7 celebrities who rekindled romance with their old flames

7 celebrities who rekindled romance with their old flames
Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu married former boyfriend DJ Koo three months after her divorce.
PHOTO: Instagram/Barbie Hsu

SINGAPORE - The surprise marriage between Taiwanese actress Barbie Hsu and her old flame, South Korea's DJ Koo, grabbed headlines last week.

While the speed of the nuptials - just three months after Hsu's divorce from Chinese businessman Wang Xiaofei - was most unusual, it is not unheard of for celebrities to go back into the arms of former lovers.

Some, such as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, realise the depth of their love only after separating. Others such as singers Sammi Cheng and Andy Hui have conquered setbacks and scandals with their rekindled love.

Here is a look at seven celebrities who reunited with their old flames.

1. Karen Mok and Johannes Natterer - First love is the best

Both were 17 and students at Italy's United World College of the Adriatic when they fell for each other and dated briefly. After graduating, however, Karen Mok and Johannes Natterer went their separate ways and dated other people.

Mok became a singer and an actress in Hong Kong, while Natterer, a German, worked in finance, got married and became a father of three daughters.

Their paths crossed again at a school reunion some two decades after they separated. They started dating each other again in their 40s and got married in 2011.

In March 2021, they took a trip to Lake Como, Italy, where Mok, who turns 52 in June, posted photographs of the idyllic lake and a romantic couple shot.

"To be able to spend time with my loved one in the fairyland-like Lake Como, I really have to cherish it," she wrote in her Weibo post.

It appears the couple's love remains as evergreen as it did back when they were 17.

2. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez - Madly and openly in love

The lovebirds met on set in their movie Gigli in 2001 and, after a year, Ben Affleck proposed to Jennifer Lopez with a 6.1-carat pink diamond ring.

But days before their wedding in September 2003, they postponed it. It never happened and the couple separated in January 2004.

The actor later married actress Jennifer Garner and they had three children before they divorced in 2018. Lopez was married to singer Marc Anthony from 2004 to 2011 and had a pair of fraternal twins with him.

Affleck, 49, and Lopez, 52, remained friends, but appeared to be more than that in 2021. They had reportedly been corresponding by e-mail regularly and took a trip together to Montana, the United States, in May 2021.

Lopez confirmed their relationship in a post marking her 52nd birthday, with a photograph of them kissing.

On Valentine's Day this year, she shared a personalised music video of her song On My Way, in which Affleck had made a video montage of their memories over the years. In her On The JLo newsletter, she said it "seriously melted her heart".

3. Faye Wong and Nicholas Tse - Keeping it low the second time

Hong Kong singer Faye Wong, 52, and actor Nicholas Tse, 41, first went public with their relationship in 2000, when they held hands as they left a party.

After two years, they separated, got married to other people and had children. Wong married Chinese actor Li Yapeng and had a daughter with him, while Tse tied the knot with Hong Kong actress Cecilia Cheung and they had two sons together.

But their marriages did not work out, and Tse and Wong were divorced in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

In 2014, Tse and Wong were reportedly seeing each other again. This time, they wanted to keep their relationship low profile.

While Tse has said that he is not interested in getting married again, he is frequently seen by the Chinese media spending nights at Wong's home in Beijing when he visits, leaving fans to speculate that their relationship is still going strong.

4. Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin - Real-life love story

Canadian singer Justin Bieber, 28, and model Hailey Baldwin, 25, announced their relationship in an Instagram post in January 2016, with Bieber sharing a New Year's kiss with Baldwin.

Just two months later, however, the couple broke up.

Over the next two years, they lived separate lives, with Bieber allegedly dating singer Selena Gomez briefly.

In May 2018, Baldwin and Bieber were back together with renewed passion. They got engaged in two months and said "I do" at the New York City marriage bureau in September that year.

In their wedding celebration a year later, Baldwin posted a photo of her wedding dress that had a trailing veil with the phrase "Till Death Do Us Part". From their social media posts, the couple are clearly living up to it.

5. Sammi Cheng and Andy Hui - Through thick and thin

Hong Kong singers Sammi Cheng, 49, and Andy Hui, 54, are widely regarded as the golden couple of Cantopop.

In 1996, Hui admitted his feelings for Cheng, which she reciprocated. They had an almost eight-year relationship before splitting up after a heated argument in 2004.

The couple reconnected and got married in 2013. Their love has seen them through tough times, including Hui's cheating scandal with actress Jacqueline Wong in 2019.

Cheng remained supportive throughout, encouraging Hui to return to the stage. Their relationship appears to have mended and is on to greater heights.

6. Cardi B and Offset - Grand gesture to reunite

Rapper Belcalis Cephus, 29, better known as Cardi B, and her husband Kiari Cephus, 30, also known as Offset, had their iconic first date at the Super Bowl in February 2017. In September that year, they held a secret wedding in their apartment.

Shortly after their first anniversary in 2018, Cardi B shared a video on Instagram that shocked fans. "We've got a lot of love for each other, but things just haven't been working out between us for a long time," she said in a post that has since been deleted.

Within a fortnight of their supposed break-up, Offset, in a grand gesture, interrupted Cardi B's performance at Rolling Loud music festival with a sign that read "Take me back, Cardi". While she was initially annoyed by the interruption, it seems Offset's move worked and the couple reunited in 2019.

In 2020, she dismissed the divorce with Offset that she had filed for earlier that year.

7. Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton- Married twice and divorced both times

Not all stories of rekindled romances end happily.

The late British-American actress Elizabeth Taylor had seven husbands in her lifetime. She married Welsh actor Richard Burton twice - and they ended up in divorce both times.

They first married in 1964 and starred together in 11 films, but then divorced in 1974. In 1975, they reconciled and remarried, but were divorced less than a year later.

Even then, their marriage was considered the marriage of the century and Taylor paid her respects to Burton privately when he died in 1984. She died in 2011 aged 79.

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.

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