Login Now!

OR   Sign in with Google   Sign in with Facebook
VOICE OVER: Jennifer Silverman WRITTEN BY: Cassondra Feltus
The blacklash was wider than the age gap of these couples. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the famous and infamous relationships that caused a stir and drew negative media attention. Our countdown includes Olivia Wilde & Harry Styles, Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise, Elvis & Priscilla Presley, and more!

#10: Billie Eilish & Jesse Rutherford

Also in:

The Incredible Rise of Billie Eilish

Grammy-winner Billie Eilish took the music industry by storm at a young age. Many of her most diehard fans have followed the songstress since the beginning of her career, so it’s hard for some to accept that she’s now an adult. People quickly criticized her more feminine fashion choices, but nothing has been more controversial than her relationship with The Neighbourhood frontman Jesse Rutherford, 11 years her senior. While the two were spotted together in early October 2022, it wasn’t until November that the relationship was confirmed by Eilish herself when she shared a pic via Instagram. Their couple’s Halloween costume as an old man and a baby was controversial on its own. After less than a year, the musicians split in May 2023.

#9: Olivia Wilde & Harry Styles

Also in:

Top 10 Silliest Olivia Colman Moments

Since his days with “One Direction,” Harry Styles has dealt with a massive amount of media attention, with everyone all up in his business, particularly his dating life. During the filming of “Don’t Worry Darling” in fall 2020, the then-28-year-old leading man Styles sparked a romance with 38-year-old actor-director Olivia Wilde. While anyone he’s ever cozied up with has experienced online hate, this specific coupling received instant backlash largely due to the decade between them. All kinds of drama surrounded the film, but Styles and Wilde’s relationship was at the center of it all. Who can forget the awkward tension at the Venice Film Festival in September 2022? Just months after the premiere, the two reportedly decided to take a “break.”

#8: Florence Pugh & Zach Braff

Also in:

Top 10 Reasons You Should Know Florence Pugh

English actress Florence Pugh skyrocketed to a Hollywood A-lister in 2019. With fame and fans come people who feel compelled to hate on a celeb’s success, and well, everything else. Speculation about Pugh’s possible relationship with “Scrubs” star and filmmaker Zach Braff began in January 2019, and by April, they were seen holding hands in NYC. In December, Pugh confirmed their couple status via Instagram when she responded to someone’s unwarranted comment about their 21-year age difference. She had to clap back again in April 2020 after a slew of commenters shared the same criticism. Although Pugh and Braff broke up in August 2022, they’ve both expressed interest in working together again like Braff’s 2023 drama “A Good Person.”

#7: Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise

In a 2004 interview, “Dawson’s Creek” actress Katie Holmes admitted that Tom Cruise was her celeb crush when she was young. Little did she know, or maybe she did, that she’d begin a very public romance with the actor/daredevil in April 2005. In May, Cruise made a more than memorable appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” You know, the one where he bizarrely jumped on her couch because he was so overwhelmed with love for the woman 16 years his junior. The relationship quickly progressed that year, with the couple getting engaged in June and announcing their pregnancy in October. Their unsurprising divorce in July 2012 was just as rushed. The gap in age was just one of the many unsettling things about TomKat.

#6: Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher

Also in:

The Tragic Life of Demi Lovato

Another unexpected and rather controversial relationship in the early aughts was between actress Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Though the two met in 2003, they didn’t tie the knot until 2005 when they were 42 and 27 years old, respectively. Kutcher became the stepdad to Moore’s three daughters with ex-Bruce Willis – Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah. Sadly, the newlyweds suffered a miscarriage a year later, which Moore would detail in her 2019 memoir “Inside Out,” along with her husband’s infidelity that led to their separation in November 2011. Kutcher rekindled his romance with former “That ‘70s Show” co-star Mila Kunis in 2012, a year before he was officially divorced from Moore. These days, all three are on good terms.

#5: Celine Dion & René Angélil

Also in:

Top 10 Moments That Made Us Love Celine Dion

Like many artists, Quebec native Celine Dion started out when she was young. Her career really took off in the 1980s after producer René Angélil was so impressed with her vocal chops that he became her manager. Cut to 1993, when 25-year-old Dion and 51-year-old Angélil went public with their engagement. Both have said that the relationship hadn’t begun until three years prior. But as one would expect, her mother didn’t approve of Dion being with a divorcee 26 years older than her. However, the two married on December 17, 1994, and went on to have three children. While many found it problematic, over the course of their 21-year marriage, others saw it as true love. Angélil passed away in 2016 after a years-long battle with throat cancer.

#4: Aaron & Sam Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Johnson met his future wife Sam Taylor-Wood in 2008 on the set of her feature directorial debut “Nowhere Boy,” in which he starred as a young John Lennon. After exactly one year of dating, the couple got engaged in 2009, then had their first daughter together in July 2010, and their second in January 2012. The Taylor-Johnsons officially tied the knot in a June wedding when Aaron was 22 and Sam was 45. Aaron, who also became a stepdad to Sam’s two daughters from her previous marriage, would later say that he always knew that he would be a “young father.” This comment and everything else about the relationship sparked backlash online with people viewing it as an example of grooming and power imbalances.

#3: Elvis & Priscilla Presley

Over the decades, the story of Elvis and Priscilla Presley (nee Beaulieu) has been well documented from page to screen. The pair met in 1959 while stationed in Germany, Priscilla’s stepfather with the Air Force and Elvis with the US Army. After the singer returned to the States, they had a sporadic long-distance relationship until 1963 when she left Germany for Memphis. The Beaulieus weren’t exactly thrilled seeing their young daughter with an older man, but on May 1, 1967, Elvis, 32, and Priscilla, 21, tied the knot in a Las Vegas ceremony. Most fans have chosen to accept, celebrate, or ignore the problematic relationship. But after seeing recent biopics of the Presleys, today’s moviegoers called out the uncomfortable age gap and his allegedly controlling behavior.

#2: Doug Hutchison & Courtney Stodden

As we look back at the cruel media treatment of years past with a modern lens, one person who deserves a massive apology is Courtney Stodden. In May 2011, the then-aspiring actress-singer-model was thrust into the spotlight when they married “The Green Mile” actor Doug Hutchison. What made the Vegas marriage so newsworthy was that it required parental consent from Stodden’s mother, Krista Keller. The then-50-year-old Hutchison was rightfully scrutinized due to the outrageous 35-year age gap, and Keller was condemned for allowing the relationship to happen. But young Stodden also endured public criticism and humiliation. After the marriage ended in 2020, they opened up about the trauma of being groomed by Hutchison, as well as their struggle with mental health and body image. Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions. Angelina Jolie & Billy Bob Thornton The 20+ Year Gap Was Just One Troubling Aspect of This PDA-Heavy Hollywood Pairing Kate Beckinsale & Pete Davidson The 20-Year Age Difference Made This Another Headline-Making Relationship for the Comedian Lisa Bonet & Jason Momoa The “Aquaman” Star Fulfilled His Childhood Dream, Dating “The Cosby Show”Actress 12 Years His Senior Leonardo DiCaprio & Every Girl He Dates His Reputation for Exclusively Dating Models & Actresses in Their Twenties Is a Punchline Scott Disick & Sofia Richie Well, Penelope Said It Best…& We Agree

#1: Woody Allen & Soon-Yi Previn

Also in:

How Woody Harrelson Got Famous

In 1980, twice-divorced filmmaker Woody Allen began dating actress and frequent star in his films Mia Farrow. At the time, she had multiple adopted children, including daughter Soon-Yi Previn. Though the couple never lived together, they adopted a daughter, Dylan, in 1985, and had a biological son, Satchel Ronan, two years later. In 1992, the relationship ended and Farrow alleged Allen abused Dylan. Only months later, Allen and Previn went public with their relationship that, according to them, began a year prior when she was 21 and he was 56. Despite the massive controversy, they got married on December 23, 1997, in Venice, Italy. Previn maintained that Allen wasn’t fatherly. However, in a 2015 interview, he referred to himself as “paternal.” What age gap couple shocked you the most? Let us know in the comments below.