LOS ANGELES – A-lister couples like Jennifer Garner-Ben Affleck, Blake Shelton-Miranda Lambert and Gwen Stefani-Gavin Rossdale all split up over the summer. But what do these breakups do for a star’s public image?
Dr. Keith Ablow, Fox News contributor and psychiatrist, told FOX411 stars often get back into the limelight when a big breakup occurs.
“Unfortunately, I think that breakups in Hollywood confer upon both individuals the chance for more notoriety because the press revisits these celebrities and takes interest, again, in their personal lives and their new romantic conquests,” he said.
Relationship expert Audrey Hope agreed with Ablow and pointed out that often the public becomes sympathetic to celebs who go through a breakup.
“Their relationship drama helps their star status because we become so involved in their lives and love to hear everything, and read everything, and buy every magazine and click on every tidbit on the Internet, and watch for every bit of information we can get our hands on. They become like a friend we care about who needs our help and support.”
However, psychologist, author and radio host, Dr. Cooper Lawrence warned that if a celeb is emotionally hurt by a split, it can harm their career in the long-run. Lawrence speculated recent exes Lambert and Shelton may have this issue.
“They both have fans who stand by them and will continue to support them by buying tickets,” she said. “That said, if a divorce destroys you emotionally, you may not want to work for a bit. You may be too emotionally drained, I mean, didn't Miranda cry on stage?”
Hope said that celebrity heartbreaks remind fans that the stars are real people too.
“People love reading about the pain and heartache of celebrities,” she explained. “As mean as this sounds: It puts them more in line with us ‘normal folk’ trying to make it through the day. We soak up their stories, like air and love to keep reading about their pain. It humanizes them and makes them closer to us. We love suffering together. Life is hard, and relationships can be crazy, and it’s nice to know we are not the only ones.”
But what happens when the tabloids blame a breakup on one celeb? After Affleck and Garner split up, rumors swirled that Affleck had cheated with the family nanny.
In those cases, is the star who is being blamed for the split ostracized from Hollywood? Not exactly, Lawrence explained.
“[Affleck] allegedly cheated with the nanny, but that was not a problem for Ethan Hawke or Robin Williams,” she said. “They both openly dated the nanny after the split and it had zero effect on their career. I predict [Garner and Affleck will] continue to thrive and maintain their A-list status.”
And Ablow notes that sometimes stars see their biggest success immediately following a divorce.
“Katie Holmes, for example, is more famous than ever, after splitting from Tom Cruise,” he explained. “And I think she is seen as more sexually interesting to her fans, given that she can be linked with any number of intriguing men.”