Hollywood is filled with fairytale romances, but it’s also filled with love stories that look a little different from the norm.
Cameron Diaz, who has been married to Good Charlotte guitarist Benji Madden since 2015, says society should work toward normalizing separate bedrooms for couples, even going as far as to suggest that she could have her own house while her husband has his with a “family house” in the middle.
We’re looking back at other celebrity couples with unconventional living arrangements, including separate lives, separate beds and even separate homes.
Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden
Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden were married in 2015. They share one child, a daughter named Raddix, who was born in 2019. Diaz made news recently for pushing to “normalize” married couples having separate bedrooms – or even residences.
The topic came up when the actress was making an appearance on Molly Sims’ podcast, “Lipstick on the Rim.” There, Sims’ friend brought up the fact that she and her husband have different bedrooms because he snores, and Diaz jumped on the idea.
“We should normalize separate bedrooms,” she said. “To me, I would literally – I have my house, you have yours. We have the family house in the middle. I will go and sleep in my room. You go sleep in your room. I’m fine.”
She added, “And we have the bedroom in the middle that we can convene in for, you know, our relations.”
Diaz admitted to making a similar sentiment in the past, but clarified, “I don’t feel that way now because my husband is so wonderful. I said that before I got married.”
Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling
Over the summer, Dean McDermott announced in an Instagram post that he and Tori Spelling were ending their marriage. He quickly deleted the statement, and neither he nor Spelling addressed it for months.
In November, McDermott gave an interview to Daily Mail.com explaining everything. He confirmed the split, then gave a few reasons for it. The actor admitted to struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and going into drunken rages that left Spelling and the five children they share “petrified.”
He also said Spelling’s pets were an issue for him, even claiming that she let chickens and a pig in their bedroom. They also had multiple dogs that frequently had accidents in the home.
“I created a healthy boundary for myself and I said, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t live and sleep in this kind of condition,'” McDermott explained. “I drew that boundary for myself and moved to another room and things just progressed from there. There were no efforts to sort of remedy the problem to get back into the room.”
McDermott and Spelling weren’t able to repair the relationship, he explained. At the time of the interview, he was staying in a sober living facility while Spelling lives with their children in a new home she found after mold was discovered in their previous rental.
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith recently made waves when she revealed she and Will Smith, her husband of 25 years, have been living separately since 2016.
“I made a promise that there will never be a reason for us to get a divorce. We will work through whatever. And I just haven’t been able to break that promise,” she shared in an interview with Hoda Kotb.
As for why they’ve kept quiet about the separation, she explained that they haven’t been “ready” to talk about it, and they’re “still trying to figure out between the two of us how to be in partnership.”
To this day, she said they’re still “figuring it out.
“We’ve been doing some really heavy-duty work together,” she said. “We just got deep love for each other, and we are going to figure out what that looks like for us.”
Pinkett Smith did clarify that despite their public behavior, including the infamous Oscars incident when Smith slapped host Chris Rock for making a joke about Pinkett, they have been leading “completely separate lives” for the past seven years.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk
On Sept. 29, 2018, Gwyneth Paltrow married television producer Brad Falchuk. Nearly a year later, they moved in together.
As she explained to The Sunday Times, the couple spent the beginning of their marriage by spending three nights a week in their own homes and living together at Paltrow’s home the remaining four days. The actress’ “intimacy teacher” approved this arrangement.
“Oh, all my married friends say that the way we live sounds ideal, and we shouldn’t change a thing,” she gushed at the time.
In 2020, months after they made the big move, Paltrow told Harper’s Bazaar, “I thought it was really interesting how resonant that was for people. One of my best friends was like, ‘That is my dream. Don’t ever move in.’
“I think it certainly helps with preserving mystery and also preserving the idea that this person has their own life. So, this is something I’m trying to remain aware of now as we merge together.”
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter
Filmmaker Tim Burton and actress Helena Bonham Carter may no longer be together, but even during their 13-year relationship, the couple didn’t share a home.
They met in 2001 when Carter appeared in Burton’s “Planet of the Apes.” At the time, she owned a home in north London. After their romance blossomed, he made the choice to buy the two homes next door to her.
As she described to The Guardian in a 2010 interview, the three homes were small cottages, and one home alone wasn’t quite big enough to suit their needs. When they had children – son Billy born in 2004 and daughter Nell born in 2007 – the arrangement stayed the same, with Carter and Burton each claiming a home and dedicating the middle house to the kids.
“He always visits,” she explained, “which is really touching. He’s always coming over.… The houses are joined. We have a throughway. Journalists think there’s an underground tunnel, gothic. It’s actually quite above ground, lots of light.”
Still, the arrangement didn’t often include the two sharing a bed. She admitted then that they slept together “sometimes” because “there’s a snoring issue… I talk, he snores. The other thing is, he’s an insomniac, so he needs to watch television to get to sleep. I need silence.”
Carson Daly and Siri Daly
Television personality Carson Daly married wife Siri in 2015, but a few years later, they decided that perhaps sharing a life didn’t necessitate sharing a bed.
In 2019, when Siri was pregnant with the couple’s fourth child, Carson admitted on “Today” he got “sleep-divorced.”
After joking that they “cited irreconcilable sleeping,” he explained, “I have sleep apnea, my wife’s pregnant and during a home renovation, we downgraded to a queen-size bed. We just felt like we’re better off sleeping in different beds.”
Because of his sleep apnea, he uses a CPAP machine to sleep, which he said was another factor in the decision.
“That’s like sleeping next to Darth Vader. Really attractive, huh?” he quipped. “Most women would want to sleep in another bedroom.… I don’t snore anymore, but the noise of the machine keeps her up.”
The next year, after Siri gave birth to their daughter Goldie, he told People they’d still kept up the arrangement.
“I’m purposely not sleeping, obviously, with [Siri] and Goldie, because I don’t want to wake them up at 3 o’clock in the morning,” Carson said. “We’re still sleep divorced, but for discernibly different reasons. I don’t know if we’ll ever sleep together again.”
Just last year, he confirmed on “Today” the couple still has separate beds, calling it “the best thing” for them.
Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick, Travis Barker
Kourtney Kardashian has been making headlines with her marriage to Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker, but before that, she spent years in a long-term relationship with Scott Disick.
Kardashian and Disick welcomed three children together: Mason, 13, Penelope, 11, and Reign, 8. In an article she wrote for her site Poosh, she explained how her parenting style led to Disick moving into a separate bedroom.
The reality star explained that when Mason was a baby, they ended up both sleeping with him out of practicality, but when Penelope was born, Kardashian chose to bring her into their bed. At first, she tried moving Mason to his own room, but when he continuously sneaked in to sleep with her during the night, she “embraced a family bed.”
After Reign was born, Kardashian switched things up, putting him in his own room from the beginning “for the good of my relationship.”
“With two kids in my bed, Scott had begun sleeping in the guest room, so I made an effort to try and get Reign to sleep in his crib,” she wrote. “I actually spent the first two months sleeping in a bed in his room, as I was up at night nursing.”
In 2015, Kardashian broke things off with Disick. In 2021, she began dating Barker, a longtime friend. They were married in 2022, and she made the choice again to live apart from her partner, though this time she took things a step further. They kept separate homes.
Last October, months after the couple’s May wedding, Kardashian said on the “Not Skinny but Not Fat” podcast that she and Barker lived in the same neighborhood but in separate houses because they were “figuring out how to blend our households and our kids.”
“We have our routines within our house,” she added. “Like, when the kids are at their dad’s house, I stay at his house, and there are still nights when we’ll stay at each other’s houses in between. But I get up at six in the morning, and I carpool every morning, and then I go straight to his house and have matcha.”
Weeks after that, the couple bought a home together.
Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O’Neal
In 1979, when Farrah Fawcett was still married to Lee Majors, she and Ryan O’Neal began seeing each other. Their decades-long relationship was marred by numerous struggles, and they were known for splitting, sometimes for lengthy periods of time, before getting back together.
They were together when Fawcett died in 2009 after battling cancer. Three years later, O’Neal wrote a book remembering her, “Both of Us: My Life with Farrah.”
In one section, he wrote about sleeping separately from her, even sharing a journal entry he claimed to have written in 1990.
“There is this thin, impenetrable veil between us,” he wrote. “We’re professional and considerate to each other on the set; cool, almost aloof at home… She accuses me of being bored and angry. Maybe she’s right. Sometimes our love just doesn’t make up the differences.”
He explained that they made the decision to have separate bedrooms after their son, Redmond, got into the habit of sleeping with them when he was a toddler. He recalled the child having “strong legs like his mother,” and said “he would burrow into the bed, decide he didn’t have enough room, and then start pushing with all his might, until I had no other choice but to sleep on the floor or in the other room.”
“Eventually he outgrew this, but by then, Farrah and I had grown used to our privacy and it stuck, and even when we traveled after that, we’d often get adjoining rooms. I always thought of our arrangement as terribly mature of us. Now I wish I could have back every one of those nights we slept in separate beds.”