This Thanksgiving pass the turkey, the mashed potatoes — and the divorce papers? Breakups during the holiday months are as ubiquitous as cranberry sauce and stuffing. College kids returning home for the Thanksgiving holiday long ago coined it the “turkey dump,” a right of passage of sorts when hometown sweethearts are cast aside for new college co-eds.
According to a Facebook study conducted by a British journalist in 2010, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is a prime breakup period. Experts attribute the spike in broken hearts to money and family tensions that seem to escalate during the holiday season, as well as to a natural tendency to engage in end-of-the-year self-reflection.
Despite their seemingly charmed lives, celebrities are no strangers to the turkey dump. In fact, many publicists recommend that their clients break bad news during holidays or on weekends, hoping the public has better things to do than troll Radar Online. With Turkey Day upon us, we offer up a list of Hollywood hotshots who nursed broken hearts along with tryptophan overdoses over the holiday.
#1 Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher
While the rumors ran rampant for months, Moore only publicly announced she and Kutcher were calling it quits after six years of marriage on Nov. 17, 2011, just one week before Thanksgiving.
#2 Eva Longoria and Tony Parker
ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” star announced her split from her husband of three years, Tony Parker, on Nov. 17, just eight days before Thanksgiving. Longoria cited irreconcilable differences in her divorce papers. The press, however, cited Parker’s inability to stay faithful.
#3 Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
The two, who had been married for three years, announced their breakup on Nov. 23, 2005, the day before Thanksgiving. According to some in Simpson’s camp, one of the reasons for the split was Lachey’s refusal to spend Thanksgiving with Simpson’s family.
#4 Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Disney’s “High School Musical” sweethearts reportedly ended their relationship over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2010. Efron flew to Hawaii, where Hudgens was filming, and the two “peacefully” broke up, said news accounts.
#5 Heather Locklear and Jack Wagner
Alas, Fox’s “Melrose Place” is not reality. While the two stars forged a successful union on the hit ‘90s show, they couldn’t make it work in real life. Wagner and Locklear called off their engagement in mid-November 2011, claiming that all-consuming wedding plans were taking too much time away from their families. Hmmm. Maybe they should have faked their own deaths and gotten married on a beach somewhere, a la the “Melrose Place” finale.