check out the different (or same) ways that these celebrities decided to break the news:
|Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise||"This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family. Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."||Holmes' attorney Jonathan Wolfe delivered this shocking little gem.|
|Heidi Klum, Seal||"While we have enjoyed seven very loving, loyal and happy years of marriage, after much soul searching we have decided to separate. We have had the deepest respect for one another throughout our relationship and continue to love each other very much, but we have grown apart. This is an amicable process and protecting the well-being of our children remains our top priority, especially during this time of transition. We thank our family, friends, and fans for their kind words of support. And for our children's sake, we appreciate you respecting our privacy."||We're super amicable! See, we're still smiling. See, see!|
|Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries||"After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don't work out as planned. We remain friends and wish each other the best."||We "remain friends" despite our respective smear campaigns.|
|Katy Perry, Russell Brand||"Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage. I'll always adore her and I know we'll remain friends."||Note: Russell's olive branch was extended before Katy compared their union to being in a lion's den in "Wide Awake."|
|Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher||"It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I have decided to end my six-year marriage to Ashton. As a woman, a mother and a wife there are certain values and vows that I hold sacred, and it is in this spirit that I have chosen to move forward with my life. This is a trying time for me and my family, and so I would ask for the same compassion and privacy that you would give to anyone going through a similar situation."||Boom!|
|Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony||"We have decided to end our marriage. This was a very difficult decision. We have come to an amicable conclusion on all matters. It is a painful time for all involved and we appreciate the respect of our privacy at this time."||J.Lo's "pain" would soon be soothed by a 24-year-old backup dancer.|
|Scarlett Johansson, Ryan Reynolds||"After long and careful consideration on both our parts, we've decided to end our marriage. We entered our relationship with love and it's with love and kindness we leave it. While privacy isn't expected, it's certainly appreciated."||How unexpectedly realistic of them!|
|Eva Longoria, Tony Parker||“It is with great sadness that after 7 years together, Tony and I have decided to divorce. We love each other deeply and pray for each other’s happiness.”||Eva sent her statement into the Twittersphere -- and we respect candidness!|
|Madonna, Guy Ritchie||"Madonna and Guy Ritchie have agreed to divorce after seven-and-a-half years of marriage."||Surprisingly short and sweet (?).|
|Reese Witherspoon, Ryan Phillippe||"We are saddened that Reese and Ryan have decided to formally separate."||No cruel intentions with this statement.|
|Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt||"We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate. For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media. This decision is the result of much thoughtful consideration."||Mr. & Mrs. Split -- that's all.|