Nov 292006
Authors: Hallie Woods

This year, it isn’t the year of the goat, the year of the ox or year of the rabbit. America has taken over the Chinese calendar and implemented the year of the celeb divorce.

Within the last year, Hollywood has seen more divorces that surprise even those who expect this type of behavior from the stars. Although I never expect a Hollywood marriage to last more than a few years, I am surprised to see the number of marriage splits in one year.

In July, Prince, the man once known only as a symbol, and his wife Manuela Testolini Nelson, finally made public their divorce after five years of marriage. To me, this divorce comes as a shock, because I didn’t even know Prince was a woman.

Uptown girl Christie Brinkley announced her divorce after coming across information about her husband Peter Cook’s affair with his teenage personal assistant.

Eminem, or Marshall Mathers, and wife Kim decided to divorce. This isn’t the first divorce for the couple, however. They split once before and then remarried. The second divorce came after three months of a second marriage.

After 14 years of marriage, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown called it quits. In the same month, Kate Hudson and Black Crowes singer Chris Robinson divorced.

On Nov. 3, Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock decided to divorce after 10 years of marriage and two children.

Although the couple had been on the rocks since 2004 when Jude Law cheated on Sienna Miller with their nanny, the couple officially divorced only several weeks ago on Nov. 13.

A very unsurprising split occurred early in November when Britney Spears filed for divorce from Kevin Federline under “irreconcilable differences.” While most people were just waiting for Spears to “can his ass,” the couple has two children together. Luckily for Spears, she had K-Fed sign a prenup. Got to give the girl some credit.

Two celebrity couples came as a bit of a surprise to me. The first, Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe. Although Witherspoon has always dominated the working world, the couple seemed happy with each other and their children. I actually had a lot of faith in those two.

Another is the split between Paul McCartney and second wife Heather Mills. Judging from his first marriage to Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998, I believed McCartney held marriage to its highest regards, sticking with the person he promised his life to. I guess his love for Heather wasn’t anything like the special relationship he held with Linda. Also, Mills did not sign a prenup.

David Hasselhoff and wife Pamela Bach also split this year after 16 years of marriage. This was nothing like the most recent divorce between his co-star, Pamela Anderson and her husband, Kid Rock. The couple, who filed divorce on Monday, were married a mere four months.

Is this recent divorce epidemic a symptom of the Hollywood lifestyle, or does it follow along with the American way of marriage? With divorce numbers increasing in the last couple decades, it’s hard to be surprised when a couple announces their split.

When it comes to Hollywood, however, people are quick to denounce a divorce because of the way star relationships are viewed. But, I ask myself, are they really any different from the rest of America?

Verve editor Hallie Woods can be reached at . The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the individual author and not necessarily those of the Collegian.

Other 2006 celeb divorces

Selma Blair& Ahmet Zappa field for divorce

Matt LeBlanc and Melissa McKnight

Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora

Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen

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