Just days after last year's Oscar winner Kate Winslet announced her split with hubby Sam Mendes comes news that the marriage of the newest champ, Sandra Bullock, may be on the rocks. In Touch Weekly reports that Bullock's hubby, Jesse James, had an affair on the sly while Bullock was filming "The Blind Side."
Now Oscarologists wonder: Is there really a kiss of death curse associated with winning best actress?
Over the past 12 years, eight of the best-actress champs busted up with their lovers after winning: Kate Winslet (won for 2008), Reese Witherspoon (2005), Hilary Swank (1999, 2005), Charlize Theron (2003), Halle Berry (2001), Julia Roberts (2000), Gwyneth Paltrow (1998), Helen Hunt (1997). Five of the splits occurred less than a year after their Oscar triumphs (Winslet from hubby Mendes, Witherspoon from hubby Ryan Phillippe, Swank from hubby Chad Lowe, Paltrow from boyfriend Ben Affleck, Roberts from boyfriend Benjamin Bratt). Berry's break-up with Eric Benet occurred 18 months after winning; Hunt split with Hank Azaria less than two years later.
It's ironic, looking back, at how effusively the stars gushed at the Oscar podium while thanking their men on the eve of their relationship's end.
Witherspoon: "I want to say thank you to my wonderful husband."
Swank in 2005: "Chad, you're my everything. Thank you for your support. It means the world."
Berry: "My husband, who is the joy of my life."
Bullock to James: "You get dressed up in monkey suits and you sit at a table with people you don't know. I love you so much, and you're really hot. And I want you so much!"
Can it be a mere coincidence that these women's romantic lives go kaput so soon after the biggest triumph of their careers? Is it because victory goes to their heads and these women become impossible divas to live with? Or is it because their men are overly macho types who can't tolerate being upstaged by their female partners' success? The latter may be a contributing factor in the split of Witherspoon and Phillippe. There were reports that Phillippe looked miserable and pouted all night at the parties — where he obviously didn't want to be — after Witherspoon won. Ryan should've exulted in his own victory too. That same night his film "Crash" won best picture, but he didn't win a statuette himself. Some observers believe that bothered him a lot as Reese flashed her glittering golden boy right and left, leaving her lover boy sitting alone in a corner, looking downcast.
Photo: Los Angeles Times