So, Russell Brand and Katy Perry have announced that their 14-month long marriage has ended. To many this has come as no surprise. The Brand-Perry partnership (despite a great start) may have actually hit the rocks as far back as February when rumours surfaced that they had sought some relationship guidance. In the fickle world of showbiz this appears to have been futile and divorced papers have been filed, pre-nups, post-nups (did they, didn't they?) discussed with lawyers - all in true showbiz style.
When I learned of the split (via Twitter of course - the now essential instant celeb news source) I got a call literally within minutes to come on BBC 5 Live and talk about it - such is the massive interest in this handsome couple.
Now, while I totally get the interest, on the grand scale of celebrity relationship endings, Brand and Perry are not quite Liz Taylor and Richard Burton. Nor did they have children and, likewise, the marriage lasted just 14 months. But, in a year of 'junk weddings' i.e. those lasting all of five minutes (Kim Kardashian wins this award hands down, although Sinead O'Connor's is my personal favourite) there is HUGE interest and a genuine element of surprise that the Brand and Perry union has burned out quite so soon. Like a lot of fans, I wanted them to last. So, why hasn't it?
Well, despite his womanising reputation, recovering addict Brand is deeply committed to his sobriety and spiritual path (as a follower of Krishna Consciousness). Unlike a lot of British talent who head to LA, he most definitely has enough charisma, self-discipline and shameless confidence to handle being married to a huge star like Perry.
However, Perry, at almost 10 years his junior, is not just a celebrity - she is a brand, a touring 'machine' and her public profile in the USA and world-wide totally overshadows Brand's. Let's face it, she is much more successful, popular and wealthier than him.
Only he and KP know the finer details that have led to their split but I would no doubt assume the demands of Katy's career played a massive part. That, and perhaps the pressure to succeed Brand must have experienced in LaLa land. Despite a couple of high profile films, his own profile has taken a bit of a nose-dive since meeting Katy. He was most definitely known firstly as "Mr Katy Perry" in the USA, rather than a star in his own right.
While for most of us being rich, gorgeous and successful beyond your wildest dreams would be a dream scenario, for celebrities, it can create more problems than it solves. As your net worth surges, agents, publicists and lawyers encroach on your private lives in a way that would send most of us to the edge. Combine this with the tempations of celebrity life and the huge egos 'stars' possess, and often no amount of love or couples' therapy can save a high profile marriage.
I do not doubt 'KP' and 'Rusty Rockets' were madly in love and most definitely in lust at the start of their relationship. Despite his naughty, mischievous persona, Brand clearly took his vows VERY seriously and saw his marriage as a spiritual, life-long union. But there appears to be an inner resolve, via his announcement, that implies that while he feels deeply saddened, he is crystal clear it is the right decision. Clearly, someone's had enough. In this case, I'd say Brand.
The timing? Well, from a PR point of view, announcing a major celeb divorce just before the New Year is a good way of making bad news 'last year's news' as soon as possible. Interestingly though - or is it just a touch of bad 'karma' - Brand chose the day before the second anniversary of his and Katy's engagement to make it all public, apparently without preparing her or her management in advance. Ouch.
So, what about the future? Actually Brand's career may now flourish again here in the UK. I think it's safe to say we have pretty much forgotten that ahem Jonathan Ross radio show incident (!). Yes, Katy is a megastar, but Brand is hugely talented and entertaining in his own right. He has a lot of loyal fans too - over 3.7 million followers on Twitter. Despite this heartache, 2012 could prove to be a turning point in more ways than one for him.