From Will and Jada Pinkett Smith to Meryl Streep and Don Gummer, these A-list exes waited to tell the world it was over
These celebrities protected their privacy while going through especially tough times.
Before their separations made headlines, stars like Meryl Streep, Florence Pugh, Ariana Grande and Elliot Page weathered their hardships out of the spotlight. While some A-list couples hid their fallouts for years — like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith — others only waited a few months before dropping their breakup bombshells.
See which Hollywood pairs quietly cut their romantic ties before sharing the news with the world.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
During a fall 2023 appearance on the Today show, Jada Pinkett Smith got candid about her relationship with Will Smith and revealed the longtime partners had been separated for seven years, living completely separate lives.
The Worthy author also spoke about their rollercoaster relationship on an episode of On Purpose with Jay Shetty. According to Jada, she and Will — whom she wed in 1997 — went through several breakups throughout their time together. The "ultimate break," as the Red Table Talk co-host called it, came in 2016. "But the world didn't know," she noted.
Meryl Streep and Don Gummer
“Don Gummer and Meryl Streep have been separated for more than six years, and while they will always care for each other, they have chosen lives apart,” a representative for Streep said in a statement to PEOPLE.
Though Streep and Gummer had not been seen publicly together since 2018, the Oscar winner was wearing her wedding band just before Page Six broke the news of their separation.
Haley Lu Richardson and Brett Dier
Haley Lu Richardson and Brett Dier split up two years before the White Lotus star announced their breakup news on her Instagram Story. In November 2022, Richardson posted a photo of her and her ex-fiancé posing with their thumbs up, writing, "Hey guys. This is me and Brett. We actually separated two years ago."
The actress continued, "But life goes on and we are both existing and doing pretty well turns out. We shared a deeply special chunk of our lives together. I'm so glad to have had the last couple years to heal and grow without the internet knowing but we kinda just wanted to share it and move on now."
Florence Pugh and Zach Braff
In an August 2022 interview with Harper's BAZAAR, Florence Pugh revealed that she and Zach Braff subtly went their separate ways. According to the Midsommar actress, the exes — who started dating in 2019 — hoped to avoid public commentary by keeping their breakup under wraps.
"We've been trying to do this separation without the world knowing, because it's been a relationship that everybody has an opinion on," Pugh said. "We just felt something like this would really do us the benefit of not having millions of people telling us how happy they are that we're not together. So we've done that."
The couple has remained on good terms though, and they've continued on as friends and collaborators. In 2023, Pugh starred in Braff's film A Good Person, and he raved about her acting skills in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"I'm just in awe of her talent and I said, 'I wanna write this for Florence. What I'm writing is really gonna be challenging, and she's incredible,'" he said of his casting Pugh in the emotional movie. Braff went on to call his former flame "a next-level actress" and "just unbelievable."
Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis
In November 2020, PEOPLE exclusively reported that Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis had ended their engagement of over seven years. Per a source close to the couple, they broke up months before the announcement.
"The split happened at the beginning of the year," the insider told PEOPLE. "It's been amicable and they’ve transitioned into a great co-parenting routine. The children are the priority and the heart of the family’s relationship."
Despite their initially low-key breakup, the Don't Worry Darling actress and Ted Lasso star had a very public child custody case. Ultimately, the two settled into co-parenting and in September 2023, a source told PEOPLE they were "in a good place."
Lauren Graham and Peter Krause
In 2022, a representative for the Gilmore Girls alum confirmed to PEOPLE that she and Krause had "quietly ended their relationship" the previous year.
Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez
Their breakup news came after the Wicked star was seen at Wimbledon without a ring on her finger. A source told PEOPLE that the pop star and luxury real estate agent had been "quietly and lovingly working on their friendship" since they separated months earlier.
Elliot Page and Emma Portner
According to a joint statement, the two explained they "made the difficult decision to divorce" after separating the previous summer. "We have the utmost respect for each other and remain close friends," said Page and Portner.
Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres
Laurence Fishburne and Gina Torres called it quits after 14 years of marriage, but they waited a year to make the breakup public. The actress confirmed their separation to PEOPLE with a statement in 2017.
“With heavy hearts, Laurence and I quietly separated and began the dissolution of our marriage in the early fall of last year,” the Suits star said at the time. “There are no bad guys here. Only a love story with a different ending than either one of us had expected.”
Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton
After 13 years as romantic partners and professional collaborators, Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton split in 2014. Though they announced the news in December, Carter's representative told PEOPLE that they "separated amicably" earlier that year.
At the time, her rep added that the actress and director "have continued to be friends and co-parent their children."
The exes worked together once more after their separation: In 2016, Carter reprised her role as the Red Queen in the sequel to Burton's 2010 adaption of Alice in Wonderland.
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Read the original article on People.