In the relationship kingdom,
friend breakups are the most awkward beast to tackle. It’s not as simple as texting, “We need to talk,” eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and then hitting the bars when you’re feeling sufficiently yourself again. Also, without the romantic relationship’s key element of sexual attraction, there’s also less of a chance you’ll boomerang back to your ex-friend, or text them at 2 a.m. when it’s closing time at the bar and you’re lonely.
Usually, friend breakups lack the fireworks, tears, and catharsis of a romantic relationship’s end. Instead, they consist of subtle, discreet drifts: the simmering down of a text chain, no invitation to a birthday party.
But if you’re a celebrity, these feuds are thrust into the public eye. From scanning interview transcripts to reading song lyrics, there's proof of each phase of the friend breakup. Here, we compile the
charred remains of the celeb friendships that once were. Read These Stories Next: Jonathan Cheban Is More Than A Longtime Kardashian BFF, Okay? Where Are They Now: 15 Of Your Favorite Celebs From 15 Years Ago Grown-Up Hanson Drops Amazing Acoustic "MMMBop" Cover
The Friends: Paris Hilton & Kim Kardashian
The Beef: Stretch your mind back to the early aughts, when Paris Hilton topped the reality TV food chain and Kim Kardashian was merely her trusty lackey on The Simple Life. But the system toppled in 2009, when Kardashian's sex tape leaked, Keeping Up With the Kardashians premiered, and Kardashian overtook Hilton as the more heavily searched name on Google. Kardashian had officially lapped Hilton in the fame wars.
The Aftermath: Hilton threw a few insults at Kardashian before sinking into obscurity. In an interview, Hilton said Kardashian's butt "reminds [her] of cottage cheese inside a big trash bag." When an interviewer on Good Morning America asked Hilton whether she thought her time in the spotlight had ceased, Hilton walked out of the interview. Resentment runs deep.
In 2014, the friends — now in their 30s — seemed to retire their feuding days
in an conciliatory Instagram. J. Vespa / Contributor More
The Friends: Taylor Swift & Katy Perry
The Beef: Between the years of 2009 and 2011, Perry and Swift were thick as thieves — at least on Twitter, where Swift posted things like, "@Katyperry knows how to throw a birthday party! I would even go as far as to say it was party-licious. Best EVER. Happy bday, pretty girl!!
Although Swift and Perry both dated John Mayer, their drama had nothing to do with mutual ex-boyfriends.
In an interview with in 2014, Swift addressed expectations, "I know people will make it this big girl-fight thing. But I just want people to know it's not about a guy. The beef was purely professional. Rolling Stone
Here's the gist. In 2012, three of Perry's "California Dreams" tour dancers signed on to Taylor's Red Tour. Then, they agreed to leave Swift's tour early to join Perry's Prism World Tour in 2013. Furious, Swift removed the defecting dancers from her tour, and — gasp! — unfollowed them on Twitter.
The Aftermath: We have this feud to thank for Swift's song "Bad Blood." Swift told Rolling Stone that her friendship with the "unnamed female artist" who inspired the song was always ambiguous: "I would think, 'Are we friends, or did she just give me the harshest insult of my life?'" But the dancer debacle turned the singers into "straight-up enemies," in Swift's words.
The day after the article ran,
Perry tweeted, "Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing." Kevin Mazur / Contributor More
The Friends: Gwyneth Paltrow & Winona Ryder
The Beef: In their 90s hey-day, Paltrow and Ryder dated Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, respectively, and became pretty close themselves. As rumor has it, the friendship ended when Paltrow beat Ryder out for the role of Viola in Shakespeare in Love — and then went on to win an Oscar.
The Aftermath: In an interview with Howard Stern, Paltrow admitted that she hadn't seen Ryder in years. But she adamantly denied that she stole the role from Ryder, saying, "That's an urban myth. I swear to God I did not." KMazur / Contributor More
The Friends: Gwyneth Paltrow & Madonna
The Beef: In the mid-2000s, Paltrow and Madonna were in a fast, furious friendship in New York. They especially bonded over their love for fitness, and even used the same trainer, Tracy Anderson. Both women were very close to Anderson: The trainer had traveled with Madonna for two years, and helped Paltrow get in touch with her soulful side. Anderson said in an interview, "When I started training Gwyneth, she couldn’t dance at all, and now you should see her.”
The drama began in 2011, when Madonna stopped using Anderson's services. Paltrow was incensed.
The Aftermath: Paltrow took to her lifestyle blog, Goop, to express her hurt. In a post asking for help on what to do "when you don't like a friend anymore," Paltrow said spending time with some individuals left her feeling "drained, empty and belittled." The friend in question was Madonna. Kevin Mazur / Contributor More
The Friends: Kevin Smith & Ben Affleck
The Beef: In 1995, Smith cast a budding Affleck in his cult hit, Mallrats. S o began a creative partnership that lasted years. Affleck starred in many of Smith's films, from Dogma to Chasing Amy. Yet once Affleck started dating Jennifer Garner in 2004, their tight friendship suddenly ceased.
The Aftermath: It took almost 10 years for an explanation. In 2014, Smith addressed their falling out frankly, after an interviewer asked whether he thought Affleck would make a good Batman. "Great question. I don’t know, because we’re not fucking tight. I have not been [close with him] in decades. That’s old Ben. He’s got a wife that don’t care for me at all. And plus, honestly, he probably don’t care for me at all anymore. " A RODRIGUEZ / BEI/REX/Shutterstock More
The Friends: Paris Hilton & Nicole Richie
The Beef: Once upon a time, Hilton and Richie were professional Best Friends on their reality show, The Simple Life. But then, it's speculated their relationship turned sour for reasons you might expect: jealousy over media attention, hurt feelings, and resentment. In 2005, Hilton made the cryptic statement to saying, "It’s no big secret that Nicole and I are no longer friends. Nicole knows what she did, and that’s all I’m ever going to say about it." People,
The Aftermath: Hilton and Richie don't run in the same circles anymore, but the so-called "feud" has definitely died down. In 2014, after Richie was asked about her friendship with Hilton on Watch What Happens Live, she said, "The short answer to this is, I haven’t spoken to her in a while, but we are very good friends. I love her and I love her family. I have a lot of respect for her." Frazer Harrison / Staff More
The Friends: Miley Cyrus & Demi Lovato
The Beef: It was a friendship made in Disney stardom heaven. Reaching maturity under the Disney Channel umbrella, Lovato said of Miley during an interview in 2013, "Miley has been one of my best friends growing up." But some time between 2013 and 2014, they stopped being friends, which Lovato readily admitted when she referred to Cyrus as an "acquaintance" in a radio interview.
The Aftermath: Lovato has some words of wisdom (that perhaps Paltrow could use on her Goop post). When asked about Cyrus in an interview in 2014, Lovato said, "It's life, and people change. I don't have anything in common with her anymore. I wish her the best." Kevin Mazur / Contributor More
The Friends: Jennette McCurdy & Ariana Grande
The Beef: According to McCurdy, the women's close friendship was forged through working 16-hour days on the set of Sam & Cat. After the show got canceled, people were quick to read into their friendship and hunt for signs of dissolution. As McCurdy said, "As the show dissolved, everybody wanted to find some sort of hidden meaning in our relationship."
The Aftermath: Well, actually, there's no feud at all. Just a lot of swirling rumors. In an interview with , McCurdy said, "She just gave me a book recommendation that I’m almost done with...and then we text probably like once a week to kind of catch up and see what’s going on.” So while they're not Entertainment Weekly as close, they're still in touch. Jason LaVeris / Contributor More
The Friends: Elton John & the late, great George Michael
The Beef: The pop stars were good friends, but then let the sun go down on their friendship with a few nasty public statements. In 2004, John said of Michael's homebody habits,"He's quite happy just being at home all the time, and I think that's a waste of talent. There seems to be a deep-rooted unhappiness in his life and it shows on his latest album."
An angry Michael penned an open letter with the classy third-person statement, "Elton John knows nothing about George Michael."
The Aftermath: In 2006, John settled the feud once and for all. In an interview on ITV, John said, "George and I are fine. He came and stayed down [at] my house last year." Dave Hogan / Contributor More Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Kylie Jenner Brought All Of Her Friends To Travis Scott's Birthday Celebs You Should Be Following On Instagram This Band Thinks 13 Reasons Why Is Dangerous — & It's On The Soundtrack