Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt
Our study discovered Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's divorce to be the most talked about online, with 128,947 tweets made referencing the marriage's deterioration. This famous Hollywood marriage has seen a bitter end, with Angelina Jolie filing for divorce in 2016, citing 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason behind their high-profile split.
Since the couple are parents to six children, their divorce proceedings have been ongoing for many years. This is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, leading their divorce to be labelled one of the most costly divorces in Hollywood's history.
Interestingly, our tweets analysis further suggested that most of the couple's fans sided with Brad Pitt. Of the tweets we analysed, 69% had a positive sentiment compared to just 29% for Angelina Jolie. This means that a staggering 71% of tweets analysed were found to be negative towards Jolie.
Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries
With their marriage lasting just 72 days, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries' divorce provoked the second-highest level of interest on Twitter, with 103,113 tweets about the couple's divorce. Their lavish marriage ceremony was showcased during a special episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, which broadcasted in 2011, but their divorce was finalised just a few years later, in 2013 and has been called 'brutal' and 'messy' ever since.
Of the pair, Kris Humphries came out worse on social media, with our findings revealing that 69% of the tweets directed at him were negative, and just 31% were positive. By comparison, just over half (56%) of the tweets directed at reality star Kim Kardashian were negative, and 43% were positive.
Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise
The third most discussed divorce on Twitter was that of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, who were married between 2006 and 2012 and share one child together. Once one of Hollywood's most iconic couples, the divorce between the pair followed a whirlwind romance in 2005, when the couple became official, got engaged and fell pregnant with their first child together. Their split was said to be painful, causing an estrangement between Tom Cruise and his daughter Suri and attracting plenty of attention online, with 83,976 Tweets shared referring to the divorce.
Despite the attention garnered by their divorce online, it would appear that fans felt relatively neutral about the split, with our study revealing that 53% of the tweets directed at Katie Holmes were positive, and 47% were negative. Meanwhile, the tweets directed towards Tom Cruise were 57% negative, and 43% positive.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West
Making her second appearance on the list of the top 10 most talked about celebrity divorces, Kim Kardashian's divorce from Kanye West also appeared very topical online, accumulating 78,424 Tweets in total.
As one of the most recently instigated divorces on the list, Kim Kardashian filed for her third divorce, following a 7-year marriage with the famous rapper. The couple married during an extravagant ceremony in Florence and share four children. Kim Kardashian has called her husband a 'brilliant but complicated man', claiming that 'irreconcilable differences' are her reason for divorce.
Sentiment analysis conducted on these tweets found that Twitter responded negatively overall towards both Kim and Kanye. Three-quarters of the tweets directed at the couple were negative - with 71% of tweets found to be negative towards Kim and 75% towards Kanye.
Khloé Kardashian & Lamar Odom
Following shortly behind in fifth is Kim's younger sister Khloé Kardashian and her former Los Angeles Laker husband, Lamar Odom with 7,455 fewer tweets.
Having married just a month after initially meeting, Khloé filed for divorce in 2013 but chose to halt the divorce proceedings after Lamar was rushed to hospital after suffering an accidental overdose. Whilst it was rumoured that the pair could have reconciled their marriage, Lamar Odom's substance abuse once again led Khloé Kardashian to file for divorce again, with proceedings finalised in 2016.
Of the tweets directed towards Khloé and Lamar relating to their divorce, our research found that 66% and 63% of the tweets directed at the celebrities were negative, respectively.
Katy Perry & Russell Brand
According to our research, having shared a relatively short marriage of just 14 months, Katy Perry and Russell Brand's divorce was the sixth most talked about on Twitter. Fans had a lot to say about the couple's divorce, with 58,709 tweets concerning the end of their relationship.
Reports reveal the divorce was instigated by Russell Brand, who, like most celebrities, listed 'irreconcilable differences' as the reason behind their divorce. It is rumoured that Russell Brand broke the news of the divorce to Katy Perry through text; however, their divorce nonetheless remained amicable.
Despite the couple parting on good terms, Twitter users nonetheless shared more negative tweets towards the celebrities than positive ones. Almost two thirds (65%) of the tweets directed at Katy Perry were negative, and 62% for Russell Brand.
Amber Heard & Johnny Depp
As arguably one of the most volatile and public divorce proceedings in celebrity history, the divorce of Amber Heard from Johnny Depp has attracted a lot of attention on social media, with 43,075 tweets shared relating to the divorce. Amber Heard was the party that initially filed for divorce, accusing the famous actor of 'unreasonable behaviour' - namely domestic abuse, which resulted in Heard obtaining a temporary restraining order against him.
Whilst their divorce proceedings were finalised in 2017, the legal turmoil between the pair is yet to end since Johnny Depp has been fiercely trying to overturn a High Court libel case that ruled that he had assaulted his ex-wife. Owing to the hostile nature of their split and the accusations that followed, both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp have received a lot of negative tweets on social media. In fact, 70% of tweets analysed were negative towards Amber Heard, and 72% of the tweets directed at Johnny Depp.
Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher
When Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher's 8-year marriage drew to a close, it was a popular topic online as 37,547 tweets were shared discussing the split. The proceedings took around two years, but only later within her memoir did the reasons become public. In her book, Demi Moore suggests that Ashton Kutcher's infidelity was to blame for the breakdown of their marriage, causing the couple to finalise their divorce in 2013.
The marriage breakdown left the pair faced with a fair bit of backlash online, according to our research. Of the tweets analysed, 72% of tweets directed at Demi Moore and 74% of those aimed at Ashton Kutcher were deemed negative in nature.
Jennifer Garner & Ben Affleck
Having dated since 2004 and married just a year later, the split and divorce of Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck proved to be big news, with 35,660 tweets shared about it online. Of the various celebrity divorces discussed, theirs was arguably one of the most amicable, allowing them to co-parent their three children on favorable terms.
Interestingly, our research revealed that even despite their civil relationship, Jennifer and Ben still receive more negative tweets than positive ones, with 61% and 60% of tweets analysed found to be negative, respectively.
Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon
According to our research, singer Mariah Carey and comedian Nick Cannon's divorce ranked as the tenth most talked about on Twitter, with 31,289 tweets discussing it. Nick Cannon filed for their divorce in 2014, but the pair reportedly remain on good terms. The reasons behind their divorce had long remained a mystery, but Mariah Carey wrote in her memoir that their marriage broke down after they welcomed their twins in 2011 and when their personalities later got in the way.
Our study found that, when discussing the divorce, 74% of the tweets aimed at Mariah Carey were negative. However, Nick Cannon fared worse as 80% of tweets directed at him were negative. This suggests that the divorce did not go down well amongst the couple's fanbase.
Advice from Justin Creed, a Family Lawyer from Wright Hassall:
"The decision to end any long term relationship or marriage should not be taken lightly. It is easy to make assumptions, but vital that you talk to each other and listen; be honest with yourself and your partner about the things that make you both unhappy to see if you can resolve them and save your relationship. If you decide there is no option but to separate, you should both seek legal advice, not to start a battle, but to make sure you follow a path to a healthy and fair divorce. This is particularly important if there are children involved, as your relationship will continue as parents, even if you are no longer a couple."
- To find and record the total number of Tweets per couple, Wright Hassall trawled through multiple articles to collate a list of the top 20 most written about high profile divorces.
- They then created search queries designed to return Tweets that were specifically referring to the couple's divorce.
- To make sure their data would be as accurate as possible, Wright Hassall also considered nicknames and abbreviations of the names, i.e., "Kim K", "KimYe",…etc.
- To gain some insight into which member of the couple was being discussed more favourably, Wright Hassall conducted a sentiment analysis of the Tweets for each set of divorce Tweets.
- To isolate the language used to refer to each person, they employed a method whereby words that appeared closer to a reference to a person's name/nickname counted for more than words further away.
- All data was collated from March 22 to March 24 and is accurate as of then.
- All percentages were rounded up and rounded down to the nearest whole number.