"Krusty."
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Katy Perry, Russell Brand
Katy Perry, Russell Brand
| Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS

Who: BAFTA-nominated comedian Russell Brand, 46, and Grammy-nominated performer Katy Perry, 37.

How They Met: In September 2008, Judd Apatow took advantage of sharing a studio lot with the MTV Video Music Awards for his film Get Him to the Greek. During rehearsals, Apatow did some "guerilla style shoots" with a number of the performers, including Katy Perry. As part of this fated collaboration, Apatow's star, Brand, was to share a kiss with the "Hot N Cold" singer.

The scene was ultimately cut (because the process of art imitating life became "too literal," according to Perry), but it was still a defining moment in Brand and Perry's eventual relationship.

"On the way down the stairs after the scene, I was hopping like a bunny," Perry told Glamour about her cameo. "I hop like a bunny when I'm happy — I get a bit childlike," she said. "He gives me the Christmas Eve jitters."About a year later, Brand hosted the 2009 VMA's, and Perry won the Brit over by … throwing a bottle at his head? 

"I was 25, 30 feet away from him. And I threw the bottle straight at him," Perry told Esquire. "Hit him smack dab on the head."Brand wasn't initially amused by Perry's strangely violent pick-up method, but it was ultimately successful."I was really annoyed," Brand told Metro, "but when she came up to me she was so mouthy, smart and cocky, it made me really interested."

By the end of the night, he and Perry were spotted kissing at Lady Gaga's after-party.

Katy Perry Russell Brand
Credit: Getty Images

Dating speculation intensified the following month after both parties tweeted about vacationing in Thailand.

But it wasn't long before Brand and Perry went from rumored to radically public.

"I'm in love with someone," Brand confirmed during a visit to UK talk show Loose Women in December 2009. "I feel ill."

By January, they were engaged. They wed that October in a traditional Hindu ceremony in India (Brand was a practicing Hindu at the time).  

Why We Loved Them: There was seemingly nothing off-limits when it came to the media, for better or worse.

Perry declared that Brand "used to basically be a professional prostitute" before she met him. Brand told Details that his marriage was "at once the most mundane and spectacular thing in the world."

Exemplifying both the mundane and spectacular, Perry told Ellen DeGeneres that she and Brand shared a cat named after both of them: Krusty — "Katy and Rusty, but meshed." 

In an extremely 2010 turn of events, Brand and Perry got matching Sanskrit script tattooed on the underside of each of their right arms that translates to "go with the flow." Brand's has allegedly since been removed.

When They Peaked: Brand and Perry were basically the Kanye West and Julia Fox of 2009. Not unlike a "Firework," they burned bright, but the spectacle was short-lived.

Case in point, Perry put on a sartorial show of affection for Brand at the MTV Europe Music Awards that November. The singer was photographed in a strapless bustier and matching boy shorts bearing the crest and colors of UK football club West Ham United (Brand's favorite team). Perry's shorts read "Rusty" (Brand's nickname) across the butt. 

Katy Perry
Credit: Getty Images

"That was significant, when she did that," Brand said during his appearance on Loose Women. "It was like she reached into my childhood and made everything all better." Sweet, but not subtle — you know, like gifting your girlfriend of mere weeks and her entire friend group Birkin bags.

The Breakup:

Divorce rumors hit hard in late 2011, but both parties assured fans they were untrue. 

"First I'm pregnant & then I'm divorced. What am I All My Children?!" Perry tweeted, alluding to previous pregnancy rumors.

"I am really happily married," Brand told DeGeneres while visiting her talk show. 

But, alas, Krusty would not live to see the new year (the couple, not the cat).

On Dec. 30, Brand filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. "Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage," he told People. "I'll always adore her and I know we'll remain friends."

Speaking to Howard Stern that summer, Brand described marrying Perry as "the sensible thing to do," because he "just loved her so much."

"I was really, really in love with her, but it was difficult to see each other," he said. "It was a lovely relationship ... It mostly didn't work for practical reasons."

The following year, Perry provided a better idea of what transpired between her and Brand."Let's just say I haven't heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me December 31, 2011," she told Vogue.

Katy Perry Russell Brand
Credit: Getty Images

"At first when I met him he wanted an equal, and I think a lot of times strong men do want an equal, but then they get that equal and they're like, I can't handle the equalness," she went on. "He didn't like the atmosphere of me being the boss on tour. So that was really hurtful, and it was very controlling, which was upsetting."

OK, so more than "practical reasons" … In an interview with The Sunday Times, Perry said she was "in bed for about two weeks" following the split.

"I was pretty fucked, yes. It hurt a lot — I got a good knock."

"Unfortunately, although I had the outward self-identity, I didn't have the inner kind, I hadn't built that up. My self-worth was in someone else's hands which is never a good idea, because it can be taken from you at any time. And it was, and it was shattered."

Brand continued to paint a wildly different portrait of his and Perry's relationship in the press, telling Today's Matt Lauer that he "really enjoyed" being married to the singer. "Katy Perry is an amazing person."

"[Divorce] was emotionally traumatic for me," Perry told Rolling Stone in 2014. "It was the death of a dream. I was in fairy tale land, and the reality of it wasn't so."

While visiting Watch What Happens Live in 2014, Brand was asked to name the best and worst things about being married to Perry. He complied, telling host Andy Cohen, "The best thing is she's really exciting, and brilliant, and good fun, and the worst thing I suppose is things like that don't last forever."

When the trailer for Brand's 2015 documentary BRAND: A Second Coming was released, another piece of the enigmatic breakup puzzle was revealed.

"Oh my fucking God. I'm living, like, this life of the very thing I detest: vapid, vacuous celebrity," Brand says in the trailer, layered upon footage of him and Perry. Ah, fame, relationship kryptonite. 

Furthering this notion, in 2017 he told UKTV's John Bishop, "The marriage didn't last for a very long time, and I think that is to do with the undulating nature of fame."

Perry gave her final word on the relationship in 2020. "I was having great success at 23, 24, and 25, and then I met someone that was interesting and stimulating," she told 60 Minutes Australia. "It was just like a tornado, it was everything happening at once."

Where They Are Now: 

Brand married Laura Gallacher in 2017. The couple share two children: Mabel, 5, and Peggy, 3.

Russell's latest appearance is in the long-awaited murder mystery Death on the Nile, currently in theaters.

Perry and longtime boyfriend Orlando Bloom got engaged on Valentine's Day in 2019. She and the Pirates of the Caribbean star welcomed their first daughter together, Daisy Dove, in August 2020.

The singer has been a judge on American Idol since 2018. The talent competition's 20th season premieres on ABC Feb. 27.

#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.