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19 November 2012

Celebrities twice as likely to divorce as the rest of the married UK population

A new report from The Marriage Foundation finds that after 10 years of marriage the divorce rate for celebrities is 40 per cent. For the rest of the country, the figure is just 20 per cent over the same amount of time.

The report, written by relationships expert Harry Benson and family law barrister Rehna Azim, argues that the celebrity culture absorbed from magazines like Hello! give us unrealistic, fairy-tale expectations about marriage and relationships, when in fact, “…the glamour of celebrity weddings is a poor indicator of future marital success.”

The Marriage Foundation examined 572 well-known celebrity couples who have tied the knot since the year 2000.  The report highlights the weddings of celebrities such as Britney Spears, whose marriage to Jason Alexander lasted just 55 hours. It concludes that people should have more accurate expectations of how much hard work it takes to keep a marriage together.

High Court Judge and founder of The Marriage Foundation Sir Paul Coleridge commented on the Hello! magazine approach to marriage: "…there is still, or maybe more than there was, a completely unrealistic expectation about long-term relationships and marriage in particular, that if you find the right ideal partner that’s all that matters and things will just carry on from there and you will be divinely happy.”

In a foreword to Hello? Goodbye! Marriage and divorce among celebrities Sir Paul cautions against young people treating celebrities as role models: “The other worrying feature of these statistics is the picture they paint to those who regard the celebrity life style as something to be admired and copied for its own sake. These are, after all, the role models upon which many, especially young people, fashion their lives. Aspiration for happiness built on celebrity lifestyle is, it seems, dangerously flawed,” he says.

Read more on the report here on The Marriage Foundation’s website.