Elizabeth Hurley and Hugh Grant Have *Very* Different Explanations for Why They Broke Up
#TBT: Check in every Thursday as we throw it back to some of our favorite celebrity couples of all time.
Who: British actress, model, and bikini designer Elizabeth Hurley, 53, and Golden-Globe winning actor Hugh Grant, 58.
How They Met: Hugh and Liz met on the set of Spanish film Remando al viento (Rowing with the Wind) in 1987. It was Hurley’s first role in a feature-length film.
When They Peaked: The Four Weddings and a Funeral Versace safety pin dress not only marks the peak of Hurley and Grant’s public relationship, but the peak of culture as we know it. Everything has truly been downhill ever since.
Why We Love(d) Them: Not only did Elizabeth and Hugh’s relationship withstand what was arguably the biggest celebrity scandal of all time, but they still consider each other best friends nearly two decades after their 2000 split. Our love for these two remains squarely in the present tense.
The Break Up: You know the aphorism/Kelly Clarkson chorus “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? Well Hurley and Grant are pretty much the personification of that sentiment.
In 1995, "adorable bad boy Hugh" transitioned into "disgusting sex fiend Hugh" when he was caught engaging in a “lewd act” with “known prostitute” Divine Brown. Somehow, Grant managed to salvage his image as well as his relationship with the scorned Hurley, and even took her as his date to the premiere of Nine Months less than two weeks after the news broke.
“I felt like I’d been shot,” Hurley told Barbara Walters of her reaction to Grant’s indiscretion.
Scandal aside, Hurley and Grant spent five more years together before their ultimate split in 2000.
Years later (15, to be exact), both parties appeared separately on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live and gave their own account of why their romantic relationship ultimately crumbled.
According to Grant, “the sex part probably fizzled out,” but putting the physical aside, she’s still his “absolute best friend.”
Hurley had a different take, telling Cohen, “[Hugh] used to really annoy me. I love him, but he’s very annoying.” She continued, sharing with the host that her friends used to call the actor “Grumpelstilskin,” due to his, uh, grumpiness. Contrary to Grant’s comment about their sex life, Hurley said she’d give him a 10 out of 10 in bed — “I was with him for 13 years!” she exclaimed.
Where They Are Now: Soon after their split, Hurley became pregnant with son Damian (Grant’s godson). Damian’s father, businessman Steve Bing, demanded a paternity test when the press revealed he was the father, implying that Hurley had been less than monogamous while they were together. Two months after Damian’s birth in April 2002, test results concluded that Bing was the father — regardless, Damian (now an actor and model) still retains his mother’s last name: Hurley.
The beachwear designer married once, to businessman Arun Nayar in 2007. They divorced in 2011.
Hurley just ended a four-year run on E!’s The Royals and is featured in Kathie Lee Gifford’s upcoming film Then Came You.
Though Grant once told The Washington Post, “I'm pretty selfish and I can't bear mess and ugliness and those things seem to come hand in hand with children,” the actor welcomed his fifth child earlier this year with TV producer wife Anna Eberstein. He and Eberstein also share son John, 6, and an additional daughter. Grant welcomed his first child (Tabitha, 7) with former girlfriend Tinglan Hong in 2011. In between the birth of his first and second children with Eberstein, he reunited with Hong and welcomed son Felix in 2013.
Professionally, Grant’s had a resurgence of sorts with roles in Paddington 2, miniseries A Very English Scandal, and an anticipated slate of upcoming projects including Guy Ritchie’s Toff Guys and David E. Kelley series The Undoing.