Who: Grammy-winning singer and cat impersonator Taylor Swift, 29, and Conor Kennedy, 25, profession unknown.
How They Met: Swift is a longtime Kennedy aficionado. In fact, she wrote “Starlight,” a song on her 2012 album Red, as an ode to Ethel and Bobby Kennedy’s courtship “on the boardwalk, summer of '45.” According to J. Randy Taraborrelli’s latest biography, The Kennedy Heirs, Ethel’s daughter, Rory, got in touch with Swift’s camp in the summer of 2011 after hearing she was a fan of the Kennedy matriarch. Rory asked for concert tickets for herself and her daughters, which she was given. Upon meeting Swift backstage, the singer asked if she could introduce herself to Ethel. Rory gave Swift her mother’s phone number and they soon met up.
In January of the following year, Rory extended an invitation to Swift for the Sundance Film Festival premiere of Ethel, a documentary about her mother. There, Ethel asked if Swift would like to spend fourth of July weekend at the Kennedy compound. Naturally, Swift accepted.
According to The Kennedy Heirs, Swift spent a great deal of the weekend with Kennedy cousin (and son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver) Patrick Schwarzenegger. “Taylor and Patrick would hold hands and walk off on their own, she with her head on his shoulder. He would lean in and kiss her on the lips,” Taraborrelli wrote. The relationship was never confirmed in the press, but photos of the two hugging invited much speculation.
Initial attraction aside, Swift and Schwarzenegger’s budding romance came to a halt when the latter, an aspiring actor, had to leave the compound for work. Enter: Schwarzenegger’s younger cousin, Conor.
Conor’s mother, Mary Richardson Kennedy, had committed suicide just a few months prior, and his father, Robert F. Kennedy, reportedly saw Swift’s presence in his son’s life as a “good” distraction. However, not every member of the family saw it as such. Taraborrelli writes that Patrick Kennedy, during the inaugural meeting for his soon-to-be-founded Kennedy Forum, stopped to note that “the girl in the bathing suit walking down the path to the docks was Taylor Swift, who was then dating my nephew and probably already composing the song about their breakup.”
When They Peaked: We’d be remiss not to mention Swift and Kennedy’s brazen wedding-crashing as both the pinnacle and beginning of the end of their short relationship.
In mid-August, Conor texted his aunt Vicky Gifford Kennedy one hour before her daughter Kyle’s wedding to see whether, despite forgetting to RSVP, he and Swift could attend. She told him no, as Swift’s attendance would no doubt distract from the bride. They showed up anyway, and as expected, the party’s attention shifted to the pop star in their midst. Vicky greeted Swift and asked her to leave, but the mother of the bride said the singer “seemed to look right past me.” Vicky compared the confrontation to “talking to a ghost.”
Eventually Taylor and Conor caught Vicky’s drift and left.
Taraborrelli writes that the pair had an argument that night, as Swift wasn’t aware they were unwelcome at the wedding.
After rumors of the ordeal began to swirl in the media, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vicky’s stepmother, confirmed the story on the Today show.
Swift’s reps vehemently denied the whole story. “There’s no truth to that,” they said of Vicky’s claims. “Taylor was invited to the wedding and the bride thanked her profusely for being there.”
Swift called Ethel to clear the air, explaining that “there was so much pandemonium going on around her she had completely misunderstood” what Vicky was saying when she asked her to leave the wedding. “Chaos always happens, she said, whenever she walks into a room full of strangers, and that’s why she appeared so blank-eyed,” Taraborrelli wrote.
Why We Loved Them: Everything about this relationship was entertainingly aggressive — like a reality show you love to hate. I mean, after a few weeks of dating Taylor decided to buy a house on Cape Cod to be nearer to Conor. A HOUSE. And not a cheap one — Swift reportedly shelled out $4.9 million on a 7-room “summer home.” According to Taraborrelli’s sources, the bulk of which asked to remain anonymous, Swift had “started doodling ‘Taylor Swift Kennedy’ on a notebook just to see how it looked.”
The Breakup: According to The Kennedy Heirs, Kennedy ended things with Swift that September, just about two months into their relationship. “Conor liked Taylor, don’t get me wrong, but this business of her buying a house on the Cape made him nervous,” a friend of Conor’s told the biographer. “It seemed as if she was getting a little too attached, spending five million bucks on a house just to be near the guy.”
Swift sold the Cape Cod house soon after, pocketing a $1 million profit.
Swift went on to share high-profile relationships with Harry Styles, Calvin Harris, and Tom Hiddleston. She’s currently dating actor Joe Alwyn.
VIDEO: Joe Alwyn Is Set on Giving Taylor Swift an Unforgettable Proposal
The singer has a big year with the upcoming release of her seventh studio album, Lover, and the musical Cats.