8:44am PDT, Aug 19, 2021
Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the stars who found love, suffered heartbreak or experienced some other major event in their love lives in mid-August 2021, starting with this new couple… On Aug. 17 — Robert De Niro’s 78th birthday — the Oscar winner was snapped holding hands with New York City-based martial arts champ Tiffany Chen as they made their way to a yacht in the French Riviera. (See photos here.) The pair were also seen together in June, though it was unclear at the time that they were an item. It’s also unclear how long they’ve been seeing each other, but it’s possible they met on the set of 2015’s “The Intern,” in which he starred and she had a small role as a Tai Chi instructor (pictured). It’s the iconic actor’s first public romance since he split from his wife of more than 20 years, Grace Hightower, in late 2018.
Now keep reading for more of the week’s biggest celeb love life updates…
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On Aug. 14 — after Sandra Lee was snapped sporting a massive sparkler on her ring finger during a night out in Paris with her new boyfriend, actor and interfaith leader Ben Youcef — the New York Post broke the news that they’re engaged. “They’re soulmates and head over heels in love,” said a source. A few days later, DailyMail.com reported that the couple of just a few months will have to wait to wed until after Ben finalizes his divorce from his first wife, real estate broker Apryl Stephenson, with whom he shares 5-year-old twins. “Yes, Ben and I are still married. We are going through a divorce and I wish Ben and Sandra the best of luck. But I have nothing more to say,” Apryl — who married Ben in 2015, filed for legal separation in 2018 and then filed for divorce in 2020 — told the British webloid. A source whom DailyMail.com described as a “friend” called Ben “an opportunist” who “has his own agenda.” Said the alleged pal, “I’m sure he is loving the media attention he is getting [from his relationship with Sandra]. He craved this sort of attention for several years and now he has it. Months ago, he told people he is dating a ‘celebrity.’ He was so proud to say it. … Apryl is hopeful that now Ben has found Sandra that he’ll move on and quit fighting her on the divorce. Apryl just wants to live in peace and raise her children.” The duo — who barely lived together during their marriage, according to the friend — are fighting over custody of their two kids, whom Sandra has reportedly met. (Ben’s in-laws have described him as an unfit parent in legal paperwork. He called the allegations “lies and fabrications” that are “typical in divorce cases.”)
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Stop us if you’ve heard this one before… On Aug. 15, In Touch reported that, according to multiple sources, Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson have rekindled their off-and-on romance of five years. “It may not be the most ideal situation because of her trust issues, but she’s desperate to make it work and he’s once again promised to do better,” said one source, noting that the reality TV star “wants Tristan in [their daughter] True’s life” and is also “holding out hope for that second child” with him. “They are far from over,” continued the insider. “Khloe is going around saying that her and Tristan are just friendly co-parents because she’s too scared to admit to her family that she has taken him back.” A second source said that the professional basketball player — who was traded from the Boston Celtics to the Sacramento Kings earlier this month — “promised Khloe that things will be different this time around” and that he wants to “be a proper family.” Continued the second source, “She believes him. … Tristan charmed his way back into Khloe’s life — piling on the compliments, saying how pretty she is and surprising her with expensive gifts. She has fallen for him all over again. That said, she never really got over him in the first place.” But soon, multiple media outlets reported that Khloe and Tristan are not, in fact, back together. On Aug. 16, Page Six reported that they’re simply maintaining a friendship for their daughter’s sake: “They have a healthy co-parenting relationship. … They are on the same page when it comes to their daughter,” said a source. An E! News source, meanwhile, said that Khloe and Tristan are “telling people they aren’t back together,” though they’ve been “hanging out pretty often with True.” The E! source added that the situation is “hard” for the reality star, who “will always have feelings towards Tristan” and “wishes these weren’t the circumstances.” Continued the insider, “She wants him around and they talk every day. Khloe has forgiven him for what he’s done and would rather just be on good terms with him.” The off-and-on duo split earlier this year amid reports he cheated … again.
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On Aug. 15, The Sun broke the news that Pete Davidson and Phoebe Dynevor — who were first linked in March — are no longer a couple. A source told the British tabloid that distance is to blame for the breakup: The comedian is shooting the rom-com “Meet Cute” with Kaley Cuoco in New York City, while the English actress is working on the upcoming second season of the Netflix period drama “Bridgerton” in the U.K. Travel restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have made it difficult for the pair to see each other … though Phoebe managed to squeeze in a girls trip to Croatia with pal and “Bridgerton” co-star Sabrina Bartlett earlier in the month. “Pete and Phoebe’s romance was a real whirlwind and from the start they were both totally committed. But as time has passed, it’s become increasingly obvious it is going to be difficult to make this work,” said The Sun’s source, noting that the duo haven’t spent time together since the “Saturday Night Live” star left England in July. “It was pretty telling when Phoebe headed to Croatia with her mates this week rather than going to see Pete in America,” continued the insider. “It was wild while it lasted and they both really care for each other. But the distance has put a strain on them. Their mates think they make a great couple but the distance has made it completely unworkable. They had fun and will remain close but unless something drastic changes their relationship won’t recover.” Echoed an E! News source of the split, “The long distance made it very difficult. They had fun, but it wasn’t sustainable being so far apart. It was great while it lasted, but they both agreed it was best to move on.”
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On Aug. 14, Closer magazine broke the news that John Mellencamp and realtor-to-the-stars Natasha Barrett — whom he met through his daughter, former “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave — recently called it quits after several months of coupledom. The breakup, which People magazine later confirmed, is said to be amicable.
Alicia Silverstone was snapped kissing a mystery man at a restaurant in West Hollywood on Aug. 17. (See photos here.) It’s the first time the “Clueless” actress has dated someone publicly since her early 2018 split from Christopher Jarecki following 13 years of marriage.
On Aug. 14, Margaret Qualley and Jack Antonoff were snapped packing on the PDA in New York City, confirming rumors from late June that they’re an item. (See photos here.) The 26-year-old “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood” actress previously romanced Shia LaBeouf and Pete Davidson, while the 37-year-old Bleachers frontman and Taylor Swift producer apparently split from model-photographer Carlotta Kohl earlier this year. He previously dated Lena Dunham for five years.
The rumors were true! On Aug. 17, Liam Payne and his former fiancée, Maya Henry, were snapped looking very much like a couple during a night out in St-Tropez. (See photos here.) The hangout seemed to confirm reports from late July that they’d rekindled their romance following a brief split earlier this year. A few days earlier, a source told MailOnline of the off-and-on couple, “Liam started to win Maya back … and eventually succeeded after a romantic gesture. His friends and family all love Maya because she’s such a healthy influence on him, so that probably contributed to it. They realized that they couldn’t live without one another.” The insider added that the pair are currently living together and planning to tie the knot next year. Echoed an E! News source, “They took time apart due to their busy schedules and having distance between them. They needed the break because they weren’t communicating well.” The E! source, however, said they’re not thinking about marriage right now: “They are living together in England but aren’t putting pressure on the wedding or engagement yet. … [They’re] focused on being back together and spending time together right now,” said the source, adding that Maya “is very mellow” and “really complements Liam.” Explained the insider, “[She] keeps Liam grounded, which is something people around them have noticed and love about her.”
Over the weekend of Aug. 14, Jennifer Lopez’s Instagram followers noticed that the superstar removed all traces of her ex-fiancé, Alex Rodriguez, from the social media platform. (She deleted old photos of him and also unfollowed him.) A few days later, Us Weekly reported that, according to a source, “Jennifer is done dealing with Alex. … She’s washing her hands of him romantically and also as a business partner. Her management team and her lawyers will be talking to his [team] to tie up any loose ends. … She will have to sell her side of [their] company or buy him out. She doesn’t care about how it goes down, just that she is free of the ties to him. She knows it’s [only] fair to [her new boyfriend Ben Affleck].” (When they split in April, J.Lo and A-Rod released a joint statement saying that they planned to “continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects.”) Meanwhile, during an interview with “Entertainment Tonight” that debuted on Aug. 17, Alex had only positive things to say about his former love: “I had five years of an incredible life and partnership,” he said, adding that he “learned so much.” Continued the former professional baseball player, “Now we have the opportunity to take that and move forward and say, ‘You know what? We’re so grateful for the last five years, how do we make the next five years better because of lessons learned?’ So I’m in a great place. I’m so grateful for where God and the light has really put me, and I’m really looking forward.”
The Aug. 17 episode of the “Toxic: The Britney Spears Story” podcast speculated that Britney Spears may have been secretly married to Jason Trawick back in 2012. The evidence? Newly released court documents that are part of the pop star’s conservatorship case show that she paid $9,150 for “consultation [on] dissolution of marriage” to a Beverly Hills law firm on Oct. 1, 2012. A document listing Britney’s legal fees from the time shows that she made other payments to the law firm that year, though the details pertaining to those transactions were redacted. Britney and Jason started dating in 2009, got engaged in late 2011 and announced their breakup in early 2013, so the timeline made sense. But on Aug. 18 Jason himself put those rumors to rest, texting his friend, “Extra” host Billy Bush, “I believe you would have known if I was married,” and jokingly adding, “you would have made a perfect usher.”
During an Aug. 18 appearance on E!’s “Daily Pop,” Ant Anstead finally addressed his relationship with Renee Zellweger: “Everybody knows that Renee and I have become quite close,” he said, noting that they kept their romance “secret for a while” … until the paparazzi managed to snap them together. Also on Aug. 18, Us Weekly reported that, according to a source, both the former “Wheeler Dealers” host and the Oscar-winning actress “feel like they’ve finally met their soulmate.” The insider went on to say that Ant and Renee — who are “headed in a positive direction” as a couple — are “really cherishing their time together” before their respective work commitments force them to spend some time apart.
On Aug. 18, Amber Rose implied on her Instagram Story that Alexander “AE” Edwards — her boyfriend of three years and the father of her son Slash — cheated on her with multiple women. “I’m tired of getting cheated on and being embarrassed behind the scenes. All 12 of y’all bums (the ones that I know of, there’s probably more) can have him. Y’all very much knew he was in a relationship with a baby and y’all decided to [sleep with] him anyway. I saw all the texts and DMs. Y’all were well aware but y’all don’t owe me any loyalty so it’s whatever. I can’t be the only one fighting for my family anymore. I’ve been so loyal and transparent, but I haven’t gotten the same energy in return. … The lack of loyalty and the disrespect is ridiculous and I’m done.” The model, who didn’t call out AE by name, added in a follow-up post, “I’m tired of being mentally and emotionally abused by people that I love. I’ve been suffering in silence for a long time and I can’t take it anymore. That’s why I’ve been so quiet. I’ve been a shell of who I used to be, but I refuse to let anyone damage me anymore. Family or not.”
On Aug. 17, Lily James sported what appeared to be an engagement ring while shopping with some girlfriends in the Los Angeles area. (See photos here.) The bling sparked questions about whether or not the English actress and her boyfriend of about six months, Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, had quietly gotten engaged. Her rep told MailOnline, however, that rumors she’s set to wed are “100% not true.”
In mid-August, Camila Kendra — who just split from Bachelor Nation’s Tyler Cameron earlier this month — raised questions about the nature of her relationship with Lewis Hamilton when she took to social media to share photos of herself in his home and apparently wearing his clothes. On Aug. 16, however, The U.S. Sun reported that the model and the Formula One champ are just pals: “They’ve been friends for a few years — that’s why she’s staying at his house and wearing his shirt,” said a source. The following day Us Weekly published a statement from Camila’s rep calling the rumors about her relationship with Lewis “100%” false. “Camila and Lewis are absolutely not dating. They are just friends and nothing more,” added the rep. An Us Weekly source claimed Camila actually took the photos at Lewis’s home earlier this year — before she and Tyler, who was with her at the time, called it quits. (The eyebrow-raising clothing also belonged to Tyler.) “She was not staying alone with Lewis at his house,” said the source, adding that “there is no interest in Lewis from Camila.”
On Aug. 12, In Touch broke the news that Jon Gosselin and his girlfriend of seven years, Colleen Conrad, quietly called it quits earlier this year. “[They] both wanted it to work out. They tried it all: couples therapy, family counseling, everything possible,” said a source, adding that the former reality TV star wishes the nurse practitioner “the best” and will “continue to help her through her cancer battle.” His kids, meanwhile, “love Colleen and will continue to be in her life.” The “Jon & Kate Plus 8” alum later confirmed the breakup news to The Sun, saying that although he’s “incredibly sad” about the split, he’s ready to “start a new chapter” in his life. “It’s hard, it was a big decision,” he said. “We had some struggles and we tried to push through them as best we could, but it didn’t really work out the way we thought it would. I still love and care for Colleen but we’ve both determined that it’s the natural end. … It’s always very difficult to end a relationship, but I think we’ve given it a pretty good go. We tried to blend our family as best as we could but it just wasn’t working out. It’s hard because I love her and care for her and I want the best for her, but I also want the best for myself.” He explained that things between himself and his former love became “fraught” in the summer of 2020 and then took a turn for the worse after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 in late 2020 — though she was “super supportive” during his health crisis, he said. Following multiple brief splits, they broke up for good in February 2021. Jon also explained that even though he and Colleen are no longer a couple, he’s using his health insurance through his IT job at Amazon to help cover her medical bills following her April 2021 breast cancer diagnosis. “I love Colleen so I decided to stand by her and do the best I can, I cared for her regardless of the state of our relationship,” he told The Sun, adding that they’re “still living together,” though they’re “not communicating very effectively or at all right now.” Said the father of eight, “We’re just trying to get by. … I think I did my best for her, trying to be the best kind of friend, I guess, while knowing full well that we might not end up together in the end.” The part-time DJ also insisted “this was a mutual breakup … that was being discussed before Colleen’s diagnosis” and “has nothing to do with cancer.”
On Aug. 16, TMZ published video of former “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” star “Mama June” Shannon chatting with a friend about her recent split from her controversial boyfriend of more than five years, Geno Doak. “Listen, Geno is not in the picture,” said the friend. Replied the reality TV star, “If you wanna know where Geno is, he’s got an Instagram. … You wanna know where he’s at, that’s his business. That’s not part of my life — hasn’t been.” It’s unclear when exactly they called it quits.
“Siesta Key” stars Juliette Porter and Sam Logan have gone their separate ways after a year and a half of coupledom. On Aug. 16, Sam took to the comments section of a July 18 Instagram post — a photo of himself and Juliette kissing during his 30th birthday bash — to confirm recent speculation that they called it quits. “I’m single [and] I’m allowed to do as I please,” he wrote after one follower accused him of trying to make Juliette jealous by spending time with other women. He told another follower of the blonde beauty, “She’s an amazing person, some things just don’t work out and being in the public eye [definitely] doesn’t help.” Last summer, the pair sparked engagement rumors.
On Aug. 16, TMZ broke the news that “Pawn Stars” star Rick Harrison quietly filed to divorce his wife of seven years, Deanna Burditt, in Clark County, Nevada, in July 2020. In his legal paperwork, the reality star noted that their “tastes, mental dispositions, views, likes and dislikes” became “so divergent that they have become incompatible in marriage.” Deanna initially asked for alimony, but according to TMZ, she and Rick reached a settlement agreement in September 2020. When contacted for comment, Rick told TMZ the marriage “didn’t work out” and that the divorce was “a mutual decision.” It was his third marriage.
During an Aug. 12 Q&A with fans on her Instagram Story, Olivia Jade revealed that she and her off-and-on boyfriend of two years, Jackson Guthy, are no longer an item. When a fan asked if she’s currently single, she smiled and replied, “I am indeed.” It’s unclear when exactly they threw in the towel. The controversial YouTube star and the singer-songwriter first split in mid-2019 amid the college admissions scandal that embroiled her parents, “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli.
E! News reported on Aug. 12 that “Pretty Little Liars” alum Ian Harding secretly married his love of a decade, photographer and set designer Sophie Hart, back in October 2019. The actor’s rep later confirmed the news to People magazine.
On Aug. 18, “L Word: Generation Q” actress Jacqueline Toboni and “Unreal” actress Kassandra Clementi took to Instagram to announce that they’re engaged. “I hit the Jacq-pot. You are quite simply the greatest person I have ever known. From the mundane to the insane, life is so fun with you. I love you infinitely and cannot wait to marry the absolute s*** out of you. #enGAYged,” Kassandra captioned a slideshow of photos. Jacqueline, who popped the question, captioned her own slideshow of photos, “This first pic is right before I proposed. The last is when we noticed I was so nervous I broke out in hives… @kassandraclementi I feel so incredibly lucky to have found such a goofy, smart, funny, kind soul in you. Thank you for making me laugh every day. I can’t wait to do this forever. Love you.” The two women have been an item since at least 2019.
According to Daily Mail Australia, male models Jordan Barrett and Fernando Casablancas — the younger brother of The Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas — tied the knot in Ibiza, Spain, on Aug. 11. Kate Moss and Georgia May Jagger were among the 15 or so wedding guests at the extremely intimate nuptials.
On Aug. 12, TMZ broke the news that the judge in Kelly Clarkson’s divorce case — which was shaping up to be staggeringly expensive — is upholding the terms of her prenuptial agreement with Brandon Blackstock, from whom she split in mid-2020. A few days later, Us Weekly shed some new light on what exactly went wrong between the “American Idol” alum and her ex-husband: “The relationship had been on the rocks for a long time,” said a source, noting that Brandon “was extremely jealous” that Kelly “was the high-income earner” and “made her know it.” Now, she can “finally enjoy her success without feeling ashamed,” said the insider, adding that the singer worried before they called it quits that “Brandon was just using her for her money and lifestyle.” Continued the source, “The marriage was really, really awful at the end. … Kelly felt that she could no longer trust Brandon. She had a lot of questions that he just couldn’t answer. … She just wasn’t willing to look the other way anymore.” The insider also said there was “tremendous resentment” between the pair. A second Us Weekly source said that Kelly is looking forward to dating again now that her divorce is winding down: “She hasn’t been dating and has been waiting until she is legally divorced,” said the source, adding that the talk show host “wants a younger, up-and-coming country singer [who] understands the business.”
Joshua Jackson made headlines in mid-July when he said during an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” that his wife, actress Jodie Turner-Smith, is the one who proposed to him. During an interview with Refinery29 that debuted online on Aug. 17, he clarified that he also proposed to her: “So I accidentally threw my wife under the bus because that story was told quickly and it didn’t give the full context,” he said. “So yes, we were in Nicaragua on a beautiful moonlit night, it could not possibly have been more romantic. And yes, my wife did propose to me and yes, I did say yes, but what I didn’t say in that interview was there was a caveat, which is that I’m still old school enough that I said, ‘This is a yes, but you have to give me the opportunity [to do it too].’ She has a biological father and a stepdad, who’s the man who raised her. [I said], ‘You have to give me the opportunity to ask both of those men for your hand in marriage.’ And then, ‘I would like the opportunity to re-propose to you and do it the old fashioned way down on bended knee.’ So that’s actually how the story ended up.”
Kevin Heart and Eniko Parrish took to Instagram on Aug. 13 to publicly celebrate thir fifth wedding anniversary. “Happy anniversary, babe! As we continue to grow older and change with age, my love for you remains the same. Happy to be sharing life with you. 5 years down! Forever to go,” the mother of two captioned a photo from their 2016 nuptials. The comedian, meanwhile, captioned a glamorous photo with his missus, “Happy anniversary hot momma cheesecake. Love u to the moon and back.” The duo weathered a cheating scandal just a year into their marriage and went on to welcome a son and a daughter together. (Kevin also has two older children from his first marriage.)