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Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Gone Wrong

Delve into the strange, and often painful, world of love

         It’s that time of the year again when florists make more money in three days than they normally do in three months. When you put your lactose intolerance aside and enthusiastically accept chocolates from your boyfriend like it’s the most creative gift on earth. A time when you willingly pay a ridiculous amount of money to sit in a crowded restaurant to stare into each others eyes while trying to ignore the 20 other couples doing the exact same thing. Yes, it’s Valentines Day. A wonderful time for those in love.
       But let’s face it, not everybody’s happy in love. You may have just been dumped or had your ex-boyfriend thrown in jail for fraud and money laundering (cough, Anne Hathaway, cough). But before you start feeling sorry for yourself, read on about all the bad things that have happened between two people who once promised each other the moon and the sky. When you’re done, you’ll probably feel much better about your single status. And you might even learn a thing or two – like the importance of finding out if your partner has criminal or, worse, cannibalistic tendencies.

Mad About You | Actors act all funny when they fall in love

          If there were an Oscar for Most Over the Top Declaration of Love, TOM CRUISE would have skipped to the podium to deliver his acceptance speech. The over-the-top pouncing, air punching and bended-knee performance on Oprah Winfrey’s couch in 2005 to gush over KATIE HOLMES led everyone to believe the Scientologist had lost his mind. (Cruise has made the similar performance on Jay Leno’s couch.) The couple later wed in Italy in November 2006. We’re not sure if Cruise offered to get Oprah’s couch dry-cleaned.

          For years, entertainment mags had it that ANGELINA JOLIE and BILLY BOB THORNTON wore vials of each other’s blood around their necks while they were married. But in an interview Jolie did in 2008, the actress said it was just media hogwash. “It was never a vial anyway,” she clarified. “It was like a flower press. It was like from a slight cut on your finger and you press your fingerprint in. I thought it was romantic.” Semantics, we say!

          Tattoos seem to be de rigeur for hotly in love Hollywood couples. PAMELA ANDERSON had “Tommy” linked in case she forgot TOMMY LEE’s name. But Pirates of the Caribbean star JOHNNY DEPP topped the lot with “Winona Forever” on his right arm, which he had to alter to “Wino Forever” after his split with actress Winona Ryder.

Till death, dismemberment, or both, do us part
Here are some of the meanest and harshest payback scheme

          IN SINGAPORE, when aquarium shop assistant Chua Beng Hin’s mistress broke up with him, he was so incensed he not only wanted her and her new love dead, he also wanted to gouge out her eyes – her self-professed asset – with a screwdriver. He paid three teens S$500 ($350) to do the deed. But the plan was foiled when police questioned the boys for loitering near her home and they sang like a canary.

          ZACKERY BOWEN AND ADRIANE HALL were together for a year-and-a-half before she caught him cheating on her and threw him out of ther New Orleans apartment in 2006. Unable to deal with it, he strangled her to death and later cut the body up before jumping off a hotel with a suicide note in his pocket. The note led the police to their apartment, where a strange sight greeted them: Hall’s charred head was found in a pot on the stove, her legs and arms on turkey-basting trays in the oven and the rest of her body in a trash bag in the fridge. Next to the pot were diced carrots and potatoes.

          WHEN LORENA BOBBITT lopped off her husband John’s penis in 1993 with a kitchen knife , she gave birth to the new term “pulled a Bobbitt.” The long abused wife was allegedly raped after John returned home drunk. After the severing, she drove around the neighbourhood before flinging the dismembered member out of the car window. The police found the severed penis, which was re-attached to John after a nine hour surgery.

          A FILIPINO FISHMONGER found out his wife was going to divorce him because of his suspected affair. The 35-year-old, who was a refugee in Malaysia, used illegal fishing explosives to blow up his wife and himself at his sister-in-law’s house in Kota Kinabalu.

Happily Never After | Clearly, moviegoers love a good sob

          The top-grossing movie of all time is a tearjerker of mega proportions. TITANIC, about a ship doomed on its first sail and the equally ill-fated love between a rich girl and a poor boy, remains the highest grossing movie of all time even more than ten years after its theatrical release in 1997. The blockbuster’s worldwide box office takings stand at pole-position with $1.83 billion. Even the top-grossing Asian film in the US is one that echoes love not meant to be; CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON pulled $128 million.

        In Asia, movies about hopeless love are also lapped up with greater relish. In India, the Shah Rukh Khan-helmed tragedy OM SHANTI OM, about an aspiring actor who falls in love with a popular actress only to watch her die in a fire, trumps over all other Hindi films. Even CNN put IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, Wong Kar Wai’s masterpiece about love and loss, in its list of best Asian films of all time.

Crime Watch | The following women found themselves in the prison of love when they fell for men who got on the wrong side of the law

           ANNE HATHAWAY’s four-year romance with Italian businessman RAFFAELLO FOLIERI came to a halt in June 2008 when he was charged with fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. The charming conman, who had funded their lavish lifestyle with his ill-gotten gains, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years behind bars. After the split, the Rachel Getting Married actress candidly went on Saturday Night Live and quipped: “I broke up with my boyfriend, and two weeks later he was sent to prison for fraud. I mean, we’ve all been there, right, ladies?”

          Not too happy that his ex-girlfriend LINDA RISS was marrying another man, high flying New York lawyer BURT PUGACH paid a hoodlum $2000 to disfigure her in 1959. The crime, which blinded her, landed Pugach in jail for 14 years. After he was released, they tied the knot. Could this be where the phrase “love is blind” came from?

          After supermodel KATE MOSS cleaned up her act following a very public cocaine-snorting expose in 2005, she found herself wiping up the mess her musician beau PETE DOHERTY left behind with his repeated drug-related arrests. After several postponed walks down the aisle, he was hauled back to jail again last 2008 on drug charges and that was when she – finally! – gave up on him.

Can This Be Love | When adoration and affection go off tangent, it can morph into anything from warped to plain cruel

          ENGLISH KING HENRY THE EIGHT beheaded his Queen, Anne Boleyn, in 1536 on the grounds that she committed adultery. Her alleged lovers, one of whom was her brother, suffered the same fate. History has it that she was thought to be innocent, and that Henry had her executed so that he could marry another woman. More strangely, Anne’s sister, Mary, was Henry’s mistress.

         THE SPARTAN SOCIETY of ancient Greece saw nothing wrong with women bringing their lovers home. Men both allowed and encouraged their wives to bear the children of other men, thanks to the community’s consensus that it was more pertinent to bear offspring for the good of the race, than to quibble over the moral values of the family.

          A 60-YEAR-OLD JAPANESE MAN dumped his sex-doll girlfriend in 2009 and got into trouble with local authorities. The retiree had lived with his 1.7-meter-tall, 50-kilogram silicon mate for several years after his wife’s passing, and decided to part ways with “her” after agreeing to move in with his grown-up children. According to the police, he had grown attached to the doll and thought “it would be cruel to cut her up into pieces and throw her out with the trash.” So in August last year, he wrapped her up and dumped her, quite literally, in the woods. He now faces fines for illegal dumping.

          A BRITISH WOMAN MARRIED CINDY the dolphin in Israel in December 2005. Sharon Tendler, who is 41, unofficially tied the knot with the oddly named male mammal after visiting it regularly over a 15-year period. It is reported that Tendler requested the wedding – where she offered Cindy fish and a kiss – to have “a bit of fun”“It’s all fun and games until someone marries a dolphin.” after her friends joked about her singlehood, sparking off the not-so-often heard saying,

The Price of Love | These rich folks settled down, became unsettled and finally sought a settlement to get as far away as possible from each other


1. $1.7 BILLION: RUPERT MURDOCH & ANNA MURDOCH in what began as a harmonious split in 1998 after a 32-year marriage, the breakup turned ugly when the media magnate knocked Anna off the board of News Corporation. A year later, he settled by giving her what would be the largest amount – including $110 million in cash – a woman would walk away with from a failed marriage. Less than three weeks after the divorce, he married one of his employees Wendi Deng.

2. $1.48 BILLION: SUMNER REDSTONE & PHYLLIS GLORIA RAPHAEL The Viacom owner divorced Raphael, his first wife of 55 years and mother of his two children Shari and Brent, 1999 and reached the whopper settlement in 2002. A year later, he married former primary school teacher Paula Fortunato. In October 2008, the 85-year-old filed for divorce from the 46-year-old Fortunato, who allegedly received $5 million – chump change for Redstone whose estimated net worth last 2008 was $9 billion.

3. $874 MILLION: ADNAN KHASHOGGI & SORAYA KHASHOGGI Although there are differing reports over the final settlement amount, because part of it was apparently tied to oil prices, it is still a headline-hogging sum that Soraya Khashoggi managed to slice off her Saudi Arabian arms dealer husband in 1982. The couple had five children in their 21-year affair-plagued marriage. In a soap-opera worthy dramatic turn of events, it was later found through DNA testing that one of his daughters was not his.


           AGA KHAN & PRINCESS BEGUM INAARA The billionaire racehorse owner and spiritual leader married the German princess in 1998 but announced their divorce six years later citing an “irretrievable breakdown” in their relationship. Aga Khan is estimated to be worth $1.6 billion and reports say it is not true that the Princess is seeking up to half of his assets. They have described the divorce as a “private matter” and the case has recently been moved from Britain to France, where the settlement is likely to be less damaging.

          RON DENNIS & LISA DENNIS The McLaren Formula One racing team boss is looking at a possible $150 million divorce payout after splitting up with his American-born wife of 22 years in February 2008.

          SHWAN AL-MULLA & SUZAN AL-MULLA Shwan met Suzan while they were studying in London and married her in 1980. The London-based Iraqi Kurd, who made his billions from reconstruction in Iraq, separated from her in 2004 and is trying to stave off his estranged wife’s claim of as much as $780 million. They have five children from their 20-year marriage.


          SIR PAUL MCCARTNEY & HEATHER MILLS Their four-year union finally came to a close in March last year after the high-profile divorce was wrought with accusations of infidelity, emotional outbursts and spats with the media. Mills received $37.8 million – a mere fraction of the $194 million she sought from one of Britain’s wealthiest musicians, whose estimated worth is $618 million. The court also ruled that McCartney fork out $54,000 a year as financial provision for their five-year-old daughter Beatrice until she turns 18. Sixty-six-year-old Sir Paul left the court smiling while former model Mills ranted against the judicial system.

          MADONNA & GUY RITCHIE in what was lauded as a “model divorce” – for both its speed and non-wrangling – Ritchie left without quibbling for the Material Girl’s estimated $490 million, even though the director purportedly only has a tenth of that amount to his name. As of press time, there were differing reports on his settlement amount: the figure of $76 million released by Madonna’s publicist was later retracted by the couple.

Writing Off Love | The written word has captured countless heartbreaks throughout the centuries

          From innocent love gone awry to obsessive manipulation, from Shakespeare to Stephenie Meyer, the theme of tortured love has captured the imaginations of book lovers throughout the ages. Two of the Bard’s most famous plays ROMEO & JULIET and ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, portray doomed love – the former paints the wide-eyed infatuation between star-crossed lovers who are driven to extremes while the latter is wrought with destructive passion, power and betrayal. And centuries on, generations are still entertained by love that was not to be.

          Love in print in the 19th century dove into the depths of ill-timed adoration, obsession, exploited affections, rejection, revenge and sacrifice and saw the birth of titles such as Emily Bronte’s classic WUTHERING HEIGHTS and Thomas Hardy’s FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD and TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES.

          In these modern times, tales of tormented love have extended beyond the literary audiences as novels such as Michael Ondaatje’s THE ENGLISH PATIENT, about a young nurse who looks after a badly burned pilot, and Stephenie Meyer’s teen cult novel TWILIGHT series, about the forbidden love between a vampire and a girl, get their big-screen adaptations.

Source : Love Gone Wrong by Chelsia Toon, Reader’s Digest February 2009
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