Top 15 Athletes' Marriages That Failed Miserably

The way the short-lived relationship between NBA stars Britney Griner and Glory Johnson unfolded, it makes you question how some of these celebrity couples—especially the ones on this list—ever manage

The way the short-lived relationship between NBA stars Britney Griner and Glory Johnson unfolded, it makes you question how some of these celebrity couples—especially the ones on this list—ever managed to join forces in marriage. It seemed as though these relationships were doomed from the start, though these athletes and celebrities tried to see it through, unsuccessfully.

The relationships of these athletes are entirely in the public light, and even more so when their spouse is another prominent figure in Hollywood, or even another athlete. Each and every aspect of their relationship is documented and scrutinized, making the semblance of privacy non-existent. As a result—in some cases—problems begin to surface entirely based on the claims of news outlets, most notably tabloid newspapers. When certain high-profile marriages end, some spouses reveal details from the relationship either in interviews or in tell-all autobiographical books like some of the celebrities on this list have done. With the prior knowledge of this happening post-marriage, it is inevitable that some will refrain from opening up to their spouse throughout the relationship, afraid of the backlash that may occur if it does end. Thus, the bond formed may not be as tightly knit as it would in a private, smaller-scale relationship. Moreover, prominent couples often spend a great deal of their time apart, forced to work hundreds or even thousands of miles away from each other. This immediately presents a major roadblock for any couple to overcome: the challenges of a long-distance relationship. History suggests these simply cannot work, and when the relationship is constantly under the public’s eye, it diminishes the odds of it achieving success even more.

The marriages on this list aren’t just some of the shortest-tenured, but also some of the notable in history. And if you’re hoping to get hitched, or have already done so, you may learn a thing or two from the relationship mistakes of these celebrities. Here are the 15 shortest-lived high-profile athlete marriages of all time.

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

16 Shaquille O'Neal and Shaunie Nelson


Shaquille O'Neal's marriage with Shaunie, lasted seven years, although Shaq had initially filed for divorce after five years. When discussing the marriage, Shaq had this to say: "At one time my ex-wife and I were happy, but I admit it—I was a guy." Make of that what you will. Shaunie hired a private investigator who discovered Shaq had been sexting a woman named Vaness Lopez. Shaunie would soon become a featured star on VH1's Basketball Wives.

15 Tiki Barber and Ginny Cha


While the couple was married for 11 years, the way it ended is just too controversial to leave off this list. Tiki Barber retired from the NFL in 2006, anticipating a booming television career. While it wife was pregnant with twins, it was discovered that Barber had been cheating on her with 23-year-old former NBC intern Traci Lynn Johnson. Eight days after finalizing his divorce with Cha, Barber married Johnson. Cha would soon give birth to twins, leaving the former couple with four children.

14 Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren

REUTERS/Hans Deryk

Tiger Woods' marriage to former Swedish model Elin Nordegren lasted about five years before an incident at the golfer's home. From there countless stories began to surface about Tiger's affairs with dozens of mistresses. Nordegren filed for divorce from Tiger and they officially split in the summer of 2010. It seems Woods hasn't changed his unfaithful ways since the marriage and he and Lindsey Vonn recently ended their relationship due to Woods cheating on Vonn.

13 Chad Johnson and Evelyn Lozada


Chad Johnson, or Ochocinco as he was known at the time, proposed to the Basketball Wives star in 2010. They married on the 4th of July in 2012, while Ochocinco had landed a contract with the Miami Dolphins, who just so happened to be on HBO's Hard Knocks for their training camp. The timing couldn't have been worse. Just over a month after marrying, Johnson was arrested on a domestic battery charge after Johnson had allegedly head butted his wife after an argument. Johnson was cut from the Dolphins and Lozada filed for divorce the next day. The divorce was finalized in September.


11 Marion Jones and C.J. Hunter


Marion Jones and C.J. Hunter met back in 1997 while Hunter was teaching track at the University of North Carolina. Hunter resigned from his post to not violate the university rules prohibiting relationships between students and staff. They married the following year and trained for the 2000 Olympics. The marriage began to fall apart when Hunter, a shot-putter, tested positive for an anabolic steroid. The couple divorced in 2002 and Jones stated in her book that the positive test hurt her marriage and her image at the time as a drug-free athlete, although we'd later find out Jones' claims of being drug-free weren't true.

10 Rick Fox and Vanessa Williams


Rick Fox, a former Los Angeles Laker and Vanessa Williams, the first African-American woman crowned Miss America each had at least one child from previous relationships when they got married in September 1999. The couple divorced after five years, though it was later announced they had been prepping for a split nearly 18 months prior. During that time in 2004, Fox was caught kissing another woman; the former Lakers’revealed the couple had been nearing a split for over a year. The two filed for divorce a few months later. Despite their elongated breakup, Fox and Williams hit the small screen together years later on the ABC television series Ugly Betty.

9 David Justice and Halle Berry


The three-time MLB All-star was entering the prime of his career when he married actress Halle Berry, who was best known at the time for her supporting role in Jungle Fever. Justice and Berry—the would-be name of a fictional crime-fighting duo—were married for just over three years before they separated in February 1996. After the relationship ended, Berry informed the public that she considered taking her own life as a result of depression from the marriage. Additionally, she sought a restraining order against her ex-husband.

8 Tony Parker and Eva Longoria


Eva Longoria was a die-hard Spurs supporter before her and Parker tied the knot in 2007. But even their commitment to the NBA’s modern-day dynasty couldn’t keep them together. The couple divorced before they could celebrate their fourth year anniversary. Immediately after the divorce, Longoria divulged the reason behind their breakup; she discovered hundreds of text messages from another woman on Parker’s phone while the two were together. The woman turned out to be Erin Barry, the wife of Parker’s former teammate Brent. Parker has remarried, meanwhile Longoria continues to support the Spurs.

7 Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields


Andre Agassi and Brooke Shields spent six years together, but they land seventh on this list because they were married for just two of those years. They began their relationship in 1993 and got married four years later. However in 1999, the couple got divorced. Shields released a memoir in 2014, and reiterated what Agassi revealed in his own autobiography, that he had been addicted to crystal meth throughout their relationship. Both Agassi and Shields believed the marriage was doomed before it even began. And it sunk in with Shields hardest the day after their wedding. "It hit me all of a sudden, I knew I had made a mistake," said Shields. "For the next two years we saw very little of each other." Their time apart essentially put the nail in their marital coffin.

6 Greg Norman and Chris Evert

David Lobel / via

Two of the greatest at their respective sports, Greg Norman and Chris Evert left their long-time spouses for each other in 2006. Norman held the number one golf ranking for 331 weeks during the 80s and 90s. Meanwhile, Evert held the top women’s ranking in Tennis from 1975-1980. Norman had two children from a previous marriage, and Evert had three; their marital problems reportedly stemmed from problematic interactions between their stepchildren. After getting married in 2008, their tumultuous relationship lasted just 15 months.

5 Mike Tyson and Robin Givens


Mike Tyson, the enigmatic former heavyweight champion and cameo actor was married to Robin Givens for just one year. In fact, the marriage ended on Valentine’s Day 1989. A reported miscarriage signaled the downfall of their relationship. From that stemmed a constant battle between the two; Givens claimed Tyson had abused her, and he alleged her sole interest was his money—a prenuptial agreement was not signed prior to the marriage. Conflicting reports examined her financial windfall following the divorce; some claimed she had received upwards of $10 million.

4 Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe


The most notable marriage on this list is that of Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe in 1954. And it took just 274 days for it to end—Monroe accused her ex-husband of “mental cruelty" after the two split. She suggested her fame led to the demise of their relationship. “He was jealous of me because I was more famous than he was,” said Monroe. According to a Vanity Fair magazine story, DiMaggio spoke about his ex-wife in his final words when he died of lung cancer at 84 in 1999. “I’ll finally get to see Marilyn,” said DiMaggio according to the report.

A baseball signed by the couple during the Yankees’ 1961 Spring Training—the only known one to exist with her name written in full—sold for just under $200,000 in 2006. At the time the ball was signed, the two were hoping to reconcile after divorcing.

3 Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra


Back in October, Carmen Electra revisited her short-lived marriage with Dennis Rodman on Oprah Winfrey’s Where Are They Now series, and she chose to describe it in one way: “The worst.” Rodman seemed to agree. Just nine days after they married in November 1998, Rodman filed for annulment. He explained he was of “unsound mind” when the two got hitched at a small chapel in Vegas. Four months later, they officially ended their marriage. In the beginning however, she ignored the negative public opinion about Rodman, explaining that she saw a gentle giant who was in pain and in need of saving. But after losing her mother and older sister, she was in no capacity to save the former NBA star.

2 Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian


Aside from hard-core NBA pundits, most of the world had little idea who Kris Humphries was. In 2010, he was a seldom-used member of the Dallas Mavericks, his third NBA stop at the age of 24. But once he met Kim K, he emerged into the public’s eye. His popularity skyrocketed, the way a high-school student could only dream. His name immediately became a household one, but only for reasons away from the hardwood. While playing for the Mavs, he met Kardashian, and the two married less than a year later in August 2011.

The E! Network picked up a two-part TV special documenting the preparations for the wedding and the event itself. Yet after just 72 days of marriage, Kardashian filed for divorce. Major news outlets suggested the marriage was a publicity stunt to promote the reality TV star’s image and that of her family. Kardashian is now famously with Kanye West, and the couple has one child together. On the flip side, shortly after their divorce, Humphries had the best NBA season of his career, averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per game.

1 Britney Griner and Glory Johnson


The most recent short-lived marriage, and the shortest on this list is that of WNBA stars Britney Griner and Glory Johnson. Beginning with their engagement in August 2014, the two have had a jaw-dropping rollercoaster ride as a couple, which was overwhelmingly filled with lows. And their relationship timeline is unfathomable. In April, the couple was arrested on charges of assault and disorderly conduct after police separated the two following a fight at their home in Arizona.

Shockingly, the two married less than three weeks later. Six days later, the WNBA suspended the pair for seven games each after Griner pleaded guilty to the aforementioned disorderly conduct charges. A month later in June, the couple announced Johnson was pregnant. The next day, Griner filed for annulment, citing fraudulent activity in the marriage.

Give TheSportster a Thumbs up!

Looking for an AD FREE EXPERIENCE on TheSportster?

Get Your Free Access Now!

More in Entertainment

Top 15 Athletes' Marriages That Failed Miserably