The will-they-or-won’t-they divorce-go-round of NBA basketball player Tony Parker and “Desperate Housewives” actress Eva Longora Parker this week cast a harsh light on a dubious trend in celebrity couplings-actresses wedding athletes. Marilyn Monroe may have been the trendsetting pioneer when she married baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, but it wasn’t until the Longoria-Parker pair hijacked the headlines recently that Americans began calling foul on what may be a flawed team concept.
At first glance, it seems like the merger of Hollywood actresses and sports heroes is made in heaven, at least from a publicity perspective. The sports star raises his profile by escorting his lovely leading lady down endless red carpets, and the actress attracts TV cameras by playing adoring cheerleader in the stands. Meanwhile, cameras click away and both stars raise their fame quotients, cross-pollinating their fan bases in the complementary arenas of TV/movies and sports.
But when the fans and paparazzi go home and the couple spends time alone (when their busy schedules permit), their relationships often stray foul. Well before Kobe Bryant’s wife scored her $4 million finger bling or Tiger Woods’ head was mistaken for a golf ball, a high percentage of sports stars were as famous for their infidelities as their athletic prowess.
Why Actresses Feel Safe with Athlete Husbands
Actresses meanwhile, many of whom are also known for their off-stage performances with other women’s husbands (think Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts), may think their own marriages are affair proof because they are so adored by their fans. How could their athlete husband be tempted by a mere mortal when millions of men clamor to be at their side?
Happily, some Holly-Jock marriages-Dario Franchitti-Ashley Judd and Jason Sehorn-Angie Harmon are prime examples-have gone into extra innings, passing the tests of time and temptations. But they are the exceptions that prove the rule. Statistically, more actress-athlete couples seem to strike out, unable to overcome the obstacles that fame, fortune and opportunity place in the way of even the most lovey-dove power pairs.
Some famous strike-outs between actresses and athletes:
Mike Tyson and Robin Givens-Tyson’s marriage to Givens hit the ropes after alleged bouts of spousal abuse. On ABC’s “20/20,” the “Go to the Head of the Class” actress described her marriage to the boxer as “torture.”
Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra-Rodman and Electra’s Las Vegas wedding was a bad bet. Although Rodman told People, “I love her to death, “Electra wound up filing for divorce within six months.
John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neal- McEnroe was not cut out for doubles play with marriage partner O’Neal. Six years and three children later, tennis pro McEnroe and Hollywood princess O’Neal decided they were not a love match.
David Justice and Halle Berry: Despite his name, the beautiful Berry found life unfair married to Justice. The Atlanta Braves’ right-fielder reportedly cheated on the “Monster’s Ball” star.
Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio: The baseball player and blonde bombshell wed in 1954, but the marriage didn’t make it to “The Seven Year Itch.” Monroe filed for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty less than a year after she and DiMaggio tied the knot.
“Robin Givens Livid Over Mike Tyson Interview on ‘The View’ NewYorkDailyNews.com
People.com Carmen Electra
Yahoo! Movies Tatum O’Neal
People.com Halle Berry
Yahoo! Movies Marilyn Monroe