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Angelina Chapin

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Why Creepy Dates Should Be Published Online

Posted: 06/13/2013 1:05 pm

Girl goes on date with guy. Guy acts creepy. Touches-her-bum-when-she-doesn't-want-him-to creepy. Guy is also a famous Canadian radio personality. Roughly a year later, girl writes a blog about it. That blog goes viral. The man's identity is less-than-thinly veiled. Man gets publicly shamed on social media for his behaviour.

Should we believe her story?

Welcome to the new new new journalism. The platform is the Internet, and everyone's a writer. The problem: There are no rules. What's a reader to do?

The new online order can be a wonderful thing. It gives a voice to the otherwise voiceless (anyone reading Twitter during the Arab Spring knows that). It gives news stories a much-needed human perspective (Rehtaeh Parsons' father's blog after she died is a heartbreaking example).

But there is also bad. When anyone is allowed to write, how do readers know what is true? (Full disclosure, Huffington Post Canada wrote up the creepy date story to highlight the trend of public shaming on the Internet).

The media used to be the gatekeepers of truth. That's why the New York Times' print edition still reads "All the News That's Fit to Print" in the top-left corner. Legacy media told readers what they should know and assured them it was right. Reporters supposedly followed the rule that two sources had to verify a fact before it was publishable. Fact-checking departments combed over details for accuracy before paper hit printer. The general sentiment in the industry was: "If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out."

Times, they have changed.

In the new new new journalism, Hunter S. Thompson would be far from the craziest person writing. Anyone can start a blog or a YouTube channel (alleged murderer Luka Magnotta apparently did, killing kittens in videos). And a new regime of media outlets rule the Internet, bringing with them a different set of rules (Gawker's slogan: "Today's gossip is tomorrow's news.")

What constitutes a story is also different. The Internet is not just a platform to spread real-world news, but an alternate universe where media also reports on the mere fact that videos and blogs go viral, often without checking their legitimacy (you might remember the fake pig-that-"saved"-a-goat video that was shown by major television networks after blowing up on the web).

Now, a blog accusing a Canadian radio host of being a creeper probably won't have too much consequence (the author will and has gained a boatload of Twitter followers, and the accused can easily enough brush off the accusations for lack of evidence). But stories like it -- stories that are not verified in the traditional journalistic sense -- can have serious implications.

Reddit, a collection of the most popular stories on the web (tagline: "the front page of the internet"), infamously falsely identified one of the Boston bombers as 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi based on information from a thread that invited readers to submit suspicious photos and analysis. It later apologized, but Sunil's family said the accusation interfered with their attempt to find their son, who was missing at the time. He was shortly later found dead.

In a very different example, a political scandal is deadlocked due to a lack of verification. After Gawker published its story about an alleged video of Toronto's mayor Rob Ford smoking crack -- without physical evidence -- it prompted the Toronto Star to publish a similar account by two reporters, a story it had been sitting on for a few weeks. Presumably, the Star was waiting to obtain actual evidence so it wouldn't have to write "The Star had no way to verify the authenticity of the video" and admit that it had no proof beyond eyewitness accounts. But that is a snail's pace for the online world.

What did the mayor do? Deny deny deny. Where is the videotape? Apparently gone. Who is the mayor of Toronto? Still RoFo.

The story has made for a lot of funny videos, but hasn't succeeded in kicking the mayor out of office, or even dissuading his supporters.

Both stories lack an essential level of verification: Police had not confirmed the Boston Bombing suspect, and there is no proof a Rob Ford video exists. And the outlets reporting the stories are not bloggers. Reddit and Gawker are the faces of new new new journalism, setting a new standard that legacy media like the Toronto Star is forced to follow, and espousing the same philosophy that most people with a blog subscribe to: if I see it, you should believe it.

That's why the Internet's slogan should be "Proceed with caution."

If a reader can't rely on media outlets to give them verified truth, they have to develop their own methods of verification. That includes being skeptical of every tweet, blog and Facebook post they read. It includes asking questions many journalists ask themselves when dealing with a source: How credible is the author? What is his/her motivation in writing the piece? What are the limits of eyewitness accounts? Is the other side of the story presented? How reliable is a photo? How credible is the site an account is published on? (There is a wealth of information on this topic online).

This may seem like web 101, but I think a lot of these questions are often forgotten, especially when a story is so good that you want it to be true.

If readers bring a more critical eye to content, the internet superhighway suddenly becomes less dangerous. Instead of a cesspool for wrongful allegations and hyperbole, it is a useful starting point for discussion.

So when a woman publishes a story about her creepy date, should readers believe her? Should they take her writing as proof that one of our national radio treasures is a bona fide sleazebag? No. We don't get two sides of the story. The facts have not been adequately verified.

But I still like that she published it.

The discerning reader can put the blog to good use: as an avenue to discuss gender relations -- how being "manly" is too often a euphemism for sexual harassment -- rather than for character assassination.

After all, that discussion too rarely happened when newspapers were the gatekeepers of truth.

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  • Owen Wilson, Sheryl Crow

    The couple broke up in 2002, but there were no hard feelings. "I love Owen. He's so talented, and a great, great person," <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/2002/2002-04-15-crow.htm" target="_hplink">Crow said about the actor the same year.

  • Johnny Depp, Ellen Barkin

    Before his two-year relationship with Kate Moss, <a href="http://voices.yahoo.com/johnny-depps-love-life-past-present-5708768.html">Johnny Depp briefly dated Ellen Barkin in 1994</a>.

  • Lance Armstrong, Ashley Olsen

    In 2007, then 21-year-old Olsen was spotted<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/31/lance-armstrong-and-ashle_n_70525.html" target="_hplink"> making out with Armstrong</a>, 15 years her senior, at Rose Bar in New York. Yeah, we don't really get it either.

  • Ryan Gosling, Sandra Bullock

    The hunky heartthrob and funny girl were together from 2002 to 2003. "I had two of the greatest girlfriends of all time. I haven't met anybody who could top them,"<a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/ryan-gosling-exes-sandra-bullock-rachel-were-the-best-girlfriends-ever-2011179#ixzz1wZWnD4oD" target="_hplink"> Gosling told <em>Us Weekly</em> </a>in 2011 (about Bullock and Rachel McAdams, whom he dated afterward). We wonder what current amour Eva Mendes might have to say about that?

  • Roger Ebert, Oprah Winfrey

    Roger Ebert and Oprah went on two dates way back when the two were just starting out in Chicago -- and Ebert counts himself as her mentor. "Yes, it is true, I persuaded Oprah to become the most successful and famous woman in the world," <a href="http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051116/COMMENTARY/511160301" target="_hplink">Ebert wrote in 2005</a>.

  • Andre Agassi, Brooke Shields

    Nowadays, it's hard to imagine that one of the most high-profile couples in the '90s was tennis star Andre Agassi and actress Brooke Shields. The couple dated for six years before marrying in 1999; they divorced just two years later.

  • George Clooney, Talia Balsam

    George Clooney may be the ultimate bachelor, but he did get married, just once, to actress Talia Balsam. (Balsam is now married to John Slattery of "Mad Men"). <br><br>"I was married, so I gave it a shot,"<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20029324-10391698.html" target="_hplink"> Clooney told Piers Morgan</a> in 2011. "I've proven how good I was at it, and I just...I'm allowed one."

  • Winona Ryder, Jimmy Fallon

    Winona Ryder and Jimmy Fallon were reportedly linked in 2002, though <a href="http://www.wmagazine.com/celebrities/archive/winona_ryder">she denied a relationship in W magazine</a> that same year: "I do date once in a while, and I've gone out with wonderful people in the past. Although not with Jimmy Fallon, who everyone thinks is my boyfriend. We're just great friends."

  • Courteney Cox, Michael Keaton

    The "Friends" star and "Batman" actor dated <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20102215,00.html" target="_hplink">from 1989 to 1995</a>. <br><br> (Getty)

  • Helen Hunt, Matthew Broderick

    Helen Hunt and Matthew Broderick gave love a shot in 1987 and although happily every after wasn't in the cards for the pair, the couple did forge a lifelong friendship. Hunt and Broderick are even comfortable enough with their relationship that <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2008-04-23/gossip/17895768_1_cinema-society-outfit-onstage">they filmed a sex scene together for 2008's "Then She Found Me."</a>

  • Conan O'Brien, Lisa Kudrow

    These <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-06-29/gossip/29737338_1_phoebe-buffay-improv-groundlings" target="_hplink">two funny people dated</a> when he was a writer for "Saturday Night Live" and she was working as a comedian in Los Angeles. "He was really smart, really funny and he thought I was funny, but found we were better as friends," <a href="http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/entertainment-forgottencouples/6/" target="_hplink">Kudrow said of their brief romance</a>.

  • Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr.

    By his own admission, Robert Downey Jr. was less than a model boyfriend to Sarah Jessica Parker, whom he dated from 1984 to 1991. "I liked to drink, and I had a drug problem, and that didn't jibe with Sarah Jessica, because it is the furthest thing from what she is," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/16/robert-downey-jr-on-datin_n_97012.html" target="_hplink">Downey Jr. said of their relationship</a>.

  • Drew Barrymore, David Arquette

    These two Hollywood staples were briefly linked in 1991 -- eight years before they starred together in 1999's "Never Been Kissed."

  • Alanis Morissette, Ryan Reynolds

    Before Blake, before Scarlett, there was Alanis: Reynolds dated fellow Canadian Morissette from 2002 until 2007, when they called off their engagement. Morissette later admitted that her album <a href="http://www.accesshollywood.com/alanis-morissette-talks-ryan-reynolds-breakup-covering-my-humps_article_10455?&__source=rss%257Clatest_news" target="_hplink">"Flavors of Entanglement" was about their breakup</a>.

  • Carson Daly, Tara Reid; Katie Holmes, Chris Klein

    Cutest -- and weirdest -- double date ever? Carson Daly/Tara Reid and Katie Holmes/Chris Klein are the epitome of the '90s here.

  • Moby, Natalie Portman

    According to Moby, his fling with Portman caused a lot of nerd wrath. "You don't date Luke Skywalker's mom and not have them hate your guts," <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/item_YRyKLctrCmIeaFysWHXogP#ixzz1wZUpAuA0" target="_hplink">he said about their romance</a>.

  • Ashton Kutcher, January Jones

    Long before Ashton Kutcher married and divorced Demi Moore and January Jones gave birth to her baby boy (whose father she refuses to reveal), <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/27/ashton-kutcher-january-jo_n_774749.html">these two gave it a go in the romance department</a>.

  • Jack Nicholson, Lara Flynn Boyle

    The unlikely couple had an <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Look-Whos-Back-Together-Again-12062" target="_hplink">on-again, off-again relationship</a> from 1999-2006.

  • Gary Oldman, Uma Thurman

    How did we miss this? <a href="http://www.zimbio.com/dating/3zGpPZJkBxZ/Gary+Oldman+married+Uma+Thurman/Gary+Oldman">Gary Oldman and Uma Thurman were married</a> from 1990 - 1992.

  • Jennifer Love Hewitt, Joey Lawrence

    Jennifer Love Hewitt and Joey Lawrence were <a href="http://www.ivillage.com/jennifer-love-hewitt-cheating-famous-boyfriends-book/1-a-142303">a match made in teen icon heaven</a> from 1995 - 1996.

  • Scott Baio, Pamela Anderson

    Scott Baio and Pamela Anderson <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20061439,00.html">called each other sweetheart in the late '80s and early '90s</a>.

  • Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore

    Emilio Estevez and Demi Moore were romantically entangled from 1985 - 1987. After starring in 1985's "St. Elmo's Fire," <a href="http://www.zimbio.com/dating/aVh7uTRFCeI/Emilio+Estevez+engaged+Demi+Moore/Demi+Moore">the pair became engaged but never made it to the church</a>.

  • Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon

    The telegenic "There's Something About Mary" co-stars dated for three years before splitting in 1998 -- the same year the hit comedy hit the big screen.

  • Macaulay Culkin, Mila Kunis

    It seems like ages ago, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/03/its-over-mila-kunis-and-macauley-culkin-breakup_n_803457.html" target="_hplink">Kunis split from rumored fiance Culkin</a> only last year, in September 2011. They began dating in 2002.

  • Madonna, Dennis Rodman

    There are a lot of crazy rumors surrounding this unlikely pair, among them that <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/Rodman_Surprised_He_Couldnt_Impregnate_Madonna/3466906" target="_hplink">Madonna desperately wanted to be impregnated </a>by the former basketball star in the early '90s.

  • Billy Corgan, Tila Tequila

    The romance between the Smashing Pumpkins frontman and the reality star came out of nowhere, and left just as quickly as it arrived.

  • Shia LaBeouf, Hilary Duff

    LaBeouf and Duff, who just gave birth to her first child, went on an epically bad date -- according to LaBeouf himself. "Probably the worst date either of us have ever had," <a href="http://www.hollywoodlife.com/2011/06/28/shia-labeouf-megan-fox-transformers-dark-of-the-moon/" target="_hplink">the "Transformers" star told Details</a> of their failed connection.

  • Emma Stone, Kieran Culkin

    After meeting on the set of 2009's "Paper Man," Stone and Culkin were <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-04-07/gossip/27061116_1_emma-stone-kieran-culkin-stars" target="_hplink">rumored to be dating</a>. Stone is now currently dating "The Amazing Spider-Man" co-star Andrew Garfield.

  • John Stamos, Marlee Matlin

    John Stamos and Marlee Matlin <a href="http://www.theinsider.com/gossip/40647_They_Dated_Surprising_Hookups/index.html?page=71">reportedly dated in 1989</a> -- but romantic or platonic, the pair remain good friends <a href="https://twitter.com/MarleeMatlin/status/144285645173555201">and at least carry on a Twitter relationship</a>.

  • Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson

    You better believe it: In 1992, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20110576,00.html">Danson was apparently so smitten with Goldberg</a> during the filming of "Made in America" that it led to a divorce with his then wife-of-16-years, Casey, the next year. "I'd walk in Whoopi's shadow for the rest of my life--I adore the woman," Danson said about Goldberg.

  • Sean Lennon, Leelee Sobieski

    John Lennon's son and Sobieski were spotted canoodling during a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2004, when the former teen star was just 20 years old.

  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman

    These teen stars were linked twice: first, in 2006 (pictured, strolling in New York); and in 2008, shortly before co-starring in "Brothers." Gyllenhaal and Portman remain pals -- the <a href="http://www.popeater.com/2011/01/10/jake-gyllenhaal-roasts-natalie-portman/">latter offered a friendly roast of Portman in January 2011</a>, when he said: "She is elegant, graceful, has amazing eyebrows... is talented, really short, funny, smart, dedicated, incredibly kind."

  • Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Johnson

    Before Blake, before Scarlett, before Alanis, Reynolds dated yet another famous face: Kristen Johnston, of "Third Rock from the Sun" fame (pictured together here, in 1999).

  • Matthew Morrison, Kristen Bell

    Bell and Morrison both attended New York University, <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/kristen-bell-reveals-she-once-dated-glees-matt-morrison-2010239">where they "dated very briefly."</a> Also, Bell calls the "Glee" star "Matty." Everybody say awww.

  • Edward Norton, Courtney Love

    This unlikely couple dated for three years in the '90s after co-starring in "The People vs. Larry Flynt" together, and they were even rumored to be engaged. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/26/courtney-love-attacks-edw_n_478073.html">Years later, in 2010, Love would blast Norton on Twitter</a> over an alleged $300,000 she said the actor owed her.

  • Minka Kelly, Donald Faison

    Before she got together with Yankees star Derek Jeter, Kelly dated the "Clueless" actor for a year, from 2004-2005.

  • Brad Pitt, Robin Givens

    A pre-fame Brad Pitt dated Givens in 1989, when she was in the midst of a nasty breakup with ex-husband Mike Tyson. "As I go to my car she drives up with the handsome Brad Pitt," <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2125932/Mike-Tyson-admits-seeing-ex-wife-Robin-Givens-Brad-Pitt-turned-wet-noodle.html#ixzz1xo06DpM1">Tyson recalled</a> in April 2012 on "Conan O'Brien." "It just totally overwhelmed me... I had no energy to fight."

  • Al Pacino, Diane Keaton

    Keaton dated her "Godfather" co-star Al Pacino in the '80s; the relationship dissolved after Keaton pushed a marriage ultimatum on Pacino. She told People: "He's charming, hilarious, a nonstop talker. There was an aspect of him that was like a lost orphan, like this kind of crazy idiot savant. And oh, gorgeous! I was mad for him. I worked hard on that one."

  • Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe

    Hollywood's sweetheart and the Australian heartthrob enjoyed a jet-setting romance from 1999-2001, to much controversy: Ryan was still married to actor Dennis Quaid when the future lovebirds met on set of "Proof of Life. "Dennis was not faithful to me for a very long time, and that was very painful," <a href="http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/meg-ryan-admits-to-breaking-russell-crowes-heart-20090403-9qzr.html">Ryan told InStyle</a>. "I found out more about that after I was divorced ... Russell didn't break up the marriage."

  • Seal, Tyra Banks

    Seal sure has a thing for telegenic supermodels! Seal and Tyra confirmed their budding romance when they stepped out to the Essence Awards in 1996, but broke up shortly thereafter.

  • Enrique Iglesias, Sofia Vergara

    It's strange to think of now, but Vergara was once more commonly referred to as <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20139975,00.html">Iglesias' ex</a> before she hit it big with the ABC sitcom "Modern Family."



Loading Slideshow...
  • Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson

    You better believe it: In 1992, <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20110576,00.html" target="_hplink">Danson was apparently so smitten with Goldberg</a> during the filming of "Made in America" that it led to a divorce with his then wife-of-16-years, Casey, the next year. "I'd walk in Whoopi's shadow for the rest of my life--I adore the woman," Danson said about Goldberg.

  • Sean Lennon, Leelee Sobieski

    John Lennon's son and Sobieski were spotted canoodling during a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction in 2004, when the former teen star was just 20 years old.

  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman

    These teen stars were linked twice: first, in 2006 (pictured, strolling in New York); and in 2008, shortly before co-starring in "Brothers." Gyllenhaal and Portman remain pals -- the<a href="http://www.popeater.com/2011/01/10/jake-gyllenhaal-roasts-natalie-portman/" target="_hplink"> latter offered a friendly roast</a> of Portman in January 2011, when he said: "She is elegant, graceful, has amazing eyebrows ... is talented, really short, funny, smart, dedicated, incredibly kind."

  • John Tesh, Oprah Winfrey

    What's even more bizarre than Oprah and Roger Ebert? Oprah and musician/television host John Tesh. Tesh allegedly left Oprah broken-hearted in the 1970s when <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-04-11/gossip/27061375_1_john-tesh-connie-sellecca-kitty-kelley" target="_hplink">he bolted in the middle of the night </a>from the apartment they shared in Nashville, Tenn.

  • Ryan Reynolds, Kristen Johnson

    Before Blake, before Scarlett, before Alanis, Reynolds dated yet another famous face: Kristen Johnston, of "Third Rock from the Sun" fame (pictured together here, in 1999).

  • Matthew Morrison, Kristen Bell

    Bell and Morrison both attended New York University, where they<a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/kristen-bell-reveals-she-once-dated-glees-matt-morrison-2010239" target="_hplink"> "dated very briefly." </a>Also, Bell calls the "Glee" star "Matty." Everybody say<em> awww.</em>

  • Edward Norton, Courtney Love

    This unlikely couple dated for three years in the '90s after co-starring in "The People vs. Larry Flynt" together, and was even rumored to be engaged. Years later, in 2010, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/26/courtney-love-attacks-edw_n_478073.html" target="_hplink">Love would blast Norton on Twitter </a>over an alleged $300,000 she says the actor owed her.

  • Minka Kelly, Donald Faison

    Before she got together with Yankees star Derek Jeter, Kelly dated the "Clueless" actor for a year, from 2004-2005.

  • Brad Pitt, Robin Givens

    A pre-fame Brad Pitt dated Givens in 1989, in the midst of a nasty breakup with ex-husband Mike Tyson. "As I go to my car she drives up with the handsome Brad Pitt," <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2125932/Mike-Tyson-admits-seeing-ex-wife-Robin-Givens-Brad-Pitt-turned-wet-noodle.html#ixzz1xo06DpM1" target="_hplink">Tyson recalled</a> in April 2012 on "Conan O'Brien." "It just totally overwhelmed me ... I had no energy to fight."

  • Christina Applegate, Brad Pitt

    The Brad strikes again: This time, with the "Married with Children" actress in 1988.

  • Al Pacino, Diane Keaton

    Keaton dated her "Godfather" co-star Al Pacino in the '80s; the relationship dissolved after Keaton pushed a marriage ultimatum on Pacino. She told <em>People</em>: "He's charming, hilarious, a nonstop talker. There was an aspect of him that was like a lost orphan, like this kind of crazy idiot savant. And oh, gorgeous! I was mad for him. I worked hard on that one."

  • Jennifer Lopez, Ben Affleck

    Remember <a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,627566,00.html" target="_hplink">Bennifer</a>? Ben Affleck was with another Jennifer before now-wife Jennifer Garner; the couple dated for 18 months and even got engaged, but split in 2004.

  • Meg Ryan, Russell Crowe

    Hollywood's sweetheart and the Australian heartthrob enjoyed a jet-setting romance from 1999-2001, to much controversy: Ryan was still married to actor Dennis Quaid when the future lovebirds met on set of "Proof of Life. "Dennis was not faithful to me for a very long time, and that was very painful," <a href="http://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/celebrity/meg-ryan-admits-to-breaking-russell-crowes-heart-20090403-9qzr.html" target="_hplink">Ryan told<em> InStyle</em></a>. "I found out more about that after I was divorced ... Russell didn't break up the marriage."

  • Seal, Tyra Banks

    Seal sure has a thing for telegenic supermodels! Seal and Tyra confirmed their budding romance when they stepped out to the Essence Awards in 1996, but broke up shortly thereafter.

  • Aaron Carter, Lindsay Lohan

    It's crazy to think about now, but Lohan and Carter were once a hot item, albeit not without some controversy. Carter had previously been dating that <em>other</em> teen star Hilary Duff, and <a href="http://newsroom.mtv.com/2011/08/15/love-triangle-hilary-duff-pregnant-aaron-carter-lindsay-lohan/" target="_hplink">cheated on her with LiLo.</a>

  • Dolph Lundgren, Grace Jones

    The real-life "Bodyguard" romance between the Swedish chemical-engineer-turned-beefcake and Jones happened when she hired him as her bodyguard in Sydney. Lundgren then followed her to New York, where the two partied with Andy Warhol and the Studio 54 glitterati. "She was a very sweet lady, a handful on all levels but I wouldn't have done without her. I have the scars to prove it," <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2010/aug/21/one-last-thing-dolph-lundgren" target="_hplink">Lundgren said about Jones in 2010</a>.

  • Kelly Preston, Charlie Sheen

    Not only did Sheen's relationship with then-fiancée Preston end tumultuously, it ended with a bang -- when <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/did_charlie_sheen_really_shoot_kelly/239915" target="_hplink">Preston was accidentally shot with Sheen's gun</a>, in 1990. "There's a beautiful person in there. He really is a great man," Preston would say about her former boyfriend nearly two decades later.

  • Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens

    Ah, live television. The "Hunger Games" star and Hudgens shared an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/18/josh-hutcherson-and-vanes_n_1212160.html" target="_hplink">awkward moment on an Australian morning show </a>when an interviewer asked the pair how long they had been going out. "We're not," Hutcherson said. "We were at one point, but she broke my heart. No, I'm just kidding. That was a while ago. We're really good friends now."

  • Richie Sambora, Cher

    Cher was involved with the Bon Jovi guitarist for two years in the early '90s. We bet the glamour-hair contests were awesome.

  • Enrique Iglesias, Sofia Vergara

    It's strange to think of now, but Vergara was once more commonly referred to as <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20139975,00.html" target="_hplink">Iglesias' ex </a>before hitting it big with the ABC sitcom "Modern Family."

  • Drew Barrymore, Tom Green

    In 2001, the Canadian comedian <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2001-12-17/entertainment/green.divorce_1_divorce-irreconcilable-differences-ann-gurrola?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ" target="_hplink">filed for divorce</a> less than six months after marrying the then 26-year-old Barrymore, saying: "Drew is a wonderful woman, I love her very much. I wish our marriage could have worked out, I wish her much happiness."

  • Ashton Kutcher, January Jones

    Before she was Betty on "Mad Men," Jones was a model for Abercrombie & Fitch, and a massively unhappy one at that. Then beau Kutcher didn't help much either -- or did he? "[He] was not supportive of my acting," <a href="http://www.gq.com/women/photos/200911/january_jones_mad_men_cover_story" target="_hplink">Jones told <em>GQ</em></a> about the "Punk'd" star. "He was like, I don't think you're going to be good at this. So - f--- you! He only has nice things to say now - if anything, I should thank him. Because the minute you tell me I can't do something, that's when I'm most motivated."

  • Andre Agassi, Brooke Shields

    Nowadays, it's hard to imagine that one of the most high-profile couples in the '90s was tennis star Andre Agassi and actress Brooke Shields. The couple dated for six years before marrying in 1999; they divorced just two years later.

  • Lance Armstrong, Ashley Olsen

    In 2007, then 21-year-old Olsen was spotted<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/10/31/lance-armstrong-and-ashle_n_70525.html" target="_hplink"> making out with Armstrong</a>, 15 years her senior, at Rose Bar in New York. Yeah, we don't really get it either.

  • Roger Ebert, Oprah Winfrey

    Roger Ebert and Oprah went on two dates way back when the two were just starting out in Chicago -- and Ebert counts himself as her mentor. "Yes, it is true, I persuaded Oprah to become the most successful and famous woman in the world," <a href="http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051116/COMMENTARY/511160301" target="_hplink">Ebert wrote in 2005</a>.

  • Ryan Gosling, Sandra Bullock

    The hunky heartthrob and funny girl were together from 2002 to 2003. "I had two of the greatest girlfriends of all time. I haven't met anybody who could top them,"<a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/ryan-gosling-exes-sandra-bullock-rachel-were-the-best-girlfriends-ever-2011179#ixzz1wZWnD4oD" target="_hplink"> Gosling told <em>Us Weekly</em> </a>in 2011 (about Bullock and Rachel McAdams, whom he dated afterward). We wonder what current amour Eva Mendes might have to say about that?

  • George Clooney, Talia Balsam

    George Clooney may be the ultimate bachelor, but he did get married, just once, to actress Talia Balsam. (Balsam is now married to John Slattery of "Mad Men"). <br><br>"I was married, so I gave it a shot,"<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31749_162-20029324-10391698.html" target="_hplink"> Clooney told Piers Morgan</a> in 2011. "I've proven how good I was at it, and I just...I'm allowed one."

  • Courteney Cox, Michael Keaton

    The "Friends" star and "Batman" actor dated <a href="http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20102215,00.html" target="_hplink">from 1989 to 1995</a>. <br><br> (Getty)

  • Conan O'Brien, Lisa Kudrow

    These <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-06-29/gossip/29737338_1_phoebe-buffay-improv-groundlings" target="_hplink">two funny people dated</a> when he was a writer for "Saturday Night Live" and she was working as a comedian in Los Angeles. "He was really smart, really funny and he thought I was funny, but found we were better as friends," <a href="http://xfinity.comcast.net/slideshow/entertainment-forgottencouples/6/" target="_hplink">Kudrow said of their brief romance</a>.

  • Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr.

    By his own admission, Robert Downey Jr. was less than a model boyfriend to Sarah Jessica Parker, whom he dated from 1984 to 1991. "I liked to drink, and I had a drug problem, and that didn't jibe with Sarah Jessica, because it is the furthest thing from what she is," <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/04/16/robert-downey-jr-on-datin_n_97012.html" target="_hplink">Downey Jr. said of their relationship</a>.

  • Drew Barrymore, David Arquette

    These two Hollywood staples were briefly linked in 1991 -- eight years before they starred together in 1999's "Never Been Kissed."

  • Alanis Morissette, Ryan Reynolds

    Before Blake, before Scarlett, there was Alanis: Reynolds dated fellow Canadian Morissette from 2002 until 2007, when they called off their engagement. Morissette later admitted that her album <a href="http://www.accesshollywood.com/alanis-morissette-talks-ryan-reynolds-breakup-covering-my-humps_article_10455?&__source=rss%257Clatest_news" target="_hplink">"Flavors of Entanglement" was about their breakup</a>.

  • Carson Daly, Tara Reid; Katie Holmes, Chris Kelin

    Cutest -- and weirdest -- double date ever? Carson Daly/Tara Reid and Katie Holmes/Chris Klein are the epitome of the '90s here.

  • Moby, Natalie Portman

    According to Moby, his fling with Portman caused a lot of nerd wrath. "You don't date Luke Skywalker's mom and not have them hate your guts," <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/item_YRyKLctrCmIeaFysWHXogP#ixzz1wZUpAuA0" target="_hplink">he said about their romance</a>.

  • Jack Nicholson, Lara Flynn Boyle

    The unlikely couple had an <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/Look-Whos-Back-Together-Again-12062" target="_hplink">on-again, off-again relationship</a> from 1999-2006.

  • Owen Wilson, Sheryl Crow

    The couple broke up in 2002, but there were no hard feelings. "I love Owen. He's so talented, and a great, great person," <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/2002/2002-04-15-crow.htm" target="_hplink">Crow said about the actor the same year.

  • Cameron Diaz, Matt Dillon

    The telegenic "There's Something About Mary" co-stars dated for three years before splitting in 1998 -- the same year the hit comedy hit the big screen.

  • Macaulay Culkin, Mila Kunis

    It seems like ages ago, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/03/its-over-mila-kunis-and-macauley-culkin-breakup_n_803457.html" target="_hplink">Kunis split from rumored fiance Culkin</a> only last year, in September 2011. They began dating in 2002.

  • Sinitta, Simon Cowell

    The "X Factor" judge and '80s pop star were once a power couple in the U.K. Even more surprisingly, <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/brad-pitts-ex-sinitta-dishes-on-his-amazing-body-20112411" target="_hplink">Sinitta also dated Brad Pitt</a> in the late '80s.

  • Madonna, Dennis Rodman

    There are a lot of crazy rumors surrounding this unlikely pair, among them that <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/Rodman_Surprised_He_Couldnt_Impregnate_Madonna/3466906" target="_hplink">Madonna desperately wanted to be impregnated </a>by the former basketball star in the early '90s.

  • Billy Corgan, Tila Tequila

    The romance between the Smashing Pumpkins frontman and reality star came out of nowhere, and left just as quickly as it arrived.

  • Shia LaBeouf, Hilary Duff

    LaBeouf and Duff, who just gave birth to her first child, went on an epically bad date -- according to LaBeouf himself. "Probably the worst date either of us have ever had," <a href="http://www.hollywoodlife.com/2011/06/28/shia-labeouf-megan-fox-transformers-dark-of-the-moon/" target="_hplink">the "Transformers" star told <em>Details</em></a> of their failed connection.

  • Emma Stone, Kieran Culkin

    After meeting on the set of 2009's "Paper Man," Stone and Culkin were <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-04-07/gossip/27061116_1_emma-stone-kieran-culkin-stars" target="_hplink">rumored to be dating </a>. Stone is now currently dating "Spiderman" co-star Andrew Garfield.

 

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