Fifteen ways to leave your lover
Following an Islamic court decision last week that allowed a Malaysian man to serve a divorce on his wife by text message, we review some of the strangest - and cruellest - ways to get shot of that special someone
Tuesday July 29, 2003
1. Bert McCracken
Never heard of him? A member of rock band The Used, he was better known for being Kelly Osbourne's first serious boyfriend - until he told her in a Valentine's Day phone call that it was all over. He was also unpopular with Sharon and Ozzy (Kelly's parents) before the split.
2. Julia Roberts
Left the United States for Ireland days before her planned marriage to Kiefer Sutherland.
3. Newt Gingrich
Former speaker of US House of Representatives, big on family values, who visited his wife in hospital the day after she underwent surgery for cancer, to discuss the terms of their divorce.
4. Daniel Day Lewis
Informed his then-pregnant partner, Isabelle Adjani, by fax that he was leaving her.
5. Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony)
Break-up one: returning to Rome from Egypt, where he had left Cleopatra and the couple's unborn children, the Roman general married his rival Augustus's sister, Octavia, to seal a peace deal and she bore his children. Break-up two: he left the imperial capital to pursue campaigns in the east and was reunited with Cleopatra in Syria. Abandoning Octavia, Antonius then returned to Alexandria with his Egyptian lover and warred against Augustus, who along the way became his ex-brother-in-law.
6. Billy Bob Thornton
Ended his co-habiting relationship with fellow actor Laura Dern by marrying Angelina Jolie. "I left our home to work on a movie and, while I was away, my boyfriend got married and I've never heard from him again," she explained. Had less geo-political ramifications than the Cleopatra-Antonius-Octavia triangle, but probably sold more newspapers.
7. James Brown
A "mutual decision was made by both parties", according to a full page advertisement in the entertainment magazine Variety that announced Brown's divorce from Tomi Rea. It was illustrated with a photograph of his family with Goofy at Disneyworld.
8. John Donne
Seventeenth century poet and clergyman who was separated from his 17-year-old beloved after her uncle had him imprisoned for marrying a minor. From jail he wrote the lines: "John Donne, Anne Donne, undone."
9. George IV
Had little interest in his wife, Caroline of Brunswick (also his cousin), from the beginning and the two lived apart after the birth of their daughter in 1796. He persuaded the government to pass a law (defeated in parliament) depriving her of the title Queen when he took the throne. The most public insult came at his coronation when Caroline was turned away from the doors of Westminster Abbey.
10. Lorena Bobbitt
After years in an abusive marriage she took a kitchen knife to her husband's penis and chopped it off. The couple filed for divorce soon after.
11. Lord Lucan
Murdered his children's nanny, Sandra Rivett, and then attempted to kill his wife, Lady Veronica. He was never seen again.
12. Earl Spencer
Princess Diana's brother gained a reputation for arrogance after asking his then wife, Victoria, for a divorce while he was in the bath. More sympathetic versions have him crying over their relationship, the tears splashing into the bath water, and telling her it could not go on.
13. Matt Damon
The US actor dumped Minnie Driver - whom he had met filming Good Will Hunting - live to the American nation on the Oprah Winfrey chat show.
14. Robin Cook
Abandoned his wife of nearly 30 years in favour of his secretary at the prompting of the prime minister's then press secretary, Alastair Campbell. He phoned Cook at an airport and told him to choose between them there and then. Cook is now happily married to Gaynor.
15. Henry VIII
Out of his six wives, he divorced two - ditching Catherine of Aragon necessitated taking England out of the Catholic church. Then, for good measure, he put Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard on the executioner's block.
Printable version | Send it to a friend | Save story