Let's be honest: after a tough split, what's sweeter revenge than doing better than your ex?

Just ask the celebs in the slideshow below. From the pop star who built a $1 billion fashion empire after divorce, to the soul singer who revived her career with a breakup anthem, these celebs overcame the pitfalls of divorce and came out on top.

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  • George Clooney

    Hollywood's perpetual bachelor was once a husband. Back in 1989, <a href="http://www.okmagazine.com/news/george-clooneys-ex-wife-doubts-hell-remarry" target="_hplink">George Clooney married Talia Balsam,</a> an actress who "Mad Men" fans know as <a href="http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/2008/12/talia-balsam-mona-sterling-interview.php/" target="_hplink">Mona Sterling</a>. The pair called it <a href="http://blogs.amctv.com/mad-men/2008/12/talia-balsam-mona-sterling-interview.php/" target="_hplink">quits in 1993 </a>and a year later, Clooney's career took off after he threw on scrubs and stole America's heart as <a href="http://www.tntdrama.com/stories/story/?oid=564" target="_hplink">Dr. Doug Ross on NBC's hit drama, "ER." </a> There's been no stopping him since. In recent years, the Hollywood heavyweight has <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/movies/2012/01/george-clooney-alexander-payne-stephen-daldry-envelope-directors-roundtable-trust.html" target="_hplink">dabbled in directing</a>, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dancing-with-a-dictator-in-sudan/2011/05/27/AGYMCzCH_story.html?fb_ref=NetworkNews&fb_source=home_multiline" target="_hplink">op-ed writing</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/16/george-clooney-arrested-dc-_n_1353441.html" target="_hplink">social activism</a>. One thing he won't try? <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/george-clooney-i-wont-get-married-again-2011221" target="_hplink">Marrying again</a>. Just ask his ex. Balsam, who has been<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/mad-men-stars-real-life-loves/story?id=15997065#5" target="_hplink"> married to "Mad Men" co-star John Slattery</a> since 1998, told <a href="http://www.okmagazine.com/news/george-clooneys-ex-wife-doubts-hell-remarry" target="_hplink">reporters in February 2010 that she "doubts"</a> her more-famous ex will ever remarry.

  • Jessica Simpson

    Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey announced that they <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1053559,00.html" target="_hplink">were going their separate ways</a> in November 2005. While there are plenty of parallels between the pop stars' personal lives after divorce -- Simpson, 32, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/maxwell-drew-johnson-jessica-simpson-baby-eric-johnson_n_1305135.html" target="_hplink">gave birth to a baby girl with fiancé Eric Johnson</a> in May, while <a href="http://celebritybabies.people.com/2012/06/20/nick-lachey-vanessa-lachey-expecting-a-boy/" target="_hplink">Lachey is expecting his first child</a> with Vanessa Minillo in September -- it's fair to say that their respective careers took them on wildly different paths. After the split, Simpson launched a <a href="http://nymag.com/fashion/11/spring/71664/index1.html" target="_hplink">successful shoe and clothing line</a> and more recently, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/15/fashion-star-finale-jessica-simpson-season-2_n_1519005.html" target="_hplink">served as a judge on NBC's "Fashion Star."</a> Meanwhile, <a href="http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2012/08/stars-earn-stripes-nick-lachey-and-eve-torres-show-their-grit.html" target="_hplink">Lachey stars on the reality show "Stars Earn Stripes"</a> but beyond that, the most notable gig on his radar is a 98 Degrees <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/20/98-degrees-reunion-nick-lachey_n_1612453.html" target="_hplink">reunion; he and his former bandmates will come together for a one-night-only show</a> in Pennsylvania this summer.

  • Alec Baldwin

    When <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20133526,00.html" target="_hplink">Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger split</a> in January 2001, many figured the <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20133526,00.html" target="_hplink">actor's famously unruly temper was to blame</a>. The couple's <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20144854,00.html" target="_hplink">messy custody battle</a> over daughter, Ireland, kept Baldwin's name in the headlines as his career took a nosedive. But Baldwin's career was saved in 2006, when <a href="http://www.gq.com/entertainment/celebrities/200609/icon-tina-fey-alec-baldwin-comedian" target="_hplink">Tina Fey tapped him to play smarmy network exec Jack Doughney</a> on her sitcom "30 Rock." The role, which mined Baldwin's natural knack for comedy, bolstered his career and led to a <a href="http://www.aceshowbiz.com/celebrity/alec_baldwin/awards.html" target="_hplink">slew of award noms</a>. (Basinger's career has been mostly stagnant since the split, in spite of <a href="http://www.filmsite.org/aa97.html" target="_hplink">the Oscar she won for Best Supporting Actress</a> in 1997, while still married to Baldwin) Today, Baldwin, 54, is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/30/alec-baldwin-married-hilaria-thomas_n_1640550.html" target="_hplink">newly married to yoga instructor</a> Hilaria Thomas.

  • Jennifer Garner

    Before she was Ben Affleck's better half, Jennifer Garner was married to another actor: Scott Foley, her co-star on the WB drama "Felicity." The couple were on equal footing, fame-wise, when <a href="http://www.people.com/people/jennifer_garner/0,,,00.html" target="_hplink">they married in October 2000</a>, but things quickly changed when Garner landed the lead role on ABC's hit "Alias" in 2001. By May 2003, the <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,26334,627129,00.html" target="_hplink">pair were divorced</a> -- a sad ending that Foley said was a result of Garner's rising success. "Jennifer became a huge celebrity. She became a huge star, and she deserved everything she got," <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,627110,00.html" target="_hplink">the television actor told <em>People</em></a>, while denying tabloid reports that Garner had cheated on him with her "Alias" co-star Michael Vartan. After divorce, Garner parlayed her success on TV into an equally successful film career and <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20609769,00.html" target="_hplink">started a family </a>with Affleck, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2005-06-30-bennifer-II-wed_x.htm" target="_hplink">whom she married</a> in June 2005.

  • Jim Carrey

    Jim Carrey was only married to actress Lauren Holly for nine months before Holly <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/34930/holly-seeks-divorce-from-carrey" target="_hplink">filed for divorce</a> in July 1997. The divorce, which came a few months after Carrey scored big at the box office with "Liar Liar," didn't put a damper on Carrey's success. Post-split, the comedian bolstered his <a href="http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=brucealmighty.htm" target="_hplink">box office clout with films like "Bruce Almighty,"</a> while endearing himself to critics with his acting in "Eternal Sunshine in the Spotless Mind" and "I Love You Phillip Morris." Post-divorce, Holly's found moderate success in film and television, most notably on <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000452/" target="_hplink">the CBS drama "NCIS." </a>

  • Tina Turner

    Tina Turner began her music career with husband Ike Turner <a href="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/turner_ike_and_tina/artist.jhtml" target="_hplink">as one half of the "Ike & Tina Turner Revue</a>." But behind the scenes, Tina endured Ike's physical and emotional abuse until she fled to <a href="http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/Oprahs-Interview-with-Tina-Turner/#ixzz215vNvuiE" target="_hplink">Los Angeles with a bruised face and only 36 cents in her pocket</a> one night in 1976. The pair would go on to <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=C5YpmDjWFo8C&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=divorce+March+1978+tina+turner&source=bl&ots=bp1yVFvxe4&sig=EbjPLeQRX1DKzD2888lRJx6PkmE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=G2MIUJ3ZO4LZrAHlqPnfBA&ved=0CGIQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=divorce March 1978 tina turner&f=false" target="_hplink">divorce in March 1978</a>. Tina struggled in the years after the split, <a href="http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,293534,00.html" target="_hplink">living on food stamps and playing small shows</a> at clubs to pay off debts. But in 1979, the singer convinced record promoter Roger Davies into orchestrating a comeback for her. In 1984, Tina released her album, <a href="http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-best-albums-of-the-eighties-20110418/tina-turner-private-dancer-19691231" target="_hplink">Private Dancer, and had her first number one single</a> with ''What's Love Got to Do With It'' -- a song that became the title of <a href="http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/whats_love_got_to_do_with_it/" target="_hplink">1993 biopic</a>. Ike's career floundered after the divorce, stunted equally by Turner's <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18560_162-1161164.html" target="_hplink">revelations about his abusive behavior</a> in her autobiography and an <a href="http://laist.com/2008/01/16/ike_turners_dea.php" target="_hplink">addiction to cocaine he battled up until his death</a> in 2007.

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