Making a relationship work can be challenging for most human beings. However, this can be especially true for celebrity couples, due to the lack of privacy that comes with being public figures. Moreover, now that celebrity news is being reported 24/7, escaping the paparazzi can more challenging than ever for our favorite stars.
That being said, somehow there have been more than few famous couples that have managed to go relatively unnoticed, or at the very least generate less buzz than one would think. Oddly enough, these duos often feature some of the most famous athletes and entertainers walking the face of the Earth.
In some cases, these folks dated before they reached the height of their popularity. There are also some instances when these relationships were never officially confirmed but were popular rumors at the time they allegedly occurred.
This list will feature some couples that people may barely remember and some they never knew existed at all. Even casual sports fans will likely recognize many (if not all) of the athletes we are about to see. We’ll also take a look at some of the hottest celebs in the world, in more way than one.
With that in mind, here are 15 athlete-celebrity couples that flew under the radar.
15 Kelly Kelly & Jeremy Piven
Kelly Kelly: Barbie Blank is a 31-year-old former professional wrestler who performed under the ring name Kelly Kelly. During her time in World Wrestling Entertainment, Kelly captured the WWE Divas Championship. She is also a reality television star known for her appearance on WAGS – a show that follows the lives of sports wives and girlfriends.
Jeremy Pivon: 52-year-old Jeremy Pivon is an actor who is best known for portraying Ari Gold in the HBO comedy series Entourage. His work on Entourage landed him a Golden Globe Award along with 3 Emmys. He has also had several roles in popular movies like Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
The Relationship: Kelly and Piven were rumored to have dated back in 2009. They were never officially a couple, which may be why the courtship didn’t get a lot of buzz – though they were photographed together.
14 Tom Brady & Brittany Spears
Tom Brady: San Mateo, California’s Tom Brady is an NFL quarterback who plays for the New England Patriots. With 5 Super Bowl titles to his credit; the 40 –year-old superstar is widely considered one of the greatest athletes to ever play the game.
Brittney Spears: Pop singer Brittney Spears is one of the most successful singers of her generation. The 36-year-old Grammy winner is known for songs like “Toxic” and “Baby One More Time.”
The Relationship: This one probably flew under the radar because it was never actually confirmed. There have long been rumors that the two had a short-lived romance back in 2002. However, there is little evidence to support this notion, and the rumors may have stemmed from the fact that they were two of the most popular celebrities at the time.
13 Rick Fox & Eliza Dushku
Rick Fox: Retired NBA star Rick Fox is best known for winning 3 championships with the L.A. Lakers from 2000-2002. The 6-foot-7 forward scored just under 9,000 points over the course of his career. These days the 48-year-old owns the eSports (video game) team known as Echo Fox.
Eliza Dushku: Watertown, Massachusetts native Eliza Dushku is an actress who has been featured in several popular films and television series. The 37-year old brunette is best known for portraying the character Faith on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, a show that was popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Relationship: Despite the fact that this relationship lasted around 5 years (2009-2014) it received only a modest amount of media attention. This may be because Fox had been retired for several years when the courtship started.
12 Glenn Rice & Sarah Palin
Glen Rice: Retired basketball star Glenn Rice had an outstanding career in the NBA. He is a 3-time All-Star who helped the New York Knicks when a championship back in 2000. The 50-year-old former 1st round pick currently runs a mixed martial arts promotion based in Miami, Florida.
Sarah Palin: 54-year-old Sarah Palin is a politician, author, and commentator. She is best known for being the Republican Party’s Vice Presidential candidate during the 2008 election, alongside her running mate – Senator John McCain. Palin also served as Governor of Alaska from 2006-2009.
The Relationship: According to a tell-all book that was released in 2011, the two were romantically involved during Palin’s college days. While the former Governor has never publicly addressed the rumors, Rice has implied that some sort of relationship had occurred.
11 Rory McIlroy & Meghan Markle
Rory McIlroy: 28-year-old, Irish Golfer Rory McIlroy is one of the biggest names in the sport. He is known for being a 4-time major champion, who won the prestigious U.S. Open back in 2011. He made PGA history by becoming one of only 4 players to win 3 majors by the age of 25.
Meghan Markle: While technically an actress, Megahan Markle is best known for being the current fiancée of England’s Prince Harry. Prior to their engagement, the 36-year-old brunette was a television star, who also had some small roles in some well-known films.
The Relationship: The two posted a photo together on social media together and were also spotted dining in Dublin. However, this alleged relationship never gained much traction, as reports suggest the duo may not have been romantically involved.
10 Kelly Slater & Gisele Bundchen
Kelly Slater: Kelly Slater is 46-year-old pro surfer who originally hails from Cocoa Beach, Florida. He has won the World Surf League Championship on 11 separate occasions – more than any other wave rider in the sport’s history. Moreover, Slater is also the all-time career leader in event wins.
Gisele Bundchen: 37-year-old Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen is one of the most successful females in the industry. According to Forbes Magazine, the 5-foot-11 runway queen brought in $30.5 million in 2016 alone. In North America, she is also known as the wife of NFL QB Tom Brady.
The Relationship: Slater and Bundchen dated briefly for a period between 2005-2006. This relationship got some media attention, but since Slater (and pro surfing in general) doesn’t receive a lot of mainstream coverage; the courtship has been forgotten by many.
9 Luke Rockhold & Demi Lovato
Luke Rockhold: 33-year-old mixed martial artist Luke Rockhold currently compete in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He is a former UFC Middleweight Championship, who holds notable victories over fighters such as Chris Weidman, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, and Michael Bisping. When he’s not competing in the octagon, Rockhold is busy serving as the face of Ralph Lauren’s “Polo Blue” cologne.
Demi Lovato: Demi Lovato is a 25-year-old pop singer and actress. She has won numerous awards and produced several hit songs including “Sorry Not Sorry,” “Skyscrapers,” and “Cool for the Summer.” At present, Lovato is one of the best-known singers in the world.
The Relationship: Rockhold and Lovato dated for a few months back in 2016. While the courtship didn’t fly totally under the radar, it didn’t get as much attention as one might expect, given the names involved.
8 Maria Sharapova & Adam Levine
Maria Sharapova: At 6-foot-2, Russian-born tennis star Maria Sharapova is one of the tallest women in the game today – she is also one of the most accomplished. The blonde right-hander has won every Grand Slam tournament and has been ranked number 1 in the world on numerous occasions. When the 30-year-old decides to call it quits, she will likely find herself in the Pro Tennis Hall of Fame.
Adam Levine: Adam Levine is a 39-year-old musician is who best known for being the lead singer of the popular rock band Maroon 5. Folks may also recognize the pop star as one of the coaches on the popular television show The Voice.
The Relationship: The two dated briefly back in 2005, before Levine was a household name ,which is probably why this pairing didn’t get as much attention as they would if the two got together in 2018.
7 Dolph Ziggler & Amy Schumer
Dolph Ziggler: 37-year-old Nick Nemeth is a professional wrestler who performs for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) under the ring name Dolph Ziggler. He was won several titles over the course of his career, including the World Heavyweight Championship, which he held on 2 separate occasions.
Amy Schumer: Amy Schumer is a 36-year-old actress and comedian who has been featured in several well-known films and television series. She is best known for starring movies like Trainwreck (which she also wrote) and Snatched. The A-lister has been nominated for 5 Prime Time Emmy Awards.
The Relationship: The wrestler and actress were together for a brief period in 2012. This one didn’t get much attention until Schumer discussed the courtship on The Howard Stern Show, but by that time the relationship had already ended.
6 Cristiano Ronaldo & Paris Hilton
Cristiano Ronaldo: 33-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo is a soccer star out of Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. He plays forward for Real Madrid and is also a member of the Portugal national team. Ronaldo is considered by many to be the greatest player in the world today and also one of the best ever.
Paris Hilton: Paris Hilton is a socialite, businesswoman, and reality television star. The blonde New Yorker is also the granddaughter of Barron Hilton – founder of the famed hotel chain. She is arguably best known for appearing the reality series The Simple Life with her friend Nicole Richie.
The Relationship: Ronaldo and Hilton were a couple for a short time back in 2009. However, both parties have extensive dating resumes that include several famous celebs, so it’s easy how this got lost in the shuffle a bit.
5 Barry Zito & Alyssa Milano
Barry Zito: Retired MLB pitcher Barry Zito played for both the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. During his career, the talented lefty was a 3-time All-Star who captured the prestigious Cy Young Award in 2002. Zito also helped the Giants win a World Series title back in 2012.
Alyssa Milano: 45-year-old actress Alyssa Milano first became a star in the 1980s, while playing the role of Samantha on the hit television show Who’s The Boss. She is also known for starring in other hit series like Charmed and Melrose Place.
The Relationship: Zito and Milano were an item for a brief period from 2004-2005.The actress also dated two other baseball players Carl Pavano and Brad Penny shortly before and after, respectively – this may be why her relationship with Zito in particular, got lost in the shuffle.
4 Gail Kim & Robert Irvine
Gail Kim: Canadian professional wrestler Gail Kim is best known for performing for both World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling (TNA). The 41-year-old has help the Women’s Championship in both promotions and was even inducted into the TNA Hall of Fame in 2016.
Robert Irvine: Celebrity chef Robert Irvine is known for appearing in and hosting several television shows on the Food Network. The Englishman's is most commonly associated with the series Restaurant: Impossible. In 2016, he began hosting his own daytime talk show, The Robert Irvine Show.
The Relationship: Kim and Irvine have been married since 2012. The two met on the set of one of Irvine’s shows, Dinner: Impossible. Unless folks happened to catch the episode of Restaurant: Impossible the wedding was documented on, there a good chance they may not know that these two are an item.
3 Charlie Whitehurst & Jewel
Charlie Whitehurst: NFL quarterback Charlie Whitehurst has been a professional football player since 2006. The 35-year-old has spent the majority of his career as a backup, which earned him the nickname “Clipboard Jesus.” He has played for 5 different franchises over the course of his career. Whitehurst is currently a free agent who last played for the Cleveland Browns in 2016.
Jewel: Jewel Kilcher, known simply as Jewel, is 43-year-old musician out of Homer, Alaska. She has dabbled in a variety of different musical genres and produced several hits including “Who Will Save Your Soul” and “Foolish Games.” The blonde starlet has received 4 Grammy Award nominations over the years.
The Relationship: The two are currently dating and have been since 2015. However, Whitehurst’s career is winding down, and Jewel hasn’t been making many headlines recently, which may be why we don’t hear much about the couple.
2 Brie Bella & Richie Kotzen
Brie Bella: Brianna Danielson, who is better known by her ring name Brie Bella, is a professional wrestler, reality star, and businesswoman. The 34-year-old is a former WWE Divas Champion and has also been featured in the E! reality series Total Divas and Total Bellas. Bella is the wife of current WWE star Daniel Bryan.
Richie Kotzen: Richie Kotzen is a 48-year-old rock guitarist, who is has been a member of popular bands like Poison and Mr. Big. He is currently the frontman for a group called The Winery Dog, who are best known for their self-titled debut album.
The Relationship: The pair dated for around 5 years from 2004 until 2009. However, since Bella didn’t really become a major star until after their relationship ended, the couple didn’t get much attention at the time.
1 Mark Sanchez & Jamie-Lynn Sigler
Mark Sanchez: Quarterback Mark Sanchez has played in the National Football League, since being selected by the New York Jets in the 1st round of the 2009 Draft. He helped lead his team to consecutive AFC Championship appearances in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The 31-year-old has also played with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Bears – primarily as a backup. He enters the 2018 season as a free agent.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler: 36-year-old actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler is best known for playing Meadow Soprano, on the HBO hit series The Sopranos. She also appeared in another popular HBO show, Entourage.
The Relationship: Sanchez and Sigler were romantically linked for a brief period back in 2010. Shortly after their break up, Sanchez was rumored to have dated model Kate Upton, which seemed to divert attention from his past relationship with the Sopranos star.