When it comes to break-ups, perhaps due to cheating scandals, “love doesn’t always last forever, sometimes it’s tears and goodbyes.” Such was the main takeaway of Tay El’s 2017 piece for Thought Catalog.
But while it might just be simple farewells and warm hugs for some, things can get much messier when cheating (something that can cause trauma and trust issues for both partners) is involved. Mix all of that with public scrutiny, then you have yourself the perfect blend of chaos and heartbreak that comes fresh with finger-pointing and trash-talking.
This year and the last certainly had no shortage of once sweet love birds now singing sour notes. Here are our top five messiest (most recent) celebrity cheating scandals.
5. A swan song for Moira dela Torre and Jason Hernandez
Moira dela Torre rose to prominence with her solemn and sentimental discography. Unfortunately and perhaps unexpectedly, the singer-songwriter found herself dealing with heartbreak when her seemingly picture perfect marriage came to an end.
Around April, Hernandez took to Twitter to debunk rumors that he and dela Torre have separated, adding allegations that his then-wife cheated on him were false. Indeed, dela Torre would go on record that she remained faithful to Hernandez, but her former partner would soon admit to being the unfaithful one in late-May.
Despite claiming that his love for dela Torre was “genuine,” Hernandez would confess that he cheated on her months prior to the revelation, ending their three-year marriage. This shocked netizens so much that many called to legalize divorce in the Philippines, while others like social media star Pipay wondered if it was best to not have a relationship at all.
Although she questioned her own worth following the separation, dela Torre kept her head high and said she placed “[her] complete trust in the one who has never let [her] down.”
“I don’t know what the future holds, but hope continues to be the song that I sing. [...] My heart, though still navigating this unexpected season, feels full because of all of your comforting messages to those who are going through the same journey as me. I hear you and I send you love,” dela Torre wrote while debunking rumors surrounding their split last June 4.
4. Carla Abellana and Tom Rodriguez’s Insta-Cold War
While all may seem like sunshine and rainbows for the couple, rumors began to swirl last January that both Abella and Rodriguez called it quits. This was after Rodriquez himself allegedly had an affair with an unnamed “third party.” Longtime actor PJ Abellana, Carla’s father, would initially confirm that Rodriguez had a one-night stand. After downplaying the issue, however, he would later retract his statement then instead claim that Rodriguez wanted to mend fences with his wife.
On Instagram, the two stars would hint that their love is all but thriving. Among other cases, while Abellana was spotted liking comments that suggested Rodriguez was cheating on her, Rodriguez cryptically shared an image of hands breaking chains in his Instagram story.
He would finally reveal this June that he and Abellana have been divorced. Although Rodriguez accused her former My Husband’s Lover co-start of “giving-up on their marriage,” Abellana would explain in a YouTube comment how she felt “betrayed” and “disrespected” in their relationship.
“Buong puso po akong determinadong alagaan ang pagsasama at pagmamahal namin, at panindigan ang mga sinumpaan namin sa harap ng Diyos. Sa dami po ng binigay ko kay Tom wala na pong natira sakin [...] Sa lala po ng sakit, pambabastos, panloloko, pandudurog, paninira, panggagamit at pagtataksil po niya, mga tinago niya, napakadali pong ibalik sa kanya sa paraan ng pagganti. Pero hindi po ako ganun,” Abellana revealed.
(“ was wholeheartedly determined to take care of our union and love, and I was prepared to honor our vows to God. With everything I have given to Tom, I felt like there’s nothing left for me. [...] With how grave the pain, the disrespect, the deceit, the bullying, the discrediting, the manipulation, and the betrayal that he did, what he hid from me, revenge would have been easy. But, that’s not who I am.)
3. Aljur Abrenica dared Kylie Padilla to 'tell the world who wrecked their family.'
After separating from Kylie Padilla in April, Aljur Abrenica was linked to Vivamax starlet and Nerisa co-lead AJ Raval (who confirmed that they were “getting to know each other” early October). Despite this, Padilla affirmed that there was “no issue” when it came to her ex-husband dating other women, emphasizing that they “[had] already mutually agreed to date other people.”
That was until Abrenica “broke [his] silence” in a lengthy, emotional Facebook post, where he accused Padilla of cheating and for “wrecking their family.” This was despite Robin Padilla, Kylie’s father (who, like PJ Abellana, was slammed for downplaying the issue) pointing to Abrenica as the one engaging in an affair.
While Padilla would deny the allegations leveled at her, Raval insisted that she had no part in the couple’s separation. Recently, despite recalling that she felt “alone” in their marriage in a March interview, Padilla said in a May Instagram Q&A that she didn’t regret being with Abrenica due to having “two angels” (their children Alas Joaquin and Axl Romeo) with him.
She reflected that “[I realized that my feelings for him changed] when [I got] real closure, a real open and honest conversation about what happened. And through [that] you’ll find acceptance. I don’t believe you ever stop loving someone you loved before. But you understand that it is now the past and hopefully it becomes gratitude and something pleasant to remember.”
2. “Forgiveness is a work in progress” – LJ Reyes on Paolo Contis
What happens when a family is involved in public drama? Look no further than the highly publicized split between LJ Reyes and Paolo Contis.
After Contis ended their six-year relationship (a decision that she said was not mutual), Reyes and her kids Aki and Summer fled to New York, where her mother and sister lived. In breaking her silence to talk show host Boy Abunda, Reyes said that the move was a means to get their family’s bearings together following the “difficult and painful” separation.
After rumors linked Yen Santos, Contis’ co-lead in 2021’s A Faraway Land, as the “third party'' in the situation, Contis finally came clean in a lengthy post about being unfaithful to Reyes. He, however, emphasized that Santos was not involved whatsoever.
Although Contis apologized to his former partner and to his children in the same post, Reyes said in an October 12 interview with 24 Oras that forgiving him was a “work in progress.”
“Lahat naman tayo we get hurt, angry, but you work on it everyday to forgive people or whoever. You pray about it. Hindi kasi siya madaling bagay na ibigay, so surrender lang talaga kay God, and I’m working on it (We all get hurt, angry, but you work on it everyday to forgive people or whoever. You pray about it. It’s not an easy thing to give, so we surrender all to God, and I’m working on it),” Reyes explained.
Reyes later told Abunda that Contis made “no effort” to reach-out to her (at the time of the later interview).
1. Skusta Clee vs. The World
Where do we begin?
After miscarrying their second child Moon, vlogger Zeinab Harake revealed on May 8 how she and Skusta Clee parted ways. The reason? The rapper, besides frequently picking fights with her, was seeing another woman online. Although Skusta Clee (born Daryl Ruiz) initially denied it, Harake said that he later made a “brutal confession” to being unfaithful.
It all goes downhill from here.
Two days after Harake’s interview with controversial TV personality Toni Gonzaga, Ruiz teased on Facebook a collaboration with fellow rapper Gloc-9 titled Kumpisal (“confession” in English). As the title implied, this was a song about forgiveness.
With more than a million laugh reacts and around 315,000 comments, the announcement was heavily derided by netizens for its ill timing. While plenty of commenters suggested that the artist was merely capitalizing on his personal problems for fame, some beat his infidelity over his head in past and later posts from then on.
Further criticism came for Ruiz after 1.) releasing a new collaboration with Flow G and Yuridope titled Gaga (“crazy” in English), believed to be targeting Harake, and 2.) allegedly flexing TikTok sensation Aira Lipata, the rumored third party, in an Instagram story (with Lipata also sharing the story through her account).
Away from the controversies and from her ex-partner, Harake congratulated all mothers who embraced fatherly responsibilities just this Father’s Day, saying “happy father's day sa lahat ng mommy [diyan] na nag papaka tatay para sa anak, saludo para sating lahat 🤍(Happy Father’s Day to all mothers who had to be fathers for their children. Salute to all of us!).”
Meanwhile, Ruiz’s growing infamy led to him being booed at and branded as a cheater by attendees of the Aurora 2022 Music Festival last June 10. Seven days later, his own management team tried to affirm that Ruiz was not slammed in the Aurora event, but netizens instead wanted to make one thing clear to Skusta Clee.
Contrary to what he’s implying in Gaga (“kung kailan ka nawala, saka ako pinagapala [just when you left, I’ve been blessed]”), his critics remind him that cheaters never prosper.
Reuben Pio Martinez is a news writer who covers stories on various communities and scientific matters. He regularly tunes in to local happenings. The views expressed are his own.
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